An historic old federal building and centrepiece in downtown Thorold has found new life.
Businesswoman and clothier Shannon Passero has moved her retail store to The Post Office at 18 Front St. N. The move takes her from Thorold’s Old Firehall, which she restored and opened in 2013.
The Post Office will offer a mix of ethically-made clothing and accessories, including Passero’s signature Neon Buddha and Pure Handknit designs.
It is also expanding into home furnishings gifts and decor in styles from classic vintage to international.
“We’re calling it our new flagship lifestyle clothing store,” said Passero, 42. “We were testing the waters at the Firehall, and it was 800-square feet and we really got an overwhelming response to the community.
“That’s what led to comments like ‘there should be more space’ and the frustrations or being in such a small space,” she said. “We translated what we knew from the Firehall to a larger space,” she said.
Passero, 42, said the Post Office building was empty for almost a decade. She recently worked with Heritage Thorold to restore and revitalize the building and create the 6,500-square-foot store. “I am very interested in local heritage and preserving it,” she said. “And it also adds such character to our business… we were able to reuse and revitalize and old building to re-purpose it to a viable business, which is very exciting.”
A goal through that process was to retain historic elements and add period elements such as sales counter from the Dominion Hardware store.
Work included scraping down the iron beams to get the original 1930’s colour and a portion of the bathroom and front entrance tile flooring was restored.
Trim by the windows has also been treated by a carpenter to reflect its original form.
Passero, originally from Welland, is designer and co-owner of two successful women’s wear brands casual lifestyle clothing Neon Buddha and Pure Handknit, a hand-knit sweater line.
Her business philosophy is centered on sustainable, ethically-produced garments that include environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes, and donating portions of profits to global and domestic causes.
Her new store includes items from more than two dozen local artisans and her clothing lines and a small gallery. Its grand opening was held Wednesday.
Fore more information on the business visit shannonpassero.com