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Fashion Stores

Brodawka & Friends

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on June 1, 2012

Brodawka & FriendsBrodawka & Friends is a misnomer of sorts if you take the new shoe boutique's name at face value. That's because the West Queen West shop represents the realization of Jeff Brodawka's independent initiative, with just — he admits — a little help from his friends.

But the overall idea is Jeff's, the selection is Jeff's, and even the powder blue wood perches that display the shoes are Jeff's own creations. He's the one you'll find in the shop every day of the week (for now), and he's the one who's gambling his future on the new enterprise.

brodawka and friendsI meet Jeff less than a week after his opening, when the store's website, fixtures, and men's collection are still in the works. He tells me he's been in the fashion industry for years, designing with John Fluevog out in Vancouver before deciding to venture out on his own.

brodawka and friends"I had made a lot of contacts through shoe shows and travels," he says. "That's how I met the women who run the small boutique factory in Mexico."

brodawka and friendsJeff sources his honed collection of women's footwear from that factory in Mexico, where the shoes are both designed and handcrafted. His input comes in the form of colour selection, noting that he "wont take credit for someone else's designs."

brodawka and friendsThe factory is located in Leon, a city Jeff says is the epicentre of shoemaking. "They have all of the tanneries, sole makers, molders in one city. Basically, I just really liked what they were doing," he says of the factory he chose as his supplier.

brodawka and friendsThe collection at Brodawka & Friends in minimalist in quantity with only about a dozen styles in stock. The designs, however, aren't minimalist in quality in the least, with several types of leathers and different colours combined in a single shoe. Jeff points out some of his favourites, which include a suede/patent/full grain leather ankle boot in a cafe and chocolate brown ($275), and a waxy leather and suede embossed flat in a blue/grey with a lipstick red tongue and sole ($265). The shop currently stocks sizes six through 10, though Jeff hopes that range will grow with the store.

brodawka and friendsThe men's collection, which is expected to arrive in the next week or so, will be made up mostly of leather loafers that will be priced in and around the $225 range. And to round out the shop, Jeff will be offerings his own (designed and constructed) wool, silk, and cotton ties ($40-$60), linen socks from Japan ($20), and other complementary accessories. His stock will likely change with the seasons, and you can count on Jeff being in store seven days a week. Unless, of course, he gets a little more help from his friends.

brodawka and friendsbrodawka and friendsbrodawka and friendsPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

10 Comments

Gembah / June 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm
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Now this place looks interesting on its own. I'm glad the owner didn't need to perch herself on the counter and show off her thighs to attract clients at guess where on Q.
Ratpick / June 1, 2012 at 04:36 pm
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Meh. Nice shoes, but I'd be more inclined to go there if the owner was on the counter showing off his thighs.
Amie / June 2, 2012 at 02:30 am
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Amazing! I love Jeff's independent and unique way of creating, his overall vision represents a brand that I would invest in. I can't wait to check it out!
Lindsay / June 2, 2012 at 03:43 pm
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Beautiful shoes! Jeff, you've done a fantastic job. I can't wait to come in for a visit :)
NANCY / June 4, 2012 at 09:30 am
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Well, items look interesting, but a little on the high end. Would not regularly shop here, but perhaps for special occasions. Hmm, perhaps I should check my lottery ticket.
ALTURA SIETE / June 5, 2012 at 10:02 am
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CONGRATS!!! =) everyone come and shop at BRODAWKA & FRIENDS!!
Sweetpea's / June 6, 2012 at 05:45 pm
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Congrats Jeff!!! Way to take the plunge into small business ownership. So proud of you. You've always had a flair for the fantastic! It's so great to see it materialize into something so wonderful.
Breda / June 15, 2012 at 04:41 pm
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I came across Jeff's shop while visiting Toronto from London (UK) last weekend & fell in love with the black shoes with the red heels. They're gorgeous AND amazingly comfortable. Great shop Jeff!
Jo replying to a comment from Breda / July 19, 2012 at 08:36 pm
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Thanks for the heads up Breda! Visited the store tonight and could not leave without a pair.
Kim / September 20, 2012 at 08:35 pm
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Nice shoes! Love all the details!

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