Meet the Maker: Jolynn Vandam of Saige and Skye

Meet the Maker: Jolynn Vandam of Saige and Skye

I've known Jolynn for a little over a year now - first introducing myself over Instagram. It's been so great to turn our online friendship into a real-life one, as well as to turn our friendship into a collaboration! With the launch of some new hand-dyed slings being released on March 23, I thought it would be a great time to chat with Jolynn about all things life! 

Hey Jolynn! Thanks so much for answering some questions for me today - I'm so glad we get to do this! To start off, can you tell my readers a little bit about your life and background?

We moved a lot as kids, I was shy. Avoiding any type of public speaking in front of my peers or anyone for that matter. I was very withdrawn from social activities and didn't have the best grades either. I spent my time riding horses, drawing and roaming the fields with my sisters. Moving a ton left me with little to no close friends. I remember my mother and father always doing something creative. We didn't have a ton of money either so they did almost everything themselves, which left me with some really great hands-on knowledge, fueling my creativity. In high school, my favourite subjects were photography, design, sewing and art, all the creative subjects. I was often skipping out on all the main subjects, especially the ones I needed to do presentations for! Oh, and I also took painting classes outside of school with a local artist, Linda Jones!

Fast forward to post secondary and I had no clue what I was going to do to fill my days and make a living. Thinking it would be really fun, I moved into Vancouver and enrolled in a makeup program at John Casabanas. I rocked it and was at the top of my class but when it came to taking all my knowledge and skills into the workplace, it just didn't. Interviews were so daunting, even just dropping off my resume...not a chance! So that was the end of that. I did some travelling and met my partner in New Zealand. I like to think I scooped him up and brought him back home with me. Together we lived in New Zealand, Australia (where I gave birth to my first born, Cooper Skye), and eventually we made it home to Canada. It was refreshing to be home, there were so many more opportunities knowing we were here to stay. I started my creative work with fibre after my second born, Norah Saige. It filled the hours in the day I wasn't tending to the babies, and I quickly shifted into a business, Saige and Skye.

Four years later and another couple babies, Isla Stone and Hendrix Storm, I've realized that PPD played a huge roll in my creativity. Looking back I can see it all so clearly that I was struggling, I wasn't coping, and I had no clue. Creativity was (and still is) my distraction from being a stay-at-home mother. Like anything, it has its challenges, so weaving and creating quickly became my outlet. My me-time, my passion, and the one thing I have creative freedom with.

The hard part is I don't get a ton of time to create (seems to be less and less each week) as the babies and the house work mostly come first (ugh, chores!). It's been so hard trying to balance it all and in no way do I have my sh*t together, but somehow we make it work. I can feel the pull from within me when I have spent too many days without creating. That leaves me here. Still figuring it all out with tons of ups and downs. 

What an incredible story! So how did you become interested in natural dyeing?

I started natural dyeing to get the perfect colour palette for my work. Now I have a customized palette that works well for me but also is better for the environment. 

Do you have any formal training?

Nope, to be honest trial and error is my motto. Working with what feels right in the moment and shifting anything to complete my vision. 

How do you decide what materials to use to dye?

They need to be natural fibres, nothing synthetic as natural dyes won't take to them. 

Where do you source your dye materials from?

I use a mix of Maiwa dyes, a local shop and creativity heaven. Then in the warmer seasons, a ton from my garden! 

Do you always get the effect you’re looking for? Or is it mostly trial and error?

Over time I've learned the basics and how different elements change the end look, but mostly it's a surprise each time. I personally just love to create this way, not much of a planner or a recipe follower. 

How was the process working with such large fabric for our Heirloom Carrier ring sling collab?

So fun! I've always wanted to do wearable art so this was the perfect collab!

That makes me so happy! Did you ever baby wear when your babies were little?

I did! Not a super ton, but I wish there was more baby wearing :) 

Yeah, that's understandable. Just one more questions on a more personal note...what makes you the happiest?

Sharing my art and passions with others. Teaching them to be creative and using art as an outlet to the everyday hustle. And of course watching my kids grow! 

Thanks so much for chatting with me, Jolynn!

If you're interested in reaching out to Jolynn, check out her shop here. And don't forget, we have Botanical and Ombre currently listed in our online shop, with two new releases (one bundle-bye and one ombre) coming out on the 23rd. Stay tuned!