Deer Prudence

Patricia Canaday is seen on Sunday in her new pop-up boutique, Deer Prudence, located in the Montpelier City Center building.

MONTPELIER — A new weekend pop-up boutique is drawing fans of retro, vintage, antique and chic fashionwear.

Deer Prudence Boutique is a curated collection of nearly new and pre-owned clothing, footwear and accessories in City Center on Main Street that opened last month.

As the name of the store suggests, it takes its name, in part, from owner Patricia Canaday’s favorite Beatles’ song.

“I liked giving the store a Vermont flair by adding the Deer,” Canaday said. “The other thing is, having a name a name like Patricia, I have often been called Prudence and Patience and Prescilla, as often as I’ve been called Patricia,” Canaday said. “So, it all came together when I decided to open a shop and I realized that it is reflective of a period in time that I like very much in fashion, and a favorite Beatles’ tune.”

The store offers a range of retro and off-beat fashion styles in mostly women’s dresses, skirts, shirts, vests, coats, hats, leggings, bags, wallets, purses, watches, bracelets, chokers and a range of western boots, shoes and sneakers.

The décor is contrasting deep shades of blue and yellow, trimmed at the ceiling with stringed lights, with store items on rails, in vertical wall closet units and on a center display. There is also a mixed selection of books, and on the walls, miniature oil paintings and an exhibition by Northfield photographer Sam Matthews.

Canaday lives in Northfield and has worked full-time during the week at Norwich University for nearly two years as the office manager for College of Professional Schools and the dean of the college.

Before coming to Vermont, Canaday lived in New Hampshire for two years but is a transplant from the West Coast and would travel back and forth to continue to work as a personal assistant to a family that employed her for over a decade.

Canaday said the shop had been in the works for a while with items she collected over time and brought from California. While still in California, she would open the living room of her first-floor apartment as a fashion boutique.

While living in New Hampshire, Canaday was also part of a collective called White Home Collections, in Wilton, a white home that was converted into more than a dozen small business units.

When she moved to Vermont, her partner, Darren Copple — who works from home for Avid, a software engineering firm that supports the integration of networks, film companies and editors — asked her when she was going to reopen her boutique.

Soon after, Canaday took over part of the space occupied by the adjoining Marigold Adornment Tattoo, Piercing and Jewelry store, and opened at the beginning of September.

“The philosophy of this shop is I’ve been a lifelong resale shopper and collector,” Canaday said.

While working in San Francisco, Canaday said she spend a lot of time in the Japantown district and learned about the Japanese traditions of Boro — the practice of mending and repeatedly patching clothing that became worn — and Mottainai, the Japanese philosophy that a thing is too good to waste.

Canaday said she joined the “slow fashion” movement of designing, creating and buying clothing that is better quality and lasts longer. The movement encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and, ideally, zero waste.

“I do invisible mending, which is on a smaller scale, and the resale is a part of slow fashion, which I’ve always been very much a part of,” Canaday said.

The philosophy Canaday embraces will even prompt her to discourage someone from buying something that they might not wear very often.

“Part of what this shop is about is an opportunity to be a really thoughtful consumer and a thoughtful consumer of wardrobe,” Canaday said. “So, if you look at a piece and even though it may look great on you, if you say you don’t know if you’ll ever wear it, please don’t buy it.

“I’d like you to walk out with the things that you’ll put in your closet and take them out a lot,” she added. “If it’s not meant for your wardrobe, then it’s meant for someone else.”

Canaday suggested thinking about new ways to repurpose a garment, such as tailoring a dress to turn it into a top or wearing a dress or top backwards if the neckline is too low in the front that is unsuitable for work attire.

“By thinking that way, there are many designers that have simple cuts that are reversible,” Canaday said. “So, now you can have two outfits in one piece.”

Canaday has a passion for western-style boots and has numerous gently worn pairs for sale.

Jackets cost between $20 to $30, on average, while a long, white Mongolian woolen coat costs $152.

Canaday doesn’t do consignment buying because she doesn’t have the backroom space to keep it.

Canaday said there had been a “remarkable” response to her store and its collection.

“Montpelier is very supportive of local businesses, and people who come in are telling other people,” Canaday said. “I have to say the word of mouth and enthusiasm in Montpelier has been extraordinary beyond what I expected.”

The store is open from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. On Friday, during Moonlight Madness in Montpelier, she will be open from 5 to 9 p.m.

For more information, contact Canaday at 310-251-0431 or email


(1) comment

David A Harwood

To quote an old song my mother listened to in the 60's " Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end." Well, I still live in in the 70's, a time that I felt secure and happy. I have not changed my style ( or body size) since then and still wear clothes I got in the years in college. It was a great time. Hope she does well. I am sure to visit there.

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