Interview with Kyle Van Der Velden owner of North American Quality Pur - General Knot & Co.

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 




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