Alice & Léonie, Apple & Ouchy give you the lowdown on this trendy Cabbagetown store
By the Get Leashed Doggy Style team
Everyone knows that dogs make the best accessories. But if you’re looking for something to add a bit of zip to your outfit, or just up your accessory game with quality products, Pipler has a lot for you. Plus – they’ve got the dogs! Two little pups that couldn’t look less alike have become models for the shop’s goods by peppering Pipler’s Instagram account and being an adorable, warm welcoming party for customers.
Cabbagetown is an area on the rise with small, hip businesses beginning to set up shop and bring new life to the already bright culture of Toronto’s downtown-east side. Even Get Leashed is moving into the neighborhood!
Alice & Léonie couldn’t be happier to be a part of the culture of the area. The community is vibrant and totally accepting of new shops with residents popping in regularly just to say hello. As far as dog culture goes, step onto the side streets in Cabbagetown and you’ll see old homes full of families and of course, dog lovers. It’s the perfect place for a store supporting local quality goods and an even better place for dog owners!
Alice & Léonie (and sometimes their dogs) answer our questions and expand on their lives together…
Please tell us about yourself:
Alice & Léonie: We own Pipler Accessories in Cabbagetown! One of the great things about our job is finding new brands. It’s like weaving a tapestry over the Internet to find something that is not only new, but also that fits into our four cornerstones: handmade, charitable, local, and sustainable. A bonus is if it’s fair trade. Plus you get to see so much stuff along the way and learn a ton about processes and people.
The other great part of our job is being able to bring the dogs to work every day. There is no greater joy than knowing your dogs are almost never alone. Another favorite thing is the customers. We get to know so many people in the neighborhood and it’s such a community. Everyone is supporting and rooting for each other.
Please tell us about your pets:
Alice & Léonie: Apple, 6 years-old, is a Yorkie mix. Ouchy, 2 years-old, is a poodle. Alice had never had a dog, and Léonie had never been without one, so we got Apple first. Then after a few years, we felt like Apple deserved a playmate. When we got Ouchy, we became a self-contained unit; no more waiting for other dogs to show up at the park. We like to think Apple is most like Alice at heart (cranky in the morning, doesn’t like loud noises, feigns apathy at most things), and Ouchy is Léonie (awake the second the eyes open in the morning, ready for anything, makes friends with everyone). But our favorite thing about them is that they are super in love with each other. They spoon, and stand up for each other, and lick each other’s faces constantly.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
Alice & Léonie: Ideally it includes a balance of time outside and time at the shop. A good dinner, good friends, maybe even a visit to family nearby.
Apple & Ouchy: Ideally we see all our doggy friends at once: Grapes, Cashie, Napoleon, Ducky, Gucci and Coco. We like having friend time at home, but prefer having as many visits to the park as possible. And liver treats all day, erry day. #YOLO
Describe your personal style:
Léonie: If it doesn’t itch and it has a drop crotch, I’m in.
Alice: Minimalist with a twist of grunge and a dash of hippie.
What inspires you?
Alice & Léonie: We are inspired by the entrepreneurs we work with. They are doing great work in so many ways, and we really respect the spirit and the art of their craft.
How would you describe the look and feel of your shop?
Alice & Léonie: We call it “Industrial Heritage.” It’s about a mix of metals and heritage wood. We like to reclaim pieces when we can, and if it was in a family home for years, even better. History only improves things. Our store feels like our home, and that’s what we wanted — a welcoming space that you want to hang out in.
Please share a relationship-defining pet story:
The best Ouchy characteristic is how he runs out the front door. He’s a break-for-it kind of dog, and slips out if you open the door even a crack. He doesn’t run off, he just goes about 3 feet out and then rolls onto his back. The other day, he ran out as we came in, and each of us though that he was with the other. A neighbor knocked on our door and told us he was just staring at the door, sitting down. We can only imagine what’s going through his head: “HAHA! I tricked you! YEAH! … wait … guys?… HELLO?”
The best Apple memory is probably when we brought her home. She was the size of your hand. When we got her, one of her ears hadn’t gone up yet and you could tell she was self-conscious about it. Then the day her ear went up, it was like we had a brand new dog. All of a sudden she was spunky and smart and had opinions about everything. That’s still who she is now; chatty, smart, and does what she wants, when she wants.