First opened in Vancouver, Bang-On T-Shirts' shops have spread over the past decade to dot the globe. No matter which continent they call home, the custom-printing stores emphasize a retro style, filling their binders with hundreds of images inspired by fashion, pop culture, and music. Patrons flip through the binder of in-store designs, selecting ones to customize or print as is. Creative types bring their own photos or illustrations of the monster living under their house in for pressing. Once customers lay out their T-shirts and tank-top patterns, staffers emblazon the cotton tops right in front of them.
Seven-feet wide, 30-feet deep. Those were the pocket-sized dimensions of the original Wee Book Inn–and the reason for its name. Established on Whyte Avenue in 1971 by Edmonton native Darwin Luxford, that first shop spawned four additional locations during the 1980s, making space for an ever-growing selection of books and media.
In December 1990, disastrous fires destroyed two Wee Book Inns, including the flagship shop on Whyte Avenue. Within two years, however, both locations were rebuilt, restocked, and back in business. Today, Wee Book's roster of shops continues to do what it's done for more than four decades: buy and sell lightly used books and media, adjusting always to keep pace with the times. Inside, visitors may run into Wee Book's cats, as well, each of who bares the name of a former professional hockey player.
Bella Maas' L.A.–style boutique keeps ladies from all walks of life strutting their stuff in designer duds from the likes of Michael Kors, Lauren Moshi, Ella Moss, Toms, and others. Ladies can kick it casually in a pair of Tom's shoes ($55+), such as Toms red canvas kickers, or glamorize appendages with Betsey Johnson jewellery for a glitzy jaunt ($35+). An assortment of denim ($99–$300) dolls up bipedal's pedals, and C'est Moi leggings and body smoothers ($20+) sleekly form figures, unlike last year's Picasso body cubers. Bella Maas also adorns bodies with Hanky Panky thongs ($22), Bitchin' Beads ($40+), and Ugg boots, shoes, and accoutrements ($87+).
Trained consultants at Bridal Debut celebrate the wedding gown's romance-infused allure, passionately leading brides-to-be toward the gown of their dreams. Bridal buffs champion one-on-one service, showering attention on customers during 60- to 90-minute private consultations. They'll not only usher clients through the tulle-fringed racks of gowns by Maggie Sottero and Allure, but also help brides in and out of dresses and suggest handmade jewellery by local designers. Seamstresses on staff ensure dresses flatter every silhouette, and a gown-cleaning facility whisks away all traces of cake crumbs and wedding-vow cheat sheets.
Since 1980, the Calgary Sun has earned its moniker, "The Little Paper That Grew," by expanding from an upstart morning paper to a multimedia brand. The entertainment section adds a lighthearted note to the publication, and the lively discussion in the opinions section engages Calgarians in community issues.
After waking up to shoes full of picket signs, Flip Flop Shops' founders opened their sandal emporiums with one motto in mind—Free Your Toes!. Each of the shop's locations in the United States, Canada, St. Thomas, and Guam are unified by flip-flops and other sandals for men, women, and children from brands such as Reef, Sanuk, Roxy, OluKai, and Quiksilver.