WINDSOR, N.S. — Say hello to downtown merchant Nataly Regan. She owns and operates Madison and Clover, a second-hand women’s clothing boutique.
She moved back to Windsor after having children and was excited to start her own business after finding out she got laid off from her previous job.
“I’ve lived here pretty much my whole life, aside from a few years in Halifax and a few years in Calgary. I’ve been back for about eight years now. It was family, community and friends really. We had a little girl and wanted to come back from Calgary with her and Windsor was just where we wanted to come. My family owns a business here, so I had a job, it wasn’t anything glamorous, but with growing up here, it just sort of made sense.”
“I did this business for a year out of my house — a little boutique set up in the sun porch of my house for a year — and then I took this on last June. When I was doing it out of the house, it was in a residential area, so I wasn’t getting the walk-in traffic, almost everything was from posts on Facebook that would bring people in. When this spot became available I took the plunge and it has definitely been worth it. I really lucked out with the timing, in June, and believe it or not Windsor has a crazy amount of tourists that I never would have suspected. I never worked in downtown Windsor before so I never realized how many people stop here on their way to Halifax or to the Valley. Everybody parks right out front and, well, women can’t help themselves but come in to a clothing store.”
“In the 1980s, downtown Windsor was crazy; every spot was filled with retail. It wasn’t vape places, nothing against that, but it was all stores. People spending money and walking away with something. In the early 1990s, it kind of died when everything, your grocery store, hardware store and liquor store all moved out down Wentworth Road. It killed the downtown completely. People were all about the big box shopping, driving to Costco to save $10 or whatever. But this is the first time since then that I’ve noticed that Windsor has a lot of potential. New businesses are moving in, the Schoolhouse Brewery, myself, a wine bar, the Makers; it’s actually starting to come together. I think that has a lot to do with my generation. We have young kids and I’m not going to drive to Bayers Lake just to save $10. I’m just not. I’ll keep it in the community and spend a little extra if I have to, just to save the time. Plus we’re all about shopping local. There’s a sense of pride when you can support local businesses.”
“I was working at Dartmouth Dodge, doing the in and out every day, the commute, picking up children, dropping them off, the whole rat race. Long story short, my boss gave me the opportunity to be laid off because the position was being eliminated and I took it. A week later I had my store set up in the front porch of my house. It was a weird thing, people always say timing is everything, and the day I got laid off, I should have been terrified, I should have been scared and worried. But I wasn’t at all; it was a complete sense of relief. The light went off and I knew, ‘this is what I’m going to do.’”
Faces Friday is our weekly online feature highlighting members of our community: their strength, challenges and humanity.