Portraits have always been an interest of mine. In this on-going project, I meet and photograph the interesting people of Kelowna. If you, or someone you know would like to contribute to this project, by all means send them my way. ~Neil Slattery
LEO BARTELS – LEO’S VIDEOS
In June of 2003 me and my (now wife) Emily left Nelson for Victoria to open our very own independent video rental store. On our way there we stopped in Kelowna to visit Emily’s dad and had a discussion about its lack of independent video stores (there was only one in the entire city). In Dec we packed up our belongings and moved from Victoria to Kelowna, having decided that it would be a better community for our business. On April 24th 2004 we opened Leo’s Videos.
It was a struggle getting known and it took a lot to convince people that we could offer more then the mega chains with their huge advertising budgets. We moved locations after one and a half years, expanded shortly after and conducted 3 more reno’s along with one after flood rebuild. In 2012 things changed drastically as our competition closed their doors and we were left as the last rental store around (one independent store has come and gone since then). As one of the largest remaining video stores in all of Canada we boast the largest stock of films (21,000+) any store in Kelowna has ever had, and we like to attribute a lot of our success to the diversity of our film selection. In 2011-2012 I took time off from the video store to try my luck as a farmer. I loved it, but ultimately the store was where my true passions lay so I came back to it and have been very happy to have done so.
We have all kinds of online competition and never really know what they are going to do from day to day. However, our business has stayed strong with occasional growth spurts and I still feel we offer the best available option for viewing films, not to mention the feelings of nostalgia parents get to share with their children (we hear about this several times a day). This is such an amazing industry to be a part of. Our customers are usually on their way home to relax, so we get to have such pleasant interactions, and having served over half the local population it has been an amazing way to get to know Kelowna.
JULIE MICHAUD ~PORSCHE-ELLA
I am Julie Michaud, the Founder and CEO of porsche-ella. I feel beautiful, from the inside out. I am proud of who I am, to be a woman, to walk this earth in this evolving body. I enjoy seeing my body and face change with years and through different experiences. Each worry, each joy, each hike or lazy day leave a mark on my body in a way or another. My body teaches me a lot and sometime reminds me of where my mind is at.