Kelowna is about to get a new, one-of-a-kind clothing workshop in the heart of downtown.
Grey Hearts Workshop, located at 1615 Pandosy Street will offer everything from new denim and workwear to tailoring, customizations and repairs as well as uniquely upcycled vintage pieces.
Set to open in mid-February, the shop is owned and operated by Sean Whyte, Paul Reyes and Carl Clark, all of whom have worked within the fashion industry in some way or another.
The trio aspired to create a collaborative space to pursue their individual passions while practicing sustainability and providing shoppers a place to find, or create, comfortable clothing to express themselves in.
Co-owner Sean Whyte has been working and living in Vancouver for the last 12 years as a stylist in the TV and film industry. His background garnered him an inside look at the wasteful ways of the fashion industry and gained him the contacts to source unique attire.
“We always stumble upon so many clothes that have just been thrown away, there is so much waste,” said Whyte.
“We wanted to do this to help diminish that waste and also because we believe people deserve the dignity of good clothing."
"It’s amazing how many items are out there not being utilized when all it would take is just a little extra care or an alteration to give a piece a new life," he added.
Inside the gallery-like front end of Grey Hearts, shoppers will be able to find a hand-picked and curated selection of clothing that features workwear for every industry (including custom aprons,) re-imagined vintage items that feature retro patches from Okanagan clubs, teams and organizations, a wall of customizable denim, and even new pieces from designers across the province and country.
While everything for sale is meticulously placed and personally selected by Whyte and the team, those of you looking to re-home a cool vintage item can also look into a consignment deal.
“If we look at a piece brought in and think ‘okay we can find a home for this’ we will take it,” said Whyte.
“Some times we will take something purely to deconstruct and turn it into something different, there are so many possibilities so we just try to have fun with it.”
If you find something inside or have an item at home that you’ve fallen in love with, but something just isn’t right, the entire far end of the store is a workshop equipped with all the tools needed to refine and redefine any item to tailor it to your body and style — a service that Grey Hearts prides itself in offering.
“Realistically, this place is just about people expressing themselves and feeling comfortable in their clothing,” said Whyte.
“Too often people think that they are supposed to fit clothes off the rack and that they should make changes so that they fit the clothes, which I feel is an unhealthy perception.”
“Really clothes should fit the people, and we want to make sure people not only feel comfortable in what they’re wearing but can express themselves through what they are wearing,” added Whyte.
Whether you need a hem, are looking to distress an item or simply change the stitching and buttons, the team works with you to bring your clothing dreams to fruition.
Although it is primarily a clothing store, Whyte invites anyone and everyone inside to utilize the creative space, browse the decor that features antique rarities from Lois Lane and enjoy the newly-painted mural from local artist Ben Arcega.
While the business is not officially open yet, Whyte says the support from fellow business owners and community members has been overwhelming.
“It has been humbling how receptive the community has been and even other businesses, we didn’t know what to expect,” he said.
“[The businesses] here all take care of each other at the end of the day, and I guess that’s what community is. There is so much room for all of us, especially when you realize you can work and brand together.”
Once fully operational, the workshop and store will be open six days a week. Hours will be from 11 am to 7 pm Monday to Thursday, 11 am to 8 pm on Friday and Saturday, and closed on Sundays.