When I first moved into Parkdale over a decade ago, there was a store on the north side of Queen West near Brock that was boarded up for renovations, with just a little peek hole cut into the plywood to allow a glimpse of what was going on inside. I was immediately hooked. Sarah Hamel, owner of Made You Look, was in the middle of restoring one of the big beautiful buildings that had been neglected for years in the perpetually "up and coming" neighbourhood. She had a great vision and has built an amazing and unique business - a jewellery boutique that's also a studio for more than 20 resident jewellers who create their piece on site. Over the years she's expanded the collection to include work from over 100 local Toronto designers, with a wide range of styles. The atmosphere is artistic, eclectic, fun, and friendly. It's exactly the sort of business I love - one that really celebrates creativity and helps make it possible for independent designers to make a living doing what they love and are so talented at.
So when I heard that someone had broken in and robbed Made You Look a couple of months ago, I literally felt sick to my stomach. Who on earth would target a business built on beauty and dreams, and the designers who work so hard there? Although a suspect was apprehended, the over $300,000 worth of handmade jewellery and raw materials that were stolen were not recovered. With the shock and anger I was feeling came a deep desire to "do something" to help out - and I wasn't the only one who responded this way. Made You Look has a devoted following both in the community and among lovers of unique jewellery, so when they organized a fundraiser at the Cadillac Lounge to help out the jewellers who'd been hit the worst, it was a well-attended evening. There was a great silent auction, as well as music from The Neil Young'uns. Sarah made a lovely speech, thanking everyone who had come together to show their love and support for Made You Look and the designers it represents.
For those of you who couldn't make it but would love to help (or if you did make it, but still want to help MORE..), Sarah has set up a fundraising campaign through indiegogo - even a $5 contribution helps and is much appreciated. So far they have raised over $5,000 towards their goal of $15,000 (the funds will go directly to designers who lost items not covered by insurance). Check it out, and donate if you can: http://www.indiegogo.com/MYLfundraiser
Here are some of the lovely items that were generously donated for the silent auction..
..and here's everyone having a great time :)Made You Look, make a point of stopping in to see how special it is, and if you haven't already PLEASE HELP WITH A DONATION HERE!
Much love and best wishes for a speedy recovery to everyone at Made You Look :)