Shoppe and Tailor
By Nicole Aggelonitis

Bursting at the seams

Tailor Maegan McWade never imagined a needle and thread could stitch together her career as easily as the garments she worked on. Starting off in a shared warehouse space, her business rapidly grew and began bursting at the seams. She realized she needed to make a few alterations to her set-up, and fast.

Since opening its doors in October 2014, her boutique alternations business, Shoppe and Tailor, has become one of Ossington Avenue's beloved local businesses. Its name (inspired by Pop Shoppe, her favourite soda) and its old school spelling went hand-in-hand with Maegan’s business model: old trade with a new wave of thinking.

“When people think of Shoppe and Tailor, we want them to think cool. A cool place, a cool idea with a sustainable vision that’s environmentally conscious,” Maegan explains.

Maegan’s grandmother was a seamstress, allowing Maegan to learn the fundamentals of alterations at a young age. With humming from the sewing machine as a constant melody in Maegan’s life, she decided to add another layer to her craft and pursue a Bachelor of Design at Ryerson University.

Our background in fashion is a really valuable component of what we bring to the table. We’re very current, we pay attention to the fashion trends and Amanda is a specialist in brands. People trust our opinion. - Maegan McWade, founder and owner
Owner Maegan McWade (left) and tailor Amanda Pearn (right) are the dynamic duo at Shoppe and Tailor.
Shoppe and Tailor owner, Maegan McWade (pictured far left) with fellow tailor Amanda Pearn, hard at work.
The sewing machine, where brain power and physical labour go hand in hand.

Garments galore

Opening shop on Ossington Ave was a no brainer. The price was right with lots of space to accommodate the booming business and the neighbourhood ideal. “It’s a very new, very cool neighbourhood, so it was an easy decision,” Maegan says.

Shoppe and Tailor gave a face to a lower-level shop that for years was faceless. The space was move-in ready and with a few coats of paint and some hipster flair, Shoppe and Tailor was open for business. Maegan rents out studio space in the back, while the front of the shop is home to second-hand vintage, reworked vintage and dynamic jewellery pieces made by local artists, including Shoppe and Tailor’s very own Amanda Pearn.

Shoppe and Tailor is a full-service alterations boutique with popular services including: bridal and bridesmaids alternations, suit alterations, garment repairs, coat relining, fur repair, hemming, darning and pant tapering. Pricing is comparable to other boutique locations, but what's invaluable is the level of expertise that customers receive and the level of personalized care taken with each garment. “There aren’t a lot of companies doing what we’re doing," Maegan says.

Shoppe and Tailor also specializes in custom pieces and vintage repairs. Sought out by vintage shops in Toronto like Mama Loves You, Shoppe and Tailor repairs vintage garments and restores them to their original state. “I really like vintage repairs," Maegan says. "I really like looking at the original stitching. It’s pretty cool because it gives you an idea of who made it originally, the techniques they used, where it came from and the history behind it.”

The dress form mannequin, front and center, amongst racks of garments in the workshop.
Maegan and Amanda's workstations at Shoppe and Tailor.

Community hub

With over 15 years of experience, Maegan is a jack-of-all-trades. Her experience at lingerie boutique Secrets from your Sister lent invaluable knowledge about bra fittings and client relationships. “I gained a lot of experience working one-on-one with clients in an intimate setting. I learned how to handle people’s emotions and consider how they viewed themselves, their bodies and what they were wearing.”

With this kind of mentality, it’s no wonder why customers keep coming back. The tailors handle custom projects big and small, from re-working vintage wedding dresses to fabricating cool gear for businesses in the hood (for instance, they're responsible for the oh-so-hip denim aprons donned by the baristas at Hula Girl Espresso). “People are supporting us, and we have a lot of people coming in who are artists themselves," Maegan explains. "We even have a bulletin board where we post other people’s flyers and business cards. We want this space to feel like a community hub."

Missing a button? Shoppe and Tailor teaches customers how to sew buttons right in store.
The retail area at Shoppe and Tailor lined with vintage and jewelry from local designers.
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