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Parksville boutique enriches lives through community commitment

A local fashion boutique blends style with social responsibility
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The Close to You boutique offers a selection of clothes from tops, nightwear, accessories to even footwear. Photos courtesy of Close to You.

In downtown Parksville, Close to You boutique is a cornerstone of community involvement and philanthropy, driven by the passion and commitment of owner Sandy Herle. With an approach that intertwines style with social responsibility, Herle’s leadership extends far beyond the boutique’s chic display windows.

“We believe in being actively involved in our community to help uplift those around us,” explains Herle, who co-owns the boutique with her husband. Herle’s’s dedication is evident through her roles on various local boards, including the Downtown Business Association and the PQB Tourist Association, where she has served as Chair and board member

The boutique also is one of the sponsors 100 Women Who Care, an organization that demonstrates the power of collective charity – all members donate $100 4 times a year each to one agreed-upon non-profit to maximize their impact. “Your $100 makes such a difference, with everyone else’s,” Herle says.

As their 100th member, Herle had the honour of drawing the first charity to benefit from their collective generosity. The group focuses on supporting local charities, allowing small organizations to receive significant, impactful donations.

“It’s so important to give back, it doesn’t have to be significant amounts, but every little bit counts.” Grateful for her own success, Herle’s commitment to contribute positively to the lives of others includes various community needs, from the local Salvation Army to SOS Business for Good.

Collaborations with local business owners through the business association have created a network of support that promotes the entire downtown area, enhancing local tourism which benefits all businesses, including her own. “Our retail store of course benefits from tourism, but it’s about all of us growing together,” Herlesays.

Herle’s leadership also inspires financial donations and fosters a culture of volunteerism among her staff, with the team encouraged to participate in community events and charity initiatives.

“One thing I’ve learned – do what you do best and help others do the same,” she shares, quoting words of wisdom shared with her that have guided her through years of service.

“As business owners, making our living from this community, it’s vital we give back. We owe it to our community and to ourselves.”

For more information, visit closetoyou.ca. The store is located at 174 Corfield St S.