BUSINESS BEAT: Compact Victoria shop has unique designs, typewriter rentals

Market Square hallway the home to creative storefront

Rebecca Dolen

Stepping into the lobby of the Milne building at 560 Johnson St., one’s eyes immediately dart left, then right.

Before long the visitor realizes they’re in a retail shop. But it’s not just any store selling cards and other miscellaneous paper products. There’s a sense this is something special.

Most of the unique cards and paper at Regional Assembly of Text are displayed under the building’s grand staircase.

But against the other wall, surrounded by colourful stationery, are four stations with typewriters, available for rent to the public by the hour for a small fee. The quaint arrangement harkens back to a slower time when computers and the Internet were the stuff of futuristic fantasy.

The idea of sitting down to type out a note comes from the successful “letter writing club” co-owners Brandy Fedoruk and Rebecca Dolen began when they opened their first shop seven years ago, in Vancouver’s Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood.

“It’s kind of a challenging space,” Mount Doug secondary alumnus Fedoruk says, looking around the lobby. “But we were up for the challenge and fell in love with this space.”

Unlike at their other store, where once a month 20 or 30 people gather to click-clack away at whatever kind of notes they wish, the Victoria typewriters are expected to have a different use.

“I can imagine tourists coming in and writing a letter to someone,” Fedoruk says.

“The pace is slower. You can’t delete things so you have to compose your sentences (a little) ahead of time,” Dolen adds.

The women liken their business model to the back-to-the-land trend toward single-purpose specialists, such as butchers, bakers and fishmongers.

The unique cards and paper are all designed by the women, who graduated in 2003 from Emily Carr School of Art and Design and have developed a thriving wholesale business that ships around North America.

They’ll be based in Vancouver, but plan to arrange their schedule to be able to spend time at the Victoria location as often as possible.

“It’s nice having a little space where you can see people enjoying what you do,” Fedoruk says.

Regional Assembly of Text, lobby 560 Johnson St., open Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Call 778-265-6067 or visit assemblyoftext.com.

Major donation boosts UVic business school

Students and staff at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria are sure to benefit from a $500,000 donation from Vancouver-based resource firm Goldcorp Inc.

The funding will go toward the school’s Centre for Social and Sustainable Innovation, which has launched several research and education initiatives with a small annual budget since being established in 2011.

Waterfront resort earns major kudos

Brentwood Bay Resort and Spa has received AAA’s 4-Diamond Award for a fifth year in a row for hospitality excellence. The resort was also recently named No. 2 on Trip Advisor’s Top 10 Most Romantic Hotels in Canada list and No. 1 amongst B.C. hotels, as voted by the website’s visitors.

Who’s making news in our business world

World Culinary Olympics multiple medal winner Iain Rennie has joined the Oak Bay Beach Hotel as executive chef, bringing with him sous chef Josh Houston. Rennie comes from the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa … The West Shore Chamber of Commerce has added a couple new faces. Craig Sorochan is the new community relations and events co-ordinator, while Laura Smithson takes over as manager of community engagement. Lindsay Wilson shifts to director of operations and members services … Maxine Dell is the newest director on the Oak Bay Kiwanis Pavilion board … Blain Lawson of Victoria is the new general manager of the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch. He is former president/CEO of Coast Wholesale AppliancesMischelle vanThiel took over as executive director of Victoria Hospice this week, replacing long-standing boss Wayne Peterson, who retired.

Send your business news items to editor@vicnews.com.

Just Posted

Sooke woman is ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at Thetis Lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Mom who lost son to brain tumour in March joins the 24th annual Brain Tumour Walk

The Brain Tumour Walk takes place at the University of Victoria on Sunday, May 26

Throwback Thursday: Shamrocks revisit the 1950s with new uniforms

Victoria team introduces its new white jersey for the 2019 70th anniversary season

Comic Con announces winning artist in $500 ViGuy competition

Van Isle Comic Con announce judges’ award winner, People’s Choice voting now open

Forbes Group proposes a new medical clinic for Sooke

Four doctors will have space adjacent to a new pharmacy

VIDEO: Journey of SD62 Aboriginal graduates recognized at ceremony

‘Enriching and empowering’ ceremony encourages students to hold onto their identities

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Building a close-knit community in Sooke

Knit 2 Purl Together a community event

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Most Read