July 09, 2015

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Interview with Kyle Van Der Velden owner of North American Quality Purveyors

When looking for well made, distinct men's apparel and accessories that will stand the test look no further than Calgary's own North American Quality Purveyors. This unique Canadian outpost carries products made exclusively in Canada and the US.  Check out the below interview with shop Owner and Curator, Kyle Van Der Veldon.
 
How and when did North American Quality Purveyors come to be? What inspired you to start this business?
We are about to turn 2 years old this coming September, which is really exciting! Before I had the idea for NAQP, I had been buying clothes solely made in North America for a year or so and was having a difficult time finding the brands I wanted to wear, not only in Calgary, but in Canada as a whole. Then during a trip to New York I went to a handful of incredible shops (shoutout to Hickorees, Palmer Trading Co., Gentry, Blue in Green & Nepenthes) that really inspired me to take the matter into my own hands and do my best to bring more of these brands into my own backyard and in turn provide local access to a plethora of stuff that wasn't necessarily easy to come by in our city.

While looking through your shop online I came across so many great items (I personally love the PF Flyers). Can you express some of your thoughts or criteria when choosing these products for your shop?

Mostly I look for stuff that stands out, and by "stands out", I don't necessarily mean a bold print or loud colour, but can be something that's beautifully made or a carefully selected fabric, yet the design has to have timeless and enduring qualities, both in style and construction. PF Flyers are a great example of that. They're really well made, comfortable, will genuinely never go out of style & everyone looks good in a sneaker like that.

 

                 

How did you come to find General Knot and how do your customers respond their custom products?

I feel like I knew about GK beforehand but I actually ended up walking by their booth at the Capsule trade show the summer before I opened the shop and met Andrew & Ann. They showed me the line, gave me a bandana and by that fall we were working together. 

People really dig the General Knot gear, not only because its nicely made, but the fact that there's most often an age to the fabrics and as they are vintage/deadstock/rare they're also limited. Add to that, we only bring in one of each fabric- mostly because they're too cool and unique to end up going to a party and having some other guy sporting the same tie/square etc- so for Calgarians its likely they'll be the only person in the city who has one!

 

While visiting your shop in Calgary, where would be a great place to get something to eat?

For cheap eats, right by the shop I'd tell them to go to the Delightful Cafe, which is a great family run diner that does great Vietnamese, Chinese and American, which I highly recommend their Pho & Curry Chicken. That being said, Calgary's food scene is burgeoning these days, so you would be hard pressed to have a bad meal. A few of my personal favorites- which run the gamut, price wise- would be Model Milk, the Brasserie, Native Tongues Taqueria, River Cafe, Aida's Mediterranean Bistro, Wasabi Sushi, Tubby Dog, Anju & Inglewood Pizza.

 

Are there any upcoming events in your area that people should definitely check out?

We have an event we're planning right now in the summer to bring a bunch of like-minded local businesses together for a day of shopping, snacking and booze but it's still getting worked out at the moment. We'll also certainly be throwing a big 2nd year anniversary party in Mid September, at which we'll be launching some great exclusive products, so that's something for which to look forward!

 

I noticed by reading your blogs that your dog, Doug, is a big part of NAQP. How long as Doug been part of your family and how does he interact with your customers? 

Funny thing is Doug isn't our dog at all, he just comes to visit for a few weeks a year when his owners go away on Doug-less trips. He is by far the most calm, patient and gentle dog we could ever have at the shop! Although he's not ours for keeps, he's been a part of our fam since we opened, really. We get to enjoy his company probably 4 times a year, maybe more sometimes and each time is better than the last. He's a really funny dog, as he's not incredibly social, yet enjoys the company of people. Although you might not know it. Some people don't even notice he's in the shop because he's so calm and quiet. Every once in a while, he'll quietly sidle up to greet customers, but for the most part, you won't notice him until you almost trip over his sleeping carcass in the middle of the floor. He's a magical once in a lifetime kind of pup.

Follow North American Quality Purveyors on Instagram and on twitter @northamericanqp to keep up to date with all their happenings. They would love for you to stop in if ever in Calgary but if not you can always visit their online shop at shopnorthamerican.com 

 

 

 

June 15, 2015

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The Big Sky Country's Answer to a Classic Cocktail

Although he is not a professional Mixologist, my Step-Father is no slouch when it comes to the art of creative cocktail making.  

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May 16, 2015

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Side Project Skateboards | Indigo Collection

Skateboards have been around since the 1970s, evolving from bare planks with roller-skate wheels bolted to the bottom, to using fiberglass and plastics and every form of wooden deck in between. Side Project has raised the bar by creating high functioning  beautifully refined pieces of ridable art. 
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April 29, 2015

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Quickie Dinner Idea- A General Knot & Co. Original Recipe

Sautéed Spinach, Mushrooms & Sweet Sausage

Sometimes you just need to work with what you have when it is getting late and the troops are hungry.  Luckily we had just purchased some beautiful organic spinach from Stone Barns Farmers Market a few days prior.
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April 29, 2015

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Stone Barns Sheep Shearing Fest

Above photo, courtesy of Ben Hider Photography
For over eleven years, Stone Barns has been operating just around the corner from where we live in Westchester, NY. In all of those years, I havn't found myself visiting one of their agricultural festivals or events. Not even the world famous Blue Hill restaurant, that has existed within Stone Barns' walls since it opened, could successfully draw me to its acreage. Oh, the shame...
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April 19, 2015

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What's For Dinner Tonight- Steak Au Poivre & Crispy Mushrooms

We found these two recipes (one from a recent NY Times Dining Section and a recipe post from the site Pure Wow) seem to go together perfectly for a flavorful weekend dinner.  Not much work and easy clean up also leaves more time for a productive evening of Netflix watching! 
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April 07, 2015

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c.1900 - Hand-Blocked Vegetable Dye Batik

There is vintage and then there's VINTAGE! 40 years is the defining age for true "vintage". When a fabric is well over 100 years old, well, you have something else entirely (an actual antique). As we are in perpetual "search mode", we come across quite a few extraordinary pieces of fabric. The beauty on this page came to us through...
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March 25, 2015

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Gitman Vintage x General Knot & Co. Spring 15 Collaboration

Collaborations come together in many different ways and for many different reasons. In the case of our Spring 15 collaboration with Gitman Vintage it is about two like minded brands coming together to highlight our shared love of colorful prints and vintage fabrics.
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March 15, 2015

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Blacksmith Coffee, Custom Collaboration

Online shopping is often a very anonymous experience even when a person clicks that box to "accept social marketing". Things change though when running a small business. Especially when all shipping labels and boxes are prepared by the same people who handle the social media and all other forms of communication (and everything else, for that matter!).

Since early on in the life of General Knot & Co., we began noticing a consistent couple of fellows (@greenwaybarista & @hermitudinous) from Houston, Texas making regular purchases of some of our most spectacular designs...

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March 04, 2015

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The Condiment That Keeps On Giving

Truth be told, we've become a bit addicted to the IG account HalfBakedHarvest.  Amazing photos and ridiculously tantalizing food porn worthy recipes.
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