beauty boutique


So about a month ago I photographed the grand opening of the new location of Lux Beauty Boutique in the High Street shopping area. It's taken me much longer than I anticipated to finish editing these photos, but I'll blame that on the number of work projects that I have on the go. I wonder if I'm ever going to be able to finish unpacking and paint my bedroom.

Despite the recent snow storm, during mid April we were experiencing a doubt of particularly warm weather. I had been working from the home office that day so I walked to the store, wandering through the Grandin neighbourhood and down Victoria Promenade, taking my time to admire the scenery.

the carlisle just off the promenade

I first met Jennifer Le Grimm, Lux's owner/beauty-junkie-in-chief, through a series of NextGen connections. Jenn's husband Mike was on the NextGen Steering Committee. It's possible that we didn't meet until the first Pecha Kucha event, but for some reason I think it was earlier. Anyhow, while I don't recall the exact circumstances brought us together, at some point Jenn discovered that I took photos, and every so often she has asked me to photograph things for her and I've been happy to oblige. I'm always happy to volunteer because Jenn gives me carte blanche to shoot what I want. Which is exactly what I want to do when I photograph events like this.

The new store is lovely. In addition to all the pretty packaging of the various lotions and potions, it's filled with plenty of delightful details like custom wallpaper, pretty light fixtures, and some vintage stools. It's so much larger than the original location and it has plenty of huge windows to let in natural light. I was very impressed when I first saw it.

The decor is feminine but not too girlish, it's whimsical but still classy, and it's modern without being too cold. It's really quite a nicely designed space. I had a chance to briefly catch up with Mike during the event and he told me about all the aspects of the design that Jenn was responsible for. It's extremely impressive to think how she was able to conceptualize all this and balance being a new mom. I'm always admire her tenacity and how she just gets things done.

LUX Beauty Boutique

The customers who attended this first private shopping party were clearly in agreement. With lineups that were literally outside the door, inside the store was packed with enthusiastic shoppers who were giddy with excitement about the bigger store and some of the new products that were available.

But the event was not just about shopping. Jenn had organized for catering from d'Lish Urban Kitchen (a 124th Street neighbour) in addition to a selection of wines selected by another local business whose name I can't remember at the moment. The Prosecco di Conegliano was very popular (but that comes as no surprise since it hails from the Veneto region of Italy, and as we all know that is where the best of Italy hails from, like my family). The food was also tasty and delicious. I had already been photographing inside for a couple hours when I headed outside to the catering tent/waiting area. People inside were really taking their time to browse through the merchandise, so there were always a few others waiting outside to get in. With the fine selection of organic fare to snack on, no one complained about having to wait.


So while shopping continued upstairs, I took a brief break from taking photos and sampled the specially seasoned popcorn, the delectable ganache spoons, the soup shots (one was a spinach gazpacho, the other a spicy tomato basil something or other), and the flatbread (can you tell I'm not a food blogger, the most I can say about the food was that it was delicious). I don't think d'Lish was responsible for the mini-cupcakes but they were ridiculously addictive. Eventually I abandoned the food and returned upstairs to photograph the next set of customers who had made it inside.

It was such a fantastic turn out for the grand opening. Women of every age were there. They shopped with their friends, with their mothers, and the occasional spouse. I was pleased to see the support for the local boutique. And as a sign of appreciation to everyone who came, Jenn and her staff at LUX had prepared swag bags full of product samples. As a lucky result, I've discovered a new facial moisturizer from the swag bag (Linden Leaves herbalist daily facial moisture... secret ingredient calendula oil). Hopefully this weekend I'll reprise my walk through Grandin and along Victoria Promenade and stop in at the shop to pick up some supplies. Perhaps while I'm in the area I'll check out some of the other neighbouring boutiques... some cheese for a picnic perhaps?