Little Blue House
The Early Years
Back in the 80s, Alice and John Oldland moved from Toronto, Canada, to the lakeside village of North Hatley, Quebec, where they opened a gift shop called the Little Blue House (la Petite maison bleue). Alice, a painter, was inspired by the surrounding countryside and designed a series of aprons featuring her whimsical farm animals. The aprons sold like hot cakes and it wasn’t long before other stores wanted to sell them too. And thus, was born the Little Blue house gift line. Alice and John quickly grew their cottage business supplying stores with the best cow and pig aprons the world had EVER seen! Soon after, cows and pigs gave birth to moose and bears; aprons led to apparel and many other gift items.
The Next Chapter
In the late 90s when John and Alice were ready to retire, they handed the reins to their three sons, Chris, Nick and Jeremy. Deciding to focus even more on themes found in the wilds of Canada, the brothers introduced comfy sleepwear for women and continued to grow the gift line further still. Soon after, the siblings embraced fatherhood for the first time. This new chapter in their lives inspired the launch of a children’s premium fashion line that you know today as the Hatley brand. Spurred on by a growing library of original illustrations, the company developed a collection of colourfully printed apparel, sleepwear and trendsetting rainwear also under the Hatley brand. Always looking for a new challenge, Hatley designed its first full women’s apparel collection in 2010.
While today the company is headquartered in Montreal, Hatley’s heart and soul is still very much in North Hatley. The village’s heritage, its gorgeous lake and simple lifestyle continue to influence everything the company designs. In fact, North Hatley has been the backdrop of many campaign photo shoots and will continue to be.
And so, what started as a small gift shop in cottage country, has today become an international gift and apparel business loved the world over. Hatley and Little Blue House designs are now sold in 38 countries around the world.