City Living: Made You Look celebrates 10 years

Nothing is more inspiring to us than someone who’s followed their dreams and taken the risky plunge into entrepreneurship, especially in the notoriously tough fashion business. We’re especially excited when one of these brave bunch is female, and a client of ours. 

Enter Sarah Hamel. Tomorrow, Hamel’s great jewellery design and retail business, Made You Look, celebrates a decade of open doors. Hamel started her business fresh out of George Brown College’s jewellery arts program. She wanted to create a space where fellow designers could create without having to sacrifice their aesthetic because they no longer had access to the pricey materials and equipment required to work with metals and precious gems.

10 years later, the result is two booming retail locations in hip Parkdale, one of which also functions as the design space where hundreds of Toronto’s best-loved jewellery designers create, and have created, their pieces.

Made You Look offers an awesome array of accessory choices – they can create something custom and amazing from diamonds and gold, or you can pick up a cute, faux bauble to wear out with your friends. 

The very cute Tiny Ties ($30) caused a splash when first launched, and are still available at the south side store (1273 Queen St. W.)

One of our favourite pieces at the store are the Army Man Cufflinks, which feature replicas of the famous green plastic toys, in various poses (lying down with a gun, throwing a grenade, etc.). They are a cheeky gift for the man-boy in your life, and add a little pizazz to a French-cuffed shirt. 

These are awesome. Made by Kathryn Dieroff ($120).

To celebrate her success, Hamel is throwing an anniversary party at both retail locations tomorrow night, including live graffiti art by Qwest, mind tricks from Danny Proctor, food from the El Gastronomo Vagabundo food truck, and for the first time ever, 10% off any purchase made that evening, through Sunday, December 4. Members of the public are welcome, but please RSVP here to get on the guest list.

Yum, Yum: Food Truck Eats

Toronto has long been home to a sinful trinity of street eats: hot dogs, French fries and ice cream. Yes, we love our street meat, and with hot dogs poised to be one of the foodie top trends this year, we say pass the ketchup.

Image via Toronto Star.
But, a new trend has hit the streets, putting the regular hot dog cart to shame. Food trucks have captured our hearts and stomachs with their sophisticated fare and rock bottom prices. While the mobile foodie trend has already taken root in the United States, as well as Niagara Falls, Hamilton and Newmarket, the roving eateries have hit the brakes on parking in this city until recently.

On Saturday, July 2, the first Toronto food truck festival caused serious traffic in the Distillery district as pedestrians swarmed the trucks looking to satisfy a sweet tooth or nibble on savoury gourmet creations.

The pretty trucks lined up outside.
Image source
Gorilla Cheese was there, sans wheels, serving up ooey-gooey sandwiches. We also adored Hamilton mobile newcomer The Cupcake Diner and her pink truck. Her cupcakes, including flavours from classic vanilla to caramel apple pie, were a hot commodity and sold out by noon.

Delicious cupcakes went like…hotcakes.

Niagara’s El Gastronomo Vagabundo was a popular choice, with lines-up snaking its way along the cobblestone. We were rewarded for our patience and perseverance in the form of “Buddha Belly” pork buns topped with cucumber and coriander. 

This little bun packed quite the tasty punch.

We can’t wait until the next food truck pit stop in Toronto! The hype is already building for part two which will be held on Saturday, August 20, and will feature our favourites from the first foodie frenzy as well as the addition of local smoked meat aficionado Caplansky’s. Until then, an office road trip might be in order – look out food trucks, here we come…