Nicole Camphaug takes sealskin footwear to new heights
Iqaluit designer says sealskin stilettos allow her to pass on Inuit traditions in a modern way
Nunavut designer Nicole Camphaug is taking sealskin footwear to a whole new level with her new line of fur-covered ballet flats, kitten heels and stilettos.
The Inuk seamstress says it all started with her own pair of neglected boots.
"I took some of my sealskin scraps and trimmed the top and they turned out so nice I decided to do a whole shoe."
Pretty soon her friends and family were asking for their own Camphaug originals and she begin ordering pelts from Labrador to fill the need.
Now, she's looking to share her passion with a broader audience.
"I like it when people find something that they love," she said. "I know what it's like to go to a craft sale and find something that you absolutely love, that you wouldn't find anywhere else."
'Made by Inuit, made in Nunavut'
Camphaug, who is originally from Rankin Inlet, says it's important for her to pass on Inuit traditions.
The designs are becoming so popular, Camphaug is now enlisting her husband's help to add fur to shoes and make jewelry that incorporate Inuit designs.
But there is still one more hurdle these sealskin shoes need to jump.
With each pair taking five hours of work, Camphaug is unsure if she can find a feasible business model that could prompt her to make this labour of love into a fashion career.