Have you heard the news? We’re moving operations to Downtown Abbotsford. We couldn’t be more excited about this new chapter in our lives and we want to give you all a bit of a behind the scenes look (without revealing too much!).
Growth and Expansion: Why we Need to Move
Since day one we’ve always been about one thing here at Little & Lively — flexibility. I knew I wanted the kind of home-based business that would allow me to spend time with my family. But when our little home-based business became our thriving retail operation, the studio workspace under the stairs wasn’t big enough.
Jordan and I planned an addition with enough space for Little & Lively to continue home-based operations. We mapped it out, drew up plans, requested city approval. Then we hit a roadblock. The permits and upgrades needed for the addition would be expensive and time consuming.
And we were still growing.
By the time we finished the addition Little & Lively would have already outgrown the new space. This isn’t the worst problem to have. But it did mean changing my ideas about home-business balance.
We started researching retail spaces to help me wrap my brain around moving outside the home. I was avoiding the idea of having to go “all the way to the studio.” That meant walking distance. That meant Downtown Abbotsford.
Luckily, a space popped up on Montrose. It even had street access. Bonus!
But it wasn’t structured for us.
It needed a sledgehammer; it needed paint; it needed creative thinking before the potential peeked through.
A Sneak Peek at our new Boutique
Here is our future studio - a work in progress!
After a coat of paint and some new floors:
As you can tell, we still have more work to do!
The studio and boutique will be many things.
- Minimalist and brightly lit for efficient work flow
- Part of Downtown Abbotsford’s neighbourhood
- An open studio to watch us create
- A spot to shop ridiculously cute clothes for your littles and snap a quick photo at the feature wall!
But I’m probably most excited about the inventory wall. It’s a floor-to-ceiling shelving unit custom built by my dad and brother (thanks guys!). And to reach the highest shelf, we’re working with 1925 Workbench based in Toronto to build a library-style ladder. Just. Like. Belle. I won’t be able to resist sliding along the rail Disney style.
Keeping it Local in Downtown Abbotsford
The new space taps into a local, “made here” vibe already present in the downtown area. You become part of the process when you see us make something and then hold it in your hands in store. You can really see where your clothes come from.
Come watch us work in the open studio. We might be filling orders to ship, ironing and pressing graphics, or designing the next exciting collection.
It’s like we’re moving into the neighbourhood. We’re already friends with the existing businesses. We’re at Oldhand Coffee all the time (and now we share an alley). We get our baked goodies from Duft and Co. Bakehouse and the most delicious wood-fired pizza from Brickhouse. We get to be part of the strong collaborative network with stores like Spruce Collective and Borealis Manufactory, Montrose and George and Little Bean and Co. that have a “how can we help?” attitude that’s transforming the downtown area.
Pop in, say hi, and then go visit the neighbours.
Little and Lively has always been about keeping families together. The new downtown studio and boutique doesn’t negate that goal, it just looks different now.
Our family is bigger.
Now when we picture our life in the studio as opposed to using our house, it fits. We can expand inventory and collections, and we can bring more hands on deck. Little and Lively can continue to grow.
You can watch our studio/boutique renovation process as we document our progress on our Instagram Stories! Follow us to watch the story unfold!