Pretty Things opens at 18 Russell Street this week in Smiths Falls. It is a small shop with a world of fantastic purchases inside; it has a cool vibe with quirky finds at a variety of price points. It is a great place to find unusual delights: from Snot Bad handkerchiefs to beard balm, from fashion rings to throw pillows to unconventional socks, there really is something for everyone.
Pretty Things is an extension of owner Leslie Lentz’ great taste and appealing aesthetic. Her soft felt hat and big glasses evoke effortless coolness with a 1970s flavour. “There’s a lot of Volkswagen stuff,” she smiles, “probably too much. We’re part of a big Volkswagen-loving community. We’ve got lots of guy stuff, lots of girl stuff – lots of unusual stuff.” The shop is full of great finds and unexpected items that beg to be purchased and shown off. Unique home accents, like miniature cacti and raven-print, fur-lined oven mitts, are on display along with artsy jewelry and unexpected clothing.
Opening a business is a challenge at the best of times. With all the complications added by the Covid-19 pandemic, there was “a daily tension. Are we going to be allowed to open? Are we prepared to pivot to an online shop?” Yes, Lentz smiles, answering her own question, “we’re ready for either.” When the store space became available on Russell Street, Covid-19 notwithstanding, Lentz jumped at the chance to open her dream shop. “We love what’s happening with Russell St. It’s a great location, there’s lots of interest,” she enthuses. “People walking past have been popping in to ask what’s up,” adds daughter Zofia, who is visiting from Montreal to help with the last-minute setup, along with her friend Gracie MacNamee.
Lentz credits her close circle with making it all possible: “I’ve got the support of an amazing family.” She explained that her children helped out extensively: Zofia Lentz, Jacob Greer, and Ronin Lentz have been cheering her on and offering their labour from the dream stage onward. Her partner Cameron Greer built the cash counter with boards from his family’s barn; the barn boards also feature as a stunning wall shelf in the back of the shop. He credits Lentz as the driving force behind the shop: “She’s a mover and a groover,” he grins.
Groove on over to Pretty Things on Russell this week and explore for yourself.