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VOL 4 • ISSUE 3 | SPRING 2021 | www.pei-living.ca | FREE COPY

Fourth Annual



Why Choose a Maple Leaf Home? • Maple Leaf Homes are one of the most energy efficient homes in Canada • Maple Leaf Homes has been manufacturing modular housing for over 30 years. • Your home can be built any time during the year – spring, summer, fall or winter – regardless of the weather! • Maple Leaf utilizes a computer aided design system (CAD) to allow them to customize any of their standard layouts

Residential Styles • Cape Cod, Chalet and Two-Storey • Cottage Series • Recreational Park Models

• Bungalow / Ranch • Split Entry • Mini Homes

Commercial Styles • Commercial / Industrial • Global Accommodations • Container Sized Modules

Contracted Services MacKenzie Builder Services is the official construction firm for on-site installations.

w w w. l e g a c y h o m e s p e i . c a Legacy Homes PEI Ltd. • 12745 St. Peters Road • 902.676.3200 • Darren: 902.969.0425


A SPRING LIKE NO OTHER Spring is a wonderful time here on the Island. With things beginning to warm up and the winter starting to thaw, people are eagerly planning gardens, summer projects, and maybe even a few daytrips and excursions. Ice is melting, beaches are coming alive, and summer is inevitably on its way. This spring is like no other: after a long winter of being limited to indoor activities, folks are ready to get out and enjoy the Island. Local businesses are preparing for the “busy season,” and we’re excited to talk about that this issue. This is our annual Women In Business issue – probably my favourite issue of the year! And this year, we’ve highlighted more women than ever! Our cover features five fabulous entrepreneurial ladies: Michele Mallon, with Powerhouse Realty, is a knowledgeable real estate agent using her degree in law and experience working within the legal sector to ensure you have the smoothest, most transparent experience. Karen Murphy, owner of Pure Spa and Modo Yoga in Charlottetown, has seen much success over the years. With both businesses under one roof, Karen is able to offer positive benefits for both the body AND the soul through her

yoga classes, as well as her luxurious spa treatments. Robin Gamble, a Realtor with Royal LePage®, has perfected the art of buying and selling homes. Receiving the Diamond Award this year, she’s been at the top of the game for quite some time - with no signs of slowing down. Tanyia Kingyens is the owner and operator of the Pearl Eatery in North Rustico. Tanyia’s experience in the industry, and her ability to adapt, all while honouring the Pearl’s history and vision, have powered where she is today. Thamara Paparoni, with Provincial Realty, has been wildly successful since her career took off as a real estate agent in 2015. After buying and selling many houses of her own, and living on three continents, Thamara knows firsthand what clients need when buying and selling real estate. This year’s Women in Business feature includes over thirty pages of successful, inspiring ladies from all across the Island. Their stories are unique, and powerful, and we’re excited to share them with you. So grab a cup of coffee, a few squares of dark chocolate, and your coziest sweater, and dig in.

Read PEI Living Magazine online: www.issuu.com/peilivingmagazine

Story Sheidow, Editor-in-Chief story@pei-living.ca




THE BEST OF THE ISLAND - SUMMER 2021 Interested in being a part of the summer issue? Contact Sara Bakker sara@pei-living.ca or Story Sheidow story@pei-living.ca

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PEI LIVING Volume 4 • Issue 3 SPRING 2021 Our fourth annual Women in Business cover features some of the amazing entrepreneurs that show us how they “bounce” during a crisis and pivot their ventures to succeed - no matter what. We hope the five women featured on the cover will inspire you! ON THE COVER (Back L-R) Thamara Paparoni, Michele Mallon, Robin Gamble (Seated L-R) Tanyia Kingyens, Karen Murphy Photographer: Kimberly Rashed Wardrobe: Lady Slipper Boutique Shot on location: Hampton Inn & Suites Charlottetown

FEATURES 8. Wine Trends Cheers to Virtual Tastings 56. Health & Wellness Self-care 66. Home & Cottage Bathing Beauties 96. Style Hello Spring 102. Family Calm Your Anxious Dog 108.Women in the Spotlight Erin Arsenault

Little Bird Publishing 29 Valley Street, Unit 2 | Charlottetown, PE C1A 4H9 902.394.7499 | www.p ei -l i v i ng .ca


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PEI LIVING PUBLISHER Little Bird Publishing


EXECUTIVE CEO Jacqui Chaisson jacqui@pei-living.ca 902.394.7499 Editor-in-Chief Story Sheidow story@pei-living.ca


10 FOOD & DRINK 10. Good Eats Spring Rolls 12. Chef Profile Chef Ilona Daniel

E D I TO R I A L T E A M Food & Drink Editor Jackie Herbert Home Editor Susan Snow Style Editor Kimberly Rashed Copy Editor Rebecca Spinner

80. Springing to Life Tulip Tips

Contributing Writers Rebecca Spinner Brianne Hogan Kristen Johnson Laura Jean Grant Susan Snow Jackie Herbert Kimberly Rashed Darren MacKenzie

82. The Down and Dirty Vegetable Gardening 86. Making It Work Tiny Backyard Offices

14. Good Eats Pink Lady Gin Cocktail


16. Good Eats Gurkensalat

92. Bold & Beautiful Spring Earrings

18. Branch Out With Sprouts The How-To On Sprouts



102. 10 Things... For Yourself

20. New World, New Business



110. Charlottetown Film Festival

62. Not Your Average At-Home Workout Alternative Home Fitness Ideas

112. The Book Report Spring Reading List


130. Meet the PEI Living Team Sara Bakker, Photographer

72. Easy DIYs Two Weekend DIYs 76. Thrift Flips A Thrift Decor Challenge

Account Executive Sara Bakker sara@pei-living.ca 506.478.2411

Read PEI Living Magazine online: www.issuu.com/peilivingmagazine

C R E AT I V E T E A M Graphic Design Jacqui Chaisson Photography Evan Ceretti Sara Bakker Kimberly Rashed Story Thorburn Susan Snow Rachael Peters Evan Herbert Alaina Rashed Jenna Rachelle

PEI Living magazine is published quarterly by Little Bird Publishing. Little Bird Publishing is independently owned and operated. Opinions expressed in PEI Living magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the advertisers. PEI Living magazine does not assume liability for content. All rights reserved © Little Bird Publishing. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. For permission contact the publisher.

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It’s a new year and time for some new beginnings. This year, like many of you, I will focus on my health and wellness. The pandemic has put many things into perspective for my family, and especially for myself. I’m starting with cutting back on unnecessary things by making room for, and enjoying the more meaningful ones. We’ve always supported community agriculture programs and food cooperatives as well as farm stands and, over the holidays we found time to go and visit the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market. We already support many of the market vendors, but, we found new ones and deeply appreciate that we have access to a local cooperative. Supporting local helps build communities, especially when you buy direct from a farmer, fisher or artisan. I can assure you locally grown food taste better and is better for you!

Also, as part of our new family trend, we’ve made it our mission to try something local and new every week. I hereby challenge my readers to do the same, let me know what you’ve found. In this issue you can follow along on my trendy adventure, starting with my Food Finds. And, in honour of International Women’s Day, and women in business I’m excited to introduce you to wellknown chef Ilona Daniels in our local “Chef Spotlight” featuring. We’ll continue to sip our way through these pages with what’s trending in the world of wine and beyond. Next issue, we’ll be heading into summer with a promise of fresh seafood, cocktails, and I’m on a quest to find the best fish cakes!

Read PEI Living Magazine online: www.issuu.com/peilivingmagazine


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Jackie Herbert Food & Drink Editor jherbert@pei-living.ca (Photo: Evan Herbert)

J A C K I E ’ S FAV O U R I T E [ L O C A L ] F I N D S

TEA INFUSED CHOCOLATE Treating yourself to chocolate doesn’t call for an occasion, but you may end up celebrating a tea-infused chocolate bar from SipT, Summerside Fog White Belgian Chocolate Bar. (Samuel’s Coffee House, 4 Queen Street, Summerside or by ordering online www.getsipping.ca)


CAPE REEF SMOKEHOUSE I’m excited to share a newly built smokehouse in Cape Bear featuring a variety of delectable smoked seafood. Cape Reef Seafood & Smokehouse Smoked Scallops were a delicious addition to our charcuterie, or should I say Seacuterie board! They fish it, smoke it, and sell it on site. They really do it all! (2214 Cape Bear Rd, Murray Harbour)

Maple sap isn’t just running through the tree taps throughout Canada this spring, it’s flowing in the form of a maple spiced ale at Evermoore Brewing. What could be more Canadian than their Sugar Shack craft beer? Its versatility makes for a great beer bread too! (192 Water St. Summerside)

PASTIS LAVENDER COCKTAIL Lavender doesn’t just smell great; it tastes delicious too. With its broad range of uses, Lavender makes an impactful flavour in soups and stews, cakes, and cookies. Add a shot of Pastis to your lavender lemonade and you now have one of my favourite summer sipper cocktails! Locally-dried lavender can be found at Island Lavender Distillery. (Founders’ Food Hall & Market, 6 Prince St Charlottetown)

MOLASSES BREAD Molasses bread is delicious sliced warm and served with butter or used as sandwich bread the next day. Vinegar Hill Bakery has an assortment of bread available at the Summerside Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, 9-1 PM. But, get there early to grab a fresh loaf of the molasses bread, I promise you won’t be disappointed! (Summerside Farmers’ Market, 250 Water St, Summerside)

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to Virtual Tastings

By Jackie Herbert, Food & Drink Editor 8

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Vir-tu-al (adjective) carried out, accessed, or stored by means of a computer, especially over a network.

We are now a society that knows and understands the virtual world. That has become our reality. For some, the word “virtual” makes you cringe--meetings, workshops, conferences, ugh. Others have experienced the virtual world of travel and things they may not normally have been exposed to. Virtual wine tasting has become one such experience that can bring us together without actually bringing us together. And, for now, that’s what we need. There are several ways to set up a virtual wine tasting; you can be the host or find a professional. Invite your friends and family to join you online at an agreed-upon day and time. You can curate a list of wines to try yourself, ask your local PEILC for some help, or ask each guest to supply everyone with the name of their favourite. Once you have a list, each participant handles picking up their own bottles of wine. Now comes the fun part: the tasting. There are many ways to enjoy this. Research the wines yourself, ask the staff at the PEILC, or ask each person to lead the group through tasting the wine they specifically chose. The good thing about this is no one needs to be an expert; it’s a simple, fun way to spend time together with those you are missing.

Wine (noun) an alcoholic drink made from fermented grape juice.

Another popular way of tasting wine is at home parties, where guests come to your home to interact and experience the tasting as a group. With the guidance of a sommelier, you can try several new wines, learning about exciting new varietals and their regions! A sommelier walks you through a tasting with a more in-depth look at wines; they are highly informative. This approach is also popular when groups can gather, but for now, Lesley Quinn from Stellar Somm is taking the tastings virtual with a customized list, and new insight on how we can still have an interactive wine tasting virtually. Lastly, the traditional way of tasting wine is at a winery. Right now, on Prince Edward Island, the wineries are closed for the season while they concentrate on production for next year. When they reopen, all local wineries will offer tastings and tours. Grab a small group of your friends and head out for a tasting, or maybe even a picnic in the vineyard when it’s safe to do so!

Tast-ing (noun) a gathering at which people sample, compare, and evaluate different wines, or other drinks or food. Listed are my red wine picks from the PEILC at Founders’ Food Hall in Charlottetown or delivered to your local PEILC. Torres Celeste Crianza 2017 Product of Spain by Miguel Torres S.A. 750 ml $28.98 medium acidity, wood dominate, full bodied Sarmentero Barrica 18 Meses Product of Spain by Bodega Maria 750 ml $48.50 bold, acidic, tannic, dry Faustino Rioja Gran Reserva Product of Spain by Bodegas Faustino 750 ml $38.00 clean, bright, complex, elegant These three are oak barrel-aged red wines of the same grape varietal, Tempranillo, found in Spain’s top wine region, Rioja. Enjoy!

For now, virtual wine tastings can be a great way to have a safe and fun time, while learning about a new favourite wine from the comfort of your own home, with the people you enjoy spending time with.

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca




Fresh Spring Rolls

These easy-tomake spring rolls are a refreshing change from the fried variety, and will become a family favourite. They are great as an appetizer, and are delicious dipped in your choice of sauces.

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INGREDIENTS 2 ounces rice vermicelli 8 rice wrappers (8.5 inch diameter) 8 large cooked shrimp - peeled, deveined and cut in half 1  tbs chopped fresh Thai basil 3 tbs chopped fresh mint leaves 3 tbs chopped fresh cilantro 1 red bell pepper 1 cucumber 2 leaves lettuce, chopped 4 tsp fish sauce ¼ cup water 2 tbs fresh lime juice 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tbs white sugar ½ tsp garlic chili sauce 3 tbs hoisin sauce 1 tsp finely chopped peanuts METHOD Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Boil rice vermicelli three to five minutes, or until al dente, and drain. Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip one wrapper into the hot water for one second to soften. Lay wrapper flat. In a row across the centre, place two shrimp halves, sliced cucumber and bell pepper, a handful of vermicelli, basil, mint, cilantro and lettuce, leaving about two inches uncovered on each side. Fold uncovered sides inward, then tightly roll the wrapper, beginning at the end with the lettuce. Repeat with remaining ingredients. In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, sugar and chili sauce. In another small bowl, mix the hoisin sauce and peanuts. Serve spring rolls with the fish sauce and hoisin sauce mixtures.

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Chef Ilona Daniel Chef Ilona Daniel is the founder of Tribe Fresh Events and Consulting, a purpose-driven insights consultancy accelerated by modern approaches to the hospitality industry, immersive experiences, community and culture development, and gamechanging deliverables.


it h 1 5 years of experience, she is an industry leader and an established business-builder with projects spanning the globe including Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. Her strong background in consumer products and services includes a specialized focus on the interconnected producer and

By Jackie Herbert Photo Heather Ogg

consumer in the food service sector. Ilona is also on the Board of Directors for the Tourism Association of PEI & The PEI Writers Guild. Chef Ilona is a published writer for numerous publications, a media personality, and a dedicated Culinary Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada. The episode, “PEI Lobster” of the series, “Untamed Gourmet,” which Chef Ilona hosted was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.

CHEF’S PROFILE What do you love about your career? Every day is different! The main thread that ties all that I do is my passion and belief in the powerful and positive impacts healthy food has on our lives! I help people minimize risk in their food service operations and develop recipes, as well as with food styling and marketing strategies and approaches for clients. I also utilize sensory evaluations to assess clients’ product offerings. When I’m teaching, I think that’s when I learn the most. Working with culinary students reminds me to always keep my sense of wonder for the industry alive. It is that wonder that keeps you in innovation mode.

If we are talking about culinary delicacies, that list is huge and includes some of the following: pomelo, oysters, all of the cheese, white truffles, carrots just pulled out of the ground, a really good ribeye steak, freshly baked bread and butter, blood oranges in season, strawberries eaten warmed naturally by the sun, uni, Ethiopian coffee, and really well-made bubbly. Five ingredients necessary in everyone’s kitchen, including yours? Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, garlic, gingerand flat leaf Italian parsley. Proud moment?

You’re at home, what are you making? Very likely something Chinese. Right now I’m obsessed with prickly ash, aka Sichuan peppercorn. It’s such a flavourful, tangy spice that leaves your lips tingling and feeling a little numb. Highlight of your career...so far?

Why did you decide to become a chef? I want to do my part and help enrich the community I am a part of. I want to inspire good food conversations that encourage people who don’t cook often to try to cook for themselves a little bit more. Food is a powerful medium for expression. I want to empower others to lead with love and compassion by starting with how we feed ourselves. Such a simple act can lead to transformational shifts. The adage “you are what you eat” is 100 per cent accurate.

I don’t think I can put my journey on a highlight reel with a solo experience. I think it’s truly a culmination of so many moments. Being with my culinary students as they master a technique for the first time is hugely impactful on me; it really keeps me so inspired. I’ve also had the great privilege to collaborate with companies from around the world, to cook for royalty and dignitaries, and to have helped create new operations from the ground up. I think the common thread that they share is that these experiences are all peoplecentred; connecting with people and building connection is a priority to me. Additionally, each of the services I offer engages different parts of my skill set and keeps the edge of my knife on point, as it were. I like all of the things that keep me learning and growing as a person.

Starting my own business. Tribe Fresh brings together all of my passions into one place; consulting, recipe development, brand marketing, public speaking engagements, media work, food writing, kitchen design, social media marketing/brand development, and curriculum design. Who’s your biggest supporter? I would say my biggest supporter is my brother. I can always count on him to help me when I have a cooking video to shoot, events to prepare for, or any food related activities that happen to pop up. I feel really blessed to have such a super sibling! The thing you’re looking forward to most in 2021? I can’t wait to go to as many seasonal restaurants as I possibly can as I road trip from tip to tip of the Island! Bring on PEI summer! Contact Chef Ilona chef.ilona.daniel@gmail.com

Foodie pleasure(s)? This is probably cliché, but whatever; it’s pizza for me! There’s nothing a slice of ‘za can’t cure. SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca



Pink Lady Gin Cocktail

INGREDIENTS 100ml London Dry Gin 4 tsp grenadine ice 1 large egg white 2 strips of pared lemon zest and two maraschino cherries, or choose your favourite garnish (optional)

METHOD Put two cocktail glasses in the fridge to chill. Pour the gin and grenadine into a cocktail shaker, then fill with ice. Shake until the outside of the shaker feels ice-cold. Strain the mixture into a jug, discarding the ice. Tip the egg white into the shaker and pour in the gin mixture. Shake well until the egg white is frothy – you can also do this in a food processor or using a hand blender, if you like. Pour the cocktail into the prepared glasses. Skewer the cherries onto cocktail sticks, if using, then use to garnish the glasses along with the pared lemon zest, if you like. 14

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F O O D & D R I N K - A N N ’ S FAV O U R I T E F I N D S Kitchens Unlimited, House of Kitchens & Fine Dining, features a wide selection of stylish, functional topquality kitchenware, from brand names you know and love.

Kitchens Unlimited Confederation Court Mall 134 Kent Street, Charlottetown 902.566.2252

Ann Chaisson, Manager

Molcajete Mortar and Pestle This authentic Mexican-style stone mortar and pestle is great for making guacamole, pesto, fresh and dried herb mixes, dips and more. Well balanced and suitable for rigorous pounding and grinding.

Joseph Joseph‰ Helix Garlic Press A unique twisting mechanism allows the Helix Garlic Press from Joseph Joseph‰ to press more garlic with less effort. The twopiece design can hold several cloves at once, and comes apart for easy cleaning.

Bench Scrapers This might be one of the least known, but the most adaptive, tool you will want to have in your kitchen. They cut, chop, lift, blend, smooth, measure and clean surfaces. They come in a number of styles - all metal, metal with measurements and black handle or wooden handle.

function & style

Decorative Metal Mesh Bowl This black decorative metal mesh bowl is perfect to add texture to any room and particularly to your kitchen as an attractive fruit or vegetable bowl. Emile Henry Pizza Stone Made of all natural materials, this pizza stone can withstand high oven temperatures. Designed for use in ovens - conventional and convection - and under the broiler, on grills; charcoal, gas or natural wood.

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Gurkensalat (German Cucumber Salad) Cucumbers are a refreshing ingredient for a spring salad. Light, fresh and amazingly yummy, this salad is a great choice for a light lunch, or add it as a side instead of the traditional leafy greens.


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INGREDIENTS 2 large cucumbers, sliced thin ½ red onion, sliced thin (optional) 1 teaspoon salt ½ cup sour cream 2 tablespoons white sugar 2 tablespoons white vinegar 1 teaspoon dried dill 1 teaspoon dried parsley 1 teaspoon paprika METHOD Spread cucumbers and onion on a platter; season with salt and let rest for 30 minutes. Squeeze excess moisture from cucumbers. Stir sour cream, sugar, vinegar, dill, and parsley together in a large bowl. Fold cucumber and onion slices into the sour cream mixture. Refrigerate eight hours to overnight; garnish with paprika to serve.

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SPROUTS By Story Sheidow


www.pei-living.ca SPRING 2021 W O M E N I N B U S I N E S S 2 0 2 1


irst of all, why eat sprouts? Despite their tiny size, sprouts offer a multitude of health benefits. They are among the richest foods in vitamins and minerals, with high levels of folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin k, to name just a few. They actually even contain higher amounts of these nutrients than the full-grown versions of the same plants! But how is that possible? Sprouting grains, legumes, and beans can counteract the effects of certain anti-nutrients found naturally in the foods – which lock up important minerals. Sprouting often enhances the nutritional value of grains, increasing not only their vitamin and mineral content, but also their protein levels. By simply sprouting beans and legumes before cooking them, you can make them into a superfood! Sprouts also contain an unusually high level of enzymes, which can aid in digestion, gas, and bloating. They’re rich in dietary fibre, and low in calories – perfect if you’re trying to watch what you eat, while still ensuring you’re getting all the nutrients you need. But what do you do with sprouts? Many seeds, beans, and legumes can be sprouted, and they all have several uses. Sprouts that are most commonly seen in the grocery store, usually in a little bag or plastic package, are generally sprouted alfalfa or mung beans. These types of sprouts are great on sandwiches, in salads, or even eaten

alone as a light, crunchy snack. When most people think of sprouts, they think of these small, curly plants. But what about sprouted grains and beans? Where would one find those at a store? Sprouted grains and beans are most commonly found in specialtybaked goods and other prepared foods. Sprouted breads are usually found in the health food section, and are much like regular breads, but with a higher nutrient density due to the sprouted grains used in place of standard ones. The extra time and care taken to sprout foods before using them is well worth it when you consider the increased nutritional trade-off, and sprouted breads are a great example of this.

DAILY RINSING Rinse the seeds by pouring a small amount of cold water into the jar, swirling, and dumping the excess into the sink. Leave the jar tilted on its side (propping it in a bowl works nicely) to allow any leftover water to drain. Rinse your seeds twice daily, and leave the sprouting seeds on a countertop or shelf with ample airflow. Your sprouts will be ready to eat in three to ten days (depending on the variety). Once completely sprouted, dry on a cloth or paper towel for 30-60 minutes, then transfer to a container and store in the fridge for future use. Your sprouts will keep for up to a week!



The best part about sprouts is that they’re incredibly simple to grow, and can be cultivated easily in your kitchen. All you need is an empty jar (preferably with a wide mouth), some cheesecloth or cotton, and some sprouting seeds (these can be found at most local seed stores, such as Veseys, or any health food store).

Alfalfa: small, crunchy sprouts, mild in flavour.

Place one to two tablespoons of the seeds into the jar, and soak for several hours (soaking time varies slightly for each seed type). Once soaked, apply the cloth over the mouth of the jar (affixing with an elastic band), and rinse as per the directions right.

Broccoli: thick, hearty sprouts with a nutty, spicy flavour (similar to radish). Mung bean: very thick and juicy, with a very mild flavour. Cooks well. Radish: fast growing sprouts with a spicy, hot flavour. Note: Although not common, sprouts can potentially be a carrier of harmful bacteria such as e.coli. Sprouting at home greatly reduces this risk. However, it is not recommended to consume sprouts while pregnant, as a safety precaution.

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COVID-19 has irrevocably altered the way that we do business. Some small businesses have floundered, while others have completely reinvented themselves. As a result, they’re working hard to adapt - reconfiguring their offerings to boost revenues and planning new strategies.


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unexpected has forced many to reevaluate plans, practices and procedures, yet one of the advantages of being a small business is the ability to more easily lean into, embrace and adapt to change. For many, the shortterm alternate plans or adjustments are fast becoming the realities of the foreseeable future. Here are five trends that have impacted small business. Freelancing has surged. As people rely on contract work to replace lost jobs, the number of freelancers is growing steadily. Studies also show that women lost jobs at a faster rate than men during 2020, and are more likely to pursue full-time freelance careers due to autonomy and flexible schedules. Cashless commerce is growing. To reduce person-to-person contact, businesses of all kinds are discouraging or completely eliminating cash payment options in favour of card or digital payments. Ongoing shifts toward e-commerce, digital payments (including contactless), instant payments and cash displacement have all been significantly boosted in the past year. As consumers seek efficiency and convenience, there has also been a boost in digital payments via payment platforms such as Square a crucial assist to help small businesses stay competitive. Demand is up for digital tools. As small businesses lean more on online business functions and/or e-commerce during social isolation,

they’re calling for leading-edge tools that can help them navigate the logistics. Woman-owned businesses are often primary customers for financial management tools - studies show they’re 43 per cent more likely than male business owners to be concerned that limited access to funds could hurt their businesses. Many small businesses plan to expand through digital and related technology as a response to COVID-19. In fact, many businesses have already added ways to deliver products and services digitally. Businesses are diversifying. Many small businesses have devised new offerings as previous income streams dwindled. For example, hotels are now offering day-rate rooms for people who need to work remotely, distilleries are producing hand sanitizer in addition to spirits and restaurants are offering better, easier take-out options. Difficult times often lead to changes in the way the world operates. Develop products and services that not only solve today’s challenges, but will also thrive in the new, post-difficulttimes world. Virtual experiences are expanding. Companies have transformed in-person events into digital experiences. From virtual happy hours, to podcast product releases, to YouTube customer videos, everything is going online. The real opportunity is to somehow provide the experience and connectivity of a former live event to a virtual one that actually can sustain itself over time, even after the end of the pandemic. As consumers, we have a responsibility to support locally-owned businesses during exceptional circumstances like the past year. When you shop locally, everyone wins!

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It’s no secret that the past twelve months have been unprecedented, and for many local businesses, the future is still unsure.


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Celebrating Island Women in Business In April 2020, the Island had 3,057 continuing businesses, according to Statistics Canada. That’s compared to 3,334 one year earlier. This trend continued across the country, the Statistics Canada report says. Almost 90,000 businesses closed across Canada in April 2020, more than twice the level reported in April 2019. By Jacqui Chaisson


his is the fourth annual Women in Business feature that PEI Living has published, but this year, it seems more relevant than ever before. It’s a fact that Canadian women’s businesses have suffered economically from the pandemic. However, they actually fared marginally better than other business groups by responding quicker and in more innovative ways. We can talk about the statistics, but it’s the real-life experiences of woman entrepreneurs that tell the true story of how Island business owners, men and women, banded together to mentor and support each other throughout the crisis. Female entrepreneurs seek out support from each other through social media groups and organizations that cater to woman business owners. One resource is the Facebook group “Empower PEI Community,” led by Ashley Green. As of right now, the group is sitting at over 1300 members and growing. In 2020, it changed its name from “Girl Bosses of PEI” to “Empower PEI” and registered as a nonprofit, opening the group up to a larger membership. “We’re looking to support traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs and managers in the 2SLGBTQIA+ and

BIPOC communities,” says Green, “in addition to women in business.” Group members shared their resources, helped each other navigate the available assistance, prepared operational plans, and contributed to making decisions on how to move forward. “Last March, just before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, the group was eerily quiet for a few days. Everyone was thinking it, but no one wanted to be the first to mention it,” says Green. “I made a post asking how members were doing, and what changes they were making to prepare, and that’s when the floodgates opened. From there, it [COVID-19] was declared a pandemic, and the foundation of support was already well-established.”

virtual and small group gatherings,” says Green. “Currently we are working on producing a series of ‘After Hours Coffee Chats’ at a variety of local businesses across the Island. We’re hoping to hold our first one in March for about 20 attendees, and will be making an announcement soon.” We hope the women featured in this issue inspire you to support their ventures and other locally owned businesses.

With this feature, PEI Living introduces you to outstanding women who have shown a true entrepreneurial spirit and persevered throughout these uncertain times. With COVID still lingering, especially in neighbouring provinces, groups like Empower PEI have been hesitant to plan in-person events. “Normally we would host a full day conference in March for 60 to 80 attendees, but this year, we’re looking [at] more


Ashley Green, leader of Facebook group “Empower PEI Community” (photo Oakar Myint)

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WHERE RELAXATION AND REJUVENATION MEET Karen Murphy keeps Islanders feeling their best with yoga studio and full-service spa

By Alana Lauren Photos Sara Bakker

“I have two incredibly talented teams, and I’m so appreciative of everyone’s support.” - Karen Murphy

MODO YOGA Karen Murphy was living out in Alberta when she discovered hot yoga and made it her mission to bring it home to PEI. Now her Charlottetown studio, Modo Yoga, is “like a second home” to Islanders craving the steamy benefits of stress reduction, improved strength, and flexibility. “Hot yoga is for people who want the mindfulness of yoga but also the sweat and the cleansing the heat provides,” says Murphy, adding that hot yoga attracts everyone from runners and athletes to newly-retired folks. “A

higher temperature means your body has to work harder to cool you down, so there are great cardiovascular benefits.” The studio is heated by infrared panels that allow for deep, safe stretching and promote detoxification of the skin, blood, and muscles through sweat. But no matter the studio temperature, peaceful vibes are always flowing within Modo Yoga’s own little community. The studio’s Energy Exchange team helps to keep everything sanitized (in exchange for free yoga classes), and quite a few of the students have gone on to become trained yoga teachers themselves.


Along with yoga and hot yoga classes, the studio also offers fitness classes like barre and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). While the pandemic’s mandatory closures were difficult for everyone, Murphy says everyone is now “more grateful than ever” to be exercising together in person — and using yoga as a way to maintain a sense of inner peace. “The more we can be present and aware of our breath, the more peace we have inside ourselves and to bring to our families. But yoga is a practice. It’s not about being perfect,” says Murphy. “I’m always admiring our students’ dedication to the practice. Many of them say it’s their ‘medicine,’ and it’s so important for them to take this time for themselves.”

PURE SPA Murphy was already a believer in the restorative power of yoga and decided to incorporate even more ways to help Islanders feel refreshed and rejuvenated — all under the same roof as Modo Yoga. Sitting above the sparkling Charlottetown waterfront, Pure Spa is designed as a calm and welcoming space where people can walk in,

take a deep breath, and forget about everything on their to-do list. “From the moment you come in, we’re focusing on your relaxation — allowing you to really treat yourself,” says Murphy. The full-service spa specializes in providing customized experiences for each client, with services like manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyelash enhancements (lifts, tints, extensions), and facials with Organic Eminence Skin Care. Massage is one of Pure Spa’s most popular services, with a full lineup that includes everything from therapeutic massage to prenatal and couples’ massages. Since Islanders aren’t able to fly south this spring in search of sunshine, Murphy is expecting a lot of bookings for their SunnaTan organic spray tans — each custom-mixed based on the person’s skin tone for a golden, naturallooking glow. And while the ongoing pandemic has significantly cut down on outof-province spa guests, she says it’s given many Islanders a newfound appreciation for prioritizing their own self-care and indulging in special treatments that will help them feel their best. She’s also hoping for a busy


local wedding season, as the rebooked 2020 couples and eager 2021 couples celebrate their love here at home. Running two businesses in the same building certainly keeps Murphy busy, but she says she wouldn’t have it any other way — and never stops dreaming up new ideas to make them even better. “This is like my second home, surrounded by people I love,” says Murphy. “I have two incredibly talented teams, and I’m so appreciative of everyone’s support.”

Modo Yoga/Pure Spa 4 Prince St, Charlottetown Modo Yoga 902.894.9642 info@modoyogacharlottetown.com www.modoyoga.com Pure Spa 902.894.9642 info@purespapei.com www.purespapei.com

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Provincial Realty’s Thamara Paparoni This local Realtor‰ breezes through buying, selling, “flipping,” and more By Rebecca Spinner Photos Sara Bakker


rovincial Realty’s Thamara Paparoni has done plenty of homebuying and selling on her own behalf—and not just for properties she personally planned to reside in long-term.

For those “staging” their home—either for sale, or as a rental property—she offers advice on creating an elegant interior. “Choose the right materials, and finishes that suit the property. Keep it simple.”

“My husband and I are in the Airbnb business, but we also have rental properties, which are amazing investment opportunities,” she explains. “Since we moved to PEI ten years ago, we’ve flipped four houses.”

Before moving to PEI, Thamara lived in England and Venezuela; today, she’s fluently bilingual. “Even though I’ve been in Canada most of my life, my mother language is Spanish, which I still get to practice often,” she says.

PEI’s “Potential” Given Thamara’s own adventurous approach to real estate, she can easily get on the same page as clients planning a flip or short-term rental, as well as those marketing or purchasing a personal or family residence. Either way, she’s less focused on a home’s first-glance aesthetics than its underlying qualities—which can help her clients hone in on spectacular properties. “When looking for a home that needs TLC, but has potential, I always tell my clients to make sure the structure, roof, siding and windows are in good shape,” explains Thamara (who says an adequate home inspection is also vital). It’s been well over a decade since she started applying her ability to detect “potential” to her personal purchases. “I bought my first home in Ontario fifteen years ago, and it needed a lot of TLC—from paint to floors to opening walls!”

“My Goal is to Help” Thamara’s confidence, expertise, and especially commitment stand out as she describes her approach to her work. “I put my mind and heart into helping my clients,” she says. “My goal is to help people, educate them on the market, guide them and listen well to their needs.” “What I love the most about my job is helping people,” she adds—so she’s perfectly suited to steering Islanders through everything required to create a new home or proudly welcome visitors.

“Thamara was the perfect agent for our first-time home buying experience. After taking her time to get to know us and our musthaves for a house, she showed us the perfect place and then helped us get it the very next day! She guided us through all of the important steps, supported us throughout the process, and never once felt pushy. [...] She made time no matter what, was never too busy, and even checked in on us after we had settled in to our new place.” - Heather McIsaac

Thamara Paparoni - Provincial Realty | 18 Great George Street, Charlottetown 902.316.1623 | thamara.paparoni@provincialrealty.ca | www.thamarapaparoni.com

“The Place Where Our Neighbours Gather” The Pearl Eatery’s Tanyia Kingyens on Her Family’s Path Through 2020 By Rebecca Spinner Photos Sara Bakker


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few years ago, the Pearl Eatery’s owners began reshaping the Pearl for the Island community. “We love that people see us as a special occasion restaurant, but we believe that the Pearl should not simply be reserved for special occasions,” explains Tanyia Kingyens. As the Pearl’s co-owners, she and her husband Rod Kingyens also wanted to welcome more PEI residents to the restaurant’s dining room, rather than focusing on tourists. They created new features targeted at locals—such as a monthly seasonal prix-fixe menu—and Islanders responded eagerly. “Guests loved knowing what the experience cost before making a reservation,” explains Tanyia, who estimates that the percentage of local guests at the Pearl Eatery doubled in 2019. During the 2019/2020 off-season, however, Tanyia and Rod learned that their grandson Camden was fighting brain cancer. As they devoted their energies to three-year-old Camden and his parents, Matt and Victoria, the COVID-19 pandemic placed additional strain on preparations for the Pearl’s 2020 summer season.

Last March, the Pearl’s website stated that the restaurant would not reopen as usual in June 2020. “The choice to remain closed last season was a difficult one,” Tanyia admits. “We notified our team members first, then made the public announcement. March 2020 was the first time that I shared our family’s battle on the Pearl’s business page.” Although she acknowledges that she had concerns about closing the Pearl, “Those days when we were able to support our son and his family were precious.” As the Island community learned of the crisis, their kindness—and kindness beyond the Island’s borders—became a constant in the Kingyens’ lives. “We were overwhelmed by the love and care that were poured out on our family. Gifts of food, toys, personal care items, financial support for Matt and Victoria, and prayers from every corner of the earth.” Camden eventually required multiple types of treatment at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, and the COVID-19 pandemic complicated the family’s prospective accommodations. “A hotel in downtown Toronto during COVID-19 seemed like a pretty frightening scenario,” says Tanyia. Before long, however, another Island family touched base to lend the

The Pearl Eatery | 7792 Cavendish Road, North Rustico |

902.963.2111 |


Kingyens their son’s vacant apartment. “We were granted the use of that apartment for the entire time at Sick Kids—two and a half months,” Tanyia marvels. “It was only two blocks from the hospital.” In early December of 2020, Camden Kingyens “left his earthly parents’ loving embrace, and is now safe in the arms of Jesus,” Tanyia says. She calls her grandson “a beautiful, happy, joyful and mildly mischievous little boy.” As Tanyia discusses her family’s journey, her thankfulness is palpable. While her decades as a businesswoman honed her selfreliance, she explains, “In difficult times, we tend to withdraw and try to solve our problems ourselves. If we share our struggles, our neighbours will work together day and night to help us. This island is not just a community; we are family.” Tanyia and Rod are preparing to reopen the Pearl Eatery for summer 2021. With chef team Josh Bird and Rachel O’Shea on board, the Kingyens are fine-tuning changes to ensure that the Pearl is COVID-safe, and Tanyia reveals that they’re planning to add a daytime patio cafe. “We’re so full of gratitude for all that our community has done for us,” she says. “We want to be the place where our neighbors gather, day and night.”


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“The more transactions I worked through and the more clients I helped, the more I learned, as the industry grows and evolves, so do I.” - Robin Gamble



PEI Realtor‰ Robin Gamble, there’s nothing quite like a referral to prove she’s on the right path and doing the right things for her clients. “I have a lot of repeat clients at this point, and clients that refer friends and family to me,” she says. “Honestly, the best compliment someone can give me as a businesswoman, is a referral. Word of mouth is a powerful tool here in PEI.” Now five years into her career in real estate, Gamble says integrity, perseverance, and a dedication to helping her clients achieve their goals have been at the foundation of her work from the beginning. She’s gained a ton of experience and knowledge in a relatively short time by working with a wide range of clients and helping them navigate the complex world of buying and selling properties. “The more transactions I worked through and the more clients I helped, the more I learned,” she recalls. “As the industry grows and evolves, so do I.” That growth was recently recognized in a big way when Gamble received Royal LePage’s 2020 Diamond Award for real estate agents in the top three per cent nationwide. It’s a significant accomplishment, especially considering

there are approximately 18,000 Royal LePage Realtors‰ in Canada.

so all they have to do is worry about packing.”

“When I first started in real estate, receiving the Diamond Award was a dream,” she says, noting that being able to achieve that dream is actually a credit to her clients. “Without them trusting me and allowing me to help them, this never would have happened.”

It can all add up to some long days, but Gamble wouldn’t have it any other way and said her family – which includes her husband, twin 13-year-old sons, and her parents – have been a steady support system throughout her journey in real estate. “I’m so thankful for the support and understanding from my family,” she says “Real estate has taught me so much about who I am as a person and how I want to spend my professional life moving forward. I do appreciate the flexibility of being a realtor and being able to schedule time off so I can watch my kids play hockey, or so I can get them to early morning jazz band practice.”

Part of earning that trust, according to Gamble, is taking the time to educate her clients and taking care of all the details that make the buying or selling process as smooth as possible for them. “I love being the liaison throughout the transaction, being that person that my clients feel they can call anytime to ask questions or ask for help,” she says. “I do as much as I can for them,

And while being a realtor gives Gamble important flexibility with her own family, it also allows her the opportunity to help other families across PEI through one of the biggest transactions of their life. “I love the feeling on closing day when I can say, ‘the keys are yours,” she says.

Robin Gamble, Royal LePage Prince Edward Realty 902.969.5201 robingamble@royallepage.ca www.robinspeirealestate.com


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“Buying a home isn’t just a financial transaction. It involves complex factors that can benefit from a female perspective.” - Michele Mallon

“THERE ARE LOTS OF POSITIVES” How Michele Mallon Excells as A Female Realtor‰ By Rebecca Spinner Photos Story Thorburn


career on two continents, and in two fields, has provided Michele Mallon of Powerhouse Realty with a uniquely universal viewpoint on female entrepreneurship. “There are lots of positives to being a ‘woman in business,’” says Mallon, noting that realty is a profession in which businesswomen can thrive. “On PEI, there are more women working as realtors than men. I’d say that’s because of the work-life flexibility.” Professional independence and self-direction can be preferable—or necessary—for female entrepreneurs and businesswomen, Mallon says. She singles out the value of realistic personal schedules, and of enabling businesswomen to work from home. “Traditionally women have taken on the primary caregiver role, which can limit their working ability, as it’s difficult to balance daycare and school hours,” notes Mallon, who is a mother. “COVID-19 highlighted the need for a change in how we view work hours, but I think women have been asking for these changes for a long time.”

Mallon points out other qualities that led her, as a businesswoman, toward realty. Having pursued a legal career before arriving in PEI, she appreciates that selling homes depends on strengths like empathy and communication. “As a female realtor, I’m able to connect easily with the reasons behind buying a first home, upgrading for family needs, and downsizing,” she explains. “Buying a home isn’t just a financial transaction. It involves complex factors that can benefit from a female perspective.” Pivoting to realty also allowed for independence that didn’t just apply to Mallon’s schedule or worksite. “The biggest change [in realty] is that I’m self-employed. That freedom allows me to be creative with marketing, and to test new ideas without having to seek approval first.” Mallon, once based in England, praises PEI’s resources for female entrepreneurs. She mentions her appreciation for the PEI Business Women’s Association (PEIBWA) in particular. “Platforms like this

[PEIBWA] have allowed me to ask questions and seek help.” An important individual connection has also buoyed Mallon’s success at Powerhouse Realty: “My broker, Patty Campbell, has definitely been my role model and cheerleader,” Mallon smiles. “It’s inspiring to have someone in my life who can combine the best qualities of being a woman and a business professional.” In 2020, Mallon notes, the Powerhouse Realty team offered both self-isolation tools for clients (Mallon’s “360 video” home tours will continue in 2021) and support for PEI residents (“Helping Hand bags” for vulnerable locals). She’s encountered nervousness about the economics of the coming year, Mallon says, but her tone is reassuring as she discusses her own expectations. “We’re seeing an increase of people moving to the Island. The housing market is likely to remain strong through 2021.”

Michele Mallon, Powerhouse Realty PEI Inc. 902.940.7382 michele@powerhouserealtypei.com www.powerhouserealtypei.com


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There’s no doubt the pandemic has hit small businesses hard. Even in its early weeks, February to April 2020, the number of active businesses plummeted and unfortunately, the consequences of the early shutdowns impacted womanowned business. Does that bad news mean that now is the wrong time to consider starting a new business? Not necessarily. Opportunities exist for small businesses today, including support and funding for start-ups.

If you want to start a small business, here are steps to get you started. 1. DO YOUR RESEARCH First, make sure you understand the current market for your business. This step is crucial to turn an idea into a fullfledged business plan. Ask questions like: • Is this product or service in demand right now? • Are there similar products and services out there, and are they succeeding? • Can this product or service be delivered safely for employees and customers? • Could the business support rapid growth if it really took off? Ask other business owners about their challenges and rewards to explore whether this is a good option for you. Use market analysis tools recommended by resources such as the Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) to get to know the market for your business. CBDC PEI is part of Community Business Development Corporations, a network of independent, non-profit organizations that work in cooperation with all levels of government and the private sector to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. There are 41 CBDC’s serving Atlantic Canada, which operates with support from the Federal Government through the national Community Futures program and is managed by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in Atlantic Canada. CBDC PEI is made up of three distinct branches : CBDC Central PEI (based in Summerside), CBDC Eastern PEI (based in Montague), and CBDC Western PEI (based in Alberton). The three regions offer various supports for entrepreneurs from financing to mentorship, to training. One of the main ways we can assist with the development, expansion, and

modernization of small businesses is through our General Business Loans, which offer loans of up to $150,000 with competitive interest rates and repayment terms. Since COVID-19, CBDC’s have also begun offering several COVID-relief funding programs such as the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund and the Urban Main Street Loan Initiative, helping us focus on assisting with economic recovery in the midst of a pandemic. Through the Central PEI branch, the organization also manages the Impact Atlantic program in the province, which provides financing and training supports for urban business owners. Through these programs and more, CBDC’s in PEI work each day to build client success in PEI’s entrepreneurial ecosystem! Find and contact your local office today at www.cbdc.ca. 2. WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN No business can find funding, investors or partners without a solid business plan. Learning to write a comprehensive plan also forces you to fully think through every aspect of your proposed idea. The CBDC is a great resource to research types of business plans. Enlist the help of other business owners during the process if you can to understand how their plans helped them and what to avoid.

4. DEVELOP A MARKETING PLAN Creating a brand identity and communicating it well is crucial to success. Consider hiring or contracting marketing services to help you choose your business name, create a logo, build your website and develop a strategic marketing plan to get the word out about your business. 5. TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS Dotting the Is and crossing the Ts is necessary for any business. Details include choosing your business location and registering your business, applying for all the required licenses and permits, including tax IDs - plus opening your business bank account. Also, consulting an accountant with experience helping small businesses can ensure you have your business and financial ducks in a row. Starting a small business is a daunting challenge, but it can also be a rewarding opportunity. Taking the time to fully explore and utilize all the resources at your disposal can help ensure that your new business will be a success. In the following pages we share the stories of three inspiring business owners who attribute their success to the resources and expertise of their local CBDC.

3. FUND YOUR BUSINESS Every business needs capital to get started. Your business plan’s financial section should provide a clear idea of the capital you need to launch. Most businesses rely on multiple financial sources, including: • Personal funds • Bank loans or personal loans • Investors • CBDC

CBDC East 540 Main Street, Montague 902.838.4030 CBDC Central PEI 11 Water Street, Summerside 902.888.3793 West Prince Ventures Ltd. 455 Main St, Alberton 902.853.3636

www.cbdc.ca WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2021

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East Coast Exotics

SCALED FOR SUCCESS By Story Sheidow Photos Evan Ceretti

Ever since she was a small child, Rachel Hoogerbrugge was fascinated with reptiles, falling in love with bearded dragons and eventually breeding them for nine years while living in Ottawa.

▲ Jason and Rachel Hoogerbrugge

It was through this that she even found her now husband, who worked as a feeder breeder and distributor (someone who breeds and sells rats, mice and insects for reptiles) in the area. The couple relocated to PEI in 2012 and began their business as a feeder distributors, expanding under the East Coast Exotics moniker in 2016 to eventually include breeding a wide range of live feeder varieties. “We grow our own crickets, mice, rats and fruit flies. We produce most of our own mealworms and some superworms and hornworms as well,” says Hoogerbrugge. She strongly recommends anyone looking to add an exotic pet to their collection source from a reputable breeder. Hoogerbrugge even organizes the annual PEI Reptile and Exotic Expo, which connects people with breeders from across the Maritimes.

East Coast Exotics feeders are currently available in PEI, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, with plans in the works to expand to the Ontario market as well. “CBDC helped us with our initial loan to get things up and running, as well as with part of an expansion project in 2019. Helen Antle, at CBDC East, was easy to work with, supportive, and knowledgeable about other supports and services on the Island for new businesses,” says Hoogerbrugge. And aside from the financial aspects of the business, Antle was helpful in other ways as well. “Helen has been great to let us know of programs and opportunities available in the community, such as a panel discussion I participated in for new businesses.” With so much experience under their belt, East Coast Exotics is poised for success in their market.


East Coast Exotics 915 Milburn Rd, Morell info@eastcoastexotics.ca 902.213.7540 www.eastcoastexotics.ca

CBDC East 540 Main Street, Montague 902.838.4030 www.cbdc.ca SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca



SISTERLY SWEETS Jane & Sue Chocolate

By Story Sheidow Photos Story Thorburn Photography

Sue had a restaurant and tea room in Hamilton, Ontario, and for a time, Jane worked there, too. “We went our separate ways, but throughout our lives we dreamed of having a business together sharing our love of good food,” says Jane Years later, sisters Jane Woodley and Sue Humby are now both living in PEI, and have finally done just that. The new shop for Jane & Sue Chocolate is beautifully modern against the backdrop of Stanley Bridge’s rural charm. The shop feels contemporary, with a touch of whimsy - with modern décor in the shape of hand-painted bonbons, and finely crafted chocolate bars. There was most certainly a spark of magic when Jane and Sue chose to take on chocolate making in 2020. Their original business, specializing in breads and pastries, ended unexpectedly when Jane developed a severe wheat allergy. The sisters decided to pivot, and focus instead solely on chocolate, but do it the right way. “We use many local and organic ingredients. The chocolate that we


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purchase supports the farmers who grow the cacao. Much is organic, fair trade, or part of a cacao trace program,” says Jane. And not only is their chocolate of the highest quality, it’s also absolutely stunning. Sue, a graduate from the Culinary Institute of Canada’s Pastry Arts program, is the mastermind behind much of their chocolate work. Jane is the master of flavours. Together they have a pretty and delicious product. “We’ve been playing with new vegan recipes for the chocolate, so we can offer more dairy-free options,” Jane says. “But we also love the traditional comforts, like salted caramels and peanut butter cups.” Peanut butter cups, Jane’s idea, are their best selling item. “There is so much more we can learn and do,” she adds.

“A couple of years ago, we were able to work with someone from the business advisory program to gain insight into costing and pricing. This year, we were able to secure a loan to assist with a portion of our renovation costs, and last March 13, we attended the Premier Entrepreneurial Event ‘Building Five Star Business Success,’ which included a talk by Chef Michael Smith,” says Jane. This event was particularly timely, as it was just before COVID-19 lockdowns impacted the Island. “Michael offered a perfectly well-timed and inspirational talk on the importance of a strong vision for your business, while being adaptable in order to survive, all the while maintaining your integrity and the quality of your business and product,” adds Sue. Jane & Sue Chocolate is available at stores across the Island, and at their new home in Stanley Bridge.

The CBDC has helped them in many ways - with mentoring programs, financial advice and support, and events to network with other entrepreneurs. WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2021

Jane & Sue Chocolate 4880 St Marys Rd, Breadalbane 902.439.5561 heysplendid@gmail.com www.janeandsuechocolate.com

CBDC Central PEI 11 Water Street, Summerside 902.888.3793 www.cbdc.ca

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Wee the West Childcare Centre


When Kati Melville graduated from Three Oaks in 2011, she already had a clear sight of what she wanted to focus on next. Heading straight to Holland College, Melville took their Early Childhood Care and Education program, and following that received her Bachelor of Child and Family Studies at UPEI in 2016. Now, only five years later, Melville is the owner, operator and director of Wee the West, a childcare centre in Bloomfield Corner in Western PEI. With 14 employees, the centre services regions from Tyne Valley all the way to Tignish. “I want to give the community a place for their children to come and

grow into the young individuals they are destined to be and give children and families a safe place for them to be themselves without any judgment; just love, support, and encouragement,” Melville says. When Melville was diagnosed with a memory disorder in 2014, it was a reminder for her to work hard, but be passionate, kind and remember that we are all human – something she embraces at Wee the West each day with the centre’s child-led, playbased curriculum. “We believe that play is learning. Each educator sets up their classroom to meet the needs and interests of the children daily.

The experiences offered within the classrooms are geared to each child’s developmental stage. We use the ‘ELF’ Early Learning Framework to document children’s learning, and what they are doing throughout their time with us at the centre,” she says. “My favourite part of working in childcare is the fulfillment of achievement,” says Melville. “Knowing that you’re contributing to the growth of these children that are in our care, that will be running our world in the next 20 to 25 years. It’s a career that’s full of rewards, as we are a safe place for each of these children to grow and learn.”

“I want to give the community a place for their children to come and grow into the young individuals they are destined to be and give children and families a safe place for them to be themselves without any judgment; just love, support, and encouragement.” - Kati Melville

The passion Melville feels for Wee the West is obvious, and she’s thankful for the help she’s received along the way to make her vision come to fruition. “The CBDC helped my dreams come true – to inspire children and families. I reached out with my business plan, and Maxine with CBDC West and her team were there the whole way to ensure I had everything I needed, and more. They set me up with the financial support I needed to get the centre into operation,” says Melville. “I absolutely recommend anyone who is needing financial support to start their business to contact the CBDC. They made my dreams come true; I’m confident they will do everything they can for you too.”

Wee the West Child Care Centre 44 Gard Road, Alberton 902.726.2126 weethewest@gmail.com

West Prince Ventures Ltd. 455 Main St, Alberton 902.853.3636 www.cbdc.ca WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2021

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“This is my happy place” Meet a few of the exceptional women working behind the scenes of Confederation Centre of the Arts By Alana Lauren Photos Sara Bakker ▲ Deborah Vail, Graphic Designer


eborah Vail had a fast-moving corporate design career in Calgary and a nanny to help raise her young family, but traded everything to move east to PEI. She soon found the job she continues to adore and a peaceful life on the ocean. Fresh from a city of a million people, she couldn’t believe a city the size of Charlottetown was home to an aweinspiring facility like Confederation Centre of the Arts. “I was shocked. I remember thinking ‘Oh wow, I’ll actually be able to survive small-town life now,’” recalls Vail. It was 14 years ago that a door opened, and her career headed in a bold new


direction becoming the only graphic designer at the Centre—a memorial complex to Canada’s founding and a national arts centre. Vail now spends her days designing everything from three-story banners to musical theatre and gallery promotions to corporate communications. She studied visual communications at the Alberta University of the Arts and wasn’t clear how her corporate experience would apply to Island living, but has no doubts the Centre is exactly where she was meant to be. “It’s a dream job for any designer,” says Vail. “It would be very hard to replace what I have here.”

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She loves that the Centre’s staff quadruples each summer as performers and guest artists fill the halls with music, dance, and theatre, and appreciates getting to work in such a warm, collaborative environment. “We have so many great women here at the Centre, and I’m honoured to be one of them,” says Vail. “This is my happy place.” Confederation Centre of the Arts takes up a full city block, both above and below the ground, and it requires a lot of organization to keep everything running smoothly. It’s Chief Operations Officer Kelly Dawson who manages the Centre’s many systems, using her software and IT background to

▲ Kelly Dawson, Chief Operations Officer tackle everything from troubleshooting fire safety and electrical upgrades across the complex to installing new generators below the library. Meanwhile in the Centre’s art gallery, it’s conservator technician Jill McRae who’s busily preserving, restoring, and installing its magnificent 17,000+ piece collection. Using an arsenal of levels, hammers, drills, and cutting tools, she’s trained in elevated platform work so she can hover near the Centre’s 30-foot ceilings to complete massive installations. Armed with a double major in history and anthropology and a minor in fine art history from the University of Prince Edward Island and a collection

▲ Jill McRae, Conservator Technician management and conservation degree from Fleming College in Peterborough, Ont., McRae worked in museums across Canada before returning home to the Island. She’d hoped to volunteer at the Centre, but wound up being “in the right place at the right time” and arrived just as its conservator was retiring after three decades of service. “I grew up on PEI and left a few times — for school and work — but I always wanted to come back. I love it here and we’re so privileged to have such a large gallery in Charlottetown.” McRae admits she used to feel nervous about installing shows on her own. In fact, she was once consulting on paintings in a church and a contractor

assumed she was “someone’s daughter, tagging along.” But soon she realized her logic skills and eye for detail meant she was more than qualified for the task. “I don’t always look like what people are expecting, but I don’t mind that anymore. Sometimes it’s even more possible than you think to carve out space for yourself, and do what you love.”

Confederation Centre of the Arts 145 Richmond Street, Charlottetown 902.628.1864 info@confederationcentre.com www.confederationcentre.com

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Fixing Your Tech Problems


Lori Ashley Contact Information (a Public Mobile reseller) 61 Capital Dr, Charlottetown 902.218.6344 crackeddeviceco@gmail.com www.crackeddevice.ca

“I knew this was a fantastic opportunity with a lot of room for growth, both for the business and me.”


ive years ago, Lori Ashley was enjoying an evening with friends, when the conversation drifted to the struggles that come with a broken cell phone. “We were talking about how our friend had broken her phone earlier in the week and how much it costs to replace it, all her data being lost and the amount of landfill waste,” says Ashley. “We knew that there were a few people repairing phones in their basements in their spare time, but there wasn’t a mainstream, well-known option for repair.” They began to discuss the merits of a brick-and-mortar repair store, namely saving money for people and keeping broken items from ending up in


landfills. That night, Cracked Device Co. was born. The timing was just right. The need for cell repair was rising, no one else was offering the service, and Ashley was looking for a new challenge. “I had been a stay at home mom for the past seven years, and both kids were now in school,” she says. “I always had an interest in the tech field and enjoyed working with my hands, taking things apart and putting them back together. I knew this was a fantastic opportunity with a lot of room for growth, both for the business and me.” Ashley has grown the business over the last five years with word of mouth advertising, social media presence

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and some really clever marketing. And while the logo “Mr. Crackers” may lead you to think they just fix broken screens, Ashley and her team offer other services as well. “We are always happiest when we are able to help someone, whether it is a cracked screen, degraded battery, charging issues, data recovery or moving data from one device to another,” she says. “We are here to help!”

By Kristen Johnson Photos Evan Ceretti

Giving Back to Rural Communities ROCKY BEACH SOAP Owner/Operator

Stephanie Compton Contact Information


Goat milk is a traditional ingredient in natural skin care. The sea moss and goat milk create soap with a mild, creamy lather.


tephanie Compton didn’t create Rocky Beach Soaps, but she is part of the story. Like all good stories passed through generations, Stephanie was taught how to make soap by a family friend, Cindy Rice of KettleGrove Soapworks. When you use Rocky Beach Soaps, you become part of the story too, told through generations of resourceful farm women who gathered raw ingredients from nature. “We make a soap gentle enough for a baby, yet completely effective at washing away the salt, dirt and sweat of a hard day’s work in rural Prince Edward Island,” says Compton. Rocky Beach Soaps are made from the sea and the land. “We gather sea plants along the north shore of our family farm, Rocky Beach Farms, in Savage

Harbour. Sea moss harvest has a fabled history on Prince Edward Island.” she says. “Traditionally it was used as a natural thickener in foods, but the benefits of sea plants in skin care are our best kept secret. Sea moss creates a gel, much like aloe vera, that is rich with proteins, minerals and vitamins to protect and restore moisture on the skin.” They also use farm fresh goat milk supplied from a neighbouring homestead. Goat milk is a traditional ingredient in natural skin care. The sea moss and goat milk create soap with a mild, creamy lather. As part of a rural community, they help each other whenever they can. This year, proceeds from Rocky Beach


Lighthouse Soap sales will be donated to community groups to help maintain lighthouses in Atlantic Canada. Stephanie’s family has already begun this project by preserving what might be the smallest lighthouse on Prince Edward Island. “You can find our historic lighthouse, repurposed into a farm stand, at our driveway in Savage Harbour, close to the harbour it once protected.” Visit as many lighthouses as you can in your future travels and help protect them by protecting your skin with Rocky Beach Soaps made from the sea and the land.

By Alana Lauren Photos Rachel Peters SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


Staging Island Homes Sarah Waterfield


Sarah Waterfield Contact Information

“As a child, I used to pretend all the time that I lived on PEI, but never thought the dream would become a reality... The stars all aligned, though, and here we are!”


ny number of Island homes have gorgeous interiors— some created by professional designers, others by stylish homeowners. But as professional home stager Sarah Waterfield points out, even a cozy, stylish interior may not attract buyers, and the design strategies that lead to sales are sometimes unexpected.

sarah@modernhousestaging.com 902.330.6776

completing programs at Georgian College and through the Real Estate Staging Association. The polished stagings she now creates usually draw buyers rapidly; her first PEI client received an offer at their desired price in under two days, she notes, and her previous home in Ontario “sold within an hour of hitting the market.”

“There’s staging to live, and then there’s staging to sell,” Waterfield explains. “Interior design that looks beautiful doesn’t necessarily showcase a house’s best features, or help potential buyers visualize themselves living there.”

“There seems to be a misconception that home staging is only for big cities or high-value real estate markets. That’s just not the case,” Waterfield adds, emphasizing that sellers anywhere can leverage staging to draw asking-price (or higher) offers.

Waterfield has studied interior design and home staging extensively,

While Waterfield is happy to help with properties that are already on the


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market, she says it’s savvier to arrange staging early. “That way, your real estate agent can better advise on home value.” Sarah Waterfield’s family of four settled down on the Island when her husband accepted a PEI-based job two years ago. “As a child, I used to pretend all the time that I lived on PEI, but never thought the dream would become a reality,” Waterfield admits. “The stars all aligned, though, and here we are!”

By Rebecca Spinner Photos Story Thorburn


902.628.7403 kimberly@royallepage.ca www.yourislandrealtor.ca

“There are fantastic empowered women on the island doing amazing things. I’m blessed to know them, work with them and grow with them toward a fabulous future.”


ever one to shy away from a challenge, Kimberly Rashed has been known to have her hands in a number of projects - style editor, photographer, realtor, and of course, mother of four. She has always ambitiously pushed towards the design of her life. When jobs weren’t there, she created them. When a need wasn’t fulfilled, she stepped in to fill the void. Her innovative thinking has always propelled her career choices. Dabbling in properties for the province years ago, photography and her consummate attention to detail and design were all catalysts to her career in real estate. It has long been a big

Prince Edward Realty

part of her life, later owning a number of properties with her husband, but the time had finally come to take the official career leap. All of the children would be off to school and this mom was making her time a priority.

Each and every transaction is unique in its own way. It can be quite challenging at times, but for Rashed, that’s what keeps it exciting, she thrives under pressure. Perhaps those four children prepared her for that.

With a thriving career in real estate, it’s quite clear ambition is her middle name. Rashed’s passion for real estate has flourished, the market is soaring and there’s no other place she’d rather be. “It’s so fulfilling to know that you’ve made the dream of owning a new home a reality for your client.” Says Rashed, “Working often with clients relocating or returning to the island as well as first time homebuyers.”

Rashed has built strong relationships in the business and real estate community. “There are fantastic, empowered women on the island doing amazing things.” Says Rashed, “I’m blessed to know them, work with them and grow with them toward a fabulous future.”


By Alana Lauren Photos (left): Alaina Rashed (above): Jenna Rachelle

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


Selling Lifestyles JENNIFER HUBLEY

Royal LePage Prince Edward Realty Realtor‰

Jennifer Hubley Contact Information


“People don’t just buy homes, they buy lifestyles. It is one of the largest transactions people will ever make.”


ood customer service comes naturally to Jennifer Hubley. Her past experiences in the service industry and passion for housing led her to become a real estate agent six years ago. She is passionate about her work, and is committed to helping her clients find a home they will love. “I have lived all over the country and know firsthand about buying and selling property,” she says. “From the excitement of getting your home ready to list, to house hunting, to the frustration of lower inventory in today’s hot market, I’ve seen it all.” With this knowledge, Hubley is able to educate her clients on the process of buying and selling property. 48

“I believe every person deserves to have the best experience possible. I work closely with all my clients, step by step through the entire process,” she says. “People don’t just buy homes, they buy lifestyles. It is one of the largest transactions people will ever make.”

a billet family for the Charlottetown Islanders. One player stays with them each hockey season. They have hosted three amazing players, one being William Trudeau who has been with them for the last two years.

Hubley has helped people from all walks of life find homes they love. “I have worked with newcomers to Canada, first time home buyers, repeat sellers and buyers, relocations, transfers, investors, business owners and more,” she states. Hubley lives in Stratford with her youngest son, and together they are

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By Alana Lauren Photos Story Thorburn

Finding You the Right Mortgage PREMIERE MORTGAGE CENTRE Owner/Operator

Christine Milley Contact Information 14 Kinlock Road, Stratford 902.303.5996 christine.milley@premieremortgage.ca www.peimortgageteam.ca

“I always had a passion for housing and started working in the mortgage financing industry in my early 20s.”


or 14 years, Christine Milley has been helping consumers find the right mortgages. “I always had a passion for housing and started working in the mortgage financing industry in my early twenties.” says Milley. Her mother was a mortgage underwriter and her aunt was a realtor, so she got to know the business from an early age. “I worked at one of the big banks before deciding to leave to be a broker,” she says. “The banks were getting more restrictive, and I wanted to be able to tailor solutions for my clients’ specific needs.” In 2018 Milley joined Premiere Mortgage Centre as a broker.

Christine explains how mortgage brokers differ from banks, and how that can help clients find a better match. “Mortgage brokers work for customers, so instead of trying to fit customers into one set of rules, we can find the right lender for them,” she says. “Each lender differs in what they can offer, and while rates are important, it is not just about rates.” She can scrutinize other factors such as document requirements and prepayment penalties and use different types of income sources to help match clients to a mortgage that will work for them.


“Because we work for the customer (but get paid by the lenders!) we can offer unbiased advice that will fit their needs and find the best solution for them,” says Milley. Christine is an award winning top producer with Premiere Mortgage Centre Atlantic, living, working, and raising a family in PEI.

By Kristen Johnson Photos Story Thorburn

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


Fashion Meets Fun! ISLA CLOTHING Owner/Operator

Emma Hill Contact Information 134 Kent Street, Charlottetown 902.892.4048 emma@islaclothing.com www.islaclothing.com

“I wanted to bring in different brands and different unique styles so if you’re looking for that you know you’ll find it at Isla.”


a year when everyone is appreciating the small things more than ever, Emma Hill is taking that same approach with her Isla Clothing boutique. Whether it’s a repeat customer coming into her store or a new follower on one of Isla Clothing’s social media accounts, every interaction represents another stepping stone for her growing Charlottetown-based business. “I have quite a clientele now, and I have a following on Instagram, and I just launched my website which has been doing really great so far, so just having people be receptive and like what you’re bringing in is really rewarding,” she says. 50

Born and raised in PEI, Hill lived in Halifax and travelled internationally before returning to the Island and realizing her dream of opening a local clothing shop, similar to the ones she had fallen in love with during her time away from the Island. “I wanted to bring in different brands and different unique styles so if you’re looking for that you know you’ll find it at Isla,” she says, noting the store carries everything from dressier apparel, to more casual clothing, to loungewear, which is in high demand as people spend more time at home during the pandemic. Having opened Isla Clothing just a little over a year ago, the pandemic has presented lots of challenges for her

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young business, but Hill has rolled with it and adapted. When she had to close the store for 10 weeks, she did curbside pickup and delivered directly to her customers, and since opening back up in May she’s continued to meet the changing needs of her clientele both in-store and online. “People have been so good to support local, so that has been awesome for us,” she says.

By Laura Jean Grant Photos Sara Bakker

No Barriers EAST COAST HOMES Owner/Operator

Jess MacKinnon Contact Information Charlottetown 902.213.3239 www.eastcoasthomes.ca

“I grew up renovating. My mother has the best design eye—all her spaces are so beautiful and unique—and my dad made it happen.”


ess MacKinnon met her East Coast Homes co-founder Louis Horvath while transforming a hundred-year-old barn on her first PEI property into the tiny cottage she’d designed: Georgetown’s Douglas Barn (now a rental operated by Jess). MacKinnon describes that cottage as “my first tiny-home conversion”—an important stepping stone toward East Coast Homes, which specializes in tiny buildings (in addition to construction contracts and consulting). But while the barn conversion was a new type of project, MacKinnon had already applied her design skills a number of times.

“I started as a designer by renovating my own apartments in Toronto and converting a friend’s basement to a retro rental suite,” she explains, adding that she planned interiors for Cape Breton rentals for the same friend. “I had a ton of fun creating unique spaces from scratch to fit each rental’s theme on a budget. Soon, I started getting requests from more friends and family. I’d found my passion.” MacKinnon’s expertise allows East Coast Homes to assist clients with functional interior design, and her experience in marketing and entrepreneurship is equally important


to the business. (She’s owned rental properties—currently in Cape Breton, Toronto, and PEI—since her twenties.) MacKinnon’s tone is upbeat when she reflects on her experiences in professional building and renovation. “I know many women are working in construction,” she says. “I feel that there’s an exceptional amount of room for women to be more involved. I haven’t felt any barriers, being a woman in construction on PEI.” By Rebecca Spinner Photos Evan Ceretti

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


Find Your Angel MATERIAL GIRL FABRICS Owner/Operator

Christine Zareck Contact Information 565 N River Rd, Charlottetown 902.218.7128

“An angel told me that PEI is where I belong,” laughs Christine Zareck, founder of Material Girl Fabrics. Before Zareck came ashore in PEI in 2017, her love of sailing led her to learn to sew all kinds of projects. In 2004, she went sailing: “To help pay for my trip, I sewed and repaired canvas items for other sailors along the way,” she explains. Zareck transitioned from sewing at sea into a role as an interior specialist for yachts in Florida, where she learned to sell interior furnishings. “It was an exciting job working on large, beautiful boats.” In 2017, having recently divorced, she moved to PEI to start a new life and


began sewing from her basement. A neighbour told her that PEI lacked a business that sewed, in Zareck’s words, “just about anything custom.” Having spent years honing her sewing, business and decor skills, she took a chance, and Material Girl Fabrics was born. Once Zareck had found a storefront on Charlottetown’s North River Road, she collaborated with Damien Packwood from damien Morris Designs to carry fabric books so that Islanders had a huge selection to choose from. Since Material Girl Fabrics opened, more and more Islanders and interior designers have used the shop to select fabrics and get beautifully made custom decor. By Alana Lauren Photos Evan Ceretti

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An Eye for Design GREEN EYE DESIGNS Owner/Operator

Savannah Belsher-MacLean Contact Information 160 Richmond St. (Victoria Row) Charlottetown greeneyedesignspei@gmail.com www.greeneyedesigns.ca

“I’m so lucky to have excellent business partners in most of my ventures, so we’re able to share the tasks that need to be done.”


(L-R) Callista Gilks, Savannah Belsher-MacLean, Kylie Jensen

ntrepreneurship is in Savannah Belsher-MacLean’s blood, you could say: both of her parents are successfully self-employed, something that had an impact on her from an early age. “I come by the lifestyle honestly,” she says. “I grew up witnessing my parents working so hard every day/all day, and seeming fulfilled at the end of the long days.” Belsher-MacLean’s parents built their familial way of life through music, art, and fashion; and their daughter has greatly expanded on that over the years. “I’ve tested a lot of paths and have acquired a fairly colourful professional history - I am a certified makeup artist, choreographer/dancer and coordinator for multiple concert series productions, and have been the owner and editor-in-chief of an indie fashion magazine.”

Belsher-MacLean’s most current undertaking is her recent procurement of Green Eye Designs – a boutique and consignment shop in Charlottetown. As one of the original makers showcased there, Belsher-MacLean saw the new business venture as a natural complment to her repertoire. “As well as being the owner of Green Eye Designs, I’m the creator of Swoon Creations and Vintage, co-owner of wedding venue and vacation rental Hazelbrook Homestead, and cofounder of model casting agency Essence Model Management,” she says. “I’m so lucky to have excellent business partners in most of these ventures, so we’re able to share the tasks that need to be done.”


Green Eye Designs is certain to have a bright and creative future in the hands of Belsher-MacLean and her talented staff, Callista Gilks, Kylie Jensen, Allison Kelly, and Rebecca Parent. And with all the shop’s current products made by woman-led businesses, Green Eye Designs certainly helps stoke the fire of support for their fellow Island women, and revel in the glow that is their much-deserved success. See their sparks fly at their brick-andmortar shop on Victoria Row, or shop online on their newly updated website at www.greeneyedesigns.ca

By Story Sheidow Photos Evan Ceretti

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


Décor is Just the Beginning PIGEONS Owner/Operator

Dayna Canning Contact Information

518 Main Street, Montague 902.326.0075

“We offer workshops on a weekly basis, as well as DIY Take Home Kits for individuals to craft at home.”


he evolution of Pigeons, located in Montague, has been a natural one, and one not without hardships. “When we opened, it was a flooring and décor store, and over the years we have transitioned to be a gift shop that also hosts do-it-yourself crafting workshops,” says owner Dayna Canning. After a large fire in 2019 closed the shop until December of that year, the pandemic arrived on the Island only a few months later. “The pandemic hit, and we were closed for several months again, only three months after reopening from the fire. We then went into the summer with less tourists than we were used to seeing, and unable to host our weekly workshops,” shares Canning. “We had to pivot how we did 54

◄ Brandon and Dayna Canning

business, which resulted in us creating an online shop and offering DIY Take Home Kits,” she says. Now Pigeons has once again found their groove, offering something for everyone in their bright, eclectic shop on Main Street. With a selection of products from small local makers, such as home décor, jewellery, baby products, and even items for your pets, they have the support of locals to thank for their ability to keep thriving in the face of adversity. And they are once again hosting their workshops that customers have grown to love. “We offer a variety of workshops, such as macramé, sign making, painting, seasonal crafts and workshops for youth. We offer these workshops on a

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weekly basis, as well as DIY Take Home Kits for individuals to craft at home,” says Canning. “We also have others come in and host workshops, such as Lisa Freeman from Messy Crow Studio, who hosts felting workshops and Barbara Pinto from Mama B’s Spice Blends, who hosts cooking classes,” says Canning. All that is to say: there’s truly something for everyone at Pigeons.

By Story Sheidow Photos Evan Ceretti

Reputation For Excellence HOP|SIP|SWIRL Owner/Operator

Jackie Herbert Contact Information

info@hopsipswirl.ca 902.330.2739 www.hopsipswirl.ca

“We want our clients to say, ‘truly authentic and a wonderful experience, we highly recommend this tour, bravo!”


ike so many tourism operators, Jackie Herbert of HOP|SIP|SWIRL TASTING TOURS was gearing up for a busy 2020 summer season. By February, her bookings were up by more than a third. And by June 2020, all her tours were cancelled.

In doing so, Jackie has brought Island hospitality across the country and solved a problem conference and event organizers are all facing – how to replicate the networking and social activities people love about in person events online.

Her entrepreneurial spirit wasn’t dampened for long though. A tour partner reached out and asked Jackie if she would consider doing a virtual tasting.

Since COVID hit, Jackie has worked with a number of event organizers and businesses to create a customized and enjoyable experience for their guests.

“I wasn’t quite sure how it would all work,” said Jackie, “But I jumped at the chance to try. We took our existing business model – providing extraordinary experiences and applied it to a virtual audience.

“Starting with the custom delivery box of local beverages and food pairings delivered right to guests’ door, we are able to create a lasting experience beyond the LIVE event. From the moment they receive their specially curated box of authentic PEI products,


until the follow up after the virtual event, our guests have felt they have truly experienced a trip to PEI. A common response is how “totally unique PEI is” and how excited they are “to come to PEI after travel bans have been lifted,” said Jackie. “As a tourism operator, these are encouraging words!”

By Alana Lauren Photos Evan Herbert

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S

SELF-CARE By Alana Lauren

Daily life has been pretty busy especially in 2021. Between working from home, remote learning with kids, virtual friend meetups and just trying to stick to a daily routine, there has been little time and space for self-care to revitalize our mood and help us feel our best emotionally, physically and mentally. 56

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But, in the midst of busy days, what if there were easy and convenient ways to treat yourself and your body when a day at the salon or relaxing evening in a warm bath isn’t in the cards? When self-care falls to the bottom of your to-do list, there are a handful of easy practices you can try throughout the day to keep yourself in balance.

Power up your morning routine: Turn yourself into a morning person with a quick dose of calm and relaxation. Set your alarm 15 to 20 minutes earlier to decompress before starting the day - listen to your favourite music, stretch, give yourself a face massage with your favourite serum - whatever helps to kick off your a.m. routine with peace and positivity.

help clear your mind and reduce stress. Many gyms and personal trainers are offering fitness classes or custom workouts online.

Seek advice if you need to: Many of us are feeling overwhelmed these days, it’s been a long year. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek professional help if you’re feeling unusually low or depressed. If you have been experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:

To give your morning an aromatic boost, energize your bathroom routine with fresh natural scents - such as rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint and anything in citrus - that can be dropped into a small portable diffuser to invigorate the senses and relax the body.

Work out: With many of us spending more time at home, being able to squeeze in a quick workout can help reduce stress and anxiety - as well as get our bodies ready for a more restful night’s sleep. Regular workouts will keep you fit and

• Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism • Irritability • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness • Decreased energy or fatigue • Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities • Moving or talking more slowly • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions • Changes in appetite or weight •Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause that do not ease even with treatment Talk to your health care provider or doctor about these symptoms. Be honest, clear, and concise—your doctor needs to know how you feel. He/she may ask when your symptoms started, what time of day they happen, how long they last, how often they occur, if they seem to be getting worse or better, and if they keep you from going out or doing your usual activities. It may help to take the time to make some notes about your symptoms before you visit your provider.

Take screen breaks: When busy workdays keep your gaze glued to the screen, it can leave you feeling achy and irritated. Be sure to sneak in some much-needed self-care during a long day. After the virtual meeting, take a short break. When you’re feeling groggy, get up from your chair and do some gentle yoga stretches to get the blood flowing and relieve tension. Finally, a quick session of “daylight therapy” is good for a serotonin boost and a pop of alertness. Seek out a sunny nook to sip your matcha tea or head outside for a brisk walk around the block.

Date night: Date nights may look a little different this year, but getting in some quality time with your partner is a great way to unwind and brighten up your mood - whether you’re ordering takeout or cooking a homemade dinner! We may be spending more time than usual with our partners. Because of this, a date night or special one-on-one time is especially important.

Get your beauty rest: Let’s talk about getting your best sleep! An hour or so before bedtime, make sleepy-time self-care a priority. Put away the screens and cultivate a peaceful state of mind. A brief meditation session lowers the heart rate and stress level, so you can turn in with a blissful state of calm. If you’re a beginner at meditation, start by setting a timer for five minutes, and just use the time to do nothing but focus the mind on your breath. Breathe in, hold for a beat, then release. Keep a dream journal at your bedside table, so you can be sure you’re getting adequate deep REM sleep, which is needed to optimize your mood, learning and memory.

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S

Laser Focus on Skin By Kristen Johnson Photos Sara Bakker


ntil a few years ago, Islanders seeking laser treatments for skin rejuvenation, vascular concerns or superficial veins had to travel off-Island. Diane MacDonald, a retired nurse and laser specialist, opened Youthful You Medaesthetics so that these services previously offered only in big cities would be available on Prince Edward Island.

◄ Diane MacDonald 58

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“I initially became interested while I was still working as a registered nurse here at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital,” says MacDonald. “I was helping someone find treatment and discovered that it wasn’t available anywhere nearby,” she continues. “I started to look into what was needed to do these types of treatments and I realized with some extra education I could do them.” MacDonald realized this was a field she would like to pursue, with the goal of bringing these services to peo-ple on PEI. “With my medical background, it seemed like a logical move to a new and exciting field.” MacDonald has now been practicing laser treatments for ten years. She successfully brought laser services to the Island in 2012 when she opened Youthful You. “I want people to know that good quality current breaking edge treatments exist here. You don’t have to travel to big cities to get good, effective treatments,” she states. “PEI has a large population of people with fair skin from Irish and Scottish descent,” adds MacDonald. “Fair skin is not durable in sun, especially if unprotected, and our cool winters and very windy environment also contribute to unwanted premature aging to skin, regardless of skin tone.” She also explains that people with fair skin tend to have increased redness and brown hyperpigmentation, in addition to a higher incidence of rosacea. “Laser Genesis repairs and reduces these negative effects from the sun and environment. In doing so it also makes our skin more youthful in appearance and rolls back the clock of

aging dramatically,” she says. Skin rejuvenation and vascular reduction are the most common services performed. A range of services is available for both, from minor to more aggressive treatments. “People love these services because they give results and are affordable,” says MacDonald. “Skin rejuvenation can range from the most popular, Laser Genesis, a non-ablative treatment that can reduce redness, reduce brown hyperpigmentation, shrink pores, reduce scars, stimulate collagen and elastin, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles,” she states, “to more aggressive resurfacing treatments that can remove moles or skin tags, and directly lift and tighten skin to minimize deep lines or hooded eyelids.” “Vascular reduction can range from small superficial veins on a face to spider, reticular or small varicose veins on legs, as well as port-wine stains, hemangiomas and venous lakes to lips,” says MacDonald. Timeframe and number of treatments vary as well. Results are sometimes seen immediately, with complete resolution in a few weeks. “I would like Islanders to know that there is a premier, comprehensive clinic offering cosmetic laser services, peels and naturopathic consultations on PEI,” says MacDonald. “We have the knowledge, training and equipment to take care of your skin and the solution for a wide range of conditions and treatments.”

Youthful You Medaesthetics 902.394.6500 (message/text) 902.566.4780 (message) youthfulyoumed@icloud.com www.youthfulyoupei.com

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S


By Kristen Johnson Photos Evan Ceretti 60

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e spoke to optometrist Dr. Catherine Arsenault recently about dry eye, an issue that affects many people. PEI Living: What is dry eye? Dr. Catherine Arsenault: Dry eye is a condition that occurs when tears are unable to provide adequate lubrication for the eyes. Tears are necessary for overall eye health and clear vision. Dry eyes may occur if you don’t produce enough tears or you produce poor quality tears without the proper chemical composition. This tear instability can lead to inflammation and damage to the eye’s surface if not managed properly. PL: What are the symptoms? CA: Individuals complain of stinging, burning or itchy, dry eyes. They have a gritty, scratchy, foreign body sensation. The eyes can get red as well as watery (as the body’s response to the irritation). There is often increased light sensitivity, eye fatigue and fluctuating vision (blur). Some complain of difficulty with night driving or contact lens usage. PL: What are the causes? CA: There are three layers to the tearfilm, which keeps the surface of the eye lubricated, smooth and clear. Problems with any of these layers can lead to dry eye syndrome through either reduced tear production or increased tear evaporation.

Additionally, increased tearfilm evaporation may be caused by factors such as blepharitis (clogged eyelid glands), reduced blinking during concentration tasks such as driving and excessive screen time. Allergies again, Vitamin A deficiency, preservatives in eye drops and exposure to certain environmental conditions like wind, smoke and dry air can all lead to dry eye disease.

20 feet away for 20 seconds after 20 minutes of near concentration tasks. Blinking more frequently and using daily hot compresses over the eyelids often help relieve symptoms. Diet can be a contributor as well. Drink more water and add foods rich in Vitamin A (carrots, cantaloupe, red pepper, squash, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli and liver) and Omega-3s (fish, walnuts, vegetable oil and flaxseed oil). The use of artificial tears or lubricants is also recommended for patients with symptoms. In more severe cases, lubricant gels and ointments are required. Occasionally, punctal plugs to limit or slow drainage of tears are inserted in the tear ducts. We also have prescription eye drops in more serious cases.

PL: How is dry eye treated or prevented?

PL: Can it lead to ophthalmological issues if left untreated?

CA: With dry eye syndrome, the goal is to improve the patient’s comfort with lifestyle changes and drops. I would also suggest that dry eye sufferers avoid situations most likely to cause symptoms by turning hair dryers, car heaters, fans and air conditioners away from the face. Stay away from smoky environments and wear protective eyewear (safety shields) or wraparound sunglasses to block wind and dry air. Add moisture to the air with a humidifier (especially in winter). Position computer screens below eye level to limit ocular surface exposure and slow tearfilm evaporation. Remember to take frequent breaks with concentration tasks such as reading or extended computer use.

CA: A good tearfilm is required to protect the surface of the eye. With severe dry eye, there is an increase in risk of infection due to damage to the surface of the eye. Severe dry eye can damage the tissues on the front surface of the eye, which can lead to corneal abrasions, as well as possible ulcers and scarring, which can cause vision loss.

We can see reduced tear production with ageing or allergies, as well as in some medical conditions and medications. Corneal nerve desensitivity caused by contact lens use, nerve damage or laser refractive surgery can also be a factor.

A simple rule we like to recommend to our patients is the 20/20/20 rule. Look

Dry eye disease often can reduce a person’s quality of life, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks.

Dr. Catherine Arsenault Family Vision Centre 111 Pownal St, Charlottetown 902.566.4418 www.familyvisioncentre.com

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H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S

Tired of the same-ol’ same-ol’ in home-based fitness? Why not try something new?


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“Not Your Average” At-Home Workouts By Story Sheidow

JUMP ROPE Jumping rope is nothing new – I’m sure many of you remember skipping in gym class during elementary school. Well, it’s back and is being embraced by fitness experts and influencers from all over. Sites like YouTube and Instagram feature jump rope challenges and free skipping workouts, such as the “1000 Jumps a Day” challenge, for example. Jumping rope can burn 200 to 300 calories in just 15 minutes! It not only helps you build muscle, but will even increase your bone density and improve coordination. And the cardiovascular health benefits are through the roof! You’ll be amazed at how tiring it is – and to think we did this for PLEASURE when we were kids? Overall, if you’re tired of average athome exercise and you’re looking for something a little different requiring minimal equipment – an activity that’s fun too - then maybe jumping rope is for you. ACTIVE VIDEO GAMES Nintendo has long been the forerunner when it comes to incorporating fitness into gaming. The introduction of Wii Fit, made for their Wii system, was wildly successful with people of all ages, offering games and accessories (such as their balance board) that for

the first time allowed users to play things like tennis, bowling, and boxing in an interactive format at home. Now, with the release of Ring Fit for the Nintendo Switch, the company has taken fitness gaming one step further, introducing Ring Fit Adventure; in which players use a leg strap and pilates-style “ring-con” ring to play several gaming types: things like action-packed battle RPGs (role playing games), quick-play obstacle coursetype games (think Donkey Kong meets virtual reality), and even more formal custom workout games mixing classic exercises with mini games, all to keep you engaged and entertained. And if Ring Fit isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of other options for active gaming. Switch has several active games in their lineup that require only their standard “joy-con” controller to play. Just Dance 2020, Fitness Boxing, and Zumba Burn It Up each offer a unique exercise experience, catering to many styles and fitness levels.

GET YOUR 10,000 STEPS If there’s one thing that many fitness influencers swear by, it’s getting in their 10,000 steps a day. Did you know that walking 10,000 steps can burn between 300 and 400 calories? That’s double the burn of an average 30-minute workout! And while those steps may have been part of our daily lives pre-COVID, with folks now working from home and going out less, getting in 10,000 steps each day can sometimes take an extra effort. While you don’t need watches like a Fitbit or Apple Watch to make a step goal and track your steps – many smartphones have built-in step counters - having one offers the bonus of games, community support, and even friendly competitions to help keep you motivated. Reaching your step goals can sometimes be the push you need to get outside for a stroll, walk to work instead of drive, or even just get the vacuuming done!

Playstation 4 (or PS4) also offers some possibilities in the world of “active gaming,” both for their regular console, and with their VR add-on. Though not as extensive as with the Switch, there are still several choices if that’s the console you currently have access to. And VR consoles, such as Oculus, offer even more options. SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


H O M E & C O T TA G E E D I T O R


Spring 2021 is finally here, and not a moment too soon. I’m ready to say byebye to the winter blues, and let’s have a cheer for fresh beginnings. While we all hate to wish time away, it’s clear we are all counting down the days to getting back to normal life, and having this crazy pandemic well behind us. Spring is one of my favourite seasons. With spring’s arrival comes a welcome change of scenery, a departure from all the snow, the wind and the grey days of winter. It’s the simple things like having our windows open for some fresh air, hearing the cheerful chirping of migratory birds, and watching nature take its course as our gardens, trees and grasses spring to life. So many reasons to love spring, so many reasons to celebrate.

In the Home and Cottage section we hope to inspire you with decorating ideas as we feature two completely different, yet beautiful and inspiring local bathrooms. For the DIY, I created two really easy spring DIY projects with products that anyone can do in an afternoon, and both are completely family friendly. And be sure to check out the amazing bargains I picked up to prepare for the “Thift Flip,” on page 76. With travel still off the table I hope that each of us will continue to support our local businesses and services, and in turn our local economy. As always, you can learn about the many Islanders and Island businesses right here in the pages PEI Living Magazine.

Susan Snow susan@pei-living.ca

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Read PEI Living Magazine online: www.issuu.com/peilivingmagazine


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Home offices are key to working efficiently and productively. More and more households are planning on or currently investing in offices at home. Having a space to focus on getting work done, staying organized and attending online meetings is essential part of our new normal.

PETS Having a pet has many feel good positives. Our furry friends are known to improve mental health, reduce stress and anxiety, provide social stimulation, improve quality of life and physical well being just by their very presence in our lives.

Todays’ homeowners are focusing much more time, effort, and money on home improvement, taking on DIY projects and planning upgrades to their homes. Top of the list include organizing/purging/cleaning, repainting, planning additions, gardening and landscaping, sunrooms, upgrading fixtures and finishes, and updating furnishings.


THAW’TS Clearly this has been a year of staying home and looking at life through a new lens. Self-care, practicality, new hobbies and at home interests are the new “It thing” to stay positive, have fun and be maintain a healthy lifestyle. Home Life is definitely where it’s at this year.



PLANTS Brightening up dull spaces by adding life and colour, some species even have the added bonus of purifying and cleaning indoor air by their very nature. On the most wanted list of house plants are - Fiddle leaf figs, olive trees, snake plants, ivy, and succulents.

HOME GYM We all love going out to dine but with restrictions roller coaster people are choosing to entertain at home. Meals can be home prepared, a shared pot-luck event, ordered from take out menu/service or even themed to specific cuisine. Dining in is a great option for keeping connections alive and enjoying a fun evenings with small group of friends

For some splurging on a completely outfitted and dedicated home gym is the way to go, for others it can be finding space in a family room or bedroom. All you really need is a piece or two of exercise equipment, a yoga mat, weights, a workout plan or an online video to join in on the craze to stay healthy and fit at home. SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


H O M E & C O T TA G E

The lighting plan includes two modern pendant lights, along with ceiling pot lights enhancing the room with multiple levels of lighting. A west facing window lets in plenty of daylight and, to allow for privacy has an opaque frosted film installed on it.

Bathing Beauties

Two inspiring bathrooms that are functional and swoon worthy.


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Words & Photos by Susan Snow


small bathroom gets a renovation that is big on style. This main floor bathroom was completely overhauled, creating an up-to-date stylish yet practical space. The bathroom was gutted and enlarged by stealing space from the bedroom next to it, thus creating the additional depth needed for a spacious shower. Adding warmth is the one-of-a-kind custom vanity that is topped with durable white quartz and features a sleek vessel sink and waterfall faucet. Constructed with uniquely detailed wood front, the vanity drawers offer plenty of bathroom storage. A framed black penny tile backsplash and the choice of an oversized round mirror add a dramatic yet classic touch. Beside the vanity, a feature wall in a fun floral wallpaper provides a pop of colour and a dash of whimsy.

► A generous walk-in shower with two full walls of glass visually expands the space, making it feel much larger with its uninterrupted view of the entire room.

▲ Prettiness abounds with the vanity accessories, a live orchid plant and a carefully curated glass toiletry bottle collection. ◄ A large black and white print along with a low maintenance snake plant breathe personality and life into the room. Black floor tiles are a great choice for grounding the space and keeping the floor looking clean and tidy.

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A Timeless Master Bath Recreating Hotel Chic

This bathroom combines the elements of luxury with the longevity of a timeless design. The monochromatic colour scheme of soft greys and crisp whites is repeated throughout the space, creating a serene and tranquil atmosphere. Finish details like the use of marble, quartz, chrome and glass make the room sparkle and shine with a distinctly high end touch. The soaring ten-foot ceiling, the openness of the glassed-in shower room and the floating vanity all contribute to the volume and spaciousness of the room.


The extra-long floating vanity is flanked on one end by a convenient storage cabinet. Multiple pendant lights above the vanity reflect in the mirror, while undermounted lighting located below the vanity offers up evening atmosphere. Underfoot is an in-floor heating system keeping the tile floor toasty and warm at all times. www.pei-living.ca SPRING 2021

►Hidden behind a smoked glass door is a custom cedar sauna. The room is clearly designed with pampering in mind and enjoying all the restorative and relaxing body benefits that only a sauna can offer. ◄ Built-in wall niches contain grooming products for easy reach.

▲ Accessories are kept modest and minimalist. Banks of storage drawers in the vanity allow the countertop to remain clutter free. ◄ The ultimate in bath time indulgence is the “wet room,” with its range of bathing options including an oversized soaking tub, an overhead rain shower, a handheld shower and three perfectly positioned massaging body jets. A transom window located high above the tub floods the space with natural light. The handheld shower can be adjusted to any height with its convenient slide bar.

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What really affects the cost of building your dream home and how to make the right choices before you begin. By Darren MacKenzie, Master Builder


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one of our biggest goals to build our custom, dream home. That dream can quickly become a nightmare if you don’t make the right choices from the very beginning. Here are a few things to consider and decisions to make.

LAND Site conditions are very important. If you are purchasing land and have an architect or builder picked, the architect or builder should meet you at the lot to discuss any concerns with that lot and the house design you are choosing.

and bathrooms will it have? Will it be architecturally designed or use an existing floor plan? Do you want to add a deck, garage, porch or pool? The most important asset is an experienced builder who will guide you through every aspect of building your dream home.

BUNGALOW OR TWO-STOREY CHOOSING YOUR BUILDER It is important to do some research when choosing your builder. You want to have someone who you can work with efficiently and who has proven their reliability.

It typically costs less to build a twostorey home than a one-storey home of the same finished square footage, since you’ll be paying for a smaller roof and foundation. MATERIALS

Here are some important questions you should ask: • Do they prefer architectural drawings or do they provide drafting services? • Do they allow scheduled visits for site meetings? • Are they properly licensed and insured? • Are there any completed homes they’ve built that you are able to visit? • Do they have any references? LOCATION It’s all about location. Costs can vary greatly depending on if you want to live in Charlottetown or Summerside, along the shoreline, in one of the picturesque towns and villages, or in a rural area.

With soaring material costs and shortages, some extra thoughts should be to possibly make your choices of materials as soon as possible to reduce disappointment and delays. Some builders may encourage early payment to guarantee supply. TRADESPERSON Most reputable and experienced builders have their own subcontractors to work with, which eliminates a lot of miscommunication and facilitates better efficiency on site. Choosing a tradesperson based on cost alone may not be in your best interest. CUSTOM CHOICES

Darren MacKenzie Master Builder/Owner MacKenzie Builder Services Ltd.

MacKenzie Builder Services Ltd. 262 Howe Point Road, Eglington 902.687.1508 C: 902.969.0425 E: darren@mackenziebuilders.ca www.mackenziebuilders.ca

How many square feet will your home cover? How many bedrooms

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H O M E & C O T TA G E



Words & Photos by Susan Snow

Try these two rewarding DIY activities. Great for all ages, these projects are super easy to do using items and tools found around the house. A couple hours is all it takes to make a chic home décor item and a bird feeder.


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Supplies: Container of wooden beads, scissors, both kitchen twine and jute twine, a piece of cardboard approximately three inches by five inches.

Steps: Thread twenty-four inches of beads onto the twine, leaving an extra 10” of twine on each end of the garland. To make the tassel, wrap twine around the cardboard (as shown above), carefully remove twine from cardboard to form a loop. Tie and knot a piece of twine around the loop to secure the strand in the loop. Tie and knot another piece of twine 1cm below this to make top of the tassel. Cut open the bottom of the loop and trim the fringe ends evenly. To finish tie the tassels onto each end of your bead garland. Supplies: 22” long birch log- approximately three inches in diameter, drill, wood glue, wire hanger, small wooden dowels or wooden skewers, screw hook, wire cutters, small pliers, peanut butter or suet Steps: Snip dowels into six - six inch lengths. Randomly drill six holes one half inch deep around the log. Dip dowels in wood glue and firmly insert into the drilled holes. Let the inserted dowels dry thoroughly - continue inserting around the log. To make the hanger, snip the long bottom wire from a clothes hanger and use pliers to form a loop on each end. Drill a hole into one end of the log and screw in the hook, attach the hanger wire through the loop. Spread dabs of peanut butter directly on the surface of the log above each of the dowels, hang outside and enjoy bird watching from the comfort of home.

An alternative is to use 30 mm hole bit and fill voids with prepared suet or a mixture of peanut butter and seeds.



▲ (L-R) Jennifer Hubley, Christine Milley (Photo Story Sheidow)

PEI Living spoke with mortgage broker Christine Milley and real estate agent Jennifer Hubley recently about the benefits of working with a broker and an agent when buying property. 74

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PEI LIVING: When purchasing a home, what is the first step you should take?

the REALTOR‰, mortgage broker and client, the process tends to go more smoothly.

JENNIFER HUBLEY: Most people will contact a REALTOR‰ and want to start looking at homes. Some have an idea of what they would like to spend while others do not. It is strongly recommended that people get preapproval before they begin looking at properties. So I would suggest first finding a Realtor‰, then a mortgage broker you can trust to help you get pre-approval before looking at properties.

PL: Do all REALTORS‰ work with mortgage brokers?

PL: How does the client benefit when the two of you work together?

PL: When a REALTOR‰ and a mortgage broker work together, what struggles are eliminated?

CHRISTINE MILLEY: Having a client pre-approved before they put in the offer can save a lot of heartaches. It is a good idea to know what you can afford before you start shopping with a REALTOR‰. When documents are provided up-front for the mortgage, it can make the approval process a lot quicker.

CM: Communication is key. Sometimes there are hold-ups such as appraisals, and if a mortgage broker and REALTOR‰ are on the same page, they can avoid delays in financing timelines for the approval. When there are multiple offers, many REALTORS‰ can call me to confirm that we are able to meet a shorter financing deadline before submitting the offer.

JH: Everything between the mortgage broker and the client is confidential, so REALTOR‰ do not need to know about the client’s financial situation. They just need the financing approval in order to move forward with the sale. If you have a good working relationship between

JH: Not all REALTORS‰ work with mortgage brokers. Some people already have mortgage brokers, or mortgage specialists at their bank they are working with. If a potential buyer is not working with anyone, it is a great idea for REALTOR‰ to have a business relationship with a trusted mortgage broker to be able to refer clients to.

for the bank. We can look at different lender options to shop for the best mortgage (and rate!) that fits the client’s situation.

PL: Is it important to work with one mortgage broker and one REALTOR‰? JH: Yes, it most certainly is! It is important to find a REALTOR‰ you get along with and trust. You can then sit down to discuss a buying or selling plan with them. They will work hard to help you sell your property or find your dream property. Not being committed to one REALTOR‰ could mean missed opportunities for the buyers. CM: You should do your research and find someone you connect with first, but when it comes time to submit for a purchase you should work with one broker to avoid conflict. One size does not fit all in the mortgage world. If multiple brokers or lenders are working on the same file it can cause potential delays as some lenders qualify some types of income and debt differently. It is best to work with one broker you can trust.

PL: What is the difference between a broker and the bank? CM: Mortgage brokers work for the client, while bank representatives work

Christine Milley, Premiere Mortgage Centre 14 Kinlock Road, Stratford 902.303.5996 christine.milley@premieremortgage.ca www.PEImortgageteam.ca

Jennifer Hubley, Royal LePage Prince Edward Realty 14 Kinlock Road, Stratford 902.394.4541 Jennifer.Hubley.Homes@gmail.com www.JenniferHubleyHomes.com

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H O M E & C O T TA G E

Thrift Flip Thrifting isn’t a new thing, but it’s become the latest craze, with social media groups and websites dedicated to finding that fantastic deal.


ecently, I took on the challenge to see what goodies I could find for a minimal budget. With a total investment of only fifty-nine dollars, I took home an assortment of lovely pieces that only needed a little clean-up to make them good as new. My tip: look for things that are first and foremost useful, in great condition, decorative and above all, they must be classic pieces that will stand the test of time. My personal favourites are hardcover books, vases, fabrics, candle holders and dishes. These are pieces that can easily transition into any décor. 76

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Words & Photos by Susan Snow

A set of glass candle holders can be displayed anywhere in your home. From tabletops to coffee tables, on wall shelves, mantels or beside a soaking tub, the possibilities are endless. Six dollars for the pair.

Dish it out A trio of pretty dishes can find a new life on a bathroom counter holding toiletry items like cotton ear swabs and make-up remover pads. These little multitaskers can be used in a variety of ways; they make elegant serving dishes for dips, sauces, veggies or small snack foods. Or how about using them to stash frequently used jewellery on a bedside table, a seashell collection, or on your desk to organize small office supplies such as paperclips, thumb tacks, etc.

When buying glass or ceramic be sure to check for chips or cracks. Even at thrift prices, chipped or cracked pieces are not a good investment.

Nature inspired For a mere twenty dollars, this pair of beautiful silver toned branch inspired candelabra sticks were a steal. Similar versions sell for as much as three hundred dollars each at full retail. If silver isn’t your thing they can be spray-painted white or black.

Bowled over

Tray chic A silver toned bar tray is a useful treasure that cost only eight dollars. It’s a decorative piece in new condition topped with a rubber mat insert that keeps bottles in place. A find that is not only functional for corralling countertop clutter, it also makes a pretty vignette when accessorized with pretty bottles and barware.

An oversized glass fishbowl- never mind the fish, this makes a stunning vessel for creating flower arrangements. Shown here, I created an easy DIY spring tulip arrangement that makes a gorgeous dining room table centrepiece. Priced at eight dollars.

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H O M E & C O T TA G E

Tiny Homes, Renovation Consulting, and More East Coast Homes’ Exciting Specialties By Alana Lauren Photos Evan Ceretti

The first property Jess MacKinnon bought included a special, unique detail--a hundred-yearold barn. To transform the barn into the idyllic tiny cottage she’d designed herself, MacKinnon enlisted Louis Horvath of Paxdoor Inc. Impressed by his workmanship, she later rehired Horvath to help renovate her Charlottetown home.


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uring that renovation, we spent a lot of time talking about business ideas,” MacKinnon recalls. “We had very similar dreams and aspirations.” Once they’d finished adding an in-law suite to the Charlottetown residence, MacKinnon and Horvath began collaborating as co-founders of East Coast Homes. “I’m the business side,

design side, and communications side,” explains MacKinnon. “Louis is the allthings-construction side.” East Coast Homes offers a range of construction services, and Islanders began contacting them almost immediately. “During our first year, we worked on lots of roofs, decks and fences, flooring, painting, and kitchen and bathroom remodels that kept us busy,” MacKinnon recounts. Now that they’re more established, she says, they tend to accept contracts half a year in advance. Tiny Homes, Offices, and Sheds One of East Coast Homes’ specialties is small transportable buildings--in other words, “tiny homes,” detached offices, and sheds. “The beauty of a tiny building is that you can use it for whatever your needs are,” MacKinnon explains. East Coast Homes delivers the tiny buildings virtually complete--even wired-rather than building onsite at clients’ properties, and the blueprints and materials are customizable. “Make it a home office, a kids’ room, a getaway, a craft space, or a gym!”

construction advice clients need to get started; the consulting process helps homeowners build confidence to start their renovation or design projects on their own. For example, a client recently asked East Coast Homes to help transform a 1990s condo into a perfect contemporary mid-century modern interior. “Let’s face it; construction materials are expensive, and when you’re doing renovations on your own home, they can take a lot of time and money,” MacKinnon says. East Coast Homes’ services help homeowners make the right design and construction choices that fit their budget, she emphasizes. “As we’re home with COVID, people have more time; they might just need a small amount of professional help to get started, and we’re happy to do that.” East Coast Homes Charlottetown 902.213.3239 jess.eastcoasthomes@gmail.com www.eastcoasthomes.ca

A tiny building fits the bill perfectly for Islanders working from home who might have outgrown their space, or simply want an escape, but wish to remain on their current property. MacKinnon points out that clients may find the zoning rules around these types of small additional buildings less complex than expected. “When a custom shed is kept simple--under a hundred square feet, with no plumbing-they can typically be placed in most areas within zoning rules.” Renovation and Design Consulting Another of East Coast Homes’ specialties is renovation and design consulting. “Many of our clients are comfortable taking on a renovation project themselves, but might need guidance,” MacKinnon explains. She and Horvath offer the design and SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


H O M E & C O T TA G E

Springing to Life

Words & photos by Susan Snow


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There truly is no better home accessory for a quick spring pick-me-up than fresh flowers in your house. And one of the most recognized and loved flowers around the world is the tulip. A sure sign of spring, colourful tulips are readily available in stores, fresh from the greenhouse, beginning in mid-January and throughout the spring months.

Tulip Tips

With proper care, fresh tulips will generally last seven to ten days, whether they are store bought or cut fresh from your spring garden.


It is essential to trim a half inch off the stems with a sharp pair of clippers before placing them in a vase. Use cold, fresh water and be sure to make your cut on an angle for maximum water uptake.


Feed them by adding a penny, flower food or a little cane sugar to the water.


A wide mouth-vase will give them plenty of room to stretch out and grow. Tulips continue to grow in length after they are cut and will grow toward light. Place them out of direct sunlight to maximize their beautiful blooming life.



Tulips are thirsty flowers and love fresh water, so be sure to give the stems a fresh l cut and replace the water every other day.

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H O M E & C O T TA G E


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The Down and Dirty: A Guide to First-time Veggie Gardening for the Busy Islander After spending years working in greenhouses and garden centres, and having my own large vegetable garden at home, I’ve learned a thing or two about growing veggies here on PEI for someone like me who has a busy life and not a lot of free time. By Story Sheidow

I’d like to say right off the bat, that the first thing to consider when having a small veggie plot at home, is that you are NOT a full-time farmer. Most people with home gardens have fulltime jobs, and upkeep can be hard work. But you can make it a little easier by knowing what’s the easiest to grow, and I’m happy to offer some insight from my “busy mom” with small kids, a full-time job, and several side hustles” perspective. So, let’s start at the beginning: springtime. When is that exactly, on PEI? Well, that alone is a loaded question. Most gardening books and seed packets will recommend planting seeds directly into the ground in April (for cole crops, or frost-tolerant vegetables). Some years that is feasible, but often April in PEI looks much like February, so I recommend keeping an eye on the weather, both the present and future forecasts. Once the soil is “able to be worked” (that is, once you can get a shovel in it and toss

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it over), you can plant seeds for several vegetable varieties: snap peas, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, kale and other greens, to name a few. However, if you see a lot of cool, wet weather ahead, you may want to hold off for a few more weeks. If the freshly planted seeds become too wet, they may rot, and leave you waiting for seedlings for weeks, only to realize they are never going to sprout. You can always check on your seeds by digging up one or two and looking for fresh growth. If the seed has turned to mush, it’s no good and you should replant. And what about the cold hardy crops? Which are easy to grow? A lot of this depends on your soil, and the weather. And because of that, there are a few things I would recommend you NOT attempt your first year, unless you’re absolutely set on the idea. Some cole crops (which are cold-hardy crops) can be very temperamental. Due to the Island’s tendency for a sudden change from spring to summer (like, literally, one day it’s freezing and the next we’re at the beach), crops (like broccoli, rapini, cauliflower, cabbage, and others) may have a tendency to bolt if the weather gets too hot too quickly – leaving the whole plant woody and bitter. So much of the success of a cold-hardy crop depends on weather, that I often don’t bother with many of them. However, if you’re invested in the idea, just be sure to pay close attention to the plant, water it lightly yet regularly, and shelter it from the hot midday sun when possible. In lieu of these trickier brassicas, I would try snap and shell peas, beets, and even radishes for early sowings. These vegetables are a little less sensitive to the heat and have a great payoff when harvest time arrives. Hot tip: when planting snap peas, look for the “stringless” types, such as the “Super Snap” variety from Veseys. Who wants a stringy pea when you can have a NOT stringy pea?


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If you don’t have time to do tons of early spring weeding, then perhaps carrots aren’t the best choice for you.

Lettuce is another vegetable that loves to bolt. However, I’ve found a few ways to help deal with this: instead of planting head lettuce, I opt for a loose-leaf lettuce blend, or mesclun mix. I have several of my own reasons for this, so this may not be right for you depending on your needs. First, lettuce is less likely to bolt if you harvest the outer/older leaves often, so once those leaves get big enough to be worth eating, I just harvest them every day or two for use in salads and sandwiches (just snipping them off with scissors). This will keep the plants producing and help deter bolting. For me, mesclun mix seems to suit our lifestyle better. We tend to eat salads often in the summer, and by planting a leaf mix we can harvest daily, instead of having to time our head lettuce plantings, so they aren’t all ready at the same time, it keeps us from having ten heads of lettuce to eat the same week. Another benefit of mesclun mix is its ease of planting. Just scatter the seeds around relatively evenly in a patch of soil, water it, and walk away. Because the plants will grow throughout the patch, as opposed to in separate heads, they will usually crowd out most weeds, making the upkeep very manageable. Carrots? Hmm. Speaking of which: do you hate weeding? I know I do! If you don’t have time to do tons of early spring weeding, then perhaps carrots aren’t the best choice for you. Carrots MUST be weeded early and often until they are well established, as the weeds will often take over the carrot plants and crowd them out. For many people, it’s worth the extra time, but let me tell you it’s a “fiddly” job, as they say. Carrot seedlings are fine and fragile, so weeding can be difficult; so can planting carrots, for that matter. Their seeds are very small, so if your eyesight isn’t great but your heart’s set on growing carrots, I’d recommend buying carrot seed “tape” as opposed to loose seeds. This will make planting a breeze.

Should I transplant seedlings, or just plant seeds outside? There are some plants worth starting indoors, growing into a seedling, and then transplanting outside once the risk of frost has passed (in recent years here on the Island, this has been mid-to-late June). Some people enjoy attempting to grow their own seedlings, but it isn’t totally necessary. Growing seedlings successfully requires a lot of key elements: steady temperature, a south-facing window with tons of shelf space, soil and seedling containers, and potentially even grow lights. Unless you enjoy the process, or are planting an absolutely MASSIVE garden, I would consider foregoing this step. All of the local greenhouses here on the Island will do this job for you, and do it very well, and a six-pack of seedlings costs about the same as an envelope of seeds. So, unless you’re planting a large garden or adventuring in obscure varieties of vegetables, the option of buying transplants is definitely worth considering, especially for your first year. Bush or trellis? That depends on your woodworking skills. Which brings us to our next topic: growing space. Many vegetables, like beans and cucumbers, come in both trellis and bush varieties. If you have ample space, opt for the bush varieties as a new gardener. Building trellises can be overwhelming for a first timer, and they aren’t always totally successful in their purpose. A bush variety will produce a similar amount of fruit but will do so along the ground. The bush varieties also tend to shade out weeds from growing in your garden bed. An added bonus if you aren’t a fan of weeding! Tomatoes also come in several growth types. There are determinate and indeterminate for starters (determinate have a set growth height and duration, and indeterminate will continue to grow indefinitely, often producing a larger yield and offering a longer

harvest window), but there are also a few special ultra-compact varieties that are perfect for container gardening as well if you like having tomatoes nearby for easy picking. Some common examples of compact types are “Tiny Tim” and “Patio,” both cherry varieties. Tiny Tim tomatoes also tend to have a thicker, sturdy stalk, great for small kids and pets who may be lurking around nearby. As a rule, if you plan on using cages for your tomatoes, buy a determinate variety, and if you plan to trellis or string up your tomato plants, an indeterminate variety is a better choice. Having said that, I often grow indeterminate tomatoes using cages. They do a number on the cages and they sure aren’t pretty, but it works well enough if you don’t mind the mess. So, what IS easy to grow? For a simple list, here goes: Start off with things like radishes, beets, mesclun mix, kale, collards, swiss chard (or other greens), and snap and/or shell peas in early spring. Once the risk of frost has passed (mid to late June), direct seed vegetables such as string beans, and plant transplants for things like cucumbers, zucchini and other squashes, and tomatoes. To have a steady supply of greens all summer, plant at least one more sowing in two to four weeks’ time. Hopefully someday we will all have more time to work in our gardens, tend to weeds and water daily, but until then I hope you find some helpful information here. While I’ve tried my best to troubleshoot some of the basic issues when Island gardening, I (quite happily) do not know everything. I would suggest you try growing what vegetables you like to eat best and see what works for you! You will eventually find your own balance and decide what’s right for you and your garden.

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


H O M E & C O T TA G E

Making it work By Alana Lauren

“Working from home” has a whole new meaning since March 2020, and we’re trying to make it work. For those who have a dedicated home office in their home the transition has been relatively easy, but there are many who struggle to find a private space to maintain productivity and continue to operate on a professional level. The latest trend in the home office is a tiny building—anywhere from 100 square feet to as much room as you require to run your business. Tiny buildings can be basic structures with no utilities—run an extension cord from a main building—or you can deck them out to serve extra duty as a guest house complete with plumbing, heat and electrical. ▲ Photo courtesy of East Coast Homes (Evan Ceretti)

2019 was the year of the coveted “she shed” - 2021 is all about the backyard workspace. The humble garden shed is being transformed into a business space that functions as a home office, a board room for Zoom meetings or simply a space that works.


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“A tiny building is an easy way to expand your home quickly, without the hassle of a renovation,” Jess MacKinnon of East Coast Homes explains. East Coast Homes designs and builds custom sheds and “tiny buildings” to help clients get more from their current home; the buildings arrive completed —even wired—onsite at clients’ properties. “We work with clients to design the tiny building of their dreams—no more hexagon standard utility sheds, we build spaces people are inspired to work in.” Your tiny building can begin its life as a garden shed or barn, a small shipping container or a manufactured tiny home. Find the size and type of building that fits with your requirements. “Add patio doors, additional windows for natural light, built-in storage, and keep the walls bright. Your shed will feel like a custom room in no time.” says MacKinnon. Whatever your choices, a tiny building can become your perfect home office.

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


H O M E & C O T TA G E

Outdoor Living Material Girl Fabrics’ Tips for Your Backyard Enclosure Weather is changing all over, and the most notable change on PEI is the wind. Every year, I get more calls for ways to stop wind from interfering with outdoor patio fun.

By Christine Zareck


he great thing about patio enclosures is that they give you a longer patio season. A second benefit is that they can be left up during the winter, and you can store outdoor items on the patio. Sunbrella® is my favourite material to use to complement clear vinyl windows, since the sun can’t hurt it, and it’s easy to clean. Sunbrella® doesn’t fade, so you can use any colour you wish; there are 59 colours to choose from. The most recent project I designed using Sunbrella® material matched the customer’s siding, which created a seamless look from house to patio.

Christine Zareck, owner of Material Girl Fabrics (Photo: Sara Bakker)


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A common misconception about Sunbrella® is that it’s completely waterproof. Some types are, but those are typically for boat covers and outdoor kitchens. However, I sell a product to waterproof outdoor fabric

that you can spray on your Sunbrella® cushions. Typically, we add several windows to a patio enclosure, so that you can open and close parts of the enclosure depending on the weather and wind. We install the windows with snaps, making them very easy to remove if you choose to store them. When you want to open them, they roll up. Keep in mind that clear vinyl expands and contracts with the temperature, so putting the windows up when it’s cold can be a challenge. It’s a good idea to leave the windows in a warm place for a day, then install them quickly. We have installed patio windows in freezing weather, but the best time of year to order them is during warm weather. That gives the windows the best fit and allows the clear vinyl to relax and look like glass.

Clear vinyl will last years if you keep it clean and conditioned; cleaners and conditioners are available at my shop. All outdoor fabrics needs to be kept clean to last. Mold grows on dirt, not on fabric.

Labour and materials for all these projects are an investment, but you are guaranteed you’ll have something you can’t purchase on the Internet. Buy local, and extend your patio season!

There is no typical cost for an outdoor patio enclosure. Every patio is unique to your home, and costs vary depending on the amount of fabric and clear vinyl an enclosure requires. Installation is not quoted, and a patio enclosure typically takes a couple of hours to install. Customers have asked us to quote curtains and tops for outdoor gazebos purchased at local hardware stores. Making a new curtain or top from Sunbrella® could cost more than a replacement made of the previous material. However, using Sunbrella®, there is no comparison in terms of strength and how long the top or curtain will last. The same goes for outdoor cushions.




565 North River Road, Charlottetown 902.218.7128 materialgirl.pei@gmail.com

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca




I have never been more ready for a new season to emerge than I am this one. I’ve always been a lover of spring but, this one more so than any other, is truly monumental. We are emerging from the wreckage of what seems to have been the longest year known to man. I for one am ready to peel off the loungewear and energize my style with everything spring has to offer.

This season I’m shining the spotlight on everything bold and beautiful, just like all the women featured in this issue who are making waves in our community. Even the soft soothing colours you’ll see this season are bold choices to add into your wardrobe. I’m urging you to be fearless in your fashion, let’s wear the dress, dance in the shoes and accessorize to the max.

This edition is always a special one, near and dear to my heart, the woman in business issue shines a light on all the fabulous women pushing the boundaries every day. I was fortunate to work with each of our cover gals to style, and direct our cover shot. From concept to fittings to finalizing the shot - I felt the pressure to spotlight each and every woman in their highest confidence.

Though it can be tough to prep spring style ahead of local spring arrivals, fortunately deadlines were pushed, and it gave me the opportunity to show you some fabulous trends you can find right here. As always, I hope you find inspiration through my feature of beautiful local women wearing gorgeous local fashion. Let your style bloom, and our awesome retail community flourish this spring.

Read PEI Living Magazine online: www.issuu.com/peilivingmagazine


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Kimberly Rashed kimberly.peiliving@gmail.com (wardrobe: Luxury Market)

“Live life in full bloom.” - Elizabeth Murray




Soothing soft pretty pastel shades are keeping us chill in this time of chaos. Soft pinks have become synonymous with self care and are everything we need for our mind and spirit right now.

A great trend to ease your way into spring is adding pops of blue to your everyday classics of monochrome grays and blacks. Accessories are a great way to add colour without the commitment.

YELLOW BAGS Why yellow? Cause it just screams “happy”. For those of us terrified of wearing this cheery hue, we’ve got you covered with the season’s hottest bag trend.



WIDE LEG TROUSERS Ditch the sweats and leggings for a voluminous pant in a variety of different fabrics and styles. If lounge-y is your vibe choose knit fabrics for the ultimate in comfort.

Time to celebrate your style. We’ve been locked away for far too long and there’s just no stifling us any longer. I for one am ready to break out some pieces that didn’t get their play and revitalize them with a new sense of style. Let’s see happier hues that give us hope for what this season has in store. Who’s with me?

- Kimberly Rashed, Style Editor



Interesting new color combos are making waves this season. Your camel colours from fall are doing double duty by making an appearance this spring with added fluorescent pops.

Trends do come and go and can often be intimidating. This is definitely one that’s daunting, however you’ll see more subtle versions that will allow more of us to jump on the bandwagon while still playing it safe.

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca



BOLD & Beautiful

Stand out accessories are making a comeback this spring. Bold colours and eye-catching shapes and sizes are here to enliven your look. We’ve focused on two very different, yet equally as strong, styles from two amazing women.

Words and Photos By Kimberly Rashed

Pine and Navy – Michelle Cudmore These stunning polymer clay earrings are all handmade by Michelle. She creates unique, one of a kind hand mixed colours for each of her designs. She hand rolls, shapes and cuts each piece. Her attention to design and detail are what make them such a standout, show-stopping accessory. Visit her Etsy shop, PineAndNavy. Model: Tamara Steele


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Quilling with Makayla – Makayla Bernard These beautiful earrings are handmade by a new budding woman in business who has an abundance of talent at the young age of 12. She’s a Mi’kmaq artisan that hand harvests the porcupine quills and birchbark herself. She is such an amazing ambitiously skilled young lady already. There’s no telling where this young lady will go. Find her on Facebook, Quilling with Makayla. Model: Amy Halman

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca



Get to know Your Style With Little Black Dress By Brianne Hogan Photos Sara Bakker


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fter leaving the fashion world in 2016, Shawna Perry made a stylish comeback three years later with the launch of the consignment boutique Little Black Dress. Initially an online business, the first “brick and mortar” shop opened up in Summerside in 2020 with a new (and bigger) location planned for March 2021 “just down the street” at 227 Water Street. Perry says the shop’s most popular services include private shopping parties, professional fittings and bridal packages, and style boxes, which are boxes of 10-15 items prepared uniquely for you based on your style and size. “You have 48 hours to try everything on, and you only pay for any items you decide to purchase,” says Perry. When it comes to buying consignment fashion, Perry says there are many benefits, ranging from cost efficiency to supporting locally owned businesses to environmental factors. “Clothing alone accounts for 90 per cent of textile waste,” she says. Style consultancy, which Perry likens to personal training, is another soughtafter service of the shop, . “Working with a style consultant means we get to know you,” she says. “We get to know not only your style, but your body and your fashion personality too. We get to know what cuts and colours work for you, and what your closet currently consists of and what it’s missing.” Perry says she knows her clients’ wardrobes “like the back of my hand.” “Little Black Dress is not just a boutique. We are a community,” says Perry. “We empower our clients, our customers. Here, fashion has no size, no gender, no age, no race. No rules.”

Little Black Dress Co. 227 Water Street, Summerside 902.724.5554 www.thelittleblackdressco.com

▲ The CBDC PEI (CBDC Central PEI) Award for New Business of the Year (2020): Little Black Dress Co. SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca



Hello Spring

A delicate floral print in a versatile set from Isla Boutique. Voluminous flowing fabrics with all the loungewear vibes we live for. Model: Lacey Koughan, owner of 24STRONG Wardrobe: Isla Boutique


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Bright pops of colour like this bag from Luxury Market Consignment Boutique energize even understated hues. This minimal dress from KC Clothing emerges into the season with all the vibrance we need. Model: Tamara Steele, Executive Director at Black Cultural Society of Prince Edward Island Dress: KC Clothing Bag: Luxury Market Consignment Boutique


Fun and fresh is the definition of business casual. This Charlie B boucle jacket and denim combo from Lady Slipper screams personality plus. Model: Julie Ann Gauthier, Leadership Coach Wardrobe: Lady Slipper


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Taking that country inspiration to the max with this bias-cut maxi from Isla Boutique. It’s all about ease of style this spring. Model: Lacey Koughan Wardrobe: Isla Boutique

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Vibrant colour is blooming in this Joseph Ribkoff combo from Dow’s Fashions. A culotte jumpsuit is the perfect balance for this strong fuschia moto jacket. Model: Robin Gamble, Realtor‰ Wardrobe: Dow’s Fashions


www.pei-living.ca SPRING 2021

Strong blue accessories are adding all the pop we need. This sky blue bias cut skirt and sweater are a blissfully dreamy combo from KC Clothing. Model: Julie Ann Gauthier Wardrobe: KC Clothing

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca






Last year was exceptionally stressful for all of us. That’s why it’s important to implement some changes in 2021 that will make this the year you lived every minute for you!

Have Some Me Time Be sure to give yourself some dedicated Me Time every day. Being home 24/7 with family can be overwhelming. Give yourself an hour every day for you alone.

Meditate The mental health benefits of meditation include better focus and concentration, improved self-awareness and self-esteem, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and fostering kindness.

Declutter Your Wardrobe Now is the time to declutter your wardrobe. Remove everything from your closet and donate any items that don’t fit, are damaged or that you just don’t reach for anymore. Good quality items can be sold through local consignment stores like Luxury Market (Charlottetown) or Little Black Dress (Summerside).

www.luxurymarketpei.com www.thelittleblackdressco.com


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Walk 30 Minutes A Day Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life. For example, regular brisk walking can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Walk with a friend, family member or your favourite canine buddy and hit the walking paths for a minimum of 30 minutes every day.

Read More

Hydrate Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids. Your body is composed of about 60 per cent water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

Build Good Habits

Reading is a great way to relax and wind down after a busy day. Drop into the local library or bookstore, and pick up the latest novel from your favourite author and find a quiet place to curl up and read. I find a few chapters at the end of each day help with sleep.

We are creatures of habit; and good habits, such as getting regular exercise, healthy diets, etc., make us feel better. Maintaining good habits also helps us feel that we have some control over our lives. Just do it.

Quit Those Bad Habits Quit Smoking

Everyone can agree that smoking is a deadly habit. Quitting also lowers your risk of diabetes, helps your blood vessels work better, and helps your heart and lungs. Quitting smoking can also add as much as 10 years to your life, compared to if you continued to smoke.

Quit Processed Sugar

Quit Being Negative

Quit Being a Slave to Tech

Drop the attitude. If you think the world owes you a living, you might want to reevaluate your position. It is quite possible that, by feeling entitled, you are pushing away things and people you might like.

Manufacturers add sugar to 74 per cent of the processed foods they make. You’ll have more energy and no energy slumps; quitting sugar makes your energy levels go up and you’ll no longer be looking for a sugary treat to give yourself a boost. Wake up feeling more refreshed and have higher levels of energy.

We all spend too much time staring at our phones or other devices. Limit screen time - take one day of the week when you leave your screen dark or put your devices down an hour or two before bedtime.

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca



Calm Your Anxious Dog By Jacqui Chaisson Photo Charles Deluvio


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common problem many pet parents complain about is that their dogs are disruptive or destructive, chewing, barking, howling or even urinating and defecating when left alone.

A brisk walk just before you plan to leave the house will help your dog cope with anxious feelings and allow them to feel more relaxed while you are gone.

MUSIC THERAPY They say music calms the savage beast. I know my dog benefits from music while I’m gone. Keep in mind, it doesn’t need to be music; try leaving your TV on at a low volume. YouTube and music streamers offer channels dedicated to easing separation anxiety for both dogs and cats.


These behaviours may be indications that your pet has separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is triggered when your dog becomes upset when you leave them. The worst response is to punish your dog when you return, and there are ways to soothe your anxious dog and alleviate the unwanted behaviours.

There is nothing more soothing than your touch. Before leaving the house, spend some time simply petting your dog. This calming interaction will make it easier when you actually leave.

Most important: all hellos and goodbyes should be conducted in a very calm manner. When leaving, just give your dog a pat on the head, say goodbye and leave. Similarly, when arriving home, say hello to your dog and then don’t pay any more attention to him until he’s calm and relaxed.


Here are some proven ways to calm your anxious dog.

EXERCISE Be sure your dog gets the right amount of exercise for his age, breed and lifestyle. If you’re an apartment dweller your dog should get at least two walks a day - one in the morning and one in the evening. Larger breeds can benefit from an off-leash run at your local dog park, while a small breed dog might be okay with walking through a park a few times a day. Regular walks not only keep your dog fit, they also ensure your dog is emotionally healthy.

Avoid “roughhousing” with your dog just before you know you’re going to be leaving them alone.

If your dog is destructive when left alone, it may be advisable to have them crate-trained. Be sure the crate fits your dog, giving him plenty of room to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably. It’s never a good idea to crate your dog for more than an hour or two, and never use the crate as punishment. Instead put your dog in the crate with a treat for up to an hour while you are at home; this will make your dog more comfortable spending time in the crate when he is left alone. If your buddy is a rescue or an adult, crate training is still possible but will take time and patience. If a crate won’t suit your dog, opt for a pet gate to confine your anxious dog to a smaller area in the home, or set up a comfortable place in a particular room where your anxious dog will feel more secure - as with the crate, don’t use this space as punishment. Your home should always be a safe

place for your dog. If your dog chews when they feel anxious, ensure there is nothing within reach that can harm them when left alone. Furniture, electrical cords and even some toys or filling from dog beds can cause choking or other medical emergencies.

CBD OIL There’s a lot of confusion between CBD and marijuana. While both are derived from the hemp plant, CBD doesn’t contain the levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the ingredient that makes you “high.” CBD oil is available at local pet stores.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES Ask your dog’s veterinarian for medications or therapies to alleviate the anxiety your dog feels when left alone. They will know what is safe for your dog’s personal health and situation.

TAKE THEM WITH YOU Sometimes the best option is to ensure your dog isn’t left alone. If possible, take your dog to work with you or arrange for a family member, friend or dog sitter to come to your home and stay with your dog when you’re not there. Most dogs suffering from separation anxiety are fine as long as someone is with them. That someone doesn’t necessarily need to be you. You may also consider taking your dog to a sitter’s house or to a doggy daycare. Dogs are an important part of our lives and we always want to be sure they are happy. Always choose a dog that suits your lifestyle, your home and your family.

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca



Island-Founded Blue Ribbon Pet Supply Keeps it Local By Brianne Hogan Photos Evan Ceretti & Sara Bakker

If you’re looking for an Island-founded business for your pet, look no further than Blue Ribbon Pet Supply in Charlottetown. Established in 2010. Owner Colin Scales says he opened the store to give Islanders another option to choose from when shopping for their furry loved ones.

“One of the benefits of being the only completely independently-owned store in Charlottetown is being able to hand select the products that we sell,” he says. “We do not have a head office telling us we need to carry certain lines, or telling us what we can and cannot bring in.” As a result, Scales says, the store tries to focus on quality sourced products for their customers when it comes to pet food, treats and chews, in addition to selling as many Canadian products as possible. “Thankfully, we live in a country that produces so many great products that are held to higher standards and ethics over other countries,” he says. “Our Canadian kibble and raw lines have done very well for us and we continue to stand behind them as they have done for us.” Additionally, Scales says they make it a priority to work with local businesses from pet training, to walking services, to veterinarians and boarding. “We work with local charities and try to help our local organizations,” he says. When it comes to serving their customers, Scales says he’s not an “up-seller.” “We do our best to try to sell you products that will be useful to you and your pet. If it is not something you need, we will generally tell you that it might not be the best choice. I would like to think that we are retaining our customers by saving them money the best we can, and we do our best to keep our prices low and fair.” Scales says they try to treat their customers like family, which is what pets are to so many of us. “Pets have always impacted the lives of humans; whether it’s a farm dog or cat or a house pet, they always bring warmth to our hearts,” he says. “Especially within the last 20 years, pets are starting to play more of a family role in pet owners’ households.”

Having just lost two pets of his own within the last six months, Scales says the losses have brought more understanding of how much they meant to his family. “Whether you are having a bad day, or having an amazing day, they are there to keep you stable, bring you warmth, and their undivided attention.” While Scales admits he’s encountered a number of ups and downs throughout the last 10 years, “We have learned so many life lessons. There have been a few times we came close to shutting our doors for good. But I have always had a vision on what I want Blue Ribbon to become.” Part of that vision was expanding its size, which occurred when the shop moved to its new space at 420 Queen Street, which has allowed more options for the store. “I have fought hard and worked a ridiculous number of hours to get where we are today,” says Scales. “I have an evolving vision for Blue Ribbon and continue to work hard to make it the pet supply store our customers can depend on. We had many opportunities to become a franchise under other names, but being 100% locally owned is something I’m proud to say we are.”

Blue Ribbon Pet Supply 420 Queen St, Charlottetown 902.370.3373 www.blueribbonpei.com

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca



Q &A 108

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ERIN ARSENAULT www.livingcolourportraits.com

Q. When did you start drawing? I guess it’s a similar story to most artists. Since childhood, I was always drawing in some capacity. Even before I started my portrait business, I used drawing as a tool in other projects. Q. When did you know you wanted to be an artist as a vocation? Drawing portraits has been a side gig since I was a teen. It was only after having my son that I realized there was this tiny, adorable muse that was always around and I had a billion pictures of. I started by drawing him and then offered to draw some friends’ kids. It went over well and grew from there.

look at them with fresh eyes and notice what changes need to be made. Q. What is the process for someone wanting a portrait completed? Usually people find me on Facebook or by email and we chat about what kind of project they have in mind. They send photos and we choose what photos and colours would work best with the subject. Q. Do you come from a family of creative people?

I have a Bachelor of Fine Art from NSCAD.

Definitely! My mother is a custom cake maker who also sews, and my dad is kind of a jack of all trades. Fortunately for me, they passed down their skills and resourcefulness. My husband is an artist as well, specializing in illustration and graphic design. It’s no surprise our older son draws nonstop. Our youngest is pretty enthusiastic too when he manages to get a hold of a marker.

Q. What do you use to create your portraits?

Q. Who or what inspires you the most?

I’ve worked in oil, acrylic, watercolour and all kinds of dry media, and while I occasionally offer those, my current work is mainly in colour pencil.

Other people and their stories. Recently I’ve been taking on a lot of projects that memorialize a loved one. Many clients are seeking a visual, tangible representation of something that has been in their head and their heart. Like a family portrait that was unable to happen before a member passed away. It’s been a really fulfilling role that I never considered starting out.

Q. Did you receive formal training as an artist?

Q. What is your favourite subject to draw? Least favourite? I definitely favour people, especially kids. Chubby, rosy cheeks or a nice neck roll is ideal. Least favourite? Landscape. I really envy artists that can make a field look interesting. Perhaps that’s why I appreciate it so much. Q. How long does it usually take to finish a portrait?

Q. How can people see your work? You can find me and my current work at Facebook.com/livingcolourportraits, on my website livingcolourportraits. com, or email me at erin@ livingcolourportraits.com.

I probably actually spend much longer on them than I think; I just haven’t timed myself! On average, five or six hours, in increments. I find it detrimental to work on one portrait for several hours at a time, so I tend to have a few on the go. That way I can

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


A R T S & E N T E R TA I N M E N T

CHARLOTTETOWN FILM FESTIVAL How Cheryl Wagner ushered the “little festival with big dreams” into the COVID era By E. Christie Photos Sara Bakker

From Cannes to Cairo, it’s hard to think of an event less suited to the age of the coronavirus than a film festival. But 2020 was, at the very least, a year that forced most industries, including the film industry, to re-imagine the way they do business. Cheryl Wagner, executive director of the Charlottetown Film Festival (ChFF) which took place in Charlottetown in October 2020, says this meant taking the “little festival with big dreams” from a threeday, in-person event filled with screenings, parties and intimate gatherings, to a hybrid part-virtual/part in-person event with intense COVID protocols.


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than going strictly virtual like the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival, for example? CW: Because City Cinema is our HOME—both for the Film Society and the festival, and for our film community. It was important to us to offer the experience of seeing films on the big screen, within the limits the pandemic has imposed. On PEI we are comfortable with small gatherings. And when we were approved to offer 35 seats safely at City Cinema, we HAD to say yes! Plus, we benefited from the fact that PEI was one of the safest places to be in North America during fall [in terms of COVID-19 cases]. Lucky us! So we decided to enjoy such benefits, while taking all the safety precautions.

▲Cheryl Wagner


nce the dust settled, Wagner sat down with PEI Living, via Zoom of course, to talk about what it was like to host a film festival in the COVID era, what sets ChFF apart from other film festivals and why she’s ready to pass the ChFF torch. PEI Living: What was your first thought regarding the festival when we went into lockdown in March? CW: At that time, the festival wasn’t even on my radar! Since the 2019 festival, the Charlottetown Film Society had successfully bought City Cinema and had new plans to hire a full-time employee to run the cinema and the festival. In August it was announced the person hired had decided to step away, and I was asked if I would step up one more time...and I said yes. PEI Living: In 2020 the festival offered a combination of virtual and in-person events. What led to the decision to offer both formats rather

PEI Living: What was your greatest challenge providing both experiences with COVID protocols? CW: This was a GREAT BIG learning curve for our tiny team, which is comprised of basically me, Mary-Helen McLeese, who is the festival and tech director, and Marshall Harrington, the City Cinema manager. And it proved costly. Providing the online streaming availability was not something accounted for in the initial budget prior to March 2020. Plus, due to the need to clean between screenings at City Cinema, we cut down the daily output from five in the past to four screenings on the Saturday and Sunday. PEI Living: What were some of the greatest victories? CW: I think that we managed to have a film festival at all was a victory in itself! Especially since it wasn’t until late August that we were able to get things rolling. Mary-Helen [McLeese] and I truly had thought when we completed the festival in 2019 that it was our last. But COVID changed that. And moving to online streaming successfully is a testimony to how vital a contribution Mary-Helen as tech director and Marshall as cinema manager made. I confess, I am technically challenged

and without them ChFF20 could never have happened. PEI Living: What would you say was ChFF’s hidden gem in 2020? CW: That would be our four Industry panels, which were held over Zoom. They came together at the very last minute. Adding Zoom to the technical requirements was a further challenge, and nailing down the topics our sector could really benefit from with our expert participants to share their knowledge and experience was my ambition. I am thrilled with what we accomplished. PEI Living: Film festivals are great places to network and make contacts — how do you think this online format impacted people’s ability to connect — or did it? CW: I think the Zoom Industry Sessions provided the best opportunity for people to meet. But frankly, in the past our festival was so appreciated by filmmakers from our region as a small and friendly event where it was so easy to connect and network, and last year ChFF20 couldn’t provide those opportunities. And we missed that. Next year! PEI Living: Would you consider offering online events for future festivals, and why or why not? CW: To be honest, I am counting on ChFF20 being my very LAST incarnation as the executive director of the Charlottetown Film Festival. But I will be happy to have a coffee with whomever is driving the train next year if they want to pick my brain... what is left of it!

To learn more about the Charlottetown Film Festival (ChFF) visit www.charlottetownfilmfest.com

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca



THE SPRING READING LIST There are so many amazing books being published this season. Here are a few of my recent favourites that are available from local bookstores or the PEI Library Service. By Kristen Johnson


www.pei-living.ca SPRING 2021

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Nobel laureate and Booker Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro has written another powerful novel about love and belonging. Klara, an Artificial Friend, is a memorable narrator who navigates her world with poise and introspection.

Fans of Clarke’s previous book Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell had to wait sixteen years for her latest work. Piranesi is short, satisfying and utterly strange. The setting described in the first few pages is so unique, it is almost hard to grasp. A few pages later and you feel like you can walk through the endless marble statues and predict the cycle of the waves that roll through them as well as the narrator. Simply put, this is a fun book that will have you rooting for the title narrator while trying to guess the ending.

Sparse and subtle, with much left unwritten, this book will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

This cleverly written novel will keep you up past your bedtime trying to piece together the details of Franny’s life and how she ended up following the last of these birds on their enormous journey from pole to pole.

Fungi are everywhere. They are in the air, in the soil, in our food and a part of our bodies. They can transform the humble grain into bread or beer, act as medicines that cure common ailments, and alter the way we think. Sheldrake lovingly writes about these amazing organisms that are neither plant nor animal. Part science, part memoir, this book is a must read for amateur mycologists and fans of science writing alike.

Klara and the Sun will be available in bookstores March 2nd. A special live virtual event is planned for March 15th at 8pm, specifically for readers in Canada.

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy In the near future when most animals have suffered the fate of extinction, Franny Stone is determined to follow the last migration of the Arctic terns. The book begins in Greenland with Stone trying to gain passage on a small fishing boat – one of the last in existence.

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake

The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World by Virginia Postrel The Fabric of Civilization is not just a history of textiles. Postrel shows us how the history of textiles is the history of civilization by explaining the connections between the textile inventions of the era and the way they shaped people. This beautiful book weaves together fibre, thread, cloth and dye with writing, commerce, art and science.

Ishiguro will be discussing this new work with Souvankham Thammavongsa, author of How to Pronounce Knife. Tickets are available through Bookmark in Charlottetown. Access to the event is included with the purchase of the book from select Canadian independent bookstores.

SPRING 2021 www.pei-living.ca


MEET THE TEAM It takes a team of creative people and almost three months to get each edition of PEI Living to your coffee table. In the upcoming issues we thought it would be fun to introduce you to the minds behind the magazine. PEI Living wouldn't be possible without the passionate dedication of everyone involved.

BEHIND THE LENS Q&A with Sara Bakker, Photographer, Account Executive

What do you love photographing the most? Photography for me has always been a creative adventure, and I bring this creativity with me to every shoot. However, when I’m photographing for my own enjoyment you will find me exploring abandoned places, usually with a film camera in hand. In my personal work I photograph a lot in film, typically using a vintage twin lens camera loaded with black and white film. I develop the film myself at home and then scan all the film to print digitally.

What do you do when you’re not shooting? My life revolves around a little human that I’m lucky enough to call my daughter, so when I’m not shooting, you’ll find me hanging out with her. Lately she has been helping me with photos, and she’s pretty good for a fiveyear-old.

What equipment do you use? When did you begin your career as a photographer? I have been working as a photographer across Atlantic Canada since 2010. I started my career in photography as the staff photographer for the student newspaper at Memorial University. The last seven years I have spent studying with and working among creative peers across artistic disciplines. My career in photography has been constantly evolving as I gather experience in multiple disciplinaries within photography, and I’m excited to see what I learn next.


www.pei-living.ca SPRING 2021

I’ve been lucky in my career to have been able to use a large variety of photographic equipment, both digital and analogue, and still use quite a few. For my digital work, I’m currently using the Fuji X series mirrorless cameras, usually paired with my favourite 35mm lens. My film work varies with my artistic vision for the project. Lately I have been gravitating toward a Rolleiflex twin lens camera, but I have an assortment of 35mm and toy cameras that get used regularly as well as an Epson film scanner.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into the business or hobby? Have fun. Photograph what you want and how you want to. Taking an introduction workshop to digital photography is a great way to get to know your camera and how each element of photography works together and will give you a solid foundation so you can achieve your vision. Don’t feel limited by your gear; the best camera is the one you own, and sometimes it forces you to be more creative. Some of my favourite work I’ve done was under limitations that challenged me creatively.

What do you like most about photography? The creativity. Photography can be a very technical art form, its whole basis is in chemistry and physics, yet once you understand the science photography is endlessly creative. It has given me the ability to show people how I see the world, which is pretty cool.

Info@sarajeanphotography.com www.SaraJeanPhotography.com

In addition to being a photographer for PEI Living, recently Sara took on a role as account executive, making her an indispensable part of the team. We’ve also heard the rumour that she’s an avid plant-mom.

are Trade Marks used under license from De Beers Group.

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A new collection of modern, yet timeless diamond rings set exclusively in platinum. Designed by celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger for Forevermark.

Profile for PEI Living Magazine

PEI Living Magazine Spring 2021  

The Island's only lifestyle magazine celebrating everything that makes PEI such a fabulous place to call home. Our fourth annual Women in B...

PEI Living Magazine Spring 2021  

The Island's only lifestyle magazine celebrating everything that makes PEI such a fabulous place to call home. Our fourth annual Women in B...

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