It was a whirlwind year full of accolades and accomplishments for designer sisters Louanna and Hilary Murphy of Dreamboat Lucy.
The Girls UpstairsBy Nicole Trask | Oct 3, 2012
The latest venture on Queen Street’s beloved Vintage Row is Second Storey, the brainchild of six enterprising and creative ladies. Embracing all things “found, made, local” the boutique is comprised of very different offerings from each of the designers/vendors. Located on the second floor above Put Me On and right down the hall from MAKENEW, Second Storey fits right in amongst these unique businesses.
True to form, I decided to pop by unexpectedly and take a snoop around for myself. It’s a small bright space with items displayed ever so carefully on eclectically designed racks in fun shapes like rakes and tennis racquets. Charlotte Jewer is the friendly face in the boutique today and her collection of refurbished housewares is called Acadia. She shows me a lovely converted candelabra and her picture frames embellished with vintage buttons amongst other kitschy pieces. Aside from the obvious fact that the boutique is located on the second floor, Jewer says the name Second Storey was inspired by more than one meaning.
“All of us have our day jobs and other responsibilities but opening this boutique was our dream, another part of our own personal stories,” she describes. “The other element is that many of the pieces here are reinvented and they have also had a previous life.”
At first I wondered how six different designers could squeeze their wares into one small space. But since each collection is so distinct, they all seem to complement each other without competing. Carole Rankin’s jewellery collection Kin has a bit of a modern boho vibe with long necklaces with the tiniest capsules with little treasures inside and luxurious draping scarves perfect for crisp fall nights. Varity Concert is repurposed paperwork that is bound to make you take up letter writing once again. Lindsay Stewart has sourced out amazing vintage images and reworked them into custom designed framed pictures, notebooks and stationary. I know that, I for one would absolutely delight in receiving a letter on stationary like this… Half Six is a jewellery collection by Nadine LaRoche that utilizes unexpected materials (think bracelets made of small hinges, leather arrow necklaces and hand-cut collars). One of my absolute favourite pieces would have to be the lace collar necklace in neon yellow by Half Six. The colour is so vibrant and this would be a piece that you could wear without any other accessories because it makes such a feminine yet modern statement.
I was also happy to see Mimi Audellyn’s DeNova line of carefully selected vintage clothing. I’ve already picked up two pairs of shoes from this lady and find she’s got a keen eye for the edgiest yet unmarred vintage pieces around. Her items are displayed on a rack that appears to be levitating in one corner of the shop. Major props should also go out to George Sikic who’s done an amazing job creating Second Storey’s simple and contemporary backlit sign.Last but not least, Bianca Palmer’s Beespoke is a collection of darling vintage shoes and accessories (clutches, sunnies and more) in pristine condition. One pair of nude slingbacks in particular beckoned to me.
Starting your own business is no small feat and I think that these six entrepreneurs have the right idea. No one has to give up their other pursuits but they can still begin new chapters in their lives.
“Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be an entrepreneur,” says Jewer with a smile. “This has given me a little taste of it and I just want to keep going.”
Second Storey is located at 1526 Queen Street. The grand opening will be held on Sunday, October 21rst from 2-8 with plenty of new stock and libations…