david-michelsThis Community is the reason we're here and have been able to grow

One of the ways Geeks on the Beach Web Agency has built solid connections in the community is through what they call their “good karma” projects which include the Society of Organized Services (SOS District 69), the Victoria Film Festival, and the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat and Ecological Society (MVIHES).
Relationships here are vital,” says David. “You have to get out and shake hands, get to know small business owners. Our business just wouldn't have been able to grow without them.”

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Shirrathere are lots of opportunities for business as long as it’s something that works harmoniously with what’s here already

Parksville’s most iconic building - the wedge-shaped structure on West Island Highway – is now home to a fashion boutique that’s making the most of the funky space. Wilde and Sparrow () attracts a loyal following of local residents and tourists: “Everyone from teenage girls to older, stylish women who want something unique and on trend and not from the mall,” says Shirra Wall, who co-owns the boutique with Trish Smith.

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swag-factoryLife shouldn’t always be a transaction

Liz Parsons and Barry Pegus of Swag Design Factory know a lot about their customers and they like it that way. “We like being friends with our customers, and helping them come up with creative ideas for their business,” says Liz. Their vision is to be the digital equivalent of the small community shop you drop by for a friendly chat. Besides locals, their customers come from North America, Sweden, Germany, Eastern Canada and beyond.

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cliveThere’s nothing my wife or I want in our lives we can’t get right here

According to Backbone Magazine and KPMG, Pixton Comics is “one of the 20 companies driving innovation and changing the way we use the Internet.” The award-winning company is doing so from Parksville, B.C.

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jenny-hughesThere’s tons of opportunity in the Parksville-Qualicum Beach region

Jenny Hughes, the founder of Me & You Manufacturing Co., a company that designs and sells reusable, fashionable shopping bags, believes in the power of good timing. She started in 2004 after noticing a lack of stylish, reusable shopping bags in the Canadian market. Six months later, municipalities starting talking about banning plastic bags. Customers and the media came calling in droves.

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coastal-cakeYou just can’t overstate the clean, beautiful, environment here

Bespoke cake decorating service. That’s how Adam Skriver and Marieke Nijenhuis describe their popular Coastal Cake Company that specializes in custom wedding and special occasion cakes and confections since 2011. After only a few years in business, the two now service about 150 weddings a year and have recently baked their 15,000th cupcake. How do the two sustain their creative energy? “Marieke is passionate about pastry art, and I’m passionate about Marieke,” says Adam.

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meganIt felt natural to move my kids over here

Megan Olsen is the owner of Arbutus Events, which organizes concerts, trade shows, corporate events and craft fairs such as the All Decked Out Christmas craft fair.

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carolineSpending time in nature is sacred. Here it’s literally right outside your door

Caroline Hoste’s company Hello Stranger Creative arranged for DJ Flux Pavilion to remix the theme tune for the new Star Wars Rebels TV Series, which debuted October, 2014 on Disney XD.

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jaredI like to jump on my paddleboard and go fishing

Jared Shaw is a self described tech entrepreneur, growth hacker and analytics junkie. Essentially he looks for ways to help companies grow into new and emerging markets. Shaw works remotely from my home/office in Qualicum Beach and was involved in launching the new Digital Media Studio in Qualicum Beach.

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bonnie-chomicaThe whole outdoor wonderland - just at your doorstep

From her home base in Nanoose, Bonnie Chomica of Marketing Done Write provides writing services and marketing coaching for clients in the Parksville-Qualicum Beach region, Nanaimo and as far away as Ontario. She and her husband were drawn by the opportunities for year-round gardening, hiking and boating – what Chomica calls “the whole outdoor wonderland - just at your doorstep.”

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megan-richardsonIt’s easier to start a business here than people think

Hip clothing with an L.A. vibe. That’s how Megan Richardson of MOD Apparel describes her Qualicum Beach store. She opened it in 2011 after identifying a need for MOD’s distinctive offerings. Since then, she’s built a loyal local following as well as customers from Port Alberni, Campbell River, Victoria and Vancouver.

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sharonCreating Community through Art

“The Salish Sea Market is about creating community through art,” says owner Sharon Waugh. For me, it’s about the story behind the artists, and how they express culture through their art.”

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rusty-joerinWe just wanted to get out and start a new life

Rusty Joerin is a supply management consultant who provides procurement and supply management services to clients across Canada. He runs his business, Woodsgift Enterprises, from his home office in Qualicum Beach.“I was a young 24-year-old traveling around with my wife and we just liked this area. We were living in downtown Vancouver and really just wanted to get out and start a life.”

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