Boots & Pine

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Kristina Smith & Amber Stafford in Dundas and Ossington

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Where did you grow up?

A : I grew up mostly in a small town in Ontario called Rockland. It had a population of 2000 when I lived there. My brother and I used to play in the ravines, either catching frogs or collecting beer bottles to return for candy money. After that, I lived in a couple other Ontario cities with my family. I went back and forth between Ottawa and the GTA for a few years.

K: I’m originally from Ottawa, Ontario, but spent my high school years living in Oakville, Ontario which is a suburb of Toronto. I lived in England for a year, then went to university, and eventually moved back to Ottawa for love and being close to family.

What brought you to Toronto?

A: New scenery, new noise! And I missed my family (who were living in the GTA).

K: I love this city. Having spent my “formative years” outside of the city, I’ve just always wanted to live here. Toronto is such an exciting and beautiful place.

What do you do for a living?

We keep the shop at Victoire Boutique on 129 Ossington! We sling the dresses, clean the floors and try to make things look pretty. Our goal is to be known as a place where  women can find beautiful, well-made clothes that are made and designed in Canada. We carry lines that are based in the US and UK as well, but Canadian-made is something we strongly believe in supporting and do our best to source. There are so many killer independent designers in this country and we hope to help, in our small way, make their designs more readily available to the average gal.

How did you get started?

A: Back in 2008 I ran into Katie and Regine (who are the owners of Victoire and have two successful shops of the same name in Ottawa) outside of the Elgin Street Diner after some late night fries and gravy. They asked if me to come in for an interview and the rest is history!

K: I lived in Ottawa and always shopped at Victoire or sent my boyfriend there with carte blanche in the sense that anything he chose from there would be awesome. My university graduation dress was from Victoire and pretty much all of my favourite clothes came from Victoire. Strangely, on a trip to Austin, Texas for SXSW, I ended up spending a lot of quality time with Regine (one of the co-owners). Our friendship blossomed into something magical after that and I eventually realized that my life needed to involve more of the beauty that Victoire brought into my life. I quit my office job and one day nervously asked the girls if they might need some more help with the store. That was three years ago and I haven’t looked back.

What’s your favourite thing about your neighbourhood?

So many things: The delicious Supersonic cookies (and coffee) at Crafted, $3 mimosas at the Lakeview, running across the street for giant bottles of beer from Bellwoods Brewery, pho on rainy days, Brass Facts trivia at the Ossington every Sunday night, having family across the street at Town Moto, all-time favourite summer hang out spot Trinity Bellwoods park, and the all-around good vibes from our amazingly creative and welcoming community around Dundas and Ossington! This hood is just beyond.

What’s the last treasure you found?

We found Katie’s hat 2 blocks away after it got sucked up in a gust created by the passing Ossington bus. That felt pretty major. We found an amazing spot on College that sells cheap plants and cut flowers. And, of course, our beautiful shop space at 129 Ossington, ft. little outdoor courtyard and garage door. The best treasure.

If you were going to eat your last meal in Toronto, where and what would you eat?

A: Hmm, tough one. I would get the spicy chicken with potatoes and rice from Alex Rei Dos Leitoes, a few bottles of beer, a few friends, and head to the park.

K: I guess I am a simple woman and the real truth of the matter is my last meal would need to be pizza. I’d want a slice from North of Brooklyn Pizzeria and a tallboy of beer. I’d just call it a day right then and there.

If you could have a sleepover with anyone who has ever existed, who would it be?

We thought hard about this. We’d love to spend a night with Beyonce, putting on makeup and clothes, or getting tipsy on wine with Meryl Streep. But we eventually figured out that it would have to be: Keanu Reeves circa Point Break. Or Johnny Castle aka Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing because one sleepover would obviously turn into one very sexy summer. (Sorry Gandhi.)

If your life was a TV show, what would be the theme song?

We would pick Juicy by Notorious BIG, but Kay Wang already picked that and she actually lives in Bed Stuy, sooooo we’ll have to go with Work by Ciara ft. Missy Elliott.

What does Toronto need that it doesn’t have now?

A responsible mayor who isn’t a total mutant. More bike lanes. Less insane driving.  And it couldn’t hurt if The Manx opened a location. Ottawans, you know what we’re talking about.

Shop Victoire Boutique online or visit them in person at 129A Ossington Ave. in Toronto.

Follow them on Instagram @victoirelovesya

© 2012 Arden Wray