Sonya Lee is the creative design studio of Stephanie Sonya Ibbitson. Founded in 2014, the brand was conceived of after Ibbitson's training as an industrial designer and brief stint as an advertising account executive. Realizing that neither of these felt quite right and yearning for something more creative, she decided to make a change. "In industrial design, you’re constantly designing new products that have nothing to do with each other. One’s a candle holder and the other’s a children’s car seat. It’s so vast, but the expectation has always been that you do your research, make your prototypes, and figure it out." And she did just that, opening her Toronto based studio and embarking on a passionate career as a high-end accessories designer. Over the last four years Ibbitson has honed and refined her craftwork and the result is a line of beautifully made bags that just get better with age and use. She selects superlative quality, vegetable tanned leathers from North American suppliers, primarily in Minnesota and Alberta, and each hand constructed piece is made right in the Sonya Lee studio. The primary focus of the shop is on quality – Ibbitson believes women should spend their time living their lives, not worrying about ruining their bags. No less important for her brand – that the animals and people involved in the lifecycle of her leathers are treated ethically and fairly. Ibbitson concerns herself with the details that others may prefer not to know – is the leather a byproduct and is the whole animal being used? Are tanneries paying their workers and treating them ethically? For her, a beautifully made bag can only come out of really understanding the raw elements of which it's made.