DIVERSITY REIGNS AT THIS EVERYTHING GOES BOUTIQUE
Story by Jacqueline Flaggiello
Photos provided by Of a Kind
It all started at a TTC stop. While waiting for the streetcar one morning, vinyl connoisseur Kyle Turner noticed a “for rent” sign where Marquee Video once was. Impulse took over and an idea had sprung: Why not occupy the space with vinyl, lots of vinyl, and maybe some other cool items as well? After calling and deciding to collaborate with three other creative friends, Of a Kind was officially in business.
Located on Toronto’s College Street West strip, Of A Kind cannot help but exude an effortless sense of confidence as soon as one walks in. Could it be the Motown tunes spinning in the air, or perhaps the adorable pup perched on top of the cash counter? We’ll never know, but either way it’s welcoming and cozy, and curiosity takes over.
Carrying an organized assortment of new and used vinyl (including an in-demand Hall and Oates section), it seems that Of A Kind carries LP’s for everyone taste. After spotting some treasured finds like A Hard Day’s Night and the new Best Coast album, it’s clear that Turner makes sure to have all his bases covered to cater to a wide clientele.
Responsible for keeping Of a Kind’s vintage clothing selection fresh and interesting is Storm Luu and Tamara Salpeter. “I had been hording and collecting vintage for quite some time now, so when this opportunity arouse it was perfect,” states Luu. After lingering around the racks, it’s a nice surprise to see that the merchandise is split down the middle, giving equal selection to ladies and gents.
Luu also spoke of the shop’s amazing jewellery selection. Anice, one of the four local jewellery brands carried by Of a Kind, creates quirky charm necklaces, while White Feature creates delicate and intricate pieces, with one such necklace utilizing the cast of a bird’s vertebrate as the main design element.
So, how do these friends continually update there ever changing selection? “We’re really open and always looking,” states Turner. “Sometimes people come in and offer a bag of clothing [in exchange] for a record, or vice versa, and it just works.”
Speaking of working – how does the team maintain a great relationship as first-time entrepreneurs? “[It] was a bit scary. I didn’t know anything about business, you kind of just learn as you grow,” Turner says. “But we’re all good friends who are all talented, so it helps. Were constantly learning [from] each other.” From this laid-back approach to retail, there are plenty of perks. “There are no restrictions. If we want a dog on the counter, hey we could do it! There’s no one to tell us you can’t do this or that,” Turner enthuses.
Creative liberty is certainly a beautiful freedom, which the Of a Kind team have taken full advantage of. Hosting everything from small performances to monthly art exhibits in their space, it is clear that they’ll stop at nothing to keep the creative community alive and kicking.
Of a Kind, 1037 College Street West, Toronto