Retail Therapy…

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The above definition may mock shopping, but I believe that we can all benefit from some retail therapy!

I have been a shopper since I was a teenager!  Some of you will know that I have spent a fair amount of time on both sides of the cash register.  I started working in retail when I was in high school.  In my 20s,  I studied Fashion Retail at college…a perfect combination for me as I loved both fashion and retail.  Later as co-owner of an interior decorating company with a friend, we had challenging projects. One of our clients, a new home builder, required us to fill up to 4,000 sq. ft. with a minimal budget with the expectation to showcase the home to the best advantage.  My final career (so far) in retail was owning/operating a home decor boutique (pictured above) which tied all my shopping experience together!

A perceptive retailer edits the product mix to bring the consumer the best options and presents it in a pleasing manner.  He/she selects inventory that is not mass-produced, often better quality and competitively priced.  From experience, I can say that finding that delicate balance is not for the faint of heart! Retailers make a conscious effort to consider their clientele. They strive to excite all the senses,  something that can’t be replicated by surfing the net.

Online shopping really is the demise of small business.  Do consumers know how difficult it is to be successful in independent retailing?  I wonder… The truth is it’s stressful…doing the buying months in advance, crossing fingers that you’ve chosen well, counting on a strong economy and hoping that the weather cooperates.  There basically is no margin for error.

Brick and mortar retailers in my city have suffered some huge losses this summer.  A high-end fashion department store has announced its closing in January, and a favourite home decor store closed last month.  Many other small boutiques are struggling, and the proprietors’ are praying they can hang on.

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I know that most of you are pressed for time juggling demanding jobs and hectic personal lives…but instead of clicking “add to cart“,  I encourage you to visit your local retailer.  This exchange could become a win-win for both you and the small business owner in your community! You may find exactly what you are looking for or stumble onto something you didn’t even know you needed/ wanted!  It could be the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

When I’m out and about, I often see my old customers.  Even after four years, it’s always a  bittersweet encounter for me.  Many of you reminisce about the store, saying how much you miss stopping by.  I want you all to know how much I miss you too…❤️

“You can take the girl out of the shoppe, but you can’t take the shoppe out of the girl.”…Judy

xxx Judy


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4 thoughts on “Retail Therapy…”

  1. Judy, you are such a caring person to write this blog post with us small retailers in mind. It is SO true that online shopping has forever changed retail. It would be such a shame if all of the individual boutiques closed for they add to the charm and aesthetic of a town or city. They are places like minded people can meet and chat. They are where you can be inspired to find something that evokes your true self….where you get to meet the person behind the curtain, so to speak. The person who put all their eggs in one basket to bring their customers a place to dream and to shop…to touch and feel the fabrics/surfaces and to see the inspired displays that hopefully, inspire their customers. Many of my customers have become my friends….including you! You can’t do that behind closed doors on a computer. Where’s the fun/adventure in THAT?

  2. Good Morning Judy,

    Thank you for such an eloquent account of the world of retail! With losing a few of our favourite shops it makes you realize how things can change and not always for the better. People do need a little reminder that shops are not just galleries, people need to support them otherwise they will be gone. I know I certainly miss the pleasure of going to CC and feeling like I was somewhere in France. You have such a good eye Judy and I miss your shop so much!


  3. Judy,
    Yes oh how i miss the long drive it took me to finally arrive at your beautiful boutique!! It was always such a pleasure to arrive and see the wonder ! I still to this day have the very first purchase displayed in my bedroom! That had been purchased at your Whyte Ave location! Thank u for those memorable shopping experiences ❤️

  4. The experience of shopping for anything, from home décor to clothing, cannot be replicated on line. The displays in your shop were like eye candy, and the experience of stopping in your boutique helped me create a home that I love. So much inspiration in the displays, which helped me build upon previous purchases. It was a unique experience to walk into CC on Whyte, where everything was expertly curated. On line shopping doesn’t give you this context or inspiration.

    I still miss shopping in CC on Whyte every time I drive down 51st Ave. Thankfully, I have many beautiful pieces from CC on Whyte in my home. Unlike the throw away merchandise that seem to be what manufactures are peddling, I have many timeless treasures that make me happy.

    “You can’t take the shoppe out of the girl.” Oh, I hope this is prophetic, and that someday we’ll be able to shop at CC on Whyte again.

    PS – I see a couple of things in your photo. of the inside of CC on Whyte that I think I need.

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