For Emilie Dolenc, travelling around the province with her boyfriend to find the perfect pieces for her new home was just a way of exploring her new-found hobby of interior decorating.
The Ryerson fashion communications grad and her boyfriend, Matt Hodgins, visited vintage shops, fairs and estate sales to find unique items for her home.
But earlier this year, the couple turned their hobby into a thriving business, with the opening of GoodFolk – a shop filled with vintage and handmade goods found by the two during their travels.
“For the first year we kind of just joked around, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if this is what we did for a living?’ Because it was just so much fun,” said Dolenc. “Then we just decided to go for it.”
GoodFolk has become Dolenc’s full-time job, while Hodgins maintains his career in graphic design. Both schedule time to go on weekly hunts to find more vintage goods for the store.
The store is not only limited to vintage sales, but includes handmade goods.
“The new pieces are made by somebody who really loves what they do and wants to share them with the world,” said Dolenc.
There are handmade items from all over Canada and the world, such as artwork from Nova Scotia, candles from Vancouver, hand-woven market baskets from Ghana and pillows from Morocco.
Despite their products being so international, it is important to the couple that they keep their Canadian ties. All handmade goods are bought from Canadians.
“I’ve worked in the creative industry and I’m an artisan myself, so as much as we can amplify our own artisans, the bigger the industry will get here. The more you’ll see of it, the more you’ll see of it in other stores as well,” said Dolenc.
From the products to the neighbourhood to the store itself, each and every thing is a reflection on the couple. Although a location at Dundas Street and Broadview Avenue may seem unusual to some, to Dolenc the location could not feel any more like home. She grew up only 10 minutes from the current shop location and her parents still live in her childhood home.
“We’re in an area that needs a bit more attention, so a lot of the neighbours have really loved that we came and opened something that they’re interested in, and just something different ” said Dolenc. “(The store) is something to revive the strip.”
In the span of a year, the couple, with the assistance of family, was able to completely renovate and customize the space to their liking.
But Dolenc says that wasn’t the hardest part of the process. The most difficult thing was settling on a name for the shop.
The couple had over 100 different names to choose from and only decided on the name GoodFolk a couple of weeks before the opening.
Dolenc says, “(The name) is just a reflection of the store and how everything, vintage or handmade, is made with good intentions and made with love.”