Wednesday, June 30, 2010

True Patriot Heart

Working with various designers has become one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in opening my boutique.  Having those designers be Canadian ups the warm and fuzzy feeling ten fold.  With our home and native land turning 143 years young this week, I thought I would feature my most favourite (with a u) Canadian designs that we carry at I Heart Accessories

 Foxy Originals

Designed in Toronto by Jen Kluger and Suzie Orol, Foxy Originals are also made here with high quality pewter and then dipped in gold, silver and bronze.  This line which is loved by celebrities like Kim Cattrall and Nelly Furtado, is fun, fashionable and full of life. The best part? the price point is great for jewellery manufactured in our own backyard. Pieces in our boutique range from $18 - $50.

Headmistress Accessories

Also living and creating in our precious Toronto, Canada - Jillian Wood's feather accessories have exploded internationally From hippie headbands to cocktail rings, each piece is uniquely hand dyed and assembled with real feathers and vintage adornments.  Prices at I Heart Accessories range from $18 - $45. you?

Toronto Mastermind Dawn Pilpel initially started you? as a clothing line, and in 2005, expanded into a jewelry and accessories line made with hardware. That's right. Hardware...from a hardware store. This is the first and only Toronto-made, industrial chic line of its kind, and we are so happy to represent it at I Heart Accessories! With new pieces coming in weekly, it's been difficult to keep in stock. Although we tend to carry the more price-conscious pieces in the line (starting at $16), Dawn has been able to create several including Classic, Funky, High end and Custom pieces. Didn't think hardware could be pretty? Think again.

 Luli Designs

Created by Designer Louisa Whitfield, Luli has become a sure favourite to our customers.  Her designs are simple, pretty and elegant, but most importantly, this Vancouver based artist prides herself on designing wearable jewellery for all occasions. She even creates custom jewellery for brides and their girls.  Everything is made with Sterling Silver or Bronze and adorned with swarovski crystals and precious stones. 

If you ask me, home grown talent is where it's at.  Stop by I Heart Accessories for a full perusal of our lovely Canadian-made lines and shop locally, it'll do a body good.

Happy Birthday Canada!
With Heart, 


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hat Hang-Ups

"I don't look right in hats". I hear this comment a lot. "Not true!" I exclaim...and then I instantly begin to feel like I'm being too pushy.  I guess I just never realized how many women had hang-ups with hats until I opened I Heart Accessories.  I agree, something is on your head. However, it's not a bowl of fruit. Hear me.

I bought my boyfriend Jeremy a hat a couple months ago. It was a grey newsboy cap, one that I thought would look fabulous on him. And it did. And he wore it. He wore it to go to the grocery store for milk, and I *think* on the way to a shoot at 6 a.m. one morning.  Both times, knowing he would not be seen by the Style Police. This is a guy who will wear fake glasses to achieve the geek-chic look and Sadler Shoes when Vince Vaughan did in Swingers. This is not a guy who's afraid of wearing accessories - or Props, as I like to call them for my performer of a partner.  "Why do you never wear your hat?" I asked one day.  "I don't think I look right in it" was his answer. "Don't get me wrong, I love the hat, I just think I look weird in them."

I guess I have a hat bias. I tend to purchase one everywhere I go, and keep a nice selection in the shop.  A few summers ago, I purchased a checkered cadet from Miss Swiss in Montreal, and last year I picked up a Men's fedora from a sale table at The Bay. This year I tend to sport my own collection.  I've always been a hat person - I just love them, and find so many uses for them. Bad hair day coverage, rain/sun protection, disguise, style...whatever the case may be, I enjoy having things on my head.  This isn't the case for a LOT of women, and I just can't help but feel like so many of us are letting our lives pass us by without having hats for friends, just because we put the words "silly" and "hat" together when we try one on.  I'm sure if I owned a store in the U.K., this wouldn't be a blog topic. It would more likely be about all the fabulosity that was worn on heads at the Royal Ascot Horse Races.

I mean, isn't the U.K. known for it's more reserved style? And they're topping North Americans in the hat department?  Of course, when we go there, we can get away with it. Much like Sarah Jessica Parker at her Sex and the City premiere in London.

Pieces like the ones above would be a great addition to the I Heart Accessories collections...Nes't pas?

While we haven't gone so far as to carry fairy gardens for the head, we do have some pretty sweet styles that I have taken a liking to, and think all women should have at least one of.  Here are my top 5 choices for Summer - who knows? maybe you'll give them a try the next time you see them sitting on a shelf?

#1 - The Cadet Hat

Safe and sporty, this hat is the perfect casual accessory. I like to tie my hair in a low side pony tail and wear this with jeans and a tee.  These particular ones stretch with a sewn in elastic band for extra comfort.

#2 - The Fedora

Chic yet casual, this seasons fedoras are just my fave. The straw makes it more casual, and gives you the option to wear it from the city to the beach.  We also have some with rainbow ribbons that have been faves of our teenage customers.

 #3 - The Beach Hat

Floppy and flirty, this is a must-have for any sun goddess. Do yourself a favor and save your face the unnecessary skin damage...also, look cute while doing it.

#4 - The Sun Hat

These aren't just for old ladies anymore. A cute sun hat is the perfect addition to a sun dress, a pair of sandals and a laid back hobo bag. This is your going-to-the-fruit-market-hat.

#5 - The Headpiece

Ok, not really a hat. BUT, a really nice alternative to the British styles above.  Fascinators have been the most popular head-wear this season. From feathers, to flowers and for party-goers to brides, these pieces make the most out of a simple do.

I've given you a lot to think about here. To hat, or not to hat. Or maybe not. In any case...I urge you to step outside of the box and into a stylish accessory to top off your look. You'll be happy you did.

All the styles above can be found in the I Heart Accessories Boutique and E-Boutique.

With Heart


Friday, June 18, 2010

Lindsay Phillips Makes my Heart Sing

One of the many perks of doing the buying for I Heart Accessories, is that I can order things I love and one of my favourite things in the boutique right now is the whole Lindsay Phillips collection. From her reversible bags, to the adorable flip flops, I really can't get enough. Not only am I completely in love with everything about the brand, but customers are also really loving it for the versatility and over-all cuteness!

Lindsay Heart Throb #1

The wristlets have been a big hit and come in 4 styles - Black and White (shown), Pewter, Black and Brown Floral.  The hobo bags are reversible with a solid colour inside and the flower pin comes off and can be moved around, or pinned somewhere else. How can we NOT love these?

Lindsay Heart Throb #2

As for the shoes, Lindsay's Ballet Flats still remain the most comfy shoe I've ever tried on (not to mention the adorable snaps that are available to change up your look).  The flats come in 3 colours (black, white gold and bronze - all napa leather), as well as a leopard print which I love more than words can say.

 These buttons snap on and off the top of the shoe, giving it a different look to match as many outfits as your little heart desires!

Lindsay Heart Throb # 3

As I myself am not a huge flat-shoe-wearer due to my god-given fallen arches, I had a bit of an excitement attack when I realized that Lindsay had come up with these little dollies. 

The Evie Espadrille was made for me.  First of all, I need both colours. One is not enough. Secondly, words can not express the comfort in these shoes. Lindsay has a way of making your feet feel like they are on cushy pillows in ALL of her shoes. Lastly, can we take a moment to look at those delicious little bows please?

I myself, am so thrilled to be sporting my Evies in White Gold today, with the Milena Snap.  I paired them up with some cuffed jeans, a red striped top, and some jewellery from you? in gold and pearl. I'm hearting this season's nautical look big-time!

Lindsay Heart Throb #4

So you're thinking "Meh, I don't really wear shoes in the summer other than flip flops." Don't worry your pretty little head for one second because Lindsay made you a Jordi!  These Flip Flops can also be changed up with the we love it or what?

So there you have it. All of these styles are available in sizes 6 - 11.  Give us a call, email or come by the boutique...we'd love to see you!

Lindsay Phillips, you make my heart sing.

With Heart, 


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Single Bloom

I'm starting to grow a really great customer base and I must say, it makes me want to do a happy dance.  When I first opened my boutique, I was doing well for someone who had JUST opened and had zero following. There was great foot traffic, people loved what they saw when they came in, and many people purchased. Two of my many coaches and entrepreneurial heroes (my parents) kept saying "just wait until people are familiar with you!". Well now they are starting to be, and it's great. Really great.

A return customer came in yesterday with an accessory 'dilemma'. That's what she called it, which made me smile and eager to help.  She had been in twice before, each time picking things from my more higher end lines and being completely happy with her purchases.  I should add that this customer doesn't necessarily see herself as an accessory "person", but in my opinion, can totally pull great pieces off...and is starting to agree. This time, she had purchased a dress somewhere and they had recommended some accessories to her, but she decided to come back to me and see what I had. Within 15 minutes, she had found accessories for that particular outfit AND some for another outfit she had in mind.  She ended her visit with the words - "I knew you would have exactly what I needed!".  HELLO! Does this woman know that she just made my entire day?  No, my week. My life, really.  It was enough that you came back to my very intimate space to shop once again, but then to tell me you had faith that I would solve your big dilemma and then the bonus dilemma? that's just way too much sugar for my little heart. 

I guess this seems like a big deal to me at this stage because my business is the new kid on the block, and I'm really just looking forward to surviving my first year (5 months to go...just sayin').  I'm quite happy that I'm a big emotional nerd and can look at these little signs as a reflection of all of my hard work and as a big arrow pointing in the direction of my future success.  There's no question that starting a business comes along with challenges.  Do it by yourself, and you're throwing in a whole other set of ups and downs. Make it retail, and well, do you believe in God?  It's just nice to know that, along those peaks and valleys that are sometimes smooth green grass, and sometimes laden with prickly weeds, a single, pretty, awesome little flower is sure to bloom eventually.    

With Heart

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Shopping After Dark at I Heart Accessories

On May 20th, Shop Socials hosted Shopping After Dark at I Heart Accessories. This private shopping party was invite only, with cocktails, fortune telling and mingling across the street at Cam's Place, and socialite shopping in small groups in our boutique. The event was a smashing success, and Snap North Toronto came to capture it all. 
Dawn and her sister Marla having drinks at Cam's before Shopping

Danielle and I getting our photo snapped by Graham from Snap North Toronto...cute right? I know.

Everyone Shopped with a 20% - 50% discount and received a complimentary cosmetic case with $60 purchase. To say people took advantage of these promotions would be an understatement. These ladies SHOPPED!

Packaging up purchases for these lovely ladies...

Working with Tamika from Shop Socials was a great experience and I'm so happy to have met her.  She's professional, hard-working and beautiful! Not to lovable.  It's no wonder all these women flock to her amazing events. Her swag bags were fab as always, jam-packed with goodies from NourishteaPur Minerals and Calvin Klein to name a few.

 Everyone got to take home Swag Bags Courtesy of Tamika, Founder of Shop Socials

Post-Shopping: Ladies showing off their loot.

A big THANK YOU goes out to everyone who came out and made this event possible. Thanks especially to Danielle, the newest addition to the I Heart Accessories Team, Tamika Auwai, Owner and founder of Shop Socials, Valerie Stachurski for her I'm Charming You blog mentions and Meg Sethi from Evolution PR.  I'm looking forward to hosting more events like these in the future.  Drop me a line if you think you and your gal-pals would enjoy your own. 
xoxo with heart,