From a hobby of sewing, and love for creating fashionable items, Michelle Peilech of Sly Scarves designs, produces circle scarves and accessories. Each scarf is handmade, from fabric bought right here in Manitoba. Each piece is unique and of premium quality, and is sewn, knitted or crocheted by Michelle and other local craftswomen that include her mom, Gramma and Auntie. The name ‘SLY’ stands for her mom’s initials.
Watch Michelle on CTV News demonstrating the many ways to tie, wrap and wear a scarf here.
Although similar product can be found at large retailers, Sly Scarves creates a better quality, more desired product at a lower price. In 2012, they started selling their product to friends and family, and the word spread through their connections through word-of-mouth. They now sell their product online through their website and Etsy Shop, at craft shows and is available at A Pinch of Creativity, located at 296 McDermot Ave, in the Exchange District. Their loyal following appreciates their brand and special touches they put into each product – such as the logo, packaging and gift wrapping.
Michelle believes in supporting local businesses and putting revenue back into the local economy to enrich the community we live in. With so many talented and skilled local producers in Winnipeg, creating opportunities to make a living through their support will provide a much more sustainable economy.
What is your management style?
What is the opposite of laid back?
What lessons have you learned since starting?
Trust your gut. Try to be genuinely nice to everyone, even if they are not nice to you or your competition.
What motivates you? What is your passion?
My passion is creating. I feel a sense of fulfilment when I get to make. Being part of the local makers movement. There are plenty of important reasons to support a local business. I like to support local businesses because most of these operations, ours included, utilize their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community. Also, it may not always be clear, but we have so many
talented and highly-skilled producers and service providers in our own community (including our City, Province, and Country) that are under-utilized, and not provided with the appropriate opportunity to make a living through our support. There’s a common misconception that local means ‘more expensive’, but this isn’t necessarily true. I believe a more robust local-based economy is much more sustainable than some people may think.
How would you describe your personal style?
Sophisticated and contemporary during the day. I tend to wear a lot of black clothing. No colour, unless its a navy, or a neutral colour, maybe beige or grey. But I am also a normal women with a one year old daughter, so when I am home for the night, its sweatpants all the way.
What do you do like to do for fun?
long distance running and selling vintage toys
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone starting their own business?
Do not under value your product and do not pass up opportunities. At the same time, respect your customers, and offer them a fair value for your product
What are you wearing?
As I sit here and type this I am wearing a Black Aritzia Babaton cami and blouse, black Old Navy Pixie Pants, and Steve Madden flats. Love Aritzia, H&M and Sustain Luxury. For local, Sarah Sue Design and EMK Clothing.
Best style tip you have ever heard:
Don’t wear what doesn’t fit
Favourite place to shop – in Winnipeg and/or other city:
I love all the local markets! Scattered Seeds and Pineridge Hollow Farmers Market are my favourite.
What was the first piece of clothing you designed?
I believe it was a very ugly yellow corduroy jumper
Do you remember your first customer?
Yes I do, her name is also Michelle, and she is amazing!
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