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!
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!