Meet the Boutique: Umeboshi

Umeboshi has been Vancouver’s source of unique, handcrafted shoes and emerging designers from around the world for years. Stephanie Gorrell found inspiration while living in Europe and brought the old-world traditions of shopping local home by opening her own boutique in 2005. Since then Umeboshi has been known, not only, for curating a cool, well-edited collection of shoes, but for the kind of service that makes you feel like you’re shopping with friends. The footwear store also paved the way for other boutiques to join them on Main Street, which has since become one of the city’s top neighborhoods for boutiques. Here, Stephanie shares her approach to business and her favorite things.

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Talking handbags and favorite things with designer Molly Spittal

Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend has clearly never found the perfect handbag. We recommend getting to know The Stowe. Known for their signature all-black-everything look, Montreal-based designer Molly Spittal found passion in utility back in 2011 and we’ve been crazy about her handbags ever since. Each leather handbag is handmade in Montreal with some serious TLC. We went behind the scenes with Molly in her studio to get the full story.
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN DESIGNING ACCESSORIES? I have a background in clothing design, but never really felt that passionate about it. I needed a tote bag for a trip I was taking in 2011 and I couldn’t find the perfect bag so I decided to make one myself. It was really rough and the proportions were all wrong, but it was like a lightbulb went off in my head: “Oh! This is what I should be doing!”

Meet the Designer: AW by Andrea Wong

Inspired by the Pacific Northwest, this Vancouver handbag designer sources materials from the road less traveled.

“It’s about wasting less and cherishing more.” This is AW by Andrea Wong’s design mantra. The Vancouver studio handcrafts accessories using both modern and old world sewing techniques with materials under the same categories. From reclaimed and vintage leather and textiles, to Swiss-made climbing ropes, every piece of the accessories line is unique. We caught up with the adorable designer to get a peek behind the scenes.

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