Shop Vancouver Woo To See You
Woo To See You is a charming little store in Yaletown, hidden away inside a brick building on the corner of Davie and Homer. When I walked in I instantly fell in love with the cute little store and the equally cute and little shop owner Hans Woo. Woo To See You has only been open in a brick and mortar store for about a month, but the tastefully selected Korean and Japanese clothing has been a hit online for over a year now. Hans and her graphic designer husband Justin have put so much work into the business, with Hans doing the buying and Justin taking care of all the web design and graphic needs. When the two of them decided to finally take the plunge and start a real storefront, they did everything themselves: stripped the walls, painted, they even built all the clothing racks out of pipes! It’s truly a labour of love, and it shows in the care taken to select their merchandise (a lovely mix of hard to find Asian brands and local designers) and in the relationship with their customers. In the hour or so that I spent in the store getting to know Hans, several regulars came in to shop and to just chat and catch up with her.
Stylust (S): The name of your store is adorable! I love that it’s a play on your name, do you find that the pieces you curate for the store are very “you” in essence? How would you describe your style?
Hans (H): I do all the buying for the store, so it is my style and taste, but Justin and I have very similar aesthetic in decor and lifestyle, so it’s really a mixture of us. My overall style is easy to wear, but not too relaxed, it’s stylish still.
S: What were you inspirations behind opening Woo to See You?
H: Clothing and fashion are cultural, I see a lot of different ways of expressing yourself in wearing different garments and fashion. There are lots of Asian people in Vancouver, but not a lot of places where you can find Asian clothing. Justin and I had lots of fun sharing our cultures with each other, and we just kept thinking “how can we share this with other people?” and I really loved the fashion industry, so I thought maybe I can keep going with it and share my culture too! Also the retail experience is very different in Asia, there are lots of little neighbourhoods in Seoul with really funky and fun retail stores, Justin and I always thought of these stores and how unique and fun they are and how we could bring that back to Canada. That’s really our motto behind it.
S: You carry a lot of Korean and Japanese brands, what is it about the aesthetics of Asian fashion that appeals to you?
H: I think that Korean fashion and just Asian fashion in general is more about going with the trends, and being right on trend. The garments always have a twist, a fun little detail. I go back to Korea often to connect with designers and stay up to date on the new trends, plus it helps me stay connected with my family and my culture! We’re currently working with a few little designers in Korea, but we’ve been in touch with a few bigger brands about bringing them into the store too.
S: You guys do a lot of pop up shops in addition to having your own storefront, how do the two experiences differ? Do you prefer one to the other?
H: It’s two completely different experiences! Of course we love our store, it’s so much fun connecting with our customers face to face and curating everything. But we also love doing markets and pop up shops, it’s a great way to connect with people who may not come by the store. We do Blim Market and we’ve done pop up shops at Innocent Coffee (Stylust edit: which is actually where Justin and Hans got married! How adorable is that?) We are at the Chinatown Night Market some weekends and it’s a great place to network and meet new friends! We’ve made a lot of friends there who now come by regularly to catch up and shop.
S: What would be your perfect outfit?
H: For a date night or something more formal I would go with a dress and statement necklace, but for day-to-day I love boyfriend shirts and slim trousers paired with a nice thin leather belt.
S: What is one piece of fashion advice you would give your younger self?
H: It’s one thing to follow a trend, but it’s important to work on your own style. Find something that works for yourself, not just something that’s trendy. I think I was just following trends when I was younger without thinking about whether or not it worked for me.
Woo To See You is located at 129 – 1208 Homer Street, tucked away into a little corridor like the hidden gem it is. If you’re in the area, or even if you’re not, it’s a definite must shop in Yaletown!
All images generously provided by Woo To See You.blim market, chinatown night market, husband and wife, innocent coffee, interview, japan, japanese fashion, korea, korean fashion, local designers, pop up shop, shop vancouver, style advice, support local businesses, trends, vancouver, women entrepreneurs, women in business, yaletown, yvr