As part of my portfolio for the fashion program at Kwantlen University has included the knowledge of local (to Vancouver) business and boutiques, I will occasionally be sharing discoveries and thoughts on some of the brands and designers that catch my eye.
So, as I have a trained eye in online discoveries, I came across a boutique located in Gas Town called ‘The Block’. It seemed interesting enough and as I continued to read, the interest developed into a full-blown desire to visit this special boutique as soon as the next ferry set sail. Reading about the brands featured in this loft-like boutique - names such as Built by Wendy, Sunja Link and Tucker peaked my interest, bringing me to the end of the article and further to the boutiques webpage advertising the refreshing stock.
Storeowner, Jennifer Mckay started this well-known boutique in 1999 with a partner, but has been the sole proprietor for the past 4 years. Bringing the business from the ground up, Mckay remembers the time when working part-time at a retirement home (sound familiar?), as well as searching and begging for financial backing and bank loans were all she knew. Starting a business in a high-energy, fashion forward city is hard enough, but can also be harder when you’re a young woman. Fighting to add certain brands and stock to The Block’s collection certainly paid off for mckay as business has indefinitely become ‘booming’ over the past few years, adding to the stepping stone of women’s apparel to today’s collections of menswear, accessories and most recently - footwear.
Brands from above:
‘Built by Wendy’
Created by Wendy Mullin, this somewhat undiscovered brand is considered a hidden gem to fashion insiders. Although the range of graphic tee’s are a well-known must have for the likes of Zooey Deschanel, Jack Black and Sophia Coppola, advertising novels as well as sayings and movies complete the tee-shirt collection of ‘Built by Wendy’.
Described as a brand portraying clean, American style with contemporary flair, designer Wendy Mullin influences the style of the brand from pop-culture, her travels as well as her Midwestern upbringing - producing individualistic pieces such as a tote-bag inspired dress.
Being a simplistic, contemporary line of clothing, Sunja Link provides pieces that appeal to most everyone’s style needs. A brand revolving inventively around a denim aspect for fashion, pieces such as classic yet modernly sophisticated over-alls, tailored jeans, peasant tops and fitted jackets are a taste of the beautiful pieces created by Sunja Link.
A high-end brand, Tucker clothing could be considered out of a certain price range – depending on who you are. If you’re me in this case, the closest you’ll get to a piece of clothing by Tucker is browsing through the racks imaginatively. Featuring a wide variety of silk items, Tucker is a fashion forward brand, helping the fashion industry bring back the jumpsuit in various patterns and styles using silk. You can find contemporary drape shirts, skirts and shorts in the racks for Tucker, so hopefully you have a large limit on your credit card because you’ll surely fall in love with what this brand has to offer.