Ora Bags are made from high quality leather hides, ranging in finish and hand, from supple pebbly black upholstery weight hides, to specialized oil-tanned heavey weight hides. All hardware and trim are industrial quality. All Ora products are hand made one by one by Randi in the Ora studio, located in a rustic old building in East Van, flanked by motorcycle shops and jam spaces.
Randi shares an equal love for the design process and the role of the maker. With each Ora piece, she does her best to blend function and aesthetic. Drawing from her diverse background of craft skills, she aims for quality and durability every time. More than anything else, the medium of leather inspires Randi’s design process, in addition to vintage inspirations, and the influences of her life long associations with the equestrian world.
How did you end up making what you make?
I have a diverse educational background that I think of as a collective degree - Diploma of Fine Arts, Automotive and Industrial Upholstery Certificate, Fashion Design Diploma, Advanced Certificate of Textile Arts. Textiles are my favorite medium, I love leather and work predominantly with it, which was a direct result of my upholstery training.
What inspires or drives you to make what you make?
Function is essential to me in the items I make, I use them and I use them hard. Finding a way to create beautiful useful items drives my design aesthetic.
Who are some of your favourite other makers? Local? Worldwide?
Army of Rokosz Jewelry, Hendrik.Lou knitwear, Anita Sikma Design, Osei Duro clothing
What is your favourite season and why?
Summer, let me float in salt or fresh water every day please
How do you connect to your landbase?
I love eating, cooking, fermenting local fresh foraged foods. Spending time in the woods and the beach with my dog is very sacred to me. My home has a beautiful creek flowing beside it, I fall asleep each night to its sweet song.
Do you have any sort of mantra or quote that strikes you?
"Do what you fear and the death of fear is certain" I overthink things a lot, so sometimes jumping in head first is the best approach!
Do you remember the first thing you made that you felt was great/ the first time you found passion in being a maker?
The first thing I remember sewing was a small section of quilted squares, from denim and other scraps, I was about 9. I still have it and I adore it, it reminds me that sewing just feels natural and right and I need to keep doing it.