When Judi McIntyre, owner of Accoutrements first contacted us she said "New boutique on King! French flavored!" We immediately thought French Macarons! Finally! This isn't in fact what she is carrying in the boutique at all, but all the other pretty, little indulgences she offers are equally satisfying. Nestled in the International Village, Accoutrements has found its place amongst a thriving community with over a century of history. Judi finds charm in the sound of nearby church bells or the sight of police on horseback coming down the street. "I love the big city feel of Hamilton with all it's unique neighbourhoods. I choose 264 King Street East because it is located in the International Village and my boutique is French inspired," explains Judi. Though her home is in Burlington, she loves the history and character of Hamilton. "How many businesses can boast of being over 100 years old!" Judi enthuses. The International Village formed in the mid 1800s with a range of merchants from tailors, milliners, confectioners, a blacksmith, watchmaker and flour and feed outlets serving people who travelled by rail. Today it's home to over 100 merchants and services.
The boutique is inspired by Judi's many travels to Paris. "I drew inspiration from their shoppes, and designed the space in a classic French way," she tells us, "My vision was to give people the same delight that I have experienced upon entering a beautiful French shoppe." The tall ceilings create an open, airy environment and are complimented by the 'greige' colour scheme, distressed wood and metal elements. Accoutrements offers housewares, gift items, specialty foods and apparel. Whenever we shop we're on the hunt for interesting Canadian products. Among the items in store, we love the soaps by Lothantique, especially the marine scent. There's also an extensive selection of fine foods and serving ware from the Wildy Delicious collection Petite Maison that would make perfect house warming or hostess gifts. "I enjoy the process of sourcing beautiful things for my home or seeing the delight of my friends' faces when I've presented them with a gorgeous little gift," explains Judi, "So I opened a boutique which is the perfect venue for this passion."
These specialty mustards by Queen Mary Gourmet Foods caught our eye right away. Dirty Martini, Royally Hot English -- not exactly your traditional flavours. We learned the mustard seeds are cultivated in Alberta and milled right here in Hamilton at the oldest mustard mill in Canada. Did you know that Hamilton is home to a thriving mustard seed industry?
The boutique has a lovely assortment of items that fill one's home with character. You'll find everything from dishware, clocks, frames and dried flowers, to wreathes, cookbooks and home decor. As Judi tells us, time is always of the essence for customers. For this reason she offers a unique collection of specialty items to make it easy for customers to find many items on their list. But if you have a bit of time, Accoutrements is a shoppe to get lost in and enjoy the beautiful products and setting. By continuely sourcing new products and information for her clientele Judi provides the special attention and service that is unique to independent stores.
"I am always in search of little luxuries to make my life and others around me richer and more fulfilled," says Judi. Be sure to visit her website in the next few weeks as she shares bits of inspiration and information about events, product launches and tips on decorating and entertaining on her upcoming blog.
264 King Street East