Archive for January, 2012
Our store spotlight this week takes us to Toronto, Canada’s very own Drake General Store. Even though it serves as the hotel gift shop for the Drake Hotel, this isn’t your everyday gift shop. The co-directors of the General Store, Carlo Colacci and Joyce Lo, have been filling the General Store to the brim with an array of goodies since 2008. Find out more in the Q&A!
Q: How would you describe your store’s aesthetic?
A: Each of our stores are filled with a sense of whimsy and nostalgia; capturing inspiration from the classic general store, the museum shop and the flea market stand.
Q: Tell us about your neighborhood and why you love it.
A: We’re lucky enough to be in three very distinct and alive Toronto neighborhoods: West Queen West, Rosedale and Niagara. Each neighborhood has its own personality and we’re lucky to be member of each of them!
Q: When not in your store, where is the next most likely place you’d be?
A: The St. Lawrence Antiques Market
Q:Favorite restaurant in the neighborhood?
A: The Drake Hotel + The Harbord Room
Q: If there’s one thing someone “must do” when they visit your area, what would you recommend?:
A: Other than stopping by The Drake General Store, we would recommend: in West Queen West having a drink at The Drake Beer Garden, in Rosedale having a mouthwatering sandwich from Black Camel, and in Niagara visiting the hidden Ireland Park at the foot of Bathurst Street.
Q: Whats next for you/your store…. any upcoming sales/events?:
A: We have an in store and online sale going on through today, so hurry and stop by!
Q: What blogs/magazines do you follow?
A: The Drake General Store Blog, Apartment Therapy, Design*Sponge, Reference Library, Purple Diary and Opening Ceremony
Q: Where do you find all of your products?
A: We search high and low for our treasures! Secret can be found on our shelves.
Be sure to visit the Queen, Rosedale, and Bathurst locations and their online shop. Also, follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, and read their blog and vintage blog.
Tradeshow season has begun! Starting this Sunday (January 29th) we’ll be at the Javitz Center for the New York International Gift Fair until February 2. Come by booth 8139 to say hi, put in your orders, and see all our new and exciting stuff.
Hold onto your joggling boards ’cause the Charleston, SC Maptote is here! Take your pick from a grocery or beach style before they sell out!
And a big thank you to everyone who voted on the poll – without you the Charleston Maptote wouldn’t be here! Be sure to vote on our current poll between Nashville, Rome, Maine, Melbourne, and Orange County!
We’re proud to reveal our two newest collaborative efforts with 11 Madison and Viceroy Anguilla. New York Mag just named 11 Madison the #1 restaurant in all of NYC, so collaborating with 11 Madison was definitely an honor! And what goes perfectly with fine dining? Luxury resorts, of course! Our friends at Viceroy Hotels and Resorts commissioned us to make this lovely Anguilla map for their Anguilla location.
A new year means new places for store spotlight! This week’s addition takes us to Kapok located in Hong Kong. Owner Arnault Castel opened Kapok’s first retail store in 2006 and then moved locations in 2008. Since then two more stores have been added to the Kapok family – Kapok on Sun Street in 2010 and Sailor by Kapok in 2011. Learn more about Kapok in the Q&A below! Cheers!
Q: How do you describe your store aesthetic?
A: Well-crafted, honest and playful.
Q: Any fun or interesting store facts you’d like to share?
A: Even though we are a small team of 6 to run the stores, we cover 3 nationalities: France, Hong Kong and Taiwan. I like that international flavour!
Q: Tell us about your city/neighborhood and why you love it.
A: Starstreet Precinct is a very special place in Hong Kong. It’s really in the middle of the hustle-and-bustle of the city, but manages to always keep a relaxed and quiet feel – a true miracle in Hong Kong.
Q: What’s your favorite restaurant in your neighborhood?
A: Yin Yang on Ship Street – a fantastic organic Chinese restaurant. It makes the tastiest “yellow earth” chicken I have ever tasted.
Q: If there’s one thing someone “must do” when they visit your area, what would you recommend?
A: I still think taking the Star Ferry across the Victoria Harbour is the best way to discover Hong Kong. I love the old-fashioned mood on the ferry and the skyline is so amazing. Some may find it touristy, but it gets me everytime.
Q: What was your inspiration/motivation to open your store?
A: I was always shopping during my travels in Europe or Asia, but because of the very high commercial rents, the shopping scene in Hong Kong was pretty boring and dominated by luxury brand and fast fashion. One day I found a ground floor space for my office that was too big for my needs. I loved the space, so I decided in a split second to open a store. I had no experience in retail, so it was scary and I am sure I made tons of mistake, but at least I believed Kapok was proposing something fresh in the city.
Q: How did you come up with your store name.
A: There was a wonderful huge tree in the middle of the road in front of my first store, so I really wanted to name the store after this tree. But it was a banyan tree, which is the name of a pretty big hotel chain in Asia. My sister found the name kapok which is a tree you find everywhere in Hong Kong. The name sounds fun and it’s both an English and French name, so kapok it was!
Q: Whats next for Kapok?
A: We have quite a lot of fans from Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and pretty much everywhere around the world, so we decided to launch an international webshop. It’s very new and doesn’t yet have all our products, but I am very proud of its looks. You can discover it at www.ka-pok.com
Q: What blogs and magazines do you follow?
A: My favourite magazines are Apartamento and the Travel Almanac; the photos are amazing and the content feels so much more real than most glossies. For blogs, I love kottke.org; I always feels smarter after reading.
Q: Where do you find your products?
A: I try to carry at Kapok small brands from all over the world, so I usually shy away from big trade shows. Every time I travel I make sure to visit small independent boutiques in every city; it’s a great source to discover local brands. And also, all my friends know I run the store, so they always recommend me some interesting finds. Finally, all our team members help me to find cool products; it’s important that we all represent products that we love!
The next time you’re in Hong Kong, be sure to visit all three of the Kapok stores: Kapok, Kapok on Sun Street, and Sailor by Kapok. In the meantime, check out the online store and get some amazing goods!
Find our totes in the most recent issue of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons! Thanks, DWH!
In 2006, Daniel Power and Susanne Konig opened powerHouse Arena in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. PowerHouse Arena’s beautiful “warehouse chic” space boasts over 5,000 square feet of space and is so much more than just a store. The Arena is home to powerHouse Books, various exhibitions, and The New York Photo Festival. Click here to find out what all powerHouse Arena has to offer. Needless to say, we were definitely excited to have the PowerHouse crew on board for our store spotlight! We’re huge fans!
Q: Any fun or interesting store facts you’d like to share about the Arena?
A: Our bathroom stalls feature some amazing murals hand painted by 907 Crew, Abe Lincoln Jr., Robots Will Kill, 2easae, and Ski. In the grand tradition of bathroom stall walls, their work has been modified by some Arena customers as well.
Q: Where do you find all of your products?
A: Our eclectic selection of greeting cards and gifts are handpicked from local vendors and trade shows.
Q: Tell us about DUMBO. Why do you love it?
A: DUMBO is one of Brooklyn’s most picturesque neighborhoods – whether it’s the dazzling Manhattan skyline just across the East River or the cavernous warehouses lining cobblestoned streets, you can always take in a great view on your lunch break.
Q: When not at the Arena, where is the next most likely place you’d be?
A: Curled up in bed with a good book, naturally.
Q: What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
A: RICE is always nice for a sit-down meal, and Brooklyn Roasting Company makes a fine cup of coffee.
Q: What’s the one thing someone must do when in DUMBO?
A: Aside from visiting the store, I would recommend wandering around and checking out the numerous galleries and shops DUMBO has to offer, then hopping on the East River Ferry.
Q: Any upcoming sales or events at the Arena?
A: You can check out www.powerhousearena.com/events for more info. (Fire sale from Dec. 9th-Jan 9th)
Q: What blogs or magazines do you follow?
A: Too many! The L Magazine and Gothamist (both of whom happen to be our neighbors), Brokelyn, The Awl, Vice, The Hairpin, BOMB Magazine, and we love Vol. 1 Brooklyn for our music/culture fix.
So there you have it, y’all, powerHouse Arena! Be sure to follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, and check out their website. Oh, and of course you should venture to their store [located at 37 Main Street in Brooklyn to experience just how awesome this place is.