It was internet serendipity – Joanna Goodman found Final Fashion, and invited me to come up to visit her gorgeous boutique and meet her. We chatted for a bit and, quickly and intuitively, LIV by Au Lit became a sponsor on Final Fashion and we planned a festive social event to introduce Joanna to some of my favourite stylists, writers and bloggers. It was a great success – everyone hit it off exactly as I expected, because Joanna is a fascinating woman with a beautiful shop full of lovely things.
Joanna generously gave me a copy of her novel that night – You Made Me Love You. Once I picked it up I was drawn right into the story, set in a familiar city, and didn’t put it down, connecting to the vulnerability and honesty of the characters.
I am forever grateful that Final Fashion connects me to entrepreneurial, creative people like Joanna – and I asked her a few questions about those qualities.
What is it about a particular designer or garment that makes you say “that’s so LIV!” – what is it that essential quality you look for when you are selecting merchandise for the store?
There are a few key qualities in a line that truly embody the LIV style. We are always striving in both home decor and fashion for products that manage to be both casual and sophisticated at the same time. We call it ‘livable luxury.’ Whether it’s the softest cotton loungewear from James Perse or American Vintage, or the gauzy, washed linen dresses in a palette of neutral colours from France’s La Fee Maraboutée, there is definitely a distinctly LIV style.
The neighborhood that LIV by Au Lit is in is a lovely one, its easy to get to from downtown and yet offers an utterly different feeling. For those who have never been, what makes Avenue and Eglinton a destination?
Avenue and Eglinton is primarily an amazing fashion destination. LIV is surrounded by TNT, Bella, Honey, Sense of Independence and numerous other incredible clothing boutiques. And when you’re done shopping, you can have a fresh-baked treat at Phipps Bakery.
The LIV blog is one of the liveliest shop blogs I’ve ever seen – you’ve recruited an established local outfit blogger, the lovely Marta from With Love… to model the wares at LIV, as well as contributing your own updates. What are your thoughts on the fashion blogging experience so far?
I am loving our blog…I love contributing to it with my random spiritual quotes or my weekly videos (on anything from pillows + duvets, to my favourite fashion trends of the season), but I also love following my other bloggers, Marta and Julie. They each bring their own personalities and interests to the LIV blog, and yet somehow, we all manage to maintain a cohesive LIV-esque tone.
You’re a novelist – and I’ve heard that retail is like theatre – do you agree with this? How is storytelling and shopkeeping alike – or not?
My experience in retail and writing are only alike in the sense that both allow me to be creative. My role at LIV (and Au Lit) is Creative Director, so I get to be involved in designing new collections, merchandising the stores, and buying…all creative endeavours, like writing fiction. I would say however that my experiences at the store definitely give me inspiration (read: great material) for my novels!
Your novel, You Made Me Love You is a truly candid, heartfelt story about family. How has your family influenced your life as an entrepreneur and a creative person?
My mother is the most creative person I know, and she is also a formidable entrepreneur. She started Au lit almost 30 years ago, when she was 39 years old, and has inspired me in my own career as both a writer and retailer. Her passion is being creative – in any forum. And that’s what she has passed on to me. I will never limit myself to just one or even two creative pursuits. The more the merrier I am.