While working as an interior designer, Tatiana Velasevic realized what she liked the most about her job was sourcing products.
“When I discovered that this was actually what I really enjoyed doing, I was trying to think of the ways to make it my fulltime job,” she says.
In 2010 she decided to open Pimlico Design Gallery, a showroom filled with household items ranging from salad tongs to lamps and dishes by designers like Andrea Ford, Pylones, Tina Frey and Parkhaus Berlin.
“Basically they all have to fit into my design philosophy,” she says. “It’s mostly one of a kind, original, unique items that are produced in small quantities and they’re all made by designers. I like colour and they have to be well made and produced locally.”
With the exception of pink resin dogs, she says everything in the store also has to be functional and not simply decorative. She also believes good design should be accessible and picks items that are reasonably priced.
Although she likes supporting Canadian artists she also sources products from countries like Germany and Denmark but says they have to be made in their origin city and not outsourced and mass-produced.
Since opening one of her favourite moments was when local designer Tahir Mahmood was featured in the New York Times and her store was listed as the place to buy his rolling pins.
“After that article we had an avalanche of phone calls from the States and we sold over 300 pieces in a month,” she says. “So that was huge, really huge.”
The rolling pin will also be featured in an upcoming edition of Architectural Digest France, which she says is significant because Canadian designers don’t often get the opportunity for international exposure.
Velasevic, who is joined by her dog Colette, whom she calls the store’s mascot, says Pimlico Design Gallery takes its name from her favourite road in London.
“All my favourite interior design stores are located on that street,” she says. “So when I was looking for a name that was a natural choice for me. I liked the sound of it and also every time I go to London I spend the majority of my time just going to Pimlico Road.”
In May she will be moving the store from its current space on Dupont Street at Shaw Street further east on Dupont near Christie Street, as she needs a larger showroom and wants to extend her furniture offerings. She decided to remain in the area because she lives nearby, likes being able to walk to work and enjoys the area’s vibrant and industrial feel.
“They call this strip from Ossington to Spadina ‘Dupont Design District,’ which is great and I think it attracts more people to come here,” she says. “When I first came here people were wondering, ‘Why a design store? Why here? Why Dupont?’ But I firmly believed Dupont had huge potential.”
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