With summer festival season just around the corner, now is a great time to start stocking up on the essentials for prancing around the city in search of great music and films.
Queen Boutique makes a fantastic one-stop shop for all your festival (and warm weather) needs. Located on Kensington Avenue, just off of 10th Street, this little boutique features fun, colourful and comfortable fashion for the young and young-at-heart. There is another store in Osoyoos, B.C., and the company has a great social media presence with the team using Twitter and Instagram to share new looks and products as they arrive in store.
Run by a mother and her daughters, the defining aesthetic at Queen is rootsy, bohemian fashion that is fun and funky. Music by Texas singer Hayes Carll floats through the air from a stereo near the front door and sunshine streams in across the light wood floor. Fun quotes and breezy embroidered wall hangings decorate the pale walls, leaving the clothing and jewelry to speak for itself.
There’s a good chance you won’t be able to leave without picking up something, with prices ranging from $15 for key chains to $35 for hand-made jewelry and about $70 to $100 for dresses and skirts. One-of-a-kind pieces from local artists like Jennae Frischke and The Bohemian Hobo are temptingly displayed along glass shelves, waiting to catch any eye easily dazzled by pretty things. Nothing lies locked away behind glass and you’re free to pick up and admire all of the jewelry, clothes and accessories as you please.
Vintage-inspired brands like Australia’s Mink Pink and Montreal’s edgy Against Nudity represent the carefree vibrancy of the boutique and its customers. The staff are refreshingly friendly and won’t hover – after I told the inquiring saleslady that I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, she quietly went back to her work arranging and folding clothes and didn’t stand around pressuring myself or the other shoppers into buying or trying things on. We were left very much to our own devices, which was delightful in light of how many salespeople at other stores tend to hover awkwardly around.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a floppy hat, chunky silver jewelry, a delicately crocheted coral shirt or the perfect tote bag for hauling around sunscreen, a bottle of water, a book and your DSLR, you can’t go wrong at Queen Boutique. I couldn’t leave without picking up a few things and will definitely be back for more as Folk Fest and Sled Island draw nearer. I’m sure you will as well.
Queen Boutique is located at 1109-A Kensington Road N.W. You can follow them on Twitter and Instagram at @TheQueenShop.