Woodlot Stockist Spotlight //Get to know Kleah from Charlie & Lee
In a new series on the blog, we’re shining a light on some of the wonderful, dynamic, and inspiring shop owners behind Woodlot’s incredible stockists page. And what better place to start than Vancouver, with one of our favourite local boutiques, Charlie & Lee. Season after season, owner Kleah Michnik, delivers thoughtfully curated items chosen for their beauty, craftsmanship and longevity. If you follow Charlie & Lee on Instagram, you know just as well as we do––her taste in all things is impeccable. We chatted with Kleah in her garden to learn more about C&L, what inspires her, and why she chose Woodlot. Want to know more? Keep reading.
Can you tell me about opening Charlie & Lee. Was this something you had always envisioned you would do?
Opening the shop was a goal for me - as far back as 13 years old. All of my jobs have been in retail, and my focus was on Retail Marketing for my Business Admin studies at Capilano. Although, it took me a while to muster up the courage to take the leap - and a major push from my husband.
Where do you find inspiration?
My main sources of inspiration are in daily life, nature and escapism. I avoid fashion publications and anything related. I am obsessed with finding things that we truly need and will use to the fullest in life. If it is not functional or easy to wear, then it is not for the shop. I am a researcher at heart, so I love going down the wormhole in google search when I have time and getting inspired by being out exploring the world.
How do you choose brands for your shop?
All the brands we carry have a very passionate individual or team behind them. I prefer working direct with brands and love creating personal and real relationships. We focus on made in Canada first, then made in USA, and then further South, and then anything ethically made. The things we buy for the shop have to pass a few tests, but most importantly they need to be useful, wearable, and bring some joy to your life.
At the moment I am not hunting for new brands as much as the at the beginning - since we have a pretty wonderful line up of brands and we can’t add non-stop - but I sometimes come across something that really excites me. I usually let things happen naturally.
I truly believed in the intention behind the very first candle Sonia and Fouad brought to us. They were very dedicated, kind and I loved the scent. We may have been one of the first shops to start carrying the candles when there was only one product, the Candle in Original. It came in bags that they hand stamped and they poured the candles in their apartment. They sold well and I knew Woodlot would move forward from that - as they envisioned. I have been so excited and happy to watch and support them along their journey in whatever way I can.
Favourite Woodlot Product?
A special beverage and hot tub! Otherwise I try to take time to properly cleanse and exfoliate my face, having a quiet moment in the morning with my coffee, making myself a turmeric ginger drink. Self care is allowing myself whatever I need at the time because life can be overwhelming most days. Now that our son is 3.5, I am coming back around to the importance of self and allowing the luxury of time and space, even if it is only 10 minutes.
Perfect way to spend a weekend?
With family, friends and delicious food in the great outdoors, fires and hikes. Stepping away from the hustle and bustle of city life - and traffic!
You can find Charlie & Lee at 223 Union Street in Vancouver. Or visit their online shop at www.charlieandlee.com
Stay tuned for our next Stockist Spotlight coming soon...
images: Rebecca Mcclogan Benoit