Jazmyn Lyons loves comic books and pulp culture and co-owning The Realm of Toys with her mom Joan Douillard is a lot of fun, she says. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Jazmyn Lyons loves comic books and pulp culture and co-owning The Realm of Toys with her mom Joan Douillard is a lot of fun, she says. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

OUR HOMETOWN: A big kid at heart

Jazmyn Lyons co-owns a toy store in Williams Lake

Although she was born and raised in Kelowna, Jazmyn Lyons considers Williams Lake home.

“I love our community,” she said. “I never realized I only had acquaintances and not friends until I moved here. Once I came up here and met people through the Studio Theatre and the Potato House and actually made friends, that was a completely new concept for me.”

Describing Williams Lake as a ‘great community,’ she added it is so easy to meet people and know people.

“It’s one of those things. If someone needs help, we’ve got an entire city of people willing to try and help someone.”

Jazmyn moved to the lakecity because her parents Joan and Richard Douillard were already living there.

“Kelowna was exploding and it was much more affordable to live up here so that’s why we came up here,” she explained.

An artist all her life, Jazmyn and her mom own The Realm of Toys, and most of the art she creates these days is for the store.

“I try to get to it when I can, but it’s quite rare so I like to design our signs and business cards and our graphics on the walls. I also like to do posters and colouring books as fundraiser items for events.”

Before they ventured into the toy store business, Jazmyn was working at home as an illustrator when her mom closed her hair salon in Williams Lake.

“I was climbing the walls and needing to get out of the house,” she recalled. “I walked into town one day and saw the Book Bin was for sale. That night mom and I decided to buy it.”

When they bought the business in 2013 it was for the books, but when Wiseowl Toys was shutting down, which Jazmyn thought was a very viable business, and The Open Book was already a thriving bookstore, it “felt silly to try and compete against it,”so she and her mom decided to foray into toys.

“We are all big kids. My dad is the one who builds all of our samples and models and designs a lot of the stuff in the store. Mom and I – it’s become a bit of an obsession. It’s just so much fun.”

In 2018 they relocated to the former Wiseowl Toys location on Oliver Street.

Jazmyn was the president of Downtown Williams Lake Business Improvement Association but left last year to free up some time to try and pursue a position on city council with the next local government elections taking place Oct. 15, 2022.

She is also a director at large on the Potato House Sustainable Community Society and was president in the past.

Married to Terry Lyons, who was born and raised in Williams Lake, the two enjoy collecting comics.

“We both tend to nerd out over comic-like things and pop culture.”

They also enjoy travelling.

“We loved Ireland. We are going to be going to Disneyland soon. Any chance to get away – we love exploring new places.”

On Sunday, April 17, Jazmyn and Joan are hosting an Easter Festival in downtown Williams Lake. The street will be portioned off near the intersection of Oliver Street and Second Avenue.

“Most of the planning is done and we are leaving a bit of wiggle room in case there is some last minute stuff,” she said Friday, April 8.

The store has been selling plush bunnies to help raise money for the festival, and while sales have been “a little slow,” Jazmyn said Gibraltar Mine purchased 25 and let her and Joan choose who to donate them to.

“We sent them to the Women’s Contact Society for them to give out.”

READ MORE: Easter Festival to be back, bigger and better than ever in Williams Lake

READ MORE: Sign Wars building life of its own in Williams Lake


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