119. Tool & Eye Collective

September 29, 2023
September 29, 2023 Will Mackie

Welcome back to Comacan Questions, this week we have another special guest to share an interview with. We met this week’s guest through a mutual friend (thanks Sarah) and after a short email conversation we decided to meet up and work on a little something (more on that to come later). Right from the first chat we were stoked on what this guest does, how they do it and the true community roots at the core of what they do. Please enjoy this interview with our new friends at Tool & Eye Collective.

What is Tool & Eye Collective?
Tool & Eye started as a way to collaborate with friends and people in Toronto that I thought were already doing crazy stuff in the space that they operate in so we could work together but also hopefully give them an alternate platform to work from. The idea was always to help elevate the image and presence of the creators I worked with. The fun part about it was that it turned out to be friends working with friends. I know how hard a lot of creators work so to collaborate with them, create something I would actually use, or wear was just something that made sense to me. I’ve always had the ability to connect people to others and felt that this was a great way to start.

Why did you choose the name Tool & Eye?
The name came from a few different things. But I’ve always believed the business has one major pillar “A tool for the city, an eye for the people” I want it to be used as a tool for creators to help elevate their presence in whatever industry they’re in, but also as an eye for people to use to connect to the brands and the people behind them that they may not have heard of or been exposed to before.

What was your inspiration behind starting Tool & Eye?
I always found when I was younger that the people I looked up to seemed to be at some unattainable place for myself. They had already figured out the road and destinations from A-Z, and I always found myself at A or B without any knowledge of how to get to Z [now knowing there is no right answer]. I wanted to be a part of a path that can help newer makers/designers get from A to B or wherever they may be on their path so that they can connect to others easier. If I can help people 1% or even just connect people to others I’m stoked. I think the business was created to help others; in an industry I’ve always been subtly involved with.

Do you sell any products? If so, where can people view available items?
I’ve done a bunch of collaborations with friends and other makers that are for sale on toolandeye.ca – one of the products I’m most excited about is my own Espresso roast that I linked up with a local Toronto roaster to make. Their values as a company completely aligned with mine and when I got to sit down with their roaster at the time and the team to discuss options it fit super well.

All of the apparel is cut, sewn and died in Toronto as well, super high quality garments made right here at home. It gives me hope that hopefully other local brands try to do the same thing.

What inspired you to start the Face behind the name podcast?
The face behind the name was actually a natural progression of things. I started it as a magazine style interview much like this one. Within the first few releases I got an email, and it was ranked in the top percentile of blogs of Shopify which was pretty cool. My Wife and I sat down and decided it would be smart to make it more of an in-person thing and do it as a podcast. It’s been an amazing switch because now you can actually hear what the guests have to say and truly listen to the guests and what they have to say.

Where can people check the podcast out?
The Face Behind The Name is available right now on Spotify and in the future will be on Youtube.

What does skateboarding mean to you?
Skateboarding helped define a lot of my childhood and how I grew up. It seemed like it was all I did when I was growing up in any off time I had, I was lucky enough to work at Hustler Boardshop in Oakville and become friends with all of the dudes there.

Anyone you’d like to thank?
I’ll keep it brief and would just like to thank everyone whose been a part of the journey so far and helped to support the brand and what I’m doing. There are so many amazing creators, makers, musicians, artists, etc. out there that I hope to one day help share their voice. So, for anyone that’s been a part of it so far, thanks so much – there’s lots to come, and for that I’ll always be grateful.