Sweet Annies, 62 Kent Street West, Lindsay, Ontario tel. 705-878-5811
As a self-confessed lover of all that is fashion (inherited from my very stylish parents), I have been very spoiled with always having affordable, hip fashion available to me having grown up 20 minutes from Toronto. My dad worked in the men’s clothing industry as a model, and later with a men’s clothier.
Casual or all dressed up, my fashionable folks!
My mom just naturally has had a keen eye for always looking swish and classic, while doing so on a budget. She has a sense for items worth spending a bit more on, and knowing that well-chosen trendy, inexpensive pieces could stretch a wardrobe through til next season. She also would remind me, “If your friends are only concerned with what you are wearing on your feet, they are not friends at all.” This remark harkens back to the days when we all had one pair of ‘good shoes’ (usually the most expensive pair of shoes), one pair of running shoes for play, one pair of actual tennis shoes (as we were all tennis players), one pair of sandals or flip flops, (remember Indian Water Buffalo sandals? The saving grace for tall teenagers like me and my sister) one pair of warm, lined winter boots, one pair of rubber boots, and one pair of galoshes…
which went over your ‘good shoes’ in wet weather... Yes, I am dating myself, and proudly. For those of you counting, that is four pair of shoes, and three pair of boots… and sometimes it was two pair of shoes, and one pair of boots… and often these were hand-me-downs. However, that wasn’t unusual… It was the norm in a time when a three bedroom, one bathroom, 2 storey brick home comfortably housed a family of seven and no-one required a walk-in closet which primarily provided a home to 200 pair of shoes 90% of which have only been worn once.
Ah, yes, this paisley dress my mom found for me would be FAB about now!
Mom and I often made a trip to downtown Toronto for fashion finds, and this was something I continued frequently my whole life… Until I moved to the Kawartha Lakes…
I figured that I would probably just continue with my trips to downtown Toronto or back home to my friend Lisa at Lemonberry in Aurora, for fashion trips to update my wardrobe. However, a wonderful thing happened which changed my perception of fashion in a small town… I walked into Sweet Annie’s on Kent Street right here in Lindsay, the heart of the Kawartha Lakes where I was welcomed warmly (but not swarmed… egads, that doesn’t work for me) by Louise Scully, the owner of Sweet Annie’s for the past 18 years.
I needed a dress for an upcoming wedding with my new in-laws, the Beukebooms. Louise asked me if I needed help, and I gave my pat answer whether I am or not “No, thank you, I’m just taking a look around.” She smiled and said, “Great, let me know if I can get you anything.” Perfect! I started looking at a maxi dress, just gorgeous, and then as I cast my eye around the store I began taking in the beautiful and vast selection of style, colours, and wonderful selection of pretty much anything for any occasion. Jeans, coats, sweaters, blouses, belts, purses, hats, pants, skirts, dresses, boots, shoes, scarves and more… an absolute cornucopia of colour and style and GREAT FASHION for a GTA gal like me!
Look at this Colour!!! Jewellery...
I shyly asked if she happened to have ‘this in a large’ to which Louise replied, ‘That make fits big, I don’t think you’ll need a large.’ Ahhha… I have this ‘thing’ about getting trapped in a size too small for the sake of being falsely flattered by a well-intended salesperson… I replied ‘Oh, well, I’m pretty broad-shouldered, wide back, you know…’ She smiled and said to go ahead and I try the large, but was pretty sure the medium would be perfect. Guess what? Louise KNOWS her stock, she KNOWS her suppliers, she KNOWS her clients. The dress in a medium fit me perfectly.
Free People and Gorgeous new arrivals for Spring 2015!
Perfectly! I tried about 15 items on after the dress, and over the 90 minutes that I spent in the shop that day, I met Amanda and Gena, Louise’s trusted staff. These lovely ladies are an amazingly helpful, non-pushy, generous-spirited, creative, kind and WELCOMING employees who, put quite simply, LOVE fashion. They have the rare ability to see each client for the beautiful woman she is, no matter what form or body type. If the clothes make you feel beautiful, you KNOW you are beautiful. They are there to help. I don’t know how many times I have apologized for leaving the dressing room in a state to which Amanda will sweetly admonish, “Oh, don’t you worry about it at all! That’s what I’m here for!”
Get great shoes and boots, too!
Gena is as tall as I am, so it is great to walk in and see her wearing the very clothes and style which just might look good on me, as well. I cannot, however, make myself 25 and absolutely stunning as she is, but sometimes the fashions manage to look almost as good on this old 52 year old girl as it does on Gena.
The walls of Sweet Annie’s are adorned by the stunning paintings of Amanda Hill, whose passion for delicious fashion is clearly connected to her wildly talented skill as a fine artist. Amanda’s patient, perceptive and cheerful way make it so easy for me to feel stunning in the wonderful Sweet Annie’s clothes I choose to drape myself in that day.
Amanda Hill’s amazing paintings!
As I began finding more and more wonderful pieces at Sweet Annie’s, my friends from the GTA would notice my pretty, fashion forward clothes. I finally said, “Come to Lindsay and stay over, we’ll do a New York-style shopping trip right here in the Kawarthas.” My friends now love to come to Lindsay, not just to visit me, but for two other reasons: A visit to Bigley’s (can’t be denied) AND to Sweet Annie’s.
Sophie and I share a love of Sweet Annie's scarves...
On a personal level, Louise, Amanda and Gena have been amazing about making me feel a part of the family here in Lindsay. Some days I walk in the doors of Sweet Annie’s to a chorus of “Dee!” and I may just spend nothing more than time chatting with the gals, but that’s never a problem for Louise. She’s genuinely happy that you’ve dropped by for a visit. It should come as no surprise to you, faithful readers, that with the welcoming ways of Louise, Amanda and Gena, I have come to consider them friends, and Sweet Annie’s is the absolute coolest, colourful, fashion-friendly retail ‘home’ in Lindsay!
What with this blog and bringing my GTA friends here every chance I get, I guess my fashion secrets are out there for you all to enjoy… Ah well, I’ve let out the BEST worst-kept secret in the Kawarthas:
Sweet Annie’s is THE place for ladies looking for hip and affordable fashion forward style… Something for every gal and every gal’s budget. If you are moving here from ‘the city’, do not despair, your wardrobe will not suffer as long as Sweet Annie’s is there! Amazing Customer Service, friendly staff, great fashion on the cutting edge... what more could ask for? It's time for you to visit Lindsay and Sweet Annie's!
Say Hi to the gals, and tell them Dee sent you… Unless, of course, you already knew…
Cheers, and Happy Spring, Happy Shopping!
ps... as always, if you're thinking of moving to the Kawartha Lakes and are looking for the RIGHT Realtor to find you the RIGHT home, please feel free to give me a call, email or text me direct from the button here on my website, today.
pps... Sweet Annie's Facebook Page link >>>> click here>>>>> Sweet Annie's on Facebook
Photos courtesy of Dee Girdler, Beth Girdler, Sweet Annie's
Artwork by Amanda Hill
Sweet Annie's phone number is 705-878-5811