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A window into the world of Roots

Issue 77 • November 2007


THE VIEW FINDER IN FOCUS Issue 77 - November 2007

Ilich Mejia’s photo prowess helps make Roots shine The Source • 1

THE VIEW FINDER IN FOCUS Now more than ever, photographs play a critical role in reflecting and helping define Roots. Fortunately, the man behind the lens is Ilich Mejia ON VIEW Roots at L’Oreal Fashion Week in Toronto BABY ON BOARD Morning surprise results in a Roots customer for life INDIANA JONES AND THE TRIBE COLLEGIATE BAG Famous director gives out leather gifts on set of new movie ROOTS ACROSS CHINA Official inauguration of flagship store in Beijing ROOTS.COM GETS A MAKEOVER New changes add functionality and flash to website


Publishers MICHAEL BUDMAN, DON GREEN Editor ROBERT SARNER Editorial Assistant CARLY ANDERSON Interns KASI BRUNO LAURA TSCHERNOW The Source is published every month by Roots Canada Ltd. We welcome letters from readers for publication. Please address all correspondence to The Source, Letters to the Editor, Roots Canada, 1400 Castlefield Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M6B 4C4 or by email to Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Each issue of The Source is also available, in an abridged version, on the Roots website at

2 • The Source


I N S I D E I S S U E 77

SPECIAL DELIVERY A selection of recent letters from the world of Roots POSITIVE IN-TENT I wanted to write you a note just to tell you about a fantastic customer service experience I had with Roots and Canadian Recreational Products. Some time back, I purchased a Roots tent at Costco due to the impeccable Roots name, the tent’s stylish good looks and versatility, and to your reputation for good customer service. A few weeks ago, my workplace held its annual barbecue and as it called for rain, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to use the standalone canopy option on the tent. While I was setting it up, I noticed that the internal springloaded cords were not tight and that the canopy had small pinholes in it around the edges. As expected, it started to rain with large gusts of wind, causing the tent to collapse and the corner pole points to break. I was deeply saddened as the tent was exactly what I was looking for and later when I returned to Costco, they did not have any more left with which to replace it. I then spoke with Paul Marcuz in the Roots Customer Service Department who was extremely helpful and pleasant to deal with. He was kind enough to forward my problem

on to the licensing company (Canadian Recreational Products) that makes the tent and quickly put me in touch with the relevant people. The faulty parts of my tent were replaced at no charge, despite the fact that my warranty had expired two years prior. You must be very proud of your staff, not to mention the great products made for Roots by your licensees. Roots is definitely fortunate to have a business partner in Canadian Recreational Products. Once again, thank you to your whole team for this wonderful and stress-free experience. Marvin D. Butt Service and Parts Manager SureShot Dispensing Systems Sackville, Nova Scotia GOING THE EXTRA MILE I believe that positive feedback is essential, and based on my recent experience, it’s apparent that the core values of Roots and your superior products give your brand an edge. A few weeks ago, I was in a desperate search of a Venetian Village Prince bag (large) in black leather. As a new Roots customer, I called a number of your stores in the Toronto area but to no avail. Then I phoned your Erin Mills location. Al-

though they didn’t have the bag, Lauren James offered to find it for me, and to have it shipped to that location. Now that’s customer service! So hats off to Lauren of the Erin Mills store for her effort. She saved the day. Thank you so much for a great Roots experience. Wishing you and the Roots team much success. Liese Coroy Mississauga, Ontario CONNECTING WITH T.O. We recently visited Toronto from the United States as we always do once a year. One of our first stops was at Roots. Luckily, this time we had our little boy, Johannes, with us when we spotted the Roots beaver at your Eaton Centre store. It made his day! As Germans living in Texas, we always appreciate the European flair of your city, your store and your clothes. Mr. and Mrs. Fred Arnold Houston, Texas • The Source wants to hear from you. Please send your letters to Robert Sarner at Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

EXTRA! EXTRA! In keeping with our monthly publishing schedule, the next issue of The Source will appear in late November. Issue 77 - November 2007

THE VIEW FINDER IN FOCUS Now more than ever, photographs play a critical role in reflecting and helping define Roots. Fortunately, the man behind the lens is Ilich Mejia. By ROBERT SARNER


n our increasingly imagedriven, visually stimulated, attention-challenged society, pictures reign supreme. Photography is the true universal language. It transcends all differences between people. The image is the thing, especially when it comes to marketing. For any business promoting itself in the modern world, pictures play a critical role. No more so than for a creative company like Roots given its involvement in matters of fashion and lifestyle. To be effective, a photograph must stand out from the visual clutter that bombards us every day on the internet, in newspapers and magazines, on billboards, in catalogues, inside stores, on television, or wherever. A photo’s appeal depends on the details — lighting, texture, composition, tone, subject matter — coming together to make a strong visual statement.

Ilich behind the lens

Framing style with nature, Ilich effectively captures the essence of Roots in a variety of ad campaigns

It must be striking and easy to understand at a glance. At Roots, photography has always had a pride of place, both in the company’s ad campaigns and in the images featured in stores. In recent years, Roots has had the luxury of having a resident photographer, and a highly gifted and prolific one at that. One who can combine his work as a graphic designer with generating quality images that showcase each collection each season. In addition to his photo

graphic prowess, Ilich Mejia also has the attributes so well appreciated at Roots. Hugely creative, he’s fast on his feet, works well under pressure, is not fazed by deadlines, relates to the spirit and values of the brand and has a great sense of humour. He also happens to be a nice guy. Ilich joined Roots in 2002, beginning as a graphic designer in the Visual Department. With his sharp eye and creative flair, it didn’t take long before he became a leader in the Art


Lyn a few months

Many company photoshoots take place against the scenic backdrop of Algonquin Park

Issue 77 - November 2007

before Roots opened

Department. In May 2005, Ilich branched out, extending his visual influence at the company when he did his first photo shoot for an ad campaign. Since then, he’s taken thousands of photos for Roots at various sessions in different places ranging from the studio at the head office and onlocation in Toronto and Los Angeles to the wilds of Algonquin Park. His photos have appeared in gigantic store window posters, newspaper ads, on the internet, in an in-store photo exhibition and adorned many covers of The Source. Extremely versatile, Ilich is equally at ease taking portraits of celebrities to photographing models to the more inanimate side of shooting products for catalogues and the website. Most recently, Ilich spent three days at the Roots Lodge at Continued on next page The Source • 3

reflect, in some way, the core values of the company. Be it health and wellness or the environment, they are important aspects of Roots.” As prolific as he is on the job, Ilich also finds time for his own photography. “I like combining different types of photography — sport, music, nature, fashion — in what I do,” says Ilich, who uses a Canon 5D A hobby, as well as a career, Ilich’s personal photos are often in classic black and white for his digital work, and a Bonita in Algonquin Park, moved to Canada with his family Mamiya RZ67 for his personal and Michael were so inspired by photographing models in a when he was 10. “In high school, work. “I think these things all the place, even in their early natural style and setting for the my soccer coach taught me to visits there,” says Ilich, 31, who relate to each other in some way. images that will form the basis never get too excited and always Walter Iooss, who’s had a huge before starting at Roots, worked of the soon-to-launch holiday to think things through so as not as a graphic artist at Sunrise influence on me, combined all campaign. True to form, in his to panic. Records and Jean Machine these different That styles. I’m very latest photos, Ilich — in collabo- following his studies at George approach Brown College where he traditional when it ration with Stephanie Briers, completed a three-year course in helps me at comes to personal Manager, Graphic Design — work. work. I can spend an captured the essence of the latest Graphic Design. “We have a Sometimes entire weekend in collection, evoking the spirit and really good team of designers the deadhere and the Art Department is a my darkroom and inspiration behind it, all the great environment to be in. Also, lines can not see daylight. I while highlighting the details seem being able to see the design like traditional and texture of the different overwhelmprocess of the clothing really methods of shooting products. ing but my black-and-white “Shooting in Algonquin Park, helps us in our marketing and experience advertising campaigns.” Gelatin Silver films you really understand why Don shows that Ilich thrives on collaboration medium format. I you always with his colleagues and works like developing and get through. closely with Roots Co-Founders printing my own Ads emphasize the connection I try to be a Don Green and Michael between style and the outdoors shots. There is a Budman, who have always been positive role special craftsmanmodel for the rest of the team. I actively involved in the compaship required to work this way as can’t be freaking out or else it ny’s visual communication. one variable can throw everywill have a snowball effect on “We’re fortunate to have thing off.” them. It’s important to keep Ilich on our team,” says With Ilich behind the things moving.” Michael. “His enormous talents camera, the photographs coming Ilich began taking pictures combine beautifully with his out of Roots will continue to when he was 13 after buying his exemplary attitude, personality, reflect and help define the work ethic and overall stand-out first camera, an old 110 film company as it approaches its 35th performance. He’s had a major point and shoot model. He got anniversary next year. True to impact on our visual output interested in photography when form, he’ll keep the image of Many of Ilich’s photos have been showcasing Roots in print and his uncle let him play with his Roots in focus. - R.S. featured on covers of The Source when it comes to photography, 35mm single-lensShot at Toronto’s Casa Loma, the Roots fall he has a great eye. He’s also reflex camera. campaign highlights classic style extremely fit and a great soccer His work is player but I can do more pushconstantly evolving. ups than him.” “It’s been extremely Ilich is as personable, modest helpful to receive and even-keeled as they come feedback from cusand easy to work with. Not for tomers and of course him the attitude of the temperafrom staff at the store mental artiste impervious to level,” says Ilich. “You input from others. see what people “I don’t know if it’s from respond to and how it playing sports but I’ve learned to influences their always keep calm,” says Ilich, a perception of Roots. passionate soccer player who Ideally, the pictures I was born in Guatemala and do for Roots should 4 • The Source

Issue 77 - November 2007

ON VIEW Roots at L’Oréal Fashion Week in Toronto


tyle took over downtown seven iconic Roots bags and Toronto for L’Oréal unveiled a preview of new Fashion Week in lateleather products to come. The October. As the main venue for exclusive early evening recepthe event, tion attracted Nathan Phillips journalists, Square, home to celebrities, and Toronto’s City industry profesHall and a sionals. Michael central hub in also did an the city with its interview with fountains and Fashion Televigreen space, was sion’s Jeanne transformed as Beker and vendors and Toronto Living. runways filled Fashion Week is the large tented an annual event in area. Toronto featuring A highlight leaders in the of the week’s Canadian style The exclusive invite to the activities industry. Produced Roots fashion event included a Roots by the Fashion cocktail hosted by Roots CoDesign Council of Canada, the Founders Michael Budman and expo is built around runway Don Green. Held at the Roots shows, spring collection showBag Bar, the event showcased cases and galas.

MOMENTS THAT MATTER Big developments in the life of Roots staff

• David Jackson, Account Manager in the Business-toBusiness Department at Head Office, wed Mary Georgio on October 6. • Please send us details of similar good news and we’ll be happy to publish it in The Source (email:

BABY ON BOARD Morning surprise results in a Roots customer for life


t was just like any typical the baby’s head was early October morning for already crowning, they Evangelina Manu as she decided to pull into the made her way to work at the Roots parking lot and Blue Bonet Outlet in Mondeliver it themselves. treal where she is the Co“It was an incredible Manager. experience,” says That is until Evangelina Evangelina, 29, who noticed a van parked in front began working at Roots in of her store, with two men 2000. “Everything anxiously standing outside happened so quickly, I the open doors. Before she never got a chance to ask could stop to inquire what them their names, but I’m was going on, she saw a glad I was there to help. woman sprawled out on the The whole event was floor of the vehicle, in the really special to me midst of delivering a baby. A Evangelina was in the right place at the right time because I had just had my few moments later, there lay a own daughter 11 months prior, parents and infant to the hospinewborn little girl exposed to the tal. so it was very moving to watch chilly autumn air. someone do the same. It’s such As it turned out, the baby Quick-thinking Evangelina ran an amazing story for everyone was not due for another two into the store and headed right involved and was such a great weeks. The parents and their for the Roots Baby section, way to start the morning!” friend were on their way to an purchasing a newborn set of a The couple thanked early morning breakfast when sleeper, blanket, bib and hat to Evangelina profusely and the woman suddenly went into cover the child. An ambulance promised to return to the Roots labour. Her husband began to arrived shortly after, taking the store and be life-long customers. rush her to the hospital, but as Issue 77 - November 2007

INDIANA JONES AND THE TRIBE COLLEGIATE BAG Famous director gives out leather gifts on set of new movie


n early October, while wrapping up scenes from one of next summer’s most anticipated action-adventure movies, cast and crew on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull got a special surprise when they received a gift made in Canada. Director of the Indiana Jones series, Steven Spielberg ordered 700 Tribe Collegiate bags. The items were custom made at the state-of-the-art leather factory in Toronto and feature the film’s logo embossed on the front. The orders were coordinated by Linda Sobel, a sales agent based in Los Angeles, who for many years worked at Roots in Toronto. With Harrison Ford reprising his famous role as the adventurer and being joined by Cate Blanchett, John Hurt and Shia LaBeouf, the film centres around mysterious crystal skulls and pits Indy against Soviet agents. It is slated for release next May.

The Source • 5



A selection of coverage of Roots in the media

Bayview employee in the running for Beijing ceremonies

Here are some recent sightings of Roots in the pages of newspapers and magazines:

oots has long played a role in the Olympic Games, outfitting numerous countries throughout the years in custom-made apparel. Next summer, Toronto-area key holder David Porteous has a chance to lend a personal Canadian touch to the opening ceremonies at the next Olympics. Out of 6,000 entries from all over the world, David has been chosen as one of 16 finalists to be among the potential torchbearers for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. International technology leader Lenovo sponsored the global search, which asked contestants, “What makes you a New Thinker for a New World?” During the month of September, visitors to the Lenovo website could submit a short essay demonstrating how they represent a source of innovation and Olympic ideals. The 18 finalists chosen then had to create a 30-second personal video based on the same theme and show the most inventive way they would participate in the Torch Relay. In

• Châtelaine, Nov. issue. The Roots Cabin Collection of blankets and pillows featured in the ‘Home We Love’ section. • Châtelaine, Oct. Roots bag in red patent leather featured in the ‘Crazy About Bags’ section. • Filles Clin d’Oeil (Outremont, QC). Oct. Roots organic cotton T-shirt cited in ‘Keep it Cool’ article. • Where Vancouver, Oct. Feature on Roots and the new leather bags from the Trunk Show including the Roots Lauren bag in white vernice, the Uptown bag and the Super Shopper. •, Oct. 10. Cadillac Fairview’s Shop for the Cure round up that includes the stainless-steel Splendour watch and pink athletic Fiesta watches available at Roots. • Metro (Toronto), Metro (Edmonton), Metro (Vancouver), Metro (Ottawa), Metro (Calgary), Oct. 9. Spotlight on Actress Jessica Biel shopping at Roots flagship store in Toronto. • Review (Niagara Falls), Oct. 6. Article mentions Roots outlet store at Canada One Factory on Lundy’s Lane. • Metro (Toronto), Oct. 5. Article entitled, ‘You Know You Want It,’ mentions the Roots Shaker Peaked Toque and the Roots Equestrian Toggle Sweater with hood. • The Globe and Mail, Oct. 6. Roots Bay Street laptop bag featured on the cover of Style section. • Strut, Fall issue. Roots red vernice Lauren bag and the black vernice bomber jacket featured in fashion spread. • Flare, Oct. Roots Madonna Bomber jacket in black patent vernice featured in ‘Hot Finds’ section. • Decoration Chez Soi! Sept. Roots Polar Fleece Blanket and Roots Bean Bag Chair highlighted. • Elle Quebec/Accessories (Montreal), Sept. Roots Lauren Tote in classic prince leather featured in the ‘Totally Hot, Totally Glam!’ section. • L’Express (Toronto), Sept. 25. Article mentions the opening of the new flagship store in Beijing. • Hello! Sept. 24. Photo of Roots CoFounder Michael Budman and daughter Alex at the George Christie luncheon during the Toronto International Film Festival. • Where Toronto, Sept. Roots Lori Bag in saddle tan featured in the ‘Classic Place’ section. • Adorable au Summum (Montreal), Sept. Acrylic scarf featured in the ‘Absolutely Classic!’ section.

6 • The Source


David at war cemetary in France

At the Dieppe Canadian Memorial

conjunction with Google, the entries were available online for public voting where the top three would carry the torch through China. David’s video recalled his experiences backpacking through Europe, following the footsteps of Canadian soldiers in World War II. Throughout the five-week journey, he shot more than 50 hours of footage as he visited battlefields, cemeteries

and monuments in ten countries. With his guitar in hand, he expressed his entire trip through music and art, writing and recording more than 25 new songs which became the video project, War Music. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to find a way to pay tribute to the soldiers who fought in World War II,” says David, 23. “It was an incredible experience to write a new song while standing in the trenches where men fought and died. These new songs are my reflection on the past and how it has affected me in the present.” Toronto-born David joined Roots in 2006 and transferred to Bayview Village earlier this year. He is one of only three finalists from Canada. Voting concluded late last month and the winners will be announced in mid-November. The inaugural lighting of the torch will take place in Olympia, Greece in March, and it will then travel to 22 cities on five continents before heading to China. It will arrive in Beijing on August 8, 2008 marking the official start of the Olympics.

ROOTS.COM GETS A MAKEOVER New changes add functionality and flash to website


ate-October marked the launch of a newly re-designed The enhancements are a part of continued efforts to increase interaction between Roots and its online customers, with increased accessibility to products, personalization and ease of use as key components to the new look. Now, instead of simply viewing a list of available product shades, users can view specific items in their actual colours. In keeping with the interactive theme, new additions include a “zoom” feature that

allows people to use their cursor to zoom in on any part of a product for a closer view. The makeover also incorporates the use of increased Flash technology, a feature that gives the site a brighter, sleeker and more animated appearance. In addition, the new email engine now enables visitor purchases to be

tracked with customized user profiles. Modifications have also broadened the range of products available to online shoppers, with the addition of a baby section as Roots seeks to expand in the increasingly popular cybermarket. Overall, this latest series of innovations makes for a fresher, more user-friendly interface that gives customers even greater access to the Roots brand. The yearlong upgrade project, now in its second phase, will continue until next spring. It helps to keep the site current and in line with recent technological advances. Issue 77 - November 2007

ROOTS ACROSS CHINA Official inauguration of flagship store in Beijing


ith the continuing expansion of Roots in Asia, Co-founders Michael Budman and Don Green were on hand at the grand opening of the leading store in Beijing in late September. The inaugural ceremonies at Seasons Place, a new mall on the Chinese capital’s west side, were a blend of local culture and quintessential Roots values. The store was outfitted with ecofriendly building materials and reusable stainless steel chopsticks were distributed as an economical way to prevent deforestation from dependence on wooden chopsticks. Enter-

northern taining the China to crowd at combat the opening sandstorms were which plague spirited the region performevery year. ances by The event dancers, a attracted demonstration by a considerable yoga media attenmaster and tion. For example, the environGlobe and mental The booming Beijing market is discussions. instrumental to the rise of Roots in Asia Mail’s Beijing correspondent Reflecting its eco-commitattended the opening where he ment, the store donated $5,000 interviewed Don Green. “Our to a local ecological group expansion in Asia is going devoted to planting trees in

CONGRATS TO THE ROOTS CLASS OF 2007 Scholarship program helps students reach for the top


he results are now in. Five of the winners in alphabetical Angels Youth Group, which lucky high school graduorder: raises community ates from across the nation • Lydia Billingsley is awareness and are acquiring a post-secondary from Halifax, Nova promotes social education, thanks in part to the Scotia and is pursuing a activism. financial assistance of the Roots law degree from • Katie Huston, Class of 2007 Scholarship Dalhousie University from Victoria, Program. with a focus on enviBritish Columbia, is For the second ronmental and a recent high school year in a row, Roots international graduate who is Alisha Fernandes collaborated with law. She has enrolled at the Cosmoda Corporatraveled and volunteered University of Victoria and is in tion (maker of around the world, the process of obtaining her Roots watches) to helping at an Engineering degree. offer five-$1,000 orphanage in She is involved in scholarships to Malawi and various youth groups graduating students teaching and built homes for Lydia Billingsley seeking higher English in families in need in education. Taiwan and Mexico. Students could be nominated Japan. • Sienna by family and friends or apply • Kristi Bourne is McWilliams, from themselves. Those interested had from Carbonear, Black Creek, British Katie Huston to complete an application form Newfoundland and is in Columbia, is in her and write an essay detailing their her first year of the Engineering first year of medical school at academic program at Memorial University. the Univerobjectives She received the 2007 Terry Fox sity of British and future National Humanitarian Award Columbia. career for her outstanding community She is a goals. service. volunteer Con• Alisha Fernandes grew up in tutor and gratulations Orillia, Ontario and is pursuing spent four to all. Here her Bachelor of Arts and Science months is a brief at the University of Guelph. She assisting in Kristi Bourne Sienna McWilliams introduction is the leader of the Guardian Grenada. Issue 77 - November 2007

incredibly well,” he was quoted in the resulting article. “It’s such an opportunity for us. In today’s global economy, you need a point of differentiation. Ours is health, natural living and environmental sustainability. It’s fantastic to be pioneering it here.” The launch of the flagship store in Beijing is just a part of the massive growth occurring throughout Asia. Roots now has 44 stores on the continent, including those in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. By 2010, it is expected to grow to 200 locations.

STAYING POWER Saluting those who go the distance


ecently, many Roots employees marked major anniversaries of their time at the company. By ‘major,’ we mean benchmark achievements as in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years spent at Roots. We invite anyone celebrating such an anniversary to send the relevant information to The Source. Congratulations to the following employees for their significant contribution and enduring loyalty to Roots: (listed by seniority) • Katherine Bock, Store Manager, Station Mall, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, 5 years • Cybele Gorrissen, Keyholder, The Lodge, Toronto, 5 years • Sung Lee, Manager, Reporting & Planning, Head Office, Toronto, 5 years • Yohance Leslie, Merchandise Flow Analyst, Head Office, Toronto, 5 years • Andrew Ligama, Assistant Manager, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto, 5 years • Patricia MacInnis, Product Development, Head Office, Toronto, 5 years • Aleksandra Rotko, Manager Payroll and Benefits, Head Office, Toronto, 5 years • James Wilford, Field Visual Merchant, Head Office, Toronto, 5 years The Source • 7



Roots staff organize holiday food drive

Spotlighting the top stores in September


Staff at the Colossus store team up for a great cause


wice a year, before Thanksgiving and Christmas, employees at the Roots Colossus store in Toronto collect non-perishable food items for those less fortunate. This year, their October collection filled several boxes in the two weeks leading up to the holiday. The items were dropped off at the local fire hall that then directed the donations to the Daily Bread Food Bank for distribution to families in need.

Ever since it first began in 2004, the Colossus staff have found this bi-annual initiative an effective and rewarding way for a Roots store to connect and contribute to its surrounding community. The Daily Bread Food Bank collects and distributes food year round, and organizes three major public drives annually. Each month, it serves more than 75,000 people in Toronto and its surrounding area.

s this issue of The Source went to press, the final sales figures for stores in October were not yet in but we’re delighted to report the performance of most stores in September was to be applauded. Topping the pack Cataraqui staff give service with a smile in terms of company stores was the Cataraqui location in Kingston, Ontario that captured the Store of the Month honours, beating its sales target by 146%. As for the Roots 73/Outlet category, the store in Kanata, Kanata Outlet are proud of their Roots Ontario took first place with a score of 137% over Special mention also goes its sales budget. out to the Roots Home Store in Congratulations to Manager Toronto for beating its sales Darlene Bain of the Cataraqui target by 218%. store and Susan van Dalen of Likewise, hats off also to all the Kanata Outlet, along with the other stores that met or their respective teams for their surpassed their goals in Septemwinning performances. ber.

EAT, SLEEP, WATCH HOCKEY New NHL wristwatches make time for Canada’s favorite sport


Red Wings, Montreal watch features both aunching this season for casual fashionCanadiens or Edmonton analog and digital the first time, the NHL conscious kids time, date function, 2007 Roots Watch Collec- Oilers. Retail Price: $165 who know The Roots Whistler stopwatch and alarm tion combines team logos with their hockey. capabilities and water- The nylon great styles for the whole family. Mountain watch is sporty and casual with a smooth resistance up to 50 The versatile spectrum of strap with leather band, double metres. The oversized designs and trends is sure to velcro closure contrast topstitching and face and sturdy resin score with hockey fans of all allows for a embossed strap ensures durable ages. durable and Roots logo. quality. The Roots Trans snug fit Power Play The scratch- Whistler Mountain Featuring Canada watch is made around resistant the of superior quality the wrist. The rotating analog face Toronto nickel allergy-free ratcheted bezel on the has a date function; a Maple Leafs logo stainless steel. It analog timepiece is easy stainless steel rotating and colour scheme, features Japan quartz to read and rugged ratcheted bezel and the blue accents on movement, a scratch enough for everyday luminous hands and resistant mineral the dial and second wear. Retail Price: $50 markers. Available in hand are the perfect crystal and includes Available at select the styles of the complement. Retail Athletic Evidence Roots stores, the comboth analog and digital Trans Canada Montreal Canadiens or EdmonPrice: $65 time and alarm and date funcplete collection can be The Roots Power Play tion. Available with the logos of ton Oilers. Retail Price: $100 viewed online at The Roots Athletic Evidence water-resistant watch appeals to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit 8 • The Source

Issue 77 - November 2007

SOY YA CANADIENSE! I AM CANADIAN! Moncton manager becomes a proud citizen


oots has always celebrated diversity in the workplace and beyond. The ethnic mosaic that employees collectively bring to the brand provides a fresh and distinctive outlook. With National Citizenship Week occurring in mid-October, it was an ideal time for Mauricio Santos, Manager of the Wheeler Park Outlet in Moncton, New Brunswick, to become an official Canadian. After passing his citizenship test, Mauricio, along with 76 other people from all over the world, participated in a special ceremony where they took their oath and sang the national anthem, affirming their newfound status as Canadians.

“After building my life here, I’ve become a citizen,” says Mauricio. “I am so happy. It’s awesome to say I am Canadian. I’m really proud of my new home.” Mauricio grew up in Mexico with his European parents and immigrated to Canada in 2002. He began working at Roots two years ago and in addition to his retail duties, he is currently the Spanish and Italian voice of Roots Radio. “My lifestyle meshes well with the Roots brand,” says Mauricio. “I’m active outdoors with triathlons and hiking. It’s also great to build personal relationships with staff. I have a great team at Moncton. It’s a warm, accepting environment.”

TOP OF THE PACK In a poll of Canadians, Roots saluted for its strength in the field of design


very month, Strategy, a marketing and advertising publication popular among industry professionals, publishes the results of a poll it initiates to measure the perceptions of Canadians. As the October issue was devoted to designrelated matters, the poll focused on consumers’ brand design observations. For the latest installment of its regular “Water Cooler” feature, Strategy wanted to find out which company is top-of-mind, design-wise, for consumers in Canada. To do so, it asked 1,000 people the

following question: “Which is the top design-savvy Canadian brand?” According to the poll, conducted by the Asking Canadians online panel in early September, Roots is seen well by consumers. So well that it came in first place with 68%, far ahead of any other company. Telus and Shoppers Drug Mart tied for second place with 9% while Cirque du Soleil came in third at 8% and Umbra with 4.9%. Nice to see that people recognize good design when they see it.

FRESH INK Roots co-founder featured in bookstore campaign


Mauricio, (right), moments after receiving his Canadian citizenship

oots employees may have noticed a familiar face on public transit billboards during their commute in recent weeeks. The Chapters Indigo bookstore chain has launched a new ad campaign promoting its web community highlighting prominent Canadians with their favourite books. Among those featured is Roots Co-Founder Michael Budman, whose picture appears in many of the ads. By creating a profile online at, members can

join the likes of Michael, actorDan Aykroyd, TV host Ben Mulroney, and writer Margaret Atwood, who are all registered in the program. The book retailer is hoping to encourage readers to join the digital book club, where members create profiles and share reviews. Chapters Indigo CEO and longtime friend of Roots, Heather Reisman, is also a part of the project.

FLICK OFF YOUR COMMUNITY New contest gives chance to win a concert in your hometown


he edgy environmental awareness campaign Flick Off strikes again, incorporating innovative ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint. Launched last spring, with Roots as a co-sponsor, the initiative has entered a new phase. Flick Fest, the nation-wide competition challenging cities to cut back their emissions, ended in late October. The community with the most entries per capita will be treated to their own carbon neutral music festival, in the vein of this summer’s V-Fest in Toronto (also sponsored by Issue 77 - November 2007

Flick Off founding partner Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Mobile). In late October, it was still too close to call with Estevan, Saskatchewan leading, followed closely by Duncan, British Columbia and Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The winner will be announced in the coming weeks at a fundraising dinner hosted by Branson in Toronto. The eco-friendly concert will be held next spring. To combat global warming, Flick Fest will provide on-site recycling, biodegradable food and drink

Richard Branson

containers, and festival attendees can volunteer to power areas of the site using bicycles. Organizers intend to purchase carbon offsets for energy used, plant trees and where possible leverage green energy sources powering areas of the festival on

bio-fuels. Starting in June, the Canadian portion of the website, in conjunction with Roots, launched Flick Fest. Participants were challenged to tally their carbon footprint via the online Zerofootprint calculator (which asks questions based on lifestyle, health, diet and consumerism) and then pledge to cut back their emissions. Details and artists scheduled to perform will be unveiled in the coming months. Check out for more information. The Source • 9

TAKING FLIGHT Roots reno master spreads his wings and soars the friendly skies


s the Director of Purchasing and Facilities, Howard Pollack has always had his feet firmly planted on the ground. Thankfully for Roots he does. When it comes to building or renovating stores, the head office and other facilities, no one gets the job done like Howard. For meeting deadlines, coming in on budget and delivering quality results, Howard is the man. What’s more, despite the stress and pressure of his work, he somehow stays remarkably calm through the entire process. Unbeknownst to most people at Roots, Howard’s abilities extend far beyond the world of construction and maintenance. Very far beyond indeed, up to an altitude of 30,000 feet above the earth. He is an ace pilot and a few weeks ago, he received his commercial pilot’s license in the latest achievement in his flying career. Earning a commercial pilot’s license is anything but a casual pursuit. It entails an extensive study program and countless hours of practice flying. It’s all the more of a

private pilot’s license and since then he’s added to his flying credentials getting his Night Rating, Multi-engine Rating, and IFR (instrument flying above cloud) Howard in the cockpit, realizes a decades old dream Rating. But his ultimate goal was always to challenge when you have a demanding day job and a family. earn his commercial pilot’s license, as it would allow him Howard, who first started to fly with fewer restrictions working at Roots 10 years ago, took up flying in 1980 at age 23. and even generate freelance income. However, due to the He was attracted to flying high cost of training and the because it provided a difficult number of hours required for challenge that not everyone it, it was a long-range project. could tackle. Finally, this fall Howard “The hardest thing about felt he was ready and booked learning how to fly and getting both the written exam and your pilot’s license is the first flight test. He was thrilled solo flight,” says Howard, who when he passed both. “It felt today flies a twin-engine Piper great to achieve my goal,” says Seneca (6-seater) or a Piper Howard, 50. “I have finally Seminole (4-seater). “After a achieved what I set out for number of lessons with the myself 27 years ago.” instructor in the plane with you, Howard would like to put you eventually have to go it his commercial pilot’s license alone and initially that can be to use for both Roots assignquite anguishing.” ments and for anyone else In 1986, Howard earned his

MAKING GREAT MUSIC TOGETHER Roots supports children’s band in their travels to Australia


n late June, the Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra (TASSO) won the chance to compete in the 18th Australian International Music Festival in Sydney. The innovative steel pan band of 30 children between the ages of 12 and 18 was the first orchestra of its kind to compete in the event. Scoring high marks for its music and style, the group won the Gold Award at the Sydney Opera House, outfitted in uniforms (hats, pants and shirts) contributed in part by Roots. Launched by Musical Director Salmon Cupid in 10 • The Source

TASSO making music Down Under

2000, the group practices weekly with regular performances around the Greater Toronto Area providing a distinctive musical experience not found in many schools. “Dedication and hard work always bring great rewards,” says Cupid. “When we traveled

to Australia, we were proud to act as cultural and goodwill ambassadors for the steel pan as an art form as well as for Roots.” The Australian International Music Festival is a performance event that brings together high school, college and community instrumental and choral groups from around the world for the purpose of cultural music education and friendly competition. Roots also contributed to the group’s uniforms in 2004 when it traveled to Scotland to participate in the Aberdeen International Youth Festival.

interested in hiring a private plane and certified pilot. By now, with 550 hours in the air to his name, Howard says he’s never nervous when flying, even during unexpected moments. “My most exciting flight involved engine problems over Hamilton [Ontario],” says Howard, who lives in Toronto. “Luckily, I was flying a twinengine plane and one working engine remained. I had to shut down the left engine and declare an emergency. I was given priority vectors for an emergency landing at Toronto City Centre Airport. The coolest part was watching the fire trucks chase after me as I flared.”

ON THE MOVE New appointments and promotions at Roots • Stan Balmaseda promoted to General Manager at Roots Central, Toronto Eaton Centre. • Rosemary Eisenhut appointed to Director of Outlets for Ontario/ Quebec, Head Office, Toronto. • Nicole Garisto promoted to Store Manager at Erin Mills Town Centre, Mississauga, ON. • Sacha Kaseram promoted to Store Manager, Terminal 3, Toronto International Airport, Toronto. • Shyrose Kassam appointed to Vice President, Merchandising, Head Office, Toronto. • Jarar Kazmi appointed to Executive Director, Retail Operations, Head Office, Toronto. • Emma Lally promoted to Assistant Manager, Regent Mall, Fredericton, NB. • Sarah Lewis promoted to Store Manager, Regent Mall, Fredericton, NB. • Jeff MacCharles promoted to Keyholder at Spring Garden Place, Halifax, NS. • Jessie MacKinnon promoted to Assistant Store Manager at Champlain Place, Dieppe, NB. • Emma Lally promoted to Assistant Store Manager at Regent Mall, Fredericton, NB. • Sarah Lewis promoted to Store Manager at Regent Mall, Fredericton, NB. • Josh Tillo appointed to Assistant Store Manager at Roots Central, Toronto Eaton Centre. • Anne Woodbury promoted to Assistant Store Manager at Erin Mills Town Centre, Mississauga, ON. Issue 77 - November 2007



This month we spotlight American rock icon Bruce Springsteen

A guide to the sounds of Roots for November


or nearly 35 years, Bruce Springsteen has been known as “The Boss.” The quintessentially American singer/guitarist/ songwriter is indisputably one of the reigning giants of the rock world. His appeal never seems to wane. His latest album, released a few weeks ago, is currently at the top of the charts. Springsteen first hit the music scene in 1973 with his debut album Greetings From Ashbury Park, NJ. Later that year, he released The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle. Both records received critical acclaim and helped launched his career on the right foot. Born in Freehold, New Jersey in 1949, Springsteen grew up in a middle class family. In high school, he began playing guitar, performing around New Jersey with local bands such as Dr. Zoom & The Sonic Boom and Rogues. Soon enough, he would form the Bruce Springsteen Band (later renamed The E Street Band) and was quickly signed to CBS Records who compared him to a young Bob Dylan. His first two albums did not sell well initially, but the tours that supported the albums were a runaway smash, fans were captivated by his performances and word quickly spread about this new kid named Bruce.

Springsteen wrote directly to his fans in a language in which they understood. Here was a working class American, writing about his job, his car or bike, his girlfriend and his hometown. His third album, Born To Run, came out in 1975 and immediately put him into rock’s first division. The songs on this superb album spoke of frustration, anger and hope. The musicianship was faultless and the quality of the songs was among his best. Critics and fans loved it, and the album was a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic. It led to his simultaneous appearance on the covers of Newsweek and Time. His 7th album, Born In The USA, released in 1984, went on to sell more than 20 million copies worldwide, becoming his biggest selling album. It garnered a string of hits and was followed by a grueling two-year tour. At one point in 1985, all of his previous albums plus Born in the USA were on the UK charts, a feat accomplished only by “The Boss.” Springsteen began to support social and political causes. He participated in the USA For Africa’s “We Are The World” in the mid-

1. No One, Alicia Keys 2. Baby Love, Nicole Scherzinger 3. Shut Up & Drive, Rihanna 4. 100 Days, 100 Nights, Sharon Jones & The DapKings 5. Get Ready, Fergie & The Temptations 6. Do It (Remix), Nelly Furtado Feat. Missy Elliot 7. Roz Bell, Papercut 8. 1, 2, 3, 4, Feist 9. Superwoman, Alicia Keys 10. Good Life, Kanye West Feat. T-Pain - Compiled by Davin Bujalski

1980s and joined former E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt on the Artists United Against Apartheid song “Sun City”. In festive style, his perennial “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” made the UK Top 10 last December. Springsteen also supported the Human Rights Now tour for Amnesty International in 1988, although since then he has maintained a relatively lower profile. Springsteen would go on to record many more albums, including a few excellent live sets. His concerts are famous for their energy and generous length, often lasting

more than three hours. He has also released many Greatest Hits albums and a wide range of bootleg material. His latest CD, Magic, is his first album of original material recorded with The E Street Band since 2004. It’s fueled by high-energy rock with a heavy E Street Band sound. It is now available in stores and some songs can be heard on Roots Radio. - Davin Bujalski - Listen to Roots Radio to hear Bruce Springsteen’s music. To find out more about him, visit:

GUESS WHO JUST DROPPED IN Taking attendance of special guests at Roots stores


elebrities have long made a point of shopping at Roots. Here are the latest sightings of prominent figures from the world of entertainment and sports who visited Roots stores recently: • 100 Bloor St., Toronto – Socialite Paris Hilton (wearing a Heritage Sueded Kanga Hoody) enjoyed a day off from the filming of her horror musical Repo! The Genetic Opera, by stopping in at Roots and Issue 77 - November 2007

Paris Hilton

shopping in the children’s section; While in town filming his upcoming comedy The Love Guru with Mike Myers, Justin

Timberlake and girlfriend Jessica Biel spent time at the flagship store and ended up walking out with ten bags of clothing.

Jessica Biel (left) and Justin Timberlake

• Beverly Hills, California – Last seen on Fox’s 24, Chad Lowe shopped at the store recently and picked up the Dionne jersey-lined sweater.

Chad Lowe The Source • 11

GREEN TIP #42 Easy ways to help the environment

A GLASS ACT: Recycle glass (think beer bottles, jars, juice containers) either through curbside programs or at community drop-off centres. Glass takes more than one million years to decompose; Glass produced from recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20 percent and related water pollution by 50 percent. Check your municipality or environment ministry office for local recycling information. - Source: Vanity Fair magazine

STARTING LINEUP Introducing the people who make it happen at Roots stores

HEALTH TIP #39 Easy ways to stay healthy


s part of our continuing series of team pictures of all the stores in the Roots retail family, this issue of The Source is shining the spotlight on the Place d’Orleans store in Ottawa. Back row (from left to right): Ben Brooks, Stephanie Jones, Heather Windling, Valerie Gauthier, Mariah Robinson, Front row (left to right): Allison Fortier, Laura Kostiuk, Carole-Anne Savard.

SPEAK TO MY AGENT The littlest customers show their Roots


egular readers of The Source know that early this year, we launched this feature to showcase photos of children wearing Roots. It grew out of the fact that we often receive unsolicited photos from customers who want to share with us pictures of their children, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or

even pets wearing Roots and asking if they could be in a future advertising campaign for the brand. Everyone is welcome to submit their favourite shots to The Source to be considered for publication. Please send your pictures to

Holden Brock, 16 months old, North York, ON 12 • The Source

Be sure to include the name and age of each child or pet in the photo, where it was taken and a sentence stating that you agree for the photos to be used in The Source.

Arman Sadeghi, 1 year old, Windsor, ON

ESSENTIAL SEA MINERALS: Before we were born, we spent nine months in a bath of amniotic fluid resembling the primordial saltwater from which life arose. No wonder the human body contains fluids closely resembling the composition of the ocean. Sea salt contains nearly 60 trace minerals essential for the formation of vitamins, enzymes and proteins that keep our bodies going. Salt aids in general detoxification, and its alkaline quality helps balance the overly acidic pH environments that breed degenerative and cancerous conditions. Common table salt, however, is refined to nothing but sodium chloride and is devoid of all other essential minerals. The best unrefined sea salt is like what’s found in the salt beds of Brittany, which has a slightly gray hue. Of course, salt is to be used only in moderation, especially for those with hypertension. It’s also important to balance salt intake with potassium to ensure proper nerve and muscle function; potassium-rich foods include leafy vegetables, soy, whole grains, potatoes, bananas, and most fruits. - Source: Secrets of Longevity by Dr. Maoshing Ni Issue 77 - November 2007

NEW & NOTEWORTHY A guide to just-launched Roots products

BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE Roots launches luxurious new line for toddlers


The Hazelton his winter, Hoody is 100% babies can Luxe Hat and Mittens acrylic and lined in celebrate the faux fur. The season in cozy knitted zip up style with the Luxe Jacket sweater evokes a Roots Premium handmade country Line. The new feel with its bold collection, featuring plush Hazelton Hoody patterns and texture. Available in ice and materials at a charcoal. slightly higher Hazelton Dress Hazelton Sweater Sizes: S-5T; price point, is Retail: $49.95 available in stores now. sugar pink. The Hazelton Sweater is a The Luxe Jacket is made of Sizes: S/M, L/XL, 2T-5T; sleeker design with a zip up 100% acrylic fun fur with an Retail: $18.95 front and faux fur lining. Made embossed beaver logo on the left The Luxe Mittens, made of 100% acrylic, it is available in hip. The central zipper and from acrylic fun fur (in ice or ice and charcoal. elasticized waist allow for easy dark sugar pink), feature the Sizes: S-5T; Retail: $39.95 wear and a snug fit. Available in Roots beaver logo on the wrists. The Hazelton Dress is a ice and dark sugar pink. The elasticized ribbed openings sweetly girlish design with Sizes: S-5T; Retail: $49.95 allow for a warm guard against The matching Luxe Hat is embellishments in the form of gusts of wind and snow. A small lightly capped sleeves and an designed with a soft brim and cord attaches the mittens empire drawstring waist with earflaps which can be securely together and can be threaded tied under the chin for added through the back of the jacket so pom-pom adornments at the ends. Made of 100% acrylic, it is protection from the elements. they won’t be lost. available in ice and charcoal. Also fashioned from acrylic fun Sizes: S/M, L/XL, 2T-5T; Sizes: S-5T; Retail: $44.95 fur, it comes in ice and dark Retail: $16.95

MIX AND MATCH ACCESSORIES FOR WINTER Cold weather basics get a cable knit makeover


ith the snowy season right The Heavy Cable Long Available in bone, black and around the corner, now is Gloves are the trend of the port, a selection of designs is the perfect time to moment for women, which will now available in all stores. stock up on the be sure to carry over The essential items to next winter. Heavy Cable keep you cozy and Retail price: $34 Earflap warm. The Heavy Cable evokes a retro Earflap Hat Scandinavian Reminiscent of Mittens for women traditional handfeature the same knit look. It comes made garments, pattern as the above and fully lined in Long Gloves the new Heavy are fully lined in fleece fleece for Cable collection Peaked Toque for ultimate warmth. additional by Senior AccesFun and fashionable comfort and sories Designer tasseled pom-poms insulation. Lynne Morris complete the look. Retail Scarf combines modern Retail price: $32 price: $28 Mittens designs with The Heavy Cable The classic colours and textures. The Peaked Toque features a stylish Heavy Cable Scarf is suitable entire line is made from a blend brim for a sporty casual look. Its for both men and women; the of wool and acrylic, allowing for hand knit look features soft basic design makes it suitable lightweight styling and added for both men and women. fringes at the bottom. warmth without itchiness. Retail price: $26 Retail price: $34 Issue 77 - November 2007

HOLIDAY WATCHES OFFER TIMELESS STYLE New collection combines crystal chic and functional form


ust in time for the upcoming holiday season, Roots is launching a new line of watches. Featuring crystal as their theme, these new arrivals further diversify the watch collection. With two styles for men and two for women, the Black Tie watches can be worn as both a functional, classic everyday piece and as a formal eveningwear accessory. The Black Tie model for ladies features Swarovski crystals, combining the practicality of a watch with the chic allure of Cameo jewelry. Similarly, the ladies Cameo style has crystals along with a delicate, adjustable band. In keeping with the polished theme, the Roots Aviator and Exchange watches for Aviator men combine fashion with function. With the Aviator’s red and blue dials and the Exchange sporting a stainless steel design, the watches appeal to varying tastes. All watches come with a 20-year warranty. Retail prices range from $110-$195 Exchange The Source • 13

Roots advertising goes sky-high on the side of the SK Corporate Office (partner of Li & Fung) in Seoul, South Korea

14 • The Source

Issue 77 - November 2007

November 2007  

The View Finder in Focus - Issue 77

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