Nuvango Gallery and Goods (pronounced like 'mango') is the new neighbour next to The Burroughes Building on Queen West. Gone is the bikini store, now replaced by a store that curates, celebrates and sells beautiful, abstract and pop-surrealist art from a community of artists all over the world.
The two-storey shop sells apparel, pillows and prints on the first floor and is home to a spacious art gallery on the second floor. You can spend a fair amount of time getting lost in the bright, intricate art coming at you from every angle - whether it's printed on their leggings ($89) or canvas from artists in Australia, California and of course, Toronto.
Owned by Jamie Pichora and Drew Downs, Nuvango originally started as Gelaskins (remember those?). Pichora and Downs are friends from high school, and after graduating from university they came together and launched Gelaskins, tech accessories and covers for laptops and phone cases.
But, rather than making them bland tech accessories, they worked with artists to transform their prints onto regular tech items. The company launched in 2006 as an online shop. That success brought them to a small kiosk at the Eaton Centre, and then eventually into the sprawling space on Queen West.
It took some time for Pichora and Downs to decide how to transition their company and make sure they weren't wasting a great storefront opportunity at a great location. Gelaskins didn't fit anymore, so they decided to incorporate art into clothing and home décor, and integrate a store into an art gallery.
While all the products are available online, Pichora and Downs wanted to provide a flagship store so people could see and touch the products.
All the products have the name of the artist displayed prominently, and the title of the work. Together with the Director of Marketing and Communications, Dawn Laing, they want to ensure each piece chosen to be featured in the store - whether it's clothing, or an art piece - tells a story.
Like the popular Queen West Legging by Jenean Morrison ($89), men's T-shirts designed by California-based Greg Craola Simkin ($55) or throw pillows from Shen Plum ($59).
Nuvango even created a limited edition tank top for the WayHome festival.
You can find every kind of art from local Toronto street signs on a pillow, or abstract themes from artists in New York. Nuvango's online shop lets you pick other designs from the artists, and choose what to print it on - phone cases, homeware, tanks or tees, and learn more about the artist. And the best part is the locality of where the products are made - at a factory in the Junction.
Photos by Hector Vasquez