Thursday, 3 May 2012

Bella Ever After Boutique

    Once upon a time there were two girls, one blonde, one brunette.  These two pre-teen girls were best of friends.  You would be hard pressed to find one without the other.  When they were not together they were on the telephone.  They even called each other's moms, "Mom".  For their formative years they shared their every hope and dream with each other.  The biggest dreams were loosing weight and finding boyfriends.  They agonized over their weight.  They made pacts, tried strange fad diets.  In the end they conquered their weight, and began to look like the girls that were hidden there all along.  Many hours they spent nearly in tears talking about boys.  "Why doesn't Paul notice me.  Doesn't he know that I need to be his girlfriend?  Why doesn't he know that we would be PERFECT together..." (Note from older self to younger self, boys are afraid of strange girls.  You were a strange girl.   It will take until university before the boys will notice your quirkiness and appreciate it).
    They spent a summer when they were sixteen smoking menthols (don't tell our moms).  Man did they looked cool leaning against that bridge.  "How do I look?"  " Oh you look really hot when you smoke like that!"  Thankfully they never really got the hang of smoking, although menthols were a great idea for breath.  They had some really wonderful times together.  The blonde was exactly who a preteen/ early teen's best friend should be.  They went off to high school and slowly, very slowly began to drift apart.  The brunette drifted away from her old group of friends to find a band of misfits.  They were great and amazing people, but they were misfits. There was a comfort in being surrounded with like, being accepted for your "quirkiness".   Eventually the Blonde and the Brunette just stopped being friends.  There was no big fight, no cruel words, it was the silence, the slow distancing ended their friendship.  In life we have friends who come into our life, give us exactly what we need at that snap shot in time, and then we part when we have learned that life lesson.  But this is not the end of this fairy tale.
    I know enough of the cleaver fairy tale stuff, you know I'm talking about my childhood best friend.
We grew up, that's what kids do.  I thought it might make me seem very cleaver to do the "fairy tale" thing because I ran into Tammy Latchford (you know the blonde) a few months ago, and she told me that she was opening up a boutique called "Bella Ever After" (do you see now why I thought I ever so very cleaver?)  Turns out that dirty little rat has managed to keep the weight off and looks at least 10 years younger than I do!  I promised to take a trip to Stirling to see her shop.
    Yesterday Christopher found himself with a rare day off.  We could do our usual waste the day away, or we could be spontaneous.  We decided to pack Elly into the car and go for a drive.  We headed to Stirling to see Tammy's store ( I had to promise my husband a trip to the cheese factory).
We walked into the store and were greeted with a big smile from the store owner (a.k.a Tammy Latchford).  Her shop is beautiful!  It was also pretty busy, which I was glad to see.  In the half hour or so that we were there no fewer than 10 ladies came in.
    Here is what I like about Tammy's philosophy, "empower other women".  Most of her products are locally made by local women.  She is not just selling ladies pretty things, she is supporting her fellow woman.  I like that.  I also liked that all of the products were reasonably priced.

  I will also say that she has an eye for detail.  The displays are lovely.

I would not dare take my girls into Tammy's shop, because we would leave without mortgage money.
By and large my favourite items that she carries are the ones above.  Apparently they are made by two local ladies.  I could hear my girls begging for them in my head as I looked.  If only they made them with hibiscus flowers... hint ... hint maybe in red (a certain fairy tale brunette is renewing her vows next year, and that would look rather fetching in her dark hair).

Tammy even has a little area for the men to rest their weary, bored legs, and manly magazines for them to look at while they wait.. hopefully patiently.  In this picture my husband is standing in for Elly's table.  They were both very patient and well behaved, thank you Elly and Christopher.

Here she is Tammy herself posing with my favourite items (wasn't that nice of her).  She has a lovely shop and I truly wish her the best of luck with her business.

If anyone is interested in Tammy's store, she's at 21 West Front Street in Stirling, Ontario (also known at the moment as HockeyVille).  She was very cleaver in picking her location because she is just down from the Stirling Festival Theatre.  You can also have a peek at her website at 

    Incase you didn't already know the end of at least the brunette's story, eventually she lived happily ever after.  She and Prince Charming are renewing their wedding vows next August.  He accepts her strangeness and loves her either in spite of it, or because of it.   It's nice when a story ends well.



  1. OK, OK the picture isn't too bad of me! Thanks Tristan!!! :)

  2. Beautifully written! Thank you Tammy for sending me to read. I too am a brunette with a blonde childhood friend that I haven't seen in years. Reading this makes me want to pick up the phone and catch up on life with her! Its sad that we let old friends slip away for no real reason other than life itself.
    I look forward to reading more!