Snow Lake’s newest business is Jodie’s at 116 Elm St. It is a high-end clothing store and the store’s proprietor, Jodie Wilson, says business is good.
Nevertheless, in her quest to both develop and expand her clientele, Wilson says she is putting all of her profits back into the business, making regular trips to Winnipeg to purchase new stock. She says her stock comes from suppliers in Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal – people she met through her years in other businesses. “I was a buyer for all of these vendors,” said Wilson. “So I know them all personally. They have been very good to me.”
In respect to the layout of her new Main Street apparel abode, she says that she wanted to keep it very simple, but also wanted it classy. “I wanted the clothes to speak, so I didn’t want a whole bunch of stuff on the walls,” said Wilson. “I just want people to walk in and think, wow, look at all the beautiful clothes and what a nice boutique. So a couple of chandeliers, some paint and some well-placed stock. And the stock is actually doing the rest of it.” As for that stock, Wilson says that she ordered it almost a year ago in order to get the right pieces in her store. “It took about a year for that, as far as the paint and whatnot… that took just a short time.”
As noted, she says that the business is doing well. Stating that she’s had people contact her, who will be coming after hours from surrounding communities to look over and purchase her apparel. “Really, there is no reason for people not to come to Snow Lake for things,” said Wilson.
In the same vein, Chris Chell says he’d give the same advice for getting into business as people do for investing… diversify! Taking a bit of his own advice, he’s added a Laundromat to his business that already includes a car wash, gas pump, Sears outlet, welder’s supply, made to order hydraulic hoses and fittings, Sled and ATV parts, confectionery, paintball supplies, and a snowmobile/ATV apparel outlet – being one of four Manitoba distributors for Klim Gear (pronounced climb) and the only Manitoba distributor for Motorfist apparel.
He has placed the Laundromat in his former shop and left some storage for Sears at the front of the area. The new space is accessed from inside his store and he now does small motors work in a separate shop at the back of his property.
Chell purchased all the washers and dryers in his new Laundromat from the J & C Ventures Laundromat on Elm Street. He has three high capacity front load washers, three high capacity front load dryers and has also purchased a brand spanking new large capacity, industrial washer and dryer that will be used exclusively for mine clothes.
Chell says that he has hit a bit of a snag in moving the Laundromat into his building. He needs to install a 400- amp service in order to operate all his new dryers at once (each draws 57 amps and requires a 70 amp breaker), but must wait to have Manitoba Hydro upgrade their supply to his building, at a substantial cost to him. He states he has a hard time understanding that he has to pay up front for an upgrade that will allow him to purchase more product (hydro) from a Crown corporation. “I’d rather they up my hydro bill $130 - $150 a month, than paying a big chunk of money up front. I wasn’t really expecting that,” said the businessman.
Chell adds that he won’t be at full capacity until he is done negotiating with Manitoba Hydro and gets the proper power hooked up. However, he says there are still a lot of people in to use the facilities and it is just kind of wait your turn situation at present. “Most who really need to use it come in a little earlier as they know it will be slower then,” he said.