When it comes to the pursuit of vintage, in Victoria we are spoiled for choice.
From Victorian and Art Nouveau to mid century modern, from kitsch to 1980’s popular vintage and even oddities, there is no end to sourcing that perfect item that can take you back.
But when it comes to unique, one of a kind, and often handmade pieces, the Found Studio on Fort street is a wonderful spot to consider. Curated by owner Morgan Hass, the studio is subtle and unassuming, and filled with organic and elegant functional art.
Passion for design is the driving force behind the Found Studio which has evolved gradually, beginning with a young woman moving out west from Ontario with nothing at all, falling in love with Victoria and creating a sustainable business & brand.
Initially buying and selling vintage on marketplace and the like, after a while the Found Studio began to gain a following on Instagram and Hass knew she was on to something.
Laughing, as she speaks about her first studio space which was on Quadra Street. She says her neighbours must have wondered what on earth she was up to trying to create a space to photograph her found objects, moving things around and creating a racket.
As her business grew, a need for more space was obvious. The storefront on Fort was never the initial intention – but this space solved a number of issues, primarily providing access, exposure, lots of space for photography and gorgeous high ceilings that acts as a perfect setting for vintage finds. It certainly is not a traditional space and sometimes folks don’t really know what to make of it. Its part showroom, photo studio, shipping centre and workshop.
Hass sources unique furniture and objects and has developed a network of “pickers” who assist her in curating a collection which really is unique to her style. She knows what she likes and gravitates towards organic, textural, brutalism, and one of a kind objects often from Europe and Africa. Part of her growth in the vintage world is being very purposeful when sourcing pieces. She ONLY buys things that she loves. About her curation at the studio she says,
“I won’t sacrifice my aesthetic and brand to make money“.
While the studio has some larger furniture pieces, she really focuses on lighting, small objects and now art. Recently she has had collaborations with Artist Sheryl Fisher and Hass says that through these collabs, artists gain more exposure and hopefully that is reflected in higher art values for them.
When asked what piece has been her most coveted find so far, she shows me a very understated piece of pottery by none other than Emily Carr. Made of Dallas Road clay and marked Klee Wyck (or laughing one) on the base, the piece probably was produced by Carr between 1924 and 1930. If you are wanting to acquire this wonderful piece, it is available at the studio and in the online shop. How many of us can say they own a piece of true Canadiana belong to this much beloved artist?
Another sought after item at the studio is Ikea. Although this is funny to some of us remember early Ikea catalogues and advertising, Hass says,
“Vintage IKEA is “a thing” and everybody wants it!“.
If you want to view the Found Studio, it’s best to reach out and make an appointment with Morgan. As a one woman show, Hass is commonly in and out of the shop, running errands and sourcing, networking & sending off her finds. With somewhat irregular hours, if you are lucky enough to happen upon the studio and the door is ajar, wander through and treat yourself to her beautifully curated world. The collection changes frequently and there’s always some beautiful object to capture your fancy.
The Found Studio is located on Fort Street next to Green Muse Herbs.