Get to know the Standing O Accessories designer/founder & animal lover
By the Get Leashed Doggy Style team
Anyone who’s ever worked at home with a cat knows that it’s a struggle. Normally independent creatures become affectionate monsters and your computer, notebook or canvas is their love nest. If your work consists of shiny, dangly things, like, say, gorgeous handmade jewellery, the working “cattention” factor is significantly increased.
For Sofija, the affection she gets from Sushi the cat is mostly welcomed. The hours she spends crafting for her company, Standing O, fly by and Sushi is her reminder to stretch, eat, and realize that she needs a break. Being lost in a world of precious stones and metals is a wonderful way to spend a day and when you love what you do, you just sometimes need a large, fluffy white cat to bring you back to reality.
Sofija takes Sushi on walks. Not on purpose, she’s really taking Jacques the dog for a walk and Sushi escapes the backyard to follow. It’s nothing crazy, they’re not crossing any major streets, but they still get a lot of looks from neighbors who know the cat by name and love to see him prancing behind the well-dressed, well-accessorized girl with the beagle. It’s a great way to take a break from the day and we were happy to join her and her walking squad during our feature shoot.
We’ll leave it to Sofija to tell you a bit more about Standing O, the fluffy white cat and adorable beagle…
Please tell us about yourself:
I’m a Jewelry Designer/Art Director/Brand Builder/Marketer living in Toronto. I work for myself and love every part of my job. I get to design and make things with my hands, forecast trends, art direct photoshoots, design my website and use my marketing skills to get my product out there. The best part of my job is that it’s never boring. Every day is a different project that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
A bit about your pets:
Sushi and Jacques are my boys. Sushi is a cat I adopted 17 years ago, after he was abandoned by his previous owners. He’s always had a big personality and thinks he’s a dog. He goes for walks (off-leash), does all of his “business” outside (no need for stinky litter boxes) and pretty much rules our neighborhood streets. He’s very playful and affectionate, but super independent and I love that about him.
Jacques is a miniature Beagle and is only 17 months old (though he was the biggest one in his litter, so I’m not sure about the ‘miniature’ part). Beagles are known for their intelligence and devilish nature. Jacques had a serious look about him even as a puppy. He’s not the best listener, but he’s very loving and loyal, with a wonderful demeanor and a quirky personality. He came from a breeder who had cats, though Sushi always takes the initiative to train our dogs and let them know who’s in charge. One swat and they know he’s the master.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
Weekends are mostly spent brunching (yes, as a verb), going to markets, the park, art exhibits, music shows/festivals or checking out new neighborhoods. I love hitting up the local coffee shops. Some favorites are Voodoo Child on College St., Te Aro in Leslieville, Dark Horse on Queen or Full of Beans on Dundas West. If I’m not out, I’m usually making pieces or doing product shots.
Describe your personal style:
I’m not sure I have one style. I dress for my mood. I’d say generally my style is contemporary eclectic. I love great fabrics and prints. This might involve mixing and matching unexpected details with modern or classic silhouettes and a piece (or several) from my latest collection.
What inspires you?
Inspiration for me comes from a variety of places:
Travel – I recently went to the Middle East (where my latest collection was conceived). I wanted to bring the Boho style from the West and mix it up with the elegance and richness of the East, but with a dainty twist.
Culture – Living in Toronto we’re surrounded by a variety of different people and styles. Seeing how one translates their heritage through their self-expression is my eye candy.
Photography – I follow many bloggers and photographers via social media. Scott Schuman (the Sartorialist) is my favorite. He captures effortless, elegant style throughout Europe.
My mother – I know it’s cheesy, but she’s always had the best taste. She’s worked at Holt Renfrew as an in-house Designer/Sales Associate for the past 20+ years. I tend to create things inspired by what she wears or has shown me, without even realizing it. If she likes something I’ve done, I know it’s a success.
How would you describe the look and feel of your home?
My backyard is a sanctuary in the city. People love going to their cottages to get some R&R, but I am lucky enough to have a (semi) quiet, private space just outside my door. Being in the city, surrounded by concrete can be difficult year round. Having a bit of nature nearby, where I can watch the birds and squirrels chirping and ducks crashing the pool every spring is a little slice of heaven
A story about your pet:
Sushi is definitely the one with the stories in the family. It’s rare to see a cat walking off-leash in the streets or playing in the park, alongside his canine best friend. He likes to venture into the bank to use the ATM with me (that footage must always be entertaining for the security), or wait patiently outside the Starbucks on Eglinton, amongst Jacques and the other dogs. He is famous in the neighborhood and more people know him and his name than mine (even though he doesn’t wear a tag). He’s most infamous for chasing huge dogs away when he feels like his family (a.k.a. dog brothers) are being threatened. He’s done this on two separate occasions with our past dog Charlie (RIP) and Jacques. The ‘threatening’ dogs are usually 3-4 times the size of Sushi and it is quite amusing watching owners and their dogs being chased away by a fluffy white cat.
We were lucky enough to feature Sofija while working on a brand new Standing O collection. The pieces below are not yet on the website but if you love one (or all) of them, we suggest you get in touch here.