Well this week started with a snow storm and I must say, it officially feels like winter now. After the holidays, it always takes me a while to get adjusted and back into the swing of things. January often passes with it's challenges and the realization that most of the sparkle is gone and now it's on to a few months of hibernation. And although we still have a ways to go, I also find inspiration and comfort in the month of February rolling around. To me it signifies a cozy, fuzzy, rosy feeling and the return to normal life. There's a few exciting things coming up over the next few weeks that are contributing to my love of February. This Saturday marks the City of Hamilton's annual Winterfest; an arts and culture week-long affair! Art installations, family fun, and special events around the city help bring a bit of warmth to this cold season.
I was honoured to be asked to coordinate and contribute to a fashion show as part of the festival's opening ceremony! Teaming up with some of my favourite local shops and designers, including the Eye of Faith, O's Clothes, Hawk and Sparrow, Volver and La Bichette, we'll be showcasing some winter looks that represent each of our shops/labels. The wonderful Rachael Henderson aka "DJ Donna Lovejoy" is signed on to be the emcee and dj of the event and each scene will be set to music by our favourite local musicians. It's all going down at 6:00pm this Saturday February 7th at the Pier 8 Skating Rink, down by the waterfront. It's sure to be an interesting show as we roll the red carpet out on the skating rink and send some local models down the runway.
My collection is inspired by the "Apres Ski" lifestyle; think cozy ski-bunny looks, figure skater approved outfits and all the wooly plaids you can imagine! Very excited to showcase this collection and hope to see you all there!
Link to the Facebook event here.
Over the next week I have about 3 different Christmas gatherings and I'm planning to pack in as much sparkle and festive colours into my wardrobe as possible! Wanted to show you some of my favourite pieces in shop right now that would be great for any holiday gathering!
vintage Eaton's knit cardigan- would look great with some trousers or over a party dress!
vintage beaded cardigan with velvet party dress.
vintage lace crop top, vintage plaid skirt and crystal pendant necklace.
vintage knit candy striper top with velvet mini skirt.
the perfect vintage red velvet dress with wild moon statement earrings.
vintage beaded poinsetta dress.
be a lady in this 1960's green party dress and then a temptress in this vintage red negligee.
ho ho ho!!!
All Items Available at Girl on the Wing.
As the holidays get closer, we tend to stress ourselves out about finding the perfect gift. Sometimes you feel like you just want to escape to another planet! But hey, while you're there, why not do some shopping? These spacey gifts are out of this world and will make you the best gift-giver in the whole universe!
Collage Print by Sean Gadoury ($15), Live Long and Prosper patch ($12), Le Petit Prince sweatshirt by Out of Print ($54), Goodnight Moon onesie by Out of Print ($24), Cosmic Light Calendar by Apak ($20), Sleepy Tea ($10), Galaxy Cuff by Dea Dia ($48-54). All Available at Girl on the Wing.
Also have you SEEN this NASA backpack we are carrying?! Totally out of this world!
Backpack by Red Canoe ($75).
This year we've got lots of goodies in store for all your gift-giving needs! I've spent the past few months searching high and low for an extensive collection of giftware's, for everyone on your list! Grab one of gift guides, in store, for some gifting inspiration! Last year's popular Out of Print sweatshirts are back and there are some great new designs like "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Le Petit Prince". Also, another favourite from last year, the soaps and teas by Honey Pie Hives and Herbals have already been flying off the shelf! On top of those we've got some great new lines, including vintage-inspired Canadiana bags by Red Canoe, locally made body scrubs by Perk Naturals and some amazing new jewelry lines!
My personal favourite for this year is the vintage-inspired onesie pyjama- they're hand-dyed in the US, then we've sewn some vintage ski patches on them to give a real apres ski look! We'll be sharing some of our favourite items over the coming weeks, organized by theme. To begin, we've got "Cozy Cabin". Think nights by the fire with a mug of hot cocoa, snuggling up with your favourite book- or favourite cuddle partner ;)
Onesie ($64), Vintage Plaid Blanket ($52), Stay Home Club Pennants ($14 each), Moonrise Kingdom Patch ($12), Red Cap Cards ($5 each), Twin Peaks Patch ($12), CBC Backpack ($64), Smash Poster Prints ($40), Lightfoot's Shave Soap ($8)
We’re back with our second installment of our monthly girl about town blog series. Last month, we focused on someone who was born and raised in Hamilton. This month, we look to an inspiring woman who wasn’t born here, but is now at home and happy in Hamilton. Ciara McCann is such a treasure and not only loves Hamilton, but loves her job at Joseph Brant Hospital as Web and New Media Coordinator, her creative husband and local wine. We first met at the Vintage Marketplace in 2013 and instantly hit it off. When I opened the store, Ciara and her husband Andrew were living in International Village and excited to have a new shop in their hood. Now living on Locke Street and in the midst of a Hamilton house search, this couple is all about their city. You may remember them from our Valentine’s photoshoot last year that we did in collaboration with O’s Clothes. Ciara attended Mac and has called Hamilton home for the past ten years.
Ciara instantly came to mind when I was thinking of who to feature next in our girl about town series. Not only has she accomplished so much professionally, she is also one of the sweetest, and most genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. She’s truly one in a million! Here we talk about her job at Joseph Brant, her love for social media storytelling, her current “Collective Hearts Burlington” campaign and of course, her favourite places to go during her off-time in Hamilton.
What’s the best part about your job?
At Joseph Brant Hospital there are great things that happen every day and I have the honour of sharing some inspiring stories about our patients and staff with our online community. Recently, I shared a story about a patient in our Complex Care unit who was dying of lung cancer and one of his last wishes was to see his daughter get married. Family, friends and hospital staff came together to make his dream come true and his daughter and her fiancée were married in our chapel. It’s wonderful to see people coming together to make amazing things like this happen.
Tell us about the campaign you’re currently working on:
Collective Hearts Burlington brings 10 local charitable organizations together to celebrate giving in Burlington and to encourage Burlingtonians to give their time, treasure and talent at home. The campaign started at the beginning of November and it runs until December 2 which is Giving Tuesday – a day dedicated to inspiring people around the world to give. This is an annual campaign and we invite more organizations to join us next year. People can learn more about the campaign and share why they give at home by visiting www.collectivehearts.ca.
Where are your favourite places to go around Hamilton?
There are so many gems but these are my top three right now: Two Black Sheep for vintage cocktails and charcuterie, Democracy for relaxed weekend vibes, lattes and the best brownies in the Hammer and of course The Casbah – my favourite place to see local bands.
What inspires you- in your professional life and normal life?
My husband inspires me. He is the most driven, passionate and thoughtful person I know. Professionally, I’m inspired by new and creative ideas.
How would you describe your style?
Girly tomboy – kind of an oxymoron but that’s the only way I can describe it.
What is on your Christmas list this year?
The book, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, the latest Alvvays record and Porridge soap by Lush.
What's your favourite piece you've found at Girl on the Wing?
This coat of course! You know those special moments when you find a vintage piece that’s not only beautiful but it’s also a perfect fit and it’s pretty much meant for you? That’s what happened with this coat.
What She’s Wearing:
Vintage winter coat
Stella Bella knit hat
Vintage plaid scarf
all available at Girl on the Wing.
We’re so inspired by all the good that this girl does on a daily basis- and may we add how cute she looks while doing it! Check out Collective Hearts and give where you live!
This Friday, November 28th come check out what's in store for the holidays! We'll have treats, drinks and deals for ya!
With the temperatures dropping I'm already noticing how much more time I'm spending indoors. People always talk about spring cleaning, but I prefer a big clean and redecorate this time of year. I try to make my space the coziest and warmest feeling to try and combat what's going on outside my door. Part of that is incorporating plants and flowers- as the more nature I can bring indoors the better I feel. That's why I was thrilled when I stumbled across the company Early Scout at the Post Market in Toronto.
I was originally drawn to their table as the two lovely ladies who started the company were old friends from Ryerson. Sharon Langlotz, one half of the team, was on my floor in first-year residence and we had some pretty hilarious coming-of-age moments together. Brittani Wilcox, the other half of Early Scout, is from my hometown and had always been on my radar. I was so excited to see them that day and even more excited when I saw their products.
These girls make the most lovely little terrariums! Filled with succulents, rocks and magic crystals, they're different than other terrariums I've seen. Each piece they design has a girly flair and combine all the elements so well. Plus, the maintenance is so easy- just pour about a shot glass of water into your terrarium every 3 weeks and you're good! Now that is the type of gardening I can handle!
These gals are great and I love their product! We're starting out with the small pieces and they retail at $28. I'm thinking these would make an awesome Christmas gift. Because they are such low maintenance they can stay in their box until you're ready to give them as gifts.
See you soon! Xo
This past weekend was a special one for me as it marked the two-year anniversary since I moved back to Hamilton. I must admit, it feels like it’s been much longer than that and this city feels so much like my home that I can’t imagine living anywhere else! Here’s my story of what I’ve experienced in the past two years, why it was the best decision I could have made and what I’ve learned (with some of my favourite photos of the shop, Hamilton and people I've met).
In the late summer and fall of 2012 I had been living in Toronto for six years and had quite a nice life there. All my best friends were there, I had various companies and people I was collaborating with and freelancing for, and was living by myself for the first time in the perfect apartment in the Distillery district. My plans of opening my own shop had gotten more serious that past year or so and along with my Bachelor of Design from Ryerson’s Fashion Communication program I had also completed some small business courses at George Brown. My ideas and thoughts were starting to take shape and I was gearing up to put them into motion. The only thing was that when I thought about opening up in Toronto, it just didn’t seem right. For most people this is because of the higher rents and overwhelming nature of a bigger city. That was part of my reasoning but it was also that the vision I had for the store didn’t match where I was living. Growing up, I lived in a small town and my dad ran a bookshop, where he knew all of his customers.
I always imagined my own business following this same model- forming personal relationships with my customers and being a part of the community. Though I grew up in the outskirts of Hamilton, I traveled there every day for school from the ages 5 to 16. Most of my thoughts of the City were formed by my dad who had always been heavily involved in the community there. My parents met at McMaster and I’ll always remember my dad telling me the happiest days of his life were when the two of them were newly married and would bike to Mac together every day. But in terms of more recent opinions of the City, I didn’t have many, except that I kept hearing how much it was changing and improving.
The biggest factor for my decision to move to Hamilton was the fact that I felt I needed a dramatic change in my life in order to fully focus on my business and put everything into it. Hamilton’s art and design scene was well-known, it was far enough from Toronto but still close enough, and it was where I had family and historical roots. At the time, I was in a relationship, and my partner and I decided to move to Hamilton together to make the transition easier, which was another exciting part of the move! The first few months were hard on me and I was worried I’d made the wrong decision. I kept wondering why I would leave Toronto, where I had such a network and so many connections in the fashion and design world, for a place where I knew close to no one. On top of that, my relationship started coming apart at the seams as we were realizing we wanted different things. All in all, I felt pretty lonely and naïve to think that I could just start up in Hamilton without any connections.
But then things started changing. I started meeting with Rob Belchior at the Small Business Enterprise Centre located at City Hall and he really inspired me to just go for it. I stopped pitying myself and set out to make as many connections as possible and get my dream started. And this is when I learned my favourite thing about Hamilton: everyone I met was so friendly, welcoming, supportive and wanted the best for the city. I remember having a moment of revelation about four months after I moved where I was just driving through the City and looking around I realized just how much I loved it, my insides were all warm and gooey and everything just felt right, for the first time in a while.
Shortly after, my relationship ended and I was positive that this was the end of my life as I knew it. I had been putting more energy in envisioning my life with this person than focusing on what I wanted to accomplish for myself. It all happened with the craziest timing; the day I found my store location is the day I also suffered my first broken heart. The next two weeks I cried the most I think I ever have, while managing to direct my hired contractor on all the renovations that needed to be done. It was such a crazy up-and-down part of my life, but in a weird way, I can’t imagine it any other way. I always say that the pain I went through was so necessary because it allowed me to put all that negative energy into something positive and build something beautiful out of it. And in a hilarious way, it was like I had moved from one serious relationship to the next; my store was now my best friend, my boyfriend, and my baby. It’s cheesy to say, but it’s so true. I’ve always been a believer in everything happening for a reason, and the six months before I opened the store was proof of some higher power telling me everything was going to be ok.
Fast-forward to now, I’ve been living in this beautiful city for two years, the store has been opened for a year and a half, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s, in fact, hard to believe it’s only been a couple of years based on how completely content and comfortable I feel here, all the wonderful friends and customers I’ve met and how passionate I am about Hamilton. It’s very fulfilling to be doing something that I love all parts of-and to be building something that is such a reflection of myself. I really feel like I’ve put my heart and soul into Girl on the Wing and I can’t tell you how rewarding it feels to have such an amazing customer base and support system around me. I’ve learned from everything I’ve done and have been so lucky to meet countless amazing and inspirational people while doing it.
I got the idea for this little blog post/diary entry last Monday, the night of the Municipal election. This was the first election I’d taken part in since moving here and it was one that I was very excited about. There were two candidates I felt really personally invested in and excited about that had amazing ideas for the future of Hamilton. I tried to get involved and help spread the word on these candidates and open up the discussion of voting to my friends, customers and acquaintances. Come election night, I was feeling so emotional. I think because it helped me realize just how much I do love this City. Though some results were favourable, and some weren’t, I was very humbled by the amazing people surrounding me who feel the same way about Hamilton.
I’m floored by the generosity and civic engagement of so many people I’ve met here and it just goes to show there is so much in store for Hamilton’s future. At the end of the night, two of my closest friends and I went for a long drive around all parts of the City- the beautiful historic streets of Dundas, the vast fields of rural Flamborough, and the vibrant city streets of downtown. We all felt warm and giddy about our love for the city- and it’s a love that keeps growing every day.
After two years, I’m happy to say Hamilton is and will forever be my home. Thank you to everyone I’ve met who has been a part of my store life, personal life or community life. I love you all!
I love Halloween for so many different reasons. First and foremost, I love coming up with cute costumes that incorporate vintage. So many of my style inspirations come from books, movies, and culture and Halloween is the perfect time to reference these parts of you. I also love seeing people's creative sides come out in their costumes and seeing how they bring their ideas to real-life! Plus you get to eat lots of treats and dance to the monster mash- so who couldn't love it right?
Every year I try and come up with a couple costumes to span over a few days- something to wear to work the day of, and then a different costume for each Halloween party. I've always loved costuming and was even interested and involved in the field of costume styling, before opening the shop. For me, it's about finding the right pieces and putting them together in a cute and stylish way. Some of my best inspirations have come from vintage costume books- where outfits were handmade and adorable.
One of my favourite books is called "Easy-to-Make Colouful Costumes" and it was put out by the Dennison Crepe Paper Company in 1952. I picked this up in my antiquing and love how sweet all the costume ideas are.
I just love how costumes were so pure back then, not like today's lingerie and a pair of animal ears trend!
For this year's costumes, I decided to keep things sweet and vintage inspired. Yesterday, employee Haley and I dressed up like some yummy edibles. She was an adorable sprinkle donut. Her dress was one of my finds from my trip to Arizona in September and it matched the plush donut she had (her boyfriend won it for her at a carnival- amazingly cute no?). Granted, her peripheral vision was a bit affected by the donut, but she looked adorable! :)
I went as a strawberry and just wore one of my favourite red dresses and added some paper seeds. Haley helped me fashion up an adorable headpiece from a vintage beret and costruction paper to make the strawberry leaves. All in all, it came together in five minutes and was cute and comfortable! I must say we went together really nicely- all pink and red and yummy! It was such a fun day in shop and reminded me of Halloween at school where everything just felt more fun because you were in a costume and eating candy.
Today's costume was inspired by one of the all-time greatest chick flick, A League of Their Own. I love this movie because it brings together my favourite things; vintage styles (set in the late 1940's), lots of Hollywood babes (Geena Davis is just a stunner), vintage sports imagery and Tom Hanks! The movie is loosely based on a real women's baseball team, The Rockford Peaches, who were part of the first All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. I'm sure most of you have seen it and if not- go do it right now! And remember, there's no crying in baseball!
Have a happy and fun Halloween!
We’re excited to present a new monthly blog feature starring our favourite Hamilton women who are doing great things… and looking good while they do them! Through the shop I’ve met so many amazing and strong women that love what they do and are contributing to the growth and betterment of this fine city. It’s truly admirable to see someone putting their talents and passions into something that they love doing, and because ‘girl on the wing’ is a reflection of it’s amazing customer base, it’s time we highlight some of these gals!
This month’s ‘girl about town’ is the wonderful Molly Hayes. I first met Molly in the shop, but had already heard so much about her. Known for her work as a reporter for the Hamilton Spectator, she’s a true inspiration to young women based on how much she has accomplished thus far. Growing up in Hamilton, Molly was excited to move to Toronto to study journalism at Ryerson. Before she had even graduated she was offered a job at the Spec and decided to return to Hamilton. She’s been happy to see how much the city has progressed in the last few years and shares her favourite places to hang out, her first memories of style and what you can find in her closet.
What are your favourite things to do and places to be in Hamilton?
Going for a bike ride and picnic along the waterfront. Ideally with a new book- I’ve been getting mine from Bryan Prince, or the Hamilton Public Library, since I was a kid. Coffee and writing sessions at one of our many awesome coffee shops, Mulberry is an old favourite. Shows at the Casbah or This Ain’t Hollywood. I’m pretty useless in the kitchen so I like going out for dinner- Naroma, Brad Bar, Bronzie’s, the Ship and Rapscallion are my local haunts. Cheap Tuesday movies at Jackson Square, the list goes on…
What inspires you- both in your personal and professional life?
People, mostly. The best part of my job is that I get to meet new people all the time. It’s like a constant epiphany—always learning about new things from new perspectives. This city is so full of characters; there is no shortage of stories. There’s also nothing like a good book/podcast to remind me why I love journalism and writing.
How would you describe your style?
Hmm…I aim to wear something clean everyday. Haha.
What are some of your earliest fashion memories?
I had a lot of cousins so I wore a lot of hand-me-downs as a kid. Pretty much anything that came from my older cousins seemed instantly cool to me. I remember inheriting a pair of blue Modrobes (as well as a fleecy red pair…oh yeah) and I thought they were the coolest thing. Thankfully there’s no photo evidence.
What is your go-to outfit for fall?
Well today I am wearing a sweater of my boyfriend’s that I shrunk in the dryer (score) and boots. I pretty much wear a variation of this every single day in the fall. Mostly I just thank god I can finally put away the sunscreen.
What has been your favourite piece you’ve found at Girl on the Wing?
Levi’s jeans! I have been wearing the exact same type of jeans for years so I was excited to find out you’re carrying them right downtown. Lesson learned: the day you buy and break in new skinny jeans is not the day to also order Rolly Rocket’s for dinner to the newsroom.
What She’s Wearing:
High-Rise skinny jeans by Levi’s (available at Girl on the Wing)
Button down shirt and (shrunken) sweater from Club Monaco
Pleather jacket from TopShop
Bag and Earrings by Crownland Goods (designed by Amy Kenny, a fellow Hamilton Spectator writer!)
This is the epitome of a cute and classic look for fall...thanks to Molly for sharing her thoughts and teaching us a valuable lesson about breaking in your high-rise Levi’s (save your Rolly Rocket’s bbq feast for another day!). I look forward to seeing where this girl goes and Hamilton is lucky to have her! Keep an eye out for our next "girl about town" post- coming next month!