The Art of Shopping: Find Your Favourites

imageWhen my grandmother Riche was a young girl, she went to work as a cook on a sealing ship. The sealers would set up camp and trap small mammals to supplement their stores. When I was little, she would tell me stories about her days in Labrador and try to impart some of her knowledge. She described how to skin and prepare rabbits and how to make little snares to catch martens.

It was a long time ago and I’m not even sure if I’m not misremembering what she was trying to teach me, but there’s one piece of advice that I always think about when I’m shopping and that is find a bunch of places to set your traps and visit them regularly.

There are certain stores that just have my number. They are not necessarily always easy to get to location-wise, but if I’m in the neighbourhood I’ll make it my mission to stop by and check out the wares.

Tiger of Copenhagen is one example. It’s filled with whimsical but well designed stuff. It was first described to me as Danish discount IKEA. Of course, there are no Tiger (or Flying Tiger as it is known in the US) stores in Canada, but when I was in Iceland and New York recently, I had to make a pilgrimage. Amongst the discoveries: The amazing sunglasses pictured at the top of this post, the life-changing stuffed snake (you can use it as a neck pillow whilst travelling and knot it up an use it as a cushion when you get home), and this cool minimalist watch. The best thing is that because it’s kind of remote, so chances are that nobody else will show up at a party with the same glasses or watch (I’m assuming that no one is going to parties with a snake pillow, although that would be awesome).

imageGiant Tiger is a Canadian discount chain that is best known in Quebec and Eastern Ontario, not so much in Toronto. It never fails to provide odd overstock Kardashian Kollection cast offs and amusing Birkenstock or  Crocs knockoffs. In fact, last week on my biannual road trip to the Etobicoke le Tigre Géante I was delighted to find a pair of Birken-Crocs (and a pair of camouflage pants).