973 Bloor St. W, 647-748-9000, muddygeorge.com
After years of joking about wanting to open a store if I won the lottery, I only started to take my dream seriously last year. While I have no industry or retail experience, I am very passionate about men's fashion and have always had an entrepreneurial spirit about me. Last fall, I started to contact local brands and, thanks to their support, my progress started to snowball. The idea has always been to have an emphasis on Canadian and specifically Toronto brands that are all equally well made, wearable and timeless.
About 50 per cent of the stock we carry was made in Canada, but it'll grow in the spring and summer. I love a good button-down shirt, so a lot of our products are different button-downs. We have a lot of accessories: men's bracelets, leather bracelets from Vancouver, belts made in Italy, bags from Montreal. Everything lasts multiple seasons. The idea is that you won't have to clean out your closet twice a year.
I want things to be made where they're actually from. You won't find anything made in a sweatshop or in developing countries, where the workers aren't paid very well.
The Outclass shawl cardigan, which is made using an ultra-soft, wool blend yarn. It features one-by-one rib cuffs with herringbone detail, two hand pockets and black corozo nut buttons. ($225)
This interview has been edited and condensed.