Local community steps up to support owner of boutique lost in weekend fire
EDMONTON -- Support is pouring in for one of the businesses destroyed by the fire in Sherwood Park over the weekend.
Kristen Lang, owner of Klee Boutique, told CTV News Edmonton that she is overwhelmed by the amount of support she has been receiving from the community after her store went up in flames Saturday.
Lang said she drove up to her store Saturday morning and was met with flames engulfing the entire building.
“It was horrible,” she recalled. “I literally watched my store of 12 years burn down. I couldn’t believe it.”
“Everything just feels unreal,” Lang added. “I am still coming to grips with what happened.”
Hundreds of thousands in merchandise went up in flames with the building.
Kristen Hutton also owns a boutique shop in Sherwood Park called Kreative Kustoms that is similarly focused on local products. Hutton says in an interview with CTV News Edmonton that she had no previous relationship with Lang.
“As a business owner, I can’t even imagine your entire life just turning upside down,” Hutton said.
“I woke up in the morning and I saw the news of what happened and it was just heartbreaking.”
For her, setting competition aside and collaborating with two other local businesses to help Lang is much more important.
“The economy right now, with COVID and everything, I know business is hard for everybody so that just makes you kind of want to help even more,” Hutton added. “You’ve got to put all your competition and everything aside and just support one another.”
Fifty per cent of special merchandise sales at Hutton’s store, Strathcona Creatives, and Okay Chardonnay will go towards helping support Lang’s business.
Lang says the support has been steady with customers flocking online.
“Everyone’s just been stepping up,” she said. “It’s amazing.”
Additionally, a GoFundMe page was set up after the fire that has garnered over $21,100 in two days.
“If you look at the donations there are lots of local boutiques in the city and even in Edmonton,” Hutton said. “It’s insane to see how everyone has just come together.”
Lang hopes to focus on her Edmonton location once her financials are sorted.
“It’s not as established,” Lang said. “I’m really just going to focus all my energy into this store and hope that the following I had in Sherwood Park will continue to support me at this location.”
“I’ve been given a ton of lemons so I am trying to make the best lemonade that I can.”