lost & found, a boutique where you will shop “because [you’re] nice,” humbly advertises “CLOTHES/COFFEE,” on the wooden, overhead store sign. And behind these bluntly-stated offerings is a love for quality, comfort, and sustainable trade, all powered by three store owners (and by the looks of it, good pals) Jonathan Elias, Justin Veiga and Zai Rajkotwala.
The store itself exudes creativity, utilizing books, wooden boxes and a vintage cash register to showcase their unique products. Further to their comfy store interior, lost & found offers customers a warm cup of fair trade coffee and homemade doughnuts which were “made by a neighbour,” (source).
“We just wanted to create a warm and welcoming environment, and we thought the coffee was a good addition to the clothes,” says Zai in starting up this Dundas West concept store, which opened up over a year ago. “We like to carry brands that not a lot of people in the country have and things that are made in North America”.
An interesting feature of the store products is that though in style for this season, are basic enough to pass over into many seasons following. “We like to keep with the trends…but with things that can be additions to wardrobes to wear from season to season. Our motto: buy less, but better,” Zai tells us. This statement can surely be put to action with the high-quality J.W. Hulme women’s handbags, priced at $300.00-$600.00 and a lifetime warranty.
And if you are looking for an item that you’ve seen 50+ times walking around in the Eaton Centre, it is unlikely you will find it here. The products at lost & found are made in small quantities, as opposed to mass-produced merchandise so their customers “can be unique but still be classic”.
Zai goes on to explain to us an especially interesting brand whose women’s wear is carried at lost & found. In God We Trust, a handmade, multi-faceted New York line which manufactures their products in the back room of their 3 store locations (plus one e-commerce store).
“We really stand behind our brands. We do it slow because we don’t want to stand behind anything that we don’t believe in”.
This summer, lost & found shows their local love with their “Label and Metsa” event, two innovative Toronto-based brands as well as participation in an upcoming event sponsored by Plaid Magazine held on June 19th, where the store will be open from 6:00pm-12:00am.
If you love Toronto, coffee and clothes, lost & found is your new haven (if not, already), because, as stated on their sign “it’s all [they] know”. And know it well, they do.
1255 Dundas Street West
Monday to Saturday: 10 am to 7 pm
Sunday: 12 pm to 6 pm