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Cutting Edge Boutique

Up To You, Toronto (INTERVIEW)

— November 2, 2007 — Pop Culture
If you've seen any cool products on Trend Hunter, but weren't sure where to buy them, check out Up To You, one of Toronto's most unique boutiques. It's a top source for scouting out the newest gadgets, gifts and unique home decor items.

Up To You doesn't focus on promoting trends, rather they like "a sense of style," breaking people from "the cookie cutter images created by today's chain store dominated environment."

I love that concept, so was thrilled to catch up with Dimitra Doufekas, the store owner.

As the store's buyer, what do you tend to look for in a designer's work?
When looking for products, our goal is to fulfill the notion of what makes good design. Consequently, each object we sell is both well thought out and has a distinct objective, not only to enhance aesthetically but also to solve those everyday problems that we face. We put a lot of time, money and effort into our dwellings and ourselves, so it is vital to find designer products that create that extra sense of value. In essence, through my buying, my goal is to be able to give my customers the ability to be in the presence of an idea that has reached fruition, which of course is a true pleasure."

What countries to you import from?
To keep our products fresh, and cutting edge, our designs come from around the world. Countries include: France, London, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Japan, Netherlands and Italy to name a few.

What are some of the more outrageous pieces you've acquired? Any personal favourites?
Some of our more outrageous pieces are the Embroidered Mugshots, a range of pre-thrown kitchen utensils to use as household hooks, a bed on car suspension springs, heel protectors, replicas of famous structures where tragic or terrible events happened and the gold plated doorstop.

My favourite item has to be the smoking mittens. Even though I do not smoke, every time I look at them they make me want to pick up the habit (just a little), if only to look extra cool on the street corner this winter.

What pieces do you find are most popular?
Our most popular items have been jewelry and home accessories. In turn, exemplifying the belief that people not only enjoy decorating themselves, but also the spaces that they live in.

I hate to use the term "unique" since it truly is the most un-unique word in the English language, but each design object is an original with an idea and concept that is independent of anything that can be seen in other shops. I am tired of walking into store after store and seeing the same products displayed in the same manner.

Now really is the time to break free from the cookie cutter model that society has created.

Describe your average customer.
Our shop is not popular with any specific age group, but appeals to clients with a discerning eye. There really is something for everyone, with a variety of price points to satisfy all needs.

We at Trend Hunter aren't the only ones impressed by Up To You. Aside from being featured by Donny Deutsch on the Big Idea last month, the store has received rave reviews from the Economist, Style At Home, The National Post, Toronto Life, The Globe and Mail and Now Magazine.

Next time you're in Toronto, swing by 1483 Queen Street East

Check out some of the products available at Up To You that we've featured before: