BUSINESS BEAT: New shops bringing fresh looks to Port Alberni

Theodore Naim is the owner of 24 Hour Club, specializing in sought-after name brand sneakers and streetwear. (TERESA BIRD/ Alberni Valley News)Theodore Naim is the owner of 24 Hour Club, specializing in sought-after name brand sneakers and streetwear. (TERESA BIRD/ Alberni Valley News)
Physiotherapist Jane Cruttendon has opened Yellow Door Studio to provide space for wellness classes such as yoga, Pilates, Zumba and more. (TERESA BIRD/ Alberni Valley News)Physiotherapist Jane Cruttendon has opened Yellow Door Studio to provide space for wellness classes such as yoga, Pilates, Zumba and more. (TERESA BIRD/ Alberni Valley News)
Rhonda Del Rio is back in Port Alberni and is the campus manager of Emerald College, formerly Alter Ego Studio. (TERESA BIRD/ Alberni Valley News)Rhonda Del Rio is back in Port Alberni and is the campus manager of Emerald College, formerly Alter Ego Studio. (TERESA BIRD/ Alberni Valley News)
Natasha and Billy Dennis are the owners of Billybeauty Marketing, formerly Ladybird Engraving. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)Natasha and Billy Dennis are the owners of Billybeauty Marketing, formerly Ladybird Engraving. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

BY TERESA BIRD

Alberni Valley News

A home business that started during the pandemic has turned into a storefront for Natasha and Billy Dennis.

“I have always been creative,” says Natasha from Billybeauty Marketing, located on Gertrude between Mountain View Bakery and Pete’s Mountain Meats. “This past year I have been creating custom clothing from our home with some old equipment my dad gave me.”

She posted some of her designs and got so many requests that it turned into a business.

“We’ve been going steady since last summer.”

When Ladybird Engraving came up for sale, it was time to take the next step.

“This fell into our hands,” says Natasha. “We saw an opportunity to take this to the next level.”

Billybeauty will continue to offer custom engraving, printing, signage and more.

“This year we will continue on as things were, serving current clients and attracting new ones,” says Natasha.

Find Billybeauty on Facebook, call them at 250-723-5239 or email billybeautymktg@gmail.com.

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Around the corner in Southgate Centre plaza, a hair studio and school has reopened. Emerald College has reopened the Del Rio Academy that operated in the same location next to RHM Subs a few years ago. Rhonda Del Rio is back as campus manager and has overseen the complete renovation of the space that will serve as a hair salon for the public as well as a classroom for those learning hairstyling and barbering.

The college is currently taking student applications for a Professional Barbering Fundamentals Program with funding provided by the federal government through the Canada‐British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement, so there is no cost to students. For more information on that program, please contact Rhonda at 250-723-8300 or email info@emeraldcollege.ca.

The school will also offer Red Seal Hairdressing Program Level 1. All courses are taught by certified barbers and hairstylists. The school is ITA designated and is approved for student aide financing. www.emeraldcollege.ca

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Just down the block along Gertrude, there is a house next to Bibi J’s with a bright yellow door and lots of activity going on inside.

The Yellow Door Studio is the brainchild of Jane Cruttenden, owner of Port Alberni Physiotherapy Clinic.

“I have been working in the valley for 14 years and noticed that there was a need in the community for something to bridge the gap between physiotherapy treatment and returning to “normal” activity,” says Cruttenden. “A place where people of all ages and abilities can feel comfortable in moving.”

And so Yellow Door Studio was born. Current workshops include GLA:D for people with osteoarthritic knees and hips and BACK in shape, which is for people with previous lower back injuries.

Starting Sept. 20, a variety of classes will also be offered at the studio including chair fit, Pilates, yoga, qigong and self shiatsu. Specialty classes include over 55’s and postnatal.

For more info you can visit https://www.wellnessliving.com/schedule/yellow_door_studio.

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Business is buzzing at Harbour Quay as well.

Pinto Goods and Refillery is a new shop on the corner at the entrance to Harbour Quay. Owner Haley Nikkels has sold her successful hair salon in Ucluelet and moved to Port Alberni to open this retail shop.

Keeping products as local – and natural – as possible, Nikkels is offering Mint cleaning products from Ucluelet and Sea Wench self-care products such as shampoo and body wash from Tofino in bulk. You can buy a bottle or bring your own to refill over and over, keeping plastics out of the landfill.

In addition to the refillery, the shop offers a variety of locally sourced baby items, home décor, housewares, candles, cards and more.

Pinto Goods and Refillery is open Wednesday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find them on Instagram.

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Next door to Pinto Goods and Refillery is the 24 Hour Club. The sneaker and streetwear store features hard to get and sought after name brand items. Owner Theodore Naim has come to Canada from the UK where he started buying popular streetwear brands like Supreme, Bape, Palace and Kith. Now he has turned his hobby into a business. The clothing includes t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, sweatpants and hats. One example is a rare and collectible Supreme hoodie with Michael Jackson screened on the front.

The sneaker (or running shoe) brands will be familiar to most, but the designs are rare. 24 Hour carries Converse, Nike, Adidas, New Balance and Puma in a few sizes of each collectible design.

“What I appreciate most about the sneakers is the storytelling,” says Naim. For example he opens a box of Puma Happy Cherries sneakers. The box, the shoes and even the wrapper around the shoe carry through the Happy Cherries theme.

Naim also carries his own 24 Hour Club gear, printed and stitched here in Port Alberni. He is hoping the shop becomes a “creator space” where locally created designs can be featured on clothing as well.

The shop is open Friday to Sunday, from 2-6 p.m.

Teresa Bird is the Alberni Valley News publisher. Do you have a business tip for her to include in her monthly column? E-mail her at publisher@albernivalleynews.com or call 250-723-6399.

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