I offer a personal thanks to the mercantile gods, who spin the wheels of commerce through the current pandemic. In the advent of the full reopening of non-essential retailers in Ontario, the consumer in me suspiciously realized my home needs reorganizing. Particularly, my videogame collection display needs sprucing up. And so, I make the trek to Toronto’s downtown core, a justification for the impulsive purchases I so obviously needed at the time. I’ve always enjoyed collecting treasures and finding hidden gems, so any opportunity to wander into the city’s shops is a treat. After discovering SOCCO Annex sometime during the summer of 2021, the quaint home goods shop has become one of my favourite local brands. Located around the intersection of Bathurst and Bloor Street in Toronto’s Christie Pits, SOCCO Annex speaks in traditional Moroccan handcrafting and design, by gorgeous way of muted pastel luxury. A genteel clientele would resonate with the beauty.
The shop peddles a fashionable selection of interior accoutrements. The stonewashed linen sheets, lovingly merchandised in a repurposed dishware cabinet, whisper their colour palettes to their patrons. A dining table array of meticulously curated tableware recalls an Wonderlandian tea party set in a Moroccan villa. The shop’s wall décor product is striking, with palm leaf straw fashioned into voluminous hats or intricate animal heads. Though simple, I gravitated towards these Aykasa polypropylene mini folding crates, retailing for $10.00 CAD. Initially drawn to the unconventional colour palette and a perceived feminine touch, I thought the collapsible feature was inspired, an idea I originally encountered with MUJI and their storage solutions years before. For those looking for larger PP crate sizes, check out the midi ($20.00 CAD) and maxi ($45.00 CAD) sizes.
Organizing my videogames, my brain would want to categorize specific games in the same crate. One way to organize would be to group similar things together – organizing videogames by franchise, or genre, or game developer. You could also organize alphabetically for practicality. But I like the idea of organizing things that provide context for each other. This application is intuitive and conceptual, like a museum curator balancing demand and innovation. The intent is to see a fresh connection between disparate franchises, or brands. In a way, seeing SOCCO’s luxe product filled with videogames is a new vision for gaming storage. If only this were a standard in the retail gaming industry, how luxurious of a shopping experience that would be!
SOCCO Annex offers a distinct handmade Moroccan aesthetic to the Christie Pits market. Though the area boasts plenty of niche retailers, catering directly to my penchant for curiosities, this little shop is a window to a real-life fantasy world. In a neighbourhood fueled by downtown Toronto’s cool as a cucumber attitude, SOCCO is a humble respite from an icy demeanour. With fronds of straw and greenery evoking country and nature, and the assorted product inviting tactile exploration, it’s easy for anybody with the right mix of wanderlust and shopping addiction to fall in love. Be sure to check out their website, and for the TO locals, head over to 474 Bloor Street West for all your lovely houseware needs.
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