While we’ve all somewhat adjusted to online shopping since COVID started, there’s nothing quite like the IRL experience, from feeling the fabric of a cozy sweater to holding up a gorgeous piece of jewellery. That’s where the new + fabulous local pop-up shop, Warehouse, comes in.
Their goal? To allow local brands who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a retail space a chance to share their products with the community, while simultaneously giving shoppers a chance to enjoy a friendly in-person shopping experience once more.
The stylish space is located in Chilliwack’s Central Village, an up-and-coming neighbourhood packed with boutiques and a welcoming vibe.
“Friends of ours had a leased space in [Downtown Chilliwack’s Central Village] that was sitting empty,” says co-founder and Jam PR principal Ada Slivinksi, “At the same time, several clients of ours at Jam PR were looking to do some sort of physical activation or pop-up, but shouldering the cost of a location and staffing themselves during these uncertain times was a barrier.”
Slivinski and co-founder Kati Moore met recently and worked together, and sparks flew. “We hit it off immediately and knew we wanted to do more together,” says Moore, “When Ada presented the bones of the concept to me, I told her I trusted her 100% and was all in.” 3 weeks later, Slivinski and her husband freshened up the space, solidified the branding and secured 14 local, ethical, and sustainable brands to participate.
When it came to choosing brands, Moore and Slivinski started with their own favourites (think Oprah’s Favourite Things), and eventually expanded their framework to small, local, sustainable and women-led. “It wasn’t a formal checklist that we started with, but those will certainly be the litmus test for brands moving forward,” Slivinski adds.
Presently, the brands range from skincare, jewellery and makeup to home decor and clothing. Visit Warehouse for yourself and you’ll instantly feel the chic, minimalist, cohesive vibe. For the duo, bringing the space together despite busy lives was a true feat.
“The only way we could make this happen was because we truly had a vision and the passion to see it through,” says Slivinski, “We also had the support of our families and friends.” Slivinski’s husband and kids painted the floor, a friend’s husband did the electrical work and Moore’s father fixed the air conditioner. “We are so fortunate to have friends working in the space to make sure the day to day operations run smoothly.”
For the brands themselves, the opportunity to breach recent shopping barriers made the experience overwhelmingly positive. In addition to featuring local Canadian brands, the shop also hosts community events, meet-the-maker drop-ins, media showings, and on the marketing front—social media promotion.
“The brands are excited to be a part of something so innovative,” says Moore, “They love being able to reach a customer they otherwise might not have, and just being on display with some of the higher-profile brands we have in Warehouse has provided huge value for some of the smaller businesses.”
While there are plenty of great product-focused brands at Warehouse, expect some food and goodies in the near future; The shop had Common Good Ice Cream and will most definitely be bringing them back.
If you need us, we’ll be grabbing our favourite totes and shopping till we drop.
Where: 9343 Mill Street, Chilliwack, British Columbia
Hours: 11AM to 4PM PST