Shop Talk: Paige Of Bicyclette

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.

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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.

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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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Author: Jennifer F.

Jennifer Finn is a writer and editor sustained primarily by espresso and jazz standards.