Modern Squirrel, Toronto Shop

When Etsy asked me to curate a collection the other week, I tried to have a number of Canadian shops on my list. For me one of the joys of Etsy is that a lot of the sellers ship to Canada (I've never had one that won't) - so rarely is location an issue for shipping but I liked a challenge and happily found a number of cool Canadian vintage shops. In my hunt I came across Modern Squirrel, a Toronto shop that caught my eye first for the great photography, and second - for really cool finds. I had fallen head over heels for the sugar and creamer set (shown above) and a plaid blanket (below) from her shop and e-mailed the shop to ask if pick up was available.  The nicest person responded to my note - it turned out to be Maarit, the owner and we arranged a meetup in Leslieville the following day as I happened to be meeting Tim for coffee and had someone watching Oscar at home.

The following day at Bobette and Belle I met with Maarit who had taken the streetcar over to meet me. Since I had some time before I was meeting Tim, we sat down to have a coffee and I got the pleasure of hearing more about her and her shop. Soft spoken and radiating with a kindness that is kind of hard to explain, Maarit told me about how she has moved to Toronto from Estonia and proceeded to meet her husband here. As she said; "[I] ended up falling in love pretty much as I exited the airplane". Over coffee it became clear that she obviously has a knowledge of pieces and makes a point of picking items in the best condition. Although I could tell her collection was beautifully curated in her shop, hearing how she spoke about pieces and who made them made me appreciate her shop and her ability to "pick" even more.

Over coffee Maarit showed me the blanket I had picked and exclaimed that it looked better in person than it did in the photos. She was right - although the photos were amazing in the listing, no photograph could have captured the quality of this blanket and I knew right away why it was priced as it had been. It was even more reason to adore her and her shop - she knew quality and knew how to price a piece. The blanket was adopted immediately by Oscar and sits in my bedroom and we snuggle under it at nap time. For some reason it brings me the greatest joy being under it.

I don't typically have the chance to meet an owner of a shop, let alone have an opportunity to sit and have a cup of coffee with one - which is why a longer post - It really was a treat and gave more appreciation for the online stores and the business owners who run them.

Although you can't have my fabulous blanket, I have been adding a lot of blankets to my favourites on Etsy forever as I have a wee obsession with plaid. (I blame it on the cottage) Plus, today is the first chilly day here in Toronto so I felt this post was well timed. ;)

Ps., Maarit has started a blog!


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