Mom spa founder and owner West Poirier has put out the call for customers to redeem their gift cards as soon as possible.

Mom spa founder and owner West Poirier has put out the call for customers to redeem their gift cards as soon as possible.

Struggling South Surrey entrepreneur issues gift-card warning

Time running out as spa owner prepares to close doors

A South Surrey entrepreneur is scrambling to advise her customers to redeem outstanding gift cards, as she contemplates closing her doors.

West Poirier, owner and founder of The Mom Spa at the Shops at High Street, is searching for a buyer for her fledgling business, and she has sent out emails to customers asking them to redeem any gift cards they may have purchased, as she prepares to either sell her business or shut it down.

“I don’t want to be one of those businesses that just closes its doors and puts up a sign for staff and customers. That’s not the right thing to do,” she told Peace Arch News, estimating there are 30-40 gift cards that need to be redeemed.

The Mom Spa, which caters to busy mothers by providing free child minding, has been open for more than a year and a half at 2950 King George Blvd. While she has a growing list of clientele, the mother of two said she is unable to pay her approximately $7,000-a-month lease for the more than 2,000-square-foot retail space.

“There came a point when I realized I was in over my head. It’s just too much for me to take on,” she said. “There isn’t enough traffic to sustain the businesses in this complex. It’s not realistic.”

Poirier, who has a background in advertising and media, had been working with the previous owners of the High Street complex – Grosvenor – to increase awareness by spearheading a campaign to drive more customers to her spa. In order to help her business grow, Grosvenor allowed her a reduce rated of $3,000 a month for her space.

However, with the complex now sold, that offer is no longer available, she said. (A spokesperson for the new owner would not comment.)

Adding to her inability to run the business is her obligation as a single mother to two young children, she said.

“I had really created this environment that allowed women to be moms, but the irony of it was that I was so busy doing that, I wasn’t being the best mom to my kids,” she said. “It may not be a great financial decision, but it’s the right one for my kids.”

While closing the doors of The Mom Spa seems to be inevitable, Poirier is still holding out hope that a buyer could take over her concept and build upon it.

“I really want the chance to sell the business, rather than just closing my doors,” she said. “I feel strongly that the right person is going to do so well in there.”