Sunday, March 29, 2009

Retro Niches in a Global Economy

At the Spring Cottage Life Show in Toronto today, exhibitors were revelling in a recession-free day. Retailers seemed to be selling lots of stuff, and cottage-country real estate agents (I know, I know) seemed to feel that the long, cold winter of their discontent was finally over.

One interesting trend: a new wave of “retro” design in boats, toys, and appliances. Baby boomer nostalgia? Recessionary longing for a simpler time? All I know is it’s fun stuff and very cool. In a world of bland conformity, products such as these attest to your individuality, your taste, and your love of pastel colours.

Pasted here are pix of a 60s-style 14-foot runabout from Retro Boats of Kitchener, Ont., and fridges and stoves from a similar era from Elmira Stove Works, a third-generation manufacturer in Elmira, Ont.

Two great examples of Canadian companies that are finding unique and creative ways to succeed in a global economy.

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