A new retail concept has been launched at Calgary’s Southcentre Mall that will exclusively feature Canadian-made products in an effort to support local makers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The venture, Collab, is the brainchild of husband and wife duo Cameron and Jaclyn Daw and will feature more than 40 vendors in the mall’s Centre Court area in a storefront of about 1,000 square feet.
“Collab is a gathering of local makers. We’re going to bring makers from across Canada into the store and retail their products. So we’re trying to promote Canadian made and support the local community because there’s a lot of amazing makers out there and it’s sometimes hard to find their products with all the bigger companies more accessible,” said Jaclyn Daw.
THE COLLAB INITIATIVE WAS CREATED IN DIRECT RESPONSE TO COVID-19
The inspiration behind Collab came to the Daws in response to the impact that they saw that COVID-19 was having on local makers. They saw a need for a locally-focused shop in the city’s south end and made the decision to take action on behalf of fellow business owners and makers in the community.
Collab will carry a wide variety of products from Canadian artisans, ranging from bath and beauty, to ceramics and stationery, to jewelry and home décor, and much more.
“We have always made an effort to buy and support local whenever possible and we hope to amplify those values with the launch of Collab. We feel that collaboration is an important part of being a local maker and that working together to create locally made goods strengthens the community as a whole,” said Cameron Daw. “We are optimistic that Collab will bring people together in new and exciting ways that will help to incubate local talent while introducing shoppers to some of the incredible products that are made right here in Calgary and throughout Canada.”
Southcentre Mall is one of Calgary’s top shopping centres with more than 160 stores and services, including Calgary exclusives like Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, and western Canada’s first Sporting Life. It is part of Oxford Properties Group.
“As a gathering place for our local community, Southcentre Mall is committed to creating opportunities for connection by supporting local makers and brands,” said Alexandra Velosa, Marketing Manager at Southcentre Mall. “Our city, and our country, are full of inspiring, creative people and we are committed to underscoring that entrepreneurial spirit by providing platforms for great businesses like Collab to flourish.”
COLLAB CARRIES A VARIETY OF PRODUCTS FROM CANADIAN ARTISANS
Jaclyn Daw said Collab will be accepting makers every couple of months by adding and changing the mix in the store in order to showcase the most Canadian makers it can.
Items will be sorted by categories such as apparel and accessories, home decor with some tables with bath and body, and jewelry.
“It’s going to showcase multiple vendors in each area. Makers are allowed to leave their business cards and information so customers can get ahold of them again,” said Daw.
Collab, which opened on Canada Day, will be open daily according to Southcentre’s regular hours of operation.
Daw said Collab is scheduled to be at Southcentre for the next year and it’s hoping to continue after that if the concept is successful.
“My husband and I started this after COVID because the local community was kind of struggling and we wanted to give as much support as we can and now that things are reopening we’re going to take it slow and steady,” she said.