Brooke Johansen, 29
Co-owner, Park & Fifth Clothing Co.
Life Story: Brooke Johansen grew up in Port Coquitlam with her mother, father and younger sister. She graduated from SFU (coincidentally, where her parents met) with a degree in business in 2014, but starting one of her own wasn’t top-of-mind: “I wanted to figure out how corporate internal businesses worked first,” she says. Johansen started working as a junior shop director at Kit and Ace in Gastown when the Vancouver clothier was still very young—she was one of the first 50 employees.
Making her way up to the product management team, she worked closely with Zoe Tisshaw, who later decided that being a cog in the corporate machine wasn’t for her and asked Johansen to join her on an independent venture: Park & Fifth, a company focused on bridesmaid dresses.
Bottom Line: Johansen, Tisshaw and their business partner Jenny Wright-Harper now have three Park & Fifth stores, in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. They have 15 employees and hit more than $1 million in revenue in 2019. Park & Fifth makes bridesmaid dresses “that you don’t just want to burn or throw away after,” Johansen says. Last summer, the team launched a direct-to-consumer bridal line, and in the future they hope to open streetfront stores and create an extensive sample rental program. For now, Park & Fifth is relying heavily on its virtual fitting program, with offerings in three time zones.