Meet Brett Meech, owner and curator of Conifer Shop, part home decor and part antique store located in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Brett's eclectic vision and ability to curate such a classic collection of home goods and furniture is one of a kind. We visited Brett earlier this month, shot him in his favourite A+Z pieces and talked shop.
How did you find yourself from living in small town Nova Scotia to living in downtown Toronto?
I moved to Toronto right out of high school for university. I knew I wanted to go away for school, so I could get more diverse work experience and see more of the world. I thought originally that I would want to stay in Toronto after university but I definitely heard the ocean calling me back home after a few years of being away, although I did have a great time in Toronto and learned a lot from both school and work.
Can you tell us about your studies and work there?
I took my bachelor of commerce from what was then Ryerson University (TMU now) as they had the most tailored program for someone like myself who wanted to go into the world of retail. The Retail management program at Ryerson gave me the practical knowledge that comes with a BComm but centered around the world of retail which just seems to make sense in my mind from a learning perspective as opposed to say a finance or accounting major.
While I was in school I quickly found myself searching for a creative outlet and I began working for the very well known floral and home décor institution that is Teatro Verde. For me, this was the perfect match because I got to not only make some extra money but it also allowed me to hone my creative skills. To be honest, looking back I think I probably learned more practical business skills from working than I did from reading a text book. I was working 40 hour work weeks while maintaining a full course load at school but for me it was worth every bit of the stress. I was assisting with projects such as the weekly lobby floral installation at the Four Seasons Hotel where we also got to do work for countless celebrity clients.
You went to business school but now you work in the world of interior design and antiques. Is there anyone that inspired you to take this path?
I always had an interest in interior design and decor. From an early age I was helping choose furniture and redesigning suites at our family’s hospitality property. I took a business degree because of a push from my parents to go and hone my business skills and how to properly manage a business so that I could eventually not only do what I loved to do, but to also turn a profit. For me there was always a connection between taking the business degree and opening an arts based business.
You’ve had your homeware shop, Conifer, in several locations in Nova Scotia over the last few years. For someone that hasn’t been into Conifer, how would you describe your shop?
I tend to just call my store an antiques shop but it really isn’t that at all. For me I’m slowly building a lifestyle brand that is based on the things that I love. Conifer is a design shop but with a focus on successfully mixing old and new. Not only can you come and find a unique gift, but you can source core design elements for your home.
Where do you love to go when you are buying for your store? Is there anywhere you haven’t been yet that you would love to go?
For me it’s not about where I am, I can always find things to buy. I tend not to go looking for specific things as I’ve found that is when I don’t find what I’m looking for at all. I love Italy, France, Eastern Europe, and Morocco, all for different reasons and each culture is equally beautiful. I am looking forward to spending some time in the south of France, who knows what I’ll find but I know I’ll enjoy the adventure.
What is your personal style (fashion-wise)? Do you have a favorite designer?
I have always been a very neutral dresser; colour is fine in doses but nothing beats an all black outfit in my eyes. Like my taste in interiors I enjoy some good tension and contrast in styles. Either a classic shape in new or unexpected finishes or a more modern silhouette done in a very timeless / classic fabric. If money were no object, my wardrobe would contain a lot of Jil Sander pieces. I love the simplicity and subtle drama of the designs.
Do you cook? What is your favourite thing to make?
Do you have any future projects in the works that you can tell us about?
Although I can’t say too much yet as it’s early stages but I think it’s going to be quite delicious.
Conifer Shop will be hosting Ana + Zac for a holiday pop-up on November 3rd from 3 pm until 7 pm at 10 Dufferin St, Lunenburg. Browse our new collections and enjoy light refreshments. 15% of all sales go towards LAMP The Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance. All welcome!