GETTING TO KNOW: KENNEDY PARK
INTERVIEW BY SONIA PREISLER
Kennedy Park is a small boutique in the heart of downtown Guelph specializing in women’s clothing, jewellery, accessories, handbags, organic skincare and homeware. TOQUE sat down with Kennedy Park Partners Devon and Sara to discuss their work, fashion and more. Here’s what they had to say:
Tell me about your start(s) at Kennedy Park.
Devon: I started working at Kennedy Park [for Shahira, the boutique’s founder] in 2012, while I was studying and making art at the University of Guelph. By 2013 I was offered the opportunity to take over the business. I’d previously worked in Toronto at Frock and Imelda – two amazing boutiques where I learned so much about business, curation and how to create a great work environment – so the chance to make Kennedy Park my own seemed serendipitous.
Sara: I worked with Devon at both Frock and Imelda, so when our paths crossed again in Guelph I’m sure it was for a reason. I became Devon’s business partner this past summer and couldn’t be happier about it.
What’s special about Kennedy Park?
Devon: We pride ourselves on our rapidly growing collection of Canadian-made goods – including Toronto’s Dagg & Stacey, Michelle Ross and Laurie Fleming, and Montreal’s Eve Gravel. At the same time, we carry quality lines from all over the world – like the UK’s Rabens Saloner, Spain’s Yerse and many more.
Sara: We’ve also worked hard to create a warm and welcoming environment where anyone can feel safe and comfortable wandering around, getting inspired and maybe picking out some special pieces that feel and look great. We love our customers. They make it possible and enjoyable for us to do what we do.
Best part of your job?
Sara: The people. I feel very grateful to have so many wonderful visitors popping in daily.
Devon: I love nurturing the energy of our space, keeping it warm, grounding, welcoming and inspiring.
What’s a favourite item you love to shop for?
Sara: Dresses. Especially if there is something pretty dreamy about them – the fabric and the flow.
Devon: Besides pajamas, I love a good sweater.
And an underrated piece of clothing?
Sara: An open sweater or jacket can gently push an outfit in a new direction and give it some serious character. It can also serve as a sort of armour that enables the wearer to wrap herself up and take on the day.
Devon: Scarves are a great way to play with texture and colour, and can add character (and warmth) to any look.