Doll Factory by Damzels (Roncesvalles)
Doll Factory by Damzels has hit Roncesvalles after many years fulfilling the needs of modern day pin-up girls at their Leslieville boutique . The store's hardwood floors, warm lighting, and hot pink furnishings are more than welcoming; but upon entering, Kelly Freeman didn't hesitate to greet me as if I hadn't been welcomed enough.
She and her business partner, Rory Lindo, opened the first Doll Factory in the fall of 2006. Catering to women with style that's "a bit wackier than conventional" - like swing dancers, rockabilly girls, cool moms, and anyone who likes to let their hair down on the weekends - the duo sells their house brand Damzels in this Dress alongside international labels that speak to who they are. Hell Bunny , Stop Staring , and Pin-Up Couture are just some of the names I came across on my perusal through the boutique. They fill their racks with what they consider timeless, dubbing themselves a "girlie rock n roll heaven."
The first dress that caught my eye was a parrot-printed piece ($110), but it wasn't long before another with cartoon bunnies all over it ($75) grabbed my attention as well. Although the huge selection of sassy sweetheart necklines and flared skirts can make a killing on their own, Rory and Kelly also sell complementary goods like baby onesies ($30), suede polka dot heels ($160), and cropped jackets ($60).
They even make it a point to offer nonsensical but totally awesome doodads, including (but not at all limited to) fun flasks with vintage-inspired prints (my favourite had "moonshine" splattered across it, $34) and mock religious candles worshipping the likes of Johnny Cash ($20).
Now that Doll Factory by Damzels covers both the east and west ends of downtown, quirky (yet stylish) ladies all over the city can get their fix, while new customers can take the chance to find their inner Bettie Page .
Photos by Connie Tsang