After almost 9 months of waiting & hoping ellënoire is finally ready to birth its new permanent location! We’ve secured a spot at the Dundas Post Office which is under construction to become a new shopping destination in a stunning old stone building. When it was announced that Canada Post had sold the building and it was to be coverted into a commercial building we were intrigued as to whether it would be a good fit for us as a location. The huge arched windows and the high ceilings made it hard to resist. As you may know we have been running the ellënoire boutique out of tiny, temporary locations since Autumn of 2010 & running a part time Curly Hair Salon offsite since Spring of 2010. We are crazy excited that we have finally found a home for ellënoire in Dundas. The bulk of my company history has been here in Dundas yet in some ways it would have been so much easier to just move the business rather than wait for a suitable location here in my hometown. We looked in other parts of the Hamilton area but although lovely none of them felt like home. Dundas people have remained so loyal to me & the store over the years staying just made sense. So, I think it’s appropriate that we will end up in one of the oldest landmarks in this town. The new, meets the old to become new again.
The two big arched windows on the left will be mine!
Our baby sister will be the inclusion of a Curly Hair Salon in the same place as the boutique. Some of you may find this confusing because you’ve either never noticed that we sell curly hair products and teach curly hair techniques or you don’t have curly hair (in another blog I’ll explain why you don’t have to be curly to be an ellënoire hair client) The funny thing is there are days when I think my curly clients have no clue we make fragrances and soap and stuff. I joke that there is an invisible line down the middle of the store: Curly clients on one side, Bath & Fragrance clients on the other. I’m not complaining. I just think it’s odd.
Creating the Curly Hair salon was a decision we came to after years of discussing the idea. It took the recession to help us decide. In the last year or so since the recession we realised a few key things: a) Going the extra mile to keep customers happy will separate you from the competition and b) having a product or service that people would climb mountains for is worth its weight in gold. c) Having the flexibilty to deal with messy situations to make a) and b) happen will make you appreciate the simple things. Let me explain. Despite a variety of location issues ranging from landlords choosing to rent to other people or landlords with buildings not to code or the construction delays with the Post Office we have managed to keep the business alive and kicking. The temporary stores have confused our customers a little which we regret and of course we have lost some business along the way but the loyal clients have been fiercely loyal!
You may not have realised but the Private Curly Hair Salon we refer to is located in my dining room. There have been days that between clients getting hair washed at the sink in my kitchen, waiting for colour to process, waiting for their appointments we have had 6-8 people in my living and dining room, not including the staff! Add to the mix my son yelling “Mom! What’s for Dinner!” and my cats trying to escape the basement to climb all over clients and you can imagine the chaos.
There was a point that made us realise our clients simply wouldn't tolerate a part time salon anymore.
There was also a point where I realised I was going to go crazy if we didn't get the store and salon all in one place! We’ve made bath bombs and soap in my backyard until we had a more weather friendly place to make products. Most of our store fixtures are in storage somewhere. I have some customers that think I am never at the store anymore; some people have even suggested I must be on vacation or off doing something fun. The truth is I was likely in the home salon washing hair, or the home office (which is mostly in boxes between the piano and a bookshelf) or at the storage locker climbing over boxes to get decorations for that season or in the new Bath Bomb shed etc etc.
Somehow, despite this we have managed to keep the doors at the store open 6-7 days a week and hair cutting clients begging for more appointments.
In a few months once we move into the Post Office with everything in one place I won’t know what to with myself!
So, while we wait for the Post Office to be ready check us out at 2 Cross St, or get in touch to book a Curly Hair appointment.
In the Late Summer you and me... we’ve got a date!
You’ll find me waiting for you in the new boutique making new fragrances, teaching hair info and cutting hair (a new skill I’m working on) and chatting about products I have deep in my head waiting to be created. It’s all pretty exciting and I can’t wait to show you what I have planned!