Paige Boersma, owner and founder of Bicyclette Boutique, has attained retail recognition through three main components: savvy business maneuvers, astute attention to detail, and a passion for fashion. Paige first established her brand online by utilizing social media to gain followers, fans, and future customers. She then launched an online shop and, in 2011, a permanent location. A charming combination of playful pieces and trendy infusions, this Canadian-based boutique thrives on Paige’s determination to create a truly unique shopping experience.
Have you always wanted to start your own boutique?
It’s a dream that I didn’t fully realize until a few years ago when I was working for various retailers (larger, international companies as well as smaller, independent retailers). Whether I was involved in buying or in a form of upper management, I was constantly imagining how I would do things differently — forming this idea of the perfect boutique in my head. I went to University for Fashion Communication, and in our final year, we had to do a thesis project that involved a creative component and a research component. I took this opportunity to explore the concept, which is when Bicyclette was born and the initial branding for the boutique began.
When / how did you decide to go online?
I launched online in August 2010, though I had been blogging about the process and inspiration behind Bicyclette since October 2009. The idea was always to execute a three-phase launch strategy. This began with the implementation of social networking functions and the development of a strong online brand presence through the blog. The launch of the online store followed, and eventually, it came time to open a storefront. The decision to open online first had a lot to do with minimizing risk and financial investment, and it was very important to me to build a strong online community. Since I opened the storefront in March 2011, a lot of the focus has turned to the shop, but the Internet is still a very important aspect of Bicyclette. They support each other.
What are your first fashion memories?
I didn’t grow up in a particularly fashion-minded environment, but I always loved to play dress up, and was inevitably drawn to anything princess-oriented. Many of my early childhood memories involve pretty pink dresses, flower crowns, and countless hours of daydreaming. All of that has definitely become a part of Bicyclette. Fashion to me has always been a way to express yourself — a creative outlet, essentially. I first realized I was drawn to fashion and wanted to be involved in the industry when I began working retail. I fell in love with the hands-on, project-oriented creativity it demands.
How do you choose the items / brands to sell at Bicyclette?
Simply put, Bicyclette is a collection of items and styles that I love. The concept is focused on city life with a twist of whimsy and nostalgia: street style meets fairytale. Drawing inspiration from a feminine, vintage aesthetic and mixing it with a modern, downtown feel, Bicyclette believes in the beauty of juxtaposition and unexpected design pairings. I love special pieces that tell a story, whether that means a specific design detail or embellishment, a quirky print, or a handmade, one-of-a-kind necklace. I sell a mix of local designers and international lines, and I’m always price-conscious — focusing on affordable pieces that are still unique and exclusive. It’s always my intention that the shop feel like embarking on a treasure hunt. I want you to find that special piece that speaks to you.
Describe your own personal style.
In one word, eclectic. My style is constantly changing, though there is always an element of femininity and a bohemian edge. I love to mix styles and play with unexpected pairings — adding a statement necklace to my favorite vintage-inspired tee and denim, or a cropped leather jacket to a soft, floral maxi dress. I’m definitely an accessory girl. I love layering a tangle of bracelets and necklaces, and I have a serious weakness for anything that sparkles.
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