Dream big—and look good doing it 

Pair of locals launches Dream Big Vintage Collective and open mic night

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Catherine Leduc (left) and Helen Hamilton have launched the Dream Big Vintage and Music Collective.
  • Photo submitted
  • Catherine Leduc (left) and Helen Hamilton have launched the Dream Big Vintage and Music Collective.

Shortly before the first Dream Big Vintage Collective pop-up event, Helen Hamilton received a sign from the universe.

She and her friend/roommate/co-worker Catherine Leduc had been collecting—and altering—vintage clothing for some time, as well as curating other vintage items, including books. The night before they were set to host their first event at Mount Currie Coffee Company in Whistler (where they both work), Hamilton picked up one of those books called The Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don't. "I flipped through it randomly and, on the first page, the author had said in it, 'Friend, dream big. From Michael," Hamilton recalls.

The hand-written message in the second-hand book matched the name of their burgeoning business.

"It was the night before our big event and we were so nervous," Hamilton recalls. "We read that and we were like, 'Woah, this is a sign we're supposed to be doing this right now.' We're both quite spiritual, but I've never had a sign like that in my life."

The pop-up shop wound up being a success with a strong turnout. The second event in Pemberton also saw the same amount of sales, despite being a smaller town. "People loved it," Hamilton says. "It was a thrill to watch it happen."

The pair first discussed the idea for the pop-up store last summer while lounging at Alta Lake. Both were fashion fiends with "loads of clothes we wanted to get rid of," Hamilton says. "We both love clothing and love putting outfits together."

To add to their offerings, they went down to Vancouver to select a few more vintage items. Their parameters were strict. "We both have to like it," she says. "There's no filler ... We say, 'Would we wear that?' Then it's a massive fight whether we want to keep it (for ourselves) or not."

While Whistler has second-hand and vintage clothing stores, their range of items skew more towards a skate/surf/activewear style, primarily for women. "There's so much room for more vintage, second-hand stuff in Whistler," Hamilton adds.

They plan to host pop-up events once a month—and eventually expand to Squamish and Vancouver—but recently, they added a new facet to the Dream Big Collective.

Late last year, Hunter Gather approached Hamilton—who is also a local musician—to host an open mic night. She jumped at the opportunity to create the Dream Big Music Collective, with help from local guitarist Andrew Morris, and showcase new, local talent. The most recent event featured six performers and was jam-packed.

"It's nice to bring the opportunity to musicians who are maybe too nervous to try and get shows on their own and play for three hours," she says. "It's just a nice feeling."

The next open mic night at Hunter Gather is set for March 14 at 7 p.m. The next pop-up event, meanwhile, will be on March 15 at the Mount Currie Coffee Company in Whistler from 6 to 8 p.m. Then, in April, keep your eyes open for a shop day at HandleBar Café and Apres in the Upper Village.

Find out more on Facebook at facebook.com/dreambigvintagecollective or on Instagram at Dream Big Vintage Collective.

"We feel really positive about it," Hamilton says. "We knew it could be a bit of a long journey just slowly building it, but we've got enough traction to make it happen once a month at different venues. We're trying to treat it more like a vintage party now. It's been really good."

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