October 15, 2014 - 4:33 PM
VERNON - Customers who walk through the door of Lather Up downtown Vernon are greeted by the scents of ylang-ylang, tea-tree and sandalwood. They get to open tester lids, sniff products and try them out. But with a shift to online-only sales, that’s all about to change.
Lather Up Canada Body Care owner Connie Adams is on her third storefront location. When she bought the business in 2012, the shop was located in Armstrong. Seeking a larger customer base, she moved the store a year later to 29 Street in Vernon, but didn’t stay long. By August of 2014, Lather Up had found a new home on 30 Avenue, sharing a storefront with Kanga & Roo’s Children’s Boutique. Her next store will feature only a url address.
“The business started online and always had an online base so I’m just going to continue that rather than stop the business altogether which I don’t want to do,” Adams says.
There just weren’t enough customers, something Adams attributes to competition with malls and big-box stores, the price of parking, and the community’s unfamiliarity with downtown.
“I think a lot of people just don’t know what the downtown core has to offer,” Adams says. “There are a lot of unique shops here that you don’t find at the mall.”
While scouting out locations for her move from Armstrong to Vernon, she was surprised to find the quaint neighbourhood along the spine of 30 Avenue.
“I have not regretted it, I loved being here and I wish I could stay doing business here,” she says. “I’m going to miss the customer interaction.... It’s very social and it’s a sense of community. People come in and you’re talking to them every day, once a week, once a month—it doesn’t matter, you pick up where you left off.”
She’ll give advice to customers, be part of the downtown atmosphere, and run in to her fellow business owners for a chat. Going online has it perks; no rental costs for a storefront, and no sitting in the shop eight hours a day waiting for a customer to come in.
“But I think there is still a need for these mom and pop places, at least I like to think there is. People want something unique and interesting,” Adams says.
Lather Up and Kanga and Roo’s Children’s Boutique are having a closing out sale until Oct. 31. The store is located at 2909B 30 Ave.
Look for Lather Up online and on Facebook, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Products can be delivered to Armstrong and Vernon or shipped anywhere in Canada for $10.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at email@example.com or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014