We believe in getting to know people and places through commerce and design. Someone else's daily diet of lo-fi goods is simple to her yet sacred to us, and vice versa. Let's marvel at each other's mundane, because that shit is dope.

The Low Down – STMT X Canda

O, Canada. You be one hot mess. Every sourcing trip has challenges, it’s a given, but never expected Canada to put up such a fight! I went into this trip thinking it’d be a breeze – how could it not? I used to live in Vancouver, spent loads of time puttering all over Canada, it’s an English speaking country…


I rode the train up to Van City and relied on public transportation – a sourcing trip is a sourcing trip, and having a car to zip around town somehow felt like I’d be cheating. I walked, bused, trained every day, all day hunting down goods. Not a single store went unchecked.


No matter where I went, big store or small, all shops carried the same exercise books. In the States, we got the classic black marble cover notebooks. Made by several different companies, and all slightly different but essentially the same. But in Canada, these notebooks were it – same design, same company for all of ‘em. I couldn’t believe it. I kept searching and searching for different notebooks that fit the RAH standard. There’s no way an entire country uses the same notebooks all made from the same company – but that’s the case! The only differences? Different color cover depending on the style of sheet. Decided on the storyboard sheets – totally surprised me that they were everywhere, and often the most popular choice.


The Writing Instrument also had me going hard until I found a Canadian art store’s signature pencil. Natural wood finish topped with a gray tip rockin’ a maroon stripe. Simple style, highly finessed. Silver foil stamp job and now ready to rock this fly pencil!


The Mystery Item…one big phat mystery the ENTIRE trip. I wanted something that screamed Canada. Office supplies are universal, but we hunt down items that are unique to that country, that are part of the daily diet. Feeling defeated on the third day, wondering if I’d have to go with something typically found in the States…I found our Great White Buffalo! Ok, ok – it’s actually pink. Super cute, ‘buffalo’ branded, pink bilingual erasers stamped with “gomme pour crayons.” Too hot to pass up!


And just when I was hi-fiving the first person I could find, feeling damn good about the loot, I turned a corner and spotted a series of notebooks. Lo-fi, elementary in style with a big honkin’ 2D map of Canada. Can I just scream – BONUS!! Black ink on standard color office paper – the familiar pastel sheets everyone knows. How much more lo-fi can you get? Canada’s got some serious love for the old-school, and we got mad love for it too!


oxxo hen