As a teenager growing up in Guelph, Steph Leombruni recalls hopping on the bus to go to the boutiques in Downtown Guelph. Now an adult, Leobrumi has opened her own within the heart of the Royal City.
"I come in here and I'm very happy and it's like, 'Wow, it's finally here!'" said Leombruni, owner of women's clothing boutique, Feather & Foe.
Located at 13 Quebec St., Feather & Foe operates Tuesdays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. An official store opening ceremony will be taking place Nov. 5 at 1:30 p.m.
With 21 years of fashion and retail experience, Leombruni said she had always wanted to open her own boutique and had worked at a couple boutiques in downtown Toronto. She also has experience as a product developer and trend forecaster at a private label company, and a bridal consultant at Sixpence Bridal Studio.
After moving back to Guelph and starting a family, Leombruni said the opportunity to own her own boutique presented itself when this storefront became available in July.
"The downtown has always been a special place ... so when I saw it, I was like, 'Oh this is Quebec Street,'" said Leombruni about the space. "I felt like it was time for me and I was like, 'Okay, let's do this.""
“My husband said to me, ‘Even on our first date, you told me that you wanted your own little boutique, so let’s just do this.'"
Throughout the summer, Leombruni said she was very busy preparing for the opening of Feather & Foe.
“Leading up to this I was pretty much working day and night, trying to get things going and things ready,” said Leombruni. “It was a busy time because when I decided to open, a lot of the fall lines were already closed for buying, so I was trying to catch up on my fall buying while also buying for spring.”
Supporting her through the project was her husband, Josh Leombruni who helped with store renovations.
"He's been a big support," she said of his involvement.
Leombruni describes the storefront as art-deco and the clothing sold at Feather & Foe as chic. As part of ensuring customers walk away with a unique find, the boutique only carries a few of each item.
“I didn’t bring in too much of each piece, because when women buy them, I want them to feel special knowing that there’s not a mass amount of these items around Guelph and the surrounding area," said Leombruni.
"I've already have had a few items disappear from the store."
Along with women's clothing, Feather & Foe also sells skin care products and handmade jewlery, which is made by artists across Ontario and in Winnipeg.
"I try to source as much local and Canadian made as possible," said Leombruni.
“I’ve been receiving a lot of positive energy and people coming in, it’s just a lot of great energy," said Leombruni about the ladies she has been getting to know since setting up her business. "People always tend to touch things, which is great too."
In the future, Leombruni mentions Feather & Foe plans to open Sundays to accommodate for holiday shopping and will offer private appointments from Tuesdays to Fridays.
"There's something kind of nice about when you get the whole spot for yourself and the one-on-one, and also because of the pandemic, I realized a lot of women don't feel comfortable to come out shopping yet," said Leombruni. "Sometimes, it's just a nice option as well."