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Downtown Blog: Women's Fashion

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.

HtO offers Victorians an endless summer

Seventeen years ago, HtO moved into downtown Victoria where it has become known as the “endless summer” store, sought out for its locally shaped surf boards and candy-coloured collection of bikinis.

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.

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