Ottawa Citizen

FOL­LOW­ING in her fam­ily’s foot­steps

Mandy Gosewich is the fourth gen­er­a­tion to own a store in the By Ward Mar­ket

- JANET WIL­SON Crafts · Hobbies · Poland · Ottawa · Toronto · New York City · Michael Kors · Michael Kors · Sewing · Sparks · Holt Renfrew & Co. Ltd. · Renfrew · Holt

Re­tail is in Mandy Gosewich’s blood. The feisty owner of Stun­ning! Fash­ion Ac­ces­sories & Then Some on York Street is the fourth gen­er­a­tion to work in the ByWard Mar­ket. There are nu­mer­ous fam­ily me­men­tos scat­tered through­out the tiny jewelry bou­tique, which opened a month ago. There’s a Sid­dur, a Jewish prayer book, that be­longed to her great-grand­fa­ther rest­ing on a shelf. He em­i­grated from Poland and sold re­li­gious items and Yid­dish news­pa­pers on York Street in the early 1920s.

Her grand­fa­ther was a milliner who owned Ot­tawa Im­pe­rial Cap Com­pa­nies, op­er­at­ing a store for 50 years on York Street. One of his sewing ma­chines sits on a ta­ble.

A paint­ing of Ritchie’s Sports store is a trib­ute to her dad Herb, an im­mensely pop­u­lar man who ran the shop on Sparks Street for 45 years.

“My fam­ily pretty well had the down­town cov­ered,” laughs Gosewich, 49. “I’m hum­bled that I get to do this. We are mer­chants. It runs in our blood.”

Gosewich learned re­tail while work­ing for her mother, Dena, who owned Next to Noth­ing, a lin­gerie store with two out­lets at 240 Sparks and one at Minto Place.

A long­time vol­un­teer for var­i­ous Jewish or­ga­ni­za­tions, Dena was known for her quick wit and salty tongue.

Mandy be­came so adept in the world of hosiery and lin­gerie that she even­tu­ally went off to work in Toronto at cor­po­rate head­quar­ters for Holt Ren­frew where she be­came the hosiery spe­cial­ist. Gosewich re­turned to Ot­tawa to live closer to her fam­ily af­ter her par­ents were in a car ac­ci­dent in 2006.

“Herb is now in a wheel­chair, but is still ‘Herb’ for those who know him. He is liv­ing in a nurs­ing home, and Dena is as funny ever. Sadly this is not what they had planned for their golden years, but they had many, many amaz­ing years of ex­ten­sive travel, which is a re­tailer’s dream, af­ter they closed the doors. They have been mar­ried for over 50 years and are a true love story of com­mit­ment, ded­i­ca­tion, love and laugh­ter.”

It takes all of 30 sec­onds in Gosewich’s com­pany to de­ter­mine that she’s one of the most gre­gar­i­ous peo­ple you’ll ever meet. Her store is an ex­ten­sion of her per­son­al­ity and bursts with colour­ful touches and ap­peal­ing ac­ces­sories that you’d be hard-pressed to find any­where else. The space boasts a beau­ti­ful tin ceil­ing, ma­genta (not pur­ple!) walls and a lime-green desk that used to be her grand­mother’s makeup ta­ble. Var­i­ous thrift store finds have been con­verted into funky dis­play cab­i­nets for sparkling neck­laces, ear­rings and bracelets. Her cock­apoo Pearl is part of the pack­age and fol­lows Gosewich from her apart­ment around the cor­ner on Sus­sex Drive to work each day.

“This is not a ster­ile space. I want peo­ple to feel like they are walk­ing into a boudoir of ac­ces­sories. Ev­ery­thing you see is my own per­sonal style with lit­tle touches of home. I used to be a sale rep for high-end ac­ces­sories in Toronto and have cul­ti­vated many last­ing re­la­tion­ships with de­sign­ers and ven­dors. Ev­ery piece in here was se­lected by me.”

So­phis­ti­cated, chic jewelry by the likes of Two A, Rita D, Chantelle Wil­son, Char­lotte Hosten and Karen McClin­tock line the walls. There is also an as­sort­ment of colour­ful scarves and belts. Gosewich has held a va­ri­ety of jobs in­clud­ing work­ing for beauty mogul Randi Shinder’s Fu­sion Beauty in New York and most re­cently as man­ager of the Michael Kors store in the Rideau Cen­tre. She prides her­self on know­ing how to pull to­gether an out­fit and how to dress it up with a unique piece of jewelry.

“I have street smarts, learn from my mis­takes and work through them. I have a won­der­ful re­la­tion­ship with peo­ple who work in the Mar­ket. This is where I come from.”

 ?? BRUNO SCH­LUM­BERGER/OT­TAWA CIT­I­ZEN ?? Mandy Gosewich comes from a long line of mer­chants, start­ing with her great-grand­fa­ther who worked in the Mar­ket in the 1920s. She opened her store a month ago.
BRUNO SCH­LUM­BERGER/OT­TAWA CIT­I­ZEN Mandy Gosewich comes from a long line of mer­chants, start­ing with her great-grand­fa­ther who worked in the Mar­ket in the 1920s. She opened her store a month ago.
 ?? PHO­TOS: BRUNO SCH­LUM­BERGER
OT­TAWA CIT­I­ZEN ?? Mandy Gosewich’s bou­tique bursts with colour­ful touches and ap­peal­ing ac­ces­sories.
PHO­TOS: BRUNO SCH­LUM­BERGER OT­TAWA CIT­I­ZEN Mandy Gosewich’s bou­tique bursts with colour­ful touches and ap­peal­ing ac­ces­sories.
 ??  ??

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