If you’re new to St. Albert or event planning, you might not know what to expect from a store called Shabby 2 Chic. Well, here’s a hint: it’s anything but shabby. In fact, when you enter the store, you just might get the feeling that you’ve walked into a romantic movie. And that’s exactly how owner Pamela MacKay wants you to feel—like you’ve arrived somewhere special.
Pamela opened Shabby 2 Chic two years ago with a desire to give the public a décor store that didn’t feel cookie-cutter. To Pamela, that just made sense. Weddings, after all, aren’t cookie-cutter occasions, so it didn’t make sense that her store would be. The solution? Offer one-of-a-kind décor that can accommodate a wide variety of personal tastes—from the very romantic to the very rustic.
The store reflects that style. You’ll see lots of aged and greying woods, cascading greenery and wrought iron, as well as crystal chandeliers and furniture covered in layer upon layer of ivory fabrics and antique-lace overlays. You’ll also see Pamela, who prides herself on personal customer service and going the extra mile.
When an engaged couple comes into her store for a consultation, Pamela will sit down and listen to them about what they’re envisioning for their wedding: what colours they like, how many people are coming, where the venue is and what their budget is. But the consultation isn’t just about getting the facts clear; it’s about building a rapport.
“Building that relationship with the bride and the groom and having that rapport is really essential to make things successful,” explains Pamela. “Understanding what it is they’re looking for is important because a lot of times they’ll come in with a certain image in their minds, but they can still be indecisive. You can give input, but you also need to know when to give it. Building that strong relationship is key.”
In keeping with her desire to curate one-of-a-kind offerings, Pamela sources items that aren’t readily available in most décor stores—things like barn doors, wine barrels, a pair of what Pamela calls “shovel chairs,” even an antique bed frame. While she tries to source both locally and nationally, she has international suppliers, too. If that doesn’t work, she will try to make it herself if it’s feasible. Right now, she is sewing linen tablecloths for a client who needs a longer length than what Pamela currently has. She explains,
“We try to be more service-oriented. We do go that extra mile to do those extra things. Once I went to a client’s home, picked up all their material that they need to go to the hotel because they were overrun with errands. It’s just going that little bit extra…it’s building that customer relationship.”
So if you’ve scrolled through endless Pinterest boards and Instagram accounts but still can’t find the inspiration you’re looking for, consider a visit to see Pamela. “Turning shabby chic into classic elegance” isn’t just her tagline; it’s her passion. t8n
Pamela doesn’t rent décor only for weddings. If you have an anniversary party, baby shower, romantic dinner or want your house decorated for the holidays, Shabby 2 Chic can help.
The store has a large selection of high-quality linens that include merino blankets, toile bed linens and alpaca throws.
Pamela will be attending OneLove Wedding Experience at the Calgary Hyatt on March 12.
Pamela’s “go-tos” in floral displays are fresh cedar for the aroma and silver dollar plants for their elegance.
Owner: Pamela MacKay
Location: 31c Perron Street, St. Albert
Specialty: Rents and sells “shabby-chic” décor for weddings, events and home decorating.
Interesting facts: Shabby-chic furnishings and accessories are known for their worn/vintage appearance and romantic sensibilities. The colour palette is grounded in antique whites, and its easy elegance is often compared to that of French country or cottage style.