Among the shops on popular Main Street is a lovely little shop that evokes old world charm mixed with modern elements. Much&Little is filled with natural wood, soft textiles, and simple products for the everyday. Find out more in today’s “Shop Local” featured seller interview.
1) Tell us who you are.
My name is Sarah Savoy and I’m the owner/operator of Much&Little, located in the heart of Mount Pleasant in Vancouver (2541 Main Street). We’re a lifestyle boutique that focuses on things that are timeless, simple and well made. Many of our things are handmade by independent designers or other small businesses. We’ve got housewares and homegoods, ladies clothing, gifts and personal accessories for men and women, even a few things for babies.
2) Why did you open Much & Little and how did you get started?
Much&Little opened in October 2011. Previously, I had been in a job that wasn’t rewarding for me, and my son was reaching an age where I felt I could really dive into something substantial. It was difficult finding the type of work that I really wanted to do, so after a lot of soul searching I decided to take the plunge and I started putting a business plan together. I don’t have a retail background so it’s definitely been a learning curve, but I learn a bit everyday, and try not to repeat my mistakes!
3) Besides running your shop, what else do you do?
I’ve got a husband, a young son, and a very energetic dog, so life outside the shop is full. I have wonderful staff that can work weekends so I have quality family time again! We love to get up the mountains to ski, or do a little sailing. Living in Vancouver, you have to make the most of what the city has to offer! Other than that, I love to cook and eat, so I’m always up for meeting friends and having a bite. Vancouver has so many great restaurants and watering holes, there’s always somewhere new to try.
4) What has been the best thing about running Much & Little in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood?
I had my hopes set on being in this area, so when a space came up for lease I jumped on it. I love the community feel of the area and the fact that I’m surrounded by other independent shops and businesses. The residents of the area have been very supportive, and I love seeing our regular customers coming in just to say hello.
5) In three words, how would you describe your shop?
Warm, tactile, inviting.
6) Each item in your shop is hand picked not only for aesthetics and function, but also for the story behind it. Can you elaborate on this?
I like to know the people or businesses I’m supporting when I source new products. The process behind a product is just as important as the item itself. If I can tell the story of a how a product came to be, then I think it really adds value to it. I prefer to support independent artists and designers if I can, not to say that we don’t have items that are produced in factories, but they have to make sense for us and fit into the overall mix.
7) Much & Little has a wide selection of hand crafted items. What does handmade mean to you and your business?
To me handmade goods are those made in smaller runs with love and attention to detail. They’ve come right from the source and bear all the personal marks and sometimes imperfections of the maker; of course the skill has to be there and the overall aesthetic has to work as well. The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi really resonates with me.
8) Who or what has influenced your shop’s design aesthetic?
I have an interior design degree and I find my taste hasn’t changed much over the years. I love texture and natural, organic elements. Wood. Ceramics. Natural textiles. Nothing too precious or perfect. I grew up in a home that could loosely be described as West Coast modern and I still have that sensibility in me. The homes of Charles and Ray Eames and Russel Wright are my dream homes.
9) Describe 3 items currently in the shop. One a splurge, one a steal, and one that is your favourite.
Splurge on a wool kilim rug, Duralex drinking glasses are a steal, and one of my favourite items is a Frost River canvas and leather weekend bag that I recently used for a business trip to LA.
10) Where would you like to be in 10 years?
Who knows! I hope Much&Little stands the test of time – maybe it will have expanded! But I will give the same advice to myself that I give to my son: that whatever I do, I should do with full energy and heart, otherwise it’s just not worth it.
Thank you Sarah for this great interview! Be sure to visit her shop if you happen to be in Vancouver! You can follow Sarah of Much&Little on Twitter and Faceboook as well! Don’t forget to comment, like, pin, tweet, or share this interview if you would like to see more great interviews.
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