Self-Care Sundays! is a biweekly feature exploring various topics in self-care and mental health.
The first series entitled Lower Sackville – A Community of Self-Care aims to look at the community of Lower Sackville, NS and discover the many businesses out there offering opportunities to reduce stress. These businesses are doing their part of build a strong and vibrant community.
Each feature in this series will contain a written piece accompanied by a video. Please scroll through to see the video and photos.
Lower Sackville – A Community of Self-Care (Feature #1)
As a new business owner in Lower Sackville, I wanted to make something tangible, that showcased the quality of businesses we can access right here in the community. I also wanted to gain insight into the perspectives different business owners hold when it comes to stress management and self-care practices. For some businesses, this will be as clear as day; for others, some deep reflection may be required.
As I move forward on this venture, I hope to feature a variety of businesses, offering various options to people within Lower Sackville and those popping by for a visit. I want to bring together a community that has, to this point, welcomed me with open arms. It’s important to build relationships with community members and shed light on the products and services that exist right under our own noses.
In my first feature in this series I wanted to highlight the business that most strongly connected me to Lower Sackville – “Cape and Cowl Comics & Collectibles.” When Jay first opened the doors, I was there as a loyal patron. I came by each week to collect my nerd loot and really got to know exactly what Jay offered to the community. “Cape & Cowl” provides a welcoming space, free of judgement, and full of vibrant colours. I was in shock as I learned how much work this solopreneur put into this multipurpose space. It wasn’t just a comic book shop or a toy store, it was a positive environment for youth to come and play video games, a space that encouraged literacy in two languages, a spectacular location for parents to house their children’s birthday parties, and a “market” suitable for local crafters to sell their custom swag. Jay was ambitious and has put so much of his vision into practice. That’s what led me to “Cape and Cowl” as a starting point!
Since opening, Jay has shown a strong love for the community of Lower Sackville. “Cape and Cowl” has hosted Storytelling Groups, Magic events, Board Game nights, craft fairs, and a safe space for LGBTQ Youth who can drop-in and feel accepted within their own community. This is only the tip of the iceberg. This strong repertoire has made Jay a welcomed fixture to Lower Sackville; so much so, that during the winter months, when retail businesses tend to see a strong dip in sales, Jay’s loyal customers came together to form a “Cash Mob” that helped boost sales. This ensured that “Cape and Cowl” would live to fight another battle. This was crucial, as new businesses often struggle in the early years of opening. This is a reflection of the reputation Jay has built for “Cape & Cowl.”
When I first considered Lower Sackville, Jay helped reinforce my decision. I was welcomed with open arms! In fact, as I explored venues to house my practice, “Cape & Cowl” soon became a clear victor! Jay and I both felt it was a great fit, having me start my practice in “The Leighann Wichman Safe Place.” My long history working with youth and persons with disabilities, my strong ties to the LGBTQ community, and my love for geek culture. So, here I am, open for business surrounded by the vibrancy of a store that transcends the definition of a “comic book shop,” a place that means so much to me and reinforces my own self-care practices.
Please, if you haven’t checked out “Cape & Cowl,” do so with haste. Not only will it brighten your day, it will change your perspective on retail and show you the importance of community. When it comes to self-care, “Cape & Cowl Comics & Collectibles” is stellar – an outlet for youth, a sanctuary for nerds, a place for local artists to display and sell their work, and a judgment-free zone for every race, culture, gender and sexual orientation.
For more information on “Cape and Cowl Comics & Collectibles,” please visit http://capeandcowlcomics.ca/