Yesterday was the grand opening of Simons second location in Edmonton at Londonerry Mall and I feel very privileged to have been invited for a little bit of a sneak peek at the store the day before it opened with a guided tour by the owner Peter Simon. First of all this is a very exciting opportunity to be invited to something like this because you are the first to see it in it’s pretty, ready too showcase state without the hustle and bustle of the craziness of opening day…. which BTW was crazy busy, I stopped in to do a little shopping myself so I experienced the craze first hand. What was amazing though was the chance to meet Peter Simon and to be in awe of what he has created and his passion. As an entrepreneur there were so many moments that I was just in awe over what they have created, how humble Peter Simons is and the drive he has to get back to the commuity and the people.
The tour started with us in the parking lot so I am going to guide you through what I experienced as a blogger, entrepreneur and shopper. The parking lot has these car port looking structures which I later found out were solar panels, 1/3 of their solar panels to be exact, the remaining panels are on the roof of the Simons. Simons has taken the initiative to incorporate solar panels into their economic environmental impact. They want to leave less of a footprint and really consider the community they have chosen to be part of. What I really loved about it is what Peter Simons said about this choice and expense to have the solar panels.
I am the captain of my ship, if this works then that is wonderful but if that ship crashes into the shore then at least I had a great ride!
As an entrepreneur and for myself, taking a huge leap into my own uncharted waters this really stuck in my mind. I have great dreams and plans, I have no idea where they are going to lead, I know that I must got for it, and if it ends up crashing into the shore then at least I had a hell of a ride getting there and chasing my dream. This is a reminder to me that we all have dreams we are chasing and that even if we aren’t able to drop anchor where we meant to it is all about our path to get there.
Another aspect of our initial meeting was how impressed I was to see that Peter Simons came out himself, keep in mind this is a man that has opened many stores and is probably very busy. He took the time to shake every person’s hand which is about 30 of us, to personally welcome us to his new Simons store in Londonderry Mall. He explained the solar panel project, welcomed us into the store and gave us a guide tour. Stopping to explain the design of certain areas and answer questions.
To touch on the community aspect once more Simons really wants to bring art into their stores. This is from memory so I’m not quoting it, but as Peter Simons says
Why do you have to go to a museum to see art when you can experience it anywhere in life, we worked with local artists to create beautiful works of art in our store for shoppers to enjoy.
The pieces of art are amazing, One takes place right in the middle of the store by the escalators with all these hanging silhouettes of a man dropped from the ceiling. When you go to the bottom floor and look up at the right angle you can actually see the same silhouette created as a whole by all the smaller hanging pieces. In the Twik section there are two that I loved, one made of the bottom of skateboards and super inspirational. The other a hidden gem found in the change rooms upstairs is this beautiful giant image of a women looking peaceful and having jelly fish floating up. Just found this dedication to bring together the community, local artists and really caring such a strong emphasis for Simons.
The whole night was very exciting, inspiring and so much fun to take a peek at the store before it opened. Thank you so much to Peter Simons for really inspiring me and my business and for allowing us the chance to take a peek and feel so welcomed. Thank onto Press & Post for inviting me to the event and tony wonderful friend Christin Bryant of @cbstyled for joining me and having fun shopping and playing dress up!!
I can’t wait to share with you in some upcoming style posts the two sweaters I picked up!! I love Simons, what they stand for and of course supporting an amazing Canadian brand.