by EVAN MATTHEWS
Ruth Hanus is bringing a new business to Valemount’s 5th Avenue; a business she says that will rely heavily on customer testimonial and communication.
The owner of 5th Avenue’s newest store front, Slippery Slopes Boutique, Hanus says her store will open up over the Victoria Day Weekend (May long), and the store is something between a consignment store, a thrift shop, and a designer clothing store.
“We are going to be offering men’s, women’s and children’s clothing,” says Hanus, making note that some of the clothing has been bought second hand, gently used.
Though some the clothing will have been lightly used, Hanus says Slippery Slopes is not a consignment store. Hanus is very selective in what products she’ll be bringing in, she says.
Slippery Slopes does not have guaranteed manufacturers nor does it believe in brand loyalty, per se, but Hanus says community input will play a role in what the store’s inventory is made up of.
“We’re going to be bringing in what the community needs… I don’t want a high price point,” says Hanus.
But in a more general sense, Hanus says she won’t be bringing in local consignment goods.
“We’re trying to find a niche… There will be some designer clothing… swimsuits, maybe even some light work wear… but cheaper,” she says.
The store, while housed in one large 14- x 24-foot room, is being created with a “chill” façade; something Hanus says will match the town.
Slippery Slopes is located at 1255 5th Avenue. The building was most recently used as the community church.
“I’m excited to get back to Valemount and be a part of the community… Most of all, it’s about having the more quiet, slow pace of life and giving back to the community I came from,” — Ruth Hanus, owner and operator
The boutique’s entrance will not be via the front of the building, but rather through a side door, Hanus says. By the May long weekend, she says the entrance will be well marked and advertised.
Slippery Slopes is in the process of building its website and creating social media accounts, too, so Hanus says to keep the community’s eyes peeled for her marketing.
Originally from Valemount, Hanus says she spent 19 years here before moving around for a while, ultimately settling in Edmonton, Alberta and working with the Alberta Government for 27 years.
In what she’s calling “retirement,” Hanus says she’s moving back home to start her store after buying some property in town.
“I find the city to be overwhelming,” says Hanus.
“I’m excited to get back to Valemount and be a part of the community… Most of all, it’s about having the more quiet, slow pace of life and giving back to the community I came from,” she says.
Hanus’ sister, Star Stender will also be working in the store. Formerly employed by fields, she hopes Slippery Slopes can create a similar culture in Valemount.
“The comradeship, being able to help people,” she says. “(Field’s) was a hub, and people would come to gather there.”
Stressing the need for community involvement, Hanus says she’s excited to find out what the community needs — whether it’s baby clothes and toys, designer clothing, or simply a pair of socks.