Life and Work
Daphne Apperly and her husband Carney Friesen moved to Stettler in 1939 after Carney received a transfer from his bus line. She moved her home, store, and two-year-old daughter into the O.K. Shoe Store. Mr. Hansen who wished to return to his native home country sold this store to her. The store was quite small and was located on the east side of Main Street close to where the Treasure Shop is now. Thus was born the original Style Shop in Stettler. Later she bought Welden Olive's building where the flower shop is now located. It was two floors, the upstairs held craft supplies and the downstairs had a shoes and ladies fashions.
Daphne was a very progressive thinker and was one of the first to install a portable X-ray machine to show how well shoes fit. The cost to purchase the machine was $1000. However, even though the machine improved the shoe fitting process doubts were cast on the safety of X-rays. Eventually the machine was condemned and abandoned and now sits in the Stettler Museum Village.
Another unique feature Daphne Apperly introduced was that when shoes were purchased a bonus of a small plastic shoe was added. When 10 shoes were collected a reduction of $5 was made on your next purchase. She had an impressive business record since she never had to report a mishap in her store. As a result Daphne was the first lady president of the board of trades, more commonly known now as the Chamber of Commerce.
The Style Shop was the place to find the most fashionable clothes of the season. Throughout it's existence the shop outfitted many families. Not only was the Style Shop a boost to the local economy it was also a source of employment for many Stettler women and was the first place to hire male clerks. The first male clerk the shop employed was William Pearn Jr. and he worked in the shoe department. Daphne Apperly has been a stable factor in the history of ladies wear in Stettler.
Outside her business pursuits, whatever else Daphne was involved in became a reality. She was a member of the town council and was instrumental in the beautification of Cold Lake (Buttermilk Slough). She was an avid member of the famous "Stitch and Bitch" club, whose members were some of the most elite women in the community. More recently she kept us informed through her humorous articles in The Stettler Independent.