Friends of Cambie: North Standard

We are very happy to launch a brand new series, introducing our followers to local business owners and friends whom are all a special part of the Cambie community. Around the time we signed our first lease on our brick and mortar shop, we were lucky to discover that several other small businesses had already or were about to open their doors, flooding the colourful neighbourhood of Parkdale. These young entrepreneurs are some of the most inspiring and driven bunch we know, and to kick off the series, we are pleased to introduce to you the heart behind one of our favourite local shops. 

What are your names?
Pamela Hopson & Francesco Fiore

What is your shop/business and where can it be found?
North Standard Trading Post
1662 Queen Street West, Toronto, in Parkdale just before Roncesvalles.
At what point did you know you wanted to start this venture?
We both definitely have the entrepreneurial spirit and have always wanted to do our own thing, and after a long road trip vacation back in the summer of 2012, we couldn't stop talking about what we would do if we had our own shop. We started a notebook of all our ideas (which we still have!) and the rest is history!

What influences your business from day-to-day?
We do our best to listen to what our customers love and want while staying true to our vision. We are also strong believers in that "if you're going to do something, you do it right." We always try to trust our gut when making decisions and trust each other endlessly! 

How is your time spent while away from it?
Although we spend very little time away from the shop, our "us" time is very important to us. We love going for walks through the trails at High Park with our dog, Olive. Frank loves to cook and Pam loves to garden and we both love entertaining family and friends. In the evenings, we'll often decompress with a glass of wine and Netflix!
Where do you turn for inspiration?
Everywhere! Especially the outdoors and always try to stay true to our northern aesthetic with 'Standard' quality items. We have family north of Kingston, so we spend our down-time exploring in that direction and get inspired on those back-country car rides. We are also lucky to have many inspiring friends and often get ideas when all of us are together. 

What do you love about your neighbourhood?
The people! Our customers are incredible. We have so many amazing people that support our business and come back time-after-time and some have become wonderful friends. Parkdale and Roncesvalles are both outstanding neighbourhoods with such a lovely mix of small businesses that compliment one another. We feel so lucky to be a part of such a strong and supportive community. 

What is one detail of your space that you appreciate the most?
Our red ceiling. Our intention when designing our space was to create a warm, inviting, very approachable atmosphere where you feel at home. Obviously, we used a lot of wood and antiqued white walls, but the red ceiling draws the space together and creates that cozy feeling. We also love being on the north side of the street because the sunlight always floods in through the morning and early afternoon. 
What is your favourite thing about your job?
Oh man - so many things! We actually love everything! When it is your own business you pour your heart and soul into it, so something as simple as cleaning the floors is super rewarding and gratifying. But mostly, we love sharing everyday experiences with one another. 

How would you describe the type of person that passes through these doors each day?
AMAZING! Honestly, we cannot say it enough! We are very grateful for every single person that walks through our door, but it just sweetens the deal so much more when those people are also inspiring, kind, and respectful. We love also that our store caters to everyone - at any given time we could have a family with toddlers, some teenagers, and a senior all shopping at our store at once and all find something they love!

Any advice for someone just starting out?
Do your homework.
Be passionate about what you are doing.
Believe you are going to succeed.
Create a strong network of business relationships & find a good accountant!
Thank you for the great advice and insightful answers Pam and Frank!! For more, make sure to visit or at 1662 Queen Street West and follow @northstandard.

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