This Valentine’s Day isn’t just about heart-shaped candies and flowers; it’s also a milestone for LaBelle Boutique, a beloved fashion fixture in Kindersley, celebrating its 40th anniversary!
In February 1984, Frances McManus seized an opportunity to open not just one, but two stores in the then-new Kindersley Mall, launching LaBelle Boutique alongside Maggie’s Finery. “I have always loved fashion and shopping, and even sewed a lot of my own clothes in my younger days, so when an opportunity arose, I took it. It was very exciting for Kindersley and the surrounding area to have a mall and local shopping options. We were busy from day one!” shared Frances. “On our first day open, I specifically remember that I dressed our mannequin in a very beautiful Wayne Clark red dress, who was a popular Canadian designer at the time. And now, red is back!”
Over the years, not only has LaBelle Boutique been a great place to shop, but it has also become known for its events. From the annual Goose Festival days to their five am “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee” shopping morning, these gatherings have been about more than just shopping—they’ve been about creating memorable, fun experiences for everyone involved. “We have also always done fashion shows. We did an annual Mother’s Day fashion show brunch at the Kindersley Inn for many, many years. It was a family event because my daughters, sisters, nieces, and family friends would model, and we would do two or three shows that day. We also took our fashion shows on the road and have traveled to many of the neighboring communities every year for ladies’ nights and other events.”
One of the things Frances cherishes most about owning LaBelle Boutique is the personal connection with her customers. “Over the years, I’ve had such a fun time dressing friends, family, and members of the community. I still have many loyal customers from our early days, and many folks who still make a special trip just to see us. Recently, I realized that our younger customers’ mothers and grandmothers have shopped with us, so I have dressed three generations of Kindersley and area women.”
Adapting to the times, LaBelle Boutique has embraced technology, from their online store labelleboutique1984.com and social media accounts, to their modern sales systems. “We originally hand-wrote all of our receipts. It was cash or cheque at that time! Now, we have a POS system with all kinds of sales data, as well as our Instagram (labelleboutique84) and Facebook (LaBelle Boutique) accounts to keep in touch with our customers. It has also opened up a whole new group of loyal customers from across Canada and all over the US!” shared Frances. Although technology has brought change, some things stay the same. “We always aim to offer a personal touch at LaBelle. I love having coffee with our customers while we visit, and they try on clothes. It’s so social and rewarding. I love seeing a happy customer leave with a shopping bag of new treasures that we helped them choose.”
Looking ahead to the spring season, Frances is excited about the upcoming trends. “We currently have our new spring arrivals coming in. We are seeing a lot of bright colors for spring and still seeing some Barbie pinks. There really is something for everyone, as neutrals also continue to be popular.”
So, whether you are looking for something special to spice up your wardrobe or wanting a cup of strong coffee and a good chat, come down to LaBelle Boutique on February 14 to celebrate four decades of success. There will be special offers, door prizes, treats, and lots of coffee!
“Over the years, I’ve had many amazing staff members, along with the support of my family and my customers. I couldn’t have done it without everyone, so this is my way of saying thank you!”
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