Your bag should reflect the person that you are. That’s what Jon Thiessen, co-owner of U.N. Luggage, believes.  Lucky for anyone who hasn’t found the bag that tells their story yet, U.N. Luggage is hosting its annual purse party the evening of May 9. Expect a totally alternative purse shopping experience including a wine bar by Banville & Jones, paired with appies, hourly draws and 20 per cent off handbags all evening. Thiessen owns and operates U.N. Luggage with his sister, Jennifer. The siblings have been running the luggage and bag store at 175 McDermot Avenue for roughly 10 years, after taking over the family business from their father, Peter “The Bagman” Thiessen, who bought and ran the business back …

Shop the Exchange – Lennard Taylor

Exchange District BIZ Shop the Exchange

A return to slow fashion Lennard Taylor’s versatility as a clothing designer and painter is a great thing for women’s clothing – and the environment. Instead of encouraging people to buy the next trendy item each season, his collection is based on creating a capsule wardrobe, with happily non-seasonal, transitional items you can wear over and over again. “A capsule wardrobe is something that I think all of society should be drifting toward – more like a uniform,” Taylor says. “I believe in garments for life… because you don’t need a lot of clothing, you need just a few good pieces that work together.” If you’ve ever seen Lennard Taylor waltzing around the Exchange District in his signature black bowler …

For the women of nomadic tribes in West and Central Asia, weaving rugs together was a family affair, and a skill passed on from generation to generation. Inspired by their creativity and collaboration, Amy Blanchard, her husband James, and her brother-in-law, Bob Krul, teamed up to import these tribal rugs of days gone by and share them with the Winnipeg market. The result? Their stunning Exchange District shop and gallery, Rubia Darya. The 132 James Avenue space displays a myriad of these handwoven, tribal rugs for purchase as distinguished home décor. “It’s something that was kind of a hobby of ours, but we felt that we’d like to share that with Winnipeggers – the history and the art of these …

At first glance, it’s not the customer-facing Exchange District storefront that sets Sutton Smithworks apart from other jewellers – it’s the complex machinery and tools in the back-of-house where all the magic happens. Owner Tom Sutton picked up goldsmithing in high school and hasn’t looked back. While the styles and industry have evolved, it’s the 40 years of experience in his trade – combined with adopting new technology at Sutton Smithworks – that has no trade-off. “He’s probably set some of the largest diamonds in all of Winnipeg,” says Peggy Sutton, co-owner and Accredited Jewellery Professional. “The largest diamond he ever set was a 10-carat Marquise diamond, and that stone was valued in the six figures.” As a leader in …

Shop the Exchange

Exchange District BIZ Blog, Shop the Exchange

There’s a particular spirit to the way things are done in the Exchange District. Shop owners like to share in their wins, lift each other up – and combine forces to build up the overall neighbourhood experience. Over the next few months, we’ll be featuring seven great Exchange District businesses and giving you a glimpse into the way things are done here— watch for our full page feature in the Winnipeg Free Press, starting today and running once a month. This month, we’re introducing our participating businesses, and giving you a hand with your list. If you’ve always wanted to be known as a thoughtful gift-giver, but need a little help to back it up, this group is taking the …