Patient residents of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario now have the chance to reacquaint themselves with the shopping available across the International Bridge with our Soo, MI neighbours.
One such opportunity that is now available to Canadian shoppers is the opening of Proper Apparel Boutique.
Ellen Routhier, co-owner of the already popular boutique with her mother Sandy Routhier is excited to finally welcome Canadian shoppers to her store.
With her sister Meghan Hanna’s business Prim Aesthetics (a medical spa) next door — yes the two together pleasingly read “Prim and Proper” — it’s become a family enterprise.
“We wanted to create a place that felt comfortable for women to come,” says Ellen Routhier, who’s been in retail serving women for almost 10 years, “We saw the need for quality, size-inclusive, fashionable clothes, and that became the focus for us.”
Proper Apparel Boutique opened in late November of 2020 and is a women-owned, family-owned, locally-owned business, with an emphasis on quality over everything else. “Being businesses side by side, a medical spa (Prim) on one and Proper Apparel on the other, we meet in the middle as a welcoming place for women. Whether they need a procedure or a new wardrobe, we are able to lift some spirits for sure,” says Routhier.
Although Proper Apparel has not been able to offer Canadian shipping online yet, they’re able to browse the entire boutique on the website & follow along on Facebook and Instagram to gather an idea of what products are available before they are in-store. “We put a lot of love into our Facebook page and website; we keep it shoppable and up-to-date on what's available. We want to welcome our Canadian customers back to downtown Soo, MI, to see what is new now that the bridge is open.”
“It’s become so much more about clothes or appearance to us; I’ve been told, ‘Your shop is a safe haven for women.’ I find that customers, whether they’re visiting or are local to the area, they come back to shop whether virtually or in person. We feel that speaks to the quality and the wearability of our clothing,” says Routhier, “You feel good in what you're wearing — so you wear it over and over.”
What makes Proper Apparel different from other boutique clothing stores?
Proper Apparel offers amazing price points for the items they carry; Understanding that the area needs awesome fashion that won’t break the bank, the buyers choose above-par brands and keep their prices accessible.
What makes this boutique even more accessible is the inclusivity in the clothing: “We cater to a lot of different women and dress so many different body types and age ranges,” says Routhier, “Whether she likes athletic-wear, casual, dressy, kinda funky, or just something simple — We have so many different styles within our shop that you’re bound to find something you love.”
“We’re becoming more and more about the atmosphere we’ve created and the culture of women empowerment.”
“Whether you want to come and talk, want some peace while you shop, or if you’re on a mission & need my help, I will pull pieces that are just a little outside your comfort zone,” says Routhier, “As the buyer, I know which cut and fabric will fit different body types really well. When I’m picking new pieces to bring in-store, it's not just about what I would wear. I keep in mind what all kinds of women will want to live their life in — what will look good on them.”
“It’s really fun for me to break the mold in women’s minds of what the size label says and what it looks like on your body,” says Routhier, “If there’s anything from before the pandemic that doesn’t work for your body, don't force yourself into it. If your wardrobe isn't serving you in the morning, then it's time to start over. It’s about wearing clothes that are comfortable, but also about walking through your day in outfits that make you feel powerful.”
See the boutique for yourself at 223 Ashmun St, Sault Sainte Marie, MI!