I have a lovely shop to share with you today, called BRIKA. It’s located in Toronto, on Queen Street West (right beside La Hacienda, near Trinity Bellwoods Park), however, if you’re not in the city, don’t click away — They have a complete online store, as well! In fact, this unique shop started out on the web — the founders decided to open a brick and mortar location only after their concept did so well online.
As for their concept, in their words ;
“At BRIKA, we connect highly talented artisans with creative and conscientious consumers through the best in modern craft. We make it easy for you by scouring the market for high-quality, beautiful pieces (including many that you won’t find anywhere else!), all available in our one-stop shop.
Our products are of heirloom quality, making them a joy to give (and receive!). In addition to beautiful, well-crafted goods, you’ll find inspiration within our creative community—a place for every person who inspires, or is inspired by, the power of following your passions.
BRIKA believes in fostering the following values in ourselves and others:
Everyone has a creative spark
A world of beauty lives in every small thing
Today’s craft becomes tomorrow’s heirloom
Some of life’s greatest lessons are learned from one another
We all have the tools to create a beautiful life.”
Everything they offer is handmade by someone living in North America. Currently, there are over 400 different makers on their roster. Artisans can apply for the opportunity to sell their creations in the shop or on-line.
Meghan and I happened upon it one evening, after having dinner down the street. While most shops along Queen Street W were dark at that hour, the lights were on at Brika, and they appeared to be having a party! So, in we went.
The reason they were open late on that particular evening was that they were hosting a pop-up store : A representative from online clothing retailer Smithery was there, offering shapes and styles based on your individual shape, be it an H, X, V, A, or O. (Check their site to discover what you are). Meghan was measured up, and a few choices that would suit her shape were pulled from the temporary racks. Shopping your shape is a great idea, and she ended up with two really nice dresses — a beautiful dressy option and a casual striped one (she’s trying it on in the picture below).
While Meegs shopped for clothes, I took a look around at the great handmade items displayed on BRIKA’s shelves. What you see in these shots are just a small sample of all they have though … the website is packed with excellent gift ideas.
^ It smelled amazing in there, thanks to these candles and the body and beauty products below. ^
^ In support of their belief that everyone has a creative spark, they carry lots of items to encourage that. ^
And, what’s a party without drinks and presents? We were treated to a delicious cocktail, flavoured with lemon-grass and vodka, and also each given a gift-bag containing some lovely tea and a decadent handmade soap, scented with Neroli and Grapefruit.
I see on their site, that BRIKA has a couple more shops in the city too, one on Queen Street East, and one in the Richmond-Adelaide Centre.
Thanks very much for reading,