Two people stood on a sailboat

Lopez Island is a small island off the north-west coast of Washington, about an hour’s boat ride from Canada and reachable only by ferry, with a year-round population of around 2,500 people. A peaceful and picturesque place, its rugged coastline gives way to old-growth forests, rocky cliffs and farmland dotted with grazing sheep. This is where childhood friends Ana Zautke and Lissa Snapp, founders of lifestyle store Ship Supply, were raised and run their business today. “We had a huge amount of independence growing up,” Lissa reflects. “It’s a place where kids are brought up by both their parents and the tight-knit community.” Spending their days running barefoot through forests and along beaches, it was far from an isolated existence. “Perhaps due to the remote and rural nature of our home, our community prioritised travel. We were both exposed to adventures near and far.”

Seaweed floating on water

Through Ship Supply, founded in 2018, Ana and Lissa celebrate functional pieces that are beautiful and sustainably made. The shop features a selection of curated clothing, homeware and lifestyle items they love and use every day, from stoneware ceramics and hand-forged brass jewellery to botanical perfumes. “People on Lopez tend to work with their hands, a value that was instilled in us at a young age,” says Lissa. “We grew up in a community filled with artists, sailors, carpenters, gardeners, and writers, so we both have an appreciation for doing things the traditional way, which is often the slower way. I think the value we both place on working with our hands and creative design was an early catalyst for the creation of Ship Supply.”

A brown shirt hanging in the open

Ship Supply is the result of both family history and personal experience. For Lissa, the daughter of a shipwright, and Ana, who spent time working on fishing vessels, the sea is the primary inspiration for the creation of their shop. “We both grew up around wooden boats and fishing and all the stories that came with the maritime culture,” Lissa explains. “My dad was a boat builder, so wooden boats and sailing were a big part of my childhood. I spent countless days as a kid rowing boats along the coast and watching and learning from my father as he built boats in his woodshop at my childhood home.”

Ana, who left the island in her early twenties to spend time working on a fishing tender in Alaska, returned to Lopez Island with an even greater appreciation for the ocean and cultures that live intertwined with the water. “The sea is central to our community's identity and it's part of the fabric of both us and our business. Our connection to the sea and the natural environment keeps us grounded and walks along the coast and through the forest provide respite from our busy lives as mothers and small business owners.”

A shop interior with curved wall

Their approach to design prioritises function, and, having lived among the elements on the island, Ship Supply’s traditional maritime lens can be seen in signature styles such as the Sea Pant. A celebration of the comfort and durability of vintage workwear, the style is entirely sourced, milled, sewn and garment-dyed - using fermented botanical dye - in the US. A double-stitched knee pad and deep front pocket speak to the utilitarian nature of sea-faring styles. Ship Supply’s Hemp Sailor Top, a versatile raglan piece, hints at marinière tradition, while a contemporary take on a classic fisherman’s smock in a roomy cut allows for layering in all weathers. “The culture we grew up in definitely contributed to our maritime designs,” Lissa says, “and the colours we choose are a direct reflection of our home, from the rich red-brown of cedar trees and the faded gold of driftwood that frames the shorelines to the hazy blue fog that settles along the coast during stormy days.”

A white shirt hanging on a map on a wall

With lives and work so intrinsically linked to the land and water, it comes as no surprise that a respect for the earth is at the centre of everything Lissa and Ana do. “Our goal with Ship Supply from the beginning was to create items that have a minimal impact on the natural environment. We believe all of our actions are connected, and we pride ourselves in using fabric that is grown organically with minimal pesticides, milled in a small mill in the US, and sewn and dyed in California,” Lissa explains. “From seed to stitch entirely in the US is our compass. We've seen the impacts humanity, and specifically the fashion industry, have had on our oceans and planet first-hand, so this ethos is incredibly important to us.”

Two people standing on a rock in the sea

Picnic items on a rock in the sea

As childhood friends as business partners, Lissa and Ana’s relationship has weathered as much as the island itself. Born two days apart, from sharing an apartment above a barn on a local farm in their final year of high school to now co-owning a business together, they describe their relationship as sisterly, in which creativity flows naturally. They live in tune with nature, with their lifestyle following the path of the changing seasons. “In the summer months, we spend a lot of time at the beach, swimming until the sun sets, having picnics with friends, and tending our gardens,” Lissa says. “In the colder months, we find ourselves inside more, often baking, chopping firewood, and making art. We truly enjoy living in such a beautiful rural place, but we both take advantage of opportunities to travel far and wide to gain perspective. The island has shifted and changed a bit over the years, perhaps becoming a little less quiet, but it remains a beautiful and serene place to call home. We feel very blessed to live and raise our kids here, and to have such an inspiring backyard.”

A curated selection of the TOAST collection can be found at Ship Supply, Lopez Island.

Words by Georgia Murray.

Photographs by Trevor Snapp and And Zautke.

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