It’s not everyday that a new design boutique opens within steps of my front door and so I can’t help but get very excited, especially for something that is so fabulous that it reminds me of New York a little bit- which is really something to shout about don’t you think? And what am I so giddy about? The opening of Black Rooster Decor‘s first bricks and mortar store on Queen Street East, a few blocks east of Carlaw. Until recently, most would agree that this side of Queen Street lacked luster until an influx of condos and a reno-boom improved everything. Now, we Leslievillers get to enjoy the fruits of all the change: great stores are coming too. Hallelujah.
Black Rooster Decor already has a very successful online business so the new store is a natural move. Their strength is providing great design to clients who are looking for a well curated collection of items ranging from mid-century modern to European antiques. While most of their business is currently across the border, they are dedicated to like-minded Canadian suppliers and designers. They also have a personal shopping service which is fabulous for those who need a little inspiration. See below for my interview with owner Nina Ber-Donkor.
How would you describe the over-all style of the store? A mix of what we sell online with some local items thrown-in to make it special for our Toronto clients.
What makes you unique? We’re really lucky to have some local designers and clients in Toronto that have supported us, so we’re coming in with a perspective of what they like and want to see in-store.
Why Leslieville? It’s our favourite hood and close to home.
What new products are you most excited about? Discovering new artisans that are making affordable and unique everyday home goods. It’s thrilling to offer something not found at the chain stores, something you won’t see in every home.
Where do you find your treasures? Are you off on buying trips all the
time? Not as often as I would like to… many of our purchases are made from visiting with our suppliers, seeing their new product lines, going to trade shows and sometimes blind trust in a product we’ve never seen but can tell will be awesome based on past experiences.
What magazines are your go-to’s for inspiration? Domaine, Rue, Lonny. They’re killing it right now. And Instagram is a major source of inspiration.
Why expand from a successful online business to bricks and mortar
(when many retailers are doing the exact opposite at the moment)? It’s not an expansion but rather an extention of what we do. No one would question us opening a storage warehouse so a retail store is just as important for our business where customers can come in and chat and look and feel and get inspiration. And it’s really nice to actually talk to people and not sit behind a computer all day.