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Downtown Blog: Shopping

She She Bags & She She Shoes - Sister stores for a splash of colour and fun

For long-time residents of Victoria, Shelagh Macartney may look familiar, more familiar even than her two Trounce Alley shops - She She Bags and She She Shoes. Shelagh started out in Trounce Alley with All in Bloom, a lovely gift shop full of quirky, unique items that made perfect gifts for friends and family.

Outlooks: A one-stop shop for men in Victoria

Looking good and feeling confident is easy for the men of Victoria with a one-stop shop in Outlooks for Men at 534 Yates Street.

But Outlooks for Men isn’t originally a Victoria store. Dale Olsen, then editor at a Kamloops newspaper, bought the store from a friend in Kamloops and moved it to Victoria 23 years ago.

“I always wanted to come back; I’ve always loved Victoria,” says Dale, current owner of Outlooks for Men. “I loved it when I came here to go to university, then I went away and I always wanted to come back.”

An almost-50-year-old downtown gem: The Cobbler

Did you know that The Cobbler shoe store at 718 View Street has been in the same location under the same owners for 46 years? There is a lot going on behind the unassuming store front between Sapphire Day Spa and St. Andrew's Square!

“The owners chose this location because Victoria is such an old city and the downtown is always the heart of an old city and the hub of an old city,” says Marion Martin, store manager. “Every day down here is different. I meet people from all over the world and it’s just interesting.”

Bliss Boutique = West Coast Chic

Siblings Steph and Jeff Shannon aren’t from around here… but their co-owned women’s clothing store – Bliss Boutique – is the epitome of Victoria’s unique West Coast chic style.

Steph and Jeff grew up in Calgary, Alberta; Steph moved to Victoria after high school to pursue an education in graphic design, while Jeff followed a few years later to complete a business degree.

Victoria's swimwear and fashion Paradise

“It’s the bathing suits. That’s what people tell their friends about. That’s our number one thing,” says Dani Dubois, co-owner of Paradise Boutique with her sister Rosebud Seads. And it has been that way for over 20 years!

Paradise Boutique, a perennial favourite on LoJo, began life as a summertime pop-up shop called Paradise Cove. The shop was named after their mother’s favourite surf beach in California, and would offer local, handmade, one-piece swimsuits and mix-and-match bikini tops and bottoms to Victoria’s discerning shoppers from a new location each summer.

Business Profile: Robinson's team knows the outdoors

On November 1, 1929, the shop we now know as Robinson’s Outdoor Store was opened by Mr. George W. Robinson.

The announcement brochure for the opening noted the location as "Opposite Colonist", and included the Robinson’s Creed. Point number eight states:

“… we aim to serve our customers as attentively as possible.”

Business Profile: Head over Heels for shoes

Niomi Wood is very passionate about shoes, and her aptly named women’s shoe store Head over Heels is an homage to the best in shoes as works of art.

With floor to ceiling windows for optimum ogling – and there’s rarely a woman that passes by without stopping to look – Niomi’s choice of location in The Atrium (at 1323 Blanshard Street) lends the store the look of an art gallery with stark, white pillars of varying heights showing off colourful sandals, flats, heels and wedges.

Downtown Victoria has plenty of green... and not just because it's spring!

Kermit the Frog may often be quoted saying, “It's not easy being green” but when it comes to Downtown Victoria… he’s wrong! It couldn’t be easier, being green and sustainable downtown.

The place to find what you need... and enjoy finding it!

Have you finished your holiday shopping? Are you just starting? Or are you more of a last minute present purchaser? Either way, where else but Downtown Victoria can you find the perfect gift for those hard-to-shop-for friends and relatives, enjoy a seasonal sip and tasty treats, AND celebrate the season with music, lights and free activities all in one afternoon?

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