New Spaces

Not only are we extremely close to opening our new space in
the Exchange District... we have moved our blog.

All the content from this blog has been moved to our new
address on the web. We will leave this blog up as a byway
to ...

See you there!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide: Teens

We love it when the teen set discover the store with their parents.  They walk in the door looking like they barely have just one nerve left after being forced to go on yet another boring shopping jaunt.  Then they see some something that they think is pretty cool.  And then another something.  And by the time they reach the middle of the house they are gobsmacked and making a list of must haves.  On their way out the door many of them have mentally redecorated their rooms and zazzed up their lockers at school.  

Wall Graphics

Montreal based A*DZIF creates wall graphics with pizzazz.

Featuring a number of different lines, with something for everyone, they have a great line which will pop and personify your teen's personal space.  

Easy to apply, non permanent and visually appealing, vinyl graphics make for terrific, and inexpensive, wall art - especially when you just know that they are going to want to redecorate their rooms again next year!

An explosion of stretchy tubular mesh creates a stunning effect in any room!  Shades available in red or white.

Midsummer Light

Tord Boontje's whimsical light shade adds a beautiful touch to any decor.  Available in fading red (shown), white on white, green & yellow and fading lilac.


Are you forever hollering at your teen to get their fanny out of bed?  Save yourself the grief while saving your vocal chords.  Clocky is just the little guy to encourage them to get up.  Clocky allows one snooze only.  After that he rolls off the bedside table (his big rubber wheels keep him safe) and roams.  If you want to quiet him you have to get out of bed and chase him down.  Clocky adds an element of fun, nay hilarity, to your household morning routine.  He'll do the work of getting your teen out of bed while you sit and sip your morning cup of elixir.  

Mini Chandeliers

Ooh!  Pretty!  Bright led lights make these mini chandeliers shine!  Battery operated - with an optional dc outlet to save on batteries, these little lights zazz up any space - a school locker, an office cubicle, a desk nook.  Lovely little stocking stuffers in black, clear or pink.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide: Moms

21 shopping days left!

She's the person (yes, moms are people, too!) who nurtured and taught and fed and cleaned and loved you better than anyone.  She endured nine months suffering from a variety of pregnancy side effects from swollen ankles the size of tractor tires to vomiting in her handbag at the mere whiff of someone's cologne.  She spent how many hours in labor with you?  Don't you DARE even think about getting her something which plugs in or some same-old, same-old schmaltzy gift from the mall.  That woman deserves something SPECIAL.

We have special.  And unique.  

We're here to help you find something she'll truly appreciate.  Something that says "Thank you for all you did and continue to do."  And... "You know, you were right about that jerk not being good enough for me."  And... "I'm sorry I was such a pain as a teenager." 

Thinking of You.

Tord Boontje's vessel wraps say "I Love You" in beautiful style.  Thinking of You Here, Now and Always are flat wrapped to involve the recipient in the final stage of the design process.  Each wrap is assembled (very easily) into a stunning piece which mom can then place over an old jelly jar to create a beautiful vase.  The high polish and matte finishes are designed to take on a patina over time which makes them even more beautiful than their shiny new selves.  Tuck one in a bouquet of mom's favorite flowers.  This is something she'll use and display all year long, as it is simply stunning on its own, and every time she sees it she'll think of you thinking of her.

We're not trying to run a floral theme, but moms DO love flowers.  I think it stirs something from the time when their children were small and awed by the wild abundance of Dandelions which they picked with gusto.  What moms love best about flowers, I think, is that eventually their kids get older and realize that a bouquet of wildflowers are much preferable to a handful of wilted Dandelions.  Wait a minute.  Maybe not.

Whatever flora you fresh pick for your mom, Innermost's Ghost Vase is an exceptional vessel for her to display them in.  Too bad Dandelions are out of season.  I think they'd make a nice, sentimental touch.

 Bejewel her with special adornments.

From one of a kind pieces by local artisans to Melissa Borrel's Pop Out jewelry, we have a wonderful selection to show mom how special she is.

Donna Guiboche is a talented lady who works magic with copper and sterling silver wire.  Donna's unique designs run from the bold to the sublime, delicate to heavy and funky.  She also creates a custom line for us.  Early in our relationship with Donna we were so impressed with her craft that we bestowed upon her a box of vintage jewelry comprised of lampwork, glass, crystal and bone beads.  She has deconstructed these pieces and reworked them into remarkable pieces we call Vintage Made Modern.

Cindy and Carey are sisters who utilize vintage buttons and other findings to make lovely personal accoutrements such as earrings, necklaces and bracelets, cell phone charms and keyrings.  We love that their designs range from sophisticated to funky.

Melissa Borrell's Pop Out pieces are truly stunning modern pieces with a retro feel.  Again, and as we are seeing more of in the design world, the recipient is involved in that final stage of design.  The high gloss powder coated steel or gold plated pieces are popped out of their 'frame' and then strung on the Sterling chain or ear wires.  Beautiful!

A bag to last forever!

Neumatica creates the most amazing purses from car and truck tire inner tubes.  Sound strange?  The only odd thing about these one of a kind purses is that someone didn't think of it before now.  Rubber inner tubes take hundreds of years to decompose.  Reworking this material into a beautiful, everyday useful object is earth friendly and smart - who hasn't yearned for an indestructible purse?  Each bag is entirely unique as the relationship between tire and tube, when in service on a vehicle, imprints a one of a kind pattern on the tube.  The visible branding lends an industrial edge to a sophisticated bag and you may even find one with a patch or the inflation tube attached!  Available in a variety of styles, we have imported these bags direct from Argentina and the only place in Canada where you'll be able to find one for your mom is.... our house.

We also carry a large variety of home decor items, personal accessories and pristine vintage kitchen ware.  You are certain to find something as uncommonly special as your mom in our House.  So - ditch the mall.  Stop by our house.  Take your time thinking about the things your mom deserves in her stocking while enjoying a delicious latte - on us, of course!

Holiday Gift Guide: Dads

With only 22 shopping days left until Christmas we thought it might be appropriate to run down some gift ideas to help you fill those stockings on your list.


Dear Old Dad

Who's your daddy?  Was your dad the household enforcer?  If so then cries of "Just wait 'till your father gets home!" might ring familiar.  Was he the kindly teacher who gently guided you in learning new skills, whether it be how to cast a fishing line or how to tie your laces?  Did he share equally in the household duties, drying the dishes and joking with your mother while she washed them or did he kick up his tired dogs while mom fetched him a martini?  Whether your dad fits the mold of the 'traditional man of the house' or the progressive and equal partner, or if he falls somewhere in between, there is no doubt he had a profound and lasting impact on the person you are today.  

We have a few suggestions for high impact gifts to suit the interests of all types of dads.

For the Techie Dad:

You know the one... the kids could be waging a full scale war in the kitchen and there he is, hovering over his laptop, fully immersed in whatever he's doing (what the holy heck IS he doing?) completely oblivious to the cacaphony surrounding him.  

While it may be hard for you to get his attention by banging a pan over his head, Hub Man is sure to capture it in a heartbeat.  He's a cute little guy who gives your dad charging and connective capabilities for all his other gadgets.  

For the Mixologist Dad:  

Surely you know at least one of these, even if he's not your dad.  My uncle was a teetotaler but man did he stock a bar and know how to mix a cocktail.  I remember that he had a stylish manner with a cocktail shaker and was able to whip up pretty Pink Ladies without so much as a glance at a recipe card.  

Refine his bar accoutrements  with some premium and authentic vintage barware.  From a stylish seltzer bottle to a wicked cool shaker to colorfully captivating glassware, we have a nice range to choose from.

For the Handyman Dad:

Mr. Fix It, that's him.  He has a pristinely organized 'workshop' either in the basement or the garage.  His tools all have a rightful place on the peg board or in any number of tool boxes.  There is always something that he's fixing or puttering at or making.  And if there isn't enough of it to do around the house he's helping the neighbors.

We don't have the latest tools and gadgetry this dad might love.  For him we'd recommend a gift card to a great hardware store.  What we do have is a few antique planers we're pretty sure he'd appreciate for their history and uniqueness.  Something he can proudly display, and even use, in his workspace which will make him think of you every time he sees it.

The Golfer Dad:

You don't see much of him in the fair weather months.  He's off hitting the links every chance he gets (short of having your mother declare him a missing person or filing for divorce).  He loves the game and the fresh air and the camaraderie of others who enjoy, just as much as he, the sound a perfect drive makes when the club connects with the ball.

Winter is a season considered barely endurable by this dad.  Other than buying him a week of golfing in Phoenix this January there are a few other things you can do to cheer him up while he waits for the big thaw of spring.  We have a few great vintage golf tchokas which are certain to bring a smile to his face, from the golf ball flip calendar to the bar tool set fashioned to look like clubs.

The Shaving Purist Dad:  

No electric shavers for him.  He pshaws the disposables with five blades.  There is no shave like a good old fashioned shave and there is no way to get a closer shave than to do it by living by on the razors edge.  Literally.

For this brave dad we have an assortment of vintage shaving gear - from mugs and brushes to strops and straight razors.  We have some of the coolest single blade razors from eras gone by.  And we have vegan, organic shaving soap - made locally - to complement everything else.

The Fun and Games Dad:

Help with the dishes?  No way!  Not when the kids got all those cool new video games!  And who's that playing with Jr.'s race car set just as soon as he's toddled off to bed?  This dad loves to play, both with his kids and with their toys.  Get him a few toys of his own.

Like;  Chico Bicalo designer collectible wind up toys.

Or Dodge 'Em, the desk top dodge ball game where he can try to bowl over little wooden kids (it's okay - it's just a game and besides, they all look like really obnoxious children anyway).

How about Bone Stackers?  Like Jenga but with a skull set atop a mountain of bones.

And, last but not least, the Cuss Words Dad.

He has tools.  He thinks he knows how to use them.  He wouldn't dream of consulting a manual.  This dad embarks on home repair projects with a sturdy set in his jaw and a look of determination in his eye.  Thing is, it isn't too long after he starts before the temperature around him begins to rise.  Then the quiet muttering starts and before you know it the cuss words and the tools are a-flyin'!  Though my dad is many other things to me, he most certainly fits in this class of dads.  

I remember one particular dinner after my mother got her long coveted dual range with the rotisserie.  She had put a couple of chickens on the rotisserie and all afternoon we kept running into the kitchen to watch them drip their juicy goodness on the pan as they turned under the heat.  The scent which filled the house was delicious and delightful and we could hardly wait until dinner.  After being called to the table we eagerly took our seats while dad pulled out the carving knife and began carving the chicken.  Correction;  ATTEMPTED to carve the chicken.  The chicken, however, refused to be carved.  Thinking he was dealing with a dull blade, my mildly irritated father retrieved a different blade from the drawer.  The chicken was still resistant.  The frustration now showing in a furrowed brow, dear old dad went back to the drawer to fetch a knife sharpener.  After many slick and smooth runs of the edge of the knife against the tool he looked quite satisfied.  Thinking that he now had a wicked sharp blade to work with and with a small smile of satisfaction he stabbed the bird with the fork, placed his razor sharp blade against the breast of the chicken and.... nothing.  The golden skin was impenetrable.  That's when he calmly put down the tools, strode over to the window and closed the blinds to the neighbors and the front street.  I remember us all, my mother included, looking at each other with shock and small degree of fear.  The bird had broken him.  He wasn't cursing.  The silence was eerie, even more so than his calm manner.  Was he going to throw the knife into the wall?  Was he going to toss the chickens across the room?  The tension was palpable.  What he did shocked us all.  He calmly picked up the platter, crossed the room and dumped the chickens in the garbage and then turned to us.  "Who feels like Kentucky Fried for dinner?"  he asked.  Seems mom picked up a couple of fryers instead of roasters and that roasting fryers results in rubber birds.

Though my dad didn't break into his usual song of a well seasoned sailor that night, there were many occasions where he did.  So he wasn't Hardware Hank.  We didn't care.  But we knew better than to buy him tools, particularly power tools, for gifts.  

For dads like mine pretty much any of the above mentioned gifts will do (except the planer - of course).  There are also a few other things he might be happy with, like a beautifully colored vintage tie, or a set of vintage cufflinks.  Mayhaps a vintage board game or novel?  The mAntique room is chock-a-block full of great gifts for dads of all types.  Even mine.


Monday, December 1, 2008

There's No Place Like Home!

Some one has been busy beavering away on a special project - making a new home for ChiChi.

We're not moving our bricks and mortar store - we love those six rooms - but we do have a new home on the web!

Come on in, have a look around, linger awhile if you wish and please let us know what you think!

Take me there!

We also love Blogger so we'll still be here! Our Blog will also be mirrored on the website for those who only wish to bookmark us the one time!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Puttin' on the Glitz - Neumatica Recycled Handbags

Shiny. Opulent. Radiant. Our House is looking oh, so pretty. And full. Chock full of uncommon goodness. And that's a good thing.

We're ready for the holiday season and can't wait to help you dazzle the people you love with the unexpected and unique.

The store is full of new surprises. Today was a banner day for deliveries (the UPS kind - we expect the Obama Nation deliveries to hit the US in about nine months!). Of the multitude of boxes which arrived on our doorstep we are most psyched about the one which arrived from Argentina.

The Neumatica story begins...

When used rubber inner-tubes from tires of any kind of vehicle are discarded, it takes more than 500 years to decompose, and if burned they are highly contaminating.
Around 100,000 tons of this material is disposed every year, only in Argentina.

Recycling is a compromise with the planet, and fashion has to do its part.

Two years ago, Neumatica decided to save inner tubes and make them roll again, turning them into daily design objects.

All rubber inner-tubes are plain and have no texture when new, but after being used the heat of the tires transfers the design to them, so you will find multiple textures in Neumatica products.
Each finished piece has the story of many miles driven.

We love the up-cycled, earth friendly nature of these bags. We love the idea of toting around the untold stories of many thousands of miles. And if you don't love them for any of the above reasons, we believe you will love them for their urban chic appeal.

See them here... Take me there!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hooray for Espe! GoGo for the Groovi!

Oh boy! Oh joy! The fall line of Espe has arrived at ChiChi! Although we couldn't possibly carry all of this fall's styles, we chose a killer selection to share with you. Be careful though, once you see these you'll surely want at least one and they sell out quickly. Since Espe's offerings are all limited editions, if you see something you want and can't make it in give us a call, we'll figure it out together.

I don't know about you ladies, but I've always wanted a convertible. In my other life I had a convertible Toyota RAV4 - but that was in my pre-Mommy days. Espe's line of convertibles makes it possible to own a safer, more practical alternative and we can to take them into the house too!

The Espe GROOVI convertible is one of the most (if not THE most) practical bags on the market. Depending on your needs it can be used in a multitude of ways! For starters, the bag comes as you see it here, with an extra long, thin strap that you clip on to each side and a separate smaller bag inside. The top of the tote can be folded down to show off the interior's contrasting tone, the smaller bag can be removed and used with the long, thin strap or hung outside the tote for easy access to your keys, shades, etc. This is one "Groovi" bag!

The second convertible we think you should test drive is the LUX. It's a shoulder bag, but unzip the handle and presto! It's a backpack. This one reminds me of the old Certs commercial - "Two, two, two mints in one!"

Oh and psssssst, wanna monkey around with us? Check out this GoGo tote with its MODO accessories.

With a high cool factor added to touches of whimsy, the rest need no introduction.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

White Rabbit... meet George Nelson.

. . .although, if he HAD met him, the tale of Alice in Wonderland would be lacking. The ChiChi Chicks and George Nelson will help keep you on time with a fabulous collection of clocks so prepare to feast your. . .


Metal Eye Wall Clock

(11.5"H x 24.5"W x 2"D)

For those design neophytes like me, George Nelson (1908-1986) was an architect-designer, editor, writer, and teacher. Probably most well known for furniture, industrial, exhibition, and urban design, his clocks also feature prominently in design dreams worldwide. We are particularly fond of his clocks which he began to design in 1947.

Round Metal Table Top Clock

(9.25"H x 6"W x 3.5"D)

Glass Orange to Yellow Parity

Table Top Clock

(3.25"H x 8.75"W x 5.75"D)

Glass Light Blue to Dark Blue Parity

Table Top Clock

(3.25" H x 8.75" W x 5.75" D)

Metal Tripod

(7"H x 7"W x 2"D)

Glass Orange to Yellow Parity


(12"H x 5.25"W x 1.75"D)

Metal Boutique

Sunburst Clock

(13.5" Diameter x 2"D)

Wooden Handle Spokes

with Metal Dial

(13" Diameter x 2"D)

Retro Starburst

Gold & Black Metal

(23.5" Diameter x 2 1/4"D)

Flower Starburst with Wooden Spokes & Gold Dial

(22.5" Diameter x 2 7/8"D)