Have you ever driven around town and pointed out things to passengers like “I used to go to that house and play with so and so or I remember that house used to be painted blue”? Going down memory lane was a theme of this visit I had when I went to meet with Shelley Boss and her mother Margaret Boss on Windsor Ave.
Margaret was full of stories from years gone by, as she has lived in Old South for most of her life. In fact, her family goes back 5 generations in Old South to 1896. A few of the streets the Boss’s have lived on are: Tecumseh, Belgrave, Ridout, Franks Place, Edward, and Windsor. Shelly and her children currently live on Windsor Ave.,and 3 of her 4 children go to Tecumseh and South Secondary, while her fourth child lives and works in Toronto.
I contacted Shelley when I started seeing the bags, hats and t-shirts she makes called “Old South Original” posted on social media. You may have seen them around the village in strategically placed locations, such as the library or a picnic table at the green space near the YMCA. She placed them there in hopes someone would pick it up and use it.
Shelley launched her business in late September and it looks like she is getting noticed. “I though it was important to do something for Old South, I have lived here all my life and I wanted to share my love of the area by creating something we can be proud to wear”, said Shelley. She has tote bags for shopping in the village, t-shirts and baseball hats and she even mentioned she is working on mugs and dog scarves!
Margaret came back to Old south after a temporary move out of the city and is happy to be back where things are familiar. “I felt like I was coming home when I moved back!” explained Margaret. The walkability makes life super easy and I love the notion that Wortley Village has a small town feel within a city”. The sense of community and friendliness is precisely what Shelley is trying to achieve with her new products and to build a sense of pride.
Check out Shelley’s Old South Originals on etsy.com search under “Old South Originals” With the holiday season around the corner it might be a great gift idea for your favourite Old Souther!