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In Focus | Kayla Pagliocchini

Meet Kayla! She runs a socially conscious business, Abelin Care.

<who> Photo Credit: Kayla Pagliocchini

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
Kelowna born and raised. I moved away for a few years but just couldn't stay away from this beautiful city.

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My husband Yinka and baby boy Pietro. After a long day there are no two people I want to see more.

What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
KARAT Chocolate! If you have every tried their delicious pastries you will know why. Beyond their amazing food, the staff are so kind and welcoming, making you feel at home.

Describe yourself in one word.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Nigeria, to see where my husband grew up and be fully immersed in the beautiful culture.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Archery, I love the focus it requires, allowing you to forget about all the business of life and just be present.

<who> Photo Credit: Kayla Pagliocchini

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
This question made me laugh! I have a wonderful skill of being able to block out embarrassing moments. (My friends would probably have a lot to share, though). One that I have not been able to block out is while living in London I was taking a double decker bus home and it was so packed the only space left to stand was at the top of the stairs... the bus stopped suddenly and I fell ALL the way down! The bruises eventually faded but the embarrassment took a bit longer to fade away.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
I received a video from the kids at the orphanage that my husband and I work with in Lagos, Nigeria. In the video the kids were sharing with us what they want to be when they grow up. One 13 year old boy told us that he wanted to be a Human Rights Lawyer so he could end corruption and help kids living in poverty have a better life. This young boys passion and conviction brought me to tears. Whenever I feel discouraged I remember him. He inspires me to do more, to leave my comfort zone and build something that will ensure him and kids like him achieve their dreams.

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
Going on mini getaways with my mom. My mom and I both loved road trips, we would get in the car and drive to different small towns in BC. We would just talk, sing along to our favourite songs and stop at little shops along the way. This quality time was so precious and built a strong bond between us.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?

Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
Mission Creek, I love biking and walking through the trails while hearing the sound of the creek. The setting is calming and frees the mind.

Where would you like to see a positive change in Kelowna and why?
Homelessness, it breaks my heart to see people without social supports. Homelessness is a complex issue and not an easy one to solve. I have had the opportunity to live in different cities around the world and can say that Kelowna is home to some of the most compassionate people I have ever met. If any community can make a positive change towards housing people in need it is Kelowna.

What do you think makes Kelowna great?
Strong sense of community and kindness. It goes without saying that Kelowna is a beautiful place but the biggest thing that keeps me here is the amazing sense of community, support for each other and genuine kindness shared.

What are 3 things on your bucket list?
1. Swim in each of the oceans and seas
2. Visit all 7 wonders of the world
3. Make meaningful positive change in the world

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I am pretty easy going but I become very competitive about things that I am passionate about.

How do people connect with you, personally, through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)

What is the name of your business/organization?
Abelin Care.

<who> Photo Credit: Kayla Pagliocchini

Why did you get into this business?
To make positive change in the world. I always wanted to do something that would help others but never knew how. When my husband and I had our son we were talking about all the opportunities he would have and this made us think of all the kids that don't have that same support. We decided then and there to turn something that we loved doing together - formulating self care - into something that would ensure all vulnerable kids have access to a future full of opportunity. Each self care product sold provides a minimum of one day tuition for a child in need.

What is the goal of your business?
Help ensure the most vulnerable kids have access to an education so they can live a life free from poverty and full of opportunity.

What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
I have made a lot of mistakes along the way but those mistakes have made me stronger and the person that I am today- so no I wouldn't change a thing! Final Answer :)If you could start all over again, would you do things the same or would things be different?
I would do things the same.

What do you always find yourself saying?
"It will be fine" - I find myself saying this A LOT! When you build a business you don't have all the answers so when something unexpected happens you just have to roll with it, breathe and say "it will be fine".

Tell us your best piece of life advice.
The best things in life are on the other side of hard work. When you believe in something keep persisting and stay positive - it is worth it!

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Greta Thunberg- I admire her passion and commitment to make the world a better place. It is people like Greta that make me hopeful for the future.

Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
Lots of reason but I will share 2.
(1) Shopping locally is an investment in your community- when you buy locally the money you spend stays in your community, supporting local development and providing local employment.
(2) Shopping locally is better for the environment as small businesses have smaller carbon footprints. There is nothing better than building face to face connections with your customers, you really become invested in their results.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Building a socially conscious business has been my biggest and proudest accomplishment. Knowing that every time my husband and I make and sell a product it will allow a child to stay in school.

Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Kate Ogorova and Tannin Amouei with the Kelowna Goddess Studio

My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
Kate Ogorova and Tannin Amouei.

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.

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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