This week’s find:
FIND your Flock. And Pay it Forward!
While you’ll find all manner of beautiful clothes and gifts at Flock, what really matters to its owners and their loyal customers is keeping Canadian cottage industries alive.
You can start a flock with just two creative, passionate leaders; from there, you can harness collective energy that can change the world. That’s the spirit which drove co-owners Bridget Remai and Christina Ballhorn to establish Flock Boutique and its sister shop, Workshop, based on their shared beliefs in ethical production and sustainable fashion. These two vibrant entrepreneurs – who also happen to be talented clothing and jewellery designers themselves – are passionate about helping buyers connect with the over 150 independent Canadian designers and makers whose wares they carry.
While clothing and jewellery might be the mainstays at Flock, there’s so much more to discover. For example, Bridget and Christina are enthusiastic about the partnership they’ve formed for one of their newest design projects, a line of scarves being sewn for the shop by new immigrants to Canada. They’ve also greatly expanded their gift selection, showcasing a gorgeous range of handmade products, most of them local, including ornaments, goodies for kids, tea, candles, Hummingbird chocolate, soaps, bath products, heat packs and more.
But more than just being one store, Bridget and Christina are also passionate participants in a thriving community of like-minded shops and boutiques along Wellington Street West. These shops, many of which are owned by women whom they now consider friends and collaborators, meet regularly to support each other and plan mutual promotions and campaigns- including the annual Pay it Forward campaign, running this year from November 12 – 27.
Pay it Forward is an innovative program that allows shoppers and the participating shops to “Pay it Forward” to spread holiday cheer to women in need at the Caldwell Family Centre and Cornerstone Housing for Women.
It’s easy for you to help: simply visit one of the nine participating establishments (listed below), including Flock, to pick up a tote bag, then fill it with thoughtful, practical items and return it. More details are available here and also in this Pay it Forward video.
“Pay it Forward fits in well with our emphasis on mindfulness,” notes Bridget. “When we started Flock the movement towards buying ‘made in Canada’ was in its infancy but now people are shopping with intention and we hear repeatedly that customers are thrilled to have a local source for quality goods made within our borders.”
Adds Christina, “People see that their shopping choices can have a profound effect. It inspires us to keep looking for as many unique items as we can find because there is a real appetite for what we offer and it’s about more than just beautiful things – it’s about keeping people employed in Canada.”
Keyword tags: WWBIA, Wellington West, Ottawa, shop, clothing, local, handmade, gifts, unique, thoughtful, Pay it Forward, holiday, community, shop local