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Fashion & Style

Inside the Popify pop-up shop

Posted by Aubrey Jax / December 6, 2013

Popify TorontoPopify 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.

PopifyThat 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.

PopifyPerusing 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.

PopifyWhile 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.

PopifyI 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.

PopifyHad 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.

PopifyAt 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 PHOTOSPopifyPopifyPopifyPopifyPopifyPopifyPopifyPopifyPopifyPopifyPopify runs from December 5 - 8, 11 am - 7pm, at A Homerun, 165 Augusta Ave in Kensington Market.

Photos by Andrew Williamson



Ron / December 6, 2013 at 01:53 pm
The women in these shots are incredibly pretty. Was this a staged shoot? Not so much for the guys :).
Ceara / December 6, 2013 at 01:54 pm
guys look like they are auditioning for a Sears catalogue!
Jesse / December 6, 2013 at 02:26 pm
Not worth your time.

The shop is tiny without much to offer. Also, everything is purchased through iPads and then shipped to your address. You might as well shop from home than head down there.
Paul replying to a comment from Jesse / December 6, 2013 at 06:20 pm
wow that's anachronistic for such a forward company.

My expectations were that it would be a popup shop where one can actually purchase physical goods that were curated.

I wonder what their traction is like with non-hipster looking entrepreneurs.
Sanchia / December 7, 2013 at 01:01 pm
I think that's still a really great initiative... really making customers interact with the sellers while also introducing them to online shopping.

Human interaction is cool. You know?
Paul / December 7, 2013 at 01:38 pm
I imagine they aren't holding inventory because they don't have any insight as to how much they should hold. Not to mention that they would have less space to showcase goods if they had to also store the actual inventory.

I actually think that this type of retail experience is very forward-looking. Why store inventory at the actual store? In the not-so-distant future the shipping process might result in you receiving your purchases via courier more quickly than it takes for the TTC to drag your butt home from the shop. Customers 10 years from now might laugh at how we used to lug around big shopping bags of items. Retailers 10 years from now might laugh at how they used to miss buying opportunities because the limiting factor was how much a customer could carry home.
Joe Beans replying to a comment from Jesse / December 7, 2013 at 02:39 pm
If you shopped from home you wouldn't get to feel the items, play with them, or see them up close. With clothing/accessories it's definitely better to try before you buy. I agree with Paul, we will probably see a lot more of this in 5-10 years.
b.craftie / December 9, 2013 at 09:07 am
Loved the shop. Really friendly, helpful staff. The layout was well designed to let customers check out the merchandise. Plus free Sense Appeal coffee ! A very different but welcoming experience. After some thought I decided to get the Cubebot today [Dec. 9] with the Popify 'free shipping' code [which the Popify card says, expires today] but Areaware won't accept it.
Help ... ?
The Tate Group for Areaware replying to a comment from b.craftie / December 9, 2013 at 10:06 am
Hi b.craftie,
Glad you like the Cubebot. Contact us directly through our website at - we distribute their goods in Canada. Thanks!

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