Founded on the shores of Australia, the brand launched several stores in London, England before making their Vancouver debut. Director, Michael Andersen, began the hunt for a storefront early this year, reaching out to Australian transplant, Charlie Yates Bishop, for ideas. Together, they walked several streets before finding themselves at home in Gastown.
“Gastown is a great mix of independent boutiques and businesses which create a neighbourhood that feels right for us,” explained Yates Bishop. “This is our first storefront in the country and it’s really important that we make a positive brand statement.”
With the area agreed on, the search for a suitable space took them from one block to the next, before landing a unique opportunity on the corner of Cambie & Cordova.
“We don’t need a lot of room, we can actually operate in as little as 250 square feet,” she noted. “But when two units opened up side-by-side, we knew we’d found our space.”
Located at 303 Cambie Street, Bailey Nelson has transformed the West Cordova corner.
“We reached out to Chad and Kelly of Falken Reynolds to work with us on the store design,” Yates Bishop explained. “It was certainly a departure for the brand to use an outside resource, but we felt it was important to keep things local and work with a team that truly understood the neighbourhood.
Falken Reynolds created a space with stunning curb appeal. Keeping the windows clear of displays, they put the focus on simple shelving along the back walls that draws the eye right inside. A play on the Bailey Nelson herringbone pattern adorns the feature wall, and elements from lighting to cabinets were all sourced through local craftsmen.
And the transformation of the space hasn’t been lost on those who walk by every day.
“One of the best things so far has been the support that we’re getting from everyone,” noted Yates. “People who live here, work here and a lot of other business owners have popped in to say welcome to the neighbourhood.”
The doors have only been open for a few weeks, but traffic into the store is already exceeding expectations.
“We’ve had a lot of locals come in and pick up a pair… or three,” she explains. “And we’re seeing a significant number of tourists drop by, which is something we didn’t expect.”
Shelves bearing the latest frames line the walls, making it easy for visitors to pick them up and try them on. And mirrors are both easy to access and full-length, in keeping with the brand’s commitment to make the experience hassle-free and fun.
“We want people to think of their eyewear as an extension of their outfit,” states Yates Bishop. “New frame styles and colours will arrive seasonally and our pricing makes it possible for visitors to choose several pairs.”
Bailey Nelson’s high quality acetate frames are accompanied by a ‘certificate of awesomeness’ and start at $145 for a complete pair. The shop is open from 12 – 7pm, Monday to Sunday.