Need a local gift? Shop Gifted 2018 the Edmonton Made catalogue. There are over 100 products featured in the catalogue by over 80 different Edmonton businesses. Below is a profile of one of them:
Sylvia Soo was battling Stage 2 breast cancer when she fell in love with leatherworking. There was something healing about the process of punching, stitching and cutting the raw, delicate hides.
She took the hospital's art therapy class three times before investing in her own tools and teaching herself the intricacies of purse design.
Soo takes great pride in the quality of her craftsmanship. Her clean, minimalist aesthetic is classic, yet fresh. Because most steps, including dyeing, are done by hand, it can take Soo up to a week to complete a design. But she doesn’t mind.
The process is still as freeing as it was during her darkest days battling cancer.
“It brings me back to this place when I was doing art therapy,” she says, “where I could lose myself — or find myself — in the art of it.”