To kick things off, I contacted Chantal Barchard, owner of Studio Intent, (in Art Central) to see if she'd be up for an interview. She was gracious enough to agree, so we decided to meet the evening of Sunday January 22nd at her store.
I've been to the location a few times when it used to be Shisomiso, so I was familiar with the space. When I walked in, my eyes darted from one lovely piece to another. I was so pleased with the decor that I quickly grabbed my iPhone to capture some shots.
Opening it's doors in March of 2011, Studio Intent is just shy of a year old. It's a space filled with items that were made with "intent" so that you can dress & live with "intent". Customers who frequent the store intentionally choose to support Canadian designers and there's plenty of a selection in this lovely shop..
My primary question for all boutique owners that I interview is:
"What made you decide to open one of your very own"?
In Chantal's case, it was for several reasons. Throughout much of her childhood, Chantal's mother actively sewed. This allowed her to develop an appreciation for clothing construction and recycling. In fact, she has taken up sewing classes approximately 5 yrs ago. Her background in Finance proves that she is business savvy with experience in accounting, management and strategic planning, (to name a few). Essentially, her appreciation for well constructed pieces, love for travel, desire to connect with artists and designers helped in her decision to open.
And, I am super glad that she did! Chantal admits that there are times when you can question choosing a path that isn't "traditional" but at the end of the day it's so invigorating! She truly enjoys the "1 on 1" interaction she gets with independent designers and artists.
Since it's a desire of mine to open up a boutique of my own one day, I think Chantal made a wise choice.
If you are in the Calgary area or plan on making a trip to the city, please visit this lovely shop - #105, 100 7 AVE S.W.
You can find carefully selected items from the following Canadian designers:
Cinder & Smoke
And enjoy local art displays (with a rotation every 2 months) - Amy Victoria Wakefield's work is currently on display.
And for those looking to open their own shop, here's some words of wisdom from Chantal.
"Have faith that it's possible, take educated risks and give yourself enough room to make mistakes"