Article from The Sarnia Journal

Women’s clothing store doubling down in the Point

Weeks before the opening of their new clothing store in Point Edward, Patti and Gary Prowse are hard at work laying the flooring.

Spring has sprung and it’s hot. But they can’t get over how good the washed grey laminate looks.

“Everything is falling into place perfectly,” says Patti. “As soon as I saw this space, I liked the energy. It feels right.”

Patti Prowse has sold women’s clothing at her Buttons & Bows boutique on Main Street in Forest for 13 years and thought a lot about a second location.

The Point Edward Buttons & Bows shop opens June 1 on Michigan Avenue near St. Clair Street.

It will be the first tenant in the first phase of a new walking mall being built by local businessman Stephen Jay.

“I think Steve’s plan to bring more commercial near the water on Michigan Avenue is wonderful,” Prowse said. Jay plans to build 13,000-squarefeet of commercial space in several phases.

With 1,300-square-feet, the Point Edward shop will be twice the size of the For- est store with room for more women’s clothing lines and a small selection of men’s wear.

“I called all my suppliers before making the decision and had a really positive response,” Prowse said. “Everyone has been encouraging with all kinds of ideas for the new store.”

Buttons & Bows Point Edward will be all about “shabby chic” whereas the Forest store has a more cottage-like feel to it.

The new shop will sport chandeliers, repurposed antique furniture, four change rooms and an accessible washroom. Prowse was lucky enough to purchase the front window risers from a clothing store shutting down in Lambton Mall.

“That’s another thing that happened to convince me this was the right time,” she said.

She already carries a lot of labels she says are classics and they will also be available in Point Edward.

Lines like Joseph Ribkoff made in Montreal are pricier but timeless, she said.

The store will have business and casual wear, swimwear, cruisewear, Up! and pants and jewelry from Thailand and India.

Prowse, who brings experience as an accountant, salesperson, model and an interior designer to her business, said she intends to be in the new shop four days a week the first several months.

Her daughter, Leigh Anne James, will be manager. “I love to know my clientele,” Prowse said. “We try very hard to make sure that customers really love what they are purchasing and look good.”

Special events like fashion shows hosted by Lynn Spence from Cityline and trunk shows hosted by various suppliers have helped make a success of the Forest shop. Those kinds of events will be held at the Point Edward store as well, Prowse said.

On May 28, Button and Bows collaborates for the 24th time with Olives Casual Cuisine in Sarnia to hold a fashion show and dinner. The show, which generally sells out, will include two new lines to be sold at the Point Edward store.

As well as the physical location, Prowse operates an associated online webstore at www.buttons-and-bows. ca. About 10% of her sales are online, she said.

More details can be found by visiting or Facebook at Buttons & Bows.

The Point Edward store is looking for two part-time employees. Got a great idea for a business story? Send it to



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