From School Project to Boutique to Studio // The Full Story
With the recent transition of Bicyclette from clothing boutique to creative studio and lifestyle brand, I figured it was time I retold my story a little bit and shared the journey of how I got here.
It all began during my studies in Fashion Communication at Ryerson University. The idea and aesthetic for Bicyclette Boutique as a retail concept grew out of my 4th year thesis, exploring the relationship between lifestyle branding and the new online opportunities that were emerging as a result of blogging and social media platforms. Captivated by this new virtual world that was driven by online sharing and community and how this could impact the success of a small business, the concept of Bicyclette was born.
Before I knew it I was pitching the idea at a national business plan competition and travelling to LA to hunt down my favourite lines that would soon fill the racks of the boutique.
Bicyclette Boutique started as a small online store, where I had already built a following and established a community, but it wasn't long before I decided to bring the boutique into a physical space, partnering with local designers and businesses to host a number of pop-up shops, and then in 2011, the bricks and mortar boutique opened in a permanent space on West Queen West, downtown Toronto. A couple of years later, the neighbourhood would be named as one of “the world’s coolest neighbourhoods” by Vogue.com, with a special mention to the “charming Bicyclette”.
The concept behind Bicyclette has always been ‘City life with a whimsical twist; Street style meets fairy tale’, and it was this sensibility that led to the boutique becoming a shopping destination and creative haven within the community, both online and in the shop.
Bicyclette quickly evolved beyond a clothing boutique and into a lifestyle brand that frequently collaborated with and supported like-minded creatives, sharing their talents and own special blends of magic with the community.
This led to exploration in other creative realms: in film with the romantic short film 90 Days that was an ode to the love of the West Queen West community, featured in both Flare Magazine and Elle Canada online.
Styled photoshoots and partnerships became a staple and resulted in featured work on popular blogs such as 100 Layer Cake and Glitter Guide. The Endless Summer Dinner Party brought the joining of talented friends saluting those final summer nights, “When the days become shorter and the breeze settles in, under a crisp night and a full moon we find the whispers of a summer’s end.” The Pastel Pool Party with Random Acts of Pastel was another styling highlight, a unique summer soiree that had the trademark essentials of the Bicyclette style: tropical florals, dashes of pink, glitter embellished everything and flamingos as a nod to California beach style.
These projects and collaborations were not only a creative outlet for me but a facet of my life, always wanting to transform my daydreams into reality. And now, with Studio Bicyclette, it's my aim to help others do the same, to make a little magic and tell their own story.
Studio Bicyclette's aim is to help lifestyle brands, boutique businesses and creative entrepreneurs tell their story and stand out with a beautiful brand that is true to their style. This means that we’re now offering services that range from styling, creative direction and production, to social media content creation and strategy, to brand visioning, design and development.
Basically, I want to share everything I learned through creating and building the Bicyclette brand with others, and help them to do the same.
Trust me - this is just the beginning!