Our Story

The Bobbins was formed in 2019 by Brandi Van Haren and Ivy Tessier. With a combined 20 years of experience in the fashion industry, they specialize in small-batch apparel production. As a collective, they value transparent, local production, and promise to engage in ethical fashion and support domestically-made products and services.

They understand the importance of human interaction during the development and ordering process. By providing infrastructure in an environment that is not always friendly to small business, The Bobbins want to grow the fashion community in Ottawa and throughout Canada.

BRANDI VAN HAREN, PRODUCTION DIRECTOR:

Growing up in small-town Newfoundland, Brandi always felt that there was a broader world of art and fashion just beyond her reach. She would watch fashion shows on tv and feel inspired to create her own mark through her personal style. After moving to Ottawa, Brandi earned her diploma in fashion design, honed her skills interning at Darrell Thomas Textiles, and launched her own label of retro chic pieces called Sabrina Jade Designs. As Production Director, she trains production staff, performs quality control measures, and enforces strong organization throughout the manufacturing process.

 

IVY TESSIER, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR:

Ivy knew from the age of 16 that she wanted to work in the fashion industry. She took a course in high school that opened her eyes to the wonders of fashion history, specifically Victorian fashion and corsetry, and became fascinated with contouring garments to fit different bodies. This is what inspired Ivy’s burgeoning lingerie company - Ivy Vine Design - after receiving 2 diplomas in fashion design. As Operations Director, Ivy creates and oversees all systems at The Bobbins to ensure that they result in an efficient means of production.

AMANDA COLLIE, SEWIST:

Amanda first got into sewing when she was 8. Her aunt loved to sew, and after a while the affinity for making clothes rubbed off on her. Her first project was a bathing suit for a pool party and the rest is history. Before long, Amanda was winning awards for the costumes she created for school plays. That is when her passion for the fashion industry ignited. She received a certificate of Fashion Techniques and Design from George Brown College and took courses at CAFTCAD to hone her craft. Now - in addition to being a speedy sewist and creating her own unique clothes - Amanda works as a Truck Supervisor and Seamstress in the TV and Film industry. 

NICHOLAS ZERANSKY, SEWIST:

Nicholas got his start in the fashion industry from something unexpected: a pencil case. Growing up, he watched his mother sew and eventually took a sewing class at Make, Sew, Create. Before long, he had moved from pencil cases to clothing as he attended Richard Robinson and designed everything from daywear to couture gowns. As Nicholas is nearing graduation, he has his eye on learning more about the industry so he can carve out a name for himself as a designer. Specifically, Nicholas is drawn to fashion as a social statement. He wants to design ‘queer wear’; genderless clothes that involve and support the queer community by uplifting and inspiring those who wear them. Not only that, but he also wants to elevate his creations further by turning them into digital artworks.