Meet Jessy Robertson, artist behind Yoho & Co and the pennants featured in our 2020 holiday market.
What’s your background as a creator?
Classically trained in graphic design, Yoho & Co. started 3 years ago at my design studio which is located just at the gates of Banff National Park. I also grew up creating and sewing having descended from a long lineage of talented seamstresses.
What inspires your work?
Road trips, teal Rockies’ lakes, desert landscapes, artisan coffee shops and vintage hand-carved signs are just a few of the places and things that inspire me. At the Yoho & Co. studio, every day we are introduced to someone’s favourite cabin, lake, or mountain and it’s always a joy and adventure to hear the stories behind those special spots.
Do you have a special routine that you get into before you start creating? Any kind of music you listen to, do you make yourself a cup of coffee, etc.?
I love to get up super-early, say around 5:30 a.m. (even on weekends), and go to my studio. My quiet mountain town is still asleep and I’ve got a pour-over in-hand from my local roaster. Some days the tunes are on, other days podcasts. I especially love the How I Built This and 99% Invisible podcasts.
Photo by Josh Robertson
What do you hope that people get out of your work?
As a designer, pennants have always fascinated me. They are these little pieces of history that were brought back as souvenirs from epic road trips of a by-gone era – often from a time when many of the roads that led to our much-loved National Parks were dirt. Creating a hand-sewn pennant in the modern-day is a way for people to continue to celebrate their favourite places but with a nostalgic spin. I hope my pennants continue in this legacy and inspire people to explore, celebrate and treasure the places that are special to them.
What’s your proudest moment as an artist?
I always celebrate the sweet notes I get from people who purchase a pennant. Sometimes, the letters celebrate a new baby or a wedding. Sometimes, the notes contain tributes to a monumental accomplishment or lost loved one. It means so much to me that my art is a tiny part of each of these stories.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the winter?
In the Canadian Rockies, winter is at least 10 months of the year. Not kidding. To live here is to embrace winter! That being said, I love to snowboard and cross-country ski during the days I am not in my studio. I also love to talk about art and design for hours over a glass of wine, in front of a roaring fire with my amazing business partner and husband, Josh.