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Company History

At Scopa we build furniture for underappreciated animals. Each year we lose 1% of the world's species, with the majority of those being insects that are the foundation of life on Earth. We founded our company in 2022 to help reverse this trend. By designing and building furniture for these animals with the same care one would put into any fine furniture you'd put in your home, we hope to show them the respect we think they deserve.

While we are starting modestly by focusing on bee homes, we intend to use this as the starting point to launch a series of products and ventures that change the way people think about the ecosystem around them and the role insects play in it. We believe that once people see with their own eyes the incredible biodiversity - or lack thereof - that is in their own yard, doing things like keeping a perfectly green lawn will seem antiquated. There is genuine beauty in biodiversity, and we want to create things that help people to see that beauty.

We want our products to stand on their own as compelling objects worthy of the natural materials they are made of. They should give people something they cherish and maintain, and that they can proudly put in their yards to become a focus of attention and conversation.

Our name is borrowed from our wild bee friends, and refers to the hairs that many have on their hind legs or abdomen. They use these hairs to hold the pollen they gather, and it originates from the Latin word for "broom."

The Founders

Scopa was founded in 2022 by Ryan Brideau and Dr. Jessica Forrest.

Dr. Forrest is the head of the Forrest Lab at the University of Ottawa, which studies the evolutionary ecology of plant–pollinator interactions. She has spent every summer for nearly two decades at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado, placing trap nests in the mountains. Her research explores how pollinators and animal-pollinated plants are coping in a world that is getting hotter and more densely populated by humans. Her lab is also interested in basic aspects of bee biology and pollination ecology, with her current students' projects focusing on wild bees in agricultural landscapes and forests, effects of drought and urban heat on solitary bees, and the evolution of pollen preferences among wild bees.

Ryan is a former Senior Data Scientist at Shopify and Wealthsimple, and prior to this he was a data product manager at Serenova. He holds degrees in physics and economics, and is an avid lover of woodworking and the outdoors. He joined Shopify because of his passion for supporting small businesses, and spent 4 years on their retail and point-of-sale team where he helped guide the team and its retail merchants through the pandemic in early 2020. He is the primary designer, leads the production team, and runs the day-to-day operations.

Our Shop

When we say we make our products by hand, we really mean it. Every part of our homes are made in our shop from raw materials, and we hand finish each of them in small batches.

Each of our designs start as a one-of-a-kind piece, without consideration for how to manufacture them at scale. From there, we create custom jigs and processes that let us produce multiples, while still keeping true to the original concept. We try to keep all of our work to very tight tolerances, which allows us to create a highly polished final product without having to craft each home one at a time.

Our goal is to offer products that are as good or better than something you could have custom made, at a fraction of the price.