Accoutrements Inc
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Par Collaborateur PJ

“Paris is Always a Good Idea”

From the pastel coloured macaron trinket boxes, to the bonbon patterned tea towels and pâtisserie-shaped fairy cake bath fancies, Judi McIntyre’s shop Accoutrements feels like it should be situated in the Île de la Cité, the heart of Paris.

Inspired by the romantic goods that she frequently purchases on her annual trips to Paris, Judi wanted to bring a bit of European sophistication to Hamilton’s International Village.

“My friends were constantly inquiring where I had purchased items,” Judi says. And so, in 2011, after working with her husband in their marketing company and raising four children, Judi translated her ability to recognize the aesthetically beautiful into “bringing beautiful goods to women at reasonable prices.” This, Judi explains, is exactly her shop’s underlying philosophy.

“I love France. I go every year,” Judi says as she reminisces about how the French have elevated everything they do ― from shopping to art to eating ― to a higher form. Exploring the shelves and displays of Accoutrements, one cannot help but reaffirm Audrey Hepburn’s utterance that, “Paris is always a good idea.”

I want to welcome people as if they are friends coming into my home. - Judi McIntyre, owner
Accoutrements - Female-driven lifestyle boutique, housewares, giftwares, apparel, jewellery, special orders, Simply Soy Candles, Michel Design Works, Pré de Provence, Lothantique, Tribal, Spanner, Tricots Jean Marc, Bamboo, C’est Moi
An assortment of bath products is available for customers to indulge with. Photo by Vivian Khouw.

A European-Style Boutique

Modelled after the unhurried pace of European shopping and the quality interactions between proprietor and customer, Judi offers a European boutique experience that focuses on customer service. “I want to offer a beautiful shopping experience,” Judi says as she emphasizes how she replicates the warmth common in European retail by always greeting her customers with a hello, thank you and goodbye. “I want to welcome people as if they are friends coming into my home,” says Judi, explaining how she encourages her customers to leisurely browse the finds in her shop.

Her clientele, whom she insists are all notable, have included journalist Alison Griffiths and Bob Bratina, the mayor of Hamilton. “The highest compliment I can receive is when a customer tells me that I’ve made them smile,” Judi says. “I bend over backwards to engage, educate and inspire,” she continues.

Accoutrements - Female-driven lifestyle boutique, housewares, giftwares, apparel, jewellery, special orders, Simply Soy Candles, Michel Design Works, Pré de Provence, Lothantique, Tribal, Spanner, Tricots Jean Marc, Bamboo, C’est Moi
Scarves, clothes and stylish finds reflect the owner Judi McIntyre’s sense of style. Photo by Vivian Khouw.

An Enviable Eye for Refinement

“If I love it, my customers will love it,” Judi explains of how she selects inventory for the store. Constantly sourcing, researching and purchasing globally (including on her trips to Paris), Judi has even managed to carry some fair trade products. While not everything is French-inspired, all of her product is chosen because of its beauty. Judi’s clientele are effusive in their praise of her ability to discover items that cannot be located elsewhere.

“That’s so pretty,” a customer gushes over a staggered pyramid of soaps before purchasing some bamboo tights and asking if Judi carries the top she is wearing.

“I had a mom who was very classy,” Judi says of how she has cultivated a sense of refinement that has proved advantageous for staging Accoutrement’s European themed environment. The shop’s sophisticated and enchantingly arranged displays epitomize the warmth and artistic eye that Judi brings to her shop. “It’s not a cold aesthetic like the mall. It is an art form that Europeans do,” Judi points out.

With a European experience so close to home, one need never cross the Seine to experience the boutique atmosphere of a shop in the 4th arrondissement.

Accoutrements - Female-driven lifestyle boutique, housewares, giftwares, apparel, jewellery, special orders, Simply Soy Candles, Michel Design Works, Pré de Provence, Lothantique, Tribal, Spanner, Tricots Jean Marc, Bamboo, C’est Moi
The exterior of Accoutrements offers a European flair in downtown Hamilton. Photo by Vivian Khouw.
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