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Putting their stamp on street-chic
Three bros have come together to outfit other bros from schlub to chic.
Nathan Alexander, 27, Jordan Stephensen, 21, and Christopher Gottzman, 29, came together three months ago to realize a dream they share. They are now co-owners and operators of Twillhound Clothing, newly opened in Osborne Village.
Located at 106B Osborne St., customers walk down some creaky steps into a stylish store lined with unique men’s and some women’s clothing, all made on-site.
"This whole fashion line, Twillhound, is all our own stuff, so we design and manufacture everything that is in the store," said Alexander, of North Kildonan.
Manufacturing everything in-store makes it easy to alter styles to fit customers’ needs, said Gottzman, of Osborne.
"Whatever they see, and they want it in a different fit, or they want it in a different style," said Gottzman. "Because we make everything locally we can customize for what they want."
Creating the store didn’t come without some hard work, both in terms of creating the clothes and completely altering the store.
"We’re pretty much finally here, it’s been a long two-and-a-half months of just prep," said Alexander. "We did all the floors, painted, laid cement, built custom furniture. It’s a whole new store."
"Plus (we) designed and made everything in it," said Stephensen, of Oak Bluff.
Gottzman said Twillhound is a natural evolution from his shop Local Shop Awesome, opened in 2007, which produced personalized T-shirts.
"With Twillhound we wanted to do more of manufacturing our own products and doing more design," said Gottzman. "We changed the maturity of the designs in the store as well. When I opened (Local Shop Awesome) I was seven years younger, it was a different feel, so it was more hoodies and casual wear."
Gottzman said Twillhound’s clothing will represent a more refined and formal ‘street’ style.
"We like to stick around the street style," said Alexander. "A lot of our inspiration comes out of New York and just that sort of scene."
The three friends come together as a united team, with their own individual talents. Gottzman has been sewing ever since his mother taught him to at age seven, Alexander is a former professional dancer who has started numerous businesses over the years for the thrill.
"I just love it," said Alexander. "The risk in it, and the excitement of something new. Is it going to work? It is not? Are we going to be poor for the rest of our lives? But it’s an adventure."
Stephensen, the baby of the group, studied graphic design and just graduated from the University of Manitoba this past spring.
"He got the top mark in his class," boasts Gottzman.
While at U of M, Stephensen also co-owned Scribbles Printing, which prints graphic designs on T-shirts, with Gottzman.
The three friends have a keen passion to keep everything in the store local, much like most of Osborne Village.
"We’re really excited to keep it in that same frame," said Alexander. "To really just be local Winnipeggers and business owners here."
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