It’s funny where our inspiration comes from.

I’m inspired every time I step inside a little shop in the centre of what could be called Barrie’s Central Business District. It’s a cream coloured front, with a big window and inside are women’s and men’s clothes. Called The Hidden Treasures, it’s a consignment shop for upscale clothing no longer useful to its owners and now for sale to others wanting great quality at low prices.

The consignment business has been around for a long time and every community has at least one or two of these kinds of stores.

I guess what makes my face light up inside The Hidden Treasures is the owner. Here is a treasure herself.

I first met Fatima Rosa when she was using her considerable energy, her experience in the fashion and retail fields to move north from Toronto and to offer a service that suits both her and her customers. Originally from Portugal, Fatima’s sense of style is equalled only by her enthusiasm for people. She’s friendly, she’s genuine, and she’s a fountain of wisdom. I no longer whisk through the hangers at The Hidden Treasures. I just walk straight to the change room and let Fatima take over. She brings the colours she thinks I should have and her choices are always great.

While The Hidden Treasures is indeed a Barrie success story, it’s been Fatima’s belief in herself, and her determination and ability to focus which has allowed her to move to a new country, master its language, absorb a new culture, figure out how our economy works, look at a new community and utilize its resources to open her shop.

There’s always so much more behind the front window of a business and it’s a story that few of us get to explore.

When Fatima decided to open The Hidden Treasures, she researched the downtown core, and she decided that as well as gently used clothing, she would also use her connections in the clothing industry to bring in high end clothes, designer labels, that are end of line productions. So, it’s possible to pick up a Joseph Ribkoff, Jones New York, Alfred Sung item at a fraction of its normal retail price.

Fatima also works closely with area retailers to take on their end of season clothes as a consignment sale.

Of course, a consignment shop is like a garage sale in a way. You have to drop in frequently. And, that’s for sure. The bargain treasures on Fatima’s racks are only there because I take the time to go there. Checking in every week keeps you current with what’s come in.

And, gives you the opportunity to meet one very fine lady!

Thanks, Fatima!

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