Inside the Popify pop-up shop
Popify is live in Kensington Market now until Sunday, so if you're enjoying the nice-ish weather and cruising down Augusta, lookout for the temporary storefront. Walking into A Homerun, you'll find an array of colourful, high quality swag lining the tables, shelves, and walls between the bare wood floor and exposed ceiling beams - plus a lot of screens. This store isn't just an IRL experience, after all - it's also an online store. With free shipping. Here's a further look inside Popify.
That cliched old line about finding a gift for someone who has everything actually gets more apt each year, as online shopping bridges the canyon between what people want and what they can get their hands on, delivery droids or no delivery droids. To this overwhelming access to goods comes the specialty pop-up shop in answer. Curated to avoid the stress of endless selection by experts in the fields of trending high tech gadgetry, Popify aims to beat the internet at its own game.
Perusing the storefront of unique items, you might not know what some are. Colourful toy robots sitting on cubes can be manipulated to become these cubes. Coffee bean paper weights contain high tech heating and cooling powers. An axe mounted on the wall is - well, just an axe, but if you're planning to spend the winter in the woods it's a tempting goodie.
While the shop caters to lovers of techie luxury goods rather than the rustic vintage crowd, campers and woodsy-folks are well represented at Popify, from a kayak (all aboard! Heh, just kidding) to a sleeping bag that becomes a cozy lounge jacket. The weather might feel a little nippy right now for camping (or kayaking) but some shiny new gear for the outdoors might help remind you or your loved one that summer's on its way. In the meantime, you can grab one of the Toronto neighbourhood toques (Queen West, Kensington, etc) to keep your head cozy warm.
I already knew about Joulies, stainless steal beans that find and maintain heat levels in your coffee, but I was surprised by their size and light weight. Luckily Popify is a hands-on affair, but a helpful staff member took it upon himself to explain - lest I assume they were paperweights. I asked if he thought they could be ingest-able - purposefully - because, like so many grandmothers, I get terrible chills. He chuckled that they'd make for a tough swallow but I might just be onto something, though I think at heart he likely believed I, like our Mayor, was just on something. I guess I'll stick to fighting chills with cold meds for now.
Had I decided on Joulies and/or a kayak, I could have ordered both while in the shop, and received free shipping to my apartment - meaning I wouldn't be the one lugging the kayak on the TTC (at least not until summer - look out, Sunnyside Beach). The friendly (and joke obliging) staff can help you get set up.
At Popify you'll also find fine linens, jewelry, poster art, more toys, a wireless music player, iPad cases bound like books, and a few more random finds. You can get a preview on the Popify website, but it might be better to stop by this weekend and have a hot cup at coffee bar from Sense Appeal Coffee Roasters while trying on Annex toques, grabbing food truck eats, and having a good time. That's right, online holiday shopping doesn't have to be lonely.
MORE PHOTOSPopify runs from December 5 - 8, 11 am - 7pm, at A Homerun, 165 Augusta Ave in Kensington Market.
Photos by Andrew Williamson