Downtown York hosted its seventh annual “Boutique Week” last month.
I was already a big fan of the city’s Indigo Bleu boutique (follow on Instagram if you haven’t already, I love owner Zara’s daily try-ons), but I was blown away by the other fashion options York has to offer.
My interest was especially piqued by Gusa by Victoria, which offers women’s clothing and accessories, art, and other home goods.
Owner Victoria Kageni-Woodard found a love for sewing — and later fashion design — while growing up in the coastal town of Mombasa, Kenya, and she’s carried this passion as she grew and moved to the States.
She describes Mombasa as similar to Miami and for that reason, she chooses to use bright, vibrant colors and fabrics to maintain the “sunny disposition” found in those places, even if it may be cold and gray here. Her pieces are chic and cool, but you can still feel that sense of warmth – Gusa does mean “touch” in Swahili after all.
Gusa is a true intersection of culture and fashion, with rich textures, bold prints, and beautiful craftsmanship. It’s really hard to capture the style in words, so I’ll let Gusa’s Instagram speak for itself. Her line is just incredible and they are all handmade on-site!
Overall, Victoria is committed to cultivating a vibe that is celebrated and appreciated by people of all walks of life from all over the world and her appreciation for her – and others’ – culture can be seen throughout Gusa’s other inventory, too. She carries vibrant art pieces by local celebrated artists Ophelia Chambliss, Kayode Malomo and Roza Luz Catterall, and silk cocoon necklaces from Zee Linda.
What’s really special about Gusa is that it’s not only a boutique but a classroom as well. Victoria offers several sewing workshops to help shoppers of all ages tap into their inner fashion designer and learn the basics of sewing and designing. And if it wasn’t already cool enough, Gusa also offers Kiswahili workshops for children and adults to broaden their worldviews and hosts monthly First Friday events featuring Kenyan food, drinks, and music.
Gusa truly is a cultural experience and definitely worth checking out if you’re in the White Rose City!
Find Victoria at 252 W Philadelphia Street in York or shop online if you can’t make it into town.