Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Top 5 Places to Shop in Toronto

The Hip & Urban Girl's Guide welcomes guest blogger, Tamika Auwai - President and Chief Socialite of Shop Socials in Toronto to the blog today.  Shop Socials is a new start-up that hosts boutique shopping events, themed pop-ups and private parties.  She's sharing with us her list of local favourites:
#1: I Heart Accessories, 2646 Yonge Street, North of Eglinton.
  This tiny accessories boutique is like your most stylish friend's personal boudoir.  Shiny, pretty things start as low as $5 a pop, so while the shop is more than addictive, it's a habit most lovelies can handle. If you love a bargain, like them on Facebook and you'll enjoy an always and forever discount of 15% off. To save even more, invest in The Socialite Card to score 30% off every purchase. Alongside the cheap and cheerful, shop girl, Natalie, stocks local luxe labels like Foxy Originals, Headmistress, and even Cake Beauty. Here's a bit of advice for new visitors: if you see something you love, scoop it on the spot. Stock moves extremely fast here so don't take time to think about it. I promise it will be gone!

#2: Charlie Boutique, 809 Queen Street West, West of Bathurst.  
As a lover of lady-like looks that are sophisticated and sweet, Charlie had me at hello. Boutique-owner, Erin, fills the shop with demure Canadian labels like Valerie Dumaine, Birds of North America, Lustre and Eve Gravel but also carries west coast labels like BB Dakota as well as UK import, Yumi. This is an amazing spot to shop versatile dresses, separates, and unique accessories without fainting from sticker shock.

#3: Demo Soap, 171 East Liberty Street, Unit 123.
  I love smell goods!  What self-respecting girly girl doesn't? Shopping for bath time treats is extra sweet at Demo Soap in Liberty Market.  I could spend hours sniffing the colourful hand-crafted fragrant soaps displayed in large glass jars like an old school candy shoppe, and the foodie buffet soaps shaped like cheese, brownies and even pineapple upside down cake look so real that I really did look twice on my first visit.  Despite their gourmet looks, you walk home with 4 bars for just $20. A small price to pay for such a sweet indulgence.

#4: Poor Little Rich Girl, 2094 Yonge Street.
  Come holiday season, Poor Little Rich Girl is the spot to shop for designer dresses from brands like BCBG, Black Halo, and Sherri Hill, or more affordable cocktail party looks from labels like TFNC London and Mink Pink. Outside of the glamorous, owners Lynn and Sara carry a great selection of casual brands, high-end accessories by House of Harlow and 442 McAdam, plus great coats by Mackage and Soia & Kyo to keep you warm at nights. 

#5: Love of Mine, 781 Queen Street West, West of Bathurst. If you're looking for statement accessories, romantic fashion, unique home decor, or whimsical gifts, Love of Mine is a fabulous find.  Shop a rack of inexpensive vintage inspired keys on simple cords or pick up some fairy dust to remind you that life is filled with magic. Amongst a small selection of beautiful Saivana blouses and other lesser-known designer labels, bold accessories that range from inexpensive to investment are housed all over the airy shop. Take your time to check every nook and cranny so you don't miss a thing. I just got wind of their I ♥ Thursdays sale that offers 30% - 70% off selected merchandise every Thursday until the end of November. If you haven't been before, this Thursday is as good a time as any. Check their blog for sale details.

There you have it ladies, my Top 5 Shops in Toronto. Check them out on your own, or even better, join me to shop with discounts via Shop Socials.  Along with Poor Little Rich Girl on November 4th, we visit I Heart Accessories for their 1st Birthday Party on November 18 and I'm so excited for our first vintage inspired pop-up, The Retro Style Lab on November 21st. Boutique events require an RSVP via email to rsvp@shopsocials.com but are free to attend.  Tickets for the pop-up are just $10 for HUG readers using code: "SoRetro" and are free for The Socialite Cardholders.
There's so much to shop in our city and whether you join my league of socialites or go it on your own, I wish you happy shopping!

Leading the socialite movement with a pint-sized assistant by her side, Tamika Auwai must have delusions of grandeur.  She’s launched a business that cleverly combines her loves of finding inexpensive ways to live pampered, shopping for the next splurge, and sharing stylish recommendations with her friends. She’s on a mission to find the city’s best designers, boutiques and brands for her fellow everyday socialites through her new start-up, Shop Socials. Learn more www.shopsocials.com.

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