A model shows off the popular periodic table dress from The Smoking Lily boutique. (File contributed/The Smoking Lily)

Victoria shop sees spike in sales after Alberta medical officer wears periodic table dress

The Smoking Lily is doing well despite having to close up shop due to COVID-19 fears

A Victoria-based clothing shop has seen a spike in sales – despite closing last week due to COVID-19 concerns – after Alberta’s chief medical officer wore one of its dresses during a COVID-19 briefing.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw wore a grey periodic table dress on TV last week, an item which has been a top seller at Victoria’s The Smoking Lily Boutique for seven years.

The zero-waste, local clothing store is based out of its 1713 Government St. location in Victoria, with an additional retail location in Vancouver.

“She’s actually a longtime customer of ours, so she’s been wearing four or five of our pieces this week,” explained The Smoking Lily owner Trish Tacoma. “But the periodic table dress is the item where everyone is like ‘that’s the one.’”

Patrons have been sending screenshots all week, and the shop’s inbox has been “teeming” with requests for orders, since the dress was discontinued six months ago.

“We checked to see if it’s possible to make some more, and found enough material from our suppliers to make about 100 dresses,” Tacoma said. “We put 100 online, and as of 1 p.m. [on Tuesday] 85 per cent were sold.”

Tacoma says the printer, cutter and seamstress can all do their jobs in isolation from one another, but that means it will take a few weeks for the dresses to make their way to customers.

“It’ll take a little bit of time to make them, but people have been understanding, ” she said. “Besides, if you were planning on wearing the dress to an event anywhere, it’s probably been cancelled.”

For more information visit smokinglily.com.

– With files from the Canadian Press

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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Smoking Lily owner Trish Tacoma says her company’s inbox has been teeming since Deena Hinshaw was seen on TV wearing the charcoal grey half-sleeve dress emblazoned with the periodic table of elements on Tuesday, March 17. (Smoking Lily photo)