Homegrown Business: Gillian Medina, Founder of relevé

relevé is an elevated activewear and loungewear boutique for women. They offer a variety of clothing, accessories, shoes, and brands, both local and international. We spoke to Gillian Medina, Founder of relevé to learn more about her business.


What is your business called and what does it do?

My business is called relevé. We are an elevated activewear and loungewear boutique for women selling both local and international brands that specialize in yoga, pilates, fitness and lifestyle attire and accessories. We have a brick-and-mortar location in Toronto ON and an online shop at www.releveclothing.com.

What made you want to do this work?

I’ve always had the desire to open a unique clothing boutique that would fulfill the need for a niche marketplace in Toronto of activewear brands and products under one roof. With fashion heading in a more casual direction, especially in recent years fuelled by the pandemic, I realized women were opting for one versatile outfit to get them through their entire day, from school drop-off to pilates class, to WFH. At the same time, they want to be stylish and have quality as well as comfort. My determination to go forward with an athleisure business was developed during the Covid lockdown – when the existing trend toward casual fashion seemed to accelerate. This move to more all-purpose dressing is now more vital than ever and here to stay.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

Many of the brands that we carry at relevé were not readily available in Toronto at a brick-and-mortar level before we opened our location on Bayview. I wanted to offer multiple popular brands in one one-stop shop to service the need for people to be able to see / touch / feel our products. With activewear (and any fitness-related garments) determining fit, size, and the feel of materials before you buy is so important. Often, the best way to do that is in person. At relevé, our customers are able to find the right size and style that suits them because we carry so many brands across all of the categories they need. Of course, we also have an online store with the same selection of brands under one convenient “virtual” location, so our customers can shop online for their favourite international brands.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Our clients are anyone who identifies as a woman, of any age and in any walk of life who loves fitness and athletic wear. We want to help you incorporate comfort into your everyday pieces, especially the pieces that might stand in the way of you and your mat 😉

How does your business make money? How does it work?

As a retail store relevé makes money via sales of merchandise both online and in our physical shopping location.

Where in Toronto can we find your business?

We are located in Toronto, Ontario Canada at 1727 Bayview Avenue (South of Eglinton Avenue).


What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

They could maybe ask us “do you shop here yourself?” and our answer across the team would be “a resounding YES” because we love our products and have faith in the quality of the brands we carry. We wouldn’t sell you something we wouldn’t own and love ourselves. So if it’s good enough for us, it’s good enough for you too.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part of this job is selecting the perfect pieces for our clients to feel amazing in, and then to learn that they love them. There’s no better feeling than knowing our little shop is becoming the go-to destination for Canadians seeking chic, quality activewear.

There is no “worst” part – we love what we do and are so grateful that this is our brand every day.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

Retail teams are often referred to as “families” and at relevé, we’re no different. Our team at relevé loves what we do and we love that we get to work alongside our customers every day. It truly is a family here at 1727 Bayview Ave.

What are your social media channels?

You can find us on Instagram.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?

Where do I begin?! I have so many favourite local companies that are run by hard-working women who I admire. Curato, @thebarreteja, @hbface / @haleybogaert and Chi Junky, just to name a few. I love collaborating with other female founders when possible and sharing our mutual success goals. Pop-up shops are one way we have loved connecting with these companies and supporting each other. There’s nothing I love more than bringing our
businesses and passions together alongside our products to our respective communities that I know will love the offering.