Orb's expert clothing artisans design and craft fashion accessories and stylish garbs that have been featured on MTV Fora. Hide valuables in the Prickly Pear top's two side pockets ($50), or wave in landing UFOs in the sleeveless Hightide top's washed grey look ($40). Fabric flows across cutout sleeves, a wide neckline, and a dropped back to form the Bernie top ($50), and a relaxed Luna bag ($76) ferries important things around town. Orb reaches out to needy children with large, thimble-covered hands and donates a portion of all profits to Free The Children.
A native of sunny Australia, GumDrops’ founder Liz Jerrett learned to cope with Vancouver’s overcast days by acquiring a collection of fun, fashionable wet-weather gear. GumDrops Wet Weather Boutique, spotlighted in BCLiving, supplies waterproof rain wear for the whole family from brands such as Hunter, Bogs, and Kamik, a company that hand-plucks recyclable rain boots grown in the meadows of Quebec. Along with donating proceeds to environmental causes, GumDrops carries its own line of Canadian-made trench coats and a line of repairable umbrellas. A commitment to the environment affects every aspect of store operations, with staff plugging in energy efficient bulbs and stocking shelves made of salvaged construction waste. Jerrett’s flamboyant fashion sense extends to the store's interior, with its ever-changing theatrical window displays, hanging umbrellas, and wall of patterned rain boots.
Words aren’t always necessary to show someone you care. The florists at Blumen Floral Boutique let flowers do the talking with their colourful petals and sweet scents. To make the message as clear as possible, designer Nghia Diep and his team transform seasonal blossoms into hand-tied bouquets, boutonnieres, and bundles that spring from stylish containers such as glass blocks and ceramic pots. Blumen's team can also create large arrangements for special events such as weddings, graduations, and corporate celebrations. They deliver their aromatic masterpieces to nearly any location in the Lower Mainland.
While Blumen Floral Boutique specializes in floral arrangements, it strives to position itself as a one-stop shop for anyone looking for a thoughtful gift or simple trinket to brighten up a dreary day, such as handmade cards by local artists, scented candles, and books of motivational quotes. The boutique even offers floral-design classes and landscaping services for your patio, deck, or even full back yard.
Cigars can be made one of two ways: by machine or by hand. The latter is usually preferred, but requires a significant amount time. For starters, the tobacco leaves must cure for six weeks before the torcedor—or cigar roller—even begins their work. From there, the artist painstakingly sorts the leaves by colour and fermentation, removes the veins, and finally begins stretching and rolling them into a handmade masterpiece.
As an appointed dealer for Habanos—one of the largest Cuban cigar manufacturers—Cigar Connoisseurs is the bridge between torcedor and aficionado, offering popular brands such as Romeo y Julieta, Cohiba, and Montecristo. All customers have to do is walk into the shop's humidor and choose which handmade stogies they want to smoke or use as Lincoln Logs. True connoisseurs can even enroll in the shop's cigar club and receive three or four gourmet cigars each and every month.
Thirty years ago, Marilyn Diligenti spent her spare time scouring the fashion exchange in search of high-end threads, which she then sold to friends out of her home. Her keen eye for timeless, flattering ensembles earned her a devoted following, and she soon expanded from her living room to a storefront in Caulfield Village.
Now, Ms. Diligenti applies the same keen eye to scout out elegant apparel for women and girls by designers such as Michael Kors, Betty Barclay, Twin-Set, and Save the Queen. She helps each customer hone in on styles that not only align with trends, but complement her figure, lifestyle, and fashion sense. To help achieve that goal, her staff of fashion experts can plan personal-shopping sessions to recalibrate a lackluster wardrobe, and the store’s in-house tailor can custom-fit garments.
Ayala Moriel breathes in the warm ocean breezes and fragrant sage blossoms of her childhood in the Mediterranean each time she bottles up a new hand-crafted perfume, fragrance, and body product. Though her signature line of fragrances tallies nearly 50 different scents, she and her staff conduct fragrance consultations to help clients create their own custom aromas from her cruelty-free collection of botanical ingredients. Luring guests and small satellites into its aromatic atmosphere, Moriel's artisan perfume studio regularly stages an array of events, including public and private tea parties, perfumery classes, and culinary workshops.