Just like everywhere in Kelowna, downtown is springing to life with the coming of the warm weather and sunshine (finally).
The Downtown Kelowna Association has started its annual Chairs in the Park program, where chairs are placed on the patio area of Kerry Park every day from Tuesday to Sunday, for the enjoyment of working people who want to sit and eat lunch, tourists, or just locals who want to rest and enjoy the view over the lake.
The DKA also sponsors Bocce In The Park on the grass at Kerry Park.
Come on down Wednesdays and Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., to join in a friendly bocce game.
The DKA’s Clean Team has also been out cleaning and polishing up downtown in preparation for a new summer season.
And any day now, I hear that their beautiful flower barrels and baskets will be in place to beautify the streets of downtown.
I took a walk down Ellis Street the other day, and chatted with two business owners that I just have to tell you about.
One is Stacey Huculiak, who owns Tweaked & Yummy
Apparel at 1292 Ellis St.
Her shop is a really funky one, as she carries the largest collection of vintage and retro fashions for both women and men in the Okanagan.
In fact, she tells me that everything in her shop is recycled in some way, even down to her bags and tags.
The shop has a nice, open feel, with simple wood floors and a big front window.
She has really cool wall racks, and you’ve gotta love the vintage chairs in the change room area.
Huculiak also carries hats, shoes and jewelry, all vintage or hand-crafted, usually by local artists. Tweaked & Yummy is also an art gallery, as the walls feature art by young, local artists. Huculiak wants to give them a showcase for their work. She even hosts monthly art shows, each one featuring the work of a different local art student.
If you want more info on which artists she’s featuring each month, check out her website at email@example.com.
An interesting fact—the most popular vintage item for the guys is the western snap-button shirt.
I also checked in with Angie Bricker at her business, Natural Belly & Baby, 1331 Ellis St.
As it turned out, the timing was perfect because Bricker is making big changes at her shop as well.
It will boast a fresh new name—Earth Whimsy Artisan’s Market—and a new focus on products for grown-ups: Homewares, art and vintage products (clothing, jewelry and handbags).
Earth Whimsy will still feature natural, organic products. And the good news is the store will still carry all the same baby products she has now.
But she’s been busily sourcing out new products with a broader appeal, many of which aren’t seen in Kelowna yet.
She tells me that she’s even found a fabulous new line of Canadian-made handbags and laptop covers made from recycled seat belts. I can’t wait to see those—what a creative idea.
Bricker wants to focus on local suppliers of recycled goods, and she’s currently looking for more products.
If you have something interesting, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you’re just wanting to check out her shop’s new direction, be sure to drop by for a visit and feel the excitement in the air.
Have you noticed a trend here? I’m thinking that downtown has become the focal point for retailers who support organic, recycled, ethical trade products, as well as Canadian and even locally-made goods.
Way to go, downtown business owners.
I’m excited because downtown is getting a North Face shop at the southwest corner of Ellis and Bernard.
North Face is a big purveyor of eco-outdoor gear for active people, and their new store will be a fantastic addition to the downtown mix.
I have info about lots of other exciting changes coming to our downtown (such a lot of positive energy), but will have to fill you in on more of it next month…so stay tuned.
Interesting downtown fact—with 24 parking lots, two parkades and lots of on-street parking, downtown currently boasts 3,047 parking spots. The old Henderson’s Cleaners spot at the corner of Ellis and Lawrence has also just been turned into a temporary parking lot as well, so the number of parking spots just went up.
Jan Johnson has co-owned Tigerlily Fashions downtown for 24 years now. If you have any news about downtown shop openings and/or events, email them to email@example.com.