One of my favourite parts of the holiday season is when we all work together to provide for those in need and each year our Necessity Drive does just that! Started when we first opened in 2013, the drive seeks to collect menstrual products, toiletries, and new underwear for women and youth in need. Many of those seeking refuge at a local shelter are struggling and these simple things that we may take for granted become an expense that many can't manage.
In our first few years we focused on one shelter, and eventually moved on to two. Last year was our most successful yet and we were able to donate to FOUR shelters! Read a bit more about these shelters below. This year our goal is to donate to as many shelters as possible! To help spread the love we will be spreading out the drop-off locations with some awesome community partners. You can always drop off at girl on the wing, but if you are looking for something in your area, we are happy to have drop-off locations at:
Girl on the Wing: 181 King St E
White Elephant (Westdale location): 1032 King St W, Westdale
Hello Baked (East End): 342 Barton St E
Dundurn Market: 346 Dundurn St S
Dundas: Location TBC
And here's a poster you can put up at your workplace/ holiday party/ school/ wherever if you'd like to set up your own donation zone. Just grab a box or bin and tape this poster up!
We will be accepting donations until December 21st. If you donate in-store, be entered to win a GOTW store credit!
LAST YEAR'S DONATIONS WENT TO:•Charlton Hall is a residential program for girls aged 12-18 with emotional, mental health, social, or behavioral needs. I found out about this awesome space, around the corner, through a customer who works there. We dropped off products suitable for younger women here and after finding out they have a bath (bath bombs!).
•Living Rock is a safe place of community and support for youth-at-risk which provides essential supports to one of Hamilton’s most vulnerable populations: youth between the ages of 13-25, who are affected by significant risk factors such as loss of family, poverty, substance misuse and mental health. The programs and services offered by Living Rock Ministries provide a continuum of care for youth and their children, while offering opportunities for personal development, life-skills and employment training. When we dropped off they were ecstatic and mentioned that they don't often get these types of donations and feminine products are really hard to come by- so I'm so happy we could drop some off!
•Mary's Place is an emergency women's shelter that offers support to homeless women or those escaping violence. This was our second year having them on our list and they're a really well-run shelter. Along with the feminine products, we also donated the gift sets/items here because they do a gift program with the women in the shelter and their children.
•Native Women's Centre provides a safe emergency shelter for women of all backgrounds, many of whom are dealing with homelessness, violence, or conflicts with the law. They provide assistance to indigenous families in the Hamilton area by identifying their needs, advocating on their behalf and establishing programs and services to meet their needs.
If you know of any other shelters we should add to our list, or have any questions email us: whitney at girlonthewing.ca
IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! The time where you get an excuse to shop from cute boutiques and get your loved ones unique and thoughtful gifts that'll make 'em smile. We've got LOTS of good stuff this year, and I'm always so excited to share with you all the products I've brought in for the holiday season. Take a look here and hope to see you soon!
Our spring lookbook was an adventure into another world. Collage by Caitlin Eady and Sean Gadoury of the Group of 7 Billion.
Photography by: Hollie Pocsai
Styling by: Whitney McMeekin
Hair by: Ali Columbus
Makeup by: Ray Allison
Model: Rebecca Sands
All Clothes from Girl on the Wing
It's our favourite time of year- when we get together with friends and family, eat delicious food, dance in our living rooms, and give thoughtful gifts. We've got lots of great things in store for everyone on your list and here are some gift guides to help you! Remember, you can fill out a wishlist and we will let your Santa know what you've been eyeing! Simply email us, DM on instagram or come by in person to get it filled out. And everyone will be entered to win their entire wishlist!
We celebrated our Third Year Anniversary this past weekend in style! I've always been captivated by the legend of the infamous "Blue Grotto Lounge" above Capri Pizza on John St so it seemed like the perfect place to celebrate! The party was such a hit that we're doing it all over again in two weeks for anyone who missed out!
Check out some party shots and read the info about or next dance party on Saturday May 21st:
In honour of our love for anything vintage, everything Hamilton and dancing the night away- step back in time to Hamilton in the 1960's. The infamous "Blue Grotto Lounge" was a hopping place for food, drinks and dancing. Designed to replicate the famous Blue Grotto on the island of Capri, the space was sealed off for years and only recently has been reopened.
We've got some special surprises in store and will be setting some serious vibes. Dance in a cave, drink 60s-inspired cocktails and take in the wonder of this amazing space!
9pm-1:30 am. 25 John Street North.
Tickets are available in store or online here.
Wow- apparently it's been a while since I've updated the blog! Sometimes it's hard to keep track of everything and the past few months have been jam packed! We had an amazing holiday season, were co-organizers of Hamilton Flea's Last Minute Holiday Market and threw and epic holiday dance party. Now, slowing down is never an option (sometimes I know I should…but…too many fun times) and we're excited to let you know about some upcoming events!
CITY OF HAMILTON: WINTERFEST AFTER DARK
It's an honour to be brought on by the City to help with some fun programming for their annual Winterfest. Last year you may remember we coordinated a fashion show…while great, I definitely learned that a fashion show outside in the winter comes with many a challenge :) This year we decided to shake it up a bit.
Movies are great. Canadiana classic movies especially. The past few years I've taken to hosting movie nights for my friends in the shop and have always wanted to do something bigger and better for customers. So in the spirit of Canadian winter, we're excited to announce a screening of the 1983 cult-classic Strange Brew on Saturday February 6th!
"Grab your toques and your parkas and take off, eh!
As part of the City of Hamilton's Winterfest Kick-Off Event, we'll be screening the cult Canadiana classic 'Strange Brew: The Adventures of Bob and Doug Mckenzie'. Originally a skit on SCTV, this film was shot in Hamilton, Toronto and surrounding area and acts as a time-capsule for all things Southern Ontario.
Come join Bob and Doug Mackenzie in their quest for the perfect beer…oh and attempting to save the world from an evil mastermind! Get yourself decked out in plaids, earmuffs and your coziest wares for our Hoser Costume Contest and Great White North photobooth! We'll have some special treats and more surprises in store.
$5 admission. Seating is limited so please arrive early. Movie starts at 8:30 promptly. Theatre is located in the Hamilton Waterfront Trust, behind the skating rink at Pier 8, and beside the restaurant Sarcoa. "
HAMILTON FLEA PRESENTS NIGHT MARKET AT WINTERFEST
In partnership with Hamilton's Winterfest, Hamilton Flea presents a Night Market as part of the exciting "Winterfest After Dark" programming.
Stay warm with hot cocoa and a curated collection of cool vendors in heated outdoor tents! Take in all the sights and sounds of this fun festival and do a little shopping while you're at it. You can expect some of our "Flea Family Favourites" along with some exciting new vendors. There will even be a marshmallow roasting pit- because who says you can only eat those in the summer!?
"In the middle of the winter?" you may ask. "Are they crazy?". Not crazy, just dedicated to creating some cozy winter vibes to get you outside enjoying the beautiful winter weather and exciting cultural programming!
Jelly Brothers (Hamilton Neighbourhood Maps) Crown Point Candles(Natural Handmade Candles) / Sweet & Simple (Small-Batch Candies and Sweets) / Wolf Dottir (Sassy Wares) / Group of 7 Billion (Vintage Collage Prints) / Shannon Gerard (Plants You Can't Kill and Crochet Wears)/ Canoe (Canadian-Made Products)/ Hamilton Popcorn Company (Small-Batch Flavoured Popcorn)/ SLO (Mittens and Cute Things)/ Perk Naturals(Body Scrubs)/ Steel City Crate Company (Handmade Crates)
Hope to see you guys there!
For the past month and a half, I’ve been busy working away on one of my side-projects, the Hamilton Flea. You may remember our very first event in July that took place at the beautiful and historic Treble Hall. The idea for Flea happened when my sister, Erika and I were given the opportunity from Treble Hall owner, Jeff Feswick, to put on an event in his space. With Erika’s skills for facilitating events and cool happenings (she’s the founder of The Academy of All Things Awesome and most recently one-half of the brains behind Sous Bas) combined with my love of community, small business and all things retail, we made the perfect team! Because Treble Hall had been closed to the public in so long we decided that this would be our inspiration for this new joint-effort. Our main goal with these events is to open up spaces that are mysterious or have been unused for years and show their beauty and history off. The idea behind bringing vendors in is to infuse the spaces with the creative culture that is currently going on in Hamilton.
This time around we were excited to discover and open up a new location. One day when asking around about a location, Susie Braithwaite from the International Village BIA sent me the contact info of someone she had met who recently purchased a building at the corner of King William and Wellington. As soon as she mentioned the building, I knew exactly which one it was. It’s right in my neighbourhood and I had passed the building countless times and always wondered about it. More recently I had noticed that the old vacuum store that was there (and had been closed for ten years) had been cleared out and you could, for the first time in ages, see into the windows. The history-lover in me knew I had to get into the space and so receiving the contact info to the owner felt like a higher power shining down on me. I quickly emailed the owner and expected I’d have to wait a while to hear anything back. But to my surprise, I got an email pretty much instantly back from the owner, Kevin Wride, that said “YES! LET’S DO IT!”. We made a meeting for that evening and I felt that it was almost all too good to be true.
Meeting Kevin was a very memorable experience for me. As soon as I arrived at the space, he welcomed me with such warmth and excitement. Up until this point, the space hadn’t been seen by many people and had been a passion project he had been working on to get it fixed up. Kevin purchased the building with a partner and is still trying to figure out what he wants to do with the space. He started telling me about his dreams for the building as being something for the community and a positive space for the neighbourhood. I couldn’t stop staring at the building’s beauty with giant eyes (and maybe even my mouth hanging open in shock for most of my visit). I knew it was the perfect space for the next Flea. Kevin loved the idea and from there we started working hard to get the building fixed up and started looking more into the history of the space.
One of the coolest parts of this whole process has been learning about the history of the building. Most notably it was the business “Brown’s Tire Ltd.” through the 40’s and 50’s. One day when we were walking through the building we found a receipt book from the 50’s up in the rafters. But other than these small snippets, we didn’t have much concrete information. One day, Kevin came into the store, after a long day in the Library archives with some exciting news. He had tracked down one of the only photos of the building- and it was perfect! The image, from 1949, shows the beautiful old façade of the space with the Brown’s Tire lettering and the Firestone tire logo (they were a Firestone dealer when the factory was just down the street in Hamilton). Seeing this image made me so excited! Now all the stories I had been hearing were given such an amazing visual. I love the left side of the photo where you can see one of the workers entering the building. To imagine the buzz that used to go on through the walls of the building and all the people who were going about their business here. I can’t wait to fill its walls again with people for the event and feel it come to life all over again!
Kevin also found out some information about some of the other businesses that used to be there, even before Brown’s Tire. The first business dates back to 1925 and was “Farr and McManus Furniture Finishes”. From there, he found listings for “Bamford Tire Service”, “Classic Athletic Club”, “Wentworth Hall”, and “Wellington Tire Service”. While we’ve only begun to delve into it’s rich history, it’s obvious that this building is something special and has been such a part of Hamilton’s business community.
Being in the space, I've fallen in love with so many details- The beautiful peeling paint in various colours, the rich woods floors, the vaulted ceiling on the third floor, and the many artifacts discovered. We've had some amazing people to help bring the space to life. Dee, also known as "The Story Girl" is a sign-painter and calligraphy expert who did a wonderful job in beautifying two of the large boarded-up windows and drawing people's attention to the space. Craig and Lesley from Circa Projects were given the task of installing some window art and used some wonderful blown-up automotive-themed photos from their collection of vernacular photography combined with classic auto-shop bunting. I love how they interpreted the "Brown's Tire" history! I feel like everyone who has been working hard on the event is engraining a piece of themselves within the walls of the space. We feel so lucky to have been able to meet Kevin and bring the Hamilton community into this beauty of a project he’s working on.
And I’m so thankful for everyone who has supported Flea thus far, though still in it’s early stages. I love what I do with the shop, but this event has become such an important part of my life. Working with other creative visionaries to put something together for our community is not only fun but has taught me so many important lessons. I can’t wait to share the space with all of you and the amazing vendors! This time round we've got some special out-of-town vendors coming in, combined with some classic Hamilton favourites. You can expect vintage and retro-wares, handmade objects, art work, records, yummy treats, plants and more! Big thanks goes out to everyone involved. A special shoutout to our presenting partners and sponsors: Young Lions Music Club, VarageSale, Kevin Wride, SoBi Hamilton.
Check out the event flyer and RSVP here.
Growing up, the country fair was synonomous with thanksgiving. Every year I'd go to the Rockton Fair with family or friends and it was really when all the fall feelings would start. The combination of the fresh country air, sweet funnel cakes and the demolition derby meant that my favourite season, fall, was here. That's why I thought it would be the perfect place to shoot our Fall lookbook. The team at the Rockton Agricultural Society was so helpful and accommodating and gave us free reign over the fair. There's such an overall friendly feeling at the fair whether with the farmers, the event organizers or the entertainers, and so many of our shots couldn't have been captured with a little help from these new friends.
Our team was made up of Hamilton-based creative women and we had such a fun day together. Our lovely photographer, Kate Benfey brought her usual chipper demeanour and did a great job at thinking on the fly for each shot. This was our first shoot together in such a busy place and it required lots of creative quick-thinking, but with Kate's calm way of working, everything was always under control. On hair and makeup, Brenda Beltran of Vibrant Beauty did an amazing job creating some soft and fresh looks. The inspiration was natural beauty and she focused on rosy cheeks, dewy skin and effortless hair. She's so good at thinking of ideas quickly and her braiding skills were top notch!
It was so exciting to get to work with model Delaney Stone again. She's really been with Girl on the Wing from the beginning, as a customer and model, and she's just part of our little family now. We always have so much fun shooting together and she brings so much beauty and personality to every thing she does. My friend Mariah Hamilton came to assist for the day and it was great to have her help. Her energy is truly contagious and she got some beautiful shots for our first-ever behind-the-scenes video! As for styling and art direction, I was inspired by classic country looks mixed with touches of femininity and quirkiness. The wonderful team mixed with the perfect setting made my job easy.
We can't thank the folks at the Rockton Fair enough for all their help in capturing this season's lookbook. I'm already counting the days down until next year! Check out some behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot and we're excited to share the final photos with you next week!
Kicking off on Thursday our Ten Dollar Sale is back! We love these days because we get to thank you all for being such great customers. All vintage clothing is just $10 a piece.
It’s been a busy summer for us here at the shop- we celebrated our two-year anniversary, co-organized the first ever Hamilton Flea and been on serious personal-life event duty (bachelorette parties, weddings, birthdays, the good times never end!). My favourite thing to do is our seasonal lookbook shoots and the time passing,without a summer photoshoot, was weighing on me so heavily. But thankfully after a busy month, we were able to get an amazing team together and produce one of my favourite shoots to date! We’re just going to call it our “Late Summer Lookbook”. Excited to unveil the photos and late-summer vintage collection at our “Summer Never Ends” shopping party coming up on Thursday August 6th.
Here are some behind-the-scenes shots before you get to see the final images!
We shot on a beautiful summer day in the east-end, close to the shop. I wanted to focus on the beauty of Hamilton and how so much of what some people first see as “run-down” is actually so historic, beautiful, inspiring, interesting and what makes Hamilton the unique and wonderful place that it is! The majority of the shots were taken just off of Barton Street in an amazing alley with endless locations. In the few hours we were there we experienced such classic Hamilton characters and the vibe was just full of all the charms that this city is known for, and what I have come to love about where I live.
Our photographer was the lovely Katie Benfey. She previously shot our spring 2015 and fall 2014 lookbooks in-studio so we were excited to get outside and do a natural-light shoot together. She’s always such a joy to work with as she has the best eye for shots and the sweetest/calmest demeanour. I feel like every shoot we work on together is better than the last and her refined style comes through in every shot. It was cool to shoot in her “backyard”- err, back alley and her location suggestions really made the shoot.
On makeup we had Sara Height of Face It I’m Pretty. I feel so lucky to have met Sara and been able to work with her on various photoshoots, fashion shows, and even her doing my personal makeup for a special event! She is so talented at creating classic and beautiful looks that are the perfect amount glamorous and natural. Apart from being amazing at what she does, she is the sweetest gal and she really lights up any shoot. We always laugh when she’s around and sometimes I forget we’re working. She’s available for weddings, personal makeup and shoots and I would recommend her in a second to anyone!
It was exciting to work with Brenda Beltran of Vibrant Beauty for the first time on this shoot and she did a wonderful job on creating some feminine summer hair looks. She started with a beautiful loose summer wave that with time got pinned up into a retro 70’s look and eventually ended in a fun and cute ponytail. I loved all the looks because they were well-done but also inspiring for everyday summer hair. She was great on set and had lots of great thoughts on shots, lighting and it’s always nice working with other collaborative and creative personalities. She also does weddings and events and while she was strictly hair on this shoot, she is also available for makeup.
Our lovely model was Hamilton born and bred, Delaney Stone. I was shocked when Delaney said she was available for the shoot as she had just returned home from a few months of professional modeling in Asia. We first met in the shop and she has walked in various fashion shows that I’ve produced so I was so excited to finally be able to work on a photoshoot together. She was amazing and obviously her time away gave her so much experience that her posing was instantly on-point. It’s been such a joy to get to see her progress and growth in the modeling industry. We have such a blast together and her attitude is so laid-back and earnest, she really has it all- beauty, brains and an amazing personality. Can’t wait to see where she goes in her career!
Styling was done, as always, by me, Whitney McMeekin. I was inspired by the late-summer vibes of the 70’s. I tried to focus on vibrant colours, bold prints and fun pieces. Summer is the best season for being playful with your clothing and I love mixing stand-out pieces with simple and minimal styling for the season.
We also had a few friends at the shoot. Dave and “Popper” were two of our biggest fans. They were hanging out in the alley that afternoon and kept stopping by to show us lots of fun stuff; kittens, 70’s camper vans and vintage signs. They were a completely unique element of this shoot and it really added to the Hamilton vibe.
Can’t wait to share the photos with you on Thursday at our “Summer Never Ends” shopping party!