Easy Tiger Goods Inc
By YP Contributor

Proof that the Adage “It’s Better to Give than to Receive” is True

Easy Tiger Goods has become a staple on Dundas Street West. But nothing is more of a fixture than the store’s sometimes-turquoise-haired owner, Zai Rajkotwala.

In the process of crossing the street—an act that takes less than five minutes—Zai manages to compliment a passing girl on her outfit (“you killed it”), provides life advice to one her male neighbours (“you need to simplify”) and sets up a networking group for female Dundas West shop owners.

“I can really connect with people. That’s my biggest skill—relating to people and getting them to trust me,” says Zai. “I just love helping people.”

We’re not a trendy store. We’re very classic and simple and we’re minimal. It’s something a mom would like and her daughter would like. - Zai Rajkotwala, owner
Easy Tiger Goods, Housewares, paper goods, leather goods, apothecary,

A Store that your Grandma, Mom and Daughter are all Going to Love

This love of helping people is evident through Zai’s interactions in her gift and housewares store; she’s become a pro at assisting bumbling boyfriends choose the perfect “just because” gift. But don’t expect to find vases stamped with birds or t-shirts silkscreened with anchors inside Easy Tiger.

“We’re not a trendy store. We’re very classic and simple and we’re minimal,” says Zai. “It’s something a mom would like and her daughter would like.”

All of the products at Easy Tiger are tied together by one common thread—great design. The stock is carefully selected by Zai with the help of employees Joanne Cheung, an illustrator who is responsible for the store’s branding, and Meghan Macdonald, a textile artist and designer.

From the jewellery that adorns the countertops, to the personal care products lining the shelves, to the fresh floral bouquets that sell out on weekends, Easy Tiger only carries products that are beautifully designed and of high quality. But just because you’ll find top design here doesn’t mean you should necessarily expect to pay top dollar.

“You don’t have to spend tons of money to get something that’s handmade. You can get something that’s made in China or you get something that’s made in Toronto for the same price,” explains Zai, who prides herself on knowing the story behind every product in her store.

Take for example, Akai Ceramic Studio bowls, which are handmade by a Japanese couple in Toronto’s east end. “They make amazing things and don’t know how amazing they are,” says Zai. Or the glass blown flask by Harbourfront Centre artist-in-residence Jesse Bromm. “He likes to make stuff that is utilitarian and clear, which is rare in the glass community,” says Meghan. “The design is pared down and it’s classic.”

Easy Tiger Goods, Housewares, paper goods, leather goods, apothecary,

Heartstrings Come Attached

The only thing Zai loves more than the stories behind her products are the stories of her customers. While the in-house coffee bar attracts a rotating cast of regulars, Zai cherishes the daily interactions she has with gift-givers.

These everyday vignettes of Dundas West life are what Zai’s business thrives on—a son sharing a Phillip’s Ice Pop with his father on the bench outside; a husband buying Catbird initial rings—one to represent each of his children—for his wife; a young boy thoughtfully selecting a candle as a gift for his grandma.

“People buy things to make other people happy and I think that’s really sweet,” says Zai. “I’m a really sentimental person. I like the shop because I feel like thoughtful people come in to buy thoughtful gifts for other people.”

Easy Tiger Goods, Housewares, paper goods, leather goods, apothecary,
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