Shopology Project Conference in Winnipeg & Tickets Giveaway
Imagine it's 1960 and you're strolling down Portage Avenue in Winnipeg. You're dressed to the nines while spending the afternoon window shopping. Along the way you pass the Eaton's building (now where Bell MTS Place stands) and the Hudson's Bay Company (which still stands tall today).
There's no doubt when it comes to Winnipeg it has a rich history in Fashion. Back in the day it was commonly known as 'Canada's Manufacturing Centre'. With multiple warehouse locations and manufacturing plants Winnipeg's fashion roots run deep. And it doesn't stop there, with many fashion designers like Lennard Taylor and boutique shops like Mad About Style, Winnipeg's fashion love is still there. It also makes me extremely proud of my creative and artistic city.
This history of fashion and a love for it herself, is what made Cindy Cannon start the Shopology Project The Shopology Project is "the online resource designed specifically for Winnipeggers to shop for fashion locally, to find the latest fashion right here at home, to feature our local designers, photographers, boutiques, share industry news and fashion events in Winnipeg, and help those aspiring fashionpreneurs to build their brand right here in Winnipeg." And from this stemmed Winnipeg's newest fashion event, the
happening September 16 at the RBC Convention Centre. I had the chance to ask Cindy about the conference, her fashion history, and more. See her interview below:
Look for this photo on my Instagram for a chance to win two tickets to the Shopology Project Conference.
The Trendy Files (TTF):
Tell me about yourself, what's your history with fashion?
Cindy Cannon (CC):
I am the daughter of a seamstress, and wore handmade clothing most of my elementary school years. I learned to sew at a very early age, and figured out how to create a product and sell it to my friends to make a little money. I was taking Business Administration course, when my mentor recommended that I apply for a position with a new clothing company who needed some help around the office. That clothing company was Mondetta Clothing. What I learned there, from those at Mondetta and all the people we did business with, taught me more about the business than any textbook could. We worked day and night to keep up with the demand for the product, and every day was something new. Working in fashion when there were factories in Winnipeg was a lot different - you could jump in your car and go check on fabric, samples or your production anytime. I miss those days!
Since those days I have worked for manufacturers here in Winnipeg and in Calgary (yes, there was a manufacturer in Calgary!), sales support for a large national sportswear chain, managed a small chain of stores, been a fit model, a model, taught modelling...you name it. Love it all. I've travelled to Europe to shop for trends, photoshoots in California, worked with models, national & international sales teams, design teams, done trade shows, line sheets, merchandising, hauled around a garment bags to buyers - including wardrobe departments in L.A. for TV shows. I have worked for a company that experienced exponential growth, and have worked for a company that closed after 40 years.
I love the hustle, creativity and challenges of the fashion industry, it's in my DNA.
Why did you start shopology project?
The Shopology Project blog was started for a many reasons, well, four reasons.
- Winnipeg needs to be recognized for our local fashion talent - historically and currently. It frustrates me that Winnipeg is so often skipped over in national fashion magazines.
- I wanted to share my fashion industry knowledge. I have worked in the fashion industry, in pretty much every capacity in the industry and thought a blog was a place to put it! Maybe someone else will find it useful and inspire them to start their own business.
- I feature stores and designers because it helps to share their stories on other places on the www other than their own websites.
- Winnipeg has fantastic designers creating great product and buyers from local boutiques selling wonderful collections too - I have featured fashion finds much like you would find in other fashion mags but actually available right here in our city. Urging people to shop local and support small business owners.
What was the inspiration behind starting the Shopology Project Conference and why now?
Winnipeg currently does not have an event or conference that provides business development specific to the fashion industry. The fashion business is not like selling any other product category - it is fast-paced, new collections seasonally, trade shows that you cannot miss, trends constantly shifting year to year, season to season...it's hard to keep up on all that alone, never mind running your business too! The only people that can truly relate are the ones who have experience in it! Things are changing in fashion and retail and brands and stores need new ideas, new strategies to remain competitive - and open!
Winnipeg has an incredible history of fashion - manufacturing, designing, and retail - it deserves it's own day, and we need to bring that community together.
What can attendees expect from the conference?
The room will be filled with people who speak "fashion" and there will be time to mingle and meet others in the industry - store owners, designers, stylists, bloggers and marketing experts. It's a full day, but the presentations are varied in format and length to keep it interesting and changing. Those that are considering the industry for a career will learn so much, as will those that have been doing what they do for a while. You never know everything, and as a business owner, it is important to invest time from your day-to-day to learn something new, network...maybe get motivated or inspired to rebrand or create a new website strategy. All of our speakers are from Winnipeg and work in Winnipeg, so they understand the Winnipeg market. Local designers and store owners will share their knowledge and tips on topics such as local resources to create products, service providers for marketing and design, and what marketing works for Winnipeggers - because we are a unique city. If you have ever felt disconnected at a conference in Toronto or Vancouver, and felt that the presentations didn't relate to the market in Winnipeg, you won't feel that way at this conference. The speakers at this event are from Winnipeg, and have built their businesses in Winnipeg. They "get" Winnipeg.
Tons of business tips on how others got started in fashion design and opening their own store, using social media, visual communications, telling your brand story, and what local resources are available to help your business succeed.
Also, if you are a fashion blogger, and you like to blog about local fashion - well, have I got a day for you! You'll have weeks of content to publish about Winnipeg fashion! :)
As you can see this will definitely be an event NOT to miss if your a Winnipeg fashion junkie. And if you would like to come to the conference I'm giving away two tickets! All you have to do to enter is head over to my Instagram account and tell me your favourite Winnipeg designer or shop in the comments of my post featuring the Shopology Project Conference. I will be announcing the winner on Wednesday September 13, so make sure you enter before then! (Must be a Manitoba resident.)
You can also purchase tickets on the conference's website:
I hope to see you there!