NEW BUSINESS: Pretty Copper Penny

Welcome Pretty Copper Penny (31 Ontario Street), a new store that’s offering product lines from over 25 women-owned small businesses. The owner Erin Cummings brings a curated collection to the Downtown core with this venture.

Erin has been in the cosmetic industry for decades. She started her journey in 2003 while working the makeup counter at a big brand retail store. After one of her children had an allergic reaction to the chemicals in cosmetics, Erin started to care more about what exactly was being used in products. With this new resolve, she became aromatherapy certified and got her degree in Cosmetic Formulation. This also resulted in the creation of Erin’s own brand Pretty Penny which includes body and home care products handcrafted in small batches from quality organic and environmentally responsible ingredients. 

Erin has promoted her brand across Canada at various vendor markets. One market that will always stand out was a Mom Market held at Hernder Estates where Erin was one of the dozens of vendors who lost their goods in a tragic fire that took place. Erin shares that she had little to no inventory left after that incident. However, when there’s a will, there’s a way and after some advice from her daughter, Erin decided to start over from scratch, and open her own store where she would highlight women entrepreneurs. Erin proclaims that the silver lining from the tragic accident is the special bond she has with the other vendors because of their shared trauma. She mentions how close they all remain to this day. A lot of the vendors that were affected by the fire actually feature in Pretty Copper Penny.

After spending several months looking for a location, Erin found the perfect spot Downtown St. Catharines. This new space included a kosher kitchen to create her product line. Erin spent her childhood and adolescence exploring Downtown and its wonders, so this location seemed like fate. Knowing that the Niagara Region has a large handmade vendor community, she knew that she wanted to focus on and highlight women-owned businesses and be a hub for them. Pretty Copper Penny houses a variety of artisan creations such as skin and body care, jewellery, home goods, clothing, and many more. All are unique pieces and designs.  

Family and a sense of community means a lot to Erin as a mother of 4. She explains that her store name actually comes from an inside joke with her family. Erin jokingly mentions how people do believe her name is Penny because of the store. In actuality, Pretty Penny is the name of their brand and they wanted to differentiate the store so added copper. Copper is an affectionate nickname for redheads which both the owner and her daughter are. 

Almost an exact year after the fire, Pretty Copper Penny is holding a Grand Opening on Saturday August 12th. Join them for an exciting day filled with unique experiences. This event includes an after hours “sip n shop” which combines the fun of shopping with some delicious beverages. A lot of the merchants included in the store will be there in person to offer exclusive deals and discounts. Fonthill Jewellers will be making a special appearance with a pop-up permanent jewellery instalment. The free swag bags that will include a collection of one of a kind goodies are a can’t miss opportunity. 

We are so excited to see Erin embark on her new business venture and encourage you to visit Pretty Copper Penny!

Welcome Downtown!

Written by: Sarah Letlow