behind the scenes
Leslie Wallack spent much of her early life in big cities such as Montreal, Ottawa and Kingston. Blessed with an entrepreneurial spirit, it was in Kingston that Leslie opened her first business - a salon.
Eventually, it came time for a change and Leslie began to look at moving to a smaller setting.
“I moved from the city life to Perth in 2000 and never looked back,” she says.
While Perth had a comfortable every-day pace about it, Leslie found it also had just enough happening to keep things interesting through-out the year. As for herself, she wasn’t sure just how she was going to fit in.
“Initially, I wasn’t sure what i was going to do,” she recalls.
An avid reader Leslie had built up a considerable private library with friends and neighbours often borrowing her books. Eventually, one of them suggested she do what she loved and open a bookstore.
The suggestion made a lot of sense and in 2007 Leslie opened the Book Nook in downtown Perth.
“I wasn’t looking to get rich or anything, but i knew I couldn’t make it with books alone, so I started to add complementary items such as art supplies and games and puzzles. That’s how the Book Nook & Other Treasures was born.”
When Covid hit and everyone began to look for things to do at home, Leslie’s inventory met a very public demand.
During the lockdowns when in-store shopping was curtailed, she worked on her website as a means of offering online orders. While the website worked well, Leslie was well aware she couldn’t compete with the likes of Amazon.
It was then that she took to heart the advice of a business adviser who told her: “Don’t compete with Amazon. Focus on your local area.”
So that’s what she did introducing curbside pick-up and local deliveries.
“In the Perth area books and puzzles have always been popular with cottagers looking to have something to do on rainy days,” explains Leslie.
During the pandemic, the sale of books and puzzles increased. At first she found it was the older adults buying them, but soon found they were being bought by all ages including teenagers and young adults “who seemed to rediscover the joy of doing puzzles.”
It was no surprise.
“In difficult times books and puzzles offer folks some degree of normal,” Leslie reflects.
“I’ve always enjoyed the shared bond that exists between readers,” muses Leslie. “There’s a certain dynamic that makes a bookstore a perfect location for conversation. It’s like a gathering of friends with mutual acquaintances.”
While Leslie enjoys discussing her books with her customers, she often finds the conversation quickly moves from one customer to another with each invariably making recommendations for the other.
“I have one regular who reads a lot of non-fiction. If he finds something he likes, he’ll come back in to order additional copies for family and friends. One time he ordered a couple copies of a book and when it came in, he said to me, ‘here I you to want to read this I think you’ll enjoy it’”
“I explained that he didn’t have to order a book for me and we both had a good laugh.”
These days Leslie welcomes a new employee, Mark, to the shop. Mark is also an avid reader and a freelance editor.
While the pandemic has made in-store shopping more difficult, Leslie has worked hard to ensure that it was safe. Hers was one of the first businesses to mandate masks.
“Not everybody was happy with me and a few even left without coming in the store, but for me it’s all about protecting the community. I don’t resent the protocols. The sooner we adhere to them, the sooner we’ll get out of this mess,” she explains.
While her product line has enabled her to weather the damage done by Covid better than many, Leslie is well aware that it’s been more difficult for some of her colleagues.
“We have to look out for each other,” she says.
During the pandemic she has watched as business owners bought from each other and reached out to each other about new ideas and survival strategies.
“It’s been very inspiring to see,” she says. “After all we are in this together.”
Whether Meredith Salvian Creighton found Perth or it found her is a matter of some conjecture.
Born in Burlington, Meredith was the oldest of six children. As chance would have it, her family lived just a block away from the Mahaffy family whose daughter Leslie would be the tragic victim of serial killer Paul Bernado.
“When that happened my father, who was a policeman in Hamilton, said that’s it were moving and we ended up in Port Dover. It was there that I grew up,” Meredith recalls.
Eventually, she found herself working in the periodontal industry in Ottawa as an executive consultant.
“I worked with the patients as a treatment coordinator” she explains. “I’d meet with the clients and establish their needs and then coordinate the proper course of treatment with the dentist.”
At the same time her husband Mark was in new home sales.
By 2014, the couple made the decision to move to a smaller community to raise their family. Meredith had 2 children by a previous marriage, a son James and a daughter Alison, a special needs child.
“As Alison got older and we learned more about her specific disability, we became concerned about her education and the support she would need,” says Meredith. “We knew she was going to need a lot of help and weren’t convinced she would get in a large city high school. So we began to look around.”
Thinking back Meredith recalls coming through Perth ten years ago and sitting on the bench in front of the Toronto Dominion Bank. She remembers thinking at the time that this would be a good place to live.
Little did she know that one day she would own a cheese shop located right behind that very same bank.
Impressed by what they saw in Perth, Meredith and Mark and moved their family here in 2014.
“It was the best decision,” she says. “We had no intention of opening a shop, but often recalled our past visits to various cheese shops in places like Pert Dover and Georgetown. We wondered if one would succeed in Perth.”
Convinced that it would, Meredith and Mark opened their shop in a converted mill in July 2018.
“We knew from the beginning we’d need to sell more than just cheese, so we stocked things such as crackers, olives and mustards, as well as chocolates.”
In the upstairs of the shop, Meredith sells accoutrements such as gift baskets and chacuterie boards many made by a local craftsman.
From the beginning Meredith tried to source her products locally and says that as much as 70% of her products are local, including chocolate from Hummingbird Chocolate in Almonte and maple syrup from the Farrell’s in Stanleyville.
To date two of her biggest sellers have been a sheep’s milk brie and a highland blue cheese, both made by the Back Forty Cheese Company in Mississippi Station.
Ultimately whether a product is local or not is not what determines if it makes it into her shop.
“It’s not good enough that it’s local,” says Meredith. “It also has to be of a high quality. We test and taste everything we stock.”
From the beginning, Meredith was busy.
“People love local,” she muses.
Then Covid hit and things got quiet.
“We modified our hours. We began to offer free delivery. We made adjustments in our product line,” explains Meredith for whom a fine charcuterie had always been an excellent way to bring family and friends together.
But the pandemic changed that.
When one customer suggested that rather than one large charcuterie board, she’d be interested in smaller individual sizes so everyone wasn’t eating off the same board, it was a suggestion Meredith followed up on.
Looking back Meredith and Mark are pleased with the decision they made.
“The community has been incredible,” says Meredith who explains that their daughter Alison has found just the kind of support she needed.
“She’s the happiest, friendliest girl you’ll ever meet,” says Meredith. “She has taught us all how to stay positive.”
And that’s a valuable lesson when you own a business in the middle of a pandemic.
Behind the scenes at the Katherine Muir-Miller Gallery, with artist and owner, Katherine Muir-Miller
A serious accident in 2015 changed forever the course of Katherine Muir-Miller’s life.
A former emergency room nurse, Katherine suffered a serious fall that not only ended her nursing career, but brought about a dramatic shift in her lifestyle. Prior to the accident, she had played hockey, run triathlons and worked out, as well as having raised five children.
“Our children now range from 24 – 30 years old,” she says. ”One works in the intensive care unit in Kingston, one is a paramedic, one is a forester, one is a firemen and one is studying biology with the intent of becoming a doctor.”
Growing up Katherine’s children had an appreciation for the outdoors, enjoying activities such as canoe trips, hockey, hiking and white water canoeing, often taking photographs of their adventures.
While she did a bit of tole painting when the children were younger, it wasn’t until 2010 that Katherine started to paint landscapes and only after her accident that she approached it with any degree of seriousness.
“I discovered that painting was something I could physically do and it was incredibly therapeutic,” as she recalls how it helped her through her “dark and terrible” days of physical therapy, chiropractic care, vision and balance therapy and the rebuilding of her neck muscles.
“The accident slowed me down,” says Katherine “and I guess that energy had to go somewhere. I could have sat around and gone ‘oh woe is me,’ but that’s not my style.”
As painting became an integral part of her recovery, it was Katherine’s use of colour that gave her work its distinctive flavour.
“I love Canadian landscapes. There’s so much colour there and I paint them as I see them. Red rocks? Maybe, I was being daring. I don’t know. It didn’t seem so at the time,” she explains.
” Visually and emotionally, we are surrounded by nature. Canada is breath-taking. It’s my hope to help bring it to life through my use of colour. I’m thrilled when someone recognizes a particular place in one of my paintings.”
To this day Katherine’s passion for colour in nature remains a driving force in her work.
“Landscapes give off colour to me..... It’s fascinating how many colours one can see in a single tree. Every artist sees things differently. You could have 20 different artists paint a particular pine tree and you’d end up with 20 different pine trees,” she says.
Gradually, as her inventory of pieces grew, she began to take them to art shows, eventually deciding that she’d do three years of shows and then reassess where things were at.
With her husband and children working as a support team, the shows went well until the outset of the third year when Covid hit.
“I was going to do 10 shows in 2020, but as it turned out, I did one and the rest were cancelled.”
That July as Katherine was walking through downtown Perth with a friend, she saw a storefront sign that read: “Rent Reduced.”
Her friend suggested she open a gallery.
While it wasn’t something Katherine had ever considered, she wrote down the number and later when her husband offered the same suggestion, she made the call.
Then on November 5, 2020, Katherine opened her gallery in downtown Perth.
While it was, as Katherine termed it, “a giant leap of faith,” she had the full support of her family who pointed out that the cost of the gallery was really no different than the cost of the ten cancelled shows.
“It was meant to be,” recalls Katherine. “It seemed my work had finally found a home.”
While her intention had always been to open a studio, a place where she could paint outside her home, it was only when she saw the sign in Perth that she decided to open a gallery.
“I wanted it to have a wow factor so I paid close attention to the colour and other decor details such as the lighting etc.,” explains Katherine, who continues to paint at home, while using her gallery to feature her own work and that of other emerging local artists.
Today Katherine’s life has come full circle.
What had once been a hobby when her children were young has now become a full-time occupation as she transforms the photographs of their adventures into stunning works of art.
Figuring out what to do when the grandkids came over wasn’t all that difficult for Marilyn Manson.
“I decided to buy a store and put them to work,” she smiles.
After 31 years of working for Ontario Parks as a senior clerk at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park, Marilyn decided to retire and spend her days as a full-time grandmother.
Marilyn has three daughters, plus two son-in-laws and seven grandchildren, in addition to two great-nieces who are like adopted grandchildren. On any given day you may find one or more of them in the store working alongside Marilyn.
As well, you may find her husband there in the background building furniture, remodeling the store, painting or doing whatever needs to be done.
Family is important for Marilyn who grew up in the hamlet of White.
“No one knows where it is,” she laughs. “It’s actually half-way between Brightside and Calabogie, but there’s no sign. Nothing. Just a small schoolhouse to indicate where it is.”
While she now lives a little closer to Perth, it’s still a long way from city living.
“We live on the Ferguson’s Falls Road,” she explains. “We have meat hens and laying hens, pet pot belly pigs and a meat pig, 12 goats, a dog, a cat and a rabbit that runs free usually alongside the cat and dog.”
Despite the fact that it’s a busy household, Marilyn knew when she left her job at the park that she wanted to have something else to do.
In the back of her mind, she had always dreamt of having her own store and having her kids and grandkids work alongside her.
“I felt if I opened a store it would give everyone a place to help out, a place to be together. They could mind the store and paint and clean up, do odd jobs etc.,” she says.
“So when i retired I bought my favorite store - Treasure Lane. I loved their inventory and the atmosphere of the store,” explains Marilyn.
When Marilyn took over the store in October 2019 it was located in a small room half-way down the lane that runs between Foster and North streets in Perth.
Eventually, the need for a better location became evident and on July 1, 2020 Marilyn moved the store from its location in the lane to its present location at 62 Gore St. E. In the process she renamed it Treasure Lane by the Tay in reference to its proximity to the iconic Tay River that runs through Perth.
“My husband and grandson finished painting the new location one evening and the next day at 3:00 p.m. we closed the store in the lane and the whole family arrived. We had everything moved in and the new store open at 10:00 a.m. the next day. It was the hottest day of the year,” recalls Marilyn whose family often reminds her of moving on the hottest day of the summer!
While the move allowed Marilyn to expand her inventory, it didn’t shift her focus.
“I try to keep my product as local as possible. My husband makes the furniture. I have a carpenter who makes coat racks for me. I have a lady who does stain glass, another who makes homemade soap, dishcloths, headbands and personalizes glasses and mugs. People love local,” she explains.
“I try to stock things that no one else has. I love the Amish-type of items such as the baked enamel trays, bowls and especially lighting. I have a large variety of clocks, paintings and a number of signs, many with funny sayings on them. You have to have a little fun,” she laughs.
While the pandemic has been far from fun, Marilyn has made adjustments along the way to how she does business. She now has a strong social media presence using videos on Instagram and Facebook Live posts to stay in touch with her customer base. It has worked well and Marilyn currently boasts over 8,000 Facebook followers.
“Last Mother’s day I offered free delivery to Carleton Place, Almonte, Smiths Falls, Kingston and even the east end of Ottawa and it was hugely popular,” she points out. “I often still do deliveries in Ottawa and Kingston – it’s always an option if I’m heading that way.”
One of the things Marilyn has most appreciated during the pandemic has been the support of her fellow business owners.
“We have to help each other,” she says. “If I don’t have something then I refer the customer to a different store. I’m constantly sending people to other locations.”
It’s a spirit of collaboration born, no doubt, out of Marilyn’s belief in the importance of family.
Few industries have been as hard hit during the pandemic as the wedding industry. Couples have had to change dates on numerous occasions and constantly alter plans for invitation lists and so on.
It’s a fact known only too well by Julia Foley owner of Ever After Bridal Boutique which carries a wide selection of both new and consignment clothing, including gowns for special occasions.
“The impact has been devastating,” says Julia who has tried to remain busy while working at home.
“I took a seven week course through the Small Business Advisory Centre and took part in the Digital Main Street Program as well. But mine is a business where you really have to come in and experience the fitting of the dress and so on. It’s all about the experience. It’s their happy moment.”
While many retailers have switched to online sales, it isn’t really an option for Julia.
“Some of my items are on consignment, they’re not mine. What if I sent something out and it’s returned with damage? I couldn’t have that,” she maintains.
Julia has found the government regulations to be simply too restrictive.
“I feel that what we do is as essential as some other businesses. You take a large chunk out of the local economy when you eliminate weddings,” she points out.
“I don’t see any reason why small businesses couldn’t be open. We are far safer and take far more precautions than the big box stores do,” says Julia who grew up in the hamlet of Balderson just outside of Perth where her parents operated a vacation farm as a bed-and-breakfast.
“Growing up I learned how to make friends fast and the importance of hospitality,” she recalls. “I helped with the family business. Throughout the years it seemed I always had my feet inside a restaurant.”
It was these experiences that eventually led Julia to a career in event planning and management.
“Eventually, I enrolled in the hotel and restaurant management course at college,” she points out.
Along the way, she literally married the boy next door.
“Yeah he really was the boy next door and he’s been extremely supportive with my career,” reflects Julia.
Although she founded L.O.V.E. – Local Ottawa Valley Events - these days Julia does very little in the way of wedding planning.
“I’m still an officiant and can renew people’s vows for them etc. and I’ll still help with the planning, as a favour for a friend, but these days weddings are so small that there’s not a lot of planning needed.”
For Julia it’s been a double whammy since one of the other markets she catered to was the travel industry.
“I used to sell to women going on a cruise who were looking for something special to wear on the formal night on the ship, but, of course, that’s all been shut down as well.”
Julia recently hired two models and a photographer to do a photo shoot of her inventory, but she’s had to put them on hold.
“For me, it’s been a total pause. It’s tough to stay positive,” reflects the young lady from Balderson whose upbringing on the farm will no doubt help to see her through the challenge.
They say every cloud has a silver lining. While that may be a bit of a cliché, for Kim Kuhnle, owner of Balderson Kidz, it holds an element of truth.
“When the pandemic arrived and the first lockdown hit, we were looking for a way to stay connected with our customers,” recalls Kim. “That’s when we started our book club.”
“It was an opportunity for families to sign up and receive 3 – 5 books each month, delivered free to their home,” explains Kim. “Every two weeks I load up the car and head out.”
With many youngsters at home and parents looking to keep them occupied, the club became an instant hit. Before long, Kim’s arrival at the various homes became a much anticipated event. “It’s so cute. In many cases, the kids are sitting in the window waiting for us to arrive,” says Kim.
Kids love clubs. As a result, along with her book club, Kim began a Boredom Buster Club, a surprise pack containing a range of products for children again delivered to the door each month. The pack could include everything from activity books, crafts and how-to-guides and. Kim also has a Sticker Club.
Kim knows all too well what it’s like to be looking for something to do. She originally came from Osgoode a place she says is smaller than Perth.
“It’s so small, they don’t even have street lights,” she laughs. Looking to move somewhere bigger, without having to relocate to the city, Kim arrived in Perth in 2006. Prior to that she had worked in the retail industry since she was 14.
“I eventually went to college in the business administration program and got a job in an office, but it wasn’t for me,” she says. She left after less than a year.
Her heart belonged in retail and so she became the franchise owner of the Mac’s Milk on the corner of Gore & Craig Streets in Perth.
“That was hard. With a young family, it was tough to be on call 24/7 so I gave that up,” she says.
By this time she and her husband Brett had three children – Josie age 10, Sophia age 9 and Blake who is 1 1/2. Their middle child Sofia has severe autism.
With a young family at her side, Kim decided that whatever she did next would have to involve her kids.
“I knew that whatever it was I did, I wanted to be able to bring the children to work. So when Balderson KIdz became available it just seemed like a good fit,” she reflects.
Having a retail outlet dealing in merchandise for children was the perfect fit for Kim and her family with her kids quickly becoming her quality control department.
“We test everything that comes into store,” says Kim who explains why the pandemic has been especially difficult for her business. “It’s hard to buy children’s things on line. People like to come in and try things out. It’s just easier for them to do exchanges and returns.”
While she missed her walk-in customers, Kim used her time during the lockdowns to strengthen her online presence through such programs as the Digital Main Street. She also looked to add to her line of children’s clothing. “I’ve really wanted to expand my selection of footwear since there isn’t really anywhere else that carries that.”
Having a child with special needs has allowed Kim to expand her inventory in different ways with items specifically designed for children who are developmentally delayed.
“These items are also tested by Sofia and her other children,” points out Kim “and have become extremely popular. We just started stocking them in June and since then we’ve had to re-order multiple times.”
With her children taking an active part in the business, it keeps everything in the family, just the way Kim wanted it.
“We have fun,” she says. And when work is fun, it hardly seems like work at all.
Having grown up in Lanark, Ontario, Angie Whyte was eighteen when she took a job placement at Shadowfax in downtown Perth. As fate would have it, she never left.
“I was in the Futures program at Algonquin College,” recalls Angie. “We were supposed to do three four month placements at different locations, but after four months Wendy and I decided I should stay right where I was.”
According to Angie, “Wendy and I just seemed to hit it off.”
At the time Wendy Laut, the founder of Shadowfax, was a well known figure around Perth, having served as a town councillor, a founding member of the popular Stewart Park Festival and a long-standing environmental activist.
“She was so special,” recalls Angie. “She was very generous with her employees. She had a natural way of building people up and making them feel good. She was my boss, but she was also part sister and part best friend.”
In Wendy, Angie found a kindred spirit who always took the side of the underdog.
“Even when renting the apartments above the store, Wendy would take in those who others would consider too risky,” explained Angie. “Everyone deserves a fair chance Wendy would say.”
Established in 1980 Shadowfax was very much a reflection of Wendy Laut’s personality.
“It was eclectic, funky and had a spirit of fun,” says Angie who started there in 1989 and had the store willed to her by Wendy who would pass away from cancer in 2009.
“I’ve tried to keep the spirit of Wendy alive,” says Angie who believes that to this day the store is still filled with her friend’s energy.
“The energy of the store is so important,” reflects Angie. “People come in just to soak it up. Sometimes they come to buy, but sometimes they simply come for a visit. This is my happy place they’ll say.’
The spirit of Shadowfax is very much in keeping with Angie’s belief that one must approach life with a positive outlook, an attitude that is uplifting rather than gloomy.
“You can’t take life too seriously,” she says. “As they say, don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Nowhere is this sense of fun more evident than in the greeting cards she stocks.
“There’s a bit of shock value there, no doubt about it” Angie laughs. “People will pick one up to have a look and then do a double take.”
Every Sunday from 11:00 – 4:00 the store hosts its “Physic Sundays” featuring different intuitive readers.
“These events have become massively popular,” says Angie, “and often those who come for them will end up buying tarot cards or oracle cards or crystals. The volume is up, no question about it. It’s part of a growing holistic approach to wellness. “
During the pandemic as people’s concern for their health increased so too did their interest in the healing property of such things as crystals.
It’s this spiritual aspect of the business that interests Colleen Lamontagne who started at the store in 2001 and remains a close friend and co-worker of Angie’s.
“Her loyalty, enthusiasm and genuine love of her job are unmistakable,” says Angie who points out that Colleen’s understanding of the different properties and benefits of each stone and its origins are facts she loves to share.
Leanne Dwyer is another important part of the Shadowfax team and is best known for her magical, whimsical flair with displays. She’s also the team’s master organizer.
Angie, Colleen and Leanne aren’t the only ones that visitors come to see at Shadowfax. There’s also Piper, their beloved English Budgie, who came to them as a baby in 2012 and now commands a vocabulary of over 200 words.
“He’s a very cherished and important member of our Shadowfax family”, says Angie. “Many pop in to visit him, often bringing him treats and are anxious to hear what new words or phrases he’s learned.”
For Angie it’s one more indication of the kind of connection that has drawn people to Shadowfax over the years.
“People need to feel welcomed and to be heard. Otherwise, they’d just go to Wal-Mart,” maintains Angie who has worked hard to ensure that Shadowfax has remained true to its roots.
Keeping people happy, healthy, laughing and inspired has been the key to the store’s success since the beginning.
Forty-one years later it still is and one senses that Wendy knew it would be when she handed things over to Angie in 2009.
Like many teenagers Cheryl Straby liked to follow the latest fashions, but lacked the means to get the clothes she wanted and her mother was often reluctant to bail her out.
“She didn’t like to give me money for new clothes, especially jeans, but she didn’t mind taking me to the fabric store to buy material,” recalls Cheryl. “So I soon learned that the quickest and easiest way to expand my wardrobe was to make my own clothes.”
Taking things into her own hands began a journey for Cheryl Straby that would see her clothing in some of North America’s best-known boutiques.
Following high school Cheryl enrolled in the fashion design program at Ryerson University in Toronto. It was here she developed the technical skills needed for sewing, pattern drafting and design.
“Design is very technical” says Cheryl. “You need to work hard at learning and developing those skills, because if you don’t have them you’ll never be able to get out what’s in your head.”
When she graduated from Ryerson in the early 80’s, Cheryl immersed herself in Toronto’s vibrant fashion industry.
Her career would take on a life of its own when Cheryl discovered she needed a winter coat.
“At the time I was working as an assistant designer for a company in Toronto and decided I needed a full-length winter coat,” recalls Cheryl. “So I started to experiment with scraps of leather off the cutting room floor and slowly pieced together a design.”
When Cheryl was finished her coat, she began to wear it around Toronto. To her surprise, women stopped her on the street and asked her where she got it.
“When I made the coat, I really had no idea if it was something good or it was junk,” recalls Cheryl.
The story of the coat continued in 1987 when Cheryl left it on the rack by the studio door. That particular day, by chance or fate, a buyer from Vancouver was visiting and noticed the leather coat.
“She asked my boss if it was part of a new collection.”
When the buyer, who owned boutiques in Banff, Vancouver and Whistler, proceeded to place an order for the coat, Strévé Design was born.
Under the original Germanic spelling of her surname, Cheryl began to create her own line of leather coats and handbags.
“My first couple of years were great,” recalls Cheryl.
Then the recession hit in 1990 and she realized people weren’t buying big ticket items. It was then that Cheryl introduced a line of accessories and scarves to her line, as well as jewellery.
“I didn’t do t-shirts or sweatshirts. That’s really not my thing,” she concedes.
Along the way, Cheryl continued to take night courses, including one on entrepreneurship.
“You create to sell, but you also have to sell in order to create,” says Cheryl about the relationship of art to business.
The fashion industry is a tough business with most of the money needed upfront before anything is actually produced or sold.
As a means of saving money, after eight years in Toronto, Cheryl returned to Lanark County where she continued her design business from her parent’s home near Hopetown.
Looking for a larger space, in July 2009 Cheryl opened a small boutique in downtown Perth.
Ten years later she relocated to a former feed mill where she added a second level art gallery representing established and emerging artists. In addition, Cheryl featured locally-made jewelry and hand weaving that compliments her designs.
During the pandemic she used her time to create new designs and to hone her business skills through webinars on a wide range of topics.
“You do what you have to do to get by,” Cheryl reflected. “When you own your own business, failure isn’t an option.”
Throughout it all Cheryl has remained true to her vision.
“When you create something you feel the reward of accomplishment,” she says. “The journey is the enjoyable part. It’s not all work.”
Recently that feeling was confirmed when Strévé Design was presented a runner-up award by the MERA Award of Excellence in Fine Arts and Fine Crafts for 2021.
It’s been a journey full of surprises and accomplishments for Cheryl. The truth is no one knows what will happen when they go looking for a winter coat.