An Interview with Marlene Shepherd

Meet Marlene Shepherd, A Sympli Success Story

It’s time for another instalment of Sympli Success Stories! Every week we sit down with one of our fabulous retailers to hear about their journey to becoming entrepreneurs in the world of fashion. Today we’ve sat down with Marlene Shepherd, owner of Shepherd’s Fashions  in Ottawa Ontario, to learn a little more about her journey in the world of fashion. 

How did your love for fashion begin?

I’ve loved clothes for as long as I can remember! Back when I was only a teenager, I would work every summer to save up enough money to buy myself a new Fall wardrobe for high school.

Why did you decide to open a boutique?

It was always a dream of mine to open a business of my own. So, in December 1978, I took the plunge, and my mother and I opened a small accessories boutique in Ottawa. That’s how Shepherd’s Fashions began!

What is your favourite part about your job?

There’s so much that I love about what I do, it’s hard to pick just one! The new ways in which we market our store has developed in a lot of new, and exciting ways. It’s fun to explore all the new platforms available to us, especially with social media.

What are the most common ‘pain-points’ that customers come to you for?

The biggest problem facing my customers is finding garments that fit and flatter them. They struggle to find clothes that are made for real women’s bodies, so they often complain of skirt and dress lengths as well as a lack of good fitting sleeves. I always look for these things when shopping for my store.

How did you first discover Sympli?

I first came across Sympli shopping at a trade show, where I met Jan Stimpson back in the early days of the line. I was struck by the style and versatility, and I’ve been carrying it ever since!

What would you consider to be Sympli’s best-selling feature?

The line’s overall fit, versatility, and performance. The In-Stock collection is always a best-seller and makes dressing so easy, no matter what your style is!

Do you have a unique Sympli customer story you like to share?

There’s been too many over the years! Although, I will say the magic of Sympli is that our ladies always leave the fitting room with an extra skip in their step.

What are you most excited about for the new Sympli season?

I can’t wait for the new line of sweaters coming in Fall-Winter 19. There’s so beautifully made, and produced in Canada, of course!

What’s your go-to piece of style advice?

Buy quality basics in your favourite neutrals, and then style them up with those special icing-on-the-cake pieces. This is the key to building a versatile wardrobe that you love. Dress for the figure you have now, not the one you had ‘yesterday’ or ‘maybe tomorrow’. Every woman deserves to look and feel good exactly as she is.

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