A Nova Scotia designer is expanding into the Toronto fashion scene with a new boutique that is set to open this spring.
Lisa Drader-Murphy owns and operates stores in Halifax, Bedford and Falmouth, N.S., as well as a seasonal location in Cavendish, P.E.I.
She says she has been planning to expand her company for several years and was also scouting locations in New York and Ottawa when the Queen West property popped up.
"We jumped on it because it was the ideal location and it's not easy to get a space on Queen Street so that became the next step," she said.
The fifth retail location is set to open at the end of April, but it may be a hectic month as the company doesn't get possession of the 780-square foot space until the beginning of the month.
The new store will focus on the brand that holds Drader-Murphy's name, as well as the Turbine label, with a mix of styles such as her upside-down dress. She says they may also expand on the company's leather collection and hand-painted silks.
Made in Nova Scotia
Drader-Murphy designs all the clothing herself and the garments are produced in the Annapolis Valley. She plans to keep the hands-on approach, even if it means some long days.
"My executive team and my advisors are constantly telling me that I'm not to be going out and ironing 100 dresses at six in the morning," she said.
She says the business already has a large clientele from Toronto, some of whom shop in Nova Scotia when they're visiting the province and others who buy the brand online.
Drader-Murphy established her Turbine label in 1997 in Calgary, and not long afterward moved the business to Nova Scotia.
She says since then her company has grown on retained earnings, debt-free, without ever receiving government funding.
The goal was always to expand out of Atlantic Canada, she says, but in the past year the company grew by 150 per cent.
"In our market here, we've basically exhausted growth," she said Sunday. "It's taken a little longer, it's a smaller market and a smaller population base but it's exciting."
The expansion plans haven't stopped with the Toronto store either. She expects an Ottawa location will be next.