Formerly located in the Mills department store on Spring Garden Road, Twisted Muse was facing an uncertain future when Mills was suddenly sold in October.
Five months later, and the boutique is thriving in its new location behind sister store Sweet Pea on Birmingham St.
“Everyone was kind of just rolling with the punches,” says Twisted Muse and Sweet Pea owner Johanna Galipeau, about the sale which saw a series of shuffles among several Spring Garden Road shops.
Galipeau also owned Sparrow Shoes, another business which moved from Mills. Sparrow Shoes has since merged with Twisted Muse, however, becoming a single store.
“It was really nice because things that we already had fit really well into that space. Like it was just meant for it,” says Galipeau.
“The original architecture was just amazing for the vibe of Twisted.”
It’s only a month old, but Twisted Muse is already more at home in their new space than they ever were in Mills. Galipeau says the staff has put their mark on the space, incorporating the fireplaces and storefront windows into their displays. Galipeau loves being able to mold the space to fit her vision, something that was difficult in a department store setting.
Business has been strong since the move. Galipeau admits that they did lose some customers, but won over many others.
Sister stores are closer together now
“We regained more of the Sweet Pea [type of] customer, [who] are the people who like to do boutique-sized street shopping; they’re over at the liquor store getting their stuff, they’re going to Pete’s to get their groceries.”
The whole process came together seamlessly. A small group of friends and family packed, painted, built and then unpacked to bring Twisted Muse back to life. It helped that the two locations are so close, as the movers used trolleys instead of trucks.
In total, the store was closed for only three days.
“When we opened, it just felt really right,” she says. “I was really happy.”
She credits social media and the staff at Mills for making sure customers know where Twisted Muse moved to.
The sale of Mills has brought Sweet Pea and Twisted Muse closer together in more ways than one. Being able to go from one store to the other through a back door, Galipeau now sees more of her staff and her customers.
“We’re really loving this close-knit little family,” says Galipeau.
“I just love that it’s right behind Sweet Pea, like it truly is finally our sister store.”
The Future of Mills
Back on Spring Garden, Lisa Gallivan, Deanne MacLeod, Candace Thomas and Katharine Perry teamed up to purchase Mills from Micco Companies in October. The sale of Mills has had a ripple effect on the rest of Spring Garden. Mills will be moving down the street and setting up shop in Spring Garden Place in May, in the space vacated by Roots and Thornbloom. Roots has already moved across the street from its former location.