Style Sense Furniture, located at Whippletree Junction, has recently undergone a major expansion. Pictured is owner Rachel Ayearst and manager Bradyn Smith holding the store’s dog Oogie. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Business notes: Style Sense Furniture expands

The latest from the Cowichan Valley business community

Style Sense Furniture, located at Whippletree Junction, has had a major expansion.

The store, which deals in furniture, mattress, linen and home-decor needs, recently took over other sections of the building where it operates and expanded from 1,200 sq. ft. to 4,500 sq. ft.

Manager Bradyn Smith said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are choosing to spend more time at home and work on their houses, including buying furniture and changing decor, and Style Sense Furniture, which offers made-in-Canada, in-stock and custom furniture, as well as globally sourced options from all the best suppliers, is perfectly suited to fill that role, so store owner Rachel Ayearst felt it was a good time to expand.

Smith said the Style Sense team is all about helping their customers achieve the right comfort, style, and cozy vibe that complements their unique home and lifestyle.

“We learn what the current trends are and consult with our customers to fit them with furniture that best meets their lifestyles,” he said.

“We have a warehouse full of furniture in the Valley so we still need more space to showcase it, so I expect we’ll see more expansion of the business as we go. These days, it’s important to have stock on hand because it can take a long time for it to be delivered if its ordered in.”

Ayearst has spent 20 years in the furniture business, mostly in the Cowichan Valley, and opened Style Sense Furniture, her first business, three years ago.

She said the business, which currently employs five people, has done well so far, and many of her customers from her former jobs in the Valley have followed her to Style Sense Furniture.

“The location is great, but we do need a bigger space,” Ayearst said.

“We’re also working towards launching an online service, but we want to keep it local.”

Style Sense Furniture is now open seven days a week; from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.


The ever-popular Sunfest Country Music Festival, which is scheduled for this summer on the weekend of July 28-31, is looking for people to join the Sunfest 2022 team.

In a release, the festival’s organizers said the Sunfest team is the backbone of the annual festival.

“Without our awesome and dedicated band of volunteers and support staff, none of our events would be possible,” the release said.

“The first Sunfest team consisted of just 40 friends and family, but in 2019, that number was over 500, with more than 200 of them volunteers. Being a member of the Sunfest team gives you the opportunity to be part of B.C.’s best and brightest country music festival, and grants you unique access to the inner workers of the Laketown Ranch.”

The release points out that it’s not all about work either, and team members receive full festival and camping passes, on-shift meals, a “pretty sweet” T-shirt and endless amounts of fun and memories.

For more information, check out Sunfest’s website at


The Cowichan Valley Regional District is inviting submissions from experienced operators to provide food and non-alcoholic beverage services at the Cowichan Community Centre.

An approximate 1,000 sq. ft. concession-style space, which is immediately adjacent to the arena lobby and the multi-purpose hall, is available for lease to provide these services.

This opportunity closes on March 10.

Visit or email for more information.

Vendor registration is required to view the documents and submit a response.


The Co-op Community Spaces program is looking for applications for funding of up to $150,000 for community projects that will create spaces where people can come together to meet, play, learn and share.

The program, which is funding projects on behalf of co-ops across Western Canada, wants to improve community health and well-being by building more places for Western Canadians to come together and create social connections.

Projects can apply for between $25,000 to $150,000 in capital funding.

The program funds projects that fall into one of three categories: recreation, environmental conservation and urban agriculture.

In the past, the program has provided more than $140,000 for two projects in the Cowichan Valley.

They are the Cowichan Sportsplex, which received $75,000, and the HUB at Cowichan Station, which received $66,000.

“If you know of a community group or initiative that could use some support, and fit the eligibility criteria, please encourage them to apply online at before March 1,” a statement from the program said.

“Spread the word to your family and friends and let’s help to bring a new community initiative in our neighbourhood.”


Hazelnut growers in B.C., including ones operating in the Cowichan Valley, can improve the health and increase the size of their orchards through new funding available under the Hazelnut Renewal Program.

The industry has seen a significant increase in the production of hazelnuts grown in B.C. since the program began in 2018.

In 2021, farmers grew 33 tonnes of hazelnuts, close to 73,000 pounds, which is up from approximately 11 tonnes that were grown in 2017.

The B.C. government is providing $100,000 for two intake periods in the spring and fall 2022.

The funding will help growers replace dead and diseased orchards with eastern filbert blight-resistant varieties and further expand hazelnut growth in B.C. with new planting.

“We are beginning to see positive results of the program as hazelnut production has almost tripled since it launched and that’s very encouraging for growers in the province,” said Lana Popham, minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

“The funding is supporting both new and established hazelnut farmers, giving them the flexibility to treat their orchards as needed, which is growing the industry and the supply of local hazelnuts throughout B.C.”

The spring intake is accepting applications from Feb. 2 to March 28 for planting or for removal projects that will occur between March and June 2022, while the fall intake is accepting applications from Aug. 9 to Sept. 30 for planting or removal projects that will occur between October and December, 2022.

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