Local business featured on International Women’s Day

Mall neighbours celebrate big milestones


Two local businesswomen had reason to celebrate this past week.

The Brandon Sun ran a special section to applaud area entrepreneurs on Monday, March 8, in light of International Women’s Day, and local business owner Cherie Orr made the cut.

Her Killarney Place mall store, Shoes & M’Orr, caught the city paper’s attention, and her photo, along with a short bio of her career, joined a swath of other featured Manitoban women in marking the day.

“I’m not totally sure why they selected me, but it was nice,” said Orr, who has operated her own businesses for 36 years. “I have been in the shoe business in the mall now since 2013, when I purchased the existing footwear business here. I had been in the hotel business for years, and was searching for something to provide a chance to ‘shop local.’ What makes my business special here is the great variety, and the amount of stock. And with online ability we are now shipping to customers all over Canada.”

What is a funny coincidence is that Orr actually began her very first business career, some 36 years ago, in the same exact geographical location. 

“In 1984 I was a hairdresser, and I opened my first business here in the mall,” said Orr. “It was the Hair Klinik, and it was right next door in what is now part of my shoe storage rooms. I was there for three years.”

On the other side of the Shoes & M’Orr wall is Gwen’s Trends, operated by entrepreneur Gwen Tripp. 

This past week Tripp congratulated Orr on her limelight event in the Brandon Sun, while also celebrating the milestone of her own 20th year in the clothing and fashion business.

“I had been working in office administration, and I had also been doing home parties with clothes, which was a lot of work hauling things around,” said Tripp of her time before Gwen’s Trends. “It was 2001, and Roy Pugh, one of the mall investors, asked me if I wanted to open a ladies wear store in the mall, because the previous one in town had closed. I had been doing the parties for around a year, so I said ‘Yes.’ I was scared, but I was also thrilled with the idea.”

Her new business opened on what is now the south side of the floor space she currently operates, and the Shop Easy grocery was on the other side.

“It was 1200 square feet,” said Tripp. “And I had to come up with a name. Jaylee Towns (now Leslie), she was only 10 years old at the time, came up with the name, ‘Gwen’s Trends,’ and I said it was great. And we went with it. That was 20 years ago, in March of 2001.”Gwen Tripp and Cherie Orr are just two of an impressive number of successful women entrepreneurs in Killarney – and we celebrate all of them during this International Women’s Day week. 

MALL NEIGHBOURS CELEBRATE DECADES IN BUSINESS – On International Women’s Day on Monday, Cherie Orr (left) was featured in the Brandon Sun. And just one week before, her mall neighbour to the north, Gwen Tripp (right) celebrated her 20th anniversary of Gwen’s Trends. Congratulations to these two business women!