Falling in love with downtown St. Catharines was a happy accident for All Figure boutique co-owner Karina Nowysz.
She was touring Ontario cities a couple of years ago, looking for the perfect place to set up a specialized bra and swimwear boutique. On the way back from checking out properties in Niagara Falls with her father, she pulled off Highway 406 and stumbled onto St. Paul Street.
“We took a stroll and we just fell in love with the vibrant downtown, city life. There was lights, music, people walking, so we thought this would be a great location for All Figure,” said Nowysz, who previously worked in the Toronto area.
It took more than a year of renovations and permits before Nowysz would see her goal of opening a family business. She and her mother Iwona opened the boutique at 32 St. Paul St. on Aug. 8.
A pandemic wasn’t part of the plan, but Nowysz said they’ve been able to build customer clientele and are meeting “realistic goals” thanks to the community, which has been welcoming.
“We’re slowly growing. I knew my expectations were a little higher coming in, obviously they were set back because of the pandemic, but I’m still pleasantly surprised. I cannot complain,” she said.
“The St. Catharines community is pretty amazing.”
The vibrancy and momentum Nowysz felt when she first discovered downtown St. Catharines was halted by the global pandemic.