GET HIP TO THIS MAKER
What started out as a love for crocheting and knitting has evolved into a thriving and very “hippish” business for Emily Tarrant, founder and creative director of Simply Hippish. Today, Tarrant proudly showcases and sells her distinctive, premium-quality, 100% handcrafted collection of apparel, accessories and accent pieces online through her website and at The Minga Café in Dunnville.
So, how exactly did it all begin? “My mother, as well as both of my grandmothers, have crocheted and knitted ever since I can remember, so the skill and passion for this art form was easily passed on to me,” explains Tarrant who, along with being an artist and artisan, is a busy mother of three and a business college graduate. “Eventually, I decided that I didn’t really need to pay big companies or buy expensive brands for hats and scarfs and other things that I could simply make myself – and make better based on my own preferences and with much higher quality.”
Beginning in 2013 with handmade jewelry, has now expanded to include handcrafted knitted hats and headbands, brand clothing, crochet products and other handmade pieces and accessories. Simply Hippish was able to expand its offerings due to popular demand for its funky yet functional creations. Today, Tarrant offers an ever-expanding range of specialty items covering all seasons and reasons. For fall and winter, Simply Hippish offers knitted and crocheted scarves, stitched hats, headbands, leg warmers, hand warmers, and super-cozy blankets. When the temperature rises in spring and summer, Tarrant easily switches gears to create an eclectic assortment of seasonal apparel, including crop-tops, swimwear, and, of course, scrunchies and jewelry that are perfect for anytime and anywhere.
Blending tried-and-true “old-fashioned” craft techniques with her progressive fashion perspective and seemingly limitless inspiration, Tarrant combines the skills passed down to her with her own eclectic style and vision. In this way, Simply Hippish defies categorization – the only thing that matters is creating items that make people happy. “Basically, I make things that I would want to wear and my friends would want to wear,” says Tarrant. “I don’t really follow the latest trends and fads because they can quickly fall out of style. I want to create things that stand the test of time and will always be in style, things that are simply ‘hip’ in my eyes.”
Initially intended to be a side project for Tarrant, the response to her creations was so receptive that she realized she had crafted a uniquely special niche for herself as a maker. “I realized there were many people out there, people just like me and my friends, who were looking for great handmade items that not only looked great, but made them feel good, too. So, in 2018, she decided to take her side project to the next level, diving into branding her collection more robustly and promoting it more heavily.”
Driven by creativity and always looking for new challenges, Tarrant continues to take Simply Hippish into new directions and territory. Her latest addition is a new line of pure vegan homemade products, including body scrubs, perfume, lip-gloss, candles, and much more. “Ultimately, what it comes down to for me is not being afraid to try new things and mix it up. I just want to share my passion by creating beautiful pieces that make people feel special when they’re wearing them or using them.”
Tarrant has even more reason to be proud of her achievements since winning her first Reader’s Choice Sachem Platinum Award for Best Visual Artist. Aiming high as always, Tarrant looks forward to taking Simply Hippish and her creativity to the next level, while expanding her retail footprint into a full-blown store. “Collaborating closely with local artists and pushing myself to the fullest is all I see ahead for Simply Hippish,” Tarrant says.
Whatever the season or occasion, from adult wear to newborns, Simply Hippish offers something truly special and unique for yourself and those you love. Plus, when you shop local and support local makers, you help build our thriving community of creators. And what could be more hip than that?
146 Queen St, Dunnville, ON, N1A 1H7
Haldimand County gratefully acknowledges the support of FedDev Ontario for tourism businesses in Ontario’s Southwest.