Sylvie and Shimmy - Opening Your First Retail Store

At some point in most every woman's life is the dream of
opening a store.  It may be just a passing fancy but our love of
collecting items we covet in one place teases our imaginations.
Caroline Sylvester and Kyung Joo Shim, better known as 
Sylvie and Shimmy, opened their first store on June 1, 2013.  
Of course lots of planning, buying and legally setting up
the business happened for months
before the official opening.  

Sylvie and Shimmy met at school in the Fashion Merchandising
College and started talking about their dream over 3 years ago.
The college offered a course on opening your own retail store
with the class divided into two teams and given a budget of $5,000.
to simulate the preliminary steps of registering their business,
developing the mission and retail forecast, setting up a
marketing program and buying the merchandise.
Very hands on ....
Shimmy found an empty storefront in Parkdale,  a popular
area in Toronto.  These up-and-coming neighborhoods offer great
opportunities for first time and young entrepreneurs.  
They wanted their store to offer their customers a warm and cozy 
atmosphere in which to shop.  Lovely antiques and 
funky furniture are placed throughout the store, 
many of which were Sylvie's grandmother's.
Shimmy is a fashion designer and does much of the
buying in their clothing category.  She has chosen beautiful
textures and styles for the shop and certainly has a great eye 
for design.  Someday, Shimmy hopes to have some 
of her own creations in the shop.
Sylvie loves the visual merchandising component of their shop and
the shop operations responsibility.  But both women are full
partners and back each other up in all aspects of their business.

For their first business endeavor, a partnership was the
best way to start.  There is a tremendous amount of
trust and compatibility among the ladies.
"Two heads are better than one."

Isn't this a beautiful hutch?  
The ladies covered the back of the hutch with lovely old
material which sets off the collection of handmade jewelry
from favorite artisans.
Tea cups, floral plates ...
and lots of lovely merchandise to dream over.
What is the most difficult aspect of running a retail store?
Getting customers in the door.

The weekends provide more foot traffic in the area
but weekdays can be difficult.
Sylvie and Shimmy are planning events to encourage
the young hip shopper to drop by their store
and try on their very unique collection of clothing 
and accessories. 

If you live in the Toronto area, stop by Sylvie and Shimmy.
It's a beautiful shop.
The store also has a website and a Facebook page.
Stop by and say hello.

1640 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON
M6R 1B2

Priscilla Mae Pillows

Estelle has the dark hair of Sylvie
and might have been her grandmother?
Estelle loves antiques and updating
the furniture in an updated way.
The quote on the back of the pillow says,
"To love oneself is the beginning of
a life-long romance." (Oscar Wilde)

So, love yourself a little more and
shop at Sylvie and Shimmy or stopping
by my Etsy shop to say hello to Estelle.

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