October is Small Business Month! This year, we are working with the amazing project, Talking Shop, to share great stories of local small businesses. Read Talking Shop's article on Kasia, the owner of Duchess & Duke Clothing, a consignment shop filled with fashion for lovers of modern and vintage styles.
Celebrating Small Business Month with Talking Shop
Talking Shop is a project to tell the stories of the local owners and entrepreneurs behind your favourite shopfronts, especially as we battle through these difficult times. On the Talking Shop blog, you can find conversations with local small business owners and leaders and news from the industry. The aim of Talking Shop is to create a community of #supportlocal advocates.
Duchess & Duke Clothing
In October, Talking Shop posted the article, “In Conversation with Kasia // Duchess & Duke”. Kasia, the owner of Duchess & Duke Clothing on Government Street, talks about the high points and challenges of owning a consignment store. Scroll on for a few excerpts from the article or read the whole thing on Talking Shop’s website!
What is Duchess and Duke?
“Duchess & Duke is a thoughtfully curated consignment store for all fashion lovers. We offer men’s & women’s clothing, accessories, shoes and jewellry in a variety of modern styles, current trends, classic & timeless pieces and vintage goodness ranging from the 40s – 90s. We also stock a variety of locally made goodness from jewelry to gift cards. We aim to offer high-quality items in next to new condition at affordable prices.” (Keep reading.)
If you had to describe your shop to someone who hasn’t seen it, how would you describe it?
“Duchess & Duke is in the heart of the design district which was once part of Victoria’s Chinatown, one of the oldest in North America. We’re located in the Lim Dat building, a true brick & mortar shop filled with light, love and fashion. The shop is thoughtfully curated and organized by both item and color – easy to shop and aesthetically pleasing! Our walls are home to a collection of suitcases that whisper stories of times past and you’ll often find our resident shop dog Lucy lounging around (she gives the best fashion advice). Duchess & Duke is more than just a clothing store, we’re a community that cares about reusing, recycling, supporting each other and keeping the spirit of playing dress-up alive.” (Keep reading.)
What are some of the hardest lessons you’ve had starting your business? How have you overcome them?
“There have been so many lessons, some good, some bad and some ugly, but I’m grateful for them all. One of the hardest lessons has been that you can’t please everyone — sometimes it will be your fault and other times it is not — but don’t take it personally, no one is perfect. Another lesson that has been hard is setting boundaries and saying no when it’s the best thing for you — owning a business means that the line between yourself and the business is blurred, and if you’re not careful it can consume your personal life. There are a lot of tough parts that come with owning a business such as theft, vandalism, negative comments, and uncomfortable interactions, but these adversities are where you grow the most. Learning to navigate these situations with grace, humility and humour is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned.” (Keep reading.)
Downtown Victoria’s favourite quote from Kasia’s interview:
“I have gained so much from this experience and count my blessings every day for having the opportunity to do what I do.”