Ziggy’s at Home offers the epitome of good taste in furniture, design, lamps, housewares, bath goods, and gifts. Modern and eclectic, proprietor Julie Fass shops the world for her unusual and elegant stock.
Bath and beauty products, Lampes Berger, and BacSac outdoor planters from France, Fatboy chairs and Secrid wallets from Denmark, Chilewich indoor-outdoor carpets from the United States, Sloane loose leaf teas, Cate and Levi stuffed animals and puppets, EvJewels from Toronto, a range of lighting… a huge variety of quality products are found in the store and on her website.
Customers often browse the Ziggy’s website, then visit the shop to enjoy the best of personal service. Furniture pieces in her store are samples of lines available through catalogue order. As part of the personal service she provides, Julie will help source exactly what her customers want, and send them to the manufacturers’ showrooms to see for themselves. Complimentary gift-wrapping is an added touch of care which is much appreciated.
When Julie Fass opened her business ten years ago, she gave it the nickname of her grandfather, Zelig Fass, to honour his history and the family tradition of personal service in retail sales.
For 50 years, until just before Zelig Fass died at the age of 91, Fass Leather Goods at 794 College Street was the place to go for purses, wallets, luggage, and briefcases. Ziggy Fass and his wife were Polish Jews from Krakow who had escaped to a displaced persons camp in Russia, and then immigrated to Toronto with their son after World War II. Initially, they operated the store in the front half, and lived in the back. They made holsters for the RCMP, medical sample bags for the pharmaceutical industry, and briefcases for Grand & Toy. As the business expanded, the family moved upstairs.
Although the family ultimately moved to the north of Toronto, the shop on College Street remained the centre of family activities. Mrs. Fass had been the salesperson working the front of the store and she knew all the customers. After she died in the 1970s, the grandchildren and their cousins worked in the store on Saturdays and Sundays, helping their grandfather. Julie remembers that her grandfather always had work for them to do. Once, when she was very young, he gave her a jar of keys and asked her to find the key that would fit the lock he had. An impossible task? Not for Julie. See the video of Ziggy Fass in action on the Ziggy’s at Home webpage.
The style has changed, but the passion for customer service remains the same. Julie Fass is a board member of the local Promenade Business Improvement Area, and is as determined as her grandfather was to make the retail shops on College Street a destination. The store hours are Monday and Tuesday 11:00 to 7:00; Wednesday to Saturday 10:00 to 7:00 and Sunday 11:00 to 5:00. The shop’s telephone number is 416-535-8728.