Adventure Clothing

Adventure Clothing is a travel store located in the heart of Downtown Victoria at 560 Yates St. They specialize in high quality, low-environmental impact travel accessories, clothing, and luggage. With everything from packing cubes, to compression socks, to the best carry-ons for travelling lightly, Adventure Clothing truly is a one-stop shop for all things travel. We spoke with Jennifer Robinson, the owner of Adventure Clothing, to learn more about her store and how her and her staff serve their customers. 

What is Adventure Clothing and what do you provide? 

“Adventure Clothing really is a travel store. You can book your trip, you can come visit us in store, and you can go directly to the airport and take off anywhere in the world, because we have it all.” 

Jen explains that there is a three-part mission at Adventure Clothing: 

“My focus is to travel light with carry-ons, to travel lightly—with a light footprint on the environment—and to travel well. So I hunt out ethically sourced products with environmentally friendly practices, and quality merchandise that you don’t have to keep buying over and over. Which helps your pocketbook, and also the environment. So many of the products that I carry have lifetime warranties, and all my companies stand behind their brands.” 

The location of Adventure Clothing on lower Yates street is also a stand-out feature. 

“We have such a gorgeous building too—we’re in the Oriental, which is a historic building that was refitted and seismically upgraded in 2011. It’s just rich with culture and heritage.” 

What is the history behind Adventure Clothing and how did you get started with the business? 

“Adventure Clothing’s original owner was Sean Thompson of W&J Wilson family owned stores. He branched out many years ago—probably over 20 years ago—with Tilley products as his main focus. About 8 or 9 years ago I started to manage his store for him. A series of events, COVID, and changes of direction led me to purchase the store in September 2021. While it’s been a rocky start with more COVID issues, people are raring to go travelling and are excited to enjoy their travels.” 

Do you have any favourite memories as a business owner? 

“Honestly, the best part is the customers—the customers that are local, that are going on grand adventures, and the anticipation of that. I love to hear their itineraries. And we’re also seeing so many tourists coming to Victoria too, because we have such a beautiful destination. So hearing their stories of where they’re from and where they’re going throughout Canada is great.” 

How do you think Adventure Clothing positively impacts the community? 

“Definitely by supporting people through their travels, and supporting my employees. Also by just being a vibrant member of the business community. This street has seen a beautiful little revival with some fabulous businesses, big to small. And that all just adds to the vibrancy of Downtown.” 

What is the workplace culture like here at Adventure Clothing? 

“I have a very diverse group of employees, from a few young students going to Camosun College and bettering their futures, to a few early retired staff members that love to just come in one or two days a week who are travellers too. So it’s their passion for travelling and their experiences that really help guide the customers.” 

What do you think sets Adventure Clothing apart from the competition? 

“As for competition, I am definitely becoming the go-to place for luggage. I’m also the go-to place for travel accessories—all your adaptors, neck pillows, and packing cubes. However, I also have some really great neighbours, and I try to be a great neighbour. So if I don’t have something, maybe another locally owned and operated business close-by has a product that my customers need. I’m going to give you a great example—Robinson’s is always sending us customers and we are always sending some of our customers to Robinson’s as well.” 

Is there any special ingredient to keeping Adventure Clothing successful? 

“I think one of the key ingredients is actually being a present store owner. I think the thing that sets local businesses—brick and mortar stores—apart is the staff and the owner being present and putting their stamp of approval on things. It really just helps to give that confidence to the customer to buy the product.” 

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