Sidney’s Cottons and Blues in a transition

BUSINESS PROFILES 2017: Nothing as liberating as being debt-free

The Peninsula News Review’s Business Profiles edition hits the streets on Nov. 8. This one of four stories coming out this week from that special publication.

There’s a saying about something old being new again … and it can apply to Sidney business Cottons and Blues in a couple different ways.

First, cotton shirts and jeans never really do go out of style and that’s one of the clothing store’s main stocks in trade — ever since Kathy Clarke started the business back in the 1970s. Although back then, it was known to its customers as Denim Disco.

Re-branded in 1979 as Cottons and Blues, Clarke continued to grow her business, adapting to the various clothing trends but at the same time, sticking to what she knows best and what her customers demanded — natural fabrics, like cotton.

“You always need to have a variety of items to serve a variety of age groups,” she said.

One of the biggest challenges lately, she continued, is sourcing those natural fabrics, saying cotton is hard to find as more clothing manufacturers turn to alternatives, such as bamboo.

Second, on the old is new again angle, is the fact that Clarke is retiring this fall — and the business is being taken over by new owner Anna Savage, who has worked with Clarke for the last five yards as a partner.

Clarke said she’s had a retirement plan for years and wanted to put in place by the time she turns 60. And while she’s right on schedule with those plans, she said she’s not planning on going anywhere, as Sidney is her home.

“That’s good, ‘cause Kathy is helping us out at Christmas still,” quipped Savage, noting that time of year is still very busy for Cottons and Blues.

“We ave a very loyal following.”

Clarke added 2017 has been a very good year for the business, with lots of customer traffic. It has set the stage for a positive transition this year. And it’ll mean she and husband Garry will be on track to start their travels.

Clarke said she will miss her long-time customers and she would tell anyone getting into business these days to do as she did — and not over extend themselves.

“Pay your bills, sooner than later,” she said, adding there’s nothing quite as liberating — personally and professionally — as being debt-free.

Just Posted

Dozens rally outside Premiere’s office for sick Sooke boy

Six-year-old Landen Lanthier needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Announcement for Sooke Road improvement expected this week

Premier promising ‘preliminary’ work, with more on the way

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Traffic logistics for Lansdowne Road closure

Public Works talks alternative routes for 2.5 month closure of major transportation artery

Boat capsizes in Caddy Bay

Two members of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club Race Team spent part… Continue reading

Traffic logistics for Lansdowne Road closure

Public Works talks alternative routes for 2.5 month closure of major transportation artery

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Jan. 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Most Read