Here’s a short interview with Pamela Beattie, the founder of Venetian Decor, a Canadian home accessories brand best known for its use of vintage fur.
Yasmine: How did you get started in this business?
Pamela: Fashion and decor were part of my history, my great aunts were seamstresses, and one had a boutique in Oakridge, and always loved french furniture and fur and vintage brooches. I wanted to make something different, and knew there were so many people who had old fur coats that were hidden somewhere in an attic. I also wanted to capture something that related to the heritage of our country.
Yasmine: What are your most popular items?
Pamela: I like to work with clients who have vintage fur pieces and design a piece that can be passed down. I recently met a woman who inherited a dark mink coat and wanted to have a stool made for her daughter. I ordered the frame in (all our furniture frames come from Italy) If you have have any vintage brooches or jewelry, I can combine them into the stool. I finished the stool 3 days before Christmas, and when I delivered it, the woman nearly began to cry. That is what I am trying to capture and create for people, memories they can keep in their homes.
Yasmine: Do you work with new fur?
Pamela: The furs for the collection all come from Montreal and they are all vintage. They need to be high quality furs, which can’t be deteriorated, if not the products will not have a long life.
Yasmine: You do custom and you have a ready-made collection, which includes lots of chairs and stools and pillows, what else does Venetian Decor sell?
Pamela: I am working on a smaller boutique line, one key item will be eyemasks, with sheared beaver on the inside and Italian leather on the outside.
Yasmine: Do you make everything yourself, here in British Columbia?
Pamela: I have a few seamstresses, but it is a small business, so I like doing the hands on. I do most of the work myself.
Yasmine: What’s your background? Have you made furniture before Venetian Decor?
Pamela: I was taken under the wing of a professional upholsterers and worked with him for 2 years before starting Venetian Decor.
Venetian Decor does ship internationally, contact Pamela through their website.