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Fashion Stores

The Store on Queen

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on May 24, 2012

the store on queen torontoThe Store on Queen (or TSOQ, for short), popped up on a whim. Longtime friends Angela and Valentina spotted a "For Rent" sign in the window of a shop on Queen West, and days later, they had claimed the space. Less than a week after opening I meet Valentina behind the counter, and she tells me how their new, acronym-touting shop came to be.

tsoq queen boutique toronto"We were looking to do something together," she says, standing in front of posters of her and Angela modeling the shop's clothes. "We're both very into fashion."

Valentina is the buyer, sourcing affordable (key word) pieces from around the world, and Angela is the designer, though her time is currently occupied working on an unrelated television show. "We'll have original pieces soon," Valentina assures me, pointing to a particular photo on the wall. "These jeans will probably be first; they come in both Canadian and American flags."

the store on queen boutique torontoThe photo shows Angela wearing a pair of tight-fitting jeans with a distressed print of American flag dressing up the leg. Valentina estimates they'll retail for about $90.

Both the women behind TSOQ come from business backgrounds. Valentina dabbled in restaurants and Angela in retail, separately working on their pursuits until this past February. "It's for the young, contemporary woman,: Valentina says about their combined vision. "It's an eclectic mix of patterns — sexy and edgy."

the store on queen torontoEdgy is one thing TSOQ definitely has down. From its bedazzled skull phone dressing up the white counter ($98), to its BLQ MKT black mesh bodysuit with handprints over just the right places ($85), shoppers can definitely find statement pieces in this small boutique.

the store on queen torontoThere are other items, still, for the slightly more modest, including a whimsical peach silk cotton sleeveless blouse for $59, and a black mini-dress with a feather-lined collar for $49.

the store on queen torontoAs I browse through the TSOQ offerings, I note that the prices are surprisingly low (compared to some of the other independent Queen West shops). Valentina confirms that they try to keep mark-up as minimal as possible. "This dress," she says, holding up a black Meeso dress with gold sequins and beading, "I know there's a store in the mall selling it for $150. We have it for $95."

tsoq torontoThe shop also buys in small quantities — about four to six of each garment — to avoid the carbon-copy conundrum of the same dress walking on opposite ends of Queen Street. If you do snag one of the limited dresses at TSOQ, however, you'll probably be sporting some take on a backless, cut-out number.

"We'll be getting things in every week," Valentina says, "and also selling them online." And though the shop is new to Queen, judging by its name, it's planning to stay put for the long haul.

the store on queen toronto

Photos by Denise McMullin



Emily / May 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm
Do you know what the Store Hours are?
The fashionist / May 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm
Toronto the unfashionable, seriously.
philip / May 24, 2012 at 02:28 pm
That's one cheesy sign outside.
ESL / May 24, 2012 at 02:39 pm
Takes the same # of syllables to pronounce TSOQ as it does to say the actual name of the store...
wellllllllllll / May 24, 2012 at 02:41 pm
At least they're not hawking vintage crap. Those kind of stores smell like Goodwill.
Krystine replying to a comment from Emily / May 24, 2012 at 02:49 pm
The 5th image down from the top has the hours on it...doesn't get more obvious than that.
Joey Banana / May 24, 2012 at 03:36 pm
2nd pic = boner town
Embarrassing / May 24, 2012 at 06:49 pm
2nd pic = cellulite
Embarassed for you replying to a comment from Embarrassing / May 24, 2012 at 07:28 pm
Really? Cellulite is a fact of life & most women have it. Your attitude is embarrassing.
Amy replying to a comment from Krystine / May 24, 2012 at 08:03 pm
I think Emily was being funny - at least I hope so, haha.
mondayjane / May 24, 2012 at 08:05 pm
"Embarrassing" is an asshole, but also that pic really is neither professional or fashionable.

IMO a classier photo would have made a better impression of the store, for me anyway. In any case, I admire people who make a go of it with their own shops and wish all the best to TSOQ.
Renna / May 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm
What's with the bike in the window? Is it supposed to evoke the exciting hipster life we could have if we bought that Made in Indonesia blouse?

What's with the rack of antlers? Is this the imprimatur of home grown, feel good Canadiana, when our lives as hewers of wood and drawers of water were simpler and every meal was loca-delicious?
J / May 24, 2012 at 10:41 pm
Trash and trashy
Jules / May 25, 2012 at 07:27 am
Congrats to these ladies/sista'z doing it for themselves!
Small business ventures in these economic times are a real gamble. To even try to go out on your own is a real gutsy move. Bravo to you ladies for doing it & being true to your fashion, style & friendship!! I'll spread the word across the east coast & encourage my friends travelling to "the mainland" to be sure to pay a shopping visit to you.

P.S. Be proud of your body-Most real women have cellulite!
Garcia mama / May 25, 2012 at 11:19 am
Wow I can't believe the comments people have put up here! There's nothing trashy about any of these pics and the shop looks just like or if not better than any other downtown shop! People are hating hard and cellulite are you kidding me? Pathetic. Jealousy is running rampid obviously. The store looks like it has classy and trendy clothing, choose your own adventure. Good luck ladies!
Kaytee replying to a comment from mondayjane / May 25, 2012 at 11:26 am
I agree, but we wonder if it is clothes that are being advertised in photo number two or flowers with an attitude?
Garcia mama / May 25, 2012 at 11:47 am
That's the shop owner , it's not like she's in every photo, some people like putting a face to a name.
jo-zee replying to a comment from philip / May 25, 2012 at 03:02 pm
True, Philip, but her balloons are nice.
HG / May 27, 2012 at 07:18 pm
I went into this store last week and was so happy with the service I received. Not only did I get an awesome dress, but the owners were incredibly friendly. Not sure if you girls will be reading this but thanks! I'll be back again for sure. Great store.
Badger / May 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm
How much for the really life-like mannikin in the second picture?
Jill / May 29, 2012 at 02:46 pm
Love this store! fabulous pieces and awesome prices. Valentina was super sweet to my lady friend and I.
loveTSOQ / May 30, 2012 at 01:42 am
i cannot believe some of these comments. i know both of the store owners personally and they are fabulous. anyone who can sit there and say trashy has no sense of style. they buy their items from the same big box stores like urban outfitters or aritza but are sure to choose different colors. congrats to angela and fat you guys are doing so amazing! xo
HubbaHubba / May 30, 2012 at 11:31 am
When the owner is sitting on the cashier counter, where do I insert my debit card?
Gembah replying to a comment from Embarassed for you / May 31, 2012 at 01:13 pm
They are only being observant, chill. Nice place.
MTL / June 2, 2012 at 08:26 pm
From Montreal, but this store looks great! Will definately pass by when Im in town. Keep it up ladies.
QueenWFashion / June 4, 2012 at 11:49 pm
These comments are ridiculous. The store is very unique with fashion forward clothes and accessories for good prices, the owners are incredibly friendly and the way they care about each customer makes the experience really lovely. The haters wish they could be brave enough to follow their passions the way these ladies have. And she looks amazing in picture 2. People should really show support to our young business owners. Learn to be classy and stop the jealousy.
Holledena replying to a comment from QueenWFashion / June 5, 2012 at 01:21 pm
You have pin-pointed the problem: "And she looks amazing in picture 2." That bit of vanity is troll-bait if we ever saw it. Please show the fine merchandise instead.
Adrianne / June 11, 2012 at 12:21 am
I LOVE THIS PLACE! I was just wondering around Queen West and I'm so glad I found this place. Amazing pieces and amazing prices. Angela was there and she was a sweetheart - made my day. The comments on this blog are disgusting. GROW UP. ALL women have cellulite and guess what? It's gorgeous cause it's real. Just because you don't have the confidence to go out, wear what you like, regardless of your cellulite doesn't mean other women aren't strong enough to do so.
Deacon James replying to a comment from HubbaHubba / July 3, 2012 at 02:21 pm
That would depend on how much cellulite you were paying for, mu friend.
Sol / July 26, 2012 at 05:33 pm
wow all of you sound like a bunch of insecure haters...cellulite really?...get a grip of yourself, I've found working in the fashion and beauty industry that its usually the women who can't wear such clothing that hate on women that do...anyway enough time wasted on u losers...moving forward anyone who's been into this store knows that it's one of the best stops on queen to shop...I salute these 2 ladies for keeping it unique and original I LOVE TSOQ one of my top spots in the dot!!
Elly replying to a comment from Sol / July 31, 2012 at 10:31 am
So true, Sol. BUT when keeping it unique and original, do you note the string thingy coming out from between her legs in the picture? They better check it out. Gives the trolls a laugh.
Mon / August 29, 2012 at 04:44 pm
Jealousy is a curse
Kaytee replying to a comment from Mon / September 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm
Oh, go pull a string.
Mon replying to a comment from Kaytee / September 21, 2012 at 07:57 pm
Oh please. Go find a boy that will be amused by your immaturity
Coco / October 31, 2012 at 09:50 pm
LOVE the store great clothes and service. Got a sexy fierce spiked bra for Halloween and a couple other edgy rare stuff. Thanks to TSOQ I looked fabulous and had everyone's attention. Definetly worth the drive and Angela is so friendly and sweet!!
Kaytee replying to a comment from Coco / November 29, 2012 at 04:31 pm
Oh, you've must have pulled her string. How nice of you.
Daniel Camer / February 4, 2013 at 02:23 pm
I would definitely like to see these ladies succeed. There's nothing I like more than independents sprouting up around town and doing well! These ladies deserve their hard earned dollars!

- Daniel Camer
Judith / February 4, 2013 at 10:56 pm
Coming up from Arizona and will be in town Wed...coming to your store...all your clothes are stunning!! Will be there at 5:30 with my beautiful for us!!!
Valentitia Romanov replying to a comment from Judith / February 15, 2013 at 04:15 pm
OK Darling, we will be delighted to have the pleasure of your company, but please leave your glocks and colts at home.
Mel / November 29, 2013 at 11:12 pm
Really tacky store with girls who think they are hot... ya, a hot mess. One was on a bridal show which never saw a second season her 15min of "fame" yet she thinks she's a celeb. The other looks like an old goat and dresses like a "career girl" the ones you find in back alleys.

Trashy girls shop here.
mo replying to a comment from Mel / March 17, 2014 at 05:28 pm
Right? I can't believe these girls take themselves seriously. Their instagram feed is just them begging so desperately for attention and other small-minded girls with bad taste stroking their already gigantic egos.
RENEE / March 20, 2014 at 01:42 pm
I will be coming Saturday to do a little shopping for my birthday!!!. Products are beautiful! See you Saturday!
Carmona Gillis replying to a comment from RENEE / April 9, 2014 at 01:36 pm
So, RENEE, did they let you pop all their balloons on your birthday, or only the ones they were wearing? I do hope they did the right thing and gave you a cupcake after you made a purchase.

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