It might seem like the world is rejecting DVDs and the printed word for Netflix and magazines for iPads and tablets, but the owner of Fernie’s Midge’s Mags and Movies isn’t worried about the threat of new technology.
“I think people like to come in to the store and get suggestions from the person who know movies,” said Carolyn Nikodym, owner of Midge’s.
“I strongly believe that people prefer coming into a smaller video store, as opposed to Blockbuster, because I fit into the community.”
When it comes to magazines, Nikodym said that she thinks there are a lot of people who prefer having a paper copy of a magazine than reading one on an iPad or tablet. “I think there are still plenty of people who like the tactile feel of a magazine. You can bring a magazine on a camping trip and not worry about it being trashed.”
Nikodym came to Fernie after stumbling upon the town one summer while tree planting.
“Just before I went into my last year of university in Edmonton, I decided I wanted to live in a mountain town,” she said. “When you tree plant, you have August off. In August, I drove around and tried to figure out where I’d like to be, and I didn’t really figure it out until I drove through here.”
It wasn’t until several years later, in 2007, that Nikodym moved to Fernie.
The idea for Midge’s had been brewing for some time.
Nikodym had been working at the Vogue Theatre in Fernie, and was getting ready to quit her job there to work on her business plan.
The magazine store was the original vision for Midge’s but Nikodym said she knew she needed more than just magazines, which is when she decided to incorporate movies.
“When the Movie Gallery shut down, I really started to speed up the process,” she said.
Nikodym said that the local support for Midge’s has been great.
“They are really supportive of the small business model,” she said.
When you walk into Midge’s a huge wall of magazines lines the right hand wall.
Nikodym selects the majority of the magazines based on what she likes and what customers ask for.
“I mostly read National Geographic growing up, but now I like to read some fluff. I try to stay away from fashion magazines because they don’t make me feel good about myself. I really like current events stuff like the Walrus and the New Yorker,” she said.
Midge’s best sellers when it comes to magazines are ski and bike magazines.
Nikodym doesn’t focus on one genre of film at Midge’s.
“I couldn’t survive if I just brought in the independent stuff. But I like to bring some in for a bit of variety. And I really like documentaries so I try to bring a lot of that in too,” she said.
Many of the customers at Midge’s come in with a movie in mind but some come in and ask what they should watch.
“It’s been interesting getting to know people and getting to know what they like, and choosing movies for them,” she said.
Nikodym said she doesn’t think that there is much expansion in Midge’s future but she is thinking of bringing in posters and sunglasses.