Courtney Vreeman started fly fishing a year ago and loves it. Here she holds up a lake trout she caught at Quesnel Lake last summer. (Photo submitted)

Courtney Vreeman started fly fishing a year ago and loves it. Here she holds up a lake trout she caught at Quesnel Lake last summer. (Photo submitted)

HOMETOWN: Choosing a hometown by design

With an expanding business and family, Courtney Vreeman continues to enjoy Williams Lake

Although she was born and raised in Abbotsford the owner of Still North Design Co. does not hesitate to call Williams Lake home.

“I love Williams Lake,” said 30-year-old Courtney Vreeman. “It’s got that small town feel — lots of good close-knit community members.”

Williams Lake is a place where people know your name, and when you go into a grocery store, everybody knows everybody, she added.

After moving to the Cariboo in 2013 because of family, it did not take long before Vreeman was keen to start her own business while being a stay-at-home mom with her two young sons Cash and Charlie.

Under the name Creatively Courtney, Vreeman made wood signs and small craft items from her home.

During the 2017 wildfires she designed a #bcstrong T-shirt to raise funds for people who lost their homes. Through Facebook her business grew and within a couple of months she embarked on creating her own designs, something that drew a positive response.

She then ventured into putting her designs on clothing, which she describes as being for outdoor enthusiasts or people who like nature.

On Dec. 20, 2017 she opened a store on Broadway Avenue North and looking back said it was a good move and ‘life changing.’

About 90 per cent of the designs are created by Vreeman and the rest are made by request.

In the fall of 2019 Still North did a ‘support your local logger campaign’ with a T-shirt sale and raised enough money to donate to five families in need, followed up in January 2020 with a T-shirt and wildlife print fundraiser to aid fire-ravaged Australia that raised $13,400.

Read more: Still North Design Co. donates thousands to Australia after successful T-shirt fundraiser

Vreeman and subsequently Still North Design has received several business excellence awards from the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce. She won the home-based business category in 2017, the business won for greatest improvement category in 2018 and for production and manufacturing in 2019.

Today Still North Design items are sold across Canada in Below the Belt stores and in other small boutiques or clothing stores.

“We have definitely grown substantially,” she said, nothing a month ago she purchased a larger building on Barnard Street that will double the square footage she has right now. “We are at capacity where we are now. It’s been a great spot for us and really served us well, but we are kind of moving past that.”

The new space will be similar to the Broadway Avenue store, with a store front and retail section, but will have more privacy in the back for production.

Presently she has six people working for her.

Vreeman is expecting a baby girl the first week of June and said the pregnancy is going well so far.

Life will be busy with a growing family and a growing business, she added.

When she isn’t working she loves to fly fish with her partner Zack Nerbas. He was born and raised in Williams Lake and started taking her fishing a year ago.

“We go wherever we can — we do a lot of fly fishing and camping. My sons love it too,” Vreeman said.

Read more: Business excellence applauded by Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BusinessWilliams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

School District 27 (SD27) issued notice Thursday, Feb. 25 of a COVID-19 exposure at Mountview Elementary School. (Angie Mindus photo)
School district reports positive COVID-19 case in Williams Lake elementary school

A letter went home to families of Mountview Elementary School

The City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
City of Williams Lake seeks feedback on hosting junior hockey league team

A league expansion application in Quesnel is also pending

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

LADDER USED IN FIRE FIGHT: While smoke billows out of the second floor of the Maple Leaf Hotel, members of the Williams Lake Volunteer Fire Department fight to contain the blaze. The department was called out Tuesday morning to battle the blaze that wreaked havoc on the interior of the 57-year-old hotel. One man, Harold Hurst of Riske Creek, died in the fire. (Ernest Engemoen photo - Williams Lake Tribune, April 12, 1977)
FROM OUR ARCHIVES: Ladder used in fire fight

The department was called out Tuesday morning to battle the blaze

Provincial funding in the amount of $300,000 has been announced for the Cariboo Regional District’s plans to improve the Anahim Lake Airport runway. (CRD photo)
$300,000 provincial funding to fuel Anahim Lake Airport runway upgrade

The recovery grant is one of 38 announced to support jobs in rural communities

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

Most Read