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Time Travel with Devon through Video

new west store video

Hi friends,

Devon here. I’m the manager of Venus & Mars. I’ve been with the shop for (almost) 12 years. If you frequent the shop, found us at an event, or have interacted with us on social media then you’ve probably talked to ma at some point. I also write these newsletters/ blogs. During the Pandemic, I have been trying to keep in touch with all you lovely people twice a week because we miss you and we want to let you know that we’re not going anywhere. But today, I feel like I have just run out of ideas and I don’t know what to tell you about. I mean there’s only so many words I can write about Face Masks and How to Dress for a Pandemic. And then it hit me. You probably need entertainment. I know I do. So I went through our old YouTube videos and found a few that I thought you might enjoy watching. 

This is a tour of our old store in New West. Way back in the early 2000s, we did a lot of alternative prom and bridal gowns. We were so busy that we had to open a second location in New West on Columbia street. This video is from October 2009. You can see all the gorgeous fantasy gowns that people would wear for special occasions. 

This is a tour of our flagship store on Cambie Street in Gastown. We moved to our current location in November 2012. This shop was a little bit smaller and a little bit edgier than our New West location. Behind the counter, you can see steps that lead up to the loft. Sanne had her studio up there. She would accidently frighten customers by yelling stuff down to me when they didn’t know she was up there. 

This video is a tour of our current location at 324 West Hastings Street. The Necro Hour made this for us 2 years ago. She has been a friend of the store for over a decade. If you follow us on social media, you’ve probably seen lots of pictures of her as she models for us frequently. In fact, you can use her affiliate code, thenecrohour to get 15% off online purchases (free shipping within Canada).

As an added bonus, here’s a very old video of The Necro Hour telling me a ghost story about the New West store while I cackle in the background.

I hope this entertained and distracted you briefly. We’re looking forward to when things go back to normalish so we can see all your lovely faces again. What are you wearing right now? Show us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!

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Tik Tok

Hi Friends,

We hope you’re doing well. We hope you’re all being safe and continuing to take isolation seriously. It’s been difficult but at least it’s sunny out now. 

Okay so hands up, how many of you have downloaded Tik Tok since this whole pandemic started. No really, you can tell us. Devon downloaded it and she’s been addicted to it. It’s a great way to be creative and pass the time when you’re stuck at home. Plus you get to see how other people around the world are coping with these unprecedented times. Although we’re closed, Devon has been going to the store 5 days a week to process online orders, take pictures for the website and do inventory. By the way, if you want to do an order with curbside pick up instead of shipping that can totally be arranged. You can either email us or call the store to set that up. 

But back to Tik Toc. Devon has made a couple of Tik Toks in the store so we made a little compilation for your viewing pleasure in case you’ve already watched everything on Netflix, Prime and Crave. Everything in the video is available for purchase on the website. To save you time, here’s a link to the Face Masks. Everyone wants Face Masks right now (in case you weren’t aware, we’re donating a mask for every mask sold to healthcare workers). Enjoy! 

What are you doing to keep busy right now? Are you learning a new language? Baking bread? Cutting your own hair in frustration? We want to know all about it. And send us your Tik Tok videos, Devon will follow you! Chat with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter


Venus & Mars 

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Online Costume Party!

Hi friends,

We just quickly wanted to say thank you for your continued support right now. We’re making new Face Masks all the time to keep up with demand. As you may or may not know we end up with remnants of fabric that are too small for waistcoats or skirts but too big to justify throwing away. This has been a great way for us to give purpose to that fabric and reduce waste. It has also allowed us to extend our charity to healthcare heroes. We are donating a mask for every mask sold and thanks to you, we are in the process of donating 42 masks to Abbotsford Hospital so that healthcare workers have something to wear grocery shopping or to offer to patients therefore saving surgical masks for their intended purpose. Thank you so much for helping us make that possible. You rock!

We’re coming up on a month of practicing self-isolation. Some of you have been at it even longer than that. The cabin fever is setting in. We miss our friends and being able to wear fabulous outfits to fabulous parties but we have to stay strong and keep up the social distancing. Going out now will make everything worse and we’d be putting a lot of people at risk. We could easily overwhelm the healthcare system if there was a spike in COVID-19 cases. Nobody wants that. But still, we really miss dressing up and dancing. If only there was some way of doing that at home…

Oh wait, there is! It’s so important to take guidelines seriously but it’s also incredibly important to do silly things at home so everything doesn’t feel doom and gloom all the time. What we propose is having a costume dance party over Skype or Zoom. Come up with a theme. Make cocktails or mocktails. Play some good dance music and party with your pals.  Here’s some ideas:

  1. Steampunk Party – Research Victorian cocktails and see if you can make them with stuff you have at home. Play some electro-swing. Put on your favorite corset and waistcoat and see if you can party like it’s 1899.
  2. Vampire Party – Dim the lights, light the candles. Play some Bauhaus (if you’re a modern vampire) or maybe some Bach if you’re an Anne Rich vampire. Wear a poet shirt and frock coat and pour yourself some red wine. Be sexy and forlorn. 
  3. Psychedelic Rainbow Party – Wear sparkly leggings and prism goggles. Listen to electronic music.Turn the lights on and off really fast to simulate a strobe light. 

Do you have any other online, social distancing party ideas? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We really appreciate your continued support during this time. Thank you so much for every purchase, follow, share and like. It makes a difference. If you know someone who needs online party ideas please direct them to our website!

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Donating Masks!

Donating Masks

Hi friends,

As you know, we’re still closed. Right now, it’s easy to slip into negative thought patterns and focus on the bad stuff. Everything seems a little bit harder when the world is in chaos. So when good things happen, it’s important to really embrace it and be grateful. You, awesome people, make us so grateful! Thank you for your continued support through the store closure. You’re helping us pay rent and pay our employees without going into debt. It’s hard to stress just how much every online order means to us. THANK YOU!

You seem to love our face masks. They have been flying off the shelves. We’ve got 4 new styles uploaded to the website and several more styles that are coming soon. Stand out at the grocery store with a silver face mask. Safety and style can finally be together as the power couple we deserve. 

Another way of seeing through the negativity in the world is to pay it forward. Your support and love of our masks has been inspiring to us. We want to help health care workers the way you’ve been helping us. We’ve decided to donate one mask for every mask purchased to Abbotsford Hospital. Our masks won’t be a replacement for their surgical masks but they can offer some protection for health care workers and administrative workers in their personal lives. So you can help us and help healthcare workers and help us help healthcare workers so that healthcare workers can help all of us.

We hope you’re doing well right now. It’s a strange and anxious time, take care of yourself. Do what you can to find positivity in your daily life and thank you again for your support. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for outfit inspiration. If you know someone who needs a mask, forward this email to them.


Venus & Mars

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How To Be a Quaranqueen

Face Masks

Hi Friends,

Thank you so much for all your support this week. Your online orders are keeping us going right now. We really appreciate it and we love you so much. Can you guess what our best seller is right now? If you guessed Face Masks, you’re absolutely 100% right. Can you guess what our second best seller is? Poet Shirts. I totally get the Face Masks right now but why the poet shirts? Is there an online poet shirt party we don’t know about? 

As you know, we’ve been closed since March 18th. That’s just less than three weeks or 19 days or 456 hours or 27,360 minutes of being at home. We think we’ve unlocked the secret to being a Quarantine Queen in that time. To be clear, being a Quarantine Queen does not reflect your gender. Men, women, non-binary folk, and fluid folk can be a Quarantine Queen regardless of how they identify.  We’re using ‘Queen’ as a reflection of royalty not gender but if you would like to change it King or Bishop or Duchess that’s totally cool too. Here’s your step by step guide:

Step One:

Take care of yourself. You know what that looks like for you. Maybe it’s about limiting the amount of time you spend on social media. Or it could be about having a really good morning routine. Perhaps, taking care of yourself means exercising and eating well or it could be watching your favorite 80s movies with popcorn. It will look differently for everyone and you know what’s best for you. You’re a Quaranqueen afterall.

Step Two:

Take care of others. The best way you can take care of people you care about right now is to wash your hands, practice social distancing, wearing face masks if you have to go out and stay home if you have any COVID symptoms. If you want to be a little more proactive check in (preferably over the phone) on elderly people. Make sure they have access to groceries, essentials and medication. You may also want to check in on any of your single parent friends. Make sure they have what they need, even if what they need is to talk to another adult.

Step Three:

Take care of your community. This will be different for everyone. It can be as easy as supporting local, small businesses – like us. You have no idea how happy getting an online order makes us right now. It’s like being given a life preserver when you’re drowning. If you have a favorite restaurant, now is the time to get delivery or take out from them. Buying Gift Cards can make a huge difference as well. If you can’t support your favorite small business financially, following and liking their social media can make a huge difference. 

Bonus Step:

Wear crazy outfits. I mean if you don’t take advantage of not having a dress code now then when will you? Check out our What to Wear in Quarantine blog for outfit ideas.

We hope you’re doing well right now. It’s a strange and anxious time, take care of yourself. Become the Quaranqueen, you were born to be! Thank you again for your support. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for outfit inspiration. If you know a fellow Quaranqueen, forward this email or share our website with them.


Venus & Mars