The Coal Miner’s Daughter unearths local style finds

The Coal Miner’s Daughter unearths local style finds

Charm school: The adorable Coal Miner's Daughter gives the Annex a much-needed dose of retail (Photo by Caitlin Durlak) 

Chic clothing boutiques might seem like a no-brainer in the busy Annex, but style-savvy shoppers have long bemoaned the lack of options in the neighbourhood beyond such longtime favourites as Trove and Risque. Enter The Coal Miner’s Daughter, a jewel box of handmade fashion finds tucked into a second-storey space in Mirvish Village.

Open only a month, The Coal Miner’s Daughter is the brainchild of co-owners Krysten Caddy and Janine Cockburn, friends and neighbours who had long dreamed of opening a shop together to showcase the work of local designers, including their own handmade pieces. When the space in the Village became available this summer, the pair took the opportunity to transform the small room into a charmingly feminine atelier crammed with over 25 local clothing and jewellery designers.

Brocade coat from Clementine and Tweed (Photo by Caitlin Durlak) 

“We’re offering handmade, quality pieces that are unique but affordable,” says Caddy. “We want people to wear it and love it—we don’t want people to feel uncomfortable with sticker shock.”

To that end, the shop carries a mix of reworked vintage and new designs, including Cockburn’s in-house line Clementine and Tweed, and Caddy’s eponymous jewellery collection.

Cockburn takes inspiration from the colours and textures of vintage fabrics, which she works into flirty high-waisted patterned skirts ($90) and special-occasion items, like the eye-catching pieces in the shop’s front window, including a high-collared gold brocade jacket with vintage buttons and puffed sleeves ($140) befitting of a 1940s screen siren.

Caddy aims for a similar vintage-yet-modern vibe with her semi-precious jewellery. A long, multi-strand necklace drips with coin-shaped pearls and quartz beads and features hand-wrapped links of sterling silver ($285). The line offers more affordable options, as well; drop earrings in silver and pearl or other gemstones go for $30.

Fierce proponents of local fashion, the pair scoured the city for their favourite local designers and have been approached by several others since opening the shop. Caddy notes that Sui Generis’ form-fitting embellished linen bustier tops and short, sexy bustier dresses in organic cotton (both $100) have been flying off the shelves. “We can’t keep enough in stock,” she says. “I think it’s the exquisite construction.”

Of the quirky yet elegant accessories, standouts include Biko’s ornate metallic earrings in lace-like patterns ($35) and COBShop’s sleek hobo handbag in reworked tan leather with braided cloth strap and side zipper ($120). Caddy and Cockburn predict Momiji’s tweedy coats and jackets ($280–$325) will be big sellers for fall-winter, with such sweet details as ribbon rosettes and detachable pockets.

“I feel like we have something to offer everybody, whether it’s a student on a budget who can find a piece for $30, girls who come in with their moms who might like my stuff, or guys who come in to buy gifts,” Caddy says. “When we were trying to come up with a name for the store, we thought that a coal miner’s daughter would be super-resourceful—kind of the idea of using what you have and making something beautiful out of it.”

Even though the store is open only evenings (both owners still have day jobs), Caddy and Cockburn say they feel the neighbourhood has already begun to embrace their unique niche of handmade and local design. While they joke that their ideal customer would be recently in-town starlet Drew Barrymore, they’re pleased that local shoppers of all stripes are supporting homegrown talent.

The Coal Miner’s Daughter, 587 Markham St., coalminersdaughter.ca, TuF 59, Sa noon9, Su noon5.