A jaunt down Mill Street in Stirling will lead you to a quaint, locally-owned shop that carries all things
Renee Lucas has operated The Tree Trunk in the village for the past two years, offering high-quality baby and toddler products that are eco-friendly, Canadian, local and handmade.
“Typically, we try to carry as much of that as possible. We try to carry lines that are unique, different and high quality,” Lucas said. “I think people look for that sort of thing when you’re in a small town.”
The Tree Trunk stocks a variety of products like baby and toddler clothing, bedding, crocheted stuffed animals, baby headbands, beanies and bows, soaps, reusable feeding and mealtime accessories, wooden toys and more.
Lucas’s shop is familiar to parents in the region. She first opened four years ago in the city of Belleville, but the long-term goal was always to end up in the village of Stirling once a commercial space became available.
“We thought we would get more exposure if we started the store in a larger city, but then after two years, this space opened up. It fit with more of what we were trying to do,” she said. “We moved from Belleville to Stirling and we love it. The vibe and feel in Stirling are just so awesome, it’s very different from the city.”
Lucas loved the exposed brick and old-world charm of the storefront in Stirling, plus the space provided an opportunity for expansion, which is eventually in the plans. On nice days, the front door to The Tree Trunk is open, inviting people out for a stroll to stop and peek inside the boutique.
Making the move from the city to a rural community has meant a change in scenery, but also a shift in clientele. Lucas says shoppers who pop into the store love that the product isn’t something to be found in a box store.
“I find a lot of people spend more on an item for their first child, and then they hand it down within their family,” she said. “If you buy something quality, multiple families get use out of it, and I really love that idea of sharing and re-using.”
The support within the community has been an incredible source of positivity, said Lucas. It comes not only from the customers, but also from other businesses in the community who thrive on seeing one another succeed. While operating a retail store hasn’t always been easy, Lucas is driven by the entrepreneurial spirit and the love for what she does.
“There’s stuff that didn’t go smoothly, but I’ve learned a heck of a lot from those challenges. It wouldn’t have been as fulfilling without those experiences,” she said. “It’s crazy how quick the time has gone here. I still get that excitement about it – it’s exciting to make what you have dreamed about become a reality.”
The Tree Trunk is currently open Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as well as Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is located at 34 Mill St. in Stirling. Visit www.thetreetrunk.ca for more information.
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