Refreshing local women’s wardrobes

Family has been running clothing store for three years and says Parksville has been very welcoming

From left

From left

LISSA ALEXANDER

reporter@pqbnews.com

Joan Classen and her daughters don’t have the exact same taste in fashion, and they kept that in mind when opening Refresh Clothing in Parksville three years ago.

“We wanted to offer a place where moms, grandmas and daughters could all come together and have fun in an open and relaxed atmopsphere,” said Rebecca Classen, the youngest daughter in the Classen family.

“And my mother who is 81 also shops here,” said her mother Joan.

Joan and her daughters Katie Cooke and Rebecca Classen all made the move from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Parksville three years ago because they wanted a change. Joan and her husband Dale had brought their youngest daughter Rebecca to Parksville on vacations for five years and decided it was the place they wanted to retire.

Meanwhile Katie was studying the business of fashion from her employers at a Saskatoon clothing store. Joan pitched the idea of opening their own store in Parksville and Katie jumped on board.

The third sister, Jan, went to school for fashion design and currently lives in Vancouver working in that field. She helps out with purchasing at the store, Joan said.

Refresh carries a mix of Canadian, American and European ladies clothing, everything from a $35 T-shirt to a $300 Jospeh Ribkoff dress. Refresh is not only suited to all ages but to all sizes, and carries sizes 0 to 16. The store also sells shoes and jewelry made by a Saskatchewan designer who was successful with her pitch on the Dragon’s Den.

This summer the trend at the store has been all about hues of orange along with denim jackets, leggings and tunics. Although the store follows current trends, that’s not what they’re all about, Katie said, as they let their customers help direct their purchases.

“Just because Maxi skirts are in doesn’t mean everyone wants to wear a maxi skirt,” she said. “It’s about feeling good in your clothes.”

Katie said she loves working with her mother and sister and most of the time they complete each other’s sentences. The women who come into the store are wonderful people and they have developed some meaningful relationships with them, Joan said.

“They hug us and cry with us and they bring us flowers, they are just amazing people,” she said.

“Parksville has been very welcoming to us,” added Katie.

Check out Refresh Clothing located a #5-220 West Island Hwy. in Parksville. For more information visit www.refreshclothing.ca or call 250-586-1111.