In response to the challenging times that we are experiencing together regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to give props to some stellar local businesses who are stepping up to serve our great community.

Featured This Week:

Lilibird, Bracebridge

Owned & operated by Steen & Bev Jensen, Lilibird has been in Muskoka since 2004 when they opened for their first summer in the old stone church at the falls in Bala. They later later opened a second location in Bracebridge in 2009. As the stores grew in popularity, Steen & Bev decided that they both needed to be working in Bracebridge, so in 2015, their son Nick and his partner Eden Bachelder, bought the former Saturday Afternoons building in Bala and moved the store there, establishing their own location called Birchbark. Bev told us that “Nick still comes to Lilibird to ‘save us old folks’ every Christmas when the pace picks up!Lilibird is known for carrying a wide selection of products from bath and baby to Hatley clothing, gifts and garden, candles, home décor, specialty handmade jams, chutneys, Belgian truffles, fraktals and much more! “Our goal is to provide affordable, high-quality products that anyone would be pleased to give as a gift or to buy for themselves. We hear from people every day that they always know they’ll find something in our store when they need a gift” Bev told us.

While it was a difficult time for everyone and a challenging Spring for small retailers in general, it was particularly tough go for Lilibird, as they missed out on several key annual events that help to drive traffic through their store. Unfortunately they had to remain closed through several major events this year, but with that said, since re-opening, Bev tells us that Fall 2020 has seen a strong rebound for Lilibird, “with the snowbirds staying in Ontario this winter, cottagers remaining in their cottages and people refocusing on hearth and home types of activities.

While Lilibird was closed in the Spring, they ran some Facebook Virtual Sidewalk Sales that drew plenty of attention and support from the community. Bev tells us that if they should need to close down again, that they will resume those Virtual Sidewalk Sales.

With eyes looking to the future, Bev tells us that in the New Year they will be looking at introducing an online Shopify platform for Lilibird, as a catalogue that their patrons can browse from the comfort of their home. “For now the focus is still in-store shopping – with online being a backup. It may change, but for now we still enjoy operating Lilibird as it is with face-to-face interactions instead of online and we hope our patrons feel the same.”  Lilibird says that they are always happy to receive feedback though and will continue to listen to their supporters in the coming months. Lilibird has lots of great gift ideas available for Christmas and the holiday season and are offering extended in-store shopping hours; Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 11-4.  

We would like to commend Bev, Steen and the entire Lilibird family for their hard work, adaptability and dedication to serving our great community. From offering the Virtual Sidewalk Sales to exploring the idea of an online catalogue, it can be daunting to jump into the online retail world and it takes a great deal of courage to make that leap. Great work guys and keep it up!

Be sure to follow Lilibird on Facebook or visit their website for more information.

If you know a local business who deserves a shout out, send us a direct message with a photo and why they should be featured.

#StayComfy #StayCozy #MuskokaBearWear