STOMPING GROUND

Nestled in the Glebe district of Downtown Ottawa, Canada, Stomping Ground is a locally owned & operated fashion & lifestyle boutique, curating a selection of fine apparel, footwear, grooming, accessories, books and home goods. We had the chance to sit down with one of the founders, Naj Peterson for a full length interview about the shop.

@stompingground

Open daily, 11am - 5pm

728 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON

What was the idea behind starting Stomping Ground? who was part of its inception?

With a shared love for streetwear culture and more than 15 years combined in the fashion retail industry, Josh Chambers and I (Naj Peterson) felt compelled to open a boutique which reflected our own unique and personal interpretation. With us both being born and raised in Ottawa, we also felt an innate pride and responsibility to foster a culture we love so deeply within our community. Adding to that, there was a clear void in the market, specifically with fashion retailers either catering to teenagers or mature adults. As we approached our mid-30’s we often felt caught somewhere in-between… raised in the culture of streetwear but also seeking a more refined approach to fashion with a keen awareness of the importance of quality, timelessness, transparency and sustainability.  With Stomping Ground, we attempted to fill that void by creating an inclusive space which both honoured our roots in streetwear while delivering a diverse array of quality goods. 

Tell us more about the community your store is in! How has the surrounding community shaped your store?

We’re located in the Glebe district of downtown Ottawa. A historic neighbourhood which was one of Ottawa’s first ‘suburbs’ Walking through the Glebe you’ll find beautifully crafted heritage homes and historic buildings, which are fiercely preserved by the tight knit community. Their is a timeless nature to the neighbourhood, along with an appreciation for all things well-made. Through the years we have naturally adapted to our community and fully embraced a philosophy centred around curating thoughtfully made goods which stand the test of time.  

We love the way you elevated the shopping experience in your store through customer service, what was the motivation behind this?

It's 2022. You can sit in the comfort of your own home and purchase virtually anything and have it delivered to your door. As a retailer we are asking you to give us your  valuable time to come and shop with us in-store, the least we can do is give you a heightened customer service experience. Whether its a complimentary espresso or customizing the in-store playlist to an artist you’re currently digging, we want to connect with our clientele and personalize their experience as much as possible. We want our clients to feel appreciated, valued and rewarded for generously giving us their time.

How did the pandemic reshape the way you view the retail experience?
The pandemic forced us to get creative and fast. Our first objective was to find unique ways to engage our local clientele and mimic the in-store shopping experience as best we could. We did this through virtual appointments via Skype or Zoom, in-home trunk shows, same day local  delivery and easy returns. However, the biggest change was a complete overhaul to our online strategy. We recognized the paramount importance in being able to connect with online customers. This meant educating ourselves and then strategically investing into Google, web SEO, social media marketing and online customer service. The result of this investment was fruitful and further illuminated the value of e-commerce in a post-pandemic world.
It's amazing how your store prioritizes lifestyle curation alongside apparel curation! What commonalities and qualities do you look for in the curation of both of these?

I think whether its clothing, grooming, candles or glassware, our philosophy remains the same. Quality, uniqueness, ethical manufacturing and value. When you attempt to curate culture honestly it becomes easier to identify and appreciate the commonality in a diverse array of goods.

What are your future plans with the store? 
    After a tumultuous two years we’re excited to be back to business as usual. We hope to continue to grow our reach through e-commerce, expanding further into the Americas and Europe. And we’re also very excited to announce our foray into crafting an in-house private label for Fall 2023. A collection of timeless and ethically-made essentials manufactured in Canada and Europe.  
     
     
    Take a listen to the custom curated Spotify playlist by Stomping Ground here:
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