We are so excited to bring you a new feature . We are announcing our new weekly series- West Island MomPreneur. Every week we will feature a local west island mommy that has her own business and lives in the west island. It’s so important to support local and after the year we have had, we need to support our community more than ever. The month of March features, is sponsored by Plaza Pointe Claire– your one stop shop for your entire family needs.
We are so excited to introduce you to our third mompreneur : Wendy Johnston of La Boutique de Danse Wendy located in Plaza Pointe Claire. A local boutique that carries footwear, bodywear and accessories for the dancer and gymnast. You can read all about it below. Please show some love and support local.
- What is the name of your business and what is it about?
The legal name for my business is La Boutique de Danse Wendy…mostly known as Boutique de Danse or the Dance Boutique. The Boutique is the only one of its kind between downtown Montreal and Kingston. We carry footwear, legwear, bodywear and accessories for jazz, tap, ballet, Irish and ballroom. We have all the items needed for the dance schools and studios in the West Island.
2. How long have you been an entrepreneur and why did you become one?
I have been an entrepreneur for 38 years! I opened the Dance Boutique on August 22 1982. At that time I was teaching ballet in and around the West Island. Since the only dance stores were in downtown Montreal, I often made the trip to purchase shoes, tights and leotards for my students. Knowing there was definitely a need for a dance shop on the West Island I enrolled in courses on how to open a small business at John Abbot in January 1982. Seven months later I opened my boutique in the Plaza Pointe Claire.
3.What advice would you give to a Mom considering opening their own business?
My advice to any Mom wanting to open their own business would be to only consider a business that you would be passionate about. Two other dance stores opened the year I opened Boutique de Danse Wendy. Neither of them lasted long and here I am still in business 38 years later.
I would also recommend joining the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The CFIB has several resources for small businesses.
4.Seeing we are all about our West Island Community, where are your Go to places?
The Boutique de Danse is my second home, my “Happy Place” I cannot see myself doing anything else. My Go to places are, of course, in the Plaza Pointe Claire.
Sylvie at Mode Coiffure at 245A boul. St, Jean is my place to go for my great haircuts. Dianne at Belle Esthetique at the same location has been taming my eye brows.
My favourite place to go for clothes is Moda Elle. I get many compliments when I wear any item from Karen’s store
When I get the urge to follow my passion to cross stitch or knit, Les Lainages du Petit Mouton is where I go.
I do not sew anything so when I am in need of alterations and repairs my go to place is Tailleur Pointe-Claire at 311 boul St. Jean. Bonus! There is a dry cleaning service in the same location!
When hunger hits I find my way up the mall to Swiss Vienna for a soup, sandwich, or a decadent pastry.
I find myself going to Passe-Temps et Jeux Ted’s very often. Ted’s is my go to place for craft supplies. Since my husband is somewhat of a hobbiest i get sent to Ted’s for items for him. Seldom does a day go by that I don’t go to Ted’s.
5. The past year has been a struggle for everyone, what has helped you the most get through it?
The past year with all the store, studio and gym shutdowns has definately been a struggle for the Dance Boutique. I have tried to remain optimistic. One of our suppliers, So Danca, was proactive in offering virtual meetings for dance retailers during Covid. These meetings were extremely helpful. It was nice to be in contact with dance retailers across Canada who were having the same issues as I.
The CFIB, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, sent helpful emails with tips and information regarding the challenges of small businesses during Covid.
I took advantage of the government and through CERS, Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy
6. To wrap up, what are your must have items that you use or need everyday….
I have several must have items I need to make my daily work at the Boutique a success and unstressful.
1 An updated collection of catalogues for every supplier is really useful.
2 We have a complete list of all the dance schools, studios and gyms in Montreal, the West Island, and off island as far west as Valleyfield. Our book listing the requirements of the students attending each of these locations is used daily to check the types and colours of the shoes, tights, leotards and skirts needed.
3 We have Customer Order list that states Customer Name / Date of order / Contact Number / School / Qty / Item Code /Supplier Order Description / Date Received / Customer Called
4 An essential item is our container of disposable sox for trying on shoes.
5 Can never forget the container of disinfecting wipes!!!!
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