Elle Hardware is a boutique jewelry and accessories store where every item comes with a back-story. On Queen Street West near Bathurst, this sister-owned shop has been on the scene for just a few months, and is stocked with one-of-a-kind items you won't find anywhere else.
"We really look for pieces by artists who are passionate about the idea behind what they're doing," co-owner Lindsay MacMillan tells me. "Artisan-type items." In case you're wondering, you won't find door hinges or twin thread screws in this place. "The name can be misleading," MacMillan says. "I look at accessories as sort of the hardware or raw design part of your style. That's where the name came from."
The design of the store, however, is somewhat reminiscent of an actual hardware store. Lots of wood and big open shelves make you feel as though you're almost in a woodshop instead of a boutique. "Buying jewelry is a very tangible experience," MacMillan says. "I wanted to create a space where's is easy to touch and feel things."
There are some items under the glass counter, such as the bohemian necklace made of vintage upholstery, volcanic rock, and crystal quartz ($309) by local designer Tenielle. In the next counter are pieces by Brazilian designer Miguel Simek, including a pair of botanical-inspired earrings ($120). My favourite piece in the store was a Bauxo clutch made of reused shoe leather ($69.99) with an ashy flower design. Most of the pieces in the store range from about $20 to $600.
Unlike many of the boutique shops in the area, Elle Hardware has most of its items available for purchase online through its website. Expect co-owner Hilary Macmillan's clothing designs to land in the store in the spring.
Writing by Robyn Urback. Photos by Dennis Marciniak