Nfld. & Labrador

Protest against seal hunt draws 'hundreds' to shop at Natural Boutique sealskin store

Natural Boutique credits its boom in business on Sunday to the anti-sealing protest outside its St. John's store.

Owner says 'hundreds' flock to Natural Boutique after flagging protest

Anti-seal protesters took their message outside Natural Boutique in St. John's on Sunday. The Water Street store's owner confronted them outside her store. 0:48

Natural Boutique credits its boom in business on Sunday to the anti-sealing protest outside its St. John's store.

"It really gets people who really support the industry and can see past all the propaganda to really engage and support it even more than they thought they did," says Jen Shears, the store's co-owner and operator, on the influx of customers.

Thankfully, the folks who support our beautiful, renewable industry got past it and came on in.- Jen Shears

Shears said the store got a phone call on Saturday advising them there might be a protest outside the downtown location the next day.

"They did show up. There were about 15 people outside of the store, they had their signs, they were yelling and using their intimidation tactics," she said.

Natural Boutique co-owner Jen Shears said supporters of the business turned out in the 'hundreds' after she alerted people to the anti-sealing protest outside the downtown St. John's store Sunday. (Natural Boutique/Facebook)

Shears took to the store's Facebook page and posted a live video,which has been viewed thousands of times, urging people to support the "N.L. sustainable sealing industry."

"Thankfully, the folks who support our beautiful, renewable industry got past it and came on in and were able to celebrate the industry with us."

Supporters who came into the store, she said, numbered in "the hundreds, if not a thousand."

Save our Seals wants an end to the commercial seal hunt. (Save our Seals/Facebook)

The protest was organized by Save our Seals, which calls for an end to the commercial seal hunt, referring to it as a "cruel and unnecessary waste."

CBC News reached out to Save our Seals for comment. The group requested anonymity for the member who would speak on the issue, a condition CBC News declined to meet.

With files from Todd O'Brien