Since the launch of Go-Van, we’ve been lucky enough to have the support of a fine local surf and outdoor shop called Archive. Hidden in one of the most lively Montreal’s neigborhood called Villeray, Sebastien and Myriam have been able to gather a large community with great events and good vibes around their store. They’ve become a destination for many tourists visiting town, so make sure you come by if you’re passing through Montreal soon. Their famous Surf Swap event is actually happening this weekend, come hang out with Guava Surfboards, Poler Stuff, Deus, and even the Anchored Coffee people from Nova Scotia will be there!! Here’s a little Q&A I did with Seb and Mimi.
How did you guys end up opening a store? And why in Villeray neighbourhood?
Five years ago, I was doing marketing for a surf brand and I was travelling a bunch with my girlfriend. We were being exposed to a lot of amazing retail and we felt like we had to open a store ourselves. Growing up, my parents were self-employed and it was always something I wanted to do. I remember looking online for a retail space and found this affordable 500sq/ft shop that was a couple blocs from our place. I convinced my girlfriend Myriam to jump on board and next thing you know, we were running a store. For Myriam and I, the originally goal wasn’t to make a living out of this. I think we naïvely thought it was a rad way for both of us to emancipate ourselves creatively through the store. For me, it was thru event organization and collab projects, for Myriam, having a bachelor in fine arts, it was a place for her to expose and sell what she was creating.
We choose Villeray first and foremost because I grew up in the neighborhood. I’ve been living in the area for 15 years and it felt right for me to participate in the development of the commercial landscape of this neck of the woods. At first, people were laughing at us saying it would be the worst mistake to open in this area witch was considered residential at the time. In all honesty, it was quite the gamble but we had a great vision for Villeray. Its not their yet, but no doubt we are getting there.
Myriam and Sebastien, Archive owners
Over which criterias do you select the brands you’ll sell at the store?
Origin, quality of fabrication, brand values and most of all the people behind the brands. Its not so much about trends or fashion but more about good quality timeless pieces.
Fine selection of products, and Myriam’s art on the wall!
Archive makes a lot of interesting collabs and and pop up shops
What is your favorite surf spot?
For sure, the east coast of Canada. As for the rest of the world, that’s a tough one. I had some insane sessions at “the Alley” on the goldie in Australia. But then again, so tough to pick one spot.
Sebastien, at the local wave in the Saint-Laurent river.
Guava is a Montreal surf brand, by a young shaper living in Villeray
Seb, somewhere in Hawaii
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
Besides surfing, camping with my girlfriend.
You’re a fan of motorcycle, can you tell us a fun road trip you did?
Myriam and I were travelling through Lao and we stop at this tiny village called Nong Khiaw. At the time, it was a really slow paced, secluded jungle village with very little electricity and no atm’s. We loved it there. When we left to carry on our trip, our next destination was the capital of Lao, Luang Prabang. When we got there it was a huge clash. If felt like we were in a big city with a bunch of people, and all we were thinking about was to go back to Nong Khiaw. So we rented a motorcycle and travelled about 300 km (witch took about 6 hours) back to the village we loved so much. The road was as dodgy as it was beautiful. It rained for two hours straight and it was absolutely freezing. It was perfect. I have had many bike rides but that’s one for the books.
What would look like the van of your dream?
Nothing too fancy, just clean and that never, ever breaks down. A comfy bed. Couple bicycles and surfboards on the roof, a bodum and a fridge full of beers.
Your annual Surf Swap is coming next weekend, it is one of the most popular event for the local surf scene, can you tell us what we can expect this year?
Lots of second hand surfboards, bands, a wetsuit swap, a “Poler” sponsored Land Rover Defender, bikes, the launch of the third Guava surfboards x Archive collection, a bar, food, the boys from Anchored coffee from Nova Scotia are coming down to serve cold coffees, and of course, lots of fine people.
Surf Swap was a huge success in 2014!
Sebastien with local shaper Martin from Guava
What are the next plans for Archive?
New York, LA, Tokyo. Haha no really, just keep doing our thing, stay positive and focused on what we do and remind ourselves how lucky we are to be doing what we do, it’s a lot of fun! Besides that, new website and online store will launch in a couple weeks!
What are the 5 items you don’t forget when you go in the woods?
A good knife
My bodum to make good coffee