welcome to our journal!
first of all, happy new year!! i know you've heard or read this a gazillion times already but i'm going to say it anymore... here's hoping and praying that 2021 is NOTHING like 2020. having said that, it wasn't all that bad for chique. more on that later.
my colleague, nataliia, has already posted a couple of blogs on our site but i wanted to write an official opening blog to welcome you and share a bit about chique boutique, the brand, and its story.
chique boutique started off as a bootstrapped business in 2018. i had just given birth to my beautiful son (more on that in my upcoming journal), and was running my successful event planning company but couldn't imagine continuing with the long hours, late nights, and weekends away from my little guy so i put my passion for gift giving to life and opened up a boutique shop which would carry curated gift items from local artisans.
i created this logo for the shop and opened up my small shop on granville & 60th ave in vancouver.
during the early days, i was still operating my event planning company as well as my marketing company and it was in 2019 when one of my event client's asked me for help with putting together her daughter's trousseau. as i had a degree in designing and ample experience with indian clothing (i come from a family of tailors... more on that later), i took on the project and saw a real need for a diverse line of clothing that can serve our multicultural society.
now our gift shop started carrying clothing which could be worn at an indian event and also enjoyed at a caucasian wedding. something that i use to carry in my personal closet was now available to my circle of customers and friends. i quickly started getting orders for custom designs and we moved to a bigger space on west broadway.
we were now carrying brands like Rimpy Sahota, Parvesh Jai, Anita Dongre, and more! we were getting local movie artists purchasing from us, local residents visiting us but as much as i was enjoying the new store, custom orders, and the growth, our new location was just not right.
we had a cannabis shop next door and discovered that their staff was smoking in the store. the smell was coming through to our shop. my son suffered and the rest of the staff were all seeing a change in their health. it was difficult but we decided it was time to take a step back, close the store, work from home in the interim and look for a new location.
we found the perfect location at TSAWWASSEN MILLS in january 2020 and planned to open in march 2020 but then came COVID-19. the blessing in disguise with the COVID related delays was that i got the much-needed break to think of the new chique brand. we reopened with a new facelift, thanks to my friend sarah of STATIONERY BIKE DESIGNS.
our brand today
chique boutique relaunched with a new brand specializing in stunning dresses for all of life’s special events. whether you’re off to the office to spearhead the next big project, going out with your girlfriends to paint the town red, or heading to the event of the year, we have you covered.
our stunning collection and fashionable approach to the everyday encourages personal style with a dash of charm. while we are inspired by the legendary KATE SPADE, our brand is very Indo-Canadian. our products come from INDIA and have a hint of indian charm to them. we believe in living every day in a chic way.
the story behind our brand, the logo:
i spoke to our graphic designer about the meaning of my name. kanwal (k-uh-v-uh-l: the 'n' is just a nasal sound and can be dropped) means lotus and has a lot of meaning to it. it also holds a lot of meaning to me on a personal level. our designer did further research and it was decided that the lotus would be the PERFECT symbol for the brand.
the years immediately prior to the launch of chique were full of adversity for me. like the lotus, i pushed through the mud, rooted in my past experiences, and rose up to break through the surface. and the business was reborn.
what’s even cooler? our lotus breaks down into 7 colours. in western culture, 7 is considered a lucky number and in eastern culture, the body is considered to have 7 chakras. our logo and our brand is just that - a fusion of east meets west!
the chique lady
she is resilient, like the lotus. and just like the lotus, out of the murky depths, she springs forth like a beautiful blossom. an individual lotus can live for over a thousand years, and has the rare ability to revive into activity after stasis. this is EXACTLY what happens with her. after a small period of stasis, she revives! she is a lotus and we are dedicated to helping every woman feel empowered, resilient and beautiful no matter what is going on in her life.
our promise to you
we are a local brand committed to taking care of our customer and our environment alike. we use natural fibres which are good for you and the environment.
we don't produce mass amounts which would go to waste. we produce small batches and, if we have the fabric, we reorder loved pieces on demand.
we want to make a difference globally but starting locally. we started this by not hiring international models and rather choosing real women to be the face of our company through our chique laxmi campaign. this year, we will be sharing the stories these amazing women shared with us in an effort to inspire and aspire fellow women out there to never give up.
this year, we will be launching our "vidya series" watch campaign we like to call: "watch girls rise". proceeds from each watch sold will go towards educating orphan girls in india in an effort to make a difference there.
our brand values are:
- to give back to the community, locally and globally
- to always be kind and honest
- to always stand up and against injustice, abuse, and racism
- to always support fellow small businesses and women
- to look after our environment as best as we can
thanks for reading this long journal entry and i can't wait to share more with you in the coming days, months and years!