We just celebrated our twentieth anniversary, though the store doesn’t look a day over 19! Twenty years we’ve been a part of downtown Brockville, and in that time we’ve made wonderful friends, gotten to know our community, and lent a helping hand when we could. But for every handful of our customers that tell us they’re so happy we’re still around, that they always know they’ll find whatever they’re looking for when they walk in the door...there’s one person who didn’t know we existed. It’s understandable when that customer is new to the area, but what about the people who have lived in Brockville their entire lives and have never ventured downtown?
After hearing this comment numerous times, we realized that Hang Ups had to do something to let Brockville know that we existed. We already advertised in the local paper; on the local radio stations; we ran ads in other forms of print media, and acted as sponsors for various events around the city. But it still wasn’t enough, and so we have made a pact with ourselves to become advocates for the importance of shopping locally.
Every business downtown is someone’s labour of love; whether they opened it themselves or took ownership from the original proprietors, it’s their baby. These owners are invested in the success of their business, and it is their passion. This makes them experts in their field; go in to Tait’s, the Jewel Box, Echo, just to name a few, and the friendly people who work there can tell you anything you wish to know about the products they carry, or the services they provide. While the big box stores certainly have their place, by shopping locally you are not only finding that perfect item you never knew you needed, but you are also supporting the shop owners and the local economy.
Brockville is such a fantastic place, and with so much to offer, we want tourists and residents alike to take the drive and spend an afternoon wandering; plus there’s so much free parking! There are plenty of amazing and unique shops; exquisite restaurants; the 182 year old Farmer’s Market, and the view of the St. Lawrence from Blockhouse Island is second to none.
On the search for perfect and inspired giftware
It felt as though we had to wait a lifetime for sunny skies and warm weather, but summer is finally here in full force, which makes this all the harder to say: we’re already thinking about the Christmas season. It’s not our fault really, blame the retail world - we’re made to be a season ahead, conscious of the upcoming trends and themes. Despite thoughts of snow and cold toes, it is with excitement that we are looking forward to our semi-annual gift show excursion in Toronto. In the middle of August, surrounded by lush greenery and hot temperatures, huge showrooms will be transformed into winter wonderlands with all the latest and greatest in retail on display. It can be incredibly overwhelming, but we go with a single purpose: to discover unique, Canadian-made gifts and housewares that will spark the imagination.
There has been a surge of popularity with handcrafted goods, and the ability to find unique and inspired pieces is more important than ever. One of the things we enjoy most is finding new suppliers and artisans who will compliment what we already have in the store. We aim to curate a collection of high-quality, Canadian-made, handcrafted items, whether it be jewellery or decor pieces. After this set of criteria comes the most important factor: if we don’t love it, we won’t bring it back to the store. As with our framing, if we can’t stand behind our choices for gift wares, we can’t happily sell it.
And as always, we’re happy to hear suggestions from you. Found something that you think is the bee’s knees? Let us know!
One final note - we’re already planning our next Christmas window, and dreaming of a perfect vintage elegance, perhaps with a touch of Victorian glamour and steampunk. Get ready Brockville, it’s going to be something spectacular!