Last week I posted a home tour of John and Juli’s apartment, a paragon of Scandinavian minimalism and organic modernity (yes, I am using that expression in full confidence.) It was a hit with most of you, (though some of you remarked on how no one can live in such facile order) so today I tell you where they got most of their not-a-lot-of-stuff: their Toronto store, Mjolk. And don’t let out a contemptuous sigh if you’re not in Toronto. They have an exhaustive online shop, picturing literally every item on the floor. You buy, they send.
Here’s my chat with the young-couple-that-could (lord knows it isn’t easy getting a niche, upscale retail shop off the ground, ever) about Mjolk, and a peek inside…
HGTV: How long has the store been open?
John & Juli: Almost a year, in December.
HGTV: Was it always the intention or did you just fall into retail?
J&J: John always wanted to open a store, so once we teamed up it was only a matter of time!
HGTV: What are you trying to do with the store?
J&J: We are simply trying to offer Torontonians with a comfortable shopping experience, and the exploration of new products, materials and mindset.
HGTV: Does Toronto get what you’re trying to do?
J&J: We think Toronto is thirsty for new design and ideas. So yes, we often hear from customers that they are happy we are here, and that they love what we are doing.
HGTV: Why pure Scandinavian?
J&J: Well, it’s no longer pure Scandinavian, what with all the Japanese products we’ve been bringing in. It’s evolving organically into being more about an aesthetic—materiality, clean lines, contrast.
HGTV: Vintage vs contemporary Scandi designs? Thoughts?
J&J: Love it all.
John and Juli at Mjok.
HGTV: Most popular items in the store so far?
J&J: Popularity of items is ever changing which is really great because every item in the shop seems to have it’s day in the spotlight.
HGTV: What are you coveting these days?
J&J: Vík Prjónsdóttir blankets from Iceland in preparation for winter!
HGTV: Your favourite pieces in the store?
J&J: Honestly, every piece is a favourite. We curate our shop with a lot of care, and thus most items end up in our apartment eventually!
HGTV: What’s your client base been like?
J&J: Our customers have been varied, from people in our neighborhood to destination shoppers. Young and old, our products appeal to a broad base.
HGTV: Is it everything you’d hoped it would be? This store?
J&J: Having the store has allowed us to be creative, work together and do something we love on a daily basis, so yes, it’s very rewarding and we look forward to what the future brings
I want everything. Just saying.