Spend Locally: Smoking Lily

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Owner: Trish Tacoma
Website: Smoking Lily
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 250-382-5459 / 604-873-5459

Originally founded by Trish Tacoma and Julie Higginson in Victoria, Smoking Lily has now been around for over a decade and grown to have a sister store in Vancouver (yipee!). While their clothing, accessories, and home decor are made from great high quality fabrics, and cut to flatter, what makes them instantly recognizable is the screenprinted designs that set them apart from the rest.

Smoking Lily

One of my favorite things about their designs is that most of them are science and nature themed. They're known for printing images that help you show your hippest nerd, by sporting the periodic table, various plants, a microscope, or a creepy but beautiful swarm of insects. They even had a tea cozy with Louis Riel on it, that I can't believe I didn't buy last time I was there--it hit home with my prairie girl roots, but there were just too many amazing things and I had to leave it there for another day. Be prepared to find something you'll fall in love with and just have to take home with you when you walk in the door. Their stuff is so unique, with the perfect balance of artsy hipster and inner geek, that there's really no way to go wrong.

Sash from Smoking Lily

The also sell their stuff online, though if you are near Victoria or Vancouver, I strongly suggest that you head to the shop--because the prints vary so much and many pieces are very unique, that there are tons of options to sift through and fall in love with that aren't photographed on the website. Their clothing includes coats, dresses, skirts, and shirts (including boys tees), and they've got a great selection of accessories like wallets, bags and scarves. They've also got funky stuff for your home, like tea cozies, napkins, and tea towels, all made with great silks, wools, and cottons, and printed with love.

Cape of Good Hope shawl from Smoking Lily (detail)

There are a few other places that sell Smoking Lily wares if you aren't in Victoria or the Lower Mainland. The Vancouver location is in Mount Pleasant, which is a great area to spend an afernoon, poking around all the great local shops, having a cup of tea, and peoplewatching. If you haven't been there before, it's got to go on your list of places to spend an afternoon!

UPDATED: Trish adds, Smoking Lily just started printing on baby "onesies" from a local company called that uses organic cotton, Zee Spot, so your little ones can enjoy the awesomeness too!