Shell Busey & Tilley Endurables
October 19, 2010
The Tilley family in Vancouver has had a special relationship with Shell since 1996. It’s a treat to have him in the store; clients recognize Shell and enjoy listening to his cheery conversations with our staff. “With all the travelling I have done to home shows around the country, my clothes used to look as though I came out of a suitcase. But with my Tilley wardrobe, I always look fresh and ready to go from head to toe. Tilleys allow me to fold and go, without the wrinkles at the other end.”
Alex Tilley, in 1980, frustrated that he couldn’t find a worthwhile sailing hat, decided to oversee the making of a “proper” sailing hat for himself and other Toronto sailors. A proper sailing hat had to float, stay on, be unshrinkable, last indefinitely and look attractive. Tilley Hats are now acknowledged as the best-made and most practical hats of their type in the world, handcrafted in Canada where Alex can keep a watchful eye. Since then, Tilley’s has grown to a medium sized business providing the world’s best travel and adventure clothing, with six family-owned Tilley stores in Canada, and thousands of dealers throughout the world.
Thank goodness for the Travel Age! First time clients often come in because they are heading off to Italy or Africa or on a cruise, they want to “travel light”, and their friends have recommended us. Once they have been introduced to our products and have experienced wearing Tilleys, many get converted into becoming lifetime clients.
As an internationally renowned Canadian brand, Tilley Endurables has been honoured to attract store visitors from all over the world. In the tourist season, visitors from many countries come to Tilley Endurables Western in Vancouver for their Canadian souvenir, a handcrafted Tilley Hat. It’s wonderful to meet folks from Chile to Siberia, from the UK to Singapore. Sometimes, they want to take a photo to record their visit and show to their friends, with a Tilley in the picture!
Thinking Tilley was only Hats, some folks on their first store visit are surprised at the vast number of other Tilley items on display. Even though we have 30+ styles of Hats in the store, they make up just 20% of our business. The many styles of men’s and women’s travel clothing, socks and underwear and travel accessories make up the rest.
Recently, a couple’s discussion was overheard as they left the store, a compliment to us. Heading off to Africa for a month, a doctor and his wife had acquired Tilleys from top to toe. First time visitors, they’d spent an hour in the store, having a good time trying on various tops and bottoms, choosing shirts, pants, underwear and socks. Heading out the door she said to him “lets go back to that other store and return everything.”
Shell writes, “Your store should be known as the soft candy store for men and ladies, as I always say “Good, better, why worry about the rest for when the good is better the better is best” and folks that’s the way “Tilley” is “Best”. They make it “Just that Easy”.
has a catalogue of Tilleys we usually stock in Vancouver, and features “True Tilley Tales”, hundreds of travel photos and stories from our friends.