The most striking thing for me about Pointe Claire Village has always been the proliferation of female shopkeepers. About thirty percent of the ninety or so businesses are owned entirely or partially by women. Eve Drouin whose store, La Maison de Calico, has been open one of the longest, remembers that when she opened twenty-seven years ago there were only about four or five “shops” beyond the usual tradesmen like the plumber, hardware, shoemaker or barber.
Mrs. Lane’s shop was the famous name in the town at that time. She traveled to England and even Red China for her unique wares, and according to Joy Wheeler of Joy, “attracted the crowd from Westmount and downtown”, who drove all the way to Pointe Claire Village for her merchandise. Eve Drouin, a smart business woman, parked her store next door to Mrs. Lane so as to take advantage of all that foot traffic, and it worked, because she’s still there.
Shopping in Pointe Claire Village is like shopping used to be. It is a small community of friendly shopkeepers who all know each other and learn to know you – the customer. Olga van Setten, owner of Phase II, has built her business specifically on just that concept. Buying in her store is like having your own personal shopper; she calls her customers when clothes come in that would be suitable just for them. Busy women have little time to shop, so here is a store owner who can manage your wardrobe for you. The rest of the shopkeepers work similarly – over time, they get to know your personal likes and can lead you to the things that will please you. What a concept.
La Maison de Calico, 324 Bord du Lac at Golf St. Phone: 514-695-0728. Hours: Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Walk into this old house and let the decor and handiwork evoke memories of yesteryear. Creative people with itchy fingers who want to learn quilting, smocking, making teddy bears, silk ribbon embroidery, appliqué and even photo transferring come here to take courses and to buy supplies – even a handmade thimble. The Quebec government has sponsored an Economuseum area showcasing the history of quilting, including a history of the art form as well as old tools and sample quilts. There are gift items for sale like: antique Italian brass objects, Mighty Leaf tea, quilts (for babies too) and a bit of lacework. The wonderful aromas that are wafting through the store come from the Aux Délices de La Maison de Calico tea parlour in the back. www.maisondecalico.com
Joy, 319 Bord du Lac at St. Joachim St. Phone: 514-695-2608. Hours: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed Sundays and Mondays in January and February, and weekday hours then are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Though you may remember Joy’s shop as the queen of the handcrafted specialty bags, rolling luggage wheels and cheap Chinese labor have ended the luggage part of her business. Now you can buy home and gift items. The popular and beautifully crafted Mat and Nat purses which look exactly like leather, but are vegan, fly off her shelves. Walltalk and babytalk are fun sayings (“Laughter translates into any language” “Dare to color outside the lines”,“So many toys, so little time” or Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the places you’ll go”) that you rub onto your walls to personalize your space. The display of All Fired Up decorative light switches are still there along with Elle jewelry, which are well priced sterling silver with a trademark ruby. You can finally find beautiful artistic cards to pen a special note in, and in case you need to read them, reading glasses are here too.
Phase II, 327A bord du Lac at St-Joachim St. Phone: 514-695-9119. Hours: Tuesday to Friday 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. For busy women (sizes 1-14), this consignment boutique specializes in lots of service by choosing the right wardrobe for you. Amongst popular lines (Teenflo, Nygard, Danier, Steilmann, Ralph Lauren, Max Mara, Jones NY, Armani, Talbot), a selection can be made from their suits, blouses, skirts and casual weekend wear. Some accessories like purses, shoes, belts and sunglasses can finish off your look.