Vancouver Island Business: Catwalk Fashions (Nanaimo)
Robin Tomlinson recently took some time out of her busy schedule running her clothing store in downtown Nanaimo to do a little e-mail interview with us regarding her business, downtown Nanaimo and what it's like to be a small business owner. Catwalk Fashions is located at 13 Commercial Street in Nanaimo. The clothing store is mainly Funky Fashions for Fabulous Females from around the world - Numph, Motel Rocks, Coupe, Dereon, !iT jeans, Foxy, Traffic People, Lipsy, Evil Twin, Mink Pink, Papillon among others. Here is our e-mail interview with Robin!
1:Hi Robin, where do you live on Vancouver Island and what is your favourite thing about your city?
A:I live in Nanaimo, BC and my favorite things about this city is the size and proximity to the ocean. It has a small town feel with all the benefits of a larger city. Oh, and we have the best downtown on the island!
2:Tell us what your business is all about and where you are located
(i.e how long you've been in business, target market, what you sell etc).
I own Catwalk Fashions in downtown Nanaimo and have had this small business for going on 8 years now!! It is a ladies clothing store that focuses on women who like to stand out in a crowd and make a statement. That has no age. Women who have bought clothing in my store always say when they wear it people always say "Where did you get that!!" I also have REAL sizes - not just size 2-6. So sad that the fashion people have decided that only women from sizes 0-6 should enjoy fashion. Not so in my store!!
3:As a downtown Nanaimo business owner you must have been following the construction of the cruise ship dock, do you think it's a good thing for Nanaimo?
A: There are 2 new things that most downtown businesses are excited by. That is, the new cruise ship dock bringing in more cruise ships and the airport opening up to more flights. Having cruise ships being able to dock will make a great difference in which ones will stop here and how many people will get off and enjoy our town!
4:What is your 5 year plan for your business?
A: My 5 year plan would be to open up another store and see our downtown thrive as it should. Our local Nanaimo people still do not shop down here. The malls still grab 99% of our local dollars. I sincerely hope that people will realize that they are making a choice every time they spend a dollar at a chain store, that they do not want diversity.
5:How important do you feel social media is to the success of a business these days?
A: On a last note, I have just come to realize how important social media is. I use it extensively and still don't think I quite have a handle on it as it changes every day. It helps to have a 14 year old daughter to keep me updated on what is going on! I use facebook mostly, posting pictures and telling about sales. It is extremely powerful and it is free - only my time. That is why I have so many contests because I am giving my advertising dollars back to my customers. They are in charge!
In conclusion I just have to say that I feel I have the best job on earth - shopping for a living and meeting so many fabulous women every day. I get to make women feel strong and powerful and hopefully they feel better when they leave then when they got here!
Follow Catwalk Fashions on Facebook for sales, contest and information!