MOUNT FOREST – Cynthia and Co., a women’s clothing store in Mount Forest, will be undergoing significant changes as the store emerges from pandemic restrictions.
The store, which has been owned by mother-daughter duo Kelly Dimick and Emma Jeffries since 2018, is being rebranded and will now be called HomeTown Boutique, Apparel and Gifts.
“The whole reason we went with the name HomeTown Boutique is we really try to provide a casual, pressure-free, welcoming environment for our customers,” Jeffries said.
Along with the new name, the store will also have new signs and a brand new section where customized gifts are created. The store will include more variety in what it sells, rather than focusing just on fashion and clothing.
“We are currently a ladies’ clothing store, and we are rebranding and changing into a ladies’ boutique. We’re also doing apparel and gifts,” Dimick said.
“On the boutique side of things, we’re adding more elements than just clothing. We have candles, women’s deodorant, at-home sugaring kits, and the list goes on and will continue to grow too.”
The store has been operating since 1989 and has been through three different owners. Dimick and Jeffries took over in 2018. Recently, they decided it was time to make changes.
“The reason for doing this is because we actually want men to be able to come into the store,” Dimick explained.
“They may have no idea what size their spouse is. They can buy this stuff and then they can buy a gift certificate for the clothing.”
During the pandemic, the mother-daughter duo learned how to make their own customized T-shirts.
“We’re self-taught,” Jeffries said.
“While researching, we stumbled upon a couple of methods of doing crafty giftware stuff, and now we’ve blocked off half of the store and made it into our workshop, and we’re thrilled.”
Along with customized orders, Dimick said she and Jeffries are now providing services such as sublimation and heat pressing.
“If you want your picture on a T-shirt, we can make that happen,” she said.
Dimick and Jeffries made good use of their time during the pandemic, strategizing and finding ways to improve their business. Being new to the business world, Dimick took online courses to expand her knowledge and allow the pair to improve the business.
“The foundation (of Cynthia and Co.) is amazing. But realizing that it’s not what we wanted to do, we kind of lost our enthusiasm a little bit along the way,” Dimick said.
“Now we’re pumped. We can’t wait. It’s scary, but it’s so fun and you have to just jump in with both feet and just do it.”
Dimick and Jeffries were appreciative of community members who helped the business survive the pandemic and come back stronger.
“There’s some people we really need to thank,” Dimick said.
“Dale Small (the township’s economic development officer), the Mount Forest Chamber of Commerce, and Crystal Seifried.”
Dimick continued, “We do need to thank the community for the support, because they have shown up huge.”
Dimick and Jeffries will be hosting a rebrand party outside of the store on July 24 from 10am to 4pm.
“We’re blocking five parking spots off in front of the store. We have Spanky’s Sausage Cart coming to serve food. We’re just going to have a party, really.”