Chris Munro

January 2017

Chris Munro

She’s So Fabulous Show Notes:

 

Chris Munro of Life’s Little Pleasures on Pitt Street in Downtown Cornwall.

 

How do you keep a store with an almost 30-year history vibrant, on trend, and viable in a downtown core of a city?

 

Chris Munro has owned her shop for 19 years at which time she’s learned how to offer unique gift items, clothing, and home decor accessories that continue to attract her raving fans. I wouldn’t dream of visiting Cornwall without a visit to Life’s Little Pleasures.

 

Chris came into entrepreneurship through a marketing background where she served business owners in her community. She had always had an eye for design and was truly connected to her community and the idea of having a shop. The decision to purchase was a quick one, but a worthwhile one. She says she really didn’t know what she was doing at the beginning but she was excited to take on an existing business, inject new energy, a fresh set of eyes, and create a solid following of fans who enjoy her and what she has to offer. With 13 feet high ceilings, Chris has maximized her store space to offer a variety of items that will undoubtedly leave you clutching your packages with a smile.

 

Being the owner/operator of a brick and mortar is challenging and takes commitment. Typically it’s all you. Wearing multiple hats and being the “staff of one” can be exhausting. However, there are many joyful moments… Like when your customers come in and notice something is different and bring along a few friends. Chris says it’s her customers that keep her motivated year on year. She loves to find items that she herself loves and therefore she’ll know her customers will too. She’s got a keen eye for what will work, how to display it, and how to introduce new items to her customers.

 

Life is full when you own your own business and your husband does too. Staying fit helps and having some close friends to hang out does too. It’s obvious that Chris has a desire to see her business thrive as well as the businesses around her. She welcomes new business to her corner of the world as everyone prospers when there is an atmosphere of vibrancy for our shoppers.

 

Chris pointed out that successful business owners have the resiliency to move with the times and plan out their year in advance. They understand their revenue streams and create profit plans to match. The holiday rush, wedding season, tourist influx, and the doldrums of January are all phenomenon’s that impact customer buying habits. These habits need to be understood, embraced and planned for.

 

A lively discussion broke out about the challenges of our downtown cores. Examples were shared by everyone present about their experiences in about Brockville, Kingston, and Kemptville. Here is what we concluded:

 

    • The vibrancy of downtown cores continues to ebb and flow with the times. Look at any downtown core and you’ll see empty storefronts, including large cities. RENT is one culprit as well absentee landlords who do not have a connection to the city, therefore they are not as keen as we’d like them to be in terms of storefront curb appeal.

 

    • Some DBIA’s are able to work collectively to form a united front to contact landlords and create unique events that draw on the existing amenities of their city to attract new and old to visit. Big box stores are definitely here to stay. New businesses that want to set up shop in our downtown core need to feel welcomed, cared for, and supported in every way possible. This includes our services that are intended to assist but often fall short of expectations.

 

  • As business owners, customers, raving fans, and community leaders, we need to get involved, not just complain about it. Every effort to shop local and stroll through our downtown areas, popping in to see what’s new, choosing to purchase from the small business owner and then telling your connections about your experience, all helps to renew our commitment to our downtown core.

 

I invite you to visit Chris’s shop and follow her on Facebook. I guarantee you’ll find something to inspire you.