Meet the.....vintage dress shop (and more!)
I grew up in Hamilton, so this town holds a special place in my heart. The town has changed a lot since my high school days there and most notable change for me is downtown on James Street North. James Street has become a destination for independent and unique stores run by passionate and creative people. One of the forerunners is White Elephant, run by two of the sweetest ladies around, Hollie and Jane. They sell carefully curated selection of local and Canadian fashion, jewellery, accessories and art. But if that's not awesome enough (these ladies have exquisite taste so you know the selections are going to be amazing), they also have an astounding collection of vintage dresses, many of which end up as wedding dresses or very unique bridesmaids dresses. If you are a bride looking for something completely different and with some history, you won't want to miss their upcoming vintage dress sales. The first one is in Hamilton at White Elephant on May 9-11 and the second one is in Ottawa on May 23-24 at Victoire boutique. Look out for more info in the upcoming weeks on their website.
I visited Hollie back in December and luckily she still had a few dresses left so I was able to snap a few pics. Enjoy the sneak peek below, and Hollie's answers to my short questionnaire.
How did you get started?
Jane and I met in high school, during grade 9 math class, and formed an instant bond. We were always working on creative projects together, including directing a play in high school that went on to win regional awards, so we knew we had a good dynamic and working relationship. Once we were in the "real world" trying to figure out our careers, we both realized office life wasn't for us. We both enjoyed antiquing and had separately dreamed of having our own shops one day. White Elephant first appeared as on online Etsy shop offering our curated vintage finds. From there, we did small craft markets in the summer in our hometown, and met some new people in our community. We decided to just go for it and open a bricks and mortar shop on James Street North in Hamilton. We opened in October of 2008, and our aesthetic was much different back then. But we love to evolve as we grow with our city, and can't wait to see what is next in store!
What inspires you?
Currently inspiring me (Hollie) - antique embroidery samplers, antique scrap quilts, Twin Peaks, X-files, tapestry weaving, farm life, and most of the talented makers and designers we carry in the shop.
Can you give one piece of advice to a potential client?
So many people come in with their own self-imposed rules about what they can or can't wear - whether it be styles, shapes or colours. But you would be surprised with vintage about how flattering the different fits can be. Because they constructed dresses differently and usually to fit a specific women, when a dress fits perfectly it's like magic! So try on everything with an open mind and you may be surprised with what you end up with!