A regular trip to Dollarama turned into a frightening experience for a Saskatoon-area woman on Tuesday.

Ashten Hiebert was in Martensville, Sask., with her two young children, picking up some supplies for a party. 

Hiebert said she heard two men getting into a loud conversation about a protest in Charlottesville, Va., where white nationalists clashed with anti-racist protesters and one woman was killed after being struck by a car.

The conversation got louder and louder, and one of the men started using profanity and the N-word, she said.

"It started getting really out of hand," she told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

"I just turned and said, 'Excuse me, sir,' and I was trying to be polite as I can, because I hate confrontation. I said, 'Could you please lower your voice, because I have two little kids. What you're saying is really hateful, and it's wrong.'"

Once that happened, the man started marching angrily toward her, she said.

"He was yelling and trying to intimidate us," said Hiebert. "He said, 'I can say whatever I want.'"

Then, out of nowhere, a total stranger came to her aid, reminding the man that children were present.

'It's very difficult to stand up. Especially if you're a shy person who doesn't like confrontation. But it's worth it.'
- Ashten Hiebert

Eventually, the manager stepped in and intervened. Hiebert said the man pretended like he didn't know what was going on.

"He said, 'What was I saying?'" she said. "He said, 'What's the N-word? I want to hear you say it.' And I said, 'I will not use that word. It is a horrible word.'"

ashten hiebert

Ashten Hiebert's two children, seven-year-old Paige and one-year-old Vayden. (Submitted by Ashten Hiebert)

Soon after, the man was thrown out of the store. She said she stood up to the man as an example for her children.

"I've always taught my kids that people are people, and that we need to take care of each other," she said.

"My daughter is seven, and she's a sponge. I know she's watching everything I do, and at that moment, I felt her hold my hand so tightly. I thought, 'No, I have to do this.'"

Eventually, Hiebert took her story to social media. Her Facebook post has been shared more than 3,200 times.

"It's very difficult to stand up," she said. "Especially if you're a shy person who doesn't like confrontation. But it's worth it."

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning