“We love fashion; it truly is the essence of our being!” Maria and Joanne Angelis, 2010
It began in September of 2003 with the first of the three boutiques, Cybil Scott. Owner Maria Angelis had just arrived back from London, England where she had been vice president for a beauty and fashion PR company, Belle PR. Though she was a born fashionista, her time in London had turned her passion for fashion into an obsession! At age six-teen Maria got her first part-time job as the “Saturday girl” at Cybil Scott. She continued working there throughout her time at Queen’s University and over dinner one night some 10 years later she bought the boutique which had been a Kingston institution for over 20 years. On September 3rd of that year armed with her impeccable sense of fashion, a dream and her mother Vaso, a fashion diva if ever one existed, the pair opened the doors and welcomed in the ladies of Kingston.
A year later her sister, and now business partner, Joanne Angelis completed her bachelor of honors in Economics from Queen’s University. She had always seen herself in the corporate world but as graduation came and went, Joanne realized she was not sure which career path to pursue. It was not long before she too was taken by the world of fashion and joined her big sister and mother in what was now a true family business.
Running a family business was nothing new for these ladies. They grew up and worked hard at their family restaurant here in Kingston. They believe this experience formed the foundation of the work ethic they credit their success to today. Born to Greek immigrant parents, Gus and Vaso, they were taught at an early age the importance of a good education and hard work.
Over the next two years, the girls worked overtime to make their business grow. Accessories were slowly integrated into the mix but they felt they were not putting together the “complete package” for their clients. The integral pieces, like footwear, that complemented the store’s collections were simply not there. As any professional shopper knows, it’s easier to buy the outfit and accessorize it on the spot rather than wander from store to store searching for the right pieces. One night over a cup of tea and biscuits, the sisters thought about how they could help their customers achieve this in an easier way. It was then that Catwalk was born.-shoes and accessories complementing the collections of Cybil Scott would be right around corner and right at the ladies fingertips!
By 2007, the Angelis women had their clients covered from head to toe but as any stylist worth their salt will tell you, the wrong foundation wear can ruin even the most beautiful garment. Sadly, they were witness to this tragedy time and time again. So, to solve the problem they opened their third shop: Coquetta Lingerie. Housing luxurious French lingerie next to essential body contouring pieces, allowed the ladies the ability to offer their clients all the right finishing touches.
And so the trio was formed, “dressing our ladies, top to toe, inside and out!” As of October 2012 all three shops were combined under one roof. The result was outstanding! Customers truly have the one stop shopping experience the ladies had been striving to offer. With that done, House of Angelis Clothing and House of Angelis Footwear, Accessories and Lingerie were finally ready to welcome their clients the way they had always hoped for, like one big family.
And make no mistake about it, though each sister helms her own store, Mama Vaso is and always be our Queen Bee xo
As Canadian retailers, we strive to support Canadian designers wherever possible.
Clothing: Joesph Ribkoff
Jewellery: Chantal Beaudet Designs, Twoa
Handbags: Christopher Kon, Co_Lab
Sleepwear: Christine Designs, Diamond Tea