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Fashion Stores

Coal Miner's Daughter (Queen St.)

Posted by Alexandra Grigorescu / Posted on April 19, 2012

Coal Miner's DaughterThe Coal Miner's Daughter's new Queen Street location has been open since April 7th, and is so new that paint cans figure largely into its window display. Co-owner Krysten Caddy is sheepish, insisting that the store still needs a bit of work, but to my eyes, the space is polished and the stock well-curated. Her partner, Janine Cockburn-Haller, is the designer of clothing line Clementine&Tweed and also undertakes the shop's requests for tailoring and bespoke clothing, while Caddy is a long-time jewellery designer and creates the shop's eponymous line.

Coal Miner's DaughterCockburn-Haller and Caddy are a classic tale of living your passion. They were friends and neighbours who made the significant leap into business ownership after the Mirvish Village location went up for sale without much foresight: "we didn't even sleep on it," Caddy tells me. The seed of the idea was to sell their own work, which they continue to do, even as their list of designers continues to swell. The stock is curated through personal preference and gut instinct, such as Norwegian Wood's absurd pairings of colour-blocking and patterns, which generated a deeply confusing love-then-hate-then-grudgingly-admire response in me.

Coal Miner's DaughterThey weighed between Queen West and Yorkville for a second location. Caddy previously worked at Anne Sportun, so her familiarity with the neighbourhood and client base certainly factored in. Now, the stores vary slightly to avoid stock redundancy, and whereas the original space holds Cobourn-Heller's studio, the Queen West location serves purely as a showcase, with bright white walls, wood accents, strategically placed mirrors, and antlers serving as jewelry racks.

Coal Miner's DaughterNew and exclusive to this store is the Pretty make-up station operated by Andrea Victory-LaCasse, which features chemical-free fragrances, make-up, and remarkably vivid nail polish — a godsend to the sensitive-skinned among us.

Coal Miner's DaughterUpon entry, I'm marauded with gumdrop hues and far more of them than I'm typically comfortable with, but taken individually, they're stand-out pieces. The majority are local, sustainable, and sometimes organic, and despite the flirty hues, maintain a level of sophistication not often found at such a reasonable price point.

Caddy aims to provide "one-of-a-kind and few-of-a-kind" creations sourced from Canadian designers, such as Sessie Dress' skirts made from up-cycled materials, Jennifer Glasgow, and the organics and digitally printed cottons of Montreal's Alice and Alishka. Caddy tells me that she often chooses pieces with the cyclist in mind, and the array of A-line and flared-skirt dresses are clearly well-suited to biking. Also on my instant must-have list are an eye-catching silk-cotton-blend dress from Dagg & Stacey and a mood-lifting coral tie-neck blouse.

Coal Miner's DaughterCaddy tells me they aim to "balance out well-made and socially-conscious clothes with accessibility," and compared to the significantly heftier price-points in the boutique stretch between Bathurst and Trinity Bellwoods Park, $85 for a well-constructed, white-lace-back dress from Sarah Duke seems like a steal. Jewellery is similarly affordable, with geometric necklaces from Oddbird Designs available for $30. The shop's selection of vintage shoes goes up to $40, while the spring/summer clothing stock caps at $250. Good to know: Caddy's own work ranges from $40 to $300, and she also creates custom pieces.

Coal Miner's DaughterCoal Miner's Daughter is perhaps a conceptual mid-point between the shamelessly femme aesthetic of bicyclette and the matured cool of Fawn a bit further west. "We just want to do what we love," Caddy tells me, "and I don't see that ever changing." Why would they, when it looks so good.

Coal Miner's DaughterCoal Miner's DaughterPhotos by Mariam Matti



LawyersDaughter / April 19, 2012 at 04:46 pm
Interesting to know that this phenomenon stretches to retail shops as well:
Betty / April 19, 2012 at 05:53 pm
I applaude Krysten, Janine and Andrea for having the courage to follow a dream. I wish them much success!
Angie / April 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm
Love this shop! The clothes are so fun and original, and the Pretty counter is to die for! The gals are so friendly and cool.
Jen / April 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm
I applaud this writer! Great article for BlogTO!
Blair / April 20, 2012 at 02:55 am
I contacted Andrea about putting 7 Beauty Packages together for my LOVELY Staff in Northern BC. I left it all in Andrea's hands and she knocked it out of the park with individual packages for 7 individual ladies. Wow....a dream come true for a boss guy to be able to put individual packages together using one of the smartest Beauty Professionals in the Business!! The Ladies LOVED their packages and are buying Andrea's products online, cause they are amazing. Thanks again Andrea for helping a guy out and making 7 Ladies Happy!!
Mondayjane / April 20, 2012 at 08:39 am
Lovely! Welcome to the neighborhood, so excited to check it out.
Renee @ / April 20, 2012 at 10:01 am
Congrats ladies! The new space looks amazing!
Tobacco Picker's Son replying to a comment from LawyersDaughter / April 21, 2012 at 02:51 pm
Also interesting: that article goes aaaallll the way back to 1990. Coal Miner's Daughter is Loretta Lynn's 1976 autobiography. She was also the daughter of a coal miner. In 1980 it wa turned into a film starring Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, and Levon Helm. I don't think it's fair to say that "Coal Miner's Daughter" fits a trend thy began in the mid 90s when it was written 20 years earlier and already adapted to a film 10 years earlier.
Lee / April 21, 2012 at 05:18 pm
Really don't understand the name of the shop. There's nothing in there a coal miner or his daughter would wear or be able to afford. Ah! Whimsical nostalgia!
Charlie / April 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm
This store is so beautiful. I love that there's clothing, accessories, jewellery, shoes, makeup, perfume all under one roof. It's like an indie department store! I like the name, it's familiar and somehow works, even if it's not a literal thing. Better than calling it "Clothing & More", I suppose. xo
LawyersDaughter replying to a comment from Tobacco Picker's Son / April 22, 2012 at 04:34 am
The graph in the article does only start in 1990, but before that it also states: "There are a steady trickle of these titles in every decade, from the early 1900s through the present day."
Anyhow, it's just an interesting observation that there's a trend of this sort of name, not a dig at the choice- as the writer says, 'those titles have a marvelous rhythm to them' and I don't disagree.

Looks like a lovely shop!
Krysten / April 22, 2012 at 03:32 pm
We identify with the CMD name in a lot of different ways, but a major influence is that my ancestors were coal miners up until the late 1800s, so it's in part a tribute to them. It also speaks to how Janine and I make clothing and adornments, as a coal miner's daughter might do.

We're pumped to be a part of the neighbourhood, so a big thanks to all for the warm welcome!
dv / April 25, 2012 at 11:32 am
Sorry to be a downer, but I find using imagery of severely exploited people with dirt on their faces in order to sell clothes to the relatively wealthy somewhat offensive. Truth is, coal mines were among the most inhumane environments that workers on this continent were ever put in. There's nothing at all "cool" or "trendy" about that, and I don't think romanticized nostalgia or ancestral ties to such exploited people justifies using them (again) for the sake of profit.
Karin Dollery / August 27, 2012 at 05:28 pm
Welcome to the area....your store looks lovely

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