Vancouver city is known for its green attitude and active lifestyle. Its residents pride themselves in wearing Lulu Lemon sports wear and practically being able to run up a mountain for a ‘quick bit of exercise’. At least, that’s what we see on the surface. Two young women have taken on the challenge of helping to rejuvenate Vancouver’s style reputation. Tucked beside Nester’s market on Abbott street sits the beautiful shop Hey Jude – a lifestyle store curated and owned by Lauren Clark and Lyndsey Chow. Their outlook is fresh and exciting – not to mention their impeccable taste and style. The shop advertises itself as a ‘design-inspired vintage clothing shop that specializes in visually contemporary pieces.’ We had a chance to catch up with the lovely duo and speak to them about the experience of running an independent boutique, working as young female professionals and why Vancouver is a budding city.
1. Why ‘Hey Jude’? What inspired the idea, the name and you?
Lauren: We started about 6 or 7 years ago and it basically just came out of a love of thrifting ourselves. We saw that our friends were interested but didn’t know how to go about doing it themselves and so we saw an opportunity for styling and recycling clothing, making it fresh and new.
Lyndsey: Yeah, we had one small pop up to kick it off and it just grew from there. As for the name we were scrolling through our iPod really, just looking for something nostalgic and wasn’t following a trend. It seemed classic and just right. It fit.
2. Why Vancouver as opposed to anywhere else?
Lyndsey: We’ve both lived here for the past 12 years so having the permanent location was the next natural step. There’s a big community aspect to the pop-up and we were really glad to have the support of other pop ups helping us out.
3. Who is the curation catered to? What audience do you keep in mind?
Lauren: We try and cater to the style conscious, people who care about quality, people who have a green mindset, put care into food that they eat, things they buy etc. Really those who are interested in the ‘slow living’ movement, I guess you could say.
Lyndsey: I think it’s part of a lifestyle too – things like healthy eating and being conscious of the impact your lifestyle has on the environment
4. Why are sustainability and natural production relevant and important to you and how do you see it slowly incorporating into the Vancouver lifestyle?
Lyndsey: Again it’s definitely more of a lifestyle, and there’s a big education part to it too that not many people think about. I don’t think people see clothing necessarily as a piece to the puzzle of being a conscious consumer. I mean, the products I have in my home have just as much of an impact but it’s easy not to think about that.
Lauren: Especially in Vancouver, it’s basically second nature to recycle and support organic products and we’re trying to open this to our style of clothing and boutique. All the brands we curate in the shop are handmade or made in small quantities, or with natural ingredients, and we try to let that extend not just the clothing but through all the products in the shop.
5. Working as a duo, how do you find your relationship? Do you think working as two young creatives can be challenging?
Lauren: We were best friends before we started. We had a dream to have a clothing store down the road and we did it. It’s been really positive to work together and since we come from different backgrounds you get different opinions. It’s nice not to wear the weight of a business on your own shoulders and to be able to share that with someone you trust. Knowing that you’re doing it together is such a positive.
6. What are you hoping Hey Jude to become and what image and message are you trying to establish?
Lyndsey: We’d like to grow it and push that our message is about conscious consumerism and seeing it as a lifestyle. We want to encourage our customers to put more thought into what they bring into their lives and support slow fashion.
7. What message do you think your brand best represents as a brand founded in Vancouver?
Lauren: We feel that what our store stands for makes sense coming from Vancouver. It’s not necessarily known as a fashionable city but there is such a conscious community here so we wanted to have a progressive shop for the city. Vancouver actually can be a very progressive city with it’s style and art. It’s a budding city and we want to be at the forefront of that and support that community.
8. What has your experience been working as an independent boutique in Vancouver?
Lyndsey: There are tons of ups and down to it all but we noticed when we started doing our pop ups, that when we started putting ourselves out there we were able to grow with the entrepreneurial community. We met so many small business owners doing the hustle as well. That was really encouraging for us to have that network and it’s fun because you see each other at the same events or on social media, supporting each other. I mean, seriously, other shop owners are incredibly supportive.
Lauren: And now that we finally have a permanent boutique we feel the same. Anyone who wants help or is opening a shop we’re so excited to help and give ideas in whatever way we can.
9. What is your advice to young women starting their own companies or establishments?
Lauren: I think it’s so important to connect with peers, there should be no competition between us. Collaborate, lean on each other, learn from each other, because everyone has the space to be successful. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from those who’ve already done it. We had amazing help from our mentors when we first started. Success comes from that. You live and breathe it every day, you can’t just leave it at the door and that’s exhausting but you gotta want it and you gotta help each other out.
Lyndsey: I’m sure all women have felt some discrimination from both men and women, and you might not be taken seriously in the same capacity that a young man would if he was doing this, but there’s power that comes from that. You prove that you can have a successful business and it fuels you. No one we’ve met means it maliciously but it’s in everyone’s subconscious that it couldn’t be a professional business. But it lights the fire a little more and we’re excited to be a part of it. Everyone’s paying attention and we’ve had a great experience just growing with everyone and pushing each other. Like Lauren said, you have to want it.
10. What has been one of your favourite brands to work with and why?
Lauren: We like hearing the stories behind the brand because it’s contagious to hear them. Each brand has a purpose. It’s not just a product, right? It’s a mission. The most amazing part of when you’re talking to these people is that they’re just like us. They’re just passionate people who are living their lives.
Lyndsey: We go to LA a few times a year and we like to scope out independent brands in LA, Seattle, and Portland and bring them up to Vancouver and be at the head of that.
11. Why do you think it’s important to support each other via collaborations, events, etc within the art community? What are your thoughts on the art community in Vancouver?
Lyndsey: I think just because of our history, growing with a community in Vancouver, whether it’s in our pop ups or our shop now, that’s just been such an integral part of our growth. Receiving support from others and giving that support back.
Lauren: Neither of us grew up in Vancouver and so that sort of felt like small fish in a big pond but once we dove in there were so many people who were willing to help. There’s an amazing, open, and welcoming art community in Vancouver and we’ve just been so lucky to have had a positive experience with it.
For more information visit their website: http://heyjudeshop.com/
Or follow them on Instagram @heyjudeshop