Calgary is a city that is quickly on the rise, with a wealth of talented and innovative minds. It is a place where a great idea, paired with dedication and hard work, can flourish in a wide variety of niches. The city continues to surprise me with its abundance of forward thinking and exceptionally driven locals who never fail to acknowledge their roots. Entrepreneurs and their businesses are single-handedly moulding Calgary's landscape, providing depth and spark to our local community. Katie from Clothing Bar Boutique is no exception!
The Clothing Bar Boutique provides a unique shopping experience for many here in Calgary. It stands aside from most consignment stores as a result of its strong ties to the community it is located in. Alongside a treasure trove of consignment finds, the boutique provides a platform for local artisans and talent, showcasing locally sourced items as well. Katie, the creative mind and owner of the Clothing Bar Boutique, has an unrivaled sense of pride for the city of Calgary. Her genuine excitement about the potential of this city and constant drive to provide a shopping experience reflective of this, allows her boutique to be an important piece of the Calgary culture.
I had the amazing opportunity to chat with Katie and she shared some of her entrepreneurial tips and tricks, as well as her favourite fashion trends this season! Read on for more!
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m a small business owner in Calgary-and born and raised here! I love hanging at local coffee shops, cuddling my little Chihuahua, and spending nights working on my business, or sipping wine. Not much more to know about me!
2. What made you decide to start the Clothing Bar Boutique?
I always knew I was meant to be my own boss, so at a young age I made tons of scenarios and mini “business plans” in my mind about how I would make it happen. The Clothing Bar was one of those ideas that actually stuck.
3. As an entrepreneur, what advice would you give to anyone looking to start a business?
Find a support system. No entrepreneur can get through it without a solid base of people around them. Like, a seriously solid base. Whether it be 1 person or 10, each person you include in the circle should have skills that you lack, and opinions that you might not want to hear, but need to. Also, entrepreneurs have a tendency to be inside their own heads, so asking for help, and listening to other people is a must!
4. What is your favourite fall/winter trend this season?
Grey plaid, and velvet! Either together or not. As for a more “off the runway” trend, I am a huge fan of sneakers and crew neck sweaters this year!
5. How does the Clothing Bar Boutique add to and influence the community you are a part of?
I think the entire small business industry in Calgary has grown immensely in the past 5 years. It has been so important for The Clothing Bar to be as involved in that community as possible, and collaborations have been key. Anytime we have the chance to cross promote with other local businesses we do, and love carrying local products in the store! We also host an annual fashion show in support of local charities, and involve such amazing talent to showcase them through the night. Plus, all our unused clothing in the shop, is directly donated to Women in Need Society.
6. Where do you hope to see the Clothing Bar Boutique in a year? 3 years?
Hopefully in a bigger location, with a few employees! There are a few other ideas in the works, but it would ruining the surprise if I say!
7. What is the one piece of clothing in your closet that you can't live without?
My go to black t-shirt. I probably wear it way too often, but hey, it can be interchangeable to any look, and accessorized so easily! Also, can’t go anywhere without a massively oversized purse.
8. Why should fashion and style consumers look into consignment stores as an alternative to mainstream shopping?
The fast fashion industry is so massive, and the waste that goes along with it is JUST as massive. Why let perfectly good clothing go to waste? Why not make money off your un loved pieces? Why not save hundreds of $$ on stylish like new clothes? Consignment shopping has become so trendy these days and the reasons to jump on board are endless.
9. How can local Calgarian consignment lovers get join the movement?
Just walk right in, give us a call, or start by checking out our website. We have made our process so simple, and we truly hope our consignors and customers feel like they are a part of a community closet.