Un­usual new gift shop

Cape Bre­ton woman opens un­usual gift shop in Syd­ney

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY JEREMY FRASER Jeremy.fraser@cb­post.com

Tonya Blackie turns a dream into re­al­ity.

Tonya Blackie al­ways wanted to own a business and now her vi­sion is a re­al­ity.

The North Syd­ney woman opened her first business, called Get Nauti, a sea­sonal gift shop spe­cial­iz­ing in un­usual and nau­ti­cal gift items. The shop, lo­cated next to Gov­er­nors Pub and Eatery on the Es­planade in Syd­ney, opened for business on April 28.

“It’s al­ways been a dream of mine,” said Blackie when asked why she opened a gift shop. “I al­ways had it in my mind as a lit­tle gift store, some­thing small, which is ex­actly what it is.”

Blackie made the de­ci­sion to open the business fol­low­ing what she calls “a crazy year” which saw her lose her job as well as go through a di­vorce, the death of two dogs and a cancer scare.

“Life is too short, I knew I had to do it,” said Blackie. “I thought a gift shop was per­fect be­cause I love home dé­cor, I loved nat­u­ral things like the beach, beach glass and drift­wood, so that’s why I went with the nau­ti­cal theme.”

Aside from the unique gift items, in­clud­ing prints, dé­cor items and jewelry, the shop is also pro­duc­ing its own line of cloth­ing, some­thing that has been pop­u­lar with many cus­tomers. Blackie has al­ready re­ceived lots of sup­port from the lo­cal com­mu­nity. Since the open­ing, the shop has al­ready started run­ning low of prod­uct, forc­ing Blackie to or­der more items. “I didn’t do any ad­ver­tis­ing, just Facebook, and so it was a very pleas­ant sur­prise to have had the suc­cess I’ve al­ready had,” said Blackie. “On our Facebook site we have to start set­ting up ship­ping for the cloth­ing be­cause there are peo­ple from across Canada that want them, from New Brunswick, On­tario, Bri­tish Columbia and Alberta — it’s go­ing fan­tas­tic.”

The cruise ship sea­son on the is­land of­fi­cially started on April 30, with the first ves­sel, Veen­dam, dock­ing at the port of Syd­ney. De­spite the prime lo­ca­tion for Blackie’s business, she said she wasn’t re­ally busy for the first ship. “It wasn’t great be­cause it was so cold out, so there wasn’t many peo­ple walk­ing around,” said Blackie. “It’s not nec­es­sar­ily the rea­son why I put the business in its lo­ca­tion, but I would like to see cruise ship pas­sen­gers stop in.”

Once Blackie set­tles into the business, she plans on hav­ing lo­cal ar­ti­sans put their prod­uct in the store as well.

“I have had a few peo­ple con­tact me al­ready,” said Blackie.

Get Nauti gift shop is open seven days a week, Mon­day to Satur­day 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sun­day noon to 5 p.m.

Blackie en­cour­ages peo­ple to visit her business, which she says is the only nau­ti­cal gift shop in the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“I have fan­tas­tic stuff,” said Blackie. “Nau­ti­cal seems to be the big thing that ev­ery­one seems to want, and unique items I have for sure. Every­body who comes in my shop says I have rea­son­able prices. I have had that com­ment dozens of times al­ready.”

Blackie said she is plan­ning to have a grand open­ing for the shop some­time in the sum­mer, which will in­clude en­ter­tain­ment in the park­ing lot and a bar­be­cue. She will also be invit­ing lo­cal ar­ti­sans to set up a ta­ble at the event to sell their own prod­ucts.

JEREMY FRASER/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Tonya Blackie owner of Get Nauti gift shop in Syd­ney stands for a pic­ture in front of her new business on Satur­day. The gift shop, which spe­cial­izes in unique and nau­ti­cal items, of­fi­cially opened for business on April 28.

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