Ossington Business Profile #17: I Miss You Vintage and Emporium by I Miss You

emporium#17 in our series of Ossington Business Profiles is a two-fer: I Miss You Vintage has been selling beautiful clothes and accessories for years, and last year expanded with Emporium by I Miss You.

Julie, the owner of both shops, and a newer store around the corner on Dundas West at Dovercourt, answered our questions as they applied to both Ossington locations. If you haven’t been to either place at 63 Ossington, there are plenty of one-of-a-kind classics on sale. Go check it out!

What’s your business?

a) I Miss You Vintage specializes in ladies vintage fashion and designer label resale.

b) Emporium by I Miss You carries all original antique and rustic vintage accessories.

How is your business unique? 

a) There are many vintage and resale stores in Toronto but I Miss You offers a finely edited collection of one of a kind vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry for the fashion conscious customer.  We also offer a large selection of luxury designer label resale at a fraction of the retail price. Shoppers will find labels like Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, Prada, Balenciaga, Lanvin Miyake, Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Martin Margiela, etc…  All of our items are selected for their historical appeal and/or how they can translate into today’s wardrobe for a runway inspired look.

b) Emporium is a unique Victorian/Turn-of-of the century themed rustic vintage accessory store.  The merchandise in Emporium is 100% original antique and vintage.  All of our store fixtures are also original Victorian or industrial antiques, and even the decor features 120 year old reclaimed barn-board and an old taxidermied stag. Customers will find a regularly updated stock of vintage leather bookbags, backpacks, purses, boots, and belts. Our antique claw-foot jewelry case came from the old Rotman’s Haberdashery on Spadina and houses Victorian to Art Deco jewellery, turn of the century objects, cufflinks, and bowties.

How long have you been in business here?

a)    We opened July 2005.

b)    We opened March 2012 and expanded March 2013.

What drew you to be here on Ossington?

a)    Back in 2005, Ossington was quite a different place than today, and deciding to open a retail store here was a ‘riskier’ move. However I made the decision to open up shop off the beaten track (ie: not Queen Street West) with the faith that I could build a successful destination-based business by offering the best in vintage one of a kind items that would draw in a loyal following. At the time, it offered a cheaper alternative to Queen West for a new business, the long storefront window and terrazzo floors were nice features, and even back then I was attracted to the character of the street!

b)    In 2008, the space next to I Miss You became available after the old travel agency moved out. We decided to take the space and use it as an office and storage since there was very little storage in I Miss You.  It wasn’t until the winter of 2011 that we decided to start renovating and utilize the space for a retail storefront.

What changes have you seen on Ossington since your business has been here?

It’s been almost 8 years now and the changes have been so rapid that it is literally a different streetscape. We have seen almost every business or property change and sometimes change multiple times over.  There were times I’d come in to work and a new business had seemed to pop-up overnight!  The old Vietnamese Karaoke bars and pool hall, vacant storefronts, Portugese travel agencies, pho restaurants (other than the 2 that are still here), the Buddhist temple, and the old tavern at Queen and Ossington have all become fine dining restaurants, retail flagships, Starbucks, and bars.

How do you see your business and Ossington five years from now?

We plan to continue to be part of this vibrant community and are excited to see the increasing growth of daytime retail stores on Ossington.  We anticipate seeing Ossington increasingly become a destination for daytime shopping in addition to dining, drinking, etc…

What is your favorite spot on Ossington, other than your own? and why?

In the 8 years that we have been here, we have enjoyed the products and services of so many businesses on Ossington so it’s impossible to choose one.  But in the spirit of vintage,  there are several local places that have been around longer than us that still figure into my regular working day…mmm decaf americano at Ideal coffee,  a spicy medium #12 rare beef pho at Thien Thanh, and a cold beer at Sweaty Betty’s.