WATCH: Victoria clothing business Smoking Lily grows out of iconic store on Johnson street. Tarrah Harvey reports.
For the last 20 years, a tiny Victoria storefront has been home for Trish Tacoma’s clothing and accessory business.
Tacoma’s idea — that once fit into the 44-square-feet on Johnson street like the perfect dress — is now bursting at the seams.
“I had no idea it would grow as big as it has,” the Smoking Lily owner says.
Over the years, the business has gained a loyal following in Victoria with recognizable prints like the Trudeau line, and has since expanded to Vancouver and online.
Through the growth though, Smoking Lily has remained true to its roots.
“We make all of our stuff just around the corner on Warf Street, everything is designed printed and made in house which is kind of unusual,” Tacoma says.
The Downtown Victoria Business Association says the small space the store started out in is a formula for success.
“Any emerging artist or entrepreneur can afford this space and if we had the opportunity, really that’s what we should be looking at in downtown Victoria,” DVBA general manager Ken Kelly says.
Smoking Lily will open at The Bay Center to give customers more space to explore for the next eight months. And as a new era for this Victoria-grown business begins, a new entrepreneur will move into the Johnson Street space with some advice.
“Work hard and enjoy the trip, enjoy it,” Tacoma says.