- Who… are you? Your team? Your store?
I’m Christine McKague, Owner of What’s In Store.
- What… are you doing? Seeing? Noticing? Dreaming? Hoping? Planning?
I research products to find genuinely safer products for us and for the planet. I don’t allow anything into my store that has questionable ingredients and I seek out products that have taken steps to ensure their processes are safe for people and planet too (like your fabulous certifications for example!). Then, I personally test products that have quality ingredients so that I can feel confident that they will meet the needs of my customers and rival the chemical-laden competitors out there. I make a strong effort to find as many products from Canadian companies first, but do definitely have products from other areas that are exceptional in their ingredients and their effectiveness.
In the past three years I’ve definitely seen an increase in interest by people in my community. I’ve met many people who are choosing to avoid chemicals and synthetics and many who have developed a need to avoid them. People are sharing their experiences here with their friends and family and we are seeing a real pattern of growth! The future is exciting!
- Where… are you located? Is/will this/be happening?
Although I originally started the business very small (just out of my home and online), three years ago, I took a leap of faith and opened our first brick and mortar store in Cobourg, Ontario. My goal is to open small stores in many towns, so that I can put better, safer products within reach for those who would not normally have much access without going to the city. We are already dreaming of our second location and have begun looking at commercial spaces available to carry that out.
- Why…are you doing this? Dreaming of this? Planning this?
What’s In Store started out as a little business; wherein I hunted for unusual things for people. I thought that the average person spent too much time at work and commuting and would benefit from my doing the leg-work to find them things like a special gift for a loved one. My philosophy was that they would enjoy not having to give up time searching online for things and instead could spend time with their families while still finding the special things they wanted through me.
However, the Internet is an amazing tool and interesting things started making their way into my path. So, because of articles and videos I discovered online I very quickly learned what was in a lot of products that I was using in my home and around my family. Well, that inspired me to change my focus and start sharing the things I was learning about chemicals in our products with others, because I figured if I had not been aware of it then I bet many others were not as well.
The business evolved out of my desire to keep my kids safe and to help others do that too.
- When… did that all start? Will this happen?
It all began back in 2007….and then again in 2008 when we transitioned to the green store we are today. Watch for new locations popping up too! We are determined to bring safer alternatives and the education that goes with it to many communities!
- Who is the most famous person you’ve served? Or, who would you most like to have buy from you?
I can’t say that I’ve ever served anyone famous. But I’d love to have Elizabeth May shop here :D
- What is trending in your store right now?
I’d have to say our Swing Dress. It’s bamboo and it’s gorgeous! I’ve sold it to women as young as 18 and up to 72 at present and from smalls to xl; with the same reaction to its fit regardless.
- Do you have any best design / best eco-friendly tip for the home?
I always tell people that as they run out of a product they have used in the past replace it with something greener, healthier, safer so that they can transition to greener living and do so in a manner they can afford and see how well the green products fit into their lives and give them the same – if not better – results without the chemical burden. Few people have the means to just completely jump over to green when they are new to it. I would rather see them make the shift gradually than to not do it at all because they see it as unmanageable.
- Besides Shoo-Foo products, what is your most favourite product you carry and why?
Ohhhhh I have so many! I love the Corpa Flora skin care line! It has been one of our most popular lines ever since we first brought it into the store. We now have a complimentary product called Zyderma, which is growing in excitement here too. I love Sport Suds because it is so clean and yet such an amazing laundry product, I love Pure Anada makeup because it’s clean, affordable and gives fabulous coverage, I love Truth Personal Care because it’s such simple ingredients and we’ve had soooo many positive comments from people who face very real challenges with allergies and such.