Scout is a quaint little Roncesvalles gift boutique specializing in local and handmade goods. For some reason, the plum purple ceiling seems to tell me all I need to know about the shop. It's a little different, soft and pretty, and fits well with the aesthetic of the neighbourhood.
Owner Leah Eyles tells me she was determined to open her own shop in the area. "Roncesvalles is its own little village," she says. "And it had a flower shop, coffee shops, but no gift store.
Leah decided to create her own space after working at Red Pegasus for 10 years and taking a trip around the globe. "It was when I was in Australia," she says, "that I realized I needed to start something new.
While not all of the gifts at Scout are made by hand or produced in Toronto, Leah keeps an eye out for items that match that description. "I was in Vancouver for a while, and I found some great things there," she says. "And I'll also go to trade shows, the One of a Kind Show, even Etsy--anything that sort of fits.
Scout has sort of a nature-cozy type of feel. One of the first pieces Leah shows me is a 100% wool headband ($38) from a company called Westlake Designs in Montreal. It's very "ski lodge" with a simple knotted knit design, but very soft and would surely keep you warm.
Other personal adornment pieces at Scout include a fabulous line of earrings (~$30) and necklaces (~$40) by U.S. Tree & Kimball. The hand-dyed lace jewelry has a subtle vintage charm, while boisterous at the same time in bright turquoise, purple, and fuschia.
A gift shop, of course, will always have cards, and Leah says she scours for anything that diverges form the norm. Thus, Scout has many handmade letterpress cards, as well as a great line of "To Do" checklist birthday cards from Vancouver's Regional Assembly of Text. And this wouldn't be a Roncesvalles shop if Scout didn't exist with a little community integration, so Scout stocks "Brown Birds," "Blue Bicycle" and other printed lunchboxes ($20.95) made by a Roncy mom, as well as Toronto-based Sula natural cosmetics, which had its packaging designed in Roncesvalles.
Leah says she's always "scouting" (ha..) for new pieces and will be updating inventory on a regular basis.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak