The turn of the calendar year is a great time to reflect, re-energize, and revisit old goals while establishing new ones. It is also a time for rebirth. Liz Huntley, owner of The Swimwear Hut And Lingerie, has given the store a fresh look and feel in its new location at 8876 Commercial Street, New Minas. If you haven’t visited yet, just find the most splendid looking Christmas tree in the village, and it’s the stately home-turned-commercial space next to it! Huntley has been busy transitioning to the new space while also operating her other business, LIV Fashion Boutique in Kentville (see runner-up for ‘Best Clothing Store’ in our Best of the Bunch survey).
The Grapevine (GV): How long have you been a clothing retailer, and what got you started in this industry?
Liz Huntley (LH): I have been in the fashion industry for over twenty-two years now. I have always had a strong passion for style even from a very young age, and have always enjoyed making others feel good about themselves by getting them into styles and undergarments that would change not only their look, but also their outlook! I know just how good someone can feel about themselves by getting properly “fitted” and into the best styles. It’s a unique industry and I love being a part of it. I love seeing confidence in ladies and watching just how beautiful they can look both inside and out. The dressing room tells this lovely story!
GV: The Swimwear Hut just moved locations. Tell us what we can expect from the new space.
LH: When you visit our new location, you can expect the same quality, professionalism, and compassion that has always been offered, but in a whole new atmosphere! Our new location feels warm and welcoming from the moment you walk in, right through to entering the elegant dressing rooms. The new design and layout helps customers find products more easily and will make their overall shopping experience more enjoyable. Every detail was carefully planned, from visual displays and music, to lighting and design. We carry all the same, well-known brands that everyone loves—they are just now presented in a way that highlights each and every item! The bottom level of the store displays all of our designer bras, lingerie, pajamas, slippers, men’s items, accessories and much more, while the upstairs shows off our large selection of swimwear, cover-ups, and sandals. For anyone who isn’t able to access the upper level of the store, we offer a 3D view of the entire upper level and all the products displayed there! We wanted to ensure our store continued to be accessible for all.
GV: You also own LIV Fashion Boutique. What made you decide to open another store?
LH: I believe in bras and swimsuits for all, and I also believe in fashion and styles for all. Opening a clothing store with all the best styles, designs, and sizes has always been a dream of mine and an exciting “next adventure.” Just as The Swimwear Hut And Lingerie has always been known for its inclusiveness, I wanted to own a clothing boutique that was also size inclusive! LIV offers sizes ranging from XS-3XL, in beautiful styles that flatter all body types!
GV: You have many followers on social media, and consistently win awards for being a favourite clothing store in the Valley. What is your unique selling point?
LH: We focus on superior customer service as well as a very inclusive environment and product range for all. We let everyone know they are welcome in our store, and are also gender inclusive, and we show this by proudly displaying a sign on the door that says “All are Welcome”. From the moment a customer walks through our doors, to the moment they leave, they are treated as our top priority and made to feel welcomed, valued and important.
GV: What advice do you have for other retail entrepreneurs?
LH: Find what works for your business and go with it! And always remember nothing beats excellent customer service! Have fun and enjoy what you do! In the end it’s all how the customer feels, as you want to build that positive relationship with them so they will return again and again. When you believe your product or service can fulfill the lives of others and make a difference, it sure does make it a lot easier to sell it!
For more information visit The Swimwear Hut And Lingerie at 8876 Commercial Street, New Minas, on Facebook, or at swimwearhutandlingerie.ca.