HazelLily was bred out of good old-fashioned designer envy. "I was working in high-end retail for years," says HazelLily owner and founder Vanessa Stein. "And I loved it. The problem was, I couldn't afford all of those high-end labels on my salary."
It was that lust for Louis et al. that motivated Vanessa to open her own consignment shop. And with a mix of obscure vintage, popular Pink Tartan , Miu Miu , and Marc Jacobs , plus classics such as Chanel , Prada , and Coach , the shop seems perfect for the designer-driven downtowner.
But for Vanessa, this spot in midtown Toronto was always where she wanted to be.
"Downtown is pretty saturated when it comes to consignment," she says. "Here, I really try to appeal to the young mom and working woman - someone who maybe can't afford to pay regular retail price for designer clothes, or just wants to find a good deal."
There are a few hints around HazelLily that Vanessa is certainly trying to appeal to the young mom demographic.
She's offered a Coach Logo Baby Bag (complete with changing pad) along with her teal multi-pocket Marc Jacobs ($685) and Louis Vuitton handbag ($675), plus an assortment of heels that are decidedly not at break-your-neck-height. The Louboutin kitten heels ($235) are just one example.
Named for both of Vanessa's grandmothers, HazelLily's layout and design echoes the types of styles it has in stock. "I was inspired by Marie Antoinette," Vanessa says, noting the hanging chandelier that one of her grandmothers brought over from England.
"I waned the space to look really elegant, refined; some people have actually said at first that they didn't realize this was a consigner boutique!"
And unless you looked at the price tags, you wouldn't know either by inspecting the clothing. "I'm really picky about the pieces I choose," Vanessa says. "If it looks too 'worn,' I won't take it."
Vanessa's particular eye is evidenced by an Andrew Gn suit with pearl detailing in impeccable condition ($995), and a pair of Bruno Frisoni royal blue ribbon pumps that look like they've never been outside ($495).
There are a few actually new items to be found in store (typically from overstock), including a line of printed silk sneakers by Alouette ($175), and a couple of P&T; rabbit and raccoon fur vests in green and red ($450).
Vanessa says she welcomes additional pieces from new consigners, all of whom get 40 per cent of the sale price and 90 days in store.