By Maxime Frechette
Welcome to Montreal Friday. Every Friday this summer, I will show you what’s new in Montreal, because Montreal is a fun and wonderful city to discover. Here are my discoveries of the week. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for previews and as well, lets engage on Twitter with hashtag: #FRIDAYMTL.
Ça va de soi: a t-shirt story
I was invited to the launch of Ouestfest on Montreal's Laurier Avenue West, which took place between August 25 and August 27. During one evening, tours were organized to get participants out to explore Laurier Avenue's retail and other surroundings.
There was so much to see. On my particular tour, I discovered retailer Ça va de soi -- a brand that I'd heard of, but not a store that I'd visited. I wish I'd visited sooner, however, as I was pleasantly surprised with what I discovered.
The Laurier Ouest Ça va de soi store is spacious and tastefully finished, with the in-store customer service experience being exceptional. I find that when I'm purchasing an item, there's an overall purchasing experience that creates a memory of that purchase. If the experience is positive, my perception of that product becomes positive beyond the brand name itself.
In the store, I was graciously welcomed by Stephanie, who guided me through the history of Ça va de soi. She described the story around the manufacturing of the brand's sweaters and polo shirts, making me want to add several of them to my collection. It was a pleasure to meet an employee with such a passion for the brand.
After touring the store and learning about its products, I found myself torn between two different pieces: a wonderfully simple yet comfortable t-shirt, and a magnificent scarf. I got the shirt, and fortunately there's no rush to purchase, as timeless pieces are constantly stocked in-store -- though new product is also continuously added.
The company also recently added their own product cleaning service, called Ça va bain. Simply take your Ça va de soi product to any of its stores, and they'll clean it (at a reasonable price) for you (at their Westmount location) and then ship it back to your local store for pickup.
Ça va de soi's background:
For those unfamiliar with its history, Ça va de soi was founded 26 years ago, and opened its first store about 10 years ago. Products are made both in Montreal and in Hong Kong, utilizing Italian thread. Stores are located in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Toronto, and they also launched an international e-commerce site last year.
We may be discussing Ça va de soi more in the future, as well, as the company says that there are some interesting things in the works that will become newsworthy.
This month's discovery: Ecocup: Better for festivals and better for the environment
This summer, you may have noticed the plastic cups being used in a variety of events in Montreal such as Osheaga, Just for Laughs and Au Pied du Courant. The Ecocup has been used at about 30 events in the Montreal area to date, replacing traditional inexpensive plastic cups. Not only do Ecocups reduce waste, they can serve as a souvenir of the event you've attended. What a terrific idea!
Have an excellent long weekend and autumn season from myself and everyone at Retail Insider.
*All photos by Maxime Frechette, except for the black-and-white ad.