The Riley Park boutique wants to be your go-to spot for coconut-scented floss, Japanese bath soaks and more.
Sunja Link Body Shoppe was born where all good ideas are: in the shower. Well, okay, not actually in the shower, but in the bathroom—close enough—where, one evening, local fashion designer Sunja Link was squeezing out the last bit of her Weleda fluoride-free toothpaste from the tube. Link is, admittedly, a sucker for high-quality natural products, and she wondered why there wasn’t an accessible neighbourhood spot where she could stock up on her preferred toothpaste, face creams and other beauty-and-wellness essentials in one fell swoop. Suddenly, a light bulb went off. “I said to my husband, ‘I have a business idea!’” she recalls. “He thought I was joking, but, six months later, it came to fruition.” Situated in the former Umeboshi space (R.I.P.) at one of Main Street’s hippest intersections—neighbours include Eugene Choo, Liberty Bakery and Woo to See You—Sunja Link Body Shoppe offers Vancouverites a place to restock, sample and discover hard-to-find beauty and health goods from around the globe. Think nourishing skin balms crafted in small batches by the Portland-based Olio E Osso, energizing mustard seed–infused bath soaks from Dr. Singha and even biodegradable eyeshadow palettes by the recently launched Aether Beauty. There are fish-oil supplements, adaptogen powders and unprocessed cosmetic-grade honeys, too, plus room for Link’s line of easy-breezy, ethically-produced-in-Vancouver womenswear. The designer is a champion of independently owned, sustainable and cruelty-free brands, so you can expect these values to be reflected in her stock—which customers are more than welcome to try, touch and smell, by the way. “The whole experience is very tactile,” she says. “It’s all about scents and how things feel. I think those things are hard to replicate online.” In addition, the shop plays host to a rotating cast of estheticians and masseuses, who offer spa services like facials, hot stone massages and waxing in a separate room in the back. Sharing the Body Shoppe with local beauticians was originally a way for Link to make the rent work, but it’s become an attractive draw for folks looking for a little me time. “Everything came together—and I know this sounds cheesy—really organically,” the designer laughs. Link wants to be a friendly face in the neighbourhood—whether that means she’s greeting you as you arrive for a deep-flow massage, helping you narrow down a gift for a friend or just ringing in your restock of some good ol’ toothpaste. “I want this to be people’s go-to,” she says.
Sunja Link Body Shoppe
3638 Main St. sunjalink.com