There is a new addition to Collingwood’s downtown core.
The sun was shining bright on Saturday as Lemonwood Luxury Inc. celebrated its grand opening at 72 Hurontario St. in Collingwood.
Celebrations continued through the weekend and into this week, where the retailer — which specializes in “affordable luxuries from around the world” — offered locally produced hot cinnamon-spiced apple cider, Scandinavian butter cookies and special pricing on all collections.
“It’s a great community. We’re really excited to be a part of it,” said Christine Peters, the founder of Lemonwood.
The retailer has expanded rapidly, with additional locations in Oakville, Summerhill, and Port Carling (seasonal), as well as serving the rest of Canada, the United States and internationally through its wholesale and e-commerce offerings. The Collingwood location marks Lemonwood’s fourth location in four years.
“Collingwood has such a beautiful downtown core with such gorgeous stores. We have our competition cut out for us,” laughed Peters. “But we are excited to be a part of the beautiful downtown ... the beautiful buildings, the wide streets and heritage. It’s stunning.”
Peters, originally from Lethbridge, Alberta, classifies herself a “serial entrepreneur,” with a background in sourcing and product development. After she sold her company sourcing cosmetic accessories from all over the world, she wanted to shift her focus to something more meaningful… and a little more luxurious.
She fell in love with cashmere after purchasing several wraps on a trip to Italy, and decided that every woman should own a beautiful piece of cashmere.
“It really appeals to the senses. Softness, natural fibres, uniqueness,” said Peters. “They are not high fashion by any sense. They are very classic products.”
Peters quickly became passionate about sourcing these “luxurious fabrics that tickle the senses” directly from manufacturers — ideally women-owned — around the world and here in Canada.
“Founded by women, for women,” said Peters.
Her very first sale was made out of a suitcase at a Four Seasons gift shop several years ago.
“I opened up my suitcase and they picked 12 of the things I had. I was shocked,” said Peters. “But not shocked that she loved it, because I love it.”
The products continue to sell at Four Seasons and spas across the country.
“We are not a fashion company but more comfort and beautiful quality, classic items,” said Peters.
“It’s a higher price point but it’s not too crazy. It's ‘affordable luxury,’” she continued. “With COVID, people are spending more time at home and wearing a lot more casual things. Be comfy in your cashmere at home.”
Peters initially planned to open Lemonwood’s Collingwood location as a pop-up shop, but she had a good “hunch” about Collingwood and the area’s clientele, so decided to go for it for a longer-term.
“Our customers are affluent, educated. They have travelled around the world, so we look for things that will delight them,” said Peters. “Everything we offer appeals to the senses, and our sweaters are made with a nod to how things should fit a more mature body.”
Along with a vast selection of cashmere products — including a line of sweaters for men and vests for four-legged companions — Lemonwood also offers featured brands from other Canadian retailers, and even a silk-lined cashmere mask. A portion of every mask sold will be donated to the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital.
Peters thinks it’s more important than ever for retailers to stick together, and is excited that she already feels that sense of community on Hurontario Street.
“The more people who shop downtown the better. It’s not a competitive environment, it’s a helpful one,” said Peters.
And while it’s a scary time for any retailer, she is determined to stay positive and “keep marching on,” encouraging people to visit Lemonwood online as well.
Outside of her professional life, Peters spends all of her personal life with her two twin boys. The store’s name actually comes from the name of a street she lived on with her sons in Etobicoke.
“I think people love the brand because there is an element of emotion attached to it. Whether it makes them smile or comfortable or wraps them in a sense of security,” said Peters. “I think that’s really what Lemonwood is, it’s a friendly environment and a very tactile environment.”
Lemonwood is currently open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
To learn more, visit Lemonwood online.