Joanna Delaney is a local designer and dressmaker, specializing in bridal ware and vintage restoration. Last week she went against her better judgement and invited two strangers (Helena and myself) into her home for a chat.
Originally from Liverpool, Joanna came to Canada 18 years ago. Slightly more recently she moved to South Granville. Seven years ago she began her SG love-affair on Hemlock that segued into a brief and ill-fated stint in Kits, which brings us to her current live/work space in an historic walk-up off just off Granville St.
Joanna’s been in her delightful place for 2 years and has set it up to be the perfect mix of professional slash inviting. Her building is almost 100 years old and is gently steeped in Vancouver history. Apparently, the now apartment building served to house the sailors that traveled and worked on freighters close to the turn of the century. And by century I'm referring to the 20th century and by turn I mean roughly the 1920's. The historic building even had a bar downstairs. Now that's convenient.
Joanna's passion for designing couture was the culmination of many years moving through the ranks at a Vancouver bridal boutique coupled with her studies at Helen Lefeaux under the guidance of Jason Matlo.
As her full-time career progressed so did her passion. Joanna became a fit technician at two home-grown retail heavy weights: Lululemon and Aritzia, all the while designing dresses on the side. Her clients are women that can't find their dream dress in traditional boutiques. They come to Joanna from near and far (Japan) in order to make their wedding dress dreams come true. Her side business became so busy that she began having to turn jobs down. The penny dropped. So one faithful day not two months ago she turned her passion into her full-time career and at this early stage in the game is already hiring an intern. Continued success is guaranteed for Joanna Delaney.
Joanna picked SG for her home as well as business for a variety of reasons. It's central (her clients can attest to the convenience) and she was drawn to the street shopping that has a sense of refinement not found in other Vancouver neighborhoods. A true supporter and inhabiter of South Granville, Joanna’s favorite places are many: from outlying SG at Beaucoup Bakery and Heather Ross to Central SG for sustenance at Rangoli or Caffe Barney, to all the way up at Gala Fabrics for the occasional sewing emergency. The list goes on - from stylish boutiques to the Running Room. The only thing missing she thinks is a green grocer. Helena and I concur.
Between chatting and shooting photos we agreed, for three female entrepreneurs, South Granville is a pretty great place to be for work and for play.