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'm from all over. I was born in Peace River, Alberta, then had a short stint in Whitehorse, Quesnel, Victoria, Cranbrook and Trail. We moved to Kelowna in 1983.
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My husband, Kevin Isabey. Not only is he a lot of fun, but he laughs at all my jokes.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Anywhere in Europe. I travelled throughout Europe when I graduated from high school, staying in hostels and overnighting on trains. I want to go back to every country I visited and be able to have my own shower and clean sheets. It's also important to me that my kids can experience different cultures.
What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
Man + Woman. I think Kelowna needs more of this type of store. Along with interior design, I have a love of fashion.
What is your favourite activity?
I think that anyone who knows me will know I'm lying if I don't say shopping.
If you had to choose: pizza, tacos, or burgers?
That's a tough one. I love all of those things. Probably tacos from Taco Time, nothing gourmet.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
That list feels like it could be a long one. Most recently, I had my birthday lunch at one of my favourite local restaurants, Xchange. On my way to the bathroom I wiped out, no injuries involved, but it was a classic. The owner, Mark van Hees, whom I've known since high school, had a front row seat. Pretty funny.
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
Living life through the eyes of my children. It's such a crazy thing. Everything that happens to them feels like it's happening to me, but even more intensely, and you aren't in control of any of it. It gives you such a great perspective of life. You find out that somehow, over the years, you've actually become a little wiser.
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
My 9th birthday party. We lived in Trail, BC and my mom threw me the best birthday party. An Easter egg hunt with all my friends and lunch catered by the Colander Restaurant, a local favourite.
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
My husband and I try to give back in many ways. We support the Canadian Cancer Foundation, the Okanagan Dream Rally, the Keg Spirit Foundation, the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour and the school our children attend, Aberdeen Hall.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
I wish people were more inclusive. I moved a lot and I was always the new kid. I will never forget how it felt. I think it's important to get to know new people. You can never have enough friends. That is what makes a great community.
What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
The Mission Hill Winery Concerts. They are magical.
Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
Alone time for us is on our boat, tucked into a bay somewhere. It's the best family time.
Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
I'd love to see more retail stores here, particularly for women. I don't love online shopping and I do love shopping local.
What do you think makes Kelowna great?
Such a long list! Kelowna is home for me, so it's a personal thing, like talking about a member of my family. Kelowna is beautiful. It's not too big and has fantastic weather and, most importantly, it has awesome people.
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
1) Going to the Oscars
2) Travelling the world
3) Designing a 5-star hotel.
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I'm afraid of the Ogopogo.
What is the name of your business/organization?
Why did you get into/start this business?
I've always had a passion for fashion and design. After I had my son, a friend of mine, who is a commercial developer, asked me to design a suite for him. I knew once I started it that I was meant to do this.
What is the goal of your business?
To take the stress out of the building and decorating process. It should be fun and exciting, but it ends up being stressful and overwhelming.
What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?
Balance. Being a wife, mother and business owner has its challenges. Thankfully, I'm a good delegator. I've been so fortunate to have such an amazing support team both in my personal and professional life.
If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
I'd do them the same. I don't regret anything. Mistakes in life are what shape you into being a decent human being. It gives you the ability to be understanding of other people.
What do you always find yourself saying?
'It is what it is. Just deal with it.'
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Oprah Winfrey. She's a self-made woman who never comes across arrogant. She rose above all of the challenges life threw at her.
Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
My good friends, Hansen Hosein and Heather Hughes, produced a movie called Independent America. It says it all. Spend locally and the money goes back into your local community. Buy through big box stores and the money goes to wherever their head office is. As a local business owner, it's my privilege and responsibility to shop local.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Being a mother. Definitely the hardest job I've had and the most rewarding. Cliché, I know, but true.
Give someone you think that deserves a shout out and explain why!
Franca Mercuri, she's been a great friend for over 25 years. She's a local business owner and an amazing local citizen.
My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
Cindy Switzer of Maltabella Designs.
Some general comments I would like to share are
Do what you love. You will always be more successful when you do. You will be afraid at first, that's normal, just keep moving forward. It's amazing what you can accomplished when you give it your all.
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.