What started out as a nerdy ?? The teenage hobby snowballed into a booming business and new storefront in Winnipeg’s Stock Exchange District.
While other children played sports after school, Natassia Bezoplenko-Brazeau was drawn to making soap. She had read books on the subject and had started experimenting in her Saskatoon home.
?? I had cute and cheesy hobbies like that, ?? she said in her shop Northlore ?? s 75 Albert St. shop.
The young Bezoplenko-Brazeau had no plans for a career in the manufacture of personal care items. But here it is, in 2021, with two locations in downtown Winnipeg, a busy corporate website, and products in places like the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Northlore opened its first street-level store in the Bourse district on October 30. Was there no advertising or promotion ?? Bezoplenko-Brazeau and his partner, Lucas Brazeau, wanted to start selling in person.
?? Just being able to let the light in and feel like we’ve finally settled in has been so rewarding, ?? said Bezoplenko-Brazeau.
Homemade soaps, scrubs and serums line the shelves and tables. At the back, large mason jars filled with herbs and rose petals wait to be used in the latest batch of Northlore products. A shock of colorful ingredients ?? including turmeric, spirulina and ultramarine ?? are kept on a counter near the retail space.
Bezoplenko-Brazeau plans to manufacture products while customers shop nearby.
?? I got really interested in the ethics behind the products, ?? she said.
The Exchange District BIZ is investigating why more places have been opened than closed, but Pensato attributes it to “strong entrepreneurs,”? a high level of market and supportive customers.
?? We have a neighborhood full of fighters, ?? he said, adding that the Exchange District is one of Winnipeg’s hubs for local retailers and restaurants.
Stores need their regular customer base, and more, to recover from the pandemic, Pensato said.
Bezoplenko-Brazeau said she was ?? fleshy ?? by the community.
?? We love it and really want to invest in the busy streets, ?? she said.