The Chez Thérèse Clothing & Gifts team left to right are Barbara Renaud, owner, Élise Vallée, employed since 1996, and will be retiring as well, and Julie McNaughton, employed since 2007. Courtesy Photo
MOOSE CREEK – Everything comes to an end and then everything begins again.
Three generations of the Théoret family over 55 years have created a successful local business in Moose Creek called Chez Thérèse Clothing & Gifts.
The local clothing business has become a favourite place for people from far and wide to shop, from Montreal, Ottawa, and Cornwall, and its closing will create a large hole in the local business landscape.
Vivian and Michel Théoret, the owners of the Moose Creek Mall are ready to retire, and the time is right for them to begin the next chapter in their lives. The couple is liquidating their stores, Barbara Renaud, their daughter and owner of Chez Thérèse Clothing & Gifts located in the mall has made the difficult decision to close her business along with her parents’operations.
The popular clothing store was established by Renaud’s grandmother Thérèse Théoret in 1967.
“They told me this past March and I took a few months to figure out what’s next for me,” said Renaud who has worked in the store since 1991. She worked with her grandmother until her parents bought the store in 2001.
“I continued to manage it and doing the buying from 2001 until 2013 when I bought it myself.”
While the store has been successful, the world around it has changed.
Faced with a potential return of the pandemic, along with rising gas prices, and retail costs in general, Renaud decided it was time to begin her own next chapter.
She said, “I just do not want to take the financial risk any longer. Covid times were a challenge, and buying clothing and merchandise six months in advance, and not knowing what the state of the world will be in has become a hugely impossible guessing game.”
The success of her store has been built on the achievements of her grandmother who created a great business environment for the clothing store.
“My grandmother built up a huge business with a wonderful following.”
Renaud considered moving the store to a different location, but again, the current difficult economic landscape did not guarantee the success of such a move.
In a Facebook post she said, “But I am at a crossroad now and had to make the very difficult decision. I am at peace with my decision now.”
The decision to close her store was not easy.
Renaud is enthusiastic and filled with energy. She does not regret her decision at all, and is eagerly looking forward to whatever she does next.
She said, “I thought of my Grandmother Thérèse a whole lot lately, and I feel that if she were still around, she would support and agree that my decision is the best move for me. Sometimes, you just have to take a leap of faith in life and perhaps the next chapter will be an even happier one.”
Renaud’s time at the store has been exciting. She was one of the first small business retailers in the region to move much of her clothing stock over to Facebook, and create her online store. Her customers were able to have a look online at what she had to offer and even bring in screen shots of what they had seen and want to buy.
She remembered, “I created my online store in 2016 and it was one of the only clothing stores to have an online presence in the area.”
She said her customers were amazed to be able to order items online or use the online presence like a catalogue they could use before they came to the store to shop.
Renaud said she has shipped her clothing all over the world.
“I have shipped to Paris, France. It was an incredible time.”
She said some of her customers remembered when their own mothers and grandmothers shopped at the store, and now they are here doing it.
From a business perspective Renaud has made all of the right moves to grow and secure her business as a success in the community. Despite her success, she feels it is time to move on, and helping her parents retire while they are still healthy is a priority for her.
Everything in her store is for sale as she winds down Chez Thérèse Clothing & Gifts.
All outstanding gift cards and store credits will be honored until July 29.
Renaud would like to extend her thanks, and deep appreciation to all those who have supported her and her family’s businesses over the years.
For more information call 613-538-2333.
Joseph Morin is the Editor of the Eastern Ontario AgriNews, and the Record. He is, despite years of practice, determined to eventually play the guitar properly. He has served the Eastern Ontario community as a news editor, and journalist for the past 25 years with the Iroquois Chieftain, Kemptville Advance, West Carleton Review, and Ottawa Carleton Review in Manotick. He has never met a book he did not like.