Meg Watson

The stylish co-owner of Parkdale’s Frances Watson & Maddy the dog

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style team

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When Toronto’s Queen West was voted the 2nd coolest neighborhood by Vogue, it was inevitable that “West” extended and the cool crept further. If you know Toronto, you know that Parkdale has been cool for longer than most realize. It’s a community proud for what it is – hard working families making a living in an area once forgotten by the city it’s in. Though the neglect to the infrastructure is still visible, the revitalization has taken center stage with storefronts showcasing wears for the young and hip with disposable incomes.

The Future of Frances Watson stands above the rest, catering to the ultra stylized urban hipsters, young professionals and those with a touch of outdoorsy swag. Co-owner Meg Watson has developed a store that slides perfectly into the Parkdale vibe by being a friendly, neighborhood shop that’s welcoming and warm. It’s as if you’ve walked into your friend’s cool apartment, they have a closet full of great things you want to wear, and you feel like you could hangout all day.

Maddy the dog greets customers with a friendly face and is the perfect addition to the store. We’ve said before that a dog can make the shop but Maddy really does nail the Frances Watson energy. We’ll let Meg talk more about the decision to bring Maddy into the shop and life in retail with a dog alongside.

Tell us about yourself:

I own a clothing store with my best pal/ sister-from- another- mister Kerry Butt. We crack each other up and I feel so lucky to laugh as much as I do at “work,” while enjoying the freedoms that come with being your own boss – bringing my dog to work is a big part of that!!

I truly love what I do – beyond my love of fashion/clothing it is really all about the people – I love meeting and connecting with people from the neighborhood. It’s sometimes amazing where a conversation with a virtual stranger can lead you – I just love it.

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A bit about  your pet:

Maddy is a Bernese Mountain / Aussie Shepherd. She’s a rescue that was found wild as a puppy in northern Quebec with no pack and no mother yet somehow had been surviving. Three people tried to adopt her and brought her back to the shelter – she was just too wild. My friend’s mom was the last to adopt her, but Maddy did not get along with the other dogs at her farm so there was a knock on my the next day asking if I wanted her. A week earlier I had said that I would not go out and seek a dog, but if one came my way I could never say no – and there she was! Look at those eyes – I had to say yes!  She has been a work in progress for 8 years now but it has been worth it. She brought a lot of structure to my life and reminds me every morning when I wake up to greet the day with enthusiasm.  She’s a wild-hearted lady with a heart of gold and a huge dork under her sometimes tough exterior.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

Ideally it’s a cottage packed full of friends and their dogs/ kids where we loose track of time, swim, BBQ jerk chicken/lake swim/naps/ drink Prosecco/1000 jokes and dancing.

How would you describe your style?

“Choosing the best costume for the day”

What inspires you?

Anyone I see fighting for their dream and just making s*** happen.

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How would you describe the look and feel of your store?

I feel the shop is a lot like my own home actually –  Warm, eclectic, cozy, lots to look at, smells good, and clothes everywhere!

A story about Maddy:

Well there was the time she saved us from a Black bear attack in Georgian Bay and chased it off the island. There was also the time she jumped off a third story balcony and just landed and walked away like nothing happened.

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Visit The Future of Frances Watson at 1390 Queen St W or check them out online at their site!