Time for another Crossover post! I ventured back downtown with my friend Seema of This Must Be The Place to do some more exploring. First we returned to where we had our first meet up – AppleBerry Cafe. Owner Opal Osiol was lovely enough to invite us back to sample items off their new menu, and after our first visit, you didn’t have to ask us twice! Opal whipped up quite the spread and we had ourselves a feast. Seema and I even had the same favourites – the BBQ chicken, dumplings, and mashed potatoes. And for dessert – the ginger coconut drops were so good. Thanks again, Opal!
We needed to have a stretch after our meal, so Seema and I strolled through the Gore Park Promenade on our way over to James North. We just narrowly missed a presentation on reptiles, but we did see someone fashioning some balloon animals! It was beautiful day for a walk around the downtown core.
Walking down James North, we had a mission to hit a couple shops on Cannon – O’s Clothes and Relish. I had not yet heard of the former, and as we rounded the corner, some hip hop beats were blasting and I saw the gold logo in the window of a mustachioed gentleman, complete with a top hat and monocle, and I knew O’s Clothes was going to be a much hipper joint than I was expecting!
The men’s clothing shop was just opened a couple of months ago by Oliver Knutton. If the beats bumping in and outside the shop weren’t indication enough, it was clear that Oliver loves music, and he spoke of originally wanting to open a record store before deciding on clothing. After chatting with him about the shop, we learned that he goes out of his way to carry brands that other local shops don’t carry, and from all over the globe. These include Dave O’Connor (Hamilton), Megadestroyer (Vancouver), Arbor (California), Insight (Australia), Fjallraven (Sweden) and many more.
There are also items in there for ladies to rock – Seema and I were eyeing some super soft hoodies and some pretty scarves by local designer Rebecca Duyzer, who has exclusive pieces at O’s, along with another local designer, Kyle Stewart. Another big draw, of course, were all the funky sunglasses!
Oliver has also immersed himself in Hamilton’s ever-growing online community and is active on Twitter. You can also find him over on my latest addiction, Instagram, at osclothesk. Along with posting photos of his latest goods in the shop, you can find other photos he takes around town. I couldn’t resist Instagramming one of the black and white photos up on one of the walls – pictured below.
We had a great time chatting with Oliver and from there, it was over next door to Relish, a much different shop.
I had popped into Relish before, both times during Art Crawls, and it’s always a pleasant shop to visit. The lime green storefront alone is so eye-catching, how could you not stop in? I always comment on the colourful paper flowers in the window – you can buy these at the downtown Farmers’ Market. So pretty. It’s important to remember the side streets along James North when Art Crawling – you will miss some gems if you don’t.
Right away when entering the shop, there is so much to see, I never know where to look. Relish is full of trinkets, pieces of home decor, furniture, artwork, accessories, and clothing. Not to mention the space itself is lovely – the aquamarine walls and that silver ceiling! The boutique opened in April 2011 and carries a mixture of vintage and new pieces. You can also purchase items online though Relish Vintage on Etsy.
Seema and I didn’t get the chance to chat with owner Katherine, but from her description on Relish’s website, her “weakness for beautiful things” is evident in everything she stocks in the gorgeous boutique. There is also a strong focus on Canadian-made items. It must be so much fun choosing which pieces to stock, and hard to resist taking them all home.
From there, it was over to Mulberry for some much-need coffees – iced ones, at that. I had a great time again with Seema exploring the city. More adventures to come!