Tell us a bit about your business and why you decided to set up shop in Trenton.
Vivacious Clothing has been in Trenton for 9 years. We are a women’s clothing store catering to women sizes extra small to 3X. We are proud to have the largest plus size collection in the region. Many of our brands are Canadian made and most are Canadian designed. Our goal is to help women look and feel their best and contribute to their self-confidence.
I grew up in Trenton but moved away for college and to launch my career. After 25 years in Toronto we decided we wanted to raise our family where I grew up and where my family was. I have always wanted my own retail store and when the opportunity presented itself for Vivacious I put a plan together and nine years later we are still here. Moving back here was a perfect decision for our family and it made me reflect on all the positives of raising a family in this area. I would not have opened a business anywhere else. Our downtown definitely has a small town feel where everyone knows each other. That is the environment that I love.
Why are we called Vivacious Clothing and Day Spa? We built a small spa in the store early on. For the past 6 years my daughter has been running it part time and for the past two years she has been a full time entrepreneur and The Spa @Vivacious is hers. The spa offers all esthetic treatments and is a great compliment to the store and our customers. She has just expanded as she cannot keep up with the demand for her business!
How has the community been support of your entrepreneurial journey?
I first worked with our local banks, Trenval and the Small Business Centre to secure the finances to purchase Vivacious. Over the years both Trenval and the Small Business Centre have been a great support in any area that we have expanded. I have worked closely with the DBIA, City of Quinte West and Chamber of Commerce in Trenton on many events and programs. We also have an amazing business community here and many of us have collaborated on several shop local type events, fashion shows, warehouse sales and fundraisers.
In 2021 we won Retailer of the Year award for the Quinte Region. I always loved this event each year and winning was such an honour. In speaking to the group that night I encouraged all the other entrepreneurs in the audience to work with these local community groups as each one have amazing staff that are truly focused on helping us succeed.
In your own words, describe what it’s like to be a part of the Downtown Community.
I love the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I always envied when the main character (Jimmie Stewart) would walk through the town and say hi to everyone, know their names and have a friendly chat. Well I don’t have to envy that type of town anymore because I have it right here. It doesn’t matter if I go to the post office, the bank or any of our local businesses we know each other and it might just be a quick hello or it might be a quick conversation to get caught up. And I run into our clients all the time outside of the store and it is just so nice to have so many friendly people to interact with each day.
Downtown Trenton has so many nice entrepreneurs and great businesses. It feels good to recommend to new people in our community all the great places downtown to try out. I do this with confidence knowing that they will be greeted with a friendly face and a nice hello wherever they go downtown.
What can we look forward to from your business in the coming months?
Trenton has changed over the past several years. We have so many new people that have moved to our community and this has given our store new opportunities. We are continually changing our product mix to accommodate a wider audience. Coming up in the near future for us is our June Anniversary Sale (15th, 16th, 17th) where there is always food, drinks and great sales and of course Festival on the Bay. We have an amazing 3 day sidewalk sale with lots of entertainment. It is a hectic three days for us but a great time to come and visit downtown Trenton. We will start to roll out our new fall fashions towards the end of August. The changing of seasons is always one of our favorite times in the store.
What do you enjoy doing in Quinte West and surrounding area on your days off?
In the summer when I am off I enjoy the small farm markets in our area. There are always so many goodies to find. My favorite walking trail is Bleasdale Boulder and it is near my home. You can always find me at our local restaurants and night spots as well. I work a lot of hours and live just outside of town and am fortunate to be on a quiet private lane so just enjoying my yard and the peace that this area brings to me is fantastic.
What are your fave local businesses to support?
My favorite local businesses are:
Wish Home Interiors
The Grind and Vine
These 4 Walls
Blush Floral by Carrie Parkhurst
Sox it to Me
I have to give a couple of shoutouts. Studio B and Off the Hook maybe two competitors in my industry but we are such good friends and collaborate on so many projects. If I didn’t have my own oasis of clothing to pick from I would definitely be shopping at both these places! My second shoutout is to two other neighbours on my block, HD Rolf the Jewellers and JB Books. These are two amazing businesses and both have been in Trenton for decades. I don’t have a need for their types of products but I highly recommend them to those that do.
Final Thoughts: Why should people make Downtown Trenton a destination to explore?
Our downtown is getting better each year. New businesses are moving in to make our little downtown even better. Along with well established businesses we are definitely growing. It is easy to spend a few hours downtown enjoying the shops and restaurants that we have here or it’s so easy to just pop down to your favorite store at any time. Our downtown is very accessible to everyone.