For Erin Oud, life is about finding a balance. Erin balances her everyday job as a group leader at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Woodstock, with being the owner of the Aimless Wanderer, a gift shop in Port Burwell, Ontario. Although her everyday job is fulfilling in its own ways, Erin quickly discovered how entrepreneurship would allow her to be more hospitable and social. As a lifelong resident of Port Burwell, Erin sought an opportunity to increase interaction with the public in her own community. Thus began a new and exhilarating excursion for Erin.
When a local restaurant moved across the street, this left a vacant commercial space on Main Street for Erin to bring her business venture to life. This quirky and quaint old bank, with a historic vault in the back, was what drew her to the space.
In the summer of 2018, Erin opened the doors to the Aimless Wanderer. The appellation, Aimless Wanderer, came about from Erin’s abundant desire to wander. When Erin is not working, she spends her time seeking adventure; whether it’s a waterfall, a trail, or even a beach, you can find Erin aimlessly wandering and discovering new places.
With a large sandy beach, a Carolinian forested Provincial Park, and a lighthouse built in the 1840s, beachgoers and adventurers alike are able to discover Port Burwell, a hidden gem of Elgin County. Every beach town in Ontario sees the majority of its residents and visitors exploring in the spring and summer months. Erin knew that bringing stylish bathing suits for children, men, and women, as well as cover-ups, would be a good business venture. Erin was excited to offer these essential beach items that are not available elsewhere in the village to her beloved customers.
The store also offers an endless selection of nautical home décor items. Nautical signs, dishes, and picture frames, perfect for any space, can be found throughout the store. Homeowners in the area are able to spruce-up their cottages and homes while supporting local, a quality that Erin so dearly values.
When Erin envisioned her store-front sign, she knew she needed something as unique as the name itself. Erin found a local gentleman from Brownsville, just north of Port Burwell, to design a beautifully crafted wooden sign to make her historic store-front stand out. He also made an outdoor Connect Four board, which attracts people of all ages to the store, and entertains gentlemen as their wives shop.
Family is an important component of Erin’s life. When Erin described what makes her business unique, she described how the Aimless Wanderer is a family run business, “If you don’t see me there, you will see my children there. Part of the reason I opened the store was to allow my children to learn what it means to work hard and to be responsible”
Meet Erin and her family for yourself on weekends in April, or seven days a week after the Victoria Day Weekend until the fall at 34 Robinson Street, Port Burwell. New this year, visitors and residents are able to purchase sweatshirts, open-back long sleeves, tank tops, and V-neck t-shirts that have Port Burwell on them to cherish the memories made in the portside village. Keep up to date with her Erin’s new treasures arriving weekly by following the Aimless Wanderer on Facebook!