The QUILTBAG isn’t just a store, it’s a gathering space and a place where people can be their true selves.
The QUILTBAG, the name of which is a variation of the LGBTQ2S+ acronym, is a shop that carries an assortment of accessories, art, small gifts and trans gear including chest binders and compression underwear.
“The community is everything,” says Tracy Bradley, owner of The QUILTBAG. “My favorite thing is when we have a youth come in for a fitting for their first binder, and seeing how people come into themselves when they finally feel good with how they’re wearing their clothing.”
Rebecca and Parker Lieb founded The QUILTBAG in December 2018 after realizing that Edmonton would benefit from an explicitly queer retail space that could host community events. Bradley took ownership of the shop in late 2021 after stocking her line of handmade items at The QUILTBAG.
“We had been working alongside one another for a few months in the current location, and decided it was a really good fit,” says Bradley. “So, the store is still Queer owned, and we still have all the same consigners that started with us, and I’ve added a few new ones.”
Bradley says the best-selling items are flags and pronoun buttons, which The QUILTBAG supplies to many schools, galleries and workplaces. She notes that the handcrafted items like handwoven towels and candles also sell well.
The store is accessible and customers can book shopping appointments if they have sensitivities to light or prefer to shop in private. The store is also used as a gathering space. Before the pandemic, The QUILTBAG hosted a variety of community events like ribbon skirt-making classes.
“We’re looking forward to getting back to community events,” says Bradley. “And that’s just something we haven’t really felt like it’s safe to have capacity for, but we really feel was an important part of our work.”