One of several empty storefronts in downtown Creston is no more, with Nadan Nessie Gear moving to a new location that gave it a major increase in space.
Vacated in late summer by No Boundaries Health and Fitness, the location was perfect for the outdoor store, now in its fourth year, which was in a cramped former restaurant on 10th Avenue.
“We’re really pleased with this incredible space,” said Sherri Fowler, who runs the business with her daughter, Vannessa.
The new location has not only helped to keep downtown looking busy, but has raised awareness of the store’s existence.
“People come in, and they take one look and say, ‘Creston needed a store like this,’ ” Fowler said.
Now in its fourth year, Nadan Nessie Gear — the name incorporates the owner’s nickname and that of her deceased brother — continues to offer swim and yoga wear, shoes and hiking boots, and other fitness gear.
But the expansion has allowed the store to be stocked with other Canadian-made products, many of which are typically available in larger centres. Some new items come from Cranbrook’s Kootenay Knitting Company, which supplied the 2010 Olympics, and Alberta’s TerraFrog Clothing Corp., which makes fitness wear from recycled pop bottles.
As well, Nadan Nessie now offers Los Angeles-made SpiritHoods, a popular new product that incorporates the markings and ears of endangered species — the maker donates proceeds from sales of each hood to a non-profit organization helping that specific animal.
The new location even allowed the installation of a 25-degree ramp to test hiking boots and a testing area for Hula Hoops, and entry-level kayaks will soon be offered.
“The whole idea is to have a store with good customer service that encompasses the Kootenay lifestyle,” said Fowler. “That’s the big thing.”
So it’s hardly a surprise that the store draws in customers from the east and west Kootenays, doing its part to keep Creston’s downtown vibrant.
“If we can infuse the economy, it will give us a stronger sense of community,” she said. “I’m proud that Creston offers such great products.”