Business is booming at Boutique Encore

By Gordon Lambie
It’s fitting, in some ways, that the new name in Lennoxville for second-hand shopping is one that has been used before. Having gotten started in a small corner of the basement of 3355 College Street in the middle of the month of May, the Boutique Encore has now expanded several times over and become a significant presence in the building.
“It’s been a lot more popular than we’d imagined that it was going to be,” said Leslie Buchanan, who got the project started along with friends Lissa McRae, Mary Hill, and Karen Hornibrook after years of involvement with the yard sale at Bishop’s University to benefit the local refugee sponsorship group.
“The sale ended with Covid, like many public events, and we really regretted it,” reflected McRae.“So many people counted on that sale, both to donate unwanted items, and to find treasures at wonderful prices. We really wanted to continue that tradition. Gradually the idea of a thrift shop took root.”
Although it has a familiar ring to it, Buchanan clarified that the present-day store has no affiliation with the Boutique Encore that was operated by the Women’s Centre between 2007 and 2015. She said that the four friends just liked the name, and that some variation of ‘encore’ is fairly common among second-hand stores in Quebec.
Initially, a key part of the plan was to specifically offer a service for seniors who were in the process of downsizing to offload the belongings they no longer had space for as a way of supporting the Grace Village Care Foundation.
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