The Umbrella Shop is a third generation business located in one of North America's rainiest cities, Vancouver, BC. We have been located in the heart of the downtown business core since 1935. The factory settled into its new home at 1106 West Broadway in 2001. Since then we have opened two other retail stores in the Metro Vancouver area.
The shop is exuberantly different from London's famous umbrella shops with their rows of staid black bumbershoots hanging from the ceiling like bats. Racks of floral chintz umbrellas, frilly parasols, men's tie prints, and one-of-a-kind hand painted cottons make the shop a colourful feast for the eyes and promise to brighten any rainy day.
The company's founder, Isadore Flader, began in Toronto in the 1920's collecting umbrellas for repair. Originally, he travelled by foot door-to-door doing the repairs on the front stoops of homes. Later, after his customers got to know him, he was able to take the umbrellas home to fix and return within a few days time. Isadore and Ida's three sons ran the business for many years. Today the business is run by Charles' son Glen and daughter Corry.
The factory, located above the Broadway location, still makes up to 15% of the company’s product today and is believed to be the last in North America. All of the sewing and the assembly are done using old Singer sewing machines that Isadore purchased in the 1950's. Frames are assembled from various parts, while covers are cut and sewn from bolts of water-repellent nylons, cottons, and various cotton blends. The small factory can produce up to eighty rain umbrellas or a dozen patio umbrellas per day.
For more on the history of The Umbrella Shop, click here to read, A Personal Umbrella History written by Corry Flader.
Climate Smart Business
In the summer of 2010 The Umbrella Shop was invited by The City of Vancouver to participate with Climate Smart as part of their greenest city initiative. The program is run by Ecotrust Canada an enterprising non-profit organization. We undertook doing an inventory of all business activities using tools provided by climate smart to analyze our energy output and determine our action plan to reduce our carbon footprint. The Umbrella Shop is proud to have been the first company in our group to submit and to obtain accreditation.
We realized that our manufacturing practices, which originated in the 1930’s, attempt to waste nothing at all. The Umbrella Shop is at the forefront of 21st century environmental conservation and pollution reduction. All left over fabric scraps are donated to various local organizations that support local arts and crafts. Even in our designing of imported umbrellas we select robust materials according to our specs to increase the value and longevity of our products. To accent this even further we offer repair services on almost all items in our stores. Our goal is to produce products that stay out of landfills as long as possible.
Like Papa Use to Make
We pride ourselves on being being able to repair the products we sell. Rain umbrellas $20 and over come with our guarantee to help enhance the life span of your purchase.
Sewing repairs are free. Frame repairs including rivets handles ribs shafts etc. are subject to repair charges up to $5. Entire frame replacements cost $10-$15. We do not repair worn out fabric as this determines the end of the umbrella's life. We will only repair an umbrella if its general condition warrants it. Usually, the life of an umbrella is 2 years for folding and 5 years for full length, with regular use. Once an umbrella is mildewed or dirty, it's time for a new one!
If you purchased an umbrella not from us we can still offer repair services. Most frame repairs are charged up to $20. Please note that we are limited in our part selection for umbrellas manufactured elsewhere. If you have any question please contact us.
Repairs Outside Metro Vancouver
Please use the postal service. Mark the package to the attention of the repair department. If the package is coming from outside Canada please make sure that any required customs forms are marked as 'Goods for Repair - No Resale Value'. Please include contact information and a short description of whats wrong with the umbrella so we are able to get ahold of you if we have questions.