Gina Brown's officially opened in 1970 with the first store on 17th Avenue in Calgary. The business really began in the 1950's, when Gina would teach the neighbors English Smocking from their bungalow off Kensington Road. Back in the fifties, supplies were scarce in Calgary so she began importing threads and fabrics. She was hired by the city of Calgary to teach their continuing education programs, and by 1970 when few women of her generation were even working, she decided to open the first shop on 17th Avenue. Gina traveled the world to find interesting products and soon expanded to include supplies for needlework, knitting, beading,weaving, rugs and quilting.The store relocated to a large historic building on 4th Street SW and was part of the Mission district for the next 25 years.
Gina was joined by daughter Diana in 1972 with a small shop on Banff Avenue. The store was called Tika Woolcrafts and soon relocated to Edmonton where it thrived for many years. It was closed in the mid 80's so that Diana could return to Calgary and help her mom Gina who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Gina passed in 1998 but the legacy she created continued to thrive for 10 years at Glenmore and Centre and now in its current location near Chinook Center.
In the fall of 2009 Diana's daughter Kristina opened a new store in Vancouver. Kristina had studied English at Simon Fraser University and had grown to love Vancouver. She is a talented knitter, artist and now business woman. The store is located in Kitsilano not far from the beach and is fast becoming a hub of knitting creativity.
If you are in the Calgary area, come visit us at 5718 1A Street SW. We are just a few blocks east of Chinook Centre. To drive here, turn east off McCleod Trail at 58th Avenue, and then left at the second set of lights. We are just one and a half blocks up the road on the right-hand side.Our store hours are Monday - Saturday from 10-5.30 and Sunday from 12-4 (closed Sundays in summer). Knitters and Stitchers always welcome!
In Vancouver the store is at 3424 West Broadway near Alma with easy access to buses and free parking. The store hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:30-6:00 and Sunday from 12-5:00.