In June 2011, Cambie Design was born. Having recently come home to Toronto from a short work contract involving the renovation and decorating of an abandoned home in rural Newfoundland, I was desperate to return to this quaint small town. I knew the slower pace of life and the ongoing task of reviving this home would be the perfect opportunity I had been waiting for to launch this budding business idea. I quit my full time job selling custom made Canadian furniture at Toronto-based independent design shop, sublet my apartment, and returned to the Bonavista Peninsula of Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. I spent that summer continuing my work on the home and assisting the owners as they opened their doors as a hostel for this popular tourist destination. All the while, I was documenting my ideas, DIYs, and endless inspirations from my scenic surroundings. I purchased a cargo van and spent much of my time introducing myself to new communities, picking vintage furniture, and meeting the humblest of people while expanding my knowledge of this historic land. I drove the van back full of treasures to Toronto with stories of one of the most memorable trips of my life. It is here, with this blog, that Cambie Design began.
The Cambie brand blossomed in Toronto, continuing to offer decorating services while selling east coast gems at local flea markets, but it was a later travel to Peru that sparked the inspiration to grow the retail side of my business. I inquired with locals about producing the bright and colourful textiles I grew up loving and admiring from my earlier, more regular visits. I had an inkling they would be well received in Canada, never having seen anything quite like them available before. Shortly after, I added custom-made blankets to my roster of market items.
The opportunity to open Cambie’s brick and mortar shop arose in 2013 and it was an offer I could not refuse. The next year I hired my first employee, Melissa. The rest is history. The blog continued throughout these adventures but opening a shop is hard work and it sadly fell to wayside of my growing shop to-do list. With the intention of bringing the blog back, weeks turned into months, which turned into to a year and a half hiatus. We have been chipping away at it and we are back!
Melissa and I will be sharing some of our design influences and experiences as a small business independent retailer in an outstandingly supportive community. In the meantime, feel free to go back and discover our modest roots, learn about how it all began, and even have a chuckle or two at my choice of photo filters and art direction. This blog is how it all began. Welcome back!!