fashion magazine
To Dream a LittleĀ…
by HARJIT THIARA
Photography by WAYNE MAH - www.waynemahphotography.com
In 1993, Wendy De Kruyff saw her concept come to life. She opened Dream in Gastown with the help of her grandfather, an accountant in Holland. He had seen her talent, creativity and style at numerous family reunions and planted the idea of a dream. Wendy cultivated it. This vision expanded in 2008 with the opening of the Little Dream nestled in the Net Loft building at Granville Island. Little Dream is a smaller, much edited version of Dream, but just as full of must-have treasures for loyal clientele..

With no formal training in retail and no fashion background, De Kruyff has come a long way from the start of Dream. "I've worked the school of life by taking courses, going through experiences and learning. For me that's worked". She realizes business today requires a lot more effort and hard work in order to survive. "It was much easier at first. My store was smaller and had fewer items, most of which were made by myself. Some of my friends also asked if they could sell their products within my store and I agreed. Once the garments or jewelry were sold I was able to pay back the designer." It was from these humble beginnings that the concept of consignment became an integral part of Dream's beginning, a very organic start indeed.

Sifting through all the local designers Vancouver can proudly call its own was a breathe of fresh air. Talent after talent with distinctive styling can be seen at Dream and Little Dream. "To be a local designer and work with the materials ,finishings and to the level of quality they do is much more difficult than importing goods into Canada. I have first hand experience as my store started with me making my own products. I admire the artists that come out from this city and country too. They strive to make a living here and we should support them."

Being local is a core concept of Dream and Little Dream. By carrying Vancouver and Canadian designers, she is able to maintain a personal connection to the artists she features - their stories, their inspiration and what is being said in their work. "The locals should proudly embrace their own designers like the tourists do. They love buying Canadian and so should we." Every Monday Wendy sets aside time for appointments to see lines new to her store as well as designers already part of Little Dream and Dream. Designers like Bridget Bergman, Kim Brower, Cici, Savvie, Wise and Proper as well as Erin Templeton can be found in these two local treasures. "We have something here for everyone, from great basics to unique and interesting accents to vintage inspired jewelry perfect for a great conversation starter."

The passion for her store and willingness to support the local industry prove De Kruyff is not in it to make a quick buck. She is here for the long term and for the right reasons. Future goals include having a studio up and running to compliment as Dream and Little Dream. "When things are hard, I become more creative and with creativity comes freedom".

For more information on Dream and Little Dream go to www.dreamvancouver.com

Must have list:

- Nicole Fan and Bridget Bergman coats
- Tie between the Hunter & Trove and Jessie Turner Jewelry
- Cuche Bikini's