|Owner of Seasons of Westport|
"It's a little slice of heaven."
Business is good when you can expand your operations after less than two years of operation. This is Judith Allen's success story as owner of Seasons of Westport. She opened her women's clothing and accessory shop within two years completed an expansion to more than double her retail floor space from 900 square feet to 1,900 square feet.
"Business has been very good - we've exceeded all of our modest targets. It's only going to grow from there."
"It's an ideal location," Judith says of why she set up shop in Westport's downtown core beside the historic retail outlet The Village Green.
"It is the shopping street. People come here from far away. They come from Belleville, Kingston, Brockville, Ottawa and the Gatineaus because the village offers great places to eat and great places to shop."
Judith and her husband Glenn operated businesses in Ottawa before moving to Westport more than 10 years ago. They discovered the area while boating on the Rideau River. As a natural progression, the couple purchased a home in the village.
"We fell in love with the (Rideau) system and the region," says Judith.
She was helping out a friend in another store when she realized she wanted to start her own business. Judith's goal was to create a shop offering clothing for women aged 30 and older with sizes from 2 to 24. An large inventory of accessories means Seasons is a one-stop shop for women's apparel. She stresses a good price point and service to match Westport's small-town charm.
"We're here to assist you. It's important for visitors to feel they're welcome here, that we're accessible," says Judith, adding she considers herself and the Seasons staff as ambassadors.
"They're going to tell their friends and they're going to come back." She also maintains Westport is a destination not just in the summer months but all year round. It's the reason she named her shop Seasons. Community support from both year-round and seasonal residents has also been top notch, according to Judith.
And the location is beyond compare. She feels Westport and Leeds Grenville overall is a smart place to do business. In Westport, they have the benefit of the Rideau Heritage Route. From Foley Mountain you can see five lakes. This is prime cottage country with boating and fishing. The idea of a "Staycation" is a good fit for Westport business owners. They welcome day trippers, people looking for short getaways and summer residents. Festivals also bring in crowds, including Blues on the Rideau.
"Where else can you do business and hear the loons calling to each other over the lake in the middle of the night? It's just a little slice of heaven."
Judith is proud to do business in Leeds Grenville.
17 Church Street