“It was just all a manner of the stars lining up,” uttered Well-Read Books owner Jan Stick, describing how they came to share space with Climate Clothing for a year in their new 4th Avenue location.
It doesn’t hurt that they’re related. Jan and Lorraine Stick, Climate Clothing owner, are sisters-in-law, and Lorraine’s daughter Ciara is the Climate Clothing store manager.
“Jan was moving, they needed help with rent and we needed a space. It helped the bookstore and it helped us get started,” adds Ciara of their decision to share space with the bookstore in their first year of business.
You could argue that the partnership was a long time coming. Ciara originally worked at the bookstore, finally giving her notice after six years in order to move a few bookshelves and one glass wall over.
Jan adds that “there was that space there for Lorraine and it helped us with the larger rent, and it also brought more people in. They would say ‘Oh, you have clothes?’ so it was good for both and with the tourists, too.”
And they would spend their money in each other’s stores. Ever pragmatic, Jan interjects that, “I got to shop for my clothing here. I hate shopping but I really like that stuff.”
“Then they’d wear our clothes and we got great advertising,” Lorraine and Ciara simultaneously add, “and our prices are pretty reasonable, too.”
“It’s more helpful, if somebody had to run out we could look out for the other space,” responds Jan when asked if there were any challenges.
Adds Lorraine, “I think the downfall, if I would talk about that, is we didn’t have that storefront.”
Finally, after a year sharing space together, all the stars have lined up again for Climate Clothing. Instead of walking through tall and narrow bookshelves to the back where bright colours burst forth through the glass walls of an enclosed room, Climate Clothing has grown up and moved out, setting up shop in Horwood’s Mall.
“It’s triple the space we had at Well-Read Books,” says Lorraine, adding that the move was sudden. “What happened was that we wanted to move but once we started looking, only in the Yukon, it either happens really quickly or it doesn’t happen at all.”
In this case, they were looking for space in the spring and ended up with a spot immediately.
Well-Read Books has been open nine years and Climate Clothing one. Already, the bookstore has expanded and the clothing store needs to revamp its signage: “We say 100% cotton on our sign. But now we have organic hemp, cotton and bamboo because people were asking for them,” explains Lorraine.
Lorraine created the Climate Clothing brand in the Yukon, yet the clothes come from about as far away from the Yukon as you can get. “I happened to be on holidays in Vietnam and there was a clothing store and what they carry is really good quality clothing.”
“And the clothes were coming from one country to another, one climate to another,” adds Ciara. “And my husband said how about ‘climate’,” says Lorraine, carrying on the story. And Climate Clothing was born.
Their partnership brought satisfying reassurance to both stores. Well-Read Books now knows it has enough business to stay in its new space on its own and Climate Clothing learned it had enough business to expand.
As Lorraine says, “definitely being over at Well-Read Books gave me some exposure and I was able to meet my expenses on a monthly basis because rent was reasonable.”
As for Well-Read Books? As Jan says, “I know I’ve got books I can put in there, we’ll be fine.”
PHOTO: RICK MASSIE [email protected]