The ninth-annual Great Kitchen and Bath Tour wends its way through the custom cabinets and countertops of 12 Puget Sound residences, including a modern bathroom designed by Richard Pope & Dawn Ryan of Creative Kitchen + Bath and a remodeled kitchen created by Denny Conner. As ticket-holders arrive at each stop, they can browse glazed-tile backsplashes, run fingers along beveled countertops, admire brushed-nickel spigots, and check medicine cabinets for Flintstones vitamins before traipsing to the next location.
Some of the most successful business ideas are born at kitchen tables, inside home offices, or in the car. Nurturing these nascent plans, however, can be a bit more challenging. Housework, kids, and long commutes to big-city office spaces pry fledgling CEOs away from their work, and these one-person corporations can lack a key element for success: collaboration.
SwitchCube aims to fill this void. The business fosters a community of independent entrepreneurs, contractors, and other professionals who work together within a shared space, either collaborating on projects or simply lending each other advice. In addition to ideas, the group also shares professional amenities, including printers, coffee, and ample oxygen. Members can also rent out a boardroom for important meetings and access designated rooms for long phone calls. With several plans available, they can make use of the space for a single day, a few days a month, or full time.
Amid the gentle babbling of an outdoor waterfall, the Simpsons are snapping pictures. Here, in their studio’s scenic outdoor garden, Photoart by Simpson’s two generations of photographers exert decades of expertise as they capture kids at play, families in celebration mode, and moms-to-be using their stomachs as book stands. Inside the studio, natural light streams into photo sessions, illuminating the artistic poses Andrew stages or the spontaneous turns of Arlene’s lens. To ensure that clients receive the photo shoot they’re looking for, the Simpsons invite subjects to consult with them prior to the shoot, making any stylistic requests before the session begins. Once cameras have been packed away, clients can memorialize their newly captured selves via framed and mounted prints.
Back in 1970, a young Michael Moster was inspired to buy his first camera and create his own darkroom after visiting a friend's, where he watched fascinating black-and-white images appear on blank photo paper. Seven years later, he went into the photography business full time. Moster developed a knack for capturing candid moments, and for making clients laugh. In 1994, he moved his business, Michael's Fine Photography, to a new studio on five acres in South Langley. Moster has received numerous awards for his work, such as the title "Master Of Photographic Arts" along with a Fellowship and Honourable Life Member status from the Professional Photographers of Canada—British Columbia; he also spent many years on the association's board of directors.
As photography went digital, Moster embraced these changes, becoming an expert in Photoshop and digital photo manipulation. These skills allow him to remove distracting background images from photographs, or perform “photographic surgery” on his clients themselves—delighting clients by taking years off their faces and delighting surrealists by swapping their heads with dinosaur skulls.