Secrets and Lives with Terry Doyle – Sooke News Mirror
– Words by Angela Cowan Photographs by Don Denton
When Terry Doyle moved to Qualicum Beach with his wife in 2018, it was with the idea that they could slowly step back from their international architectural interior design practice in Vancouver and start enjoying a semi-retired life. Instead, Terry opened a menswear boutique called Open Collar and brought a lifeline of European fashion to the small community.
“I’m not one to sit still,” admits Terry, who paused from painting Open Collar dressing rooms to chat, and adds with a laugh, “I’d love to learn how to do that someday. !”
Terry was exposed to the business from an early age. Her father was a long-time pillar of Toronto’s menswear industry, at a time when dressing in style was a sign of respect.
“After living in Qualicum Beach for a few weeks, I realized there was no outlet for menswear here, and nothing in Parksville either,” he says. “I had the idea of opening a men’s fashion boutique and sought to find European clothing that I could contribute to the community.”
Fate intervened when one of her vendors in Vancouver mentioned she was leaving to return to the apparel industry and put Terry in touch with all the right people.
“Everything kind of fell into place. It was meant to be,” he says.
Open Collar opened its doors at the start of the pandemic in April 2020, but despite the challenges, the community was most welcoming; the shop responded to a real need of the community.
As for this semi-retirement plan? Island life satisfied the urge to slow down.
“It was a big lifestyle change, but I love it,” says Terry. “People are so friendly and it’s just refreshing.”
The 7 sins
What shoes would you like to walk in?
I am really very comfortable in my own shoes. There is not an individual that I really envy, but rather people that I admire. I aspire to be Newfoundland. They are the kindest, most genuine, selfless, unassuming and humorous people in Canada, and possibly on the planet. I would like to walk in their place. They know how to live and love.
What is one food you might eat over and over again?
It’s easy. I could dine on Italian food every day, especially if it’s served family style, where you can taste whatever the chef or the Italian mom has prepared.
You are given $1 million to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
Hmm… I’m thinking. I could hire a private jet to fly to New Zealand to spend days touring vineyards and tasting the wines of the Marlborough region.
The black beasts?
Don’t get me started on this one! People who can’t put their electronic devices down long enough to interact face-to-face with another living, breathing human being. This is the real scourge of modern society: addiction to technology.
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?
It’s hard for me because I can’t sit still for very long without being anxious. I would like to spend more time at the beach when the tide is out and play with my best friend, Lily, who has been labeled “the happiest dog I have ever seen” by a passerby. She really makes me relax.
What is the one thing you are secretly proud of?
I started a new business in a new city with no experience because I thought the community wanted it. Since this was unlikely to succeed, having started at the start of the biggest pandemic in a century and when naysayers claimed everyone was shopping online, I went ahead on my instincts and built a store of bricks and mortar. I’m proud of how the community has embraced my idea and made me feel so welcome, paving the way for a very successful and successful business. The benefit in kind is that I have made so many new friends here.
What makes your heart beat faster?
Old European architecture still does that for me. I can’t get enough. When you see what our ancestors built without power tools, without electric lights and, damn it, not a single computer! It’s real raw human talent, vision and dedication.
We cannot lose sight of this. Modern society with all its technology cannot come close to creations built centuries ago.
Story reprinted with kind permission from Boulevard Magazine, a publication of Black Press Media
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