New female lakecity entrepreneurs are working to establish themselves in Williams Lake’s downtown core. (Monica Lamb-Yorski Photo)

Local businesswomen to offer more retail options downtown

They join a growing number of female Williams Lake entrepreneurs

Williams Lake is a buzz with several new businesses slated to open soon, including two by women who grew up in Williams Lake.

Allison Levens, after working for 23 years for B.C. Assessment Authority is partnering with realtor Susan Colgate and opening The Mantel, a bed, bath, kitchen, home decor and unique wood furniture store.

“Susan approached me and said she’d had this idea for the last couple of years,” Levens said. “I thought about it, knew I needed a change, and decided we should do it. I was ready for a change.”

The Mantel is going in across from Safeway next to Interior Properties on Fourth Avenue South and Levens said Colgate will continue working as a realtor and help out at the store when she can.

“Our pricing will be affordable with some upper end items,” Levens said.

Former Dairy Queen owners and sisters Chrissie and Janna Gertzen are opening Poppy Home next to Hub Barton Insurance on Second Avenue South.

Read More: Businesses honoured at Chamber of Commerce awards

On Thursday they were returning from a home and gift show in Toronto because their store will feature kitchen ware, bedding, duvets, home decor items, linens, bathroom decor and gifts.

“Poppy Home has been our passion since we sold the Dairy Queen early 2018,” the sisters said in an e-mailed response. “We recognized the need in the lakecity and we set out to fill a void in the market.”

The Gertzens said every item they sell will be curated, tested, touched and selected to make sure they are proud to sell it and willing to stand behind it.

Bean Counter owner Cindy Chappell said she purchased the small building at the corner of Third Avenue and Borland Street last year and plans to rent it out.

“Lauren Construction did all the renos for me. It needed a customer bathroom put in and new floors and walls,” Chappell said, noting she plans to put up a “for rent” sign soon.

City of Williams Lake development services co-ordinator Linda Evans said the city issued eight business licences in November, one in December and nine in January.

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