Shop looks to be tween heaven

Opening in November, The Beau & Bauble focuses on the younger female crowd

Once upon a time Kate Elia was brainstorming names for her future store that would evoke an imaginative and fantastical place for tween girls.

“I just started playing with words and things that sound romantic and I loved ‘The Beau & Bauble’ because it’s the boyfriend giving the girl something shiny as a token of affection,” she says.

Opening on Dundas Street West between Runnymede Road and Keele Street in November, The Beau & Bauble focuses mainly on goods for tweens but also has clothing, décor, jewellery and accessories for women.

Elia says she chose her Junction digs because she liked the number of families in the area and wanted to open somewhere up and coming and less established than Roncesvalles or Queen Street. Her goal was to transform the store into the ultimate girls’ bedroom.

“I think tween kids should live longer in the childhood stage, in innocence and imagination, the way little girls live in a fantasyland,” she says. “I wanted to represent that and keep that dear. I wanted it to be something that hasn’t gone headlong into the future with all gadgets and modern stuff and mall type atmosphere.”

Prior to opening the shop, Elia worked in costume design for film, television and theatre for 14 years, including a six-year stint in England, where she first came up with the concept for the store. During the slower retail months she hopes to take advantage of the skill set and create her own line of clothes for girls in sizes 8 to 14.

In addition to being unique because the store caters to tweens, which she says is rare in the city, Elia says the boutique is also physically quirky because of its antique furniture and designs, such as a gun rack used to display wrapping paper and a spice rack that showcases greeting cards.

Since opening, she says, highlights occur on a daily basis when tween girls come into the store and are in awe of the products and tell her they want everything in the shop.

“They actually say, ‘Oh my God, we have to get out of here because I want everything’ or sometimes they say ‘I want to live in here’ and it just makes me feel so good because what they’re saying is exactly what I set out to do,” she says. “I want them to have a chuckle at the nostalgic products and harking back to their youth and maybe find something really original that they’ve never seen in Toronto before and just go away feeling a little bit warm and fuzzy.”

About this article:

By: Ann Ruppenstein
Posted: Jan 5 2012 6:19 pm
Filed in: Business
Edition: Toronto