Downtown London - News

November 2018

  • Fashion offers up the perfect challenge at Needs/Wants

    November 29, 2018

    Fashion offers up the perfect challenge at Needs/Wants


    By Sean Meyer


    Kathleen Meliton grew up in Toronto, but when it came time to launch her own business, she began looking to make a change in both location and direction.


    This decision led her first to Sarnia, where in 2013 she launched her women’s fashion and accessories business, Comme Moi Boutique. Before long, and with her business finding success, Kathleen’s passion for change took over again and she made her way to London.


    After biding her time for a couple years, the right opportunity came for Kathleen to launch her latest fashion outlet, Needs/Wants Inc., at 575B, Richmond St.


    The business opened at the end of May — and recently held a grand opening celebration on Nov. 15 — and she couldn’t be happier with how things have worked out.


    “This is the second time I’ve opened a store in a city where I knew next to nobody. I needed a new challenge and London was the next step that seemed reasonable,” she said. “It was reasonable in terms of it seeming to be a little, big city. There were elements of what I was used to in Toronto, but there was still room for entrepreneurs to get their foot in the door – so to speak.”


    Needs/Wants is stocked with an always changing selection of women’s clothing brands.


    The store currently stocks mostly clothing and accessories from Australia, Denmark and the U.K., with the rest being North American brands. 


    Kathleen explains her spot along Richmond Row was exactly where she wanted to launch Needs/Wants from as it was “small enough, central enough,” to meet her vision for what the boutique would be.


    That sentiment also happens to extend to her decision to take up roots in London.


    “I lived on Queen West in Toronto and this is the closest London has to downtown Toronto. The spirit, the support, the community, that kind of city life, I get all of that here. That surprised me,” Kathleen said. “People back home ask why I like it in London and I tell them you will get to the point where you get tired of Toronto. So, if you come to London, experience it, I think you’ll change your mind very quickly.


    Her experience in — and passion for — the world of fashion started at a young age.


    She first started selling vintage and used clothing on eBay before going on to study business. That said, she admits to having no idea she would eventually own her own business, never mind a pair of clothing stores.


    “Opening a second location was so scary. The second time is no less scary than the first time. It’s just a completely different ballgame now,” Kathleen said. “I’m also realizing Sarnia is very different from London (Forest City shoppers, she explains, prefer a bit more modern minimalist approach to their fashion). It’s almost like operating two completely different identities for the business.”


    Kathleen is quick to say if she wasn’t “in this constant state of challenge” she’d feel like she wasn’t doing enough. With that in mind, she’s never really needed much of a break as she truly enjoys her career, no matter how stressful it might be. 


    When she does get a break, however, she tends to stick pretty close to home.


    “I’m 100 percent supportive of the other local businesses,” she said. “I try to stay along Richmond Row, shop along Richmond Row, eat along Richmond Row. It pretty much has everything one would ask for.”


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