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Happy Birthday to US! (25th Anniversary)

25 years of vm

Happy Birthday to US! (25th Anniversary)

Big, exciting news, July 1, 2018 is our 25th Birthday! It’s so weird to think that the shop is older than our customers but it’s true. We have been officially open for a quarter of a century. How did we get here? Good question, here’s how Sanne went from her kitchen table to one of the oldest alternative clothing store in Canada.

How did we start

Sanne went to Kwantlen College (now University) for fashion design. From there, she was able to get a design job with Marquis of London which did private label manufacturing for Club Monaco and other labels. Eventually, she started to work on designs for her own label. She started making garments on her kitchen table. As Sanne tells it, she made one thing and sold it. Then she made two things and sold them. In 1991, she started to sell her gowns on consignment at alternative shops like New World and Dream. Sanne also wholesaled clothing to different business in Vancouver and across Canada. She even had her brand in Seattle and Port Townsend. In 1993, the owner of New World saw that there was a shop available for lease nearby and let Sanne know. That was the start of Venus & Mars!

pride

How we Evolved

It can be difficult to have a small business. Restaurants and shops popup and disappear all the time. What makes Venus & Mars so different that we have been able to stick around for 2 and a half decades? Sanne has always been willing to try new things. For seven years, she had a second shop in New West to cater to the bridal and grad market. Sanne is not afraid of new technology and as a result, Venus & Mars had a website very early on. The past five years we have been updating our skills and working to really let our website shine. Sanne also knows what works and doesn’t work for advertising the shop. Print and other media hasn’t been the best way for us to get in front of our customers but vending at events like Taboo, Fan Expo and Pride have proven be work very well for us and has let us connect with so many of you! Not only is Sanne great a business person but because her studio is in the shop it gives her an opportunity to listen to our clientele and we’ve been able to adapt our style to steampunk and festival fashion.

Bonus: FAQ What is Steampunk?

How We’re Celebrating!

Birthdays are meant to be celebrated right? We’re having a shopping party online and in store! On July 1, 2018 (only) you can get 25% off all regular priced items  in store (sale and clearance stuff is not included) if you come in and say Happy Birthday VM, give me a discount! If you are unable to make it to the shop you can get 25% off all regular priced items online if you use the discount code happybday25. The sale is only valid on July 1, 2018 and only with the code, so mark your calendar and get yourself a birthday cloak! You can also celebrate with us on social media by using the hashtag #venusandmarsclothing or #25yearsofvmclothing!

At the end of the day, we couldn’t get to where we are without your help and support. Thank you so much for supporting us as a small, weird, alternative, nerdy business for so long. We really appreciate your business and support. We are so happy that you like what we do and we’ll try to continue to provide you with awesome clothing and accessories for the next 25 years!

Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest scoop on what we’re up to. You can also sign up for the Steampunk Tempest in order to get awesome, secret deals.

Main Street Car Free Festival

Main Street Car Free Festival

Main Street Car Free Festival

Venus & Mars will be vending at the Main Street Car Day for the first time ever! Come check out our booth to see handmade clothing for steampunk, goth, festival gear, Burning Man, cosplay, costumes, LARP, Halloween or just every day life. As always we are accepting cash, credit and debit. Stop by and get some awesome rainbow shorts to start the summer right!

The biggest of Vancouver’s Car Free Day festivals spanning 21 blocks, Main Street has 15 stages and mini festivals along the entire street. This is a fun, family-friendly event with kid-zones, skateboarders, funky artisan shops and popular food vendors. You can really taste the flavour of Main Street with extended patios from many restaurants.

Translink has generously re-routed transit on that day to help you get to the event car-free!

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FAQ: Do You Have My Size?

FAQ: Do you have my size?

At least once a week, we have someone come in and ask “do you have my size” before they even look around. I get it. It can be difficult to find alternative clothing that fits your style at any size. The internet exists now, but with a lot of companies, it is difficult to tell the quality of the garment from the image. Then even if its good quality is good, the sizing can be weird. As a lady who has worn everything from a size 5 to a size 16, I understand that finding the right size can be incredibly difficult for normal clothes let alone the alternative stuff. Luckily, we try to cater a wide range of sizes.

Plus Size

Most people who ask “Do you have my size” are plus sized. Don’t worry, we have you covered, mostly. First of all we have a lot of items available in a lot of sizes: our gowns go up to a size 22, we have up to 46 inch corsets, up to a 3x in men’s vests and a 2x in men’s jackets, and up to a size 40 inch waist in men’s pants and kilts. You have may have noticed that I said mostly.

When we make stuff, we generally try to make it available in plus sizes. However, when we import stuff sometimes they don’t have stock available in sizes larger than an XL. We also have limited space to store things so we can’t always have as many multiples of sizes as we would like and larger sizes tend to sell out pretty quick. We do our best to restock as quickly as possible but we can’t guarantee we will have your size in everything you want all the time. That being said, we can always help you find a couple of alternatives.

Smaller Size

It can be just as difficult, to find cute things that fit properly in a size 2 as it can be to find a size 22. It can be even more difficult for men who need a small or extra small. Never fear, we have some options for you too! Our waist cinchers are available in as small as an extra small, we also have some cute skirts, dresses, and jackets available in extra small. Our smallest gown is a size 2. We have men’s pants and kilts available in a size 28 inch waist, small steampunk frock coats and extra small fishnet and festival shirts.

Bonus: FAQ Do you do Custom?

One Size Stuff

In addition to our plus size and smaller sizes we also have a bunch of clothing and accessories that are one size and look great on everyone no matter what size they wear. Our cloaks, for example, are fantastic and fit everyone. We also have a bunch of accessories like goggles, jewelry and hats that can transform your existing clothing into whatever style you want if you can’t find anything that you like that fits!

I am confident that we have SOMETHING that will work for your body, style and size. If you’re in the Vancouver area, come into the shop and try stuff on! If you’re not in the Vancouver area, we try to include all the measurements in the description of the item. Still unsure?  Email us at venusandmarsclothing@gmail.com or ask us over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

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June Events!

June Events

June Events

Are you looking for fun, free, family events this June? Well good news because we will be vending at three different fun, free, family events next month!

West End Car Free Day – June 16, 2018

Vancouver’s West End is a densely populated area surrounded by beautiful parks and beaches. It welcomes residents of all ages, incomes, ethnicities and sexual orientations. The highly walkable area offers restaurants, cafes and places to get ice cream before walking the seawall.

The West End brings together business owners, community organizations, artists and volunteers to seed the idea of building a better, more livable city. There are music stages and jam sessions to listen to, art being exhibited and created live on the street and plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or something to drink.

Main Street Car Free Day – June 17, 2018

The biggest of Vancouver’s Car Free Day festivals spanning 21 blocks, Main Street has 15 stages and mini festivals along the entire street. This is a fun, family-friendly event with kid-zones, skateboarders, funky artisan shops and popular food vendors. You can really taste the flavour of Main Street with extended patios from many restaurants.

East Side Pride – June 23, 2018

This will be an inclusive, engaging and family-friendly event featuring loads of local talent and friends from the community. Join us at the stage for a variety of live acts including Dia Nos, RedSoulBluez, Michelle Joly, Carousel Scene, Scizzor Fairy, drag performances and more.This event space is accessible by foot, bike, mobility devices and, transit, with multiple gender accessible washrooms onsite. ASL interpretation provided. East Side Pride is a sober event.

Come check out our booth to see handmade clothing for steampunk, goth, festival gear, Burning Man, cosplay, costumes, LARP, Halloween or just every day life. As always we are accepting cash, credit and debit. Stop by and get some awesome rainbow shorts to start the summer right!

Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest scoop on what we’re up to. You can also sign up for the Steampunk Tempest in order to get awesome, secret deals.

 

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Summer Hours (We’ll be open longer!)

Summer Hours

Summer Hours (We’ll be open longer!)

In Vancouver, we’ve been getting serious summer vibes for the past few weeks. It’s so warm and lovely and beautiful out. I just love it! While it’s not officially summer until June 21, we are officially starting our summer hours this week! We will be open longer and later to meet all your shopping needs. Fear not, festival goers we are here to help you find goggles and pocket belts. Cosplayers and steampunks, we’re here to help you find the perfect corset or waistcoat. Goths, we’ve got light weight asymmetrical skirts in black so that you melt in the summer heat.

Our Summer Hours will be:

  • Monday – Thursday 11am -7pm
  • Friday and Saturday 11am – 8pm
  • Sundays and Holidays 11am – 6pm

Shopping online is available 24/7 from the comfort of your living room. Check out what we have in stock while you lounge around in your pjs with a glass of wine at 3am on a Tuesday. We wont judge. Live your best life.

Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest scoop on what we’re up to. You can also sign up for the Steampunk Tempest in order to get awesome, secret deals.