Get to know the man behind sustainable Canadian lifestyle brand Illbury + Goose
By the Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
This week, Get Leashed took a trip to London (Ontario – yay!). We’ve mentioned before that as Toronto grows, the cool’s seemingly moving west, and we proved it with our Hamilton features. Although London is pretty far west (2 hours from Toronto), there are awesome businesses and people here and guess what? They have dogs!
Illbury + Goose is a Canadian lifestyle brand with fine made goods that you’re sure to see everywhere in the near future. With a beautifully designed storefront in the up-and-coming Old East Village, Dan Phillips and his partner have created a brand that proudly represents Canada and their city by promoting craftsmanship, sustainability and community by carrying beautiful, locally made products.
Cooper adds that perfect touch to the store that only a dog can, furthering the Canadian vibe with his part husky traits. Full disclosure: Dan has a fresh black eye in our photos. There’s no great story behind it, but in retrospect, we shouldn’t have let him cover it up with makeup, as it adds even more to his Canadian brand with a bit of a tough guy mark on a completely kind, personable man. Oh well. Read on for more about Illbury + Goose and Dan’s relationship with Cooper!
Please tell us about yourself:
I own a sustainable Canadian lifestyle brand that carries everything from t-shirts, hats and leather goods, to locally-made apothecary products and cleaning supplies. We produce more than 90% of our products right here in Canada. Our brick and mortar store is located in London, Ontario, in the Old East Village. We have great staff, great customers, and I really wouldn’t change any of it for anything. I go to work every day with my dog and a smile on my face; that is the best part of my day.
A bit about your pet:
His name is Cooper, and he is a Shepherd-Husky mix. Being self-employed, it was the perfect opportunity to raise a puppy with a park minutes away, and ready access to it whenever necessary. Cooper is a very chill, mellow dog – he even lays down to eat! He is also well-socialized with people and other animals. When he was a puppy we would bring him to work, summer events – literally every thing we did. He’s perfect. Now he hangs out in the shop every day, or chills in the office when there is design work to be done. He can be a little spoiled with company, since he doesn’t spend too much time alone.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
Generally, we work all weekend at the shop or spend time travelling to various events. Our store is often a weekend hangout spot for friends and family, so if we’re not on the road, we’re here. If there is time, I love going up to my cottage in Sauble Beach – which doesn’t happen nearly enough, may I add. Coop loves it there too! He goes on adventures off-leash, in an out of the water. He is really in his element there.
For me, if I’m stuck in the city after a long day of work, I love to unwind with some delicious food and cocktails from either The Black George or TOOK, with a possible pop-in at Milo’s after for some tasty craft beer.
Describe your personal style:
My style is hip and very casual-Canadian.
What inspires you?
What inspires me most is a quote from my dad: “The dreams that I dream, please never let that feeling fade away.” It’s a nice reminder for everything I do.
How would you describe the look and feel of your shop?
The shop is very homey, and has a warm “cottagey” feel. It is in an old building that has been beautifully restored, featuring exposed brick and original hardwood floor. It also has a couch with a coffee table in the back so people can hang out when they visit us. Usually there’s one of Cooper’s toys or bones out in the main area that he left on the way to greet arriving customers. His bed, food, and water are in the back, and are often shared with his neighborhood dog pals — Orion in particular. Our shop is dog-friendly and we welcome everyone’s furry friends to come along for a visit; both Cooper and my staff love it, and I wouldn’t want our store any other way.
A story about Cooper:
Every day we have people come to the store just to visit Cooper. If it’s summertime, he waits patiently at the open door to greet customers. However, for the majority of the time, once he’s got them in the door, he is laying on his back waiting for a belly rub. The guy has the best job in the world.