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Story from the Founder

Story from the Founder

I moved to Montreal with my older brother when I was just 13, to escape the civil war in my home country, the African nation of Burundi, and later I attended university in Winnipeg, where I would set down permanent roots.The birth of OffTheWood takes its root from my origin, an inspiration born after my visit back to Burundi, my hometown, in 2014. This lovely place I had a strong attachment to in my childhood days was on the verge of ruin at the time.

The old houses in my neighborhood were collapsing with unemployment leaving the people in abject poverty. I saw the environment not also spared from the devastation. The river I used to swim in had suddenly dried up too. The excitement around the town was completely lost and hope seemed slim. I could have helped with fundraising but I opted to help the people see value in creativity, fashion and style. I started to design various ideas linked to the fashion industry, experimenting with authentic African fabrics that my mother sent him. But somethng got me thinking, I recalled a wooden necklace I used to wear and people loved it, and at that right moment, I felt inspired. Wood seemed like the perfect material to bring into the spotlight of the fashion world, due to being non-toxic, biodegradable and recyclable. What’s more, because the grain pattern and density of each tree is unique, each wooden accessory will be too!

After making a quick phone call to a carpenter friend in rural Quebec I've known since high school, My first wooden bowtie was made from recycled cabinets, natural wood and drawers. Today, we also use natural wood from certified forestation.

I made my first sale when I was filling up my car at a gas station and a man at the pump next to me noticed the wooden bowtie I was wearing. The passerby bought three bowties, straight from the boot of my car, and it’s all been uphill from there. Now, the number of handcrafted wooden bowties offered at OffTheWood has grown to fifteen. No chemicals are used, just a natural varnish to bring the unique grain of the wood back to life.. There are plenty more wooden accessories to be explored on the horizon, so watch this space!

My brand is symbolic to people who love and conserve the environment. This is because we agree to plant one tree for every wooden bowtie and other products you buy from us.

This is where I make the difference and delighted to have you patronize us.
Franck Ndayubashe

Fashionable accessories

Redefining fashion accessories into something very exciting and catchy.

Sustainable materials

We use renewable resources in all our products with minimum wood manipulation.

Social Responsibility

For Every product sold, We plant a TREE in Africa.