Celebrating Gravity Pope and 25 Years of Blundstone Boots
Congratulations to Gravity Pope, Blundstone ambassador for 25 years!
When iconic Australia brand Blundstone boots hit Canadian shores in the early 1990’s, a lot of people were scratching their heads. What are these boots? Where are the laces? How do they stay on your feet?
One Canadian retailer saw the practicality of a relaxed no-nonsense, no-lace, pull-on boot right from the get-go. That was Gravity Pope, now celebrating their 25th year as a Blundstone retailer. Blundstone Canada recently had a short Q&A with Louise Dirks, founder of Gravity Pope to see what’s been kicking in the footwear business over the past quarter-century.
Blundstone: Why have gravity pope’s customers connected so strongly with the Blundstone brand?
Louise: Gravity Pope customers love Blundstone’s quality, range of styles and versatility. Blundstone really are a perfect year-round boot, especially in Canada. Spring, summer, fall or winter, there is always a purpose for a Blundstone. Consumers are dedicated to the Blundstone brand, often outfitting their whole family and buying them as gifts. They are the perfect boot for both city and country living, functional, easy to wear and work well with almost anyone’s personal style. Blundstone is a reliable brand in this ever-changing marketplace.
Blundstone: You were early ambassadors for Blundstone boots. Why?
Louise : Gravity Pope is known for carrying an excellent, well curated, collection of quality made footwear which includes a large selection of Blundstone. Our Client Service Professionals advocate for Blundstone, often wearing them and suggesting them for a wide range of footwear needs.
Blundstone: If you were to go back 25 years, when you started this business, what advice would you give yourself?
Louise : I would tell myself to always believe in my gut instincts!
Blundstone: Would you have done anything differently if you were to start over?
Louise : The past 27 years have certainly been an adventure and I have learned a lot along the way. Retail is not an easy business and has its fair share of challenges. It would have been helpful to know the future and it certainly would have changed some decisions I made! However I am happy with the evolution of my business and I look forward to future opportunities and rewards.
Blundstone: Was there a pivotal turning point, or defining moment, at the store(s) over the past 27 years?
Louise : Gravity Pope has expanded across Canada and internationally online. Each move has been pivotal to bring growth and move us forward in an exciting direction.
Blundstone has been part of that expansion this whole time. With every new gravitypope location, Blundstone has been there to celebrate. A couple of highlights Blundstone and gravitypope took in together include:
1990 – Opened first footwear shop – Edmonton, AB.
2000 – Opened second footwear shop – Calgary, AB.
2004 – Opened third footwear shop -Vancouver, BC.
2005 – Launched website www.gravitypope.com
2007 – Opened gravitypope Tailored Goods featuring women’s and men’s clothing, accessories and apothecary -Edmonton, AB.
2007 – Opened gravitypope Tailored Goods featuring women’s and men’s clothing, accessories and apothecary – Vancouver, BC.
2012 – Opened first micro-department store featuring footwear, clothing, accessories, and apothecary – Toronto, ON.
2015 – Celebrated 25th anniversary with 25 exciting collaborations from favorite brands
2015 – Moved and redeveloped the Calgary location into a micro-department store featuring men’s and women’s footwear, clothing, accessories and apothecary as well as a cafe and vinyl shop, Blackbyrd Myoozik.
2016 – Launched new website with better size/color search capabilities and expanded online offering for ease of pre-shopping.
Blundstone: How has your partnership with Blundstone Canada changed and/or evolved over the past 25 years?
Louise : Our partnership has strengthened over the years as we have become known for the place to find the best Blundstone selection. We hold full size stock in our stores and are always open to trying new colours and styles. Consumers trust our quality selection of footwear which includes Blundstone.
Blundstone: Relationships are difficult, it’s a two-way street, communication, respect, trust and support. Do you feel this partnership has all of those qualities?
Louise : Gravity Pope and Blundstone have seen the retail environment evolve and become more and more competitive. In the age of the internet, when a price comparison is a couple clicks away, Blundstone continues to uphold the value of its products to ensure the market is fair and equal. Despite changes in the retail environment, gravitypope continues to sell more and more Blundstones every season.
Blundstone: If you were to take your Blundstone boots on an adventure anywhere, where would you go, who would you take with you and why?
Louise : Blundstone boots are perfect for a day trek to the Canadian Rockies. In an ideal world I would take Einstein, Mahatma Ghandi and Karl Lagerfeld together, all wearing Blundstones, and hike Johnston Canyon to the falls. I would bring a bagged lunch and a bottle of wine to share at the summit. Hopefully Mahatma Ghandi would be ok with wearing Blundstones.
Blundstone: Anything else to add on this wonderful longstanding relationship?
Louise : Gravity Pope values business relationships and believes in loyal partnerships. We consider Blundstone one of the bedrocks of our business. Thank you Blundstone ❤️.