Monday, November 28, 2011

Exciting Times Part Two: Where...

If you didn't make in it for our year end sale this past weekend here's the news... we're moving!!

Making the decision to leave our current location was bitter sweet. How could anything compare to the character we currently have? I knew going into Begbie Street it would be a temporary location while we awaited the perfect location to come available on Columbia Street. After six months with no suitable spaces coming available, I started to look elsewhere. Commercial Drive, Gastown and other heritage districts in the GVRD are plentiful but it seemed no matter where I looked there was a major shortage of character space available. Given the nature of arOka I simply refused to sacrifice for anything less.
Life’s funny in so many ways and I am a firm believer everything works out as its supposed to. Call it destiny. The space I was beginning to believe was a figment of my imagination was right in front of me all along and I passed by it every day! So where to? Only the sweetest little character house with a most amazing garden located on Clarke Street in Port Moody’s heritage district!

The house is quaint cozy and full of great character. The exterior is in need of a major colour change (currently a brick red with black accents) but that can wait until spring. Also coming this spring is the blooming of the most magical garden space! A white picket fence, slate patios, arbors, an abundance of perennial gardens and old growth trees surround the new house of arOka. How could I not see the endless possibilities for events and with the blessings of the City of Port Moody we're already in the planning process for this spring! 

February 2012 is the relaunch date for arOka in our new home as well as the long awaited website! Everything you've come to love about us will remain with the addition of some amazing locally made wares and a lot more furniture & d├ęcor for your abode. The rental inventory will be housed in the basement keeping it separated from the boutique, plus it makes for real easy set up of special events in the garden!

For all the brides to be that we are currently working with, rest assured the move will not affect your special day. We're still taking on new customers so feel free to keep in touch via facebook or email. As for the rest of you, I'll miss seeing your smiling faces over the next 2 months! Updates on the renovations, new rental inventory, and special features for some of my favorite businesses will keep you up to date with what's happening. 
So until then my darlings have a most joyous holiday season and we'll see you in February 2012!
Creative Curator 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Exciting Times Part One

We've left our friends on Facebook in the lurch for the past week, posting teasers and carrying on as if we have something to hide. Well we do! While I can't tell you all the goods just yet, I can say this... mark your calendars, free your schedules and get in line November 26th for arOka's biggest sale yet!

A special THANK YOU to my dear friend Roberta
of Inky & Boots for designing our Ad as well as
The Graphics Fairy for the Victorian dress form!

In order to do a  full on inventory count & mark down appropriate pieces we will be closed Monday November 21st all the way through to sale day. If you need us, please email or leave a message at the boutique, we'll be checking communications daily. Now on to the the details! Just what exactly will be in our sale? Take a look for yourself...

All in stock dresses, slips & petticoats

Ephemera (antique & vintage papers)

Hats & headpieces

Jewelry & glamour items

Purses & accessories

PLUS ++++++ Many of our rental inventory items will be cycled through once again to make room for next year's inventory! These are highly collectible, one of a kind antiques & vintage decor items. If you came to the Summer sale rest assured this one will far surpass your expectations! And in case you aren't already a fan of arOka on Facebook we suggest you click that little thumb in the upwards position because you'll automatically save 20% off ANY purchase on sale day! Now do the math with me... most items in the store will be 20% off (clearly marked my dears because as with any sale some exceptions do apply ;) PLUS an additional 20% off for Facebook fans... that's 40% OFF!! Excited yet? We are!!

Now keep in mind that this is one day only, Saturday November 26th from 11am to 4pm. As with our last sale there are no holds, layaways and everything is sold on a first come first served basis. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Debit and cash. I must clarify this is NOT a Christmas sale & you won't be seeing that holiday emphasized throughout the boutique. It's not that we're Bah Humbug! Simply put we have been bustling around heavily preparing for a second MAJOR announcement coming the first week of December. Hey you never know maybe we'll spill some beans on you at the sale! All I can say for now is Exciting Times Part Two is EPIC! Ok now look what I did! I'm off to wash my mouth with soap. To me 'epic' equals all sorts of terrible images of Charlie Sheen! Geeeez!

Have a wonderful weekend my darlings, stay safe in this crazy snow and we'll see you next weekend!

Creative Curator

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ruffles & Rust Weekend

A couple weekends ago I closed the boutique for a much needed weekend away. My idea of fun...hitting the road state side for a major vintage market!! My side kick... only the most talented artist I know Roberta from Inky & Boots. After a few wrong turns in the suburbs, and fantastic trapes in the field looking for treasures (and found them but that' a story for another day) we finally made it to Monroe Wa. Thank goodness we arrived when we did, the line grew to hundreds in a matter of minutes and this was just the presale day!

The market - Ruffles & Rust a Vintage Market to Inspire certainly lived up to its name!! Timmi and her team really know what they are doing and they do it really well! The vendors came from all over the Western States to offer the most amazing treasures!

They call it Ruffles & Rust for a reason! Photo by Roberta

Both Roberta and I were inspired by the visual delights of the day. Texture, layering, whimsical touches, amazing wares and an abundance of beauty! The first time I came to Timmi's market was last year and I have to admit once I walked through the doors my eyes welled up with tears from a visual overload. Being a vintage junkie through and through these markets are my absolute favorite!!

Just one of many amazing booths. Photo by Roberta

As with any major market, sore feet and lots of shoulda coulda woulda come into play. My shoulda... 2 gorgeous 8 foot tall historic columns. My woulda... rented a much larger truck! And the coulda... spent more time oogling. For me markets are a fast paced game of first come first served and in a vintage world full of one of a kind items you have to act fast. I power through scanning each booth for my wish list of items and in many cases am stopped dead in my tracks when something unique catches my eyes. This time around it seemed the rental inventory won and the market lost. I had hoped to come away with more 'smalls' to share with you at the boutique but there wasn't an abundance of them and the price points didn't suite my fancy. I did manage to grab a set of beautiful antique corbels and 2 lovely gold frames though.

Gold frames now available in the market

As for the rental inventory gains... a 3 foot tall iron birdcage that will definitely be a show stopper on any guest or gift table, a large white iron bird cage complete with it's own stand, an ornate screen/room divider, a 3 tier mini shelf that makes the perfect cupcake stand and finally my prized possession an antique double sided school chalkboard that was featured last week on our facebook page.

The 3 foot tall black iron bird cage. Love it!

Once the move it or loose it ended, Roberta and I spent the rest of the first night meandering our way back and forth through all the isles taking in the scenery at a much slower pace. They say to really see it all you have to walk up and down the isles in both directions and I concur because what was missed in one pass was found in another. We stayed until closing, loaded up the van and headed to our Hotel for the night.

The huge white iron many possibilities!

The next day we traveled to Snohomish to check out the many antique stores, had a great lunch and headed back to the market for one last look. Day two brought replenished booths and a new focus. I was on the hunt for all of your requested items! While I wasn't able to fill everyone's wish list I did accomplish a few. My friend Angela of LaLa's Land had been searching for a vintage shopping cart and now has one of her very own. To me the market trip was an adventure, a pleasure and a success!

Angela's new vintage shopping cart!

The next day (Sunday) I spent my time unloading the rental van and zipping around Vancouver to pick up a few other new pieces. Some request I had received recently was for an old school picnic basket, more vintage hats and some vintage slips. I'm happy to say those items are now in stock. Speaking of old school, my favorite new find is a set of  vintage UBC lockers... in turquoise of course!!

The perfect patina of turquoise & rust!

Have an amazing weekend y'all!
Creative Curator