New Westminster News Leader

Sapperton shop is about family

Sue Morphet and Emily Coloma are selling
Sue Morphet and Emily Coloma are selling 'Scarves of Support' at their new Sapperton decor shop, Eden Accents. All the proceeds go to a family in need to give them a special Christmas.
— image credit: MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER

Eden Accents is a family affair.

Not only is the little decor shop in Sapperton run by the mother-daughter team of Sue Morphet and Emily Coloma, but Sue’s husband did all the renovations to the space and her other daughter, Julia, helps out with designing window displays.

And one of the first things the family did as they geared up for the hustle and bustle of their first Christmas season was contact New Westminster Family Services to adopt a family in need for the holidays.

At first their thought was to collect items and donations at the store.

But when a local artisan, Evelyn Wright, offered the shop her inventory of colourful hand knitted scarves, they came up with Scarves of Support.

Each scarf sells for $10, and all the proceeds go to give their adopted family a special Christmas.

It’s just the way her family operates, says Sue. “We’ve always done something for others at Christmas, like playing Secret Santa.”

In fact, reaching out and connecting with their community is very much the fuel that drove Sue and Emily into business together in the first place.

Both ladies live within a couple of blocks walking distance from their E. Columbia Street shop and they love the friendly atmosphere of the neighbourhood.

“Sapperton is like a little village,” says Sue.

“People stop by to chat, it’s very homey.”

To get ready for their joint venture, Sue and Emily shopped. When they had trouble finding the things they loved locally, like candles and Jellybean rugs, they made a note; those would be the things they’d sell.

The result is a unique vintage and contemporary blend of, as Emily says, “some of the small necessities and indulgences of life.”

While Sue had run a bed and breakfast in Nelson for 10 years, neither woman had retail experience. So as they began navigating the vagaries of ordering stock, remitting taxes and filing paperwork, they reached out to the growing family of independent businesses around the city, many them also run by women.

“It makes us realize how alike our stories are,” says Sue of the network that now meets monthly to mentor each other and share ideas. “There’s so many people with a wealth of knowledge.”

Three months in and their displays now choc-a-bloc with Christmas items, Sue and Emily say they’re still learning, about operating a store, about their customers, their community and their family.

“It’s like a bud blooming,” says Emily.

Eden Accents is at 451 E. Columbia St. and online at www.edenaccents.ca

 

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