There's something to be said about being a local, especially in a tourist destination such as the beautiful Okanagan. It's a credential to be proud of, and along with it goes the responsibility to support fellow locals.
Particularly small businesses - and when it comes to apparel and fashion - what better day to do it than on Small Shop Saturday?
This year's date will be Oct. 26, exactly two weeks from now which gives you plenty of time to circle the square on your calendar.
Great - now that we're all agreeing to go, what does this participation entail?
Based on Downtown Kelowna's website, one thing's for sure - you and 1,999 other people will get free parking, as this blurb on downtownkelowna.com/smallshop so cutely advises:
"There is free parking on Oct. 26, 2013 for Small Shop Saturday on the street and in the two parkades in downtown Kelowna. That's 2,000 parking stalls, so there will be a free spot with your name written all over it. Unless you drive a lot of cars all at once.Â Like 100 or something. Which would be weird and impressive at the same time."
In addition to sneak peaks at the day's events, the site also lists the collaborating businesses, of which a few new favourites of my own are listed - and thus I wanted to dish out my own sneak peak so you know which stylish stores to hit when you're down there on that Saturday.
First up is a fluke discovery I made while walking down Bernard Avenue. My mother and I were simply strolling by when a blue dress in the window of Le Reve caught my eye. With a Miami-European look to its bright pattern, metallic touches, stretch fabric and stringy detailing, all I could say out loud was, "I bet it looks great on."
And so I tried it on and sure enough, it looked like a Roberto Cavalli. And so I snapped a selfie and mentally noted what a fabulous dress shop I had just come across.
It turns out Genessa Jackson, who was assisting me, not only owns the dreamy shop, but also designs and actually makes these dresses without even touching a pattern.
Her love and signature are the skinny straps which loop around like a halter and down along the waistline to finish as a tied knot. The dresses are unique and exceptional - and this from a woman who lives in the Okanagan.
With fabrics of international inspiration, most are sourced right here in British Columbia. Yes, working on a custom stand-out piece with Jackson in regards to size and fit, length, fabric and style is a possibility, so keep that in mind.
And make sure to make an appearance at 529 Bernard Ave. to check out the phenomenon Kelowna is so lucky to have.
Second of all, I found a store I had no idea existed: Duke and Duchess Apparel at 1579 Pandosy St., in between Bernard and Lawrence. It was opened by partners Cassie and James, who had a desire for that shopping ease they had when living in Edmonton.
This brand-candy shop sells items like Naked and Famous denim, and Crooks & Castles tees and sweatshirts. If you like the edgy labels, this is the place for you.
My assessment is that it is quite west coast, chill, a tad rocker and the clothing make a statement. I think Kelowna will love it.
With two major stops marked on your map, look forward to downtown Kelowna's very own local and annual Small Shop Saturday on Oct. 26. Get ready to shop!
- Jacqueline Podewils is an Okanagan resident and fashion columnist who has worked in New York's fashion industry. Her column appears every second week in The Okanagan Saturday. Email