We at urbaneer are a dynamic group, who teamed up based on our love of Toronto real estate and our commitment to service. But were you aware we also have extremely unique backgrounds? By honing our skills and collectively supporting each other, we elevate our understanding of different markets while ensuring we're better suited to assist with the needs of our equally diverse clientele.
You may have heard the urbaneer team proudly includes an acclaimed professional musician, a film director, and even a recently betrothed newlywed. But did you also know the team also includes Kimberly Alke, the purveyor of the high-design retail store called Spruce on Parliament?
Spruce was born in April of 2013 when, walking by an abandoned space in Toronto’s Cabbagetown neighbourhood, Kimberly’s desire for a retail space in this charming neighbourhood was peaked. Home of 2-4-1 Video for 30 years, the wood paneled walls, green carpeting, low bulk-heads and dropped ceiling fueled her inspiration – and begged to be removed with the space refreshed. Owned by the same family since the early 1940’s, the 'little shop that could ' had hidden elements and charm she just had to explore.
Kimberly, who graduated with a degree in Entrepreneurship Marketing in Vancouver, migrated to Toronto in 2005 to gain experience in a broad mix of marketing segments, from start-ups all the way to coroporate. The lure of Toronto real estate was also tempting at the beginning of her career path. It wasn't long until Kimberly began growing her renovation portfolio of several unique homes throughout the downtown core, reinforcing her passion and talent for the housing industry. In 2010, Kimberly left corporate marketing to dedicate her attention to the field where she could nurture her love for Housing and Home.
Renovating her own homes while guiding her clients, Kimberly’s pursuit and increasing knowledge of locally-made home furnishings spurned her to consider more creative expression. Discovering the vacant shop on Parliament Street (the future home for Spruce) presented a perfect opportunity to showcase her unique design sensibility. One month - plus an army of family and friends - breathed life back into the storefront. On June 10, 2013, Spruce opened its doors. Now, Kimberly can execute her talents curating home décor and vintage pieces.
With a special focus on the hand-made, Spruce aims to highlight locally made products while carefully restoring vintage pieces. To the delight of her urbaneer brethen, business is thriving while Kimberly continues to cultivate her unique design point of view. This is a space where you can discover vintage treasures from across the province, purchase hand-made products created by North American designers, while discovering one-of-a-kind solutions for your Home. Spruce embraces reclaimed and repurposed materials, married with clean-lined modern textiles, housewares and furnishings, that are both practical and pleasing additions for any space.
The talent of local artists and craftsmen is an important fixture at Spruce – Nicole Tarasick Design, Avril Loreti, Daneson, Pi’lo, and Sparrow Avenue are just a few of the locals who showcase their work there. When looking to fill a particular category, Kimberly will look within the local design pool first before heading farther afield. There is a story with almost every product on the shelves. From carefully hand-sewn and screened feather pillows from Toronto to lace-imprinted ceramics from Halifax to Canada’s own hand-harvested sea salt from Vancouver Island, the product mix is carefully curated and always exciting. Local artists like Building 18 Photography and Morgan Jones Art have showcased their mixed media and resin photography work as the small shop dedicated precious wall space for graphic artists.
The products and services provided at Spruce will continue to grow and change as the desire for local and hand-made products is becoming more top of mind for Toronto consumers. Keeping the product line fresh, unique and one of a kind is of key importance for Kimberly when sourcing for the new seasons. In the next year, adding to Spruce’s own line of custom products will also be one of Kimberly’s goals.
The store’s offering also allows Kimberly to provide her real estate clients with a variety of options within her style enhancement services. Kimberly and the urbaneer team have access to the full range of products offered at Spruce – from unique vintage finds to locally crafted textiles and décor pieces.
Without question, the lovely Kimberly is the go-to person for those looking to decorate their unique urban spaces into the perfect Home.
Click here on Spruce On Parliament to learn more!
~ the urbaneer team
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