Always on the move, Mill Lake was the perfect place for us to meet up with Carli from Montrose + George and join her as she walked Utah, her gorgeous German Shorthaired Pointer. The rumour that dogs look like their owners, it’s true. Carli and Utah are quite the pair, both elegant, energetic and charming as can be. Utah let Carli take the lead as we strolled around the park and after some time adventuring below the tall trees of Mill Lake, we raced downtown to spend a few moments inside the General Store before its opening.
FVT – What are you known for in the community? What is your business?
MG – Montrose And George is an upscale concept boutique. We sell locally and ethically made clothing, accessories, homewares, and gifts. We hope to be known for a place where friends can gather, connect, and discover new and delightful finds.
FVT – Montrose & George has a very distinct style. What do you look for in the products you carry?
We aim to curate a range of products that are wholesome, natural, high in quality, purposeful, and above all else made ethically. We believe that when we bring new items into our homes, they should carry a sense of utility and or bring joy each time we use it.
FVT – How would you describe Montrose & George if it were a person?
MG – We oftentimes think of M+G as a person to help with placing our customers – her name, Monti. Monti would be familiar, warm, and yet enchanting and exciting, all at the same time.
FVT – What is your hope for people after they’ve experienced coming to your store?
MG – Our desire for our customers is to feel content and happy when they leave the store (whether they’ve purchased something or not) – as if they’ve just visited with an old friend. If they do purchase something we always want them to be excited about what they’re taking home, and if it’s clothing – to always feel great and to be proud of who they are, regardless of body type.
FVT – What’s next?
MG – Ooo this is a tough question. We have so many dreams for M+G and are constantly looking at where we want to take this special store of ours. With owning one’s own business always dreaming up “what’s next” is crucial (and exciting) to keep moving forward. One dream right now is to be able to expand our offerings, and to potentially start carrying a selection of menswear. We’re also dreaming of expanding our square footage in the near future, and a little birdy has told us that their might be something coming up online very soon too.
FVT – What is your favourite summer tradition?
MG – This may sound silly and cliche, but I really just enjoy getting out there and soaking in that glowing sunshine – whether it be late afternoons with friends, or alone basking in the warmth while listening to my favourite music or stories.
FVT – Who are a few of your favourite locals to follow on social media?
MG – That’s hard! I love so many, but here are a few that first come to mind!
Connie Hackett from @constancelh
Jess Delves from @jess.delves
Alyssa Short from @alyssashortdesign
FVT – Tell us a little bit about your life outside of Montrose + George.
MG – In having M+G as my baby, time “off” is few and far between. When I’m able to turn off and enjoy some time I try getting outside as much as possible, spending time with my family and friends, and taking Utah (my dog) for runs. I also love finding and exploring new eateries and boutiques – it’s such a great feeling when you find that gem of a hole-in-the-wall that’s waiting to be discovered.
FVT – If you were graduating High School right now, what would you do?
MG – With having time-traveling on my side, I’d have a better idea of what my passions and strengths are, and would tell myself that everything will work out, to worry less. I think I’d still want to go to school; however, possibly take more creative courses in place of economics and math. Allowing myself to try different avenues and see what brings me most joy. I find that working backwards from a dream is the best way to start, to decide what you’d like to do and then move back to point A, writing down all the possible options you have and things you’ll need to get to point B.
FVT – How would you describe your perfect day in the Fraser Valley?
MG – So many great things to do – it’s hard to narrow it down to one day, but I would probably say a bit of everything – starting the day off with a class at Iron Cycle, stopping by a few of my favourite shops downtown for a reward with a friend, heading to a local nursery with my mum, and then ending it off with a walk along the dyke.
FVT – Where do you find your retreat in the Fraser Valley?
MG – The Fraser Valley is such a vast and beautiful space with so many gems. Living in Langley, I find that I miss being able to go out and enjoy nature – it’s right on most people’s doorsteps! Anything from going for a run/walk along the dyke, a hike on Sumas Mountain, heading out to the lake or river for some fishing, or visiting our beautiful historic Downtown Abbotsford for some retail therapy and catching up with the local community – it’s all wonderful.
FVT – If you were a destination, where would you be?
MG – I really had to think about this one, and I don’t know if I’d be a specific destination – could I say that I’d be a roadtrip? I’m always eager to explore and embrace change. I’d like to believe that similar to a roadtrip I’m always on the hunt for new places and experiences, meeting new people, trying to always look ahead, and working hard – no shortcuts (but a lot of U-turns, haha). Life’s a ride, right?
Utah quickly made himself at home as we walked into the dimly lit Montrose + George. From a quick glance around you could see that everything was perfectly in its place and ready to leave you wishing you’d bought it all. Carli’s style couldn’t have shone through brighter throughout the whole store. It was clear to see how the store was built around her taste, which made it the perfect place to end our story.