Hart & Hive
Hart & Hive is a custom design work shop that coordinates small scale makers, the majority from Toronto, to create handmade high quality pieces that will last for a lifetime.
It’s named for owner Thomas Hart, an OCAD grad who created a lot of the wood and vintage glassware lamps that populate the shop. There’s much more on offer here, though. Hart has partnered with anyone from calligraphers to illustrators, jewellers to furniture makers, and he’s always seeking new connections.
The space functions as a kind of showroom where design lovers can envision anything from the accessories for an outfit to a new look for a room. It’s also Hart’s work space downstairs, which you can share too for a rental fee of $350.
Along with that, there’s a tiny meeting area in the back that’s also up for rent for $25 for the first hour and $10 for each additional 30 minutes. It's $5 per person for coffee service during your meeting.
Simple things as small as a wallet ($48) made in Toronto by the Hathi Leather Company are intended to exemplify the worth of ethically made items that last. Each wallet is hand stitched, much more time consuming but much more durable because of the detail the human hand can achieve.
Rawkoko candles ($23 each, $60 for three) are handcrafted in Toronto using essential oils and soy wax which burns clean. They come in dreamy scents like pineapple cilantro, vanilla mint, cedar and saffron, and olive tree.
An “analog cellphone amplifier” ($325) made by Hart again plays with this idea of elevating simple things using basic design knowledge, made from durable, natural materials like metal and wood. The amplifier brings out bass tones and fuller richness, and I tried cajoling Hart to invent a smaller, more portable and affordable version.
A needle felted lion’s head ($2450) was made over the course of well over a hundred hours by local artist Katy Montica, and is unique indeed. It’s sort of meant to be more of a showcase and source of inspiration than anything, as her smaller needle felting kits are also sold here ($20).
This vintage walnut chair ($250) has been refurbished with yellow accents and a leather seat.
You can craft up a paper friend that’s part sculpture, part puzzle, part origami with a DIY animal sculpture kit ($30) made in Ottawa. Yes, they have raccoons.
This place also has a complete web store, and Hart is always looking for more people to get involved to make this the store to go for anything custom in Toronto.