The Founding

I'm Megan Murray, seamstress and owner of Valkyrie Custom Wear. In 2016 I founded Valkyrie Custom Wear as an Etsy shop to do little costuming projects for others in my spare time. After being a cosplayer for 3 years at that point, I had decided to provided an outlet for my creative passion to make more fantasy costumes than I was able to justify making and keeping for myself at the time.

As time went on, this little side business grew. It changed, expanded and became my passion. I knew that this store, making special clothing pieces was what I wanted to do with my life. I find so much joy and pride in creating historical and fantastical garments. That unique piece that you cant find at standard fast fashion stores, or normal mass market costuming retailers.

Since opening my shop I've been trusted with everything from cosplays of beloved fantasy characters, to ritual garb for Yule, and even dressing brides for their special day (and in one memorable instance, a bride and her whole bridesmaids party). It's humbling, exciting, and something that I'm thankful everyday that I took the chance on.

Making a hobby and pass time into a business, because I can't think of anything else that I would rather be doing.

My goal is to continue to create hand-made garments inspired by the wonderful worlds of fantasy and historical dress. Something that makes my customers feel beautiful on the inside and out.

Production

Everything in my shops; both on my etsy store, and here on my own website; is made out of my sewing studio.

For the past years I've designed, patterned, cut, and sewn every piece that has been sold and I take great pride and care in the process.

This year i've been working with contracted local seamstresses from the Kitchener-Waterloo area during busy times. I will be bringing on more production staff to the team full time as the business continues to grow. One thing I know for certain is that I always want to keep Valkyrie Custom Wear being made by hand, and with the love and care of people who take pride in and have a passion for their craft.

When finding help and also determining priorities in my production method my most important value with my business is for the people who work with me to be paid a living wage for their time. Something worthy of the amazing skills they bring to the company.

Material Sourcing and Sustainability

Most of my designs use wool, or wool blend fabrics. These materials are purchased at local fabric stores, mostly places such as Lens Mill and Fabricland/Fabricville whenever possible to support other local companies. Smaller fabric retailers specializing in recycled or natural fibre materials are being added to our material sourcing periodically as well. Sourcing deadstock and local fabrics over material that needs to be sent in from a great distance or newly produced upon order is also a way that we're trying to be more environmentally conscious.

What I look for when it comes to materials is that it will limit the harm that sourcing it causes to the environment, that means throughout the shop my stock is shifting towards being made primarily with natural materials. 

Wool is something already heavily used in my pieces, as well and linen and cotton in my lighter weight items. Future material sourcing will be looking into silk, Tencel, and bamboo fabric options as well to provide more sustainable and natural fibre options.

A difficulty we're looking to overcome with material is in finding sources for fleece and faux fur that are more environmentally friendly. A source we are switching to now is EcoShag Faux Fur which is produced with minimal waste and using as many recycled products as possible when creating it.

Something else that comes along with a few of the designs I produce is the use of animal pelts/furs. All of the pelts used by my shop are purchased through another small business owner in Northern Ontario. They are only purchased by me once a project that requires them has been started in order to reduce unnecessary demand, and each of them are originally sourced through the NAFA (North American Fur Auction) from small-time trappers using the platform.

Most importantly though is creating a piece that will stand the test of time. Items that last allow them to be used for years and years and ultimately reduce their environmental impact by staying out of landfills and keeping their owner from needing to purchase new pieces to replace them. Theres something so special about a piece that you can love and cherish for a lifetime. I find so much joy and pride in creating historical and fantastical pieces that people love, feel amazing in, and will have for years to come.