Recently, I had the super cool opportunity to model with my good friend Cynthia for Gilded Cage Boutique in Guelph, Ontario. If you’ve ever had the desire to be a model for a day, I highly recommend reaching out to your favourite local stores and offering to take some pictures for them! Brands love having a diverse collection of photographs for their websites and social media to show their clothing on all ages, body types, skin tones, etc. So no, you don’t need to look like Gigi Hadid to model and it’s totally fine if you don’t know what to do with your hands (because I don’t think anyone does).
It was my first time making the trip to Guelph to visit Sandra’s store and I was eager to get the chance to shop the gorgeous products I had viewed on Instagram. When we arrived in the heart of downtown on a sunny August afternoon, I immediately noticed the children frolicking in the nearby splash pad, beautiful local shops and bustling restaurants.
As I entered the boutique, I was transported across the globe. Rich silk dresses line the walls and stunning copper vessels gleam as you walk past. What makes Gilded Cage special is Sandra’s mission to provide shoppers with luxurious products made by artisans both locally and abroad. Each collection is carefully curated to ensure sustainable production, brand ethics, and fair wages for workers. Sandra’s vast knowledge of each product and enthusiasm for high-quality, ethically made pieces excited me and inspired my purchases. There’s something really neat about being able to go home with not only a beautiful dress or piece of jewelry but something that also gives back and does a little good in the world.
I ended up purchasing 3 bohemian-style dresses made from upcycled saris, a pair of earrings made by homeless youth in Toronto and a hat to accessorize my new outfits. I love how each dress that I bought was one of a kind (one of the coolest perks of shopping anything upcycled from vintage materials).
Overall, I would highly recommend the trip to Guelph to visit Sandra’s little gem of a shop on Carden St. As a few wise women have explained to me, when we spend our money we are supporting the kind of world that we want to see. When you shop at Sandra’s boutique you are supporting an entrepreneur, hardworking artisans, ethical production, local makers and more. It doesn’t hurt that you’ll look damn good doing it!