Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Moneris and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.
There’s something special about buying from a local store or boutique rather than a big box store. Someone at a local boutique always seems to be there to greet you and offer help rather than you needing to search the isles to find ANYONE to ask a question.
Small local businesses often have unique offerings that you can’t find in just any other store, which sets them apart for me as well.
There’s also my favourite perk – they often have a pretty little bag for your purchase (rather than a generic plastic bag) that can be used to give a gift in rather than wrapping it!
It almost makes the receiver of the gift feel that extra bit special knowing that instead of driving to a mall, you took the time and care to go somewhere that had this special item for you.
I love an afternoon of shopping in small shops and businesses because it just FEELS different than shopping at the mall. It’s fun to explore places that offer something a bit out of the ordinary, especially if you want to find something unique that not everyone will be wearing.
Last weekend I stopped in at Victoire Boutique while I was shopping on Ossington. If you haven’t shopped in this area then you are missing out! Two years ago we drove down to this area to shop, and to check out The Lakeview Restaurant which is a city staple. Even Gui Fieri stopping in to film a show there, so you know it’s a good place to eat!
We had an amazing lunch there, and we spent a lazy day stopping in at all of the stores.
This past Sunday I went for a solo shopping trip down Ossington, and I bumped into quite a few people doing the same.
Victoire Boutique has two locations (one here in Toronto, and one in Ottawa), along with an online presence as well.
The boutique has everything from jewellery, bags, clothing and shoes – everything a girl could need! During my shopping trip I chatted with the sales associate, and as other customers walked in I noticed how attentive she was to all of us. That’s something that doesn’t always happen anymore – sometimes I walk into a store looking for help and I can’t find a soul! It’s nice to walk into a small business where customer service is still ranked so highly.
By the time I finished shopping I realized I had quite a long chat with the sales associate which I don’t often do when I’m out shopping! I noticed as well a repeat customer came in while I was shopping to pick up something she had seen before in the store and thought was the perfect gift for a friend moving away. That’s the nice thing about local businesses like these – shopping for gifts is so easy because some of these boutiques have things you won’t find in a big box store.
Small businesses keep a downtown thriving. There are always those spots that are fun to shop in because they don’t have big chain stores, but instead small coffee shops, great farm-to-table restaurants, and plenty of shopping with things you can’t order to your door online in 24 hours because they often aren’t mass marketed.
I always find the return policies so much more reasonable with small businesses as well. They are happy to stand behind their products and care about their reputations.
Spending time face-to-face with the merchant you are buying from can be all that much more fun as well! There are lots of shops that know me by name, and I’ve become friends with some of the small businesses I shop at all the time.
Having a real relationship means something to both parties. It’s nice to receive a call from them giving me a heads up about something new coming in they know I would want to see, or having them ask me what I think customers are looking for at their store.
I’m that girl who doesn’t travel far without her debit or credit card, so I love it when a store accepts that tender. Moneris gives the local vendors I’ve been talking about the ability to receive payment with the tap of a card.
Small business owners can make their relationship with customers such as myself seamless with Moneris – there’s no running for a bank machine – just tap or swipe and go!
Moneris is here to make transactions easy for both merchants and retailers thanks to their payment solutions for every type of business.
What is your favourite store to shop in? Do you love a particular local business that I need to check out! Please let me know about your favourites in the comments so I can check them out as well!
To check out my Sunday afternoon shopping destination Victoire Boutique, you can visit them here!
To read more about Moneris and how they make transactions easy for both merchants and the retailers they work with, visit them here.