Our Family Store
My uncle, Alex Tilley, a sailor, needed a proper hat that wouldn’t sink, shrink or blow off. Unable to find a good-enough one, and realizing that other sailors needed one too, he decided in January 1980, to oversee the making of one.
Within a year, he was selling his products at boat shows throughout Eastern North America. Our dad John joined him in ‘81, selling products at West Coast shows from Vancouver to Texas. Alex added proper sailing shorts in 1981, and later began to design and make travel and adventure clothing. “Give ‘em Hell” was an early washing instruction.
By 1985, our mom Barbara decided to banish my brother and me upstairs and have a slightly illegal home-basement store, by appointment, from a small ad in the North Shore News. Her success led to our first retail location later that year. We still hear from home visitors!
New to retail, our mom’s personality set the client relationship standard, treating visitors as guests, looking for opportunities to demonstrate good service, building a circle of lifetime loyal clients; and staff thereafter copied her lead. It’s all her fault!
Thirty years on, my brother Jeff and I now own and operate our Tilley Vancouver family business; Barbara and John have semi-retired, and uncle Alex has fully retired.
We hope you enjoy our family store!