While browsing shops during her travels in New York, Australia, and Europe, Alisa West Folk's lifelong dream to own a boutique only grew stronger. Her own wish was granted when she and her mom, Kathie, opened wish.list boutique. The mom-and-daughter team stocks the shop with finds such as Deborah Lippmann and Butter London nail polish, Deux Lux handbags, and Hanky Panky underwear. Alisa especially loves the Voluspa candles—"The smells are unbelievable," she says, singling out Santiago Huckleberry as her favourite aroma.
It's Alisa and Kathie's passion for their products that makes wish.list boutique a treasure trove for shoppers. They have to "fall in love" with something in order to consider it worthy of the boutique's shelves. "Anything we would want to use or feel like we need in our lives, we want in the store," Alisa says. That includes a focus on paraben-free, organic, and less-toxic items, including John Masters Organic haircare products.
The store brings a chic vibe to Kitsilano with white paint, a damask accent wall, and butterfly motif, all lit by chandelier. To keep faces equally fresh, the staff's professional makeup artist gives complimentary makeup applications and cosmetics advice on Thursdays, Fridays, and some Saturdays. The boutique also hosts events on occasion—they threw a lipstick and wine-pairing party for their one-year anniversary in 2010, and Real Housewives of Vancouver star Mary Zilba helped them celebrate posh polishes with a 50 Shades of Summer party.
In addition to feminine accessories and beauty products, Alisa and Kathie also curate a selection of baby gifts, and the shop is a popular place to pick up presents. "A lot people come in looking for a gift and then they end up buying something for themselves," Alisa says.
Alisa knows she's doing her job right when she's out at a restaurant or around town and someone asks her where she got her bag. It's even more gratifying when she hears their response: "They say, 'Oh, I love that store!'" she says.