Hi, I'm Melissa! I make handmade, eco-friendly and retro inspired clothing, accessories and home decor from my home studio in St. Catharines, Ontario.
The Story Behind the Name
In 2010, I started a blog and called it Sophster-Toaster: a silly name I had for my pet bunny, Sophie. I liked the name because it was memorable, didn't use any popular fad words or imagery, and didn't really mean anything in particular when taken out of context. When I opened the shop in 2012, it made sense to make the shop an extension of the blog. Sadly, Sophie passed away in January of 2013. I like to think that the shop, the blog and the shop's annual donation of 10% of November's sales to local animal welfare help keep her memory alive.
Where My Materials Come From
Almost all of the main/outer fabrics of my clothing are small-batch printed in North Carolina using eco-friendly inks and methods and are the work of commissioned, independent artists from around the world. I use 100% cotton, or cotton/linen blends with the exception of my velvet items, which are polyester. I am in the process of switching all of my cotton fabrics over to organic cotton. All of my linings are 100% cotton. I save all fabric scraps from my cuttings and use them to make progressively smaller accessories.
I use eco-friendly water based inks that are made in Canada for all of my screen printing. I reuse, reclaim or repair salvaged screens/frames when I can and buy US handmade screens on the rare occasion that I need a new one. I only use biodegradable products from prep to clean up when both making screens and printing. All of my t-shirt blanks, moving forward, are custom made in a small, ethically-minded factory in California.
Every component I need to make my candles comes from Canadian suppliers except for my labels, which come from the US. My candles are 100% soy wax made from soy beans grown in the US. Soy wax is sustainable, non-toxic, vegan, kosher, clean burning and biodegradable! I only use phthalate free fragrances.