Crywolf is a Toronto staple for adorable pins, playful iron-on patches, and silkscreened tees.
After six years on Lower Ossington, this local brand now sits in an airy second-floor shop in Koreatown, selling its cutesy stock of decorative knick-knacks and accessories.
Since starting their brand as an online shop back in 2008—pre-Etsy and Squarespace days—co-owners and high school friends Rose Chang and Stephanie Drabik have grown Crywolf from doing silkscreens out of the studios at OCAD to becoming a fixture at events like the One Of A Kind Show.
An expiring lease and big rent increase ended their residency on Ossington in early 2019, meaning a slightly smaller shop in Koreatown. But despite the fact there's no room for a studio here (it's officially moved to Chang's place) I like this store better than the first.
The selection is slightly tighter, limited to best sellers which are a mix of Crywolf products and stuff from other brands. According to Chang, the stock is basically a collection of "random stuff we liked", which conveniently happens to be the kind of stuff a lot of people like.
Crywolf's signature silkscreened t-shirts ($32) are still around, featuring designs in the same vein as their pins and patches (read: animals and clouds) on standard %100 cotton or tri-blend tees.
Their Trash Panda line is easily their biggest hit. Inspired by the #DeadRacoonTO movement that took social media by storm in 2015—coupled with the fact every Torontonian has a raccoon story—you can find hoodies ($65), crew necks ($60) and coach jackets ($60).
It's not a local accessory shop without the retro-style Toronto postcards or TTC-themed greeting cards from The Button Machine with romantic classics "I'm Bathursty for your love".
The wall of Crywolf pins ($10) are to die for, if you love cutesy stuff. You'll probably spend a lot of time gushing over these enamel happy-faced sloths, lucky cats, smiling bubble teas and crying ice cream cones.
There are also pins from Scting ($10-$15) by Stefanie Chow, who actually works in the store.
Iron-on patches are $8, though patches from artist Matt Darling, who specializes in skull-heavy ghost designs, are $25. He also sells prints here.
If I had anywhere between $66 to $132 to blow, I'd probably spend it on some ceramic Brian Giniewski bowls and cups, coated in delicious thick and drippy paint.
The store's stock doesn't stop there: there's soap from Gold Apothecary ($12), reusable bags from Baggu ($14), pencils, hats, cushions, mugs, stickers, keychains, and dog-shaped candles from Taiwan.
Once you start perusing, it's hard to stop: Crywolf is full of impulse items that are dangerously alluring when you have some money to spend and zero self-control.