Santa won’t be the only one wearing fur this Christmas: Newfoundland companies proving there’s a demand for sealskin fashion and footwear
Jen Shears owns Natural Boutique, a downtown St. John’s boutique that sells goods crafted from seal fur and hide.
She began with 20 pairs of boots and worked with other companies to manufacture the sealskin products.
In 2012, Shears launched a kiosk at the Avalon Mall in St. John’s. She says she was surprised by the high demand for her sealskin boots and outerwear.
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The successful sales at the Avalon Mall that first Christmas season encouraged them to launch a full-time store on Water Street in St. John’s.
Shears found they could sell more products because they frequently encounter tourists from out of province on cruise ships looking to purchase a coat or hat to take home.
One interesting thing is that an event intended to shame people into not purchasing seal items had the opposite effect: hundreds of people flocked to the store that day and the following days to support the business.
Her sideline sealskin products company, which she started in 2009, has grown into something far greater than she anticipated.
Jen Shears expressed gratitude to all who supported their initiative and made Natural Boutique succeed.