While browsing shops during her travels in New York, Australia, and Europe, Alisa West Folk's lifelong dream to own a boutique only grew stronger. Her own wish was granted when she and her mom, Kathie, opened wish.list boutique. The mom-and-daughter team stocks the shop with finds such as Deborah Lippmann and Butter London nail polish, Deux Lux handbags, and Hanky Panky underwear. Alisa especially loves the Voluspa candles—"The smells are unbelievable," she says, singling out Santiago Huckleberry as her favourite aroma.
It's Alisa and Kathie's passion for their products that makes wish.list boutique a treasure trove for shoppers. They have to "fall in love" with something in order to consider it worthy of the boutique's shelves. "Anything we would want to use or feel like we need in our lives, we want in the store," Alisa says. That includes a focus on paraben-free, organic, and less-toxic items, including John Masters Organic haircare products.
The store brings a chic vibe to Kitsilano with white paint, a damask accent wall, and butterfly motif, all lit by chandelier. To keep faces equally fresh, the staff's professional makeup artist gives complimentary makeup applications and cosmetics advice on Thursdays, Fridays, and some Saturdays. The boutique also hosts events on occasion—they threw a lipstick and wine-pairing party for their one-year anniversary in 2010, and Real Housewives of Vancouver star Mary Zilba helped them celebrate posh polishes with a 50 Shades of Summer party.
In addition to feminine accessories and beauty products, Alisa and Kathie also curate a selection of baby gifts, and the shop is a popular place to pick up presents. "A lot people come in looking for a gift and then they end up buying something for themselves," Alisa says.
Alisa knows she's doing her job right when she's out at a restaurant or around town and someone asks her where she got her bag. It's even more gratifying when she hears their response: "They say, 'Oh, I love that store!'" she says.
Lili Blossom Boutique is a purveyor of natural and artisan bath and body products for women, men, and children, crafted by luxurious, boutique lines that regularly incorporate natural therapeutic extracts to achieve their revitalizing results. The pampering products are naturally sourced and do not contain mineral oil, talc, or ethylene oxide, which can be harmful to the body and the environment. Top-selling brands include all-stars such as Malie, a Hawaiian import offering sweet-scented body creams and salt scrubs with a silky finish; Farmhouse Fresh, an Oprah-endorsed outfit with standout products such as honey heel glaze and sweet cream foot scrub; and Barefoot Venus, a Kelowna-based line with a variety of well-priced products. Quickly joining the ranks of storied suppliers, Linden Leaves is new to the lineup with an impressive unisex line and fast-selling body oil.
A tiny ripple glides along the smooth-as-glass water, alerting captain Pete to the fact that he and his passengers are about to have company. Sure enough, within seconds a group of glossy black fins breaks through the sea in a silent, synchronized ballet. A native Washingtonian who has spent his entire life on the water, captain Pete orchestrates San Juan Excursions to grant guests the chance to go head-to-head with nature in moments such as these. As marine naturalists certified by the Whale Museum?s Naturalist Training Program, captain Pete?s crew of passionate guides take to the peaceful waters of the Puget Sound to entertain boatloads of guests with informative facts about area wildlife witnessed during excursions.
The team?s passion for nature informs its low-impact approach to whale and wildlife watching, which is exemplified in the Odyssey, the company's tour boat. Originally a U.S. Navy search-and-rescue vessel forged in 1941, the craft is fueled by biodiesel when possible and maintains a low propeller RPM to minimize the Bono moans it releases into the water column. Though San Juan Excursions specializes in whale watching, it also sends adventurers forth to explore the waters on their own steam during sea-kayak tours.
Uber's all about the ingredients. A daily face cream—designed to leave skin moisturized and with a touch of golden glow—ups the ante with extracts of sea kelp that can help retain the skin's smoothness, elasticity, and appeal to otters. Frankincense extracts swirl through the A-List Fix toner for normal and combination skin to help stimulate circulation, while apricot and walnut shells help to slough off depleted skin cells in the A-List Fix exfoliator.
Who is the Linda behind Linda's Quilt Shoppe? Well, for starters, she's a quilting expert who's been in the business since 1992. She's also the person responsible for assembling the store's more than 2,500 bolts of fabric. To most customers however, Linda is the woman who greets them with a friendly smile and helpful advice on creating their next quilt square.
Linda works alongside Jim Findlay, whose own business background dates back to a childhood spent in his father's store. With their powers combined, the Findlays sell pretty much everything a sewing or quilting enthusiast could possibly need, including embroidery and sewing machines. They also host a variety of sewing classes and "fat quarter" clubs, in which enrolled members received fabric samples and patterns every three months.