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So, I'll tell you a story of a lovely little jewelry store in Hamilton called Essentia. It was walking distance from my house and had a great mix of accessories and collections from local designers. There are really unique pieces at very decent prices and they often have 50% savings on featured designers. I did my part, I bought quite a bit of interesting stuff (including the freshwater pearl and silk flower necklace above) and I also brought many friends along to check it out. Alas, they did not do their part. Very limited advertising (if any?) and a sales girl who was nice but unenthusiastic. It went out of business last fall. I profited from the final sales but I would rather have paid full price and kept a good business in my area. I am their target customer, I spend money foolishly and I like shiny things... Why did I have to find their store by chance? They should have found me...

There is a boutique on Locke Street that I fear may face the same fate as Essentia. It's Boutique Olivia and it carries a well-chosen selection from labels like Paige Premium Denim and Ella Moss. It's been around since May 2008 but I never noticed it until the fall, even though I drive by it many times a week. It's set back from the road a bit and has smaller display windows but they could make up for it with a bigger road sign and maybe with a logo that's not a yawn. Go out on a friggen limb... have pretty models hand out popsicles on a hot summer day... well, maybe they should hand out drumsticks, they are more upscale.

Anyways, what is the point of this rant? Hmmmm... support local efforts and if you are a local effort, put some effort and money into reaching your markets (3 efforts in one sentence). I am not trying to be a know-it-all, I just don't want to lose anymore good stores in Hamilton, especially when the pickings are already slim.

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