Monday, January 21, 2013

Ohh!! Say it isn't so...

Today the announcement is official.  One of the best little boutiques downtown Burlington has ever seen is preparing to close their doors.  I've spoken of them many times, and I am so sad this will likely be the last...

Ohh!! Beautiful Things on Brant Street is closing.  This dreamy store has been a favourite of mine since they first opened years ago across from Joelle's.  I vividly remember the first time I walked inside and was dazzled by an eclectic mix of carefully curated items, from seatbelt bags to girlish raincoats to sparkling jewelry and home decor.   They moved a little south on Brant and across the street a few years ago, and only got better with time.

I can't walk through a single room in my home without seeing something from Ohh!!  The twinkling chandelier in my daughter's bedroom (which my husband finally installed the morning she was born while I was in my bedroom down the hall in labour)...the Bellabagu "LOVE" necklace my husband gave me for our 5th wedding anniversary (yes, I picked it out but still)...the many unique dresses and feminine tops that hang in my closet and always get compliments whenever I wear them.

Yesterday I bought these bling-tastic earrings and I know I'll wear them as often as my outfits permit!  And how about all those Christmas or child's birthday presents that I've bought there, from retro tin cash registers to kaleidoscopes and sock monkeys.   Owner Ondrea Crockett and her lovely & creative staff always greeted me with a warm hello and friendly chat.  It was one of those stores that was a true pleasure to spend time in.

Despite the extremely good prices of everything she sold, and the easy access to her door from the ample street parking all around Brant Street, it's not easy being a retail entrepreneur.  There is so much competition, and in today's economy, people often look for the best bargain online before they head to the store.  But when we choose to save just a little bit of money, we often forget what we will lose.  I would always rather spend a few dollars for a truly unique product, sold to me by people who know my name, and genuinely appreciate my business.  Wouldn't you?  For every one trip I begrudgingly make to the mall, I bet I make 30 trips to downtown Burlington. We all need to take responsibility for how much we support our downtown businesses.  Without our conscious decision to support them, we'll end up with too many empty storefronts before we know it. 

Ondrea has been a dedicated member of the (volunteer) Burlington Downtown Business Association marketing committee, and always gave generously of her time and ideas to support the entire downtown community.  Their team dreamed up award-winning Christmas windows every year to delight passers by.  They were always involved in local events.  So much giving - if only we could have given enough back...

So this week, please take some time to visit Ohh!! Beautiful Things and send off Ondrea and her staff with a smile and gratitude.  They're only around for a few more weeks, and you'll get deals beyond your wildest dreams.  You'll find treasures for yourself, and gifts for every child and woman you know. 



Danielle Todd said...

Oh no!

I've been in this store many times and I'll be sad to see it go.

Christy Laverty said...

oh no. I love this store. I will be sad to see it leave Downtown. We are losing some great stores.

OGirl said...

Victoria I am in tears. Thank you so much: for you amazingly kind word, for always supporting us, for supporting so many other shops, services & restaurants in Downtown Burlington - and most of all for being so awesome. You are an inspiration for me not only because of your vast wealth of knowledge, smarts and creativity, but because you are passionate and you care so much about your community.

Like Victoria said, it's up to you to support your local independent businesses - they need you and your neighbours supporting them or they simply will not be.

We have so many loyal customers who we will so sorely miss. You have kept us going both on the money side of things but most important on the encouragement side.

Thanks Victoria and thanks to all of you. Please continue to shop local! There really are many great shops in Downtown Burlington - let's make them even better by supporting them!


Mirella Marsilio said...

Ondrea was an amazing retailer and really believed in bringing unique items to downtown Burlington.

I will miss her smile, her enthusiasm and her optimism.

Good Luck in life Ondrea....

There will be an irreplaceable void in the core.

Your friend, Mirella