Attention British Columbians: Want to shop for ADORABLE goodies and feel good about supporting local businesses? Then you need to pay a visit to downtown Chilliwack. Specifically, the Mill Street and Wellington Street neighbourhood.
From gorgeous boutiques and local eateries to bookstores and record shops, this up-and-coming community is the perfect day trip from Vancouver’s Lower Mainland and is a haven for local shopping. Among the area’s many charming shops is The Button Box, a cozy boutique that sells home décor, unique gifts, fashion, accessories, and baby gifts. We chatted with founder Jeanie Blecker to learn more about the business and community.
Tell us about The Button Box!
The Button Box was established in 2005! We are a small group of hard-working, passionate women, who love style and fashion. Our shop is a fun place to visit! Currently, my daughter, best friend, and myself multi-task and run the shop. We offer the experience of in-store shopping or online through our easy-to-navigate website.
Tell us about yourself! Where did the vision for The Button Box come from?
I always dreamed of owning a shop! When my children were finally at the age of independence, I felt the time was right to try my hand at opening a retail store. My husband has always been very supportive of my endeavour.
The original Button Box started in the studio in my backyard where I sold antiques, repurposed items, and vintage clothing. After one year in business, I knew that I wanted a bigger space and Mill Street always impressed me. I made the big move and leased my first retail space.
Where did the name “The Button Box” come from?
I named my shop after my mom and my childhood experiences. Yes, there actually is a button box! It’s a beautiful antique tin filled with buttons that my mother collected over the years.
As a child, I used to play with these buttons and they were always a special way of entertaining myself when I was little. The full story can be found on the ABOUT section of our website.
What drew you to downtown Chilliwack?
I’ve always loved the Mill Street + Wellington area, as it lends itself so well to the boutique style of shopping. There is such a fantastic eclectic mix of businesses and it makes for a really fun shopping experience.
What is it like to be a part of the Mill + Wellington community?
I am so happy to say I have really great relationships with my neighbours. We work together and we share a common passion for being small business owners. It’s nice because we can share ideas, ask for help, and count on each other to be supportive. We even socialize together and oftentimes my shop is the meeting place for great business-owner conversations over coffee.
Years ago, when I opened my first location on Mill Street (I’ve had three!) the street was not very popular and had an unfortunate reputation for being unsafe.
Thankfully, after The City Of Chilliwack had to do major infrastructure work, the street was beautified, and Mill Street became incredibly popular. It was with sheer determination, hard work, and stubbornness that I was determined my little shop would flourish, and it has.