When Victoria’s newest design studio opens its doors at the corner of Pembroke and Douglas Streets on Monday you’re invited.
Calling itself a “material investigation laboratory,” Studio Robazzo specializes in designing, prototyping and producing everything from backdrops and installations to handcrafted wooden goods, designer jewelry and housewares.
“We believe a thoughtfully designed object carries much more value than something mass produced,” says co-founder and Waterloo student Christina Robev.
The studio startup is best known so far for Drifted Jewellery. Drifted’s collection is a made-in-Victoria line of pendants and earrings produced from all-natural materials.
What makes this jewelry unique?
The Drifted collection uses locally-salvaged Arbutus, driftwood and pine beetle wood from BC’s Interior.
Studio Robazzo: located in the heart of Victoria’s growing creative district
Christina and partners Andrew Azzopardi and Sarah McFadzen less than a year ago and planted the seeds for Studio Robazzo.
Located in the heart of the growing design cluster on the north edge of downtown, their new studio is a collaborative effort that brings together a whole constellation of Victoria’s most creative stars.
“We’re bridging as many disciplines as possible to help create innovative, sustainably-minded products and services,” says Christina.
The studio is located near Discovery Coffee and Vic42, just north of Victoria’s historic Chinatown on Fisgard Street. Phillip’s Brewery and Autonomous Furniture Collective are just around the corner from Studio Robazzo.
Talented newcomers add to Victoria’s creative critical mass
Three partners, Andrew Azzopardi, Christina Robev and Sarah McFadzen launched Studio Robazzo.
“While the three of us are the original visionaries behind the project,” says Christina, “we also owe a lot to a dedicated team of collaborators and volunteers who have mobilized to help us realize our vision so far.”
Studio Robazzo got its start when Andrew and Christina, both trained as architectural designers at the University of Waterloo, moved from Toronto to Victoria in 2014.
Inspired by the city’s creative pulse, the duo had a vision to create an alternative multi-disciplinary design studio that could tackle any problem in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable way.
It wasn’t long until Andrew and Christina met New Brunswick transplant Sarah McFadzen in another another up-and-coming creative nexus in Victoria, Fernwood Square.
The trio discovered they all shared a similar vision and, soon enough, launched their first studio out of a furniture shop.
The Drifted jewelry line came next, as well as an invitation to design backdrops for Fashion Splash at Ship Point.
A few months later they decided to expand to a beautiful 2600 sq.ft studio on Douglas Street.
Who inspires Christina, Andrew and Sarah?
Christina says Studio Robazzo team gets a lot of its inspiration from the energy that powers Victoria’s creative and design scene.
Victoria’s community of designers and makers also tends to share similar values and goals, such as trying to incorporate sustainability with design and creativity.
“Our biggest inspiration in Victoria is Melodie Reynolds,” says Christina. Reynolds is the founder of Elate Clean Cosmetics, another hidden Victoria company that creates and sells vegan, non-toxic and all-natural line of beauty products.
“From the moment we met her during our time as the design team behind Victoria’s Fashion Splash in August 2014, Melodie has been a huge supporter,” says Christina. “She’s a brave client ready for serious innovation and experimentation and is someone who we believe is paving the way for eco-conscious culture.”
What’s next for Studio Robazzo?
“Based on the enthusiasm we have received so far we hope to be able to expand our vision and philosophy nation-wide, by opening collaborative design studios in several cities across the country,” Christina says.
How to find Studio Robazzo
The studio and wholesale showroom is located at 2001-F Douglas St, at the intersection with Pembroke. The studio launches on Monday, March 30 and is open between 10AM and 6PM on weekdays.