Amanda and Angie Cambareri are sisters and co-owners of Vincent, an upscale and trendy boutique located in Little Italy. It was named after their late Uncle Vincent, a talented artist who never got to unleash his full potential. And, even though they never got to meet him, it was his creative soul that inspired them to become who they are today.
Amanda + Angie Cambareri
Vincent | Ottawa, ON
How did the idea for your boutique come about?
Vincent was conceived by the idea of creating a place where women can be themselves and feel good in what they are adding into their wardrobe.
Although I have gotten significantly better over the years, I have been guilty of impulse buys – some that I wore once or twice and some that never saw the light of day.
In addition to having the boutique, you offer a “closet cleanse” service. Do you find that many women fall victim to the more the better, when it comes to shoes and clothing?
We see 3 common weaknesses in closets.
The first is buying the same commodity in multiple colours; for example, the same cardigan in 4 colours. It pigeon holes you in the same silhouette every single time. It is better to get a breadth of styles and silhouettes so you can be creative. We are all creatures of habit and when we find something that works it is just easier to wear something similar.
The common remark ‘I have nothing to wear in my closet’ is due to this.
The second is not enough classic, good quality basics. It seems simple, but let’s face it, they aren’t the most exciting pieces to buy but they are what make an outfits complete.
The 3rd is footwear. We can be really hard on our footwear and they can get old really fast. Quality over quantity is a must in this department.
When offering styling tips – do you take into account a person’s personality and lifestyle?
Yes, of course! We even take into account what they already have in their wardrobe. We have incredible customers that we see every season, multiple times so we know what they have and what works.
You both believe in giving back to the community. Tell our readers about Vincent’s involvement with Dress for Success.
From the beginning we have hosted a bi-annual donation drive for Dress for Success. This organization is incredible and not only help style women for their interview, they get them career ready with resume writing, mock interviews, workshops and so much more.
The clothing gives them confidence to dress the way they want to present themselves to be successful in life.
Angie you have turned two of your passions into a career. In addition to being a co-owner of Vincent, you are a key freelancer at special beauty events for Bobbi Brown. Is makeup an artistic outlet for you?
Yes, you can say that. I loved creating looks and helping women find their true beauty through make-up.
You have a “head-to-toe” service at Vincent – giving clients make-up tips, showing them techniques and offering product recommendations.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions women have about makeup?
I would have to say women feel they can’t do it themselves. I always try to find solutions for them to take home, to help them feel confident that they can achieve the look they want to create.
Amanda, along with helping clients find the perfect piece to add to their wardrobe you also are involved in a lot of the behind the scenes aspects of the business – marketing and photography.
Today retail isn’t just about selling clothing – you need to offer an experience, create a strong brand in-store and on social media – as well as dealing with the massive world of e-commerce. How did your career prepare you for owning your own boutique?
I have always been creative and curious.
So anything I did in my spare time, I was creating something from jewelry, to clothes, to painting, to photography.
I fell into photography organically and was mentored by an incredible teacher and photographer Kathy Youssef from Fleischer Photography. For about 4 years I was alongside her shooting weddings as the second shooter and it was the perfect creative outlet for me. I found it to be instant rather than painting which its takes me about 3 years to finish a piece since I am too emotional.
From the business perspective I have worked for the top 3 major Canadian retailers. From the sales floor, to the back end analyzing numbers, to visual merchandising. I knew I had learn from them first, in order to create our own store, which is why I went back to college and created a business plan to which Vincent was born. I am always learning and trying new things. That is the best part of being curious and an entrepreneur.
This city has a reputation for being very conservative, but I think that is slowly changing. I would love Ottawa to be alongside Toronto and Montreal, when people think of Canadian fashion meccas. Where would you like to see the Ottawa fashion industry in 5 years?
I don’t think we need to be like any other city. Ottawa is a town stuck in a Capital’s title. That is the beauty of it and why we love it and stay. I would like to see the boutiques in the city thriving and for people to think to go to boutiques first before they go to the a mall.
I would like people to express their own individual style rather than what they see trending in their Instagram feed.
When you shop at a boutique there is no middle man. You will most likely buy from the owner and the owner goes out and buys for you. The reality is, it is the closest you can get to the fashion industry in our city.
Since we are a fashion and beauty blog, would you mind answering a few personal questions?
Do you have a daily beauty routine?
Amanda: I do the very minimal. I use 3 products that I got from Oresta which consist of a gel cleanser, a spray toner and an oil for my face. They are organic and simple.
Angie: My daily routine is washing my face with a warm cloth and after I always use the a toner (Bobbi Brown Face Toner) and I never leave the house without eye cream (Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream) and face cream from Darphin.
Let’s hear some of your favorites…
Amanda: Bumble and Bumble BB Curl Spray – 3 sprays of this baby and my curls are refreshed and good to go!
Angie: I use both Dove Mousse and the Bumble and Bumble BB Curl Cream.
make up must haves:
Amanda: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick and Concealer.
Angie: Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick
go to piece of jewelry:
Amanda: I don’t take my jewelry off. So my staple stud earrings by the Right Hand Gal and my Amarilo opal studs. My rings stay and don’t come off – my wedding rings, my wwake opal, love knot and simple thin band.
Angie: I as well never take my jewelry off. I always have my three fine bracelets on and my diamond earrings on.
Amanda: Any of my Clare V. bags. Yes, I have a collection now.
Angie: Handbags are one of my guilty pleasures. Right now I’m wearing my Phillip Lim.
Amanda: Ferragamo Lillaz
Angie: My Gucci slippers.
How would you describe your personal style?
Angie: Classic and simple.
Amanda: A Nonna living on the edge.
What is your favorite way to pamper yourself?
Amanda: Facials at Oresta.
Angie: I love my facials from Oresta as well!
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?