Guest Post Vancouver’s Turn to Shine by Michelle (aka. Miss Mimoko)

Note: there was no sale this morning. But FREE SHIPPING is back through 7/15 on orders of $150+!

Anthropologie recently opened its first Vancouver, BC outpost up in Canada. I’m beyond excited — Vancouver is a winter destination I love (that I sadly haven’t visited in a few years) and lately it seems to be where nearly all of my favorite TV shows are filmed. Now that Anthropologie is there it’s another reason to get my behind in gear and go out there. Michelle, aka Miss Momoko, was kind enough to send along a fantastic writeup of the opening event with plenty of pictures. Interested in writing a guest post? Email me or click the “contact” link near the top of the blog. Take it away, Michelle!

In Vancouver, a day of bad luck usually comes in the form of grey clouds and heavy rain. However, this past Friday the 13th, of May, to be exact, brought the exact opposite to hundreds of excited women as this marked the highly anticipated Grand Opening of Vancouver’s first ever Anthropologie store.

The sky was clear, the sun was shining and there was not a rain cloud in sight. Despite the past weeks of rain and the future forecast of more rain, on this one day, Vancouver decided to shine. And why not? It marked a historic occasion for many Vancouver shoppers who, like me, bee line it to the nearest Anthro as soon as they cross the border to visit the neighbours to the South. And that usually means Seattle, the birthplace of many Vancouver local’s budding love affair with Anthropologie.

The buzz of Vancouver getting its own Anthropologie has been going on for years with dates and location speculations popping up in various chat forums and even through Anthro employee leaks. Leaks that all lead to disappointment, however, as Anthro spread its wings to Canada east in Ontario first, and then soon after a little more west to Alberta, opening 2 locations in each province since 2009. Lucky them.

So Vancouver let out its disappointing sigh, and continued to shop in C-town and online (thank goodness for receiving services).

But on Friday, it was a different story. Friday marked the first day Vancouverites start seeing belted torsos, colourful patterned tights, adorned tees and sweatshirts and a movement towards more things flowy. It will be the day that Vancouver became even prettier. How fitting that the grand opening would occur in Spring.

The 6,000 square foot store is a fitting addition to popular shopping destination, South Granville, nestled between smaller boutique shops and amongst the likes of Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and Restoration Hardware.

From the look on the outside, the exterior blends nicely with the already cool, modern look of South Granville, and the interior did not disappoint either. Inside the store was abuzz with early morning shoppers, moms with their strollers, ladies who took a day off work for this special day, and even ladies who didn’t take the day off but were there anyway. The line ups for both the dressing room and the register were equally long but crowds were appeased by the pleasant surroundings of felted soaps, glittering accessories and pretty little tops and tees that hung about. Not to mention the basket-carrying staff members who visited the lines handing out little caramel candies and bottled water for us Anthro-starved shoppers. It was quite the treat.

 From left: Nancy Wahl, Wendy Wurtzburger, Jennifer Paletta.

Anthro’s big name magic makers were in attendance as well, stacking the racks and blending seamlessly into the well-dressed group of staffers, one would never have known the huge part they play in the making of that particular day. I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Paletta, Regional Director (San Francisco), Nancy Wahl, Regional Visual Director (Seattle) and (gasp!) Wendy Wurtzburger, Co-President of Anthropologie.

They were so warm, open and passionate about their work. It was so evident in the way they spoke about the store and their plans for future development that they loved their jobs. They chatted with me about introducing personal shopping, fit sessions, special events and even showcasing local talent for a more connected-to-the-community feel. As part of their pre-opening celebration event, Anthro partnered with Arts Umbrella, a Vancouver based not-for-profit society for visual and performing arts for children. And then invited local musicians, T.Nile and Nat Jay, to perform at the post-opening private event which raised money for relief efforts in Japan. Nice touch, Anthro!

After our exciting conversation of things to come, the lovely ladies took me on a little tour showing me their favourite pieces from Vancouver based artists delicately strewn about the store, from the vintage-y ceramic bud vases, the wood carved hand mirrors, to the eclectic and kitschy flower-bottomed sheep figurines, this store was all Anthropologie but quite uniquely Vancouver. I myself was thrilled to take home a beautifully handmade knit vest by local company, Pure Knit, and at such a low price point (only $88!), as Jennifer Palleta pointed out, how can you not love it?

So why did it take so long for Anthropologie to get to Vancouver? “We really wanted to understand what (the Vancouver) customer wanted,” answered Nancy, stating that the Anthropologie shopper has “high expectations”. And Jennifer, added, “The location has to be special and unique for her. And look at her.”, she says, as she glanced around the room. And we all nodded in agreement, they waited, we waited and it got done right.

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