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?
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
I was born and raised in Kelowna! I have lived here for 28 years.
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
As cheesy as it is, my boyfriend Steve and our corgi, Meelo. Steve's one of my biggest supporters and always willing to lend a hand or teach me something new. His constant drive to do more inspires me.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Santorini, Greece. It's been on my Bucket List since I was a child. Something about the contrasting white buildings on the hills is so beautiful to me.
What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
Play! The staff are amazing and the owners are just as incredible. They appreciate every one of their customers and are always willing to go above and beyond for you.
What is your favourite activity?
Leisure activity – working on my jewellery business. Physical activity – hiking the Okanagan with Steve and our dog!
If you had to choose: pizza, tacos, or burgers?
My dad’s homemade burgers any day of the week.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Oh man, I do it often. One that stands out is tripping over nothing on a sidewalk in downtown Kelowna and rolling my ankle so bad that I couldn’t walk at all. I refused to get a cab back the few blocks to our car. Instead, we called my mom.
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
I’ve been inspired by many people in my life that I don't think I can choose one single moment. My aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends and parents have all inspired me in different aspects of my life.
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
There are so many, but I’d have to say every summer going to my grandparents' cabin in Ferndale, WA. We used to get together with my dad's side of the family and camp on the empty lot next to the one bedroom cabin. It was always so much fun being with my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. I learned to swim at the lady's house across the street, which happened to be on the ocean. I remember my grandfather putting pipes into the sand so we could light our own bottle rockets on the beach on the 4th of July and I remember my grandpa chasing me with one of the crabs we caught. We had a lot of good times there!
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I’ve never dedicated my time to one cause. I’ve helped out at the Gospel Mission, donated blood, volunteered at the SPCA, donated to different charities like the Canadian Cancer society, Diabetes Association and the ALS Society of BC. I’m actually in the process of creating some new jewellery pieces that will have proceeds going to a Canadian charity. I haven’t announced what the pieces are or who the charity is yet, but that will all be announced in good time through social media.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Rid the world of all the hatred that people seem to be carrying around. There is too much floating around and it's creating some real issues in the world.
What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Attending Kelowna Rockets games has to be my number one favourite thing to do, but with hiking the area coming in a close second. We’ve done so much more this year since getting our puppy and you see so many beautiful things!
Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
Island Lake near Lake Country. We’ve gone camping there with friends a few times but I could definitely spend some time up there alone and enjoy every moment of it!
If you were granted one wish for work or in life, what would it be?
If I could be granted one wish, it would be for my parents. I wish nothing more for them than to have happy, healthy, carefree lives. They’ve been through a lot lately and more than anyone they deserve to be worry free.
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I know basic HTML coding and understand it if I were to read it. I don’t know how to build things from scratch, but I do know how to manipulate existing code if need be.
What is the name of your business/organization?
Flora and Forest
What does your business do?
I create one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery using pressed flowers or other pieces of nature (mainly). I do it to preserve some of the beauties of nature, even preserving pieces of brides special days by using petals from flowers in their bouquets.
Why did you get into/start this business?
Originally I just started creating jewellery for my own use. People started asking where I got it from and when I told them I had made it, they asked if I sold online anywhere. It just expanded from metal charms and suede to delicate flowers.
What is the goal of your business?
To put together one-of-a-kind pieces that make people appreciate what mother nature has created for us and preserve a piece of a flower from a special day or event.
What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?
Finding my quiet 'me' time. I try really hard to maintain a work/life balance, but when you work full time, then come home and to work on a home business (Flora and Forest) while also trying to make time for other activities can be tough!
If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
I wouldn’t change a thing. The path I took lead me to where I am now and I haven’t lost the passion for my business. I still love what I do in my professional work life and my home work life.
Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
Local businesses are usually passionate about what they do. If they didn’t have the drive to do what they’re doing, they wouldn’t be there. I think supporting the local economy is important, but supporting what people love is just as important.
Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Rachelle Furney at West Coast Soap Company. She’s such a hard-working woman. Not only does she run her own business, but she has three young kids too. She’s definitely a super hero.
My nomination for the In Focus spotlight is:
Rachelle Furney at West Coast Soap Company
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!