Above: Sunrise Boutique owner Deb O’Donoghue stands near one of the displays in her new 100 Avenue store. – Stephen Dafoe Photo
by Stephen Dafoe
A new women’s clothing store has raised a ray of sunshine on 100 Avenue. Sunrise Boutique opened recently at 10607 100 Avenue in the former Legendary Liquor location between Shell and Pizza Hut. The shop offers women’s clothing and accessories in a bright, welcoming environment.
“The Sunrise Boutique was created for myself looking for something to do,” Sunrise Boutique owner Deb O’Donoghue explained, noting she has always been an entrepreneur and owned other businesses in the past. “I was bored at home, and I’m like, ‘What am I going to do?'”
That question led to soul-searching and crafting a list of what makes O’Donoghue happy. Coffee and sunrises were at the top of that list.
“We’re out in Sturgeon County, and I take pictures every day of the sunrise. Sunset is beautiful too, but the sunrise and my coffee go together,” O’Donoghue said. “I had all of these pictures. That makes me happy. So I started this list. What I also knew was the days that I got up, had my coffee, showered and put something nice on, I felt better. So it [the businesses] came from all of that. [I thought] I can probably put something together that other women would love.”
From those thoughts about what made her happiest, Sunrise Boutique was born, a woman’s clothing store that is as much about community as the clothing available to customers.
“We need to bring back community. My other business always had a little sitting area and coffee,” O’Donoghue said, adding that she created an area in the store for women who like to come in and sit.”
Although an entrepreneur with many years of experience, selling clothing was new to her.
“I started it in my home. I was just doing open houses. I ended up with so many clothes I had to move out,” O’Donoghue said with a chuckle. “I’m with the Garment Group, and it’s a company where we have 25 wholesalers that they find for us.”
O’Donoghue said she initially found the variety a little overwhelming but started picking stuff she loved.
“I’m going to bring stuff into the store that I love. If I love it, it’s coming to the store,” she said. It’s really funny how when the orders started arriving, they just all kind of went together. You could match them. You could turn outfits into it.”
Both her daughter and her son’s girlfriend help O’Donoghue at the store, both of whom the proprietor says have been wonderful at putting together the store’s displays.
“Women are welcome to come in. We’re doing some events just to keep community and have stuff for women to do,” O’Donoghue said, adding a sense of community, helping small businesses, and a desire to keep things local is important to her. “If we have what they need, they’ll shop local.”
Though open on 100 Avenue for a short time, the response has been great, with customers thanking O’Donoghue for bringing her type of store to town and for having great prices.
“It makes me feel good,” O’Donoghue said. “It’s been busy or steady.”
On Tuesday, July 25, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sunrise Boutique is hosting its first major event at the 100 Avenue shop. Titled Girls Just Want To Shop, the event offers an opportunity to see what the store offers with specials every hour, draws, refreshments and activities. One of the activities is readings by Alanna Scott-King of Akashic Dragon Healing Services. O’Donoghue will also be launching and doing permanent jewellery.
Events like the Girls Just Want To Shop event, held July 25, are important to O’Donoghue and Sunrise Boutique and an example of how the shop owner wants to mix retail with a sense of community.
“It’s just a place to come and have fun. Have a coffee–we always have free coffee on,” O’Donoghue said. “We just want it to be a warm, welcoming place.”
Sunrise Boutique is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
They can be found on Facebook.
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