On Nov 4, local merchant Nancy Kapodistrias opened up downtown St. Catharines newest delight, keepgood co., which is located at 1-283 St. Paul St. The store focuses on home decor drawing on ideas of Nordic design and minimalist and modern lifestyles.
Now you might be thinking, ‘What constitutes Nordic design?’ Basically, Nordic design represents a movement popularized in the 1950s that focused on simplicity, minimalism and functionality. The creations are generally affordable, beautiful and functional objects for the home such as vases, bowls, clocks, lamps, shelves and screen prints.
“I’m a big appreciator of unique, minimal and clever designs in the home and in fashion. It’s not necessarily just the look that I appreciate; it’s also the philosophy behind minimalism. To only keep things in your life that mean something to you and inspire you,” Kapodistrias explained.
“I want keepgood co. to inspire a lifestyle of positivity and simplicity. I really kept this in mind when choosing the items and brands I wanted to carry in the store. I think that’s basically where the name of the store stems from. keepgood co. is about surrounding yourself with things that you love, including the physical items you own, and the people in your life.”
Kapodistrias, originally from Mississauga relocated to St. Catharines at the age of 19 when she was accepted into the DART program at Brock University. Continuing her post-secondary education she found herself at Sheridan College where she focused her studies in wardrobe, textiles and design. Kapodistrias explained that she knew she wanted to return to the Niagara Region to work at the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake in the wardrobe department sewing costumes.
“During my time working at the Shaw Festival whilst being back in St. Catharines I recognized I was instantly surrounded by like-minded individuals who also saw the potential of this city,” she said. “I realized that I had a desire to start my own retail business here in St. Catharines.”
Kapodistrias then co-founded the popular Crafts Arts Market on James St. in St. Catharines with Sarah Jarvis.
“This quickly fed our motivation to open up a store and try to do our part to provide St. Catharines with a new, unique place to explore and shop.”
Aside from the obvious new infrastructure (Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, the Meridian Centre and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre), shops – both new and old – like DLish, The British Boutique, The Toy Trove, Simply Comics, Mindbomb Records and Craft Arts Market have aided in the rejuvenation of downtown St. Catharines.
These buildings and shops have helped erase the stigma that downtown is just one large entertainment district catering to college and university students on the weekend – that our downtown is a living breathing entity, one for all facets of your life, which is something Kapodistrias hopes to encourage.
“Being a founder of Craft was a big eye opener on how badly downtown St. Catharine’s needs new retail shops and how much the community is ready to support new entrepreneurs and ideas. It was hard for me to imagine doing anything other than this when I left,” she said.
“I’m hoping this continues the trend of more small businesses opening so we can together keep turning the downtown core back into a vibrant place to shop, eat, and be entertained.”
keepgood co. holds its Grand Opening on December 3. More information can be found at keepgoodco.com [S]