Love of Mine Boutique improves Queen West’s accessories offerings
After working as a buyer for a local jewellery company for 10 years, Anna Damelin, who recently opened Love of Mine on Queen West, was itching to have a shop of her own. She initially planned to carry a small collection of accessories but had a hard time narrowing down the options. “So I thought, why not bring the things I love to everybody? Everybody loves pretty things.” That’s why customers will find ornate Moroccan floor pillows ($400) and Tokyo Milk’s intensely scented soaps ($15) among the bib necklaces ($69–$98) and preppy hair bands ($12).
“I like things that are natural and organic; modern with a little bit of kitsch,” Damelin says. “It’s about picking the special things that no one else has. I want to be able to love it now and still love it 10 years later.” To that end, she makes regular trips to New York to source exclusive lines, such as Swallow, which embodies Love of Mine’s old-meets-new aesthetic with adorable nature-inspired shapes, including bird trinkets and gold-plated chicken feet paperweights ($28). “My husband was making fun of me when I bought them, but I’ve sold out of them four times now.”
Trendy items are priced affordably, but there’s also a selection of semi-precious jewellery, such as elaborate necklaces by L.A.’s Pade Vavra (one stunner set in 14-karat gold features strands of freshwater pearl and a glittering chunk of rose-coloured druze set in the middle, $510) and intricate crochet bib necklaces from Toronto’s Eliza Kozurno ($389).
An arresting collage of hand-cut paper butterflies by Vancouver artist Kristi Malakoff is displayed in the window. Inside, interior design firm Commute Home gave the space a spare apothecary vibe that doesn’t overwhelm the delicate baubles.
Damelin says the neighbourhood’s response has been positive, and she plans to slowly expand by showcasing more local designers, developing the store’s on-line presence, offering personal gift and bridal consultations, and adding to the shop’s limited clothing selection. Currently, there’s only one rolling rack of classic pieces, like tissue-thin cashmere wrap cardigans from Montreal’s Gold Hawk ($289).
“I knew I could bring something new and different to Toronto, and I was pretty confident that people would like it,” says Damelin, who spent three years in NYC before moving home. “I’m trying to bring the best of both cities together. I think New York can be more open to things, but I think Toronto is coming along. Shoppers really know what they want. Toronto has style and taste, for sure.”
See more photos from the store in the slide show below.
Love of Mine Boutique, 781 Queen St. W., 416-368-4999, loveofmineboutique.com.