Mokuba, 575 Queen West, 416-504-5358
Store owner Helene Smagala has been working with ribbon for 19 years. She started selling the Japanese Mokuba brand out of a small kiosk in the Queens Quay area, a venture that has slowly developed into the elegant and well-organized store on Queen West. Organization is key when you have more than 20,000 kinds of ribbon in stock (prices range from 50 cents a metre to $36), and access to 43,000. Ballet-slipper-pink satins mingle with fuzzy faux fur; ornate grosgrains are a few shelves down from tiny florals in the shape of tulips and roses. Smagala and her design staff are determined to aid you in the creative process. Staff art installations featuring ribbon hang on the walls.
So what does Smagala love about ribbon? "I like how its essence is to be beautiful, but it can also make something else seem even more beautiful," she says. After taking a tour, I couldn't agree more. Smagala's picks: Jewel-toned velvet ribbon, $12.80 a metre; pin-stitched satin, $13.38; warpless grosgrain, $9.50.
Look For: Half-price discontinued items (or 75 per cent off for an entire bolt), the best holiday gift packaging in town and special gift wrapping for ribbon given as a present.
Store Hours: Monday to Wednesday 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, Thursday and Friday 9:30 am to 7 pm, Saturday 10 am to 6 pm.