Thursday, October 08, 2015

Villa Valise Design Studio and Boutique in Whitby, Ontario

I've been living in Whitby for four years now, and I still don't know everything there is to know about this cozy and charming town nearby Toronto, and there are still amazing things and places to discover here. I was downtown Whitby running some errands the other day, I found myself on Athol Street, and then I saw this.
It drew my curiosity instanty, so I popped in, and this is what I saw inside.
Wow, I said to myself, these totes look amazing! I started a conversation with the lady behind the counter, we introduced ourselves to each other, and Tracey told me about her store and her totes. Her brand is called Villa Valise, and she makes every single one of these beauties. Each of them is one of a kind, as Tracey doesn't make two of the same, so there are no duplicates around town or anywhere else. Her studio where the whole designing operation is happening is right there on the spot, in the adjacent room to the store (I actually could see her woking tables, the ironing board with the ironing machine, the supplies, the materials, the schetches, everyhting). In fact, "one of a kind" is the brand's slogan, as each and every one of these totes is really unique! It instantly sparked into a story idea for the fashion writer me, so here I am, writing about these awesome totes.

The totes by Tracey MacKenzie at Villa Valise are grouped in two main collections, the One of a Kind totes and the customized (Your Tote-al Design Experience) totes.

The One of a Kind totes include the following:
-- Villa Valise one of a kind guarantee;
-- Letter of authenticity;
-- Tote name and story;
-- Hand sewn front embellishments;
-- Hand stamped zipper pull;
-- Removable inside hard bottom;
-- Scotchgard treatment;
-- Zip closure, inside pocket.

The customized (Your Tote-al Design Experience) totes include the following:
-- Consultation, exclusive design and production;
-- Letter of authenticity;
-- Hand sewn trims and embellishments;
-- Personalized tote name and story;
-- Scotchgard treatment;
-- Coordinating dust cover;
-- Personalized hand stamped zipper pull, and more!

What impressed me the most about the totes was the fact that each of them has a name and a story. I thought to feature three of them when I write about Villa Valise, so I asked Tracey to pick three of her favorites and to share their names and stories. Tracey admitted it's very difficult to pick favorites, as she loves all of them (I don't blame her), but she did choose three of them, and there they are, with their stories.
Black with black and white polka dot tote, the Celine Tote
Sophisticated, fun, and flirty. Celine is inspired by Ms Audrey Hepburn herself. Celine is carefree and spontaneous but doesn’t go anywhere without her diamonds.
Grey with fur trim tote, the Marsha Tote
Marsha is a lesson in sophistication with her vegan fur and triple rhinestones.
Red plaid tote, the Elspeth Tote
This red Scottish tartan always makes me think of Rod Stewart. However, Rod isn’t a girly name so Elspeth will have to do. Elspeth dances to the beat of her own Scottish drum. She’s a smart and sexy lass.

And I also had a personal favorite, I am absolutely mesmerized by this vintage inspired tote!
Pink vintage tote, the Jasmine Tote
I LOVE this fabric. It’s pink and it’s French inspired. The French really have a je ne sais quoi about their fabulous fashion sense. Balanced… soft pink feminine side they will reveal first but then a bold black and white striped side when you least expect it. There's more to Jasmine than softness, you know.

Tracey MacKenzie's Villa Valise tote boutique is located in Whitby, Ontario, at 114 Athol Street. Tracey can be followed on her website,, and Facebook page, Villa Valise.

I hope you liked these totes as much as I did!

Photo credit: Victoria West


  1. these are pretty cute x

    1. Thanks Annick, good to see you.
      Have a great weekend!

  2. great!
    have a nice weekend!

    1. Hi Tijana, welcome to my blog if this is your first time here, please come again. :)
      Enjoy your weekend!

  3. Ce dragute sunt...e foarte talentata doamna...preferata mea este ultima ;)

    1. Buna Butterfly, mersi ca ai trecut e aici.
      Si mie imi place ultima cel mai mult! :)
      Sa ai o saptamana frumoasa!


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