Yvan Semenowycz and Robyn Waffle aligned in the spring of 2013 when they were introduced by a mutual friend. Yvan had been designing rugs with LHD Tapis for a few years and Robyn had been designing rugs for Modallion by Reznick Carpets. The pair quickly connected over their love for rug design and jived on the idea of launching a bold rug design company unique to the Canadian market. Before long Yvan + Robyn launched TOTEM DESIGN CO. with their Crease Patterns collection at the Interior Design Show in January 2014. Yvan + Robyn soon honed in on a succinct formula for cultivating their design aesthetic; Robyn's ability to illustrate and create freely is complimented and enhanced by Yvan's pragmatic approach to design. They define their working relationship with two words: VISION + ACTION.
In April of 2015, Yvan + Robyn travelled to Milan Italy for Selone Del Mobile. While in the whirl-wind of Milan's design week, they found themselves at the launch party for Jan Kath's SPACECRAFTED collection. Yvan + Robyn were floored by Jan Kath's luminous star-studded rug collection exhibited in the arch-ways of a neo-classical courtyard. It was un-like anything they had ever seen before, and in that moment, the pair resolved that they may need to move to Europe to pursue their passion for rug design.
A couple of years later, during Toronto's design week in January 2017, Yvan + Robyn learned that Jan Kath was exhibiting at the Interior Design Show. They were excited to see that Jan Kath had finally put Canada on his radar, and they were determined to connect with the Jan Kath team. It just so happened that Jenni Finlay and her team from Finlay and Kath Inc. were staying at the Gladstone Hotel, where Yvan + Robyn had installed their Pom Mosaic™ for Come Up To My Room. Before long they introduced themselves to Jenni Finlay, and caught her attention by showing her the rug they had designed for SLASH. Jenni had been looking for the right people to launch the Jan Kath brand in Toronto, and Yvan + Robyn's portfolio impressed her.
In March of 2017 Yvan + Robyn flew out to Finlay and Kath Inc.'s showroom in Vancouver and began their journey of working with the most exciting rug company in the business. After one year of working collaboratively with Finlay and Kath Inc., Yvan + Robyn decided to close Totem Design Co. and signed on to work full-time for Jan Kath Canada. They are the new Directors of the Jan Kath Toronto showroom, which will be opening in the Spring of 2018, so stay tuned!
DesignLines Loves Award 2013 | Herman Millar Juror's Choice Award 2013 | DesignLines Loves Award 2014
Yvan Semenowycz | Bachelor of Industrial Design | OCAD University, Toronto ON Canada
Robyn Waffle | Bachelor of Fashion Communications and Design | Ryerson University, Toronto ON Canada
Fan Expo 2013 | Interior Design Show 2014 | Toronto Design Offsite 2014 | Interior Design Show 2015 | Toronto Design Offsite 2017 | Come Up To My Room 2017
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