AGAINST THE CURRENT
By the lake is a place simple and serene. But underneath the seemingly still water lies a strong current—one that can lead people astray.
And much like this sweeping force of nature, people are easily carried away by the pressure of every day life. Exposed to a myriad of decisions and directions, it is often overwhelming to determine the right way to steer the ship.
Oak + Oar draws its inspirations from being at the cabin by the calm lake waters. Hailing from the little city of Winnipeg, the brand takes after its simplicity and resiliency, especially against the cold winters and into the warm summers. These are the anchors to our ethics, values and design.
Oak + Oar creates products that allow people to overcome the elements. Comfort is direct derivative of design and quality hence the emphasis to produce offerings that are “Made in Canada.” It is of utmost importance that we deliver goods that is put together with great care and that labour is paid a fair wage and is given a safe place to work.
Oak + Oar seeks to instill a weekend-mindset for the rest of all days. The brand is an expression of a kind of lifestyle that people ought to live by on the daily. It refuses to conform to present trends or ride other waves. Instead, it seeks to equip individuals with supplies that simple and practical to propel them to their destination.
One late June afternoon, as I sat on the deck struggling to conceptualize a name for the brand I so desperately wanted to create, I decided to set out from the cabin in the family’s 12ft aluminum fishing boat. It was a boat with a storied past that had been conveniently inherited with the family cottage.
Generally, this boat and its 9.9 Evinrude motor were pretty steady and reliable, though both had been well loved and enjoyed. That afternoon I proceeded to find myself stranded off shore on the far side of the lake. For the life of me I could not determine the issue. With the shift lever in neutral, the pull start rope seemed to laugh in my face. Pull after pull to no avail, l took in the contents of the boat and located the old basswood and oak inlay oars and began to nonchalantly propel myself across the crystal calm lake.
What struck me in that short journey back across the lake was how one tiny acorn could evolve into a structure of such strength and magnitude as that of an Oak tree and then be fashioned into something so practical, that could be used to propel me to my final destination.
Oak + Oar was born.
In August of 2016 we opened a stand alone retail space offering the full range of Oak + Oar along with some exclusive products.
The shop is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on the main floor of the Johnston Terminal building at the Forks Market beside the Winnipeg Art Gallery Space.
We are open 7 days a week:
You can follow the shop on Instagram at @oakandoarstore