about the shop
the real world!
pop-up open May-June
Thursday + Friday
11am to 6pm
Saturday + Sunday
11am to 4pm
539 Osborne St.
about the press
I founded Willow on a belief in the power of storytelling.
The respite of escape through imagination.
The validation of seeing yourself in a character.
The development of understanding others and history.
It was also founded on a disenchantment with the ostentatious protagonists and overdone narratives that saturate fiction.
Willow exists to host an empathetic discourse through art and storytelling by carefully gathering and creating work that you can both identify with and escape into. The press collaborates with independent writers, artists, and small presses to curate a collection of stories and goods that feature representation and imagination. I also believe that the fantastical is not just reserved for elves, dragons, and other worlds at war. You can find magic in the grit of a matriarch, the mystical nature of a misfit, or the transfiguration caused by love. Sex can be a healing elixir. Resiliency: an acquired power.
I hope your experience with Willow is a bewitching blend of equal parts candor and curiosity. I hope you float away from the real world, while also feeling more grounded in your own body. I hope you feel seen. I hope you hear a new perspective.
I hope this little haven is a place you can both find and lose yourself.
Creator of Willow Press
Mother to Emelyn + Margot
Work published by At Bay Press
Took Creative Writing through University of Toronto
I'm not quite cut out for the real world. From a young age, I was better at reading than making friends (trying to talk to your grade one pals about Anne Frank's diary at snack time isn't especially cool). My head was always somewhere else, which made me excruciatingly forgetful and spacey. I felt things deeply and I always felt strange, even in the midst of friends. And, I carried some burdens that were too heavy for a child.
Fiction was my reprieve. I retreated to imagined worlds and made fictional friends. I filled notebooks. Got hooked on comics and sci-fi television series.
I lost and found myself in made-up worlds.
The name of the press is inspired by the character, Willow, in the fantasy TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I watched that series through some very formative years and I always felt a strong connection to her. I related to her and felt comforted knowing there was someone like me. That connection allowed me to escape to a fantasy world all while discovering truths about myself, making her story one I could both lose myself in and find myself in. That is what I love about fiction and what I hope to recreate through this press.