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After Nine Years Of Mobile Fashion, In Pursuit Puts Down Roots

By Scott Pettigrew Oct 28, 2022 | 7:30 AM

Operating a successful clothing store in uptown Saint John is not where Dominique Leger thought she would be nine years ago, at least not the brick-and-mortar store part.

“I feel a lot more at home here,” she says of the 20 King St location of In Pursuit boutique, which opened in April of 2022.

The permanent location was not a part of Leger’s original plan. She envisioned operating a series of mobile boutiques with the freedom to go anywhere, but a storefront has now become a key part of the plan.

“It was a serendipitous moment where I was like, ‘OK – if I’m going to be in a storefront I want to be in the best, most beautiful storefront. I want to make sure that we are visible and that we’ve created a space on purpose.’”

“There’s bright pink flowers on the walls, and our cash desk is hot pink, and you know this space was designed more like a permanent fixture.”

For Leger, it’s a real home after nearly three years of uncertainty that saw In Pursuit move from its famous truck to a temporary storefront, to a permanent one.

An unforeseen transition

“Probably the next thing to talk about is the truck,” Leger says. Originally, In Pursuit was a mobile clothing boutique, and Leger found nine years of success growing that business.

“The decision to move from the truck to the storefront was really difficult,” she says.

For Leger, that transition was not part of her plan.

Starting in 2013, the pink, polka dot truck became a fixture around Saint John and the surrounding area, with customers venturing from all over the city to be a part of the In Pursuit shopping experience. Leger’s original plan was to build on the success of the first truck and open another in the spring of 2020. Funding was already in place from a Kickstarter campaign.

Then Covid hit and her game plan had to change.

“Things have changed so drastically in such a short amount of time,” she says. “The truck works because of its intimacy. The truck works because you were in a small, tight space with strangers and everybody has the same goal to look great and feel great and encourage each other. That was what people really enjoyed about shopping in the truck.”

“But then, enter ‘global pandemic’, and the Number 1 rule of surviving the pandemic was don’t go near strangers, don’t breathe on anybody, don’t look at anybody, don’t touch anybody. So it really just changed everything.”

Faced with the reality that the 18 square feet of space inside the truck was no longer going to afford the kind of shopping experience she wanted her customers to have, Leger decided to open a temporary storefront at 101 Prince William Street in June of 2020. But she fully intended to return full-time to the truck after Covid ended.

“That wasn’t exactly what happened,” she says.

As the pandemic dragged on, Leger knew she had to decide on a permanent location that offered the option to pivot, if distancing and other rules returned. But also one that was a permanent home.

Leger decided to go big, moving from the 450 square foot space on Prince William to the 2,300 square foot space she now occupies on King Street.

“I use this formula: more space, more products, more people, more sales,” she says.

Creating a new plan

Now that things have finally fallen into place after so much uncertainty, Leger says she has an eye to the future. The permanent location has opened up a new group of customers to her, as cruise ships bring people into the storefront. She says she is also open to opportunities in other cities and maybe even other provinces, as well as moving forward with the newly designed truck that works in the covid era.

“I’m not going to be able to go back to who we were when we started nine years ago,” she says of the original In Pursuit truck, which is currently for sale. “I have a design in mind for the new truck, I have big plans in mind for what will be suitable as we move forward with our new normal.”

But for now, the main goal is to keep going with the new plan – making the storefront the best it can be.

“Where we are right now is, we love the storefront, we love the location, we love Saint John, we love our customers,” she says. “When the truck comes back because it will come back, it will come back in addition to the storefront.”

Alex Graham is a reporter with Huddle, an Acadia Broadcasting content partner.


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