Here's a some of the cool stuff we've done to date.
Strartford Pride Artshow
Our first EVER retail appearance was at an art gallery in Stratford, Ontario for their annual pride art show. The gallery was called York Lane Art Collective, by our friend Claire. Carly and her mom drove out to Stratford with a red mannequin in the trunk, beaming with excitement for the show. It was a fantastic turn out and we made some connections we still cherish today. Carly's mom was very proud.
Untitled & Co.
Our first big gig was at the local boutique on Queens Street West, Untitled & Co. Miraculously, by the grace of Instagram, we caught their attention and landed our first order for a retail location. We manufactured 2 bralette styles, 2 underwear styles, each in 2 colour ways and 4 sizes, in less than a month and a half. Oh and some hand-painted tees too. It was pretty intense but the feeling of walking into a store in downtown Toronto and seeing Herelove on the mannequin in the window, laid across the front table when you walk in, and hung around the store amongst other awesome local brands made it all worth it. Not to mention the exposure and relevance it gave us... cue our first celebrity endorsement.
On a random late August afternoon, during a collaboration meeting with Toronto tattoo artist Lindsay April, the Herelove Instagram started to explode. Doja Cat had performed in Toronto the night before and the photos from her concert had just surfaced on social media. We weren't aware that she had done some local shopping and bought a whole outfit from Untitled & Co. to wear on stage, featuring some Untitled & Co., sweatpants and our First Crush Bralette in heart mesh! We were truly struck by the stars. It was unbelievable. Of course we reached out to Doja Cat herself to thank her, but the true appreciation goes to the team at Untitled & Co. for believing in us and putting us on the map...*the stage.
Yorkdale Shopping Mall Pop-Up
We happened to receive a word-of-mouth recommendation - a month long pop-up at Yorkdale Shopping Mall. Yorkdale is one the largest premium malls in North America, located in Toronto's north end. We shared the pop-up space with local beauty bar, Beauty Co., selling adorable underwear next to eyelash extension appointments. It was a great partnership. And of course it was great publicity as Yorkdale has great foot traffic.
One Of A Kind Show Toronto
After our summer in Yorkdale, we had enough momentum to take on more retail opportunities. We made the shift to a handmade/shop-local market, applying for a 5x10' booth for 5/9 days of the winter One Of A Kind Show. We were scheduled for the second half of the show which meant a move in time of 5AM and market opening time of 10AM, the same day. It was a lot of work but we made some amazing friends and learned a lot. We had an absolute blast and will hopefully have a booth again at the OOAK shows to come.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Herelove lingerie production was paused to focus on making cotton masks for the GTA area. We were quick to market and ended up being a household name in our westend neighbourhood. In the summertime we had a booth in the Collingwood farmers' market where we consistently had long lines of customers shopping our unique, colourful masks. In total we made and sold almost 6000 masks(!) with hundreds donated to personal support workers in the Toronto/Mississauga area.
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