Archive for the ‘Stores We Love!’ Category

TOWN; the new face of Bloordale!

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

A great new source of gift ideas for both men and women, TOWN offers a smart selection of design-oriented products, mixing international artists with local Toronto designers. The collection is sophisticated and current, yet also accessible and affordable. Click on the image to read the full article.

Paperthinks Pop-up shop opens in Turkey!

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Paperthinks has opened a very cool pop-up shop inside a luxury shopping mall in Istanbul. The colourful leather makes for an eye-catching display!

Ted Baker store now open in Yorkdale!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Ted Baker’s store is now open in Yorkdale Mall. It features men’s and women’s clothing and accessories with a quintessential British sensibility.

Stores We Love #3

Thursday, July 5th, 2012


242 Carl­ton St. (on the north side, just west of Par­lia­ment St.) | 416.923.8988

Located in a stunning 1865 building in the heart of Toronto’s Cabbagetown, Labour of Love is definitely a store we love. Owner Regina Sheung’s constantly changing collection of cards, paper, jewellery and gifts has been a welcome addition to this downtown neighbourhood since it opened in 2010.

This is Regina’s second store. After running the much-loved Yonge Street shop Propaganda for twelve years, she decided to focus all her attention on her new Carlton Street location. Labour of Love has quickly become a one-stop shop for neighbourhood regulars and visitors alike. “I am inspired by my customers … many come from the arts, film and creative world and are often opinionated and challenging, which I love.”

A neighbourhood regular who is also a bookbinder was the inspiration behind the first in a series of workshops Regina began to organize soon after she opened. The evening was a big hit with customers. “I am definitely going to keep doing the workshops. They create opportunities for people who come into the shop, the store gets exposure and they help keep my staff stimulated and challenged.”

While store visuals, merchandising and displays are her main focus (“the first thing we have to do is get people in the store”), customer service is a close second. With obvious respect and appreciation for her staff, Regina understands the connection between happy staff members and happy customers. She even encourages her employees with a points program, in which points that can be turned into store dollars are awarded for certain tasks that need to be done around the store.

Inspired by graphic design, clean lines and colour, Regina has a bulging inspiration folder and is constantly online to check out the latest design blogs and sites. She also finds inspiration from her fellow retailers. Hollace Cluny in Rosedale is one of my favourite stores … she’s a magician with displays. Before I even go in the store, I usually spend ten minutes just looking at the window.”

Gift wrap and greeting cards are two of the main draws at Labour of Love. “I love everything about paper, from the tactile nature of it to the way I can use it in displays to tie groups of products together.”

Thanks to the store’s huge front windows, cards can be viewed easily from the street and, Regina laughs, “they help lure people into the store.” Current lines include customer favourites Waste Not Paper and Smudge Ink.

“I’m already looking forward to receiving our Christmas orders, especially Waste Not Paper’s. Cards and gift wrap are the first things I order for the holidays. Everything else in the store is based around that.”

Store Hours:

Mon­day to Sat­ur­day 10am-8pm

Sun­day  12pm-5pm

Stores We Love #1

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

First in a new series of blog posts; Stores We Love!
Think we’ll love your store, send us a link, pics or message;

Le Tablier Blanc in Blue Banana Market, 250 Augusta Avenue, Toronto

Located inside Blue Banana Market in Toronto’s funky Kensington Market neighbourhood, Le Tablier Blanc is a store we love. Well stocked and up to date, it is fast becoming a destination for downtown card and gift shoppers and “paperphiles” alike.

Four separate departments include cards, paper, soap & gift and kitchen. Owner Jane Brooks keeps her product mix vibrant and current. Jane recently confessed that cards are her favourite item to buy for the store and that she is constantly on the lookout for creative new lines. Dedicated repeat customers ensure that the shop’s card stock is fresh and constantly turning over.

Le Tablier Blanc’s top-selling card lines currently include Tokyo Milk and Amy Smyth and, in the stationery section, the colourful Paper Thinks recycled leather notebooks. Jane’s personal favourites at the moment are the ‘peacerev‘ line of blank greeting cards from Victoria, B.C. She’s also looking forward to her Waste Not Paper holiday order. “They have a gingerbread man garland that I can’t wait display!”

The look of the store is important to Jane, and constant attention to merchandising and display, including never-ending tidying and refilling of product, especially cards, is what takes up most of her in-store time. “A neat and well-organized store is very important to me, as it helps my customers and also helps with my inventory control.” There’s also a separate area in the store dedicated to seasonal displays, which, over the year, will include everything from Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Graduation to Hallowe’en and Christmas.

Jane welcomes out-of-town customers and fellow retailers with product requests or questions about the industry.
“If I’m not at the shop, I’m usually only five minutes away, and am always happy to meet them and answer any questions they might have.”

Le Tablier Blanc in Blue Banana Market, 250 Augusta Avenue, Toronto.