I’ve never done a lot of shopping because I have a convenient habit of assessing every total as a percentage of a plane ticket that I’ve just lost. Because my desire to travel always has been greater than my desire for designer jeans, I’ve managed to save money over the years. My shopping habits took an additional dire plunge when I moved from Toronto to this small town, where there is only a handful of nice clothing stores. And then I always have kids in tow, and god knows I’d rather go without something new than take my boys into a change room. So, with that combination of factors, my wardrobe doesn’t see too many updates except for the great finds I sniff out at the Sally Ann thrift store every few weeks.
There is one place I love, however — a gorgeous shoe boutique. I just happened to pop by yesterday and, much to my horror, saw signs saying “30% off store-wide for Final Closing Sale!!!” I was horrified – not by the discount, which pleased my travel-hungry wallet, but by the fact that this store won’t exist anymore. I love this store in a way that I love no other store because it single-handedly brings spectacular shoes to this faraway corner of Ontario. Once they’re gone, there will be no place to buy superbly beautiful shoes, unless I drive to Kitchener-Waterloo or Toronto, several hours away.
A long chat with the owner revealed that the store has been struggling for the past year. Much of the client base was lost when the area’s major employer recently finished a large project and many people moved away. And then there’s Wal-Mart. That’s where people go to buy their stuff now, from groceries to shoes. The negative effects are being felt around town and all businesses are having trouble making ends meet. It makes me very sad because it seems that, no matter how hard I try to support local businesses, the big box store giants always win. It doesn’t seem to matter that their products are cheap in both cost and quality. And now I’m losing my favourite store.
I did take advantage of the store-wide sale to do a bit of unplanned shopping. I mean, who in their right mind would turn down such an opportunity? My heart almost stopped when I saw these white silk Badgely Mischka heels reduced to a shockingly low price. Conveniently, there were only two sizes left – one of which happened to be mine.
These pink Miz Mooz ballet flats were also too cute to resist. They are the kind of flats that my tired feet sank into and immediately felt soothed, comfortable, and soft. I foresee getting a lot of use out of them.
I picked up a pair of Solow leggings, ruched on the bottom with cute zippered pockets. Solow is an eco-friendly, entirely made-in-USA brand that I featured in a slideshow for Parentables last month, so I was pleased to try it for myself. I wore the leggings last night and am already hooked. They stand posed to become my next favourite pants.
I’m going to miss this store a lot. In fact, I don’t even want to think about it anymore because it makes me so sad. (Sob.) End of post.