FRIDAY FEATURE: Outlier Mercantile

It never takes much for a little idea to become a big crazy out of control idea for me. I’m sure it’s a combination of my ADHD brain and my… well, it’s about 99% that – I’m just an impulsive personality. I love big, I dream big, I never do anything “just a little.”

Photo cred: Mary Clarke Photography

I wanted to find a way to take my love for my towns (Black Diamond and Turner Valley mostly with a little bit of Okotoks/Calgary/Airdrie sprinkled in) and my passion for local businesses and combine them in a way that made sense.

My reasoning was a trifecta of awesomeness; One, I obviously want to direct traffic to these stores because it’s important to me that they remain open and that they thrive! #supportlocal

Two, I think we live in a very under appreciated area. We are a short drive from the mountains, and we have a vibrant arts and music scene, some excellent restaurants, a distillery, two breweries and the list goes on. Just check out the town websites to see what all is happening in Black Diamond and Turner Valley!

Three, my blog has been brutally neglected since I started this website and I need to get my act together. I know, it’s kind of selfish… but I hope that I can counter that by promoting my amazing #coollittletowns.

Thus, Friday Features was born.  An opportunity to showcase various local businesses, and my chance to harness my inner childhood Saan Store modelling career and take it to the next level. (Seriously, I modelled as a child for a bit for some crazy reason, and I’m sure lots of people bought that super fashionable snow suit and the NKOTB sleeping bag thanks to my mad posing skills.)

So I connected with Mary Clarke Photography and Audra McGregor of Mary Kay to ensure my make up and photography would be on point, and I began to connect with local businesses.

The first business I went into, I struck out… They were like “um, what?” I realized I needed to keep trying, and maybe approach it in a different, more concise way.

Outlier Mercantile is pretty new to Black Diamond, Alberta, and I took a chance going in there as some little known blogger who has no real sense of fashion whatsoever. That said, in spite of having literally no idea who I was, they didn’t even question my crazy idea and I was back the following week to pick up a curated outfit for the shoot! Phew!

Outlier Mercantile – 306 Government Road S, Black Diamond, AB

The feel of the store is one of minimalism, perfectly aesthetically pleasing and if you’re lucky you’ll catch a glimpse of the “shop bunny.” I’m totally serious, there’s a bunny in there and it’s adorable.

The “shop bunny” at Outlier Mercantile.

Owner Megan Kristina best describes her store as “a curated and eclectic women’s boutique with an inspired mix of western folk and west coast spirit.” If that doesn’t sound like a magical place to shop, you probably should read that last sentence again. The building is an old church, and it has a nice open concept inside. The way they’ve laid everything out it gives plenty of space for the displays, but also plenty of room to move around and shop without bumping elbows with the person next to you. I say that because the stuff in here is so beautiful the store should be consistently jam packed with eager buyers like yourself.

The items within the store are either authentically created or sourced from BC, Alberta, California and Colorado.

A view of the gorgeous store interior with its western folk/west coast vibes.

Megan said she felt that “among the other local shops, eats and the art gallery, this quaint town seems to have a magic pull which just felt right to be a part of.” As someone who personally loves Black Diamond and Turner Valley, I couldn’t agree more.

For the shoot itself, I was provided with a lovely shirt, Kimono, necklace, purse and hat. The nicest thing about going into Outlier, was being able to say “dress me up” and stand back and watch Megan work her magic. Megan has an eye for fashion and design, and without a doubt could pull together some pretty epic outfits without so much as a blink of an eye. This is a must visit shop in our little town. I won’t lie, it was tough not to go home with the entire rack of Kimonos, each one more beautiful than the last.

Photo Cred: Mary Clarke Photography

You can visit Outlier Mercantile at 306 Government Road S, in Black Diamond, Alberta. If you aren’t in the local area, you can shop online at www.shopwinslowrowe.com. I’ve been told that not all items can be found in the online shop, but if you happen to see something you love on her Instagram feed that isn’t on the website www.instagram.com/outliersmerc you can arrange purchase through DM!

Photo Cred: Mary Clarke Photography

Special thanks to Mary Clarke Photography for your incredible skills and willingness to get creative with me, and Audra McGregor for your make-up artistry!

Mary Clarke Photography can be found on Instagram at www.instagram.com/maryclarkephotography

(all photos of myself and the purse are taken by Mary, the shop photos and the bunny are my shots)

Audra McGregor and her make up artistry can be found on Instagram at

www.instagram.com/audra.mcgregor

4 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEATURE: Outlier Mercantile

  1. I had no idea this place existed… and I live in Turner Valley! I’ve passed it many times and even saw the sign but didn’t realise what it was. How beautiful! I’m so glad you shared this – thank you. I definitely need to go check it out.

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