Search & Rescue Denim Co. – Tattoo Aprons made by Bad Ass Women


Search & Rescue Denim Co.  based in Canada, create extraordinary custom aprons. Running since 2012, the Search & Rescue Denim opened their flagship store, where all the aprons are made in 2015. We chat to Sarah Bromfield, about the brand’s beginnings and how you can create your own custom apron…

Bad Birdy

Bad Birdy in her custom apron

How did the company come about? Our founder Will was working in retail but had some sewing experience and a passion for design. When his friend Mitch Kirilo, a tattoo artist and owner of Vancouver’s Gastown Tattoo, asked if he could make a tattoo apron for him he took on the project. Once Mitch received Will’s apron it started popping up all over Instagram and more people started to contact Will and ask him to make them one too. At that point Will roped in his wife Jill to help out and started building the brand from the kitchen table where the aprons were being made.

What was the inspiration and vision? Will didn’t realise there would be a market for aprons and started by just taking the requests from friends and admirers of the original apron, but then once it started to take off he began his mission to design and produce the best quality aprons out there.

Farrier apron

Can you tell us about the team We are a small team made up of our production manager Joy plus her two sewers Keith and Lee-Ann. They are aided by Itsuki and Bonnie who prep all of the pockets and apron bodies once they have been cut by Sarah. Once the aprons are done being sewn they are finished off by Kirsten with metal grommets and rivets to reinforce the pockets and attach the straps.

Where do you source the materials for the aprons? Our fabrics are sourced from a local wholesaler here in Vancouver and our leather is all from North America and purchased from Lonsdale Leather, a local leather shop run by our friend Riley.

pin tattoo apron

Can you tell us about the process behind each piece? We have a very collaborative process here; new designs either come from requests by clients or ideas thrown around by the team. We all have our own aprons that we wear either in the shop, at home or during whatever creative side hustle we have going on – this helps us really get to know what works well and what activities each style is best suited to.

Has there been an apron order or design that has really stood out to you? There have been many! Because we offer full customization we get some really creative requests that are great fun to fulfill. We’ve had clear plastic lap pockets so a tattoo artist could read his phone while in his pocket, a recent holographic print that sent half the production team dizzy while cutting and sewing plus a beautiful split leg apron for a farrier with leather panels to protect from horse’s hooves. But probably my personal favorite is the collaboration apron that we designed with bartender extroadinaire Bad Birdy. It’s a buttery soft leather body (lined with duck canvas) but the pockets are all in this gorgeous matte crocodile print leather. The contrast of the different materials really makes this apron sing plus it has some great little extras such as the key-ring clip and towel loop which make it really practical.

holographic

What sorts of people order from you? We get all sorts – from grandmothers who want a feminine apron for baking to heavily tatted up 20 somethings who want them to fix up their motorbike! Our store is located in a popular tourist destination (Granville Island in Vancouver) so we get a lot of international visitors who typically purchase an apron for cooking, cleaning or whatever their hobby is. But then we have a lot of local creatives who come into the store to design their custom aprons – ceramicists, jewellers, painters, carpenters, etc.

Are there any trends or industries that buy from you more than others that you’ve noticed? The business started off by making aprons for tattoo artists and they are still one of our biggest customers. We have many different styles of tattoo aprons from our minimalist right up to full length split legs. We also sell to a lot of barbers and stylists as we offer vinyl reversible aprons that protect them from colour or water and have places for all of their tools. After these two bartenders and restaurants are our biggest clients.

Screenshot 2018-11-16 at 13.13.16

How can someone order their own apron? Anyone local is welcome to pop into our shop as we’re open seven days a week and love to meet the people who are going to be wearing our aprons. We were an online shop before we opened our store so we have a very comprehensive website with all of our most popular styles and last year we launched our long awaited online apron builder which is the first of kind. Customers can build a 3D rendering of their apron by choosing the fabrics, thread colour, pockets, placement and more! This is really exciting for us and has had a great reception from our customers who have used it to get creative!



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