By Sean Meyer
From practically from the first moment she walked through the doors in 1987, Veronica Hosszu admits to being captivated by the Elizabeth Noel Ltd. clothing shop.
Given she got a job in the store just a few days after walking in for the first time — never mind purchasing the business some five years later — one could make the case she’s never really left.
That said, her first visit remains memorable even more than three decades later.
“I broke every rule for hiring Liz said she had. I walked in on a Saturday, in jeans, she hated people in jeans, and asked for a job on a Saturday, which is your busiest day in retail. Two or three days later I followed up and she said I could come in and try,” Veronica recalls. “I joked with her sometimes about what I was going to do when I bought the store. Then one day, at Christmas time, she said I can’t smile at another person, either you take over or I’m closing the store. I said OK. I should have had my head examined, but 30 years later, here I am.”
Although the shop is coming up on its 50thanniversary next February, today the Elizabeth Noel is home to the latest prom, graduation, evening, and cocktail dresses and gowns.
Veronica is quick to credit Elizabeth herself for providing “a good anchor” for the success she continues to have today.
Her business philosophy is somewhat simple and comes from trying to always know what her clients want (although she admits to rarely remembering their names, she almost always remembers their order) and not being afraid to change with the times.
In fairness, Elizabeth Noel has developed into something of a “destination store.” Veronica even jokes sometimes if she moved the store into her garage, people would come because of what the shop sells.
Of course, changing things up isn’t just a business philosophy.
“Change is as good as a rest,” Veronica said. “We’re always trying to stay on top of trends, trying to evolve, trying to make it interesting for me, which makes coming to work happiness and sunshine. It keeps my interest up.”
It’s a good thing Veronica is so passionate about her business as she admits to having a real problem actually disconnecting from it.
In fact, pretty much the only way she can do so is by leaving the country.
For example, she took her son Cooper, 18, on a trip to Italy and France after he graduated high school.
“One of the perks of this business is everything has to be bought on credit card, so I have Airmiles out the gazoo,” she said. “We went to Italy and France together, just the two of us. My thing is antiques, so I like to go to places with incredible antiques.”
When she isn’t travelling the globe, Veronica does stick fairly close to home.
That comes in handy given she’s constantly on the lookout for her next great antique discovery.
That said, Veronica is also thinking about what comes next in her life should the time come to walk away from the store for good.
“I bought the store when I was 23. If someone would want this lifestyle, I’m always open to someone being interested. Shauni (store manager Shauni Shelly) has been interested,” she said. “My husband is an avid golfer, so if we move to a warmer location, we might open a second shop. Who knows?”
For more information, visit https://www.elizabethnoel.com.
By Sean Meyer
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Downtown London and The City of London are happy to announce the hiring of Savanah Sewell as the Dundas Place Manager.
Based out of London Ontario, Sewell is the co-founder of The Grickle Grass Festival, Winter Spectacular and London Girls Rock Camp. Her production days have led her to The Toronto International Film Festival, Way Home Festival and a long list of arena and club shows. Sewell has experience working at Budweiser Gardens, was a coordinator at the MET artisans market downtown, and was an integral part to producing live, outdoor concerts during 2016’s Country Music Week downtown. She is a frequent collaborator with Tourism London and the London Music Hall, and for the past four summers has also organized the family area at Home County Music and Art Festival.
Most recently, she coordinated Masterpiece London, a graffiti art festival on King Street downtown, in partnership with The London Convention Centre and Downtown London.
“Savanah is a community collaborator,” says Janette MacDonald, CEO and General Manager of Downtown London. “She has a long list of experience creating inclusive, exciting programming for more than a decade. We are thrilled that she will be able to bring this expertise to Dundas Place.”
The Dundas Place Manager’s responsibilities include coordinating activation, maintenance, and security of the space.
“Downtown London feels like my frontyard,” says Sewell. “I love this community. From watching new small businesses open to hosting events, there is a real opportunity with Dundas Place to run along side this momentum. There are amazing people working and living in our core and I'm excited to work with the community to make this the most interesting place in the city.”
Dundas Place is the first transformational project outlined in Our Move Forward: London’s Downtown Plan. Our Move Forwardis essentially the sequel to The City of London’s Millennium Plan; the plan that built Budweiser Gardens, rebuilt the Covent Garden Market, and relocated the Central Library downtown.
“Since Dundas Place’s inception, we have envisioned a dedicated team responsible for managing the space,” says Jim Yanchula, Manager of Downtown Projects & Business Relations at The City of London. “To make this idea a reality, Downtown London advocated strongly on behalf of its members for this position during Dundas Place’s design and public consultation. London City Council approved the creation of this pilot dedicated to managing Dundas Place. We believe it can become the most exciting space in the core”
About Dundas Place
Dundas Place will be London’s first flexible street. A flexible street is an accessible, curbless space that can be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic easier and more frequently for events. In addition to the above-ground transformation, Dundas Street is undergoing significant infrastructure upgrading work (internet, hydro, water, sewers). Currently, Dundas between Ridout and Richmond Streets is under construction, with the blocks between Richmond and Wellington scheduled to start construction in 2019. Learn more at www.dundasplace.ca
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