THE QUEEN V
The Queen V is a boutique shop located in the heart of bustling Toronto, On Canada.
We specialize in only vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly and natural products.
We also dedicate our space to products from other Canadian small businesses.
Our products range from skincare to household items, clothing, gifts and even goodies for your pets!
We strives in bringing the best quality products to our customers. Every item goes through a thorough investigation before being tested to ensure our customers are getting the best possible quality of products at competitive prices.
Our 'brick and mortar' structure also ensure we can keep a close relationship with our sellers and customers. This means we know our products up close and personal, as well as making sure our customers can get the best custom service possible.
Ever since she was 5 years old, Gabriela Cortez had a natural gift for business. From selling baked good from her home, to handmade perfumes at school and even custom art for family and friends!
Extremely creative, an energetic multi-tasker, and always enjoying to keep her mind and hands busy, she knew she wanted to create and run a business of her own.
Trouble is, she could never decide which one. A restaurant? A beauty parlor? A night club?...the list went on and on.
In 2010 she had move to her birthplace Santiago, Chile and decided to open a bakery as well as train as a chef.
To perfect her craft, she went on to study International Gastronomy. At the time, she wasn't vegan, not even vegetarian. In fact, she was trained as all other cooks to scoff at them. To find pride and strength in butchering.
However, in 2014 she adopted her first dog, Coco. It was then she developed an understanding of what it means to be responsible for another living creature. Also, it occurred to her that the anatomy of her dog resembled that of the animals she had to sever body parts of the animals in the kitchen. Suddenly, the connection was made. The thought of killing another living creature and taking away their life was something she could no longer take a part of. She turned vegetarian, cutting out all meats and fish.
She studied videos and documentaries about animal farming, determined to stay informed of what she was putting into her body. Over time, she discovered that the farming practices for dairy and eggs were nightmarish. And the nutritional value, was insignificant. Everything she needed, she could get from plants!
In 2016, she went vegan and never looked back. She also packed 3 suitcases, grabbed Coco and boarded a flight back to Toronto to start a new chapter in her life.
With not much more than whatever her suitcases could hold, she began a new life. Working her way from cafe, to bakeries until she ended up as a head baker at one of the top vegan bakeries in Toronto, Bloomer's. Working with so many vegans she realized that there was more to veganism than just eating plant-based foods. Animals were being used for our clothes, skincare products, accessories. And if their bodies we'rent being used in the products, they were used to be tested on. And if it wasn't that, the products we're environmentally unfriendly, causing contamination which was damaging the earth and more animals in the process.
She realized there was more she needed to change than just her food. But there was a problem, where would she find all these products she needed? Even the natural shops carried items that had animal ingredients in them. Lotions were made with beeswax. Natural dental floss was made from silk worms. Soap had goats milk in it. Natural kitchen cleaners were tested on animals. Vegan shampoo had sodium lauryl sulfate. Toothbrushes were made with plastic and packaged in more plastic. It was beyond frustrating to say the least! So what could she do to make her life easier? Make herself a shop.
That's right, she decided she wanted to have an all vegan, natural, cruelty-free, and sustainable shop where she could find everything she needed in one place! And she wasn't the only one! The demand was out there. People wanted the same comfortable, yet pleasurable shopping experience.
She also discovered that there were hundreds of great small business all over Canada, making the best natural and vegan products. Many unknown because they were small business and looking for a place to sell their products from Newfoundland all the way to Vancouver. She set about purchasing products from all over, testing each and every one and putting together the foundation for her shop.
The vision was set, the purpose clear. And from there, The Queen V began to form. March 2018, Gabriela got her business licence. September 2018 she opened her first pop-up. December 2018 she quit her full-time job. January 2019, The Queen V officially opened in it's semi-permanent pop-up location at the Make Good Studios and will stay there until the end of 2019 while preparations are made for a bigger and permanent shop.
Meanwhile, The Queen V keeps growing. New products are being found and tested every day. Videos and tutorials are up on The Queen V Boutique YouTube Channel. And new posts with recipes created by Gabriela herself, and other articles are being written whenever she can juggle it, for The Daily V blog.
It's safe to say, The Queen V has build momentum, and thrives to be the fore-front collective for everything that is plant-based, natural and sustainable. Working with you to help heal our bodies, our minds and our planet. One carbon footprint at a time.
So thank-you, for your continuous support and friendship. And for moving forward with us.
From all of us to you, remember...
Be The Change