Debuting in 2005, Les Artisans d’Azure started with Samuel Gagnon-Tremblay’s desire to make high quality LARP gear more accessible for the local community. As a LARP enthusiast himself, our founder saw that there was a dire need for armor and accessories made by and for medieval roleplaying. After he crafted his own leather armor for an event, he was quickly approached by other players to create armor on their behalf, and that was the beginning of the adventure.
The medieval fantasy community of that time was dominated by ear-to-ear networking and personal contacts, with access to quality gear often limited to those with crafty friends. Les Artisans d’Azure was no different, and a lot of the first models were made for LARPers that directly knew Samuel. These first years were all about learning and getting to know the material, while keeping a close eye on the evolving trends within the community.
The situation changed with the introduction of the first retailer, an online store known as Le Troll aux Trousses. Moving away from a network-based distribution, this retailer allowed the company to grow and step up its game to achieve higher professionalization and more streamlined production.
In 2009, Les Artisans d’Azure was officially registered as a business and hired its first manager, Maxime Turgeon, while opening a store and workshop in Montreal. With now a public physical location, a larger team, and a LARP community more than ready to supply the demand, things are only going to accelerate from this point.
Incorporating was completed in 2012, and Les Artisans d’Azure began consolidating after years of quick growth. A lot of energy is put into moving business management into software, while also normalizing production standards and improving various aspects of the workflow in the shop (crafting process, logistics, suppliers, partners, etc.). With a second wave of investment in the company, Les Artisans d’Azure reached a new level of efficiency and saw the beginning of the contribution of our long-time artisan Stéphane to our company.
In March 2015, the store-workshop moved into our current location. The newer, larger space opens many possibilities, beginning with a much larger storefront for visitors, but also office spaces, and a massive increase in workshop space for both more workstations and specialized hardware. We saw a wave of hiring, with many artisans joining the team like Christian Buteau who still with us today, but also our first specialized counselors for the store.