Say it ain’t sew

Osborne Village storefront disappears but Sew Dandee carries on

Andee Penner is known for her hyper-local, Winnipeg-themed garments and greeting cards, and for eight years she’s made a living on her handmade goods. 

Penner owns and operates Sew Dandee, where she offers alterations and sells “smart ass” all occasion cards, up-cycled bags, pins, magnets, clothing and works by local artisans.

With original screen printed t-shirts reading “I survived The Winnipeg Winter of 2013/2014” it’s not surprising Penner’s designs resonate with many who call Winnipeg home. 

But after nearly a decade of business in Osborne Village, Penner is closing up shop and saying farewell to the storefront on Osborne St.

“It’s all happening pretty quick, but I kind of knew something would have to change in the last year or so,” Penner says. “With costs going up and my sales not - my price points are pretty low so it’s tough to cover costs at a place this size at this location.”

On Friday, Sept. 26 Sew Dandee will open its doors for the final time. Most merchandise is on sale but Penner expects the majority of it will be gone by closing day. At least that’s what she’s hoping for.

“I knew it was time to rethink the way I do my business,” Penner says. “I knew I didn’t want to stop doing what I was doing but I had to get creative and find a new capacity and get my stuff out there.”

Penner’s clothing will still be available through consignment from Generation Green at The Forks, and her cards will be sold at Tara Davis Studio Boutique in The Exchange. Some select items will also be available at Chocolatier
Constance Popp.

“I’m so grateful to have such a great clientele built up here,” Penner says. “I have a good handful of people who’ve been shopping here for eight years, supporting the shop and supporting me which has been really rewarding.

“Saying thank-you doesn’t really cover it,” she says.

The space at 105 Osborne St. will be taken over by Judy Coy who owns Silver Lotus next door and Rooster Shoes on River Ave. 

Rooster Shoes will be moving into Sew Dandee’s former space once renovations are complete. Coy plans to open the archway between Silver Lotus and 105 Osborne St. to create one large retail space, noting the space will be ready for the Christmas shopping season. 

And though 105 Osborne St. will be Rooster Shoes through and through, Penner will still have a presence in the shop. 

“We’re going to meld in her things that she does so well by hand - like the funky t-shirts and really neat little tea towels,” Coy says. 

Penner will also have her sewing machine in the space to continue doing alterations.

“Sew Dandee had a nice presence in the time she was here,” Coy says. “She really lent some kind of local idea, local thought, and locally made - that’s why we’re going to see how those things work because it lends itself to something that’s important to still have available.”

Sew Dandee will be at the Exchange Uporium, 246 McDermot Ave., from Oct.3-Dec.26.

Published in Volume 69, Number 4 of The Uniter (September 24, 2014)

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