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In Focus | Toby Tannas of Influence

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 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?
Toby Tannas

What do you always find yourself saying?
Wow! That's amazing.

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Deepak Chopra

If you were to receive any existing public award, what award would you like to win?
An Oscar! (no I'm not an actress)

If you could spend a day with any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Eva Peron - powerful women who were ahead of their time interest me. She also had an amazing sense of style.

Who inspires you?
Happy people...

What are three things on your bucket list?
1. Visiting French and Italian wine regions. The experience involves a bike, a loaf of bread, a wheel of cheese and a bottle of wine.
2. Hosting a Food Network Show
3. Designing and building my dream home on a country estate where I can foster & care for homeless animals.

If you had an enormous yacht, what would you name it?

If you could foresee a single day of your future in its entirety, what date would you select?
The day I win my Academy Award.

What are you passionate about?
I am a passionate person by nature, so my passions tend to evolve & change over time. There are however a few things that will always burn 'hot' for me:
animal welfare
fitness and nutrition
NFL Football, in particular the Philadelphia Eagles

What has been your favourite day of your life, up to this point?
I have had many great days, marriage, births...but I'm going to keep this light and say my favourite day was just a few months ago. It was a group of days actually. My husband surprised me with a trip to Philadelphia, home of my beloved Eagles football team. He made it all so special and of course being at the game itself was out of this world. I actually said to him, "I'm sure I've been this happy before but right now, I can't remember when."

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment is and always will be my daughters. At 13 and 15 they are growing into incredible women. They are each unique, so different from each other in personality. I am in awe that I helped create these amazing creatures. Ava and Audrey teach me new lessons every day. I love them fiercely.

Where is your favourite place to dine in Kelowna? What do you like about it?
The Hotel Eldorado. I love summer meals lakeside, on the dock; it's a true reflection of Okanagan Life.

What is your favourite activity or event in Kelowna? Why?
Wine Festival (need I say more?).

What is the name of your business/organization?

What does your business/organization do?
We sell amazing women's fashions at affordable prices.

Where can people find you or your business online?

Where can people find your business on Facebook?

What is your Twitter account?

What is your mission?
To show women they can be fashionable at any age. Women should know you don't have to spend a fortune on designer clothing to look and feel great.

If you could achieve one thing within your field, what would it be?
To convince women it is ok to be a bit daring when it comes to fashion, it's clothing, it should reflect your personality, don't be afraid to shine!

Where do you want your business/organization to be in five years?
In five years I would like Influence to be the first place women think of when they need that perfect outfit for any occasion.

Who do you consider to be a forerunner within your field?
Aritzia for sure!

What three qualities do you feel that your business/organization exemplifies?
1- We provide exceptional customer service. I'm very proud of my team.
2- We offer a wide range of fashion options for women of all ages.
3- We treat our team like family. When employees feel valued they put their best foot forward.

What would you like to say to your employees/volunteers?
Thank you

How does your business/organization impact the community?
We support a number of local charities throughout the year. We also make Okanagan women look and feel amazing!

If you were trapped in an elevator with several wealthy investors from any field, which field would you want them to be experts in? What would say to them/talk about?
I would love for them to be business/retail experts. I would pick their brains about the pros and cons of expansion. Are two stores better than one? How about three or four? What are the best and most effective ways to create brand recognition? I would also ask them if they'd like to invest in an Influence expansion.

If I could change one thing about Kelowna, it would be:
The mentality that you have to go to Vancouver to shop. If every woman spent a portion of their shopping dollars locally think how healthy the Okanagan market would be. I am saddened every time a small store closes its doors. It was somebody's dream. We need to support local businesses; it's what ultimately drives our economy.

What do you think makes Kelowna great?
I love the collective energy in Kelowna. People love living here and it shows. The beauty of nature that surrounds us attracts so many different people. I feel like we are evolving and I'm so excited about the growth that's happening and the leadership that's pushing us forward.

My nomination for the In Focus spotlight is:
Sarah Simpson Byrne (SIMS Jewelry)

Some general comments I would like to share are:
I stumbled into the retail field. I came to Kelowna when I was 20 years old. I spent 10 years with CHBC/Global Okanagan as a News Anchor/Reporter. After having children I wanted a more flexible work schedule and so left the news business and 'bought' myself a job in retail. That was in 2006. It's been such fun watching Influence grow up. I did return to Global in 2011 and managed to juggle that and the store for a few years, but ultimately my heart is with Influence and my family. I still do some contract work for the TV station but can be found most days on the retail floor at Influence in Orchard Park Mall. What a great way to bring awareness to local businesses and the people behind them. Thank you for including me.

We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below, and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kelowna!









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