Welcome Shireen and Aaron Beals to Downtown Stratford! With the amount they have going on, you’d think they had been here already a couple years! Feverishly knitting, crocheting, making hats and tshirts… interior designing their cosy retail space…. having launched the brand new “Festival Square Market” of 18 artisan vendors every second Saturday… AND originally commuting daily from Toronto (they now live here – phew)! This dynamite duo are new to Stratford and love it already like us locals do!
[NOTE: You might recognize our NEW BIA 50th Anniversary t-shirts – made by the one and only…]
When the pandemic hit, Shireen and Aaron like so many were forced to do their office jobs from home. During this period in their free time, Aaron taught his wife how to knit and crochet, a skill that his mother taught him when he was young. Shireen loved it and has never looked back! In fact, it didn’t take her long to knit so many hats her husband quickly put together a website to sell them online. They sold out! Sobeys even contacted them for a batch of these homemade goods! Next they got into vendor markets that took them for weekends in every direction from Toronto. But after a while of selling their wares under a tent – which now included ball caps with 3D vinyl logos – they got tired of the long journeys and leaving their two boys behind. So, they decided it was time for a bricks and mortar. Every weekend for months, they left home for day trips to towns they thought might be a good fit. And when they visited Stratford – the very first time for both of them – in September 2022, they fell in love! Our mainstreets were buzzing with people, in and out of shops and restaurants. They visited the next few weekends and everytime it was the same awesome vibe. So the hunt began for an official space for Mosaic Outfitters and voilà, here they are!
All products are made at the shop – excluding of course the knit and crochet wear that is done on the commute! Mosaic Outfitters has done some co-branding projects, too – with the Ottawa Capitals Lacrosse team and right now is working on a special item with Stratford Pride. A new product has recently been introduced – a wide brimmed crocheted sun hat called the Susan Elizabeth, after Aaron’s later mother who was their loyal super fan.
Having met so many amazing artisans along their journey, they have a room at their shop dedicated to the products of their favourites. So you can drop by to this Canadian lifestyle brand MO (the name of their cat by the way!), AND you can check out other locally made items, too! Watch as well soon for the “Stratford” collection that will include tote bags!
MOSAIC OUTFITTERS | 10 DOWNIE ST (entrances of Erie St, Erie St. Parking lot, and Downie St.)