A few weeks ago I took a day to explore New West and discover some beautiful locally owned shops around the downtown area. A mix from vintage goods and curated home decor to coffee shops and arts centres.
Downtown New West is typically associated with as the place to go for weddings dress shopping, but we found so much more to explore on our adventure.
Each shop was full of so much character and handpicked items with meaning whiles others venues that offered delectable food and entertainment.
It’s such a joy to write about these locally owned things to do and places to see in New West. I love discovering gems within local cities and being able to highlight what each place has to offer. Hope you get a chance to spend a day in New West and discover some (or all!) of the placed listed below.
Photography: Julie Christmas Photography
10 Locally Owned Things to Do in New West
1 – Mila & Paige Clothing
665 Columbia St, New Westminster, BC
Mila & Paige recently moved locations and is located right in the hub of downtown New West on Columbia Street. Their cute little letterboard right outside reads, “Not another bridal store”, as they carry a large selection of women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories.
Since their move they have added a much larger collection of accessories. I personally had my eyes on their dangle earrings, necklaces, handbags and hats.
I was happy to see some of my favourite brands on the shelves and within the racks. Some of them included; K Pure Naturals, MACCS the Label, Matt & Natt, Gentle Fawn, One Teaspoon, Brunette the Label and more!
2 – Visions Bookstore
330 Sixth St, New Westminster, BC
This New West locally owned bookstore is filled with books, trinkets, medallions, gemstones, singing bowls and more beautiful items that are crafted to build you up. Visions Bookstore has been operating for over 20 years and offers a unique bookstore experience.
As we walked through the store I found myself wanted to pull into so many different areas of the store. The owner was so open to share about their popular items including the singing bowls and the assortment of medallions they carry.
I loved that their focus was on better living and encouragement to live a happier and healthier lifestyle. Visions Bookstore provides the tools for those seeking that helping hand including the largest selection of books in the lower mainland focusing on recovery, medallions to celebrate those accomplishments and more tools to help continue along your life journey.
Their main focus for books is in the areas of recovery, spirituality, health and wellness. With an abundance of knowledge in those areas Visions Bookstore is a great place to go for guidance in choosing what’s perfect for the life events you are going through.
3 – Uptown Market
331 Sixth St, New Westminster, BC
Not your typical corner store. Uptown Market caught our eye as we walked out of Visions bookstore as it’s just across the street.
We didn’t poke inside but we did take a good look at all the beautiful greenery and floral arrangements right out the front.
4 – El Santo
680 Columbia St, New Westminster
The first time I visited El Santo was for a group event that some other boss ladies had put together. We reserved their back room and back dining tables and enjoyed an amazing evening together.
When we visited most recently I we ordered an assortment of items from the menu and honestly everything was divine! The next day I was already thinking about when I could try to go back.
Their classic margaritas did not disappoint either, our group enjoyed both non-alcoholic and alcoholic and equally enjoyed the taste.
I enjoyed the atmosphere of El Santo and how the modern contemporary decor makes the perfect place for lunch with friends, social events or date night with your man.
Some of the items that stood out to me on the menu included their roasted veggie dish, their large selection of tacos and guacamole trio.
5 – Brick & Mortar Living
42 6th St, New Westminster
From the very early days of starting my blog I discovered Brick & Mortar Living on Instagram. I loved how they brought in locally made items and shared the highlights of owning a local business.
It was amazing to be able to get to visit in person and see all the items they have curated for their store. What stood out to me was how each item that was placed you could tell was made with such care. The materials, attention to detail and colour palettes from one item to the next looked like they were all made for each other.
Hours could have been spent exploring the products that lined that shelves and filled their tabletops. Some of their most popular items include: Locomotive Clothing “New West” Pennant shirts and hats, MerSea mores code necklaces and bracelets, Rosco & Emmit candles and soaps, Tip Tip Tip Press card line, Moonshine Dreams woodwork and Wild Thingz children’s line made from up-cycled sweaters.
Their little children’s play area in the back is perfect when shopping with your kids too. You can find a drawer full of blocks and the cutest table with a chalkboard paint top. Lots to do for the little ones while we do some shopping.
Looking forward to my next adventure in Brick & Mortar and seeing what other local brands I can discover.
6 – Gemini Vintage
43 Sixth Street, New Westminster
After sharing a few stories on Instagram during our visit in Gemini Vintage I got a message from a follower sharing about how sweet the owner is. I couldn’t agree more.
She asked a few questions about my style and then picked out a few items for me to try on. As seen below, I feel like the items were a perfect match. I actually ended up leaving with the white top and it’s now one of my current closet favs.
The items displayed throughout Gemini Vintage are have so much personality. I love shopping thrifted and finding boutique stores like this that create a collection of goods that compliment your wardrobe.
The shoe wall was impressive with the large assortment of vintage heals and booties, from textured leather to purple suede, lots to chose from. Along the shelf were candles created from vintage glasses and created by a local artist for sale within the shop.
It was such a pleasure to discover Gemini Vintage right across the street from Brick and Mortar Living on 6th Street in New West and will for sure be back.
7 – Good Omen
34 Sixth Street New Westminster
Another shop on 6th Street in New West just a little ways down from Brick and Mortar and Gemini Vintage. Here you can find Good Omen. I found a few of my favorites when we did a quick little peak into the store including Abbotsford brand Pink House Organics.
8 – Anvil Centre
777 Columbia Street, New Westminster
I was blown away by not only the absolutely stunning contemporary architecture and marble staircase but with how much the Anvil Centre offers to the community. Even though the Anvil Centre isn’t classified as a small locally owned shop (it’s nothing close to small) it highlights so many local artist within the surrounding areas.
I was given an incredible tour of the Anvil Centre and was able to see a large amount of what is offered there. Not only is it the ideal place in New West for conferences, Trade Shows, Meetings, Community led programs and Special Events but it also is the home for live theatre performances, New West New Media Gallery, Museums & Archives, Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, and a community art space.
The walls along one floor of the Anvil Centre were displaying large banners or artwork from kids within the community while another room was being set up within the New Media Gallery featuring intricate and engaging digital art displays.
Every visit to the Anvil Centre is bound to be a new experience as their gallery’s, museums and exhibits feature astounding displays and talented artists. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we walked into the room with the Lego exhibit, featuring historic New West, present New West and futuristic Downtown New West all with Lego. That alone was something worth exploring.
9 – Old Crow Coffee
655 Front Street, New Westminster
A few places had asked if we had popped into Old Crow coffee yet as we shared our explorations around downtown New West. We made sure to take make a visit in and have been told their food is amazing. We very much enjoyed our drinks.
10 – Tori Blush
610 Columbia Street, New Westminster
Tori Blush is well known for her her luxury beauty services. Everything from bridal and and make up to lash extensions and microblading eyebrows. We popped in to grab a I Like Her Style Vancouver magazine that I had contributed to and couldn’t resist a photo in her gorgeous space.