I remember the first time Christina told me about her idea of opening an online clothing store. We were walking to a bar in Toronto, talking about our plans for the summer and beyond. As we paused to wait for our friends, I asked her what she had in mind for her spare time, now that she'd finished up her schooling.
"I think I'd like to open a shop," she said quietly.
My friend Jenn and I looked to her, looked at each other, and grinned.
"Of course!" I exclaimed "You have to."
Jenn and I gushed to Christina about how she--quite possibly the most stylish woman we know--would surely create something incredible. I've truly never met someone with such a beautiful style sensibility, and it would be amazing to see how her taste translated into a collection of clothing and accessories.
Throughout the whole planning process, I was so excited to hear her updates and her plans. She made it happen, and her brand new store, SOOP SOOP, is now open. I've already bought my first item, these pink sweetheart shorts, and I can't wait to stock up on some more great stuff soon.
I asked Christina to share a bit more of her story with you. Read on to learn more about SOOP SOOP!
Q. Tell us about your shop.
A. SOOP SOOP is an online clothing shop based out of Toronto. Guys and gals can shop for one of a kind contemporary-style vintage and used clothes. We also offer reformed clothing, where we've altered the original shape or style of pieces to make them more current, less costume. We love the idea of reusing old stuff, either as is, or in a different way that makes it new again. Even though we're dealing with old clothes, we try to keep our stock 'up on trends'. So, I like to think of it as a place where people who don't typically shop vintage might give previously owned clothing a second look.
Q.Where did the idea for SOOP SOOP come from?
A. SOOP SOOP has been brewing for a long, long time. Owning a store was that thing I always wanted to do, but never thought I actually would or could. I love clothes. LOVE them. So it's a way that I can do what I love. But really, and oddly enough, SOOP SOOP was a byproduct of my studying to become a Holistic Nutritionist. Taking a holistic approach to anything involves understanding that everything, no matter how small, is a part of a 'whole'. Once you start thinking along those lines, you can't not apply that thought process to everything. It influenced everything for me, right down to the way I got dressed. So selling and working with clothing that doesn't involve new production is just, in a way, the two ideas married.
Q. How would you describe your shop's style?
A. Oh man, it's so new, so it's a bit of a mix of a lot of things. It's difficult to go in any one direction. For one thing my mind changes every day, and along with that, my own personal style. I guess I'd like to see it as contemporary and trendy, but not, like, you can find it at the mall trendy, you know? I think that our customers are up on trends but are ready for something new by the time the vast majority of people adopt them. I'm sure the shop's style will continue to develop as time goes along, but for now I'd sum it up as a little bit pretty and a lot trashy. I have a thing for dressing up short shorts and shitty t-shirts. (It's my daily uniform.)
Q. What styles and trends are you most excited about right now?
A. I'm the least feminine girl I know. So I love a lot of the gender bending going on these days. Strong shoulders, collars, sportswear... I love seeing girls put a feminine spin on it what would traditionally be considered menswear.
Q. Can you share a style tip for ladies, and one for gents?
A. Well, my advice for anyone would be to invest in good quality basics that fit well and to build a functional wardrobe before anything else. You'll always have it, it'll always look good. There's no sense in buying brand new crap and throwing it out as the seasons change. It's wasteful, and no one can afford to be wasteful nowadays. You can always walk down to your nearest thrift store or vintage store and pair your 'staple' items with all the amazing things you'll find. You'll be surprised! Also, don't get caught up in what you're supposed to wear or like. Explore your options by trying things you normally wouldn't, checking out the mens section - that kind of thing. My favourite shirt ever came from the maternity section of a thrift store! A shirt's a shirt, don't worry about where you found it or who it was intended for. Those little things are the basis of great personal style, in my opinion.
Q. Anything else you'd like to share with potential customers?
A. We sell a variety of sizes as they become available to us. We consider everyone when we're buying, so teensy gals, curvy gals and anyone in between can find something they love. Also, we are constantly changing and adding new items, so check in often! And if there's something that you're after that we don't have, send us an email with details about what you're looking for and we'll keep an eye out for you. We are ridiculously happy to help!
Photos compliments of SOOP SOOP