West Kelowna woman closes her shop and opens possibilities

After a 15-year entrepreneurial journey that has literally seen Tania Olson experience blood, sweat and tears, she is stepping into the next phase of her life.

After a 15-year entrepreneurial journey that has literally seen Tania Olson experience blood, sweat and tears, she is stepping into the next phase of her life.

On Oct. 15, Olson will close Coconut Joe’s in West Kelowna in order to pursue a few other avenues that have recently opened up in her life.

“I’ve got lots on the go right now,” said Olson as she got a few words in between helping customers.

“I’m doing a cookbook with a couple girls, I’m starting a fashion coordinating event planning business, I’m doing my own (writing) and I’m writing Codie Prevost’s biography.”

The Prevost biography, although listed last, is one of the projects that Olson is most excited about.

Olson first met Codie Prevost, an up-and-coming Canadian country music star, when she was president of the local chamber of commerce in High Level, Alta.

Three years later, after moving to the Okanagan, she got tickets to Prevost’s show. She got the opportunity to chat with him and insisted that he let her dress him for an upcoming event.

Prevost agreed and eventually wore clothes that Olson selected in a photo shoot. A month later, Prevost was scheduled to make a music video. He asked Olson to help him with his wardrobe.

“Me, dressing a country music video star in a video? Of course I said yes,” said Olson.

Olson and Prevost’s friendship has continued to grow since then, which is why Prevost came to Olson when he discovered her knack for writing.

Olson has written as a “secret hobby” for the past 20 years. Recently, she entered an online competition and was excited to learn that she earned an Editor’s Choice award for her poem, The Distance.

The favourable outcome has inspired Olson to continue gliding the pen on paper after Coconut Joe’s closes its doors.

“My business has been my life and I think that’s what brought out my path that I’ve walked (through writing). I’ve raised my kids by myself. We’ve gone through lots,” said Olson.

“It’s been a journey for me, and I think that’s where a lot of my writing came from. It’s just been like journaling, getting my emotions on paper and helping me heal and keep going.”

The journey has taken her a long way.

As a single mother in the northern Alberta town of Zama City (population 225), Olson spawned her home-based business, Coconut Joe’s. Olson had no shortage of challenges to deal with and ended up changing her business location six times.

She fought through debt, relationship problems and family deaths to eventually reach her goal of living and working in the Okanagan.

“My dream for 20 years was to live here; my store got me here. Now other opportunities are coming that look more positive than me trying to stick in the retail game here with the economy.”


Just Posted

UPDATE: West Kelowna fire deemed suspicious, crews dousing hot spots

Boucherie fire quiet overnight, mop-up continues, while evacuees have returned home.

Airbnb hosts earning millions in the Okanagan

The Okanagan was among the list of three Canadian wine markets.

Rolling into Bike to Work Week

Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna will all be rolling into Bike to Work week

Vernon SAR manager wins national volunteer award

A Vernon Search and Rescue manager was one of those honoured for her dedication and innovation.

Allie Lake wildfire still out of control at 2,200 hectares

112 firefighting personnel and 10 helicopters are tackling the flames

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

Vernon company wins Ozone best production

Powerhouse Theatre’s Calendar Girls will move on to the Theatre BC Mainstage Festival

Host AquaJets fly at long course invitational

Kelowna swim club wins team title at annual spring meet at H2O

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

B.C. VIEWS: Our poverty reduction plan is already in place

NDP has another promise it needs to appear to keep

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Out of control wildfire prompts restriction around Allie Lake

One of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control

Most Read