Designing women on P.E.I.

Sally Cole
Published on March 7, 2016

P.E.I. residents Maureen and Julia Campbell have been quietly creating their own clothing line.

For the past three years, the mother-daughter duo has been selling a rack of their own designer fashions at their store, JEMS (Julie, Emily, Maureen, Sapphie) Boutique, in Charlottetown.

“It started out of necessity. We felt there weren’t a lot of businesses that were selling clothing that suited a wide age group as well as a variety of body shapes and sizes,” says Maureen, who specializes in women’s fashions and has 35 years of retail experience.

Then there were the cuts, fabrics and styles they felt needed to be considered.

“Our line is inspired by things we saw as well as designs that we liked and seemed to work with people, although some things needed to be tweaked. We also wanted clothing that was both comfortable and fashionable,” she says.

Whether it’s a jersey tank dress, chiffon safari shirt and leggings or the jersey button jacket with Peter Pan collar or a cotton tunic with striped cotton vest, their designs quickly caught on.

And in recent months the demand for their designs has grown so much they have expanded from selling at one store to selling wholesale to shops in Moncton, Fredericton, Cape Breton and Wolfville.

“I obviously feel very proud. And it’s been great to do it with my mother,” says Julia adding the duo is officially launching their line, Go 2 Clothing, at JEMS Boutique in Charlottetown on Tuesday March 8, in honour of International Women’s Day.

Their venture into the fashion world began three years ago while in Guangzhou in China on business with The Anne of Green Gables Store, which the family owns.

“Guangzhou is the biggest textile city in the world and, through connections with people we were already working with, the opportunity presented itself,” says Julia.

Presenting their designs to the manufacturer, they had a few garments made.

“It was a steep learning curve. But everthing went very well. So, we decided to do it again. Today we basically keep growing in styles and the production, “ says Julia.

For Maureen, the thrill is seeing their work being recognized in the region.

“It’s exciting to see people in the industry who see different lines of clothing

and realize that (our line) is going to work. These sales representatives we do business with obviously know their customers.”

 Need to know

- Go 2 Clothing, a new line of fashions will be launched at JEMS (Julie, Emily, Maureen, Sapphie) Boutique, 102 Queen St., Charlottetown on International Women’s Day, Tuesday March 8, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. That day there will be tax free shopping on items from the new line.

- Donations to First Impressions are being accepted that day. The organization collects clothing and accessories for women who are returning to the workforce. Shoppers are encouraged to donate gently used clothing and accessories. In return, they will receive 20 per cent off any piece of Go 2 Clothing.

- For more information, check out JEMS Boutique Facebook page.The JEMS Boutique website will be up and running within two weeks.  (