Photo via Espe
Photo via Espe

FASHION

Behind the Brands of The Edit: Espe

This summer, we’ve opened our doors of ‘the edit’, in the vibrant beachtown of Port Dalhousie. Our chic general store features a collection of Canadian brands, and here we take you behind the scenes to learn about the founders and their stories. Our pop-up, located at Lock and Main Marketplace (17 Lock Street), is open Thursday to Monday from 10:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Meet Espe Founder, Elizabeth Hardy

Photo via Espe

Photo via Espe

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I grew up in the 70’s which meant no computers or internet and only 2 channels on the black and white TV. The only phone I had was attached to the wall and I had to wait my turn to use. All this to say I had a lot of time on my hands to daydream. I dreamed of travelling to far way places (which I did), marrying a super cool guy (which I did), having kids and lots of pets (which I did) and owing my own fashion company  – which is where I am today.

Tell us the story behind your brand:

As a retail executive for over 25 years I acquired quite a few tools that I could use to run my own business. It was time to follow that dream of owing my own business. I looked around and saw that Vegan Brands were a bit boring and decided to create a brand of Vegan bags that were fashionable, colourful and practical. I also wanted to make sure the bags had no age boundaries and had a unique look that stood out in the crowd.

What inspires you?

My biggest inspiration comes from the original designer herself, mother nature. I look to spring with its array of colours and blossoms to inspire our much loved whimsical designs. I also draw from vintage silhouettes that I come across while thrifting with my teenage daughter. I love classic styles that I update to meet the needs of our modern, on the go customer.

Photo via Espe

Photo via Espe

Where’s your favourite spot to vacation in the summer?

Our favorite vacation spot is Mallorca. I have a very good friend from my childhood who has built a life on this magical Island and we are lucky to visit her often and enjoy the beauty of this Mediterranean gem.

What does 2023 hold for your brand?

Now that COVID is firmly behind us we are branching out into new global markets. We have grown our wholesale business to include showrooms in LA and London. We are also developing a menswear line which will launch in Spring 2024.

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