Shop This City: Connecting Customers To The Local Brand

Small Business Canada

Shop This City is the leading discovery tool that helps to search and find the best local brands and stores digitally to shop locally. Conceptualized in 2018, STC is a female-founded app by Maija Savics in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Identifying The Gaps

Maija Savics traces her love for supporting local businesses from a very young age. On her sixth birthday, her mother took her to a neighborhood second-hand store to pick out a special dress. This birthday tradition continued into her teens while she developed a deep appreciation for the genuine and personal experience of shopping locally.  

Though she had a love for fashion from a very early age, there was always a constant frustration about not being able to find products close to home. She saw this as a market gap that called for better communication and connection between local retail partners and shoppers.

Prior to getting involved in the business endeavor, Maija had worked for one of Canada’s largest fashion brands, freelanced for independent designers, and assisted one of Vancouver’s premier personal stylists. 

The experience, knowledge, and insights from these roles helped her realize that the future of shopping is hybrid, both digital and brick-and-mortar.

Hence she formulated a solution to build a platform to bridge the communication between online browsing and shopping locally. In 2018, Maija developed an app that allowed users to find the city’s best local brands and stores through Shop This City. 

Connecting The Dots

Shop This City is the first app that connects users to locally available inventory, making it easier to find their favorite brands, styles, and products in stores near them while supporting a local business.

They aim to connect shoppers with local stores and brands in their communities that they didn’t even know existed and to make it easier for consumers to shop locally. In addition, they hope to initiate genuine and lasting connections between small businesses and their community.

STC collaborates with 50 local partners on the app and has over 50 more on the waitlist. The discovery tool focuses on women’s fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, with plans to branch into children, men, and homeware in 2023.

STC’s partners include established Vancouver fashion boutiques like Boboli, Misch, and Rebecca Bree, local brands like A Bronze Age, and vintage retailers like Collective Will, Wild Honey Goods, and Turnabout Luxury Resale.

In December 2021, Maija soft launched STC in Lower Mainland with 25 neighborhood retail partners and more than 7,000 distinctive products. After going public, STC received over 500 new downloads and dozens of partner requests within a short period of time.

In June 2022, their team began working on version two of the app and was able to introduce a more individualized and complex search experience after only five months of partnership. Today, STC is regarded as the top discovery tool for locating the city’s top regional retailers and brands.

STC helps bring local brands and stores to the top of city searches. For more information, visit their website at

Small businesses strive to connect customers to local stores, thereby encouraging local brands. To read more about these initiatives, subscribe to CanadianSME Small Business Magazine For the latest updates, visit our Twitter page at @canadian_sme.

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