Fanshawe fashion grad makes dream into a reality
Credit: MELISSA NOVACASKA
Fanshawe fashion merchandising (now named marketing and management) grad Desi Pecoskie (left) owner of Desi's Boutique and co-worker Sarah Ashbourne (right). Pecoskie worked hard to make her shop a success.
A combination of lifestyle and athletic wear are among an array of jewelry, face masks, beauty and body products, purses and even bed sheets sprawled along the walls, tables and shelves of the boutique.
One can even find men’s clothing and products, as well as some fresh local Booch Organic Kombucha health drinks stocked in the fridge. There is also a section where kids can play while their parents shop for some great finds.
Desi’s Boutique is the brainchild of Desi Pecoskie, graduate of Fanshawe’s fashion merchandising (now called marketing and management) who knew from a young age that she wanted to run her own business.
Pecoskie, a London native, grew up in a family who ran a business, selling camping and outdoor equipment where she would eventually go off to tradeshows with her family and sell products, network and meet a lot of new people.
Once Pecoskie was set to apply for post-secondary education, she was deciding on a number of schools including Ryerson, but decided that Fanshawe would be the right fit for her.
After graduation, Pecoskie did a number of things, including travelling, before setting back in London to start her vision of her own store.
“You have to go through the raw part, the behind the scenes part, before you get to the stuff you really envision,” Pecoski said.
According to Pecoskie, London is a great spot for Desi’s Boutique because the city is still small, compared to places like Toronto, but it’s open to expansion and change.
“Small town basis, cottage country and village area, brick and mortar theme still plays a huge effect [in London],” Pecoskie said
Pecoskie likes supporting local business, which is just one factor as to why a lot of the items she carries in her store are made locally.
She also had ties and brands in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal to name a few that she sells in her store, which is also based off of some items that she would typically wear.
“I would always wear the most out of the box thing, but make it modern,” Pecoskie said
According to Pecoskie, she likes to try and have as much local and sustainable items in her store, with brands such as Hen, Fig, Muttonhead, Saltwater, Purdy Natural and Blondie Apparel gracing the racks, tables and shelves.
There are also Turkish towels available, which Pecoskie said Londoners haven’t caught into yet, but she believes they will at some point, perhaps when it’s seen more around town.
Pecoskie said selling bedsheets is what got her boutique up and running, since it’s something that everyone needs and now the boutique has its own line of them.
While Pecoskie has had success within the industry, she said attending Fanshawe was a good fit for her, but wishes more students whom she graduated with had a clear vision in their mind of what they wanted out of the program, and stayed in the industry.
Pecoskie credits professor of fashion marketing and management Deb Trotechaud as being she looked up to and helped Pecoskie along her path to get to where she is today.
“She was a huge inspiration and I knew she was real [about the industry],” Pecoskie said.
For students in the program, Pecoskie said she would tell them to network, work and volunteer while they are still in school because it will help them in the long run.
For new entrepreneurs, especially in the fashion industry, making yourself and your products known online is also key to success in today’s world, though that’s something Desi is still trying to balance and understand.
You can find Desi’s Boutique at 740 Richmond Street (Row), Upper Level inside Nova Vita salon, or online at shopdesis.ca.
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