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In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses and organizations that help make our city great. The team at KelownaNow.com is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family and colleagues that we notice them and the fabulous things that they do.
What is your name?
What do you always find yourself saying?
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select and why?
Every day, every week, every month and every year I make time for quality time with friends and family. In the abstract, I would love to have blonde-hair mayhem with Chelsea Handler, Amy Poehler, and Cameron Diaz.
If you were to receive any existing public award, what award would you like to win?
In the past 11 years, I have won many Best Women’s Retail titles with Off-Centre, Okanagan Life, and KelownaNow. I was a finalist for Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce. Just last week, I was profiled in BDO’s Top 40 under 40 in The Daily Courier. I am extremely grateful to be continuously recognized as a successful business women by my community, but most of all it is my customers that I have to thank for over a decade of Blonde.
If you could spend a day with any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Isabel “Babs” Rawlings. She was my Grandfathers first cousin who died in the Eighties. She was an editor at French Vogue who married three times and lived glamorously in New York, London, and Paris as a muse, model, and writer.
Who inspires you?
My hero is my brother Fraser Hall who has been Captain on Sea Shepherd’s Ocean Warrior and Brigitte Bardot sea vessels. He devoted three years to speaking up for those who can’t and put himself in harms way to protect dolphins, sharks, turtles, whales, and other important sea life critical to our ecosystem. (www.seashepherd.org)
What are three things on your bucket list?
It would be really great to find a perfect lot or home and build or renovate my ultimate nest. I would love to explore more of the world as I adore the way travel challenges my perspectives. I intend to make more additions to my own family with children and rescue animals.
If you had an enormous yacht, what would you name it?
Anne Bonny - a notorious female pirate from the 1700s of whom I am a descendant.
If you could foresee a single day of your future in its entirety, what date would you select?
Every day is cool with me. Be present - it is the only moment that matters.
What are you passionate about?
My biggest passions in life are snowboarding, fashion design and interior design. Every day I am motivated with buying for my store and maintaining 25 years of vegetarianism.
What has been your favourite day of your life, up to this point?
Ripping bottomless powder in a burnt forest glade at Monashee Powder Snowcats.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Blonde! Hooking Kelowna’s fashionistas up with beachy boho bombshell styles for the last 11 years.
Where is your favourite place to dine in Kelowna? What do you like about it?
Ricardo’s in Lake Country is my favorite for the food, the vibe, and the owners. I call their gnocchi “pillows of love.” Lake Tai on Kirschner is the yummiest vegetarian ever.
What is your favourite activity or event in Kelowna? Why?
WetApe (COG + Keloha) events are always a blast. Big Reds at Big White and Hopscotch are two of my favorite events to attend. The Downtown Business Association’s Small Shop Saturdays throughout the year are super for all the businesses downtown.
Please, tell us a bit about your business.
I opened Blonde in April of 2004 on Lawrence Ave beside the Blue Gator. After two years at that location (and hearing every possible version of Mustang Sally) I moved over to the main drag, aka Bernard Ave. Business bloomed 400 per cent with the move and all of a sudden I was a buying clothing and accessories everyday to meet the demand. Before opening Blonde I studied Fine Arts at The University of Western Ontario. After that degree I moved to Manhattan to study Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design. My insatiable desire to get back to the snowy mountains brought me to Vancouver, where I was head designer at Narcissist Design for three years. Month after month it rained, so I packed up and moved back home closer to family and to open my own dream shop! I know that all the fashion education and job experience has tremendously contributed to the buyer that I am today. Whenever I get a chance I design and create unique pieces for the shop such as trucker hats, kimonos, and artwork.
What is the name of your business?
What does your business do?
Blonde is a locally owned retail boutique on Bernard Ave in downtown Kelowna with focus on L.A. inspired women’s apparel and accessories. We carry lines from Canada, USA, Australia, and the UK. Blonde usually has anywhere from three to six employees depending on the season. Our business thrives in the summer months with vacationing Alberta clientele. The style of clothes we offer are greatly influenced by American contemporary media and magazine culture. I travel to L.A. a few times a year for inspiration and last year got to check out the fashion scene In Paris at Fashion Night Out.
Where can people find your business online?
How do people connect with you on Linkedin?
Just search: Raegan Hall
Where can people find your business on Facebook?
What is your mission?
To hook up shopaholics with amazing on-trend product at affordable prices. We never buy animals products such as leather, shell, or feathers. Blonde loves animals!!! We donate to BCSPCA and to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
If you could achieve one thing within your field, what would it be?
I hope to inspire young women to pursue their education and career dreams. If I can do it...then you can do it.
Where do you want your business to be in five years?
I adore being very hands-on so I do not have a desire to franchise or to take my company online (even though we get lots of requests). I would love to be a favourite shop for the locals and a repeated must-visit for our fabulous tourist visitors.
Who do you consider to be a forerunner within your field?
Free People www.freepeople.com
What three qualities do you feel that your business exemplifies?
I think our selection is super unique, we cherish our customers, and we love our community.
What would you like to say to your employees?
You guys keep me young and inspire me everyday. It is the sorority-like bonds of past, present and future employees that I am ridiculously proud of.
How does your business impact the community?
I think communities thrive with passion driven small businesses like Blonde and other fantastic ventures downtown.
If I could change one thing about Kelowna, it would be:
It would be amazing to have more year-round shopping support. We really depend on our summer tourist’s downtown.
What do you think makes Kelowna great?
Kelowna is awesome. We have four gorgeous seasons, the lake is supreme, and our wine culture is amazing.
My choice for the Kelowna In Focus spotlight is:
Lois McClosky of Lois Lane Warehouse
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