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Slippers with Soul: Padraig Cottage

Slippers with Soul: Padraig Cottage

Where to shop in Vancouver

As the nights draw in and the leaves begin to turn it’s time to say a fond farewell to the balmy Vancouver summer. Moms all across Vancouver are packing away the shorts, crocs and flip flops for another year. But every cloud has a silver lining. This particular one means we can turn our attention to keeping our little ones snug in the winter with some of the gorgeous kids winter wear that is appearing in the shops around this time of year. A pair of adorable, locally made, Padraig Cottage Slippers is just the thing.

Cozy Toes

The gorgeous booties are perfect for keeping little toes warm in the colder months.  They are made from all natural materials: wool on the outside lined with snuggly sheepskin and a soft leather sole.  The slippers are ideal for pre-walkers to wear out and about at any time and for older kids to wear at home.  Every pair is durable and machine washable. The elasticity of the wool means they stretch with growing feet so will last far longer than the cold winter months.  They also come in adult sizes so the whole family can enjoy cozy feet.  The slippers are all hand crocheted so each pair is one of a kind and come in a variety of great colours making them super gifts, especially when combined with their cute newborn hat.

Run by a Vancouver Mom

Comfort and cuteness aside these aren’t just any slippers, they are an inspiration.  Fellow Vancouver mom Helen Long made the first pair of slippers for her son in 1977. She gave pairs to friends and family and then began selling them at local craft markets near her home in North Vancouver.  Encouragement from other craftspeople gave her the confidence to continue with the business at home. Now, still going strong thirty years since she first set it up, Padraig Cottage products are stocked in boutiques across Canada, the US and Europe.

The tagline and mission statement sum up the ethos of the company:

[box style=”rounded”]To produce original quality products made by skilled artisans, using natural materials while accepting the importance of both the community and the environment.[/box]

Padraig Cottage Provides Inspiration

They are certainly true to their word.  Still based in North Vancouver, Padraig Cottage now employs over thirty local artisans and support staff. In keeping with the family spirit this includes Helen’s husband, son and daughter in law.

The design of the slippers is largely unchanged from the first pair Helen made for her son. She was inspired by her childhood living on a sheep farm in the highlands of Scotland. She also drew from her time spent living in Snow Drift, a remote Chippewayan village in the Northwest Territories, where she learned to appreciate the value of handmade crafts. Together with colour inspiration drawn from a summer living on the Queen Charlotte Islands these little slippers are a real local find.  For any Vancouver mom with creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and a great idea, let them inspire you. Take a look at Padraig Cottage and go for it!

To find out where to shop in Vancouver to get Padraig Cottage slippers of your own, visit

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