Ashley MacDonald designer of WABUZ , an Indigenous-led furniture company photos by Cheryl Gorski

If you are bored by everyday furniture, try exploring the edges where furniture meets sculpture.
Take a bold step into the world of WABUZ and furnish your story.

WABUZ is an Indigenous-led furniture company exploring the space between art and design forward objects to enhance one’s space. WABUZ is the brainchild of a former street artist who moved into three dimensions and honed their craft through furniture.

Ashley MacDonald grew up in a small town in Ontario between two major cities Buffalo, and Toronto, on the shores of Lake Erie. Early on, she didn’t identify much with her Indigenous side, at least not publicly. Hearing the negative connotations and slurs, she believed herself lucky to pass as of European descent.

 

By the time MacDonald reached post-secondary school she began to seek knowledge about Indigenous crafts, materials, history, food, and art. Now, she had only seen totem poles, moccasins, and traditional handicrafts that she did not quite identify with.

This experience led to questions – “What does it mean to be modern and indigenous? Can we be both? Am I an imposter? Does being both make me less of each?” – These ideas and seeming contradictions now inform her work as she learns to embrace both sides.

MacDonald has been designing in the Theatre world since 2019, in what she originally thought was a dramatic departure from furniture.

She now returns to her roots with a deeper understanding that the objects we surround ourselves with play a supporting role in our life stories, and that is what this collection is all about; Not shying away but leaning in and owning your experiences and identity.

WABUZ embraces the absurd. Based on Ojibwe storytelling, the term refers to a rabbit; a powerful spirit being with great strengths and wisdom, as well as some human weaknesses and foolhardiness. The brand is inspired by the modern world, pop art, and street culture this debut collection is a wild mix of discovering roots, stray pathways, and the right here right now, with a slight nostalgic nod to the 90’s.

Mod lux cabinet, fully textured hidden storage under a gull-wing style door

Mod glyphs, a modern take on a hieroglyphic triptych, made up of 3D-turned white oak in process at
WABUZ studio.

Word Bubble, a comic-inspired speech bubble to hold your items tight without using tacks, just pull and snap tight.

Stump Table, a robust solid wood textured table top with a smooth barrel base. It features 6 brass connecting pins that run through to the top surface.


 

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