Shop B is 15!
by Bianca Jamieson
I vividly remember the day I first saw the store. I was home from university for the weekend, walking by the Bookshelf. I looked across the street and saw this little blushy-pink canopy. There was a chic mannequin or two in the window and these glamorous chandeliers lit up a space that looked like it could be full of cute clothes. I did a double take and crossed the road, sure I had stumbled upon a mirage in downtown Guelph. It ended up being a true and rare gem. For 15 years it’s been a constant source of friendship, joy and style for me and many others.
While celebrating this major milestone at the store, I spoke to some loyal customers about their first Shop B purchases. The energy was infectious and soon enough everyone was chatting about their favourite fashion moments from the shop. I took a few notes.
On First Purchases and First Impressions:
Deb- “I think it was probably a whole bunch of things at once. I remember this pink sweater with a pink velvet bow that had a pearl and rhinestone sort of thing on the lapel- oh! And these velour pants with stripes down the sides!” (oh 2004…)
Ali- “It was a beaded belt. And I still have it!”
Lori: “it was a long, chocolate brown peasant skirt with tiers. It was very boho chic. I held on to that for so long. I do remember the first time I laid eyes on the store and I thought to myself, ‘Now what have we here? In Guelph? What in sweet fancy moses…” (EXACTLY!)
Marg: “It was a long, black knit dress with a ballet back. I still have it and I still wear it. It’s one of those pieces that whenever you don’t know what to wear, you pull that one out and put it on.”
(I think I want this dress too?)
Steph: “I think it was this khaki coloured blouse. I was really cute!”
Michele: “It was a Ted Baker skirt with butterflies”
Steph: “THAT’s what it was! And it started my love affair with Ted Baker.”
Michele: “Do you still have it?”
Steph: “oh yeah. I still have it.”
Robyn- “it was this really cute fox shirt.”
(Later that evening Lori struck up a conversation with Robyn and said ‘I remember the first time I met you, Robyn, and you asked me where I got my shirt– it was this shirt with foxes on it from here.”– bit of a full circle moment)
Cami– “These Fidelity jeans. I think I wear them 80% of my life”
As for me, I too remember a pair of jeans from Shop B that I lived in when I was about 22–they were Rock and Republic with a flared leg that made me feel like Victoria Beckham. I also remember the first item I EVER got from the store- a Christmas gift from my parents in 2004- it was a pink sweater with gold thread running through it.
I also remember this purse I bought a few months later that Michele actually made.
I have a lot of fond memories wrapped up in Shop B that could fill a very long blog post (let me tell you about a time she parked a pink Vespa in her display window!). I remember the first day I showed up to work at the store and Michele was wearing a full, bright pink skirt with a white blouse, a wide raffia belt and espadrilles. To me, she was straight out of Sex and the City, and as a 21-year-old university student who was mostly interested in wearing clothes to ‘fit in’, she inspired me to just go for it and wear what I truly love..
Happy Anniversary, Shop B! Here’s to 15 more!
Photos by Camilla Brenchley
Florals by Blooms & Flora