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Thursday, December 1, 2005

Pampered pets

T.C. Demaresq browses for business news.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2005 at 2:19 PM

Glamour Puss & The Naughty Dog pet boutique is set to open later this month in the Paramount, next to Soda Pop Curtis. Owners Candice Blaney and Derek Gallant were hoping to open December 1, but construction has been delayed. The new pet shop will deal exclusively in high-end, “fun and funky” merchandise for cats and dogs, including “food, toys, booties, coats and leashes for all dog sizes from the tiniest teacup poodle to Rottweilers,” says Blaney. The shop will cater to downtown condo-dwellers, but Blaney hopes it will also draw people from all over. “I think is growing more every year,” says Blaney, “but Halifax is one of the last cities to tap into the market. There’s a lot of the empty nesters, or people that don’t have kids anymore, and they have pets and treat them like children.” Glamour Puss & The Naughty Dog will be a pet-friendly shop, providing water and treats to cats and dogs whenever they want to come in and browse.

All lit up

Karyn McCombe was a management consultant for nine years, then she discovered her true passion while on vacation in Paris. “I was shopping around the flea markets and, loving home decor myself, realized that I was bored with my career and couldn’t find the things I wanted in Halifax so I decided to try Bellissimo.” Bellissimo, 1593 Market, stocks a variety of European antiques and lighting from Belgium, France, Holland and Italy. Bellissimo celebrates its first year in business this week, and McCombe credits the store’s success to its unique merchandise and loyal customers. “There’s not many places in Halifax to get unique lighting, and as far as I’m concerned the lighting is the jewellery in the room,” says McCombe. “ is unique and once you take something no one else is going to have something like it.”

Boys club

Business partners Dale Letcher and Don Hunter opened the first all-male gym in Halifax in October. Slim Gym’s is located in the West End Mall, and provides a 30-minute workout for men only. Personal trainers guide clients through a circuit of cardio and resistance training exercises geared to best fit their interests. “It’s designed towards men’s sport interests or general interests,” says Letcher, “if it’s walking, or if they were football players at one point or hockey players, which is 80 percent of red-blooded Canadian boys.” Slim Gym’s provides its clients with heart rate monitors, and trainers work to keep clients in their target zone for burning fat and building lean muscle. Letcher believes Slim Gym’s will appeal to men of all ages who are interested in working out in a relaxed, yet highly focused environment. “Basically what we try to do is keep them focused on the activity because it’s a short period of time. This way there’s no distractions, the guys don’t have to worry about trying to impress the females in the group. It’s more of a club feel where they can joke around but they’re always doing their work. It’s kind of like an all-boys school. Or pick-up hockey—there’s lots of joking around but they’re all focused on the game.”

Taking it off

The Atlantic Filmmakers’ Cooperative is making its first bold leap into the commercial world, 31 years into its history, with the launch of a new calendar titled Caught on Film. AFCOOP’s executive director Walter Forsyth says the calendar will be priced to “match the 5,000 other calendars you see in the mall now.” The calendar will feature photos of 13 friends and members of AFCOOP tastefully (nothing showing) posed in the nude with assorted bits of film equipment. The calendar is intended to raise money for AFCOOP’s outreach programs, including a new hands-on animation series launching this winter. It will be available for purchase at AFCOOP’s annual auction on December 4 at the Economy Shoe Shop and various shops around town.

Breath of success

Ozone Oxygen Spa, 5239 Blowers, celebrates one year in business on December 6. New partner Darlene Kimber attributes the spa’s success over the past year to its uniqueness. “It’s because it’s different,” says Kimber. “We’re the only spa in Halifax that offers ozone and oxygen therapies. People love to try new trends, and oxygen bars are the up and coming thing. It’s the hip thing to do.” Kimber says oxygen therapies are also very healthy and can help treat anything from colds and stress to psoriasis and arthritis. Ozone Oxygen Spa offers a number of treatments, including aroma-infused oxygen sittings, massage therapy and an oxygen- and ozone-enriched steam sauna that works to remove toxins absorbed by the body through air pollutants, food and alcohol. Says Kimber, “No matter what you’re doing, you can get rid of it in our steam bath!”

Seven days a week

Peepshow Girly Boutique, next to Freak Lunchbox at 1717 Barrington, is now open Sundays. “We never considered being closed,” says co-owner Erin Smith, who also co-owns the candy store next door. “There’s 52 Sundays in a year, and I know personally I’m always looking for something to do on Sunday and I’m sure there’s a lot more people in Halifax that are, so we would never give up a Sunday.”

Open for business? Email: shoptalk@thecoast.ca.

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