At espy, fashion savant Megan Szanik and her elite style squad orchestrate custom fittings of designer jeans, a method earning the boutique nods from outlets such as the Calgary Herald. The 3,000-square-foot retail space houses more than 100 handpicked denim styles that flatter male and female silhouettes with a wide range of sizes and inseams. Before customers leap into jeans, fashion stylists measure leg and hip dimensions to gauge an ideal fit. Wearers can further complement bottoms with the help of tops by dozens of high-end designers that attract stares from even the most stoic mannequins.
Additionally, the team can beautify clients' faces with makeup and skincare products at the beauty counter. Espy's own line of mineral make-up showers skin with vitamin-rich nutrients, igniting cheeks, eyes, and lips with healthy glows. Its Dermo-Corrective line of skincare products also heals and improves skin, thanks to its bio-tech abilities that condition and fight signs of aging with every nourishing encounter.
Originally operated out of owner Carolyn Breven's home, Pure Jeanius has since blossomed into a fully stocked hub of designer denim, where knowledgeable staffers—dubbed "jeaniologists"—help ensure proper, flattering fits for all body types. They dispense honest opinions, astute advice, and insiders’ knowledge, such as why low-rise jeans are so popular with men building high rises, and help patrons peruse the immense inventory, which brims with more than 1,000 pairs of men's and women's jeans from renowned brands such as True Religion, Hudson, James Jeans, and Fidelity Denim.
As parents navigate the bevy of chic threads, a large TV entertains tots with kid-friendly movies and dissuades them from putting wooden clogs in the pockets of every boot-cut jean. The vast range of denim, which can accommodate women up to size 36 and men up to size 40, shares shelf space with Pure Jeanius' own line of all-natural, house-made essential-oil sprays.
The sweet scents of honey and coconut waft through the air and mingle with creamy mango butter and fluffy cranberry powder. Though these ingredients smell delicious, they aren't meant for snacking. At Soap & More, they form bath and body products that help pamper the complexion and protect the earth. They also serve as teaching tools in the studio's workshops, where experienced instructors show groups how to handcraft soaps, skin creams, and mineral makeup. During cold-process soap-making workshops, students can swirl flower petals and natural exfoliants into bases of olive pomace and palm oil. Other classes brim with tips for turning plant extracts into sunscreens and facial cleansers as gentle as a fawn in sheep's clothing. To fuel home-based projects, the shop also sells paraben-free soap bases, candle-making supplies, and aromatherapy starter kits.
Ever since it first opened its doors in 1987, Guitarworks has done everything in its power to keep musical creativity flowing throughout the Calgary area. The display areas brim with electric, acoustic, and bass guitars crafted by renowned producers, including Fender, Gibson, Martin, and more. Whether visitors are just starting out, upgrading to a new model, or adding to their collection, the staff members can help them find the most suitable instrument. As further proof of Guitarworks's dedication to providing truly personalized attention, the shop's guitar teachers offer lessons for all skill and experience levels, customizing the instruction for each student. Factory-authorized technicians are also on hand to provide all manner of repairs by restringing instruments, performing custom restorations, or tuning temperamental air guitars.
Behind 60 feet of storefront windows, visitors to ChromaColour Creative Art Centre's laid-back studio transform the blank surfaces of glass, ceramic, canvas, and even T-shirts into unique pieces of art. Two spacious workshops—one that holds 50 people and one with capacity for 100—invite budding artistes to learn a new mode of expression or hone an old one. In pottery classes, students forge ornamental or utilitarian pieces, decorating with eco-friendly paint that staffers mix themselves in-house. Though formal classes are offered, artists can often waltz in during studio hours, take a seat, and chat with family, friends, or the piece of artwork they're working on.
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.