Neighbourhood Shop Spotlight: Boutique Béluga
By Tina Christopoulos
With high-level studies in economics, owner Anne-Laurie Bergeron never imagined joining the family business at Boutique Béluga, until she realized that her vision could have an actual impact on parents of her generation and others.
What made you want to take over the boutique?
Throughout my childhood, I could see my mother's passion reflected in her hard work for the store. Whether it was her obsession with shopping, her love for clothing or simply her love for people, she gave me the itch, in spite of herself. Being young at heart, I have always been close to the kids around me, and the business world has always piqued my interest. Besides, working with children every day is such a joy, to be able to see the pictures that our customers send us and occasionally organize special events for them. The dynamic team and the young vision that is now at the helm of our children's store will surely carve a place in this field, in its own way.
How would you describe being a local boutique?
For me, a neighborhood shop is a business where staff members and customers manage to build a bond that is close to a friendship. A place where people feel at home and where they always want to come back. The fact that our shop has been in the daily lives of our customers for over 28 years gives them a sense of belonging. We believe that our approach is to be so familiar that even our new customers feel as if they already know us and they want to encourage us.
Is your clientele mainly local?
The majority of our clientele is primarily local, but since the launch of our online store and our increased activity on social networks, we’re getting a broader reach through word of mouth and media presence. Our seasonal photo shoots also attract a lot of people from outside, because there is nothing more pleasant than having beautiful professional pictures of your children, while giving them an unforgettable experience.
What kind of relationship do you have with the other neighbourhood business owners?
We showcase other local businesses through collaborations and contests and even cross-marketing. As a member of the Chamber of Commerce, regular contact with other business owners allows me to benefit from any advice they’re willing to share with me, while being surrounded by the absolute best talent for the future! My involvement in Club Kiwanis Lac-Saint-Jean Est, gives me the privilege of networking with professionals and business owners in the region, while investing in the cause of mental health for young people.
What do you look for in a new brand?
First and foremost, we look for exclusive products that you can’t find in nearby shops. We’d like the brand to reflect our style, but also to speak to the modern parents who shop with us. We love trendy brands, that are responsibly made.
What attracted you to Miles baby?
We were inspired by the mix and match opportunities with the repeat styles throughout the seasons. The pieces are designed to maximize the comfort of your minis and they’re essentials that we can always recommend to our loyal customers.
Do you prefer being on the floor in the store, or behind the scenes?
My work is more relevant in the back-end, since I deal with the more technical aspects of the business, like orders and the online store. Surrounded by my management team the behind-the-scenes is always a marathon and that's how we like it!
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