“It's in my blood.” - Caroline Marko
My grandfather’s, Carl Westerdal, greatest joy was sending his four girls off to school in perfectly pressed and starched dresses with bows in their hair. He worked all his life as a tailor; sewing at a factory during the day and all his family’s clothes at night. The legacy of his skills being passed down was a great source of pride for him.
My mother, following in his footsteps, biked to the sewing factory in her heels everyday; with me in a basket on the handlebars and my brother hanging off the back. As a single mother she worked long and hard hours to provide for us. She started at the company by sewing pockets (and only pockets!) for 6 years straight. To my delight, She would bring me home scraps of fabric from the factory floor. And although I didn’t have a lot of toys growing up, I always had a sewing machine. I have sewn since I could reach the pedal, in the beginning having to stand up to do so. During those years, my Mother made all of our clothes and in turn, I created some questionable designs under her watchful eye.
I knew from a very early age that this was a craft I wanted to master and had my schooling planned out years in advance. When I started my 4.5 years of Tailoring school, my grandfather inspected every stitch, examined every handmade button hole; observing and guiding me as I grew my skills.
My life changed when I met my husband and moved with him to Canada. The trajectory I had planned had to accommodate a new life away from the city. I had to rethink the concept of my training and apply it to custom work here in the Bulkley Valley. I started offering sewing lessons to local children which allowed me to work from home while having my own young children, Calvin & Clara, at my feet. I was able to watch their creativity blossom, whilst passing down my knowledge to the next generation.
Once my children started school, I was ready to contribute to the community of Smithers in the best way that I knew how- developing a space featuring quality, timeless pieces and enhancing one’s personal experience and style. In 2008 I opened SALT Boutique in it’s original location on Main Street. It started as a quaint 1/4 size space of what it is today.
With the community’s growing support, we were able to expand; and then expand again. In 2020, we opened our custom built Salt location. With the building expertise of my husband, Scott, and our creative teamwork, he made my dreams and visions came true. Each feature in our store; specifically collected and curated over many years, finally coming to it’s full fruition.
With the help of social media and growing online platforms, Salt continues to grow! Now launching our online website to provide a personal shopping experience for our beloved customers- country wide!!
The privilege of helping others look and feel their best has always been the greatest reward. From the detailed pockets sewn into a sweater, to a full blazer dress suit; our philosophy at Salt Boutique has always been rooted in “Want Better, Not More”. As such, we take great pride in aiding our customers bloom into their fabulous ‘Salty Self’.