July 6, 2020
We first met Chantal Porier on a perfect May day at a seaside studio that could only be described as positively dreamy.
The undeniable smell of leather, the vintage luggage propped up throughout the studio; the whole scene plunges us into the very heart of OUT, the business Chantal founded in April of 2015.
The artist, a native of the Beauce region, arrived in the Matanie region at the age of 16 to study photography. A move to Montreal later, she then pursued an education in textile design.
But her stay in the metropolis wasn’t destined to last and so, naturally, her love for the lower Saint-Lawrence region and the calm sea caught up with her. By her own admission, after launching her company in the city and experiencing all of the stress that comes with urban living, she experienced her return to the region as a “gasp of well-being”.
Having always had a marked interest for textiles, the artist fell head over heels for leather and leather tanning. With this new love and sustainability in mind, she decided to create durable, utilitarian objects one might find in everyday use. Unsurprisingly, her studio is replete with such things as belts, tool belts, work aprons, pencil cases, etc.
An undeniable artistry and finesse can be clearly felt in her work.
As one might expect, the conversation turns to the current crisis and its repercussions on her work. She tells me she’s always felt the drive to be of service to the local community, to ask herself “What more can I do for the people of my region?” That feeling may be growing even stronger in the current context.
“I have the sneaking suspicion that people will return to wanting things of higher quality that are made to last”
Being involved in the community is a priority she’s elevated to the status of principle. Putting that principle into action, she joined the board of directors of the Métiers d’arts du Bas-Saint-Laurent, with the aim to encourage people to consume local and on a regular basis.
The fruit of a collaboration between OUT, the artist Pascale Faubert and the Reford Gardens, you can now buy the Elsie (name here) work apron via our online store.