Hey guys! Here’s a look inside Dina & I’s office. Dina is the director / designer / here at MATT & NAT, and myself, Sarah the quirky Marketing Coordinator. We share an office, and we often chat about our favorite music & lately we’ve been listening to a lot of grizzly bear. Whether it’s our morning beats (rap in the mornings get’s us goin’!) or chats about bags, culture, design & food, there’s always something fun happening. Currently, the sounds of construction trucks resonate outside our window. It seems like there’s always something we’re battling in our office. This summer it was the cold air conditioning system that made us jump every time it would go on. The air that was being pushed out of those vents was unbearable; we decided to attack it with pins & a cardboard box (see below for photo evidence). Luckily it was a success,with unfortunately our health being a little jeopardized in the process… A few colds after & many cold fx pills later we were able to overcome the bone chilling air conditioning system. I think we should start our own little comic book: MATT & NAT versus our 225 chabanel office, first issue Dina & Sarah… thoughts? Inder, we’re happy we’re moving. Who knows what we will have to battle next…stay tuned!
Tell us what you’d like to see inside our office and we’ll show you!
Our A/C battle… The construction outside our window!
Some ideas sneak up on you like they were always meant to be.
The idea behind MAT(T)ERIAL and NATURE was originally conceived in 1995 as an exploration into the concept of duality. Can we feel passionate about product and design and yet still be driven by that which can not be experienced through the five senses…love.
There is no right answer. Seventeen years later we are still striving for unison and enjoying the process.
We get to experiment with bag shapes with some ground rules: no leather. Simply put we don’t like hurting animals and we care about the welfare of the planet. No serif fonts either, they hurt our eyes. No meat in the office but lots of vegan cupcakes. A mandate to use eco/recycled/upcycled materials wherever we can has led to recycling plastic bottles for linings, the use of cork and secret future plans to upcycle bicycle tires.
We are MATT & NAT, our values are love, authenticity and responsibility. We are inspired by the textures and hues of nature, we will do our best to protect.
Brunch is a staple for many, and in Montreal, you’ll get people lined up for hours on a Sunday afternoon waiting to have their favorite dish. Eating and chatting with friends on a Sunday afternoon is a nice way of recapping the week and a good way of starting the new week fresh, rested & motivated. I take brunch pretty seriously and started a little brunch club with my friends. Every week, we try a new spot. I often look forward to my Sunday morning text with a location & time where to meet. Unfortunately for myself, there aren’t too many places that make vegan brunch in Montreal.. and most of my friends still have a hard time wrapping their mind around me being vegan. One day.. people will understand me (I hope)! Through educating people on my values & ways of eating I hope to enlighten them with new ways of understanding nutrition.
Here is where we went today!
Café Neve located in the plateau on 151 Rachel Street. It always smells of baked goods, amazing coffee and is often fluttered with mac books during the week. When you have the chance, pass by and enjoy the food and coffee, you won’t regret it!
The first ‘official’ office of M&N on Chabanel (the fashion district of Montreal) was an 800 sq ft space with a reception area, showroom and ‘assembly’ room in the back. After my landlord got fedup of seeing UPS trucks pull up to my apartment, I figured it was time to take the next step, that was in the winter of 2001. That spot supported myself, Manny and our only employee for 2 years. We would move 2 more times before settling into our current digs at 225 Chabanel.
We’ve made many friends and memories on Chabanel in this metropolis of rags and glass and have seen developments with the city investing in some great projects over the last 2 years. Montreal is the fashion marketing center of Canada and remains one of the top 3 fashion cities in North America after LA and NY.
At the end of the year we are going to Ville St. Laurent, Deslauriers, just off rue Lebeau. Once again going back to our roots, we’re moving to a ground level spot with trees and grass to house the M&N family, ironically enough, it has the same feel as my first apartment, in a good way
I just stumbled upon this photo on our tumblr feed and got excited to discuss falafel. Seriously though, who doesn’t love falafel? This recipe is from figgy & sprout’s blog. They are baked to perfection with pistachio’s & herbs & are gluten free to top it off! I’ve attempted to make it a few times but I wasn’t too successful, unfortunately. Last night, i have to say I had one of my worst falafel experiences… it was dry and crumbly! Quite upsetting! To make up for it, I had to go to my favorite spot around a few blocks over (I don’t know why i didn’t go there to begin!). It’s called the green panther located in the heart of Montreal’s hipster community in the mile end. Their traditional falafel wrap makes my mouth water. It comes with 5 falafels, cabbage, carrots, pickles, sauekraut, sprouts & tahini : the essentials!
Whether you’re crunching on your falafel sandwich or staring at the many fixies passing you by, it’s a fun place to check out , and do a little people watching at the same time : ) I’m going to attempt this recipe for our next pot luck next week! Wish me luck!
Falafel places to check out ! We want to grow our list, Leave us a comment with your favorite falafel spot : )
Maoz Vegetarian : Berkley ( Sad to say this location is now closed! They had the best falafel pizza.. somebody needs to open this place here in Montreal!)
Wednesday October 24th : Twisted goods, Calgary : South Center Shopping Center
Unit 176, 100 Anderson Rd. SE Calgary, AB , Inder will be on hand giving away wallets and 1 raffled bag!
Thursday October 25th : Spareparts , Saskatoon 7-9pm : 219 Midtown plaza, Saskatoon.
- First 50 people to get their photo taken at the photobooth receive a free Matt & Nat wallet. A Raffle for the “Dean” Backpack, meet and Greet w/ Inder, Music from The Gaff Vegan Sushi from Sushiro ( YUM!) & Complimentary refreshments.
Click here to attend our event on facebook.
It’s fall 12 right? We’re already feeling spring summer 13 here at MATT & NAT. We are getting excited to see how our new line does that we will be launching in late January. We are thinking we should launch it early as our Fall 12 is selling out quick! We are excited to show our Spring Summer 13 collection at Stylemax in Chicago and at Dallas F.I.G. Hope to see you there!
At MATT & NAT one of the exciting parts of what we do is being constantly on the lookout for new materials/applications that push the envelope in terms of sustainability and innovation.
Contrary to popular belief, cork is regarded as a sustainable material that is easy to harvest and therefore a friend of the environment. I can also personally attest that it makes a great sound and thermal insulator for homes
We played around with cork this year in the 2012 collections and experimented with it in the TRIP and the CALI. Due to unprecedented response and demand, we are expanding the offering to include the SCHLEPP in our SPRING 13 collection.
If you pay close attention, you’ll catch our giveaway on facebook over the coming weeks….
a few items I never travel without! My Raylan & my favorite reads.
Our lunchroom discussions are often about culture, fashion, food and our favorite travel memory. Over our thanksgiving weekend we had a giveaway contest on our Facebook page where we invited our followers to win a Raylan bag by describing what traveling beautifully means to them. Here was our winning response by Francine Darroch.
“Traveling beautifully to me – means being willing to experience new cultures, places and things! It means the opportunity to open new doors both literally and figuratively by challenging my way of understanding the world! Traveling beautifully also requires lovely, versatile, and reliable luggage to support the journey!”
From various discussions on travel inside and out of office and loving to travel and meet people myself, I question motives of travel for individuals. What kind of traveler are you? Tell us!
My love stems from meeting people from cultures other than my own. From their fashion to the food they eat and ways of expressing themselves, those who are different than myself fascinate me. Maybe it’s my roots growing up in Montreal being surrounded by various cultures other than my own that makes me appreciate difference. After a year living in San Francisco, I got to tell you nothing irks me anymore. Individuality is what drives me to explore. And let me tell you; I’ve been meeting all kinds of fun, beautiful and interesting individuals! I guess what I’m trying to get at is; wherever you are in the world, be different, stand out, and make a difference! Explore & appreciate culture wherever you are : )
How was your weekend? It was a beautifully colored weekend here in Montreal, and I’m not just talking about the many colors of fall. On Saturday we joined thousands of runners on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for Montreal’s first Color Run. Some were dressed as animals, ballerinas, wearing wigs, and all sorts of costumed accessories ; the motto of the run was the crazier the better! Crazy is a good name for it! We got splashed with colors every kilometer we ran (or walked as many of us did). What better motivation to run? I wish this happened on a regular basis! Though some of the color throwers were getting quite rough towards the end, splashing colors in our hair, mouth, face & eyes… I guess the color was starting to get to some…it sure got me all excited and riled up! Though we didn’t come first at the finish line, we did successfully finish the 5 k run multicolored… 2nd to last. The goal wasn’t who arrived at the finish line first, it was mostly focused on who had most color plastered over their body. There’s no rush when you’re having fun!
After the run we indulged at Aux Vivres for delicious vegan brunch. This place is amazing! Have you tried it yet? If you haven’t and you’re around Montreal, check it out! There’s something for everyone to enjoy : ) We pretty much ordered the whole menu. We got rice bowls, salads, fresh juices, smoothies, corn bread, tofu scramble, my mouth is watering thinking of it!… I think I’ll go back this week, I’m a regular now.
Have a beautifully colored week everyone!
Comment s’est passé votre week-end? C’était un week-end magnifiquement coloré ici, à Montréal, et on ne parle pas seulement des couleurs de l’automne. Samedi, nous avons rejoint des milliers de coureurs sur le circuit Gilles Villeneuve de Montréal pour « The Color Run », une course de 5km. Certains étaient déguisés en animaux, en ballerines, portant des perruques et toutes sortes d’accessoires, la devise de la course est le plus fou, le mieux c’est! Nous nous sommes éclaboussés de couleur à chaque kilomètre couru (ou marché …). Quelle meilleure motivation pour courir? On devrait faire ça plus souvent! Les lanceurs de couleur s’en donnaient à cœur joie vers la fin, on a fini avec de la couleur dans les cheveux, la bouche, le visage, les yeux… On a du arriver en avant dernière place (pas très grave puisque la course est principalement axée sur se barbouiller de couleur) mais on est arrivés tous ensemble. C’est l’esprit d’équipe qui compte finalement. Et avoir du fun !
Après la course nous nous sommes retrouvés à Aux Vivres pour un brunch végétalien. Cet endroit est fantastique, avez-vous déjà essayé? Si vous êtes dans le coin de Montréal, visitez ce resto, vous ne serez pas déçu. Nous avons dû commander tout le menu : salades, jus de fruits frais, smoothies, pain de maïs, gaufres, ça nous donne l’eau à la bouche d’y repenser! … Je crois que je vais y retourner cette semaine, je suis une habituée maintenant.
On souhaite une belle semaine colorée à tous!
A month has already past since our last vegan potluck. It’s crazy how fast time goes by when you’re busy. This Friday we will have our end of month vegan potluck where we eat, chat, laugh and get tired from excessive amounts of food ( there’s nothing better than leftovers in the office weeks following our potluck : ) We are already thinking of what dish we will be bringing this week. Here’s Jackie’s suggestion : ” BEAN THING ” as she calls it picked straight from her garden.
1. Lightly blanche the fresh beans for about 2 minutes.
2. In the meantime skin and seed your fresh tomatoes and cook with a bit of olive oil and garlic
3. Toss the beans in with the tomatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes until cooked through….
4. Add some basil and BOOM! Its done, It’s really simple! – Best, Jackie
Have a lovely week everyone!
You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it….
NO, I’m not talking about shrimp people, I’m talking about kale !
Recently over at our M&N lunch room, we have kale on the brain, some interesting facts:
- Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef
- Kale is high in Vitamin K which helps protect against various cancers, increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
- Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants that help protect against various cancers.
- Kale is high in Vitamin A which is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Kale is high in Vitamin C, helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
- Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism.
- Kale is a great detox food. Filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.
Until the Middle Ages, Kale was one of the most common green vegetables in all of Europe. Seems like she’s making a comeback.
Here’s a great recipe for kale chips: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-kale-chips/. Much healthier than traditional potato chips, this site also has some other great kale recipes (vegetarian kale soup).
AND what other dark green leaf makes for a super cutesy, original bouquet to impress that hipster vegan chick/dude that’s not giving you the time of day
My Le Croco had been sitting at my parents house for the past 15 years, collecting dust and dirt. I finally got around to picking it up and got it cleaned/tuned up this summer. She now has a new vegan seat and cork tape on bullhorns. Didn’t want to mess with the rest of the parts since this is the way the original maker, Sandy, built this blade , silver soldering with Cinelli and love.
Sandy was a racer in Quebec, who built beautiful, one of a kind bikes.
I bought the bike from a racer who knew Sandy, spoke to the racer last month and he still had his 15 years later! It was nice to catch up and get back in the saddle JL at C&L Cycles, here in Montreal, tells me that Sandy is no where to be found. These bikes have become somewhat of a collectors item since Sandy was one of the best builders in Quebec back in the day. No one knows what
happened to him now … apparently he took off to Eastern Europe.
& NO, JL, I will not sell you my Croco!
I took quite a few trips to the bike shop this summer because I always dig the process…. this is when I renewed my dream of products made from recycled bike inner tubes. This is another process that we’re enjoying here lately at MATT & NAT. We’re hoping to have some pieces ready for Fall ’13, stay tuned !
A message from Inder
“I wrote the concept behind M&N as an exploration into the concept of duality. This last year I felt that it was time to present a symbol for M&N that represents living in a world where we can feel passionate about product but still be driven by that which can not be felt by the 5 senses….love. Design and responsibility do not need to be mutually exclusive, it is possible to look good, be good, feel good and do good without feeling like/being different people.
We are MATT & NAT, our values are love, authenticity and responsibility. We are inspired by the textures and hues of nature, we will do our best to protect.”
Ever wonder what goes on behind the making of your favorite Matt & Nat bag? Now you can! Here’s your chance to have a first look at our lifestyle here at MATT & NAT. We are a small company located in Montreal, Canada, a city whose diverse culture inspires us everyday.
Follow our journey, laughs and struggles, inside and out of office. We are inspired everyday by life, architecture and living beautifully.
Living beautifully is our mantra at Matt & Nat. Living beautifully means appreciating beauty, humanity, creativity and positivity.
Vous vous demandez ce qui se passe dans les coulisses de MATT & NAT et derrière la réalisation de votre sac favori? Maintenant vous pouvez y jeter un coup d’œil ! Voici votre chance de voir en primeur de ce qui ce passe à MATT & NAT. Nous sommes une petite entreprise située à Montréal, au Canada, une ville dont la culture nous inspire tous les jours.
Suivez notre parcours, nos rires et nos coups de cœur, à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur du bureau. Nous sommes inspirés par la vie, l’architecture et vivre en beauté.
Live Beautifully (vivre en beauté) est le mantra au cœur des activités de M & N. Vivre en beauté, c’est apprécier la beauté, l’humanité, la créativité et la positivité.
A good book can affect the way you perceive certain aspects of your existence. A GREAT book can completely change your perception.
EAT TO LIVE by Joel Fuhrman is a great book. Beyond the latest trends of going vegan/raw we find hard facts regarding everything from clarity of mind to avoiding diabetes, cancer and living an extra 17 years, on average. Knowledge is power.
Joel Fuhrman doesn’t ask you to be a saint, just be good to your body 90 % of the time. Couple of us here in the office can attest that once you start eating this way, it’s hard to go back There’s a six week menu at the back of the book, no excuses !