Local storeowner encourages downtown shopping

Kristen McEwen
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Running a business can be difficult; running a business alone is even more challenging.

TaDa Shopping storeowner Grace Dansereau, left, shows customer Yang Jia-Chen a picture frame on Friday.

Grace Dansereau started her boutique shop TaDa Shopping just over 10 months ago on Central Avenue.

TaDa Shopping carries a number of unique items that are difficult to find anywhere else.

“I like to use the words funky, unique (and) different for my shop because (customers are) not going to find these products in the chains or the big box stores,” Dansereau said. “Yet my prices are definitely in line with them. People tend to think smaller shops don’t give you bargains but it’s really a fallacy, we try very hard to be competitive.”

The shop has a variety of small home and yard décor, collectables and accessories such as handbags, wallets and jewellery. The shop owner also sells games, clothing and specialty items for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas and Easter.

The online version of the store has more than 3,000 products, which include kitchenware, tools, natural shampoos, herbal products and aroma products.

Dansereau processes online orders herself.

“Lots of people think that when they go to an online store it’s somebody else — you’re still dealing with me,” she said. “I’m processing the orders from here as well as shipping directly to them.”

Dansereau, a certified yoga instructor who also teaches music lessons from her home, decided to start the shop on Nov. 1, 2011.

“I’ve always been interested in interior decorating and I don’t know, perhaps that’s why I gravitated to home décor a little bit,” she said. “I like boutique shops. I’ve always frequented them myself; I’ve lived in a boutique area in Winnipeg, my son lives in a boutique area in Calgary. It’s just something that I like.”

She thought Central Avenue would be the best place to open her shop because of the other boutiques and eateries already in the area. She said she hopes Prince Albert’s downtown will grow and become an area where people will go to visit specialty shops.

“Central Avenue still needs to have a lot more people coming downtown,” Dansereau said. “All of us on Central Avenue are struggling over the fact that there’s not enough people wandering on Central Avenue, browsing the various shops. There’s many of us who are new on Central and we’re trying to get this area rejuvenated …”

Dansereau plans to hire some extra help with the store, however until more people shop in the downtown area, she will have to find other ways to bring people to her store.

“I enjoy it, it’s just the cost factor is a little bit under at times,” she said. “I love the shop, love the location … everything about it; it’s just the fact that I have to get more customers and more awareness and not just browsers — shoppers. I get a lot of people coming in for the first time, of course they’re just coming in to take a look to see what’s here, so I do have to get people back and shopping.”

TaDa Shopping is located at 805-B Central Ave across from the MacIntosh Mall. Store hours are Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 12p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information contact Dansereau at 970-3590 or shop anytime online at www.tadashopping.com.


Organizations: Prince Albert

Geographic location: Central Avenue, Winnipeg, Calgary

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