Opening our store on 5th

Running an online clothing store can be an odd experience. As someone who really doesn't do online shopping, sometimes I wonder if I am the right person to run an online store! Not being able to try things on is something I really struggle with. But I also think this lens helps me see all the challenges to online shopping so I can do my best to tackle those obstacles. 

In January 2022 we opened the front half of our studio to the public. We were in an industrial side of town and it was hard to see our shop even if you were standing right in front of it. Early this year my heart started to tickle with the craving for change and a strong desire to open a ‘real store’. I absolutely loved the feeling of seeing my community members come through the door and watch them as they touched our beautiful fabrics and tried everything on. Being able to respond with ‘yes, we do have your size’ is a joy I struggle to put into words.

The main reasons I wanted to open and real storefront:

  • To provide a beautiful location where we could showcase our goods
  • Many of our retail shops who carry our line only carry up to the XL, I wanted a space where you can come and try on EVERYTHING we offer
  • To experience the joy of seeing people try things on and look fabulous
  • A place where I could collect items from other brands I admire and support
  • To create an inspiring environment to play dress up and get creative
Last Sunday a woman messaged asking if we were open (we are open tues-sat). She said it was her birthday and all she wanted to do was to come and shop at our store. I said for her birthday I could make it work. So I cleaned off my hands from gardening and she made her way up from Victoria (3 hour drive) with her partner, her mom, and her son(and two dogs). She came and shopped, she tried on 40 items, I pulled everything in her size from the back from old seasons. She tried on the XL, the XXL, the 1X, 2X and 3X. Together we played and she found out what size she was in every Shelter item. Her mom and I sat at the couch outside the changeroom and gave our thoughts on every item. 

    She told a story of when she was younger and worked at Le Chateau. A young woman came in looking for a grad dress and was trying on lots of things with very little help. She was about to leave, very sad and defeated, when she stopped her and actually helped her find a few things that fit well. She explained that when she physically shops in stores there are occasionally a few items that will fit, and she has to choose between those few things, rather than actually getting to choose what she likes best.

    The birthday girl left with 4 outfits that she adored and a huge smile on her face. This is why I opened a store.

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