We’ve rounded up some of our favourite queer-owned brands, designers and craftsmakers breaking the mold
LGBTQ+ makers and designers have long been shaping the world of art and design. With Pride month in full swing, we’re celebrating some of our favourites producing a range of products from designer scents to sustainable home furniture.
Beginning her woodworking journey as a pre-teen in Junior High School, Kate Duncan has honed her craft in creating bespoke heirloom furniture from her Toronto studio. Inspired by Brutalism, Duncan showcases her artistry in the form of bed frames, tables, cabinets, and seating. In addition to her woodworking craft, she is also the founder of Address Design Show – an inclusive annual exhibit that features the work of designers across North America.
Designed in Toronto, VIGYL is a Queer-owned candle brand that aims to intersect art, community, and the sense of smell with an embodied experience poured into each of their products. A range of modern organic scents and sculptural vessels are part of how VIGYL takes self-care to an elevated level. And to celebrate Pride from June 1, ten dollars from the sale of every Hanlan’s candle – a nod to Toronto’s historically gay-friendly beach on the Island – goes directly to supporting the Rainbow Railroad Organization.
Intersecting the resurgence of Pop Art and nostalgic design, Toronto-based Christopher Rouleau is an artist and graphic designer that creates bright, bold, and fun art pieces. The subject of Rouleau’s work ranges from punny twists on commercial products to commemorative works that nod to LGBTQ+ history and progress.
YYY- Merida Anderson Ceramic
After their showing at One of a Kind Toronto, Merida Anderson solidified a spot on our list of creatives to watch. The multidisciplinary artist creates bold and vibrant designs certain to make any space in your home feel like a gallery. Beyond vases and tabletop pieces, Anderson has recently ventured into lighting design—releasing a collection of hanging pendants in their signature playful style.
Krisette Santamaria is an industrial designer specializing in sustainable solutions to interior design. From reworking wood into new furniture to transforming her morning coffee grounds into a table, Santamaria believes in taking an innovative approach with each of her designs. At the heart of her craft is blending the beautiful with the functional.
Designed for beauty and function, founder Vazken Karageozian launched Papuk to craft human-friendly cat furniture that brings style and fun to our feline friends. When he’s not designing modern pet furniture, the craftsman works as the creative director of interior design firm Figure 8.
Orange Cat Packs
Owned by Maya Robertson and inspired by her tangerine feline friend, Helo, Orange Cat Packs crafts stylish bike accessories that provide much-needed storage. Proudly Queer-owned and made in Hamilton, Orange Cat Packs use a mix of fabrics to best suit customer needs. Some of our favourite pieces include the strong and fresh X-Pac, and the upcycled ECOPAK. Lightweight, fun, and handy, Orange Cat Packs are the perfect accessory for your summer bike rides.
Montreal-based twins, Byron and Dexter Peart bring joy, sustainability, and family together with their curated marketplace GOODEE. Committed to building a community around socially-conscious design, GOODEE provides everything you need from indoor home furniture and dining sets to garden tools and outdoor sculptures.
Let your colours shine through with this wearable art. Nicnacs accessories explore the concept of asymmetry and celebrate diversity with their eccentric designs. Founder and designer Mads Brimble experiments with sculptures that combine laser-cut designs, creative coding, and biological research to create unique and organic shapes.
Treat your space to the delicious scents of this emerging LGBTQ+ brand. HEIM GOODS produces room sprays that transport you to far-away fantasies from the comfort of your home. Dedicated to making your life less stressful, HEIM GOODS offers a dynamic and rich home-fragrance collection designed with nature and simplicity in mind.