Steampunk Shopping at Sanctuary

There’s this little shop up in Edmonton that I make a point of going to every time I’m up there.  Part of me thinks “oh, why can’t we have a shop like this in Calgary?” which is then often followed with either “we probably do, and you are ignoring it” or “yeah, so you could go once a year like you do to Sanctuary in Edmonton?” depending on how jaded and bitter my inner monologue is feeling that day….

Sanctuary display in Edmonton

So, a while back I mentioned Sanctuary in a post about Steampunk Supportive Skirts – well I was going through my photos that had been downloaded off my phone (before I realized to take the film off *headdesk*) but that I hadn’t loaded up yet to this blog, and I found these photos – quick shots of their “Steampunk” displays.  Goggles, respirators, medals, compasses, cameos, keys, pocket watches, telescopes, lockets, and other various icons… some of which with the whole ‘glue-a-gear’ theory of Steampunking… others a bit more creative.

Sanctuary display in Edmonton

Since its one of the first ‘retail’ displays I’ve seen of all the kinds of things I’ve seen on Etsy and other places online, I thought it might be interesting to show. I can’t say that anything there really caught my eye and made me want to buy it.. but still interesting. (Mind you, I do have that mini telescope already, and pocket watches, and cameos, and lockets…)

If you haven’t been to Sanctuary before, it’s mostly a goth and new-age kind of store with clothing, books, crystals, incense, jewelry, footwear, hair dye, etc.  Think of it like a Hot Topic (USA) but with less emphasis on band t-shirts, or Torrid (also USA) if you were only looking to have something fit your left thigh.  Their shop is WAY more interesting than their website though – the site doesn’t do the shop credit at all.

My favorite things

  • hair dye (they carry stuff I haven’t found elsewhere in Canada)
  • jewelry (it’s fun and unique)
  • window-shopping the clothing
  • physical atmosphere

My least favorite things:

  • they carry VERY small sizes so the only thing I have ever bought from their clothing racks is a fishnet shirt…
  • the staff tend to be rude and ignore the customers – regardless of what you look like/how you’re dressed/what size you are. It seems to be equal-opportunity rudeness
  • their prices – they are sometimes silly-expensive.  I’ve found identical items for half the price at other stores – but there is something to be said for not having to shop around.
  • the fact that the clothing is off-limits unless you have a staff person there.  A staff person who will NOT help you find sizes or ask you if you want to try something on btw – they’re apparently just there to make sure you don’t steal anything.
Have you been to Sanctuary?  What do you think of their positives and negatives?  The folks on YELP seemed to have a similar experience as I did… leave your thoughts in the comments below!  Do you think that steampunk and goth/new age are a good fit?

Sanctuary Curio Shoppe
10310 81 Ave NW
Edmonton, AB T6E 1X2
(780) 944-2654

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