The stretch of East Hastings between Heatley and Campbell is quickly becoming another design destination in Vancouver—and designer Ami McKay has just added another must-visit to the street with her new store, Pure Shoppe.
The designer, who is a regular fixture in Western Living (check out the lovely Christmas décor she put together for one of her clients in our upcoming November issue!)—has operated her interior design business, Pure Design, out of the 711 Hastings Street address for six years now, and chose the location because it was designated for retail as well.
The shop brings in pieces that McKay has long helped her clients source—many of the pillows, throws, ceramics and more she’s brought in over the years as the final finishing touches she brings to her interior design projects.
The wool on these pillows is shorn from local sheep in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico.
And each of the collections have a story behind them—whether they’re turned bowls from an 89-year-old woodworker in the Blue Mountains of Virginia, or from a collective in Mexico that creates handwoven wool throw pillows, supporting 14 families from the region. Another works with 13 women’s initiatives around India, who train women with barriers to employment—often physical disabilities—to teach them to sew, and create items like hand-blocked silk napkins. “I’ve been using these products in my jobs for years, and then they see themselves, their work in magazines, and they get pretty excited,” she says. “I’m trying to shine a light on them.”
Designer Ami McKay/photo by Janis Nicolay
McKay has also brought in holiday décor items, like linen stockings, and works with Vancouver-based makers and artists as well. Look for pieces from ceramicist Mimoko and artists Julie Pongrac and Klee Larsen, among others. The shop operates in-person, and has an e-commerce site for those who want to browse from home.
“I want to find these stories from around the world,” says McKay. “I always had in my head that I had to figure out how to help people who needed support, since I was volunteering in India at 23 years old. This has been a dream that’s 25 years in the making.”
711 East Hastings Street
Ami McKay's own interior design projects, like this Vancouver kitchen, have featured the accessories she now stocks in her new Pure Shoppe.