• Julie Boake

Our story starts with shoes...

We realized that we don’t often share our story here.  Have you ever wondered where Ginger Laurier came from?


Birkenstocks, to be exact

Donita Beaulieu, the owner of our store, fell for Birkenstocks while visiting California years ago. As a freshly graduated nurse, she loved the comfort and quality of a Birkenstock shoe.

She thought others in Canada might agree, so Donita started her mail order Birkenstock business from her home in Field, British Columbia, in 1981. She advertised in magazines and processed orders via mail. A few years later, you can still find Birkenstocks at Ginger Laurier.

Donita Beaulieu, owner of Ginger Laurier

Our Okotoks location opened in 2001, but we were known as Outback Birkenstocks until 2003. At first, we sold Birkenstocks and Naot, and had a single rack of imported woolen goods to choose from. In 2012, the Calgary location opened in Britannia. The selection at both stores has since grown to include everyday clothing to the perfect Little Black Dress.

Following a long-time dream

Anyone who frequents our store can see Donita’s care for her customers. She does everything she can for the women who shop here. Whether by buying for them while on her regular buying trips, or just trying to make them feel special when they walk through the door. She looks for pieces that fit with your style, and helps all of us feel good about ourselves!

This compassion probably comes from her past life as a nurse. Donita worked as an emergency room nurse while running Ginger Laurier until 2013. Ginger Laurier, however, was always her dream. The same values are still put to use running our shop, it’s just a different setting.

Who is Ginger Laurier?

Ginger Laurier is a satiated woman. She is the woman Donita envisioned to shop at her stores. She is all our shoppers, so that means she could be you! Ginger began as the image of a goddess and a fifties-inspired woman and has grown into the confident black and white lady framed and posed in front of the Eiffel tower in our Calgary store.

Although our shops have changed a little over the years, the goal has always been to make sure Ginger Laurier’s women are happy when they visit.

Shop a little, stay a while

Both stores have been designed to offer different experiences. The oversized windows in Okotoks make the store feel sunny and chic, while Britannia's metallic accents are warm and elegant. They both offer quality clothing that Donita has hand-selected from North America and Europe. She tries to be aware of ethical manufacturing and knows many of the designers personally. She chooses each item of clothing with one of her shoppers in mind.

Shoes too — both stores have a lot of shoes.

Donita describes our team as nurturers. We want you to try on your clothing with a smile on your face. It should feel like you’re shopping with friends. And when you leave, we want you to feel good about your purchases and about yourself! Shopping at Ginger Laurier is meant to be an experience. There’s a reason why we have an espresso machine at both stores!

Some of our shoppers remember visiting Donita’s home for their Birkenstock shoes. Owning and operating Ginger Laurier is a long-time dream come true and providing for our customers is our priority. From Donita herself: "My customers keep me coming back here. I truly love them.”

If you haven’t yet, or you come all the time, visit us in store. We love to see you!

Tagged: our story, Birkenstocks, about us, Ginger Laurier, shoes, Birkenstock shoes, Naot, shop local, locally owned

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