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Meet Chelan! Chelan was born in raised in Kelowna! She enjoys spending time with her family, kids, and dogs!
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
Born and raised in Kelowna! (39 years).
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
That's a tough question... I'm lucky to have so many favourites... My family, kids, my partner Karl, friends, my dogs (they count as people right? ;))
What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
The Edge of Resin - Kim makes the most beautiful creations out of resin and wood!
Describe yourself in one word.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Back to Costa Rica, where my kids and I visited after my husband, their dad passed away. We lived at a rustic wildlife rescue (Wild Sun Wildlife Rescue Center) where I had the chance to help rehabilitate wounded/orphaned Howler Monkeys. Very special to me.
What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Adult ballet classes at Ballet Kelowna and hiking and camping.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Being called Chelan flat as a pan all throughout grade 7, haha.
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
Although it may sound odd to some, I'd say the sudden loss of my husband in 2017 and then my subsequent battle with cancer in 2018. It taught me not to take anything for granted, to live in the moment and to love as hard as you can!
Going through a loss leaves you with an enormous hole in your heart that will always be there, but facing it head on and riding out the emotions instead of bottling them is the only way to begin to heal.
Let people in.
Take risks, put yourself out there, get out of your comfort zone. When you start dismantling your walls, good things can happen.
I believe these 2 events, combined, are what gave me the strength to go into business and enroll in school in 2020!
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
Doing "Be a Tourist in Your Own Town" with my family! It was always the highlight of my summer as a kid. You got discounted local's passes to places like The Flinstones, Old MacDonalds Farm, The Boarwalk, and both waterslides. Awesome family memories!
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I am a hot lunch volunteer at both of my children's schools, weekly. I've also been a volunteer in their classrooms since they began school. I think it's so important to take an interest in your children's school life (if you can), plus I really love being around all those crazy kiddos.
I've also volunteered with Mamas For Mamas. My friend Shannon founded this amazing hand up for struggling mothers and the work they do is so important to our local families.
The Kelowna SPCA is also somewhere I've volunteered. How can you not enjoy spending time with animals who need some love!
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
The way people talk to eachother nowadays. We're so quick to be negative, judge and berate. A little bit of kindness can go a long way. Wouldn't you rather help someone to have a better day than a worse one?
Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
Kalamalka Lake Park. It's so beautiful. I love hiking there. There is a boat in or hike in only part of the beach that is stunning and so peaceful.
Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
I would love to see Rutland Middle School get the upgrade it so desperately needs. My daughter has attended this school for the last 2 years. My mother also attended this school, as did my grandmother. The school hasn't been upgraded since construction, is falling apart at the seams and bursting to capacity.
Also, would love to see more inexpensive, family friendly activities make a comeback. Such as family days at the Kelowna Art Gallery. My kids loved this Sunday activity as a family!
What do you think makes Kelowna great?
The outdoors. We are so lucky to be surrounded by the absolute beauty of this place that we sometimes take it for granted in our everyday lives. Get outside!
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
1) To take a summer and travel across Canada in a motor home with my kids.
2) An African Safari
3) To create The Stacey Ireland Memorial Athletic Scholarship
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
My Great, Great Grand Parents, The Sexsmith's (on my mother's side) are the founders of Sexsmith Road, among other landmarks in and around the Okanagan. They settled in Kelowna (Rutland) in the 1900's.
How do people connect with you, personally, through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
I tend to stay off social media, but I do have a personal FB account.
What is the name of your business/organization?
Pawt4Paws Pet Supplies Inc
Why did you get into/start this business?
After leaving the veterinary field I really missed being able help people and their pets. I saw the benefits of CBD first hand. We wanted to make it easier and safer for pet parents to obtain CBD and educate about its benefits.
What is the goal of your business?
To help pets (and their humans) heal their ailments naturally through the benefits of CBD. To Provide safe, tested and quality products.
What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
Work: Putting myself out there, either in video clips or meetings etc... Speaking in front of people makes me beyond nervous. Life: Putting my heart out there, knowing it could again be broken but understanding I deserve love.
If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
A lot of events in my life have been completely out of my control but I'd say I would do things exactly the same if given the choice!
What do you always find yourself saying?
Just stay positive!
Tell us your best piece of life advice.
Be grateful for what you have. Tell those you love how much they mean to you every day, because life can be much shorter than we think.
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Rupaul!!! He has empowered so many people to be who they are, regardless of what anyone else thinks. I really respect that and hope to inspire others by proving to them that you can move forward and thrive once more, no matter what you're going through!
Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
I have at least a dozen friends who have started local businesses and it's so amazing to be able to support each other and watch everyone succeed. I think supporting local fosters more of a sense of community in our city.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Absolutely my CHILDREN. They are amazing individuals. I am so grateful for them... When they're not making me crazy ;)
Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
David Dodgson- My business Partner in Pawt4Paws! He's dedicated, loyal and a huge supporter of others. He also created/ runs Maccabee Financial He is one of the busiest and most business savvy people I know! A truly kind soul and great dad too!
My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition of the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. Thank you, Kelowna!
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