Keeping up with the ever-changing face of Cadboro Bay Village is hard sometimes. Some of its outlets have been mainstays for decades while others come and go in substantially less time. But one such new installation looks like it might be a welcome addition — and a new long-term resident.
Local proprietor Debbie Patton opened the doors of her newly renovated Humble Pie Boutique at the beginning of June to what appears to have been a promising start. Having gutted the former Bambino’s by evacuating its overpopulated collection of used and new clothing and renovating the internal infrastructure entirely, the result is a newly simplified physical presentation in which to pitch practical fashions that is both unassuming and inviting.
I asked Patton what she had in mind when she first obtained the location. “I wanted a store with an industrial-chic feel. Very open and organic. I even have some driftwood and beach rocks on the walls as art. I wanted to bring little bits of the beach indoors.”
She certainly achieved that goal: upon entering the new location in late August, I hardly recognized it as the store it had been only weeks before.
With the intention of targeting university-student fashion hunters and local residents alike, Patton has organized a highly personalized inventory of fashion products that satisfy both the tastes of haute-couture and student budgets.
“Humble Pie is a boutique where women from all ages and body types can come in and find something they like,” said Patton. “The inventory is all Canadian-designed using all-natural, breathable fabrics. All the clothing has a very ‘West Coast’ feel. Women can feel fashionable and comfortable at the same time.”
It seems that her inventory choices have been spot on. Suffering from the best of new business problems, Patton unexpectedly exhausted her inventory after only a few weeks of operations and was left scrambling to find new wholesale sources. Patton jokingly muses that “having to look for new brands and new products to bring in is always fun, never a real problem.” The ‘temporary’ inventory, however, cobbled together under the governing dynamic of Patton’s insightful sense to balance aesthetic with functionality, was just as popular. Currently, she has replenished her stock with new brands that she insists are “here to stay and offering a wider variety of options for women to choose from.” They’re as appealing as what had come before them and surely worth exploring. While you’re there, take the time to chat with Patton: she’s as charming as she is savvy, and her service-with-a-smile is no small part of the recipe for success the boutique seems to predict for itself.
Humble Pie Boutique is located at 3828 Cadboro Bay Rd., and is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.