December 4, 2014

Yellow Pages Business Profiles

In 2014, I completed 15 business profiles for Here are three of my favourites:

Easy Tiger Goods

Easy Tiger Goods has become a staple on Dundas Street West. But nothing is more of a fixture than the store’s sometimes-turquoise-haired owner, Zai Rajkotwala.

In the process of crossing the street—an act that takes less than five minutes—Zai manages to compliment a passing girl on her outfit (“you killed it”), provides life advice to one her male neighbours (“you need to simplify”) and sets up a networking group for female Dundas West shop owners.

“I can really connect with people. That’s my biggest skill—relating to people and getting them to trust me,” says Zai. “I just love helping people.”

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Penny Arcade Vintage

Rachel Sheehan was only 12 when she visited San Francisco’s iconic Wasteland vintage store for the first time, but she can remember the moment like it was yesterday. Portishead flowed through the store’s speakers and the woman behind the cash captivated her. Rachel only bought a Betsey Johnson satin skirt that day, but it wasn’t the only thing she left with.

“I remember being like, ‘Wow, I’d like to own something that is as inspiring to me as a place like this,’” she recalls. “I just thought it was amazing. It was kind of magic.” 

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Philip Sparks Tailored Clothing

Philip Sparks designs have been found on many renowned stages including the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet and the Stratford Festival. But in 2007, the former costume designer moved from the theatrical to the practical with his line of retro-inspired clothing.

“It’s all about nostalgia and vintage cuts and tailoring,” explains store manager Victoria Sinko. Partially inspired by antique notions and hardware, all of the clothing—from classic white button-ups to wool winter jackets—is designed in Philip’s studio, located in a refurbished factory in the Junction. But not only is it designed in Toronto, it’s also made in Toronto.

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