Tammy Markwart and Blue Lily Event Planning in Shawnigan Lake won the “Best Decor” award for all of the province at the annual Professional B.C. Wedding Awards ceremony. (Submitted photo)

Business notes: Blue Lily Event Planning wins provincial award for “Best Decor.”

Business notes

Shawnigan Lake’s Blue Lily Event Planning has been recognized as one of the best in its field in B.C.

The event-planning company, owned by Tammy Markwart, won the “Best Decor” award for all of the province at the annual Professional B.C. Wedding Awards ceremony that was held in Vancouver on Nov. 22.

Markwart said the company won the award for its decor at a wedding in September at Victoria’s Starling Lane Vineyard in which an atrium was transformed to replicate a castle in England.

“I was surprised that we won the category, considering some of the heavy hitters we were up against in Vancouver,” she said.

“We’re grateful because we put a lot of our hearts into every event to ensure our clients are happy.”

In addition to weddings, Blue Lily offers exceptional planning services for anniversaries, baby showers, bar or bat mitzvahs, birthdays, bridal showers, christenings, corporate events, engagement parties, graduations, holiday parties, memorials, proms, and Sweet 16s.

Duncan’s Pets Plus Tack closing as owner retires

Duncan’s Pets Plus Tack is closing after 23 years in business.

Owner Janet, who asked that her last name not be used, plans to retire and spend more time with her family.

She said her husband is retiring at the same time, so her whole lifestyle will change.

“It’s been a fabulous 23 years and I decided to close down and go out while I’m still on top,” Janet said.

“No one will be taking over the business. That seems to be the way it is these days with small businesses.”

Janet said she will be holding sales of the store’s inventory, which includes supplies for cats, dogs and other small animals, as well as tack for horses, until her final closure at Christmas.

Owner of Cowichan Sound and Cellular sells, retires

After almost 25 years of owning and operating Cowichan Sound & Cellular, Corinne de Lange has sold the business and is retiring.

But de Lange found a TELUS dealership that she felt would best suit the community to take over operations.

“I wanted a company that would not only take care of our staff, but also would be the right fit for the community,” she said.

“I have known the company that has purchased our two locations for many years through TELUS and was thrilled that they would want to expand to the Cowichan region. I will now spend more time with my family and grandchildren, and catch my breath.”

De Lange’s retirement begins Jan. 1, which signals the beginning of a new chapter in her life with husband Peter.

Website aims to take mystery out of job interiews

Local entrepreneur Selena Martin has launched a new web platform to help create more transparency in interview practices.

The platform, called Vanttedge. draws on over 15 years of experience working with job seekers and employers to facilitate positive and long-lasting employment experiences.

Serving Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland of Vancouver, the web platform’s goal is to create a community of sharing and openness in order to reduce one of the biggest challenges facing job seekers and interview candidates; the mystery surrounding job interviews.

“Having worked with thousands of job hopefuls in the Cowichan Valley, we know how nervous and anxious interview candidates are when they get that call to attend an interview,” Martin said.

“Regardless of how much preparation a person has done, they are often walking into a job interview blind — knowing little about what will be expected of them. In an effort to create a solution to this problem, we have created a platform where interview candidates and employers can be more transparent about interview experiences and expectations.”

Martin encourages people to visit the site and share their interview experiences at www.vanttedge.ca

Discovery Elementary holds entrepreneur show

Shawnigan Lake’s Discovery Elementary School will host a Young Entrepreneur Show on Dec. 19.

The school is one of a number on the Island in which classes have learned practical money skills this fall with PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs, a real-world program sponsored by Coastal Community Credit Union.

The students were required to make financial decisions as they create their own business ventures.

Deb McQuhae’s students at Discovery Elementary have been learning to make change and honing their money-handling skills by role playing buyers and sellers at a classroom till.

“They may be able to add $1.50 and $1.50, but it will be different when they are at their sales table with a line of 10 people waiting,” McQuhae said.

The young Entrepreneur show at the school will run from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., and again from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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