by Maryanne Lechleiter, Stimuli Magazine
I can’t believe it took me this long to go on one of Vanilla Clothing’s Retail Therapy Boutique & Wine Tours. Can you think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than with a group of fun, friendly women, shopping, eating, and sampling wine? I can’t either. I was invited to take the tour and joined up with Kristyl, the voice behind local blog, She’s a Valley Mom. We had a blast!
Event organizer and Vanilla Clothing boutique owner, Deanna Whissell, created the tours over a year ago out of a desire to support local businesses. “Women love to get together and shop,” she says, “so we created the tours as a way to connect our customers to some of the other fantastic shops and wineries in our communities.” The tour consists of four or five stops throughout the afternoon: typically a home decor store, a winery, and another boutique or two. At each stop guests are treated to appetizers, wine, a short educational component and introduction to the boutique, as well as some fun swag to take home. Some of the stops also offer special discounts for tour guests.
Here’s where we went on my tour:
The day always begins at one of the Vanilla Clothing locations, either in Walnut Grove or White Rock, where guests are treated to brunch, some shopping time, and maybe even a little hand massage. Vanilla Clothing has recently expanded their boutique to offer a selection of lifestyle products including some home decor items, and more choices in handbags and accessories.
I may have gone home with a thing or two.
We hopped on the bus for a ride to the next location: Kamer Decor. This little shop is in the most unlikely location in Port Kells, but Denise has transformed the space into a beautiful oasis that showcases her design ability. While the shop is open by appointment only, Denise can literally take your vision straight from your Pinterest board or a magazine spread, and create the look in your home. She is able to source furniture, draperies, custom bedding, and more. Honestly? I’d love to live right in her showroom.
Next we were off to Backyard Vineyards where we were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the wine making area. Have you ever been able to sample wine straight out of the barrel? That’s exactly what we did – so yummy!
As if that wasn’t enough, we spent some time in the tasting room sampling the different varieties while nibbling on the most amazing selection of cheeses and fruit. The Tasting Room & Wine Shop is open 7 days a week; you can come in, enjoy a glass of wine and some fabulous food. They also have the Back Porch Wine Club, Wine Flight Fridays, and other great events.
Our final stop on this snowy day was at Jack & Jill Clothing in Grandview Corners.
What a gorgeous boutique! I love the diverse selection of styles – and the shoes are to die for!
I truly enjoyed my day with the gals from Vanilla Clothing; from the shopping to the socializing, the afternoon was a real treat. The Retail Therapy Boutique & Wine Tours happen regularly, with the next tour dates set for April 13 & 27th. There are two special edition tours on the calendar: Vancouver Island in May and the Okanagan in the summer. If you’re interested, I recommend calling to reserve your space soon as they sell out very quickly. Tickets are only $45 and can be purchased by calling Vanilla Clothing at 604.371.0071.
Happy shopping Stimulistas!