Aja Aime-Havig is the new owner of Bloom Beauty Studio in Duncan. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Aja Aime-Havig is the new owner of Bloom Beauty Studio in Duncan. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Business notes: Bloom Beauty Studio has new owner

The latest from the Cowichan Valley business community

Bloom Beauty Studio on First Street has a new owner.

Aja Aime-Havig recently took over the long-established business, which offers tanning, spray tanning, lash extensions, body sculpting and hair-care services.

Aime-Havig worked as a managing baker and cake decorator at a local supermarket for many years, but was always interested in the beauty industry so when the opportunity arose to buy the business, she jumped at the chance.

Currently, Aime-Havig takes care of reception and office duties at the studio, and two independent contractors are responsible for providing the services of the business.

She said she’s considering taking courses so she can also offer services at the studio.

“The studio went up for sale about two-and-half-years ago, but the timing wasn’t right, ” Aime-Havig said.

“I made it work this time. It’s close to my home and it’s great to run my own business. I plan to make this place amazing and go from there.”


After 50 years in operation on Kenneth Street, Volume One Bookstore has become an iconic part of the downtown core.

Sonia Ottosen took over the store in 2016 and said information technology has not cut into her business, as it has with so many others in the information industry.

“Business continues to be great here,” she said as customers rummaged through the bookshelves searching for their favourite authors.

“The community and staff have been amazing. We’re a general bookstore for all ages, but our mission statement calls for us to have a focus on children. It’s lovely to see children pulling their parents towards our door when passing by.”

Ottosen said there are no major plans to celebrate Volume One’s 50th anniversary at this stage, but she and her staff are considering a number of events to commemorate it a little later in 2022.

“One of our employees, who is also an artist, is planning on painting a new mural in our children’s section,” she said.

“We’ll see what else we’ll do as we go. It’s a real blessing to own and work in Volume One and we’re thankful to the community for our continued success. We plan to be here for a long time.”


Airport and ferry traffic were hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions, according to a report from Economic Development Cowichan.

The EDC has published its first State of the Cowichan Economy Report where the organization highlights new demographic data recently published from Census 2021, as well as information on labour and business, building and real estate, tourism and transportation.

“While BC Ferries traffic has recovered somewhat, airport traffic remains well below pre-pandemic levels,” the report states.

“Recovery of this sector may accelerate with the return of international flights to Victoria International Airport beginning in December, 2021.”

The report indicates that BC Ferries recorded more than 11.4 million passengers in 2019, which dropped to a little more than six million in 2020 and more than 7.5 million in 2021.

As for air traffic, Victoria and Nanaimo airports combined had more than 2.4 million passengers in 2019, almost 750,000 in 2020 and more than 867,000 in 2021.


Spring has sprung and if the green grass has you feeling inspired to pack up and take a vacation, the Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area is encouraging residents to stick around town and explore some local favourites.

To make your adventure much more exciting, the DDBIA is excited to introduce the Downtown Duncan “Spring Staycation” shop local passport.

Shoppers have to make a minimum $10 purchase at any participating business to receive a Shop Local Passport.

Once you have your passport, every time you make a minimum $10 purchase at a participating business, you will receive a stamp for your passport.

Each passport has eight spaces to fill.

Once your passport is complete, fill out the contact information section and submit your passport at any participating business, or to the DDBIA office at 201-111 Station St., and you’ll be eligible to enter a draw to win $250 Downtown Duncan Dollars.

For more contest details and rules, check out www.downtownduncan.ca/staycation.


The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce welcomes Jason Yochim, executive officer of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, as the presenter for its June Speaker Series Luncheon on June 16 at noon.

Yochim will speak to the state of the housing market on Vancouver Island.

This luncheon event will be held at the Oceanfront Suites banquet room in Cowichan Bay, and will be catered by The Cook and Butcher by Cow Cafe.

Tickets are $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

For more information or to advise of dietary restrictions, contact chamber@duncancc.bc.ca.

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