Angela and Julie met when they were 4 years old in a west-end Toronto kindergarten. They have no memory of this meeting because they were 4 years old, but they have the class picture to prove it. Angela looks like a little boy and Julie isn't looking at the camera. 
Although they attended different high schools, the girls still got together regularly for important events like birthdays, school dances, Melrose Place marathons and every time a character left 90210 and a new one was randomly introduced to replace them. These were the moments that shaped them.
Their twenties took them to exciting places around the world. Julie lived in Greece, bartending and living the island life - don't be jealous; and travelled throughout Europe, North & Central America. At home in Toronto she worked in the luxury travel industry before moving on to the PR world, eventually working with various fashion clients including Alberta Fashion Week and a number of Canadian designers and online fashion sites.   Meanwhile, Angela lived in the Annex where the local bartenders allowed her to DJ once in a while in exchange for a meal. Feeling restless, she moved to New Zealand, settled in Auckland, and worked in television (they have 6 channels now!) While there she travelled to Australia and fell in love with the eclectic neighbourhoods  and cool boutiques of Melbourne.  She then moved on to London, working for MTV, while taking in the sights and refining her shopping skills in the impossibly cool markets of East London. During this time, Angela tried her hand at selling her used clothes at sketchy car-boot sales throughout London.  She discovered she had quite a knack for it, and a passion for retail was born.
Angela and Julie had always talked about one day opening a shop together. Now finally re-united back in Toronto, they decided to let nothing stop them. Numerous bottles of Prosecco and oven pizzas later they had developed the concept behind Fitzroy Boutique, named after the bohemian Melbourne neighbourhood of the same name. It would carry unique, fun, easy effortless clothing that wasn't widely available in Toronto. It would be a better quality alternative to the fast fashion of the chain stores. It would be a friendly welcoming space. And most of all it would be affordable. They would not charge more than $200 for any item ever. And so it began. Fitzroy Boutique would start in early 2011 opening once a season as a pop-up shop, and with each pop-up would travel to different neighbourhoods in the style of the amazing London markets.
Follow Julie and Angela's adventures in retail at @fitzroyboutique and here on their pretty blog to find out more details about the shop and way too many details about Angela's cats.
Photo credit: Brent Lewin