Kevin Martin doesn’t want Stroked Ego to be known as just another men’s underwear shop.
Located on Bank St between Nepean and Lisgar, Stroked Ego is a shop selling products geared towards enhancing male beauty. It opened on May 17 and is the only shop in Centretown selling men’s cufflinks, shaving gear, mantelpiece items, ties, unisex leather bags and quality skin care under the same roof. And, yes, they do carry an interesting line of underwear: superhero-themed, World Cup, athletic and just plain funky.
Martin says the merch Stroked Ego sells is good quality for a reasonable price. And while he recognizes that much of his market is gay men living in the gaybourhood, a lot of his clientele are women wanting their men to look good. He says his shop will attract many of Centretown’s Gen Xers living the condo life and at the same time appeal to the vanity of men working in the area’s large business district.
“Nowadays, men are getting more and more conscientious of their physical appearance,” says Martin.
But most of all, Martin chose Centretown to open Stroked Ego because he lives nearby.
“The selfish part of me didn’t want to travel to work. And the space I chose has character. The city did such a good job in the construction and revitalizing the area. It’s high traffic, close to the government workers and condos. It’s also a very fast-growing neighbourhood,” says Martin.
Before Martin opened Stroked Ego, he worked in big-box retail stores, such as Staples and Ikea. After working for several retail outlets, he says high-quality customer service is what the public really wants.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling meatballs or computers or men’s apparel. You need to listen to your customer, provide them what they want and need and stand behind your products,” says Martin.
Stroked Ego is located at 224 Bank St, between Lisgar and Nepean. For more information, visit strokedego.ca or call 613-667-3008.