Workshop Boutique opened its doors amidst quite a bit of laughter and support, along with just the right dose of chaos, in Ottawa's Byward Market in April 2005. We put the finishing touches on our (then) teeny-tiny shop and had an amazing and fun opening party, complete with goodies, friends, and our very first sales. Then, following day, we had to close the shop to get our tax returns done. It was a classic Bridget and Christina beginning. (-:
Back then (10 years ago now) we were both independent women designers who wanted to live and do our thing in Ottawa, a city not traditionally known for fashion.
We wanted an outlet to sell our creations. We also wanted a place where we could spend our money according to our ideals. A place where you couldn’t go wrong: where beautiful things were handmade, local, sustainable or a combination of those things.
We also wanted our shop to be crafty and to represent our personal style. We wanted a shop full of things that would make us smile, gifts that were fun and functional, and clothes that would make us want to rip them off the mannequins and take them home with us.
So, we decided to create that place. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. (-:
What are we all about?
Both Workshop boutique, and our sister store, Flock Boutique, are full of pieces that we love: picnic-approved dresses, bold skirts, adorable housewares, flattering tops & all manner of unique & fun jewellery.
When we find something we love, our first question is always: where was this item made?
We believe in ethical production & in sustainable fashion, which is why we carry the work of over 150 independent Canadian designers & makers between the shops. We are committed to Canadian-made and believe in the uniqueness of what we sell. We also strive to connect the makers of our products to the people who buy them. We believe in promoting the fantastic women who choose to produce right here in Canada. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram to learn more about who we are & why we do what we do!
We are also designers ourselves and happily play in our shop studio (visit us, our Ottawa studio is open to the public!) at various times during the week. Our staff are the actual superwomen hand silkscreening our vintage-inspired Canadiana images onto ethically made tees & turning putty into jewellery in all kinds of great geometric shapes. We are so proud of them.
The last 11 years have been like a dream for us: we spend our days with strong, happy, engaging feminist women - staff & customers - who share our values and believe in what we are doing. Life couldn’t be better.
Bridget & Christina