Mother-daughter team offers range of unique accessories
Divergent career paths didn’t prevent Jan Reynolds and her daughter Erin from returning to a long-held passion for merchandising unique products.
Jan is a retired elementary school teacher from the North Bay area, who relocated to Welland five years ago. Erin earned a biology degree and worked for eight years gazing into a microscope as a cytotechnologist, studying cells and cellular anomalies for disease. A single mom, she hated the daily commute into Toronto. Her father taught graphic design at Canadore College for 33 years, and had immersed Erin in art from an early age. Even while employed as a researcher, she was selling her own custom pillows on Etsy, an e-commerce website focused on handmade and vintage items and crafts.
“The pillow sales kind of took off, so that led me to quit my job and move to Pelham to be closer to my mom, and look for opportunities to retail my products,” said Erin.
The Reynolds opened their 1000-square foot store on 111 Hwy 20 East (in the Peter Piper’s plaza) in August, and have enjoyed brisk sales both in-store and through their online mail-order business as well. Erin works with both domestic and American suppliers, and also sells her pillows on Wayfair.
The store has an eclectic variety of gifts, from handbags and jewelry, to healing crystals and personalized items. Vendor products are on display, drawn both from local artisans and those from across Ontario. Some of the products available, like doormats and mugs, are adorned with cheeky and irreverent messages.
“We really like these inspirational affirmation cards for children,” said Jan, pointing to a display near the register. “They are good to read to children before bedtime.”
One popular item is a personalized pillow with a collage of customer-supplied family photos, which retails for $55.
Judging by the number of items focusing on dogs and cats, it is clearly evident that the proprietors are pet lovers. In fact, the name of the store is canine-inspired—Ziya is Erin’s Boston Terrier, and Blue was the family dog during her childhood.
ZiyaBlue is open Tues to Fri, 10 AM – 6 PM, and Sat 10 AM – 5 PM. Closed Sun and Mon. Contact (289) 273-2146, [email protected]