in the pages of WE Vancouver October 20 2012
"Just ask anyone if they know Walrus and if they do, you’ll surely get an enthusiastic, “Oooh, I love that store!"
It’s easy to love Walrus. Caroline Boquist and Daniel Kozlowski have created a warm and welcoming spot to browse, shop, get inspired and celebrate Vancouver’s talented artists and designers.
“We love Vancouver and want to share with our customers the amazing work of the designers and artists we have in our city,” says Caroline. The store shelves are arranged with well-crafted, playful and functional items from around the world, but the focus is on locally-made, with about 50 per cent of the stock from Canada and about 35 per cent of that from Vancouver.
Some products, like Herschel Supply Co. brand or Native Shoes are already well-known around the city, and the world, but discovering other well-curated treasures makes browsing a treat. Cathy Terepocki contemporary ceramics (of Nelson, BC) and Patch indoor planters (from Vancouver) are a couple of featured lines that are fun, functional, and well on their way to greater recognition.
Walrus opened four years ago, in the midst of a major economic downturn. Caroline and Daniel had left their careers in the design industry to open a retail shop in a not very trendy area of Vancouver.
“So many people thought we were crazy,” says Caroline. “Luckily we were surrounded by incredibly supportive friends and family who helped us the entire way.”
Caroline and Daniel have worked to make Walrus accessible to all. The price points range and the products are great for gifts or a personal splurge. Every time a new art show goes up on the wall, they host an opening in the store. It gets transformed into an event space in the course of a day. Product launches provide the opportunity for shoppers to get to know the people who make the things they love, such as the SAHN Helmet launch, happening Oct. 17. Designers and artists appreciate the opportunity for instant feedback. It’s a win-win.
With a well-written business plan and a passion to create something of their own, not only did Walrus open in a trying time, but it is now thriving. Cambie Street has been a perfect place to become a part of a community.
“We have such great neighbours here. They might not typically go to galleries or design shops downtown, but they stop in for our events, to shop or just to say ‘hi’. We just love this area,” says Daniel.
Walrus is located at 3408 Cambie St. Visit WalrusHome.com for more."