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Devin Gilmartin, Tegan Maxey & Steff Vermeesch, Co-Founders of The Canvas Discuss Entrepreneurship, Sustainability in Retail, and More

Driven entrepreneurs with a great idea can have the power to change the world. In this series, we interview founders and CEOs that are making a difference by launching innovative products and services which are changing the landscape of business, finance, content creation, fine art, and more.

Devin Gilmartin, Tegan Maxey & Steff Vermeesch are the Co-Founders of The Canvas by Querencia Studio, a marketplace for international brands to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through global community-focused retail locations and e-commerce. The Canvas negotiates revenue share agreements over fixed rent for brick and mortar retail spaces, allowing them to lower the cost of operating physical retail spaces. Their sustainable brands then enjoy the benefits of a shared retail space in a high-traffic location. The Canvas currently has two locations in New York City and one (temporarily closed) location in Antwerp, Belgium. Prior to founding The Canvas, Devin worked in fashion, and Tegan started looking into the uniform system, trying to find sustainable alternatives to its current operation and supply chain. With their respective backgrounds, they saw the potential to make an impactful project with the mission of introducing an alternative option for clothing that did not sacrifice sustainability for aesthetics or vice versa. Devin and Tegan later met Steff, who has his own company KUNSTGEZIND, which was similarly filling buildings with art. This led to The Canvas store opening in Antwerp.

In this interview, we hear from Devin Gilmartin, Tegan Maxey, and Steff Vermeesch about The Canvas by Querencia Studio’s entrepreneurial journey, their mission of sustainability, and how they navigated the challenges of the pandemic by switching to e-commerce and holding town hall meetings.