Favourite New Local Independent Business

1. Riley Grae (729 Corydon ave.)

Supplied photo

1.    Riley Grae (729 Corydon ave.)
2.    Chip’s Vintage (173 Lilac St.)
3.    Accent'aigü Custom Drag Nails

Shop owners Lauren and Trish Wittmann are a mother-daughter duo who opened the doors to Riley Grae in the second week of August 2019.

“It’s been going great ... I love being here,” Trish, the mother, says.

The shop is a dream come true for the pair, but Lauren continues to work a separate full-time job, saying that “we’ve only been open for three months, so we’re waiting to see how it goes.”

Lauren has been doing local pop-up markets as Riley Grae since she was 14. She says that “they’re my middle names, so really (Trish) picked them!” when asked about the inspiration behind the branding.

The shop carries a variety of local and ethically imported goods for sale, such as clothing, jewelry, home goods, stationery and local music, but the store also houses a zine library and an exhibition space.

“We have a studio in the back where Lauren is going to be hosting workshops ... and we have a little gallery room where we currently have an installation and have artists who (want) to show their work in a gallery setting,” Trish says.

Lauren describes a zine as a “tiny magazine” and that it “could be anything (such as) photography, drawings, paintings, illustrations (or) poetry. Any paper good that’s bound in a collection (and) self-published could be a zine.

“The whole library is composed of things that are from my own personal collection, that we bought for the library or that were donated,” she says.

They are still developing their mission statement but stress that ethically created and imported wares, as well as accessible and affordable prices for customers, are big factors in how they conduct business.

Lauren and Trish want their space to be comfortable and accessible to the people of Winnipeg. Trish says “we are very much a mix of retail, but we also want it to be a community space.”

Published in Volume 74, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 28, 2019)

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