Tabitha Lumley prepares her work station at Tabitha’s Beauty Oasis for the store’s opening on July 29.(Robert Barron/Citizen)

Business notes: Tabitha’s Beauty Oasis opens in Duncan

A look at what's happening in Cowichan's business community

Tabitha’s Beauty Oasis will be opening its doors for the first time on Thursday, July 29.

Owned by Tabitha Lumley and located at 101-15 Canada Ave. in Duncan, across from Charles Hoey Park, the business offers a variety of beauty treatments, including brow waxing and tinting, teeth whitening, facial services and more.

Lumley has been operating a beauty salon from her home for the past year, as well as running a separate cleaning service, but this is the first time she is offering her services at a brick-and-mortar store.

She said the salon was limited in its offerings, but the new location will allow her to expand and build her business.

Lumley said she is hiring staff to help take on the responsibilities of her cleaning business so she can devote full time to Tabitha’s Beauty Oasis, which will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays, and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays.

“I’m so excited to finally be opening,” she said.

“I’m already fully booked for next week.”


Lake Cowichan’s Katie St. Onge is excited to have recently opened The Lake Mercantile in the community.

St. Onge describes The Lake Mercantile, located at 89 South Shore Rd, as a modern-day general stores that carries a variety of goods, including toys, gifts, food items, home decor and fresh flowers and plants.

She said the idea to open the store came during the COVID-19 pandemic when health authorities were warning people against unnecessary travel, and options for consumers were limited for many products in Lake Cowichan.

St. Onge said she has worked in a variety of occupations, including in retail, hotels and setting up websites, but this is her first time as a business owner.

“That’s the best part,” she said.

“The ability to so something I’m passionate about, and to be excited to go to work every morning is great. Business has been phenomenal since I opened on July 2 and the feedback I’m getting from the community is better than I had hoped.”


The Cowichan Housing Association has selected Shelley Cook to be its new executive director.

Cook is replacing John Horn, who left the association in May to take on the role of executive director of the John Howard Society: Nanaimo Region.

Cook has more than 20 years’ experience working with highly disadvantaged populations including people living in states of absolute homelessness and criminally involved/at-risk youth and adults.

She has extensive experience in program and community development and the development of housing in both B.C. and Ontario.

Prior to returning to university to complete her doctoral studies, Cook was the executive director of the John Howard Society (2003-2014) based in Kelowna.

In 2017, Cook received a national award in innovation and urban sustainability for her efforts to address homelessness.

“Shelley is passionate about the need for coordinated and upstream approaches to program development that consider the cumulative effect of different dimensions of disadvantage,” a press release from the CHA said.

“Shelley brings a fresh and well understood approach to developing capacity within the Cowichan Valley region to increase our inventory of affordable housing.”

Cook will begin her role on Sept. 7.


White Spot and Triple O’s locations across B.C., including the Cowichan Valley, will be holding a fundraising day on July 29 to support Canadian Red Cross relief efforts for those impacted by the hundreds of wildfires currently burning in B.C.

At all locations, $2 will be donated from the sale of every burger purchased that day for dine-in and to-go orders (excludes Pirate Paks, Kids Meals, delivery and other discounts).

In addition, the federal and provincial governments will each match every dollar donated to the Canadian Red Cross 2021 BC Fires appeal, totalling a $6 donation for every burger sold.

“The B.C. wildfires are having a devastating impact on our province including many of the communities which we call home,” said Warren Erhart, president of White Spot Restaurants.

“We are a community-first organization and are proud to have received immediate agreement from our family of franchisees and partners to provide support. We hope these much-needed funds will provide some relief to those who need it most during this extremely challenging time.”


The newly formed Kw’umut Lelum Foundation, created by Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services, has announced the hiring of Dr. Sharon Hobenshield as its executive director.

Kw’umut Lelum is a delegated aboriginal agency on Vancouver Island delivering a full range of coordinated, culturally informed child safety and family wellness services to address the unique needs of Indigenous families and communities.

Its member nations include the Halalt, Lyackson, Malahat, Penelakut, Qualicum, Snaw-Naw-As, Snuneymuxw, Stz’uminus and Ts’uubaa-asatx.

The Kw’umut Lelum Foundation is one of the first of its kind in Canada; a wholly First Nation-owned and led organization whose purpose is to collaborate with private and public philanthropists to invest in Indigenous youth and communities.

Hobenshield has worked with the Coast Salish communities on Vancouver Island for more than 25 years, most recently as director of Indigenous education and engagement at Vancouver Island University.

“I am excited to be part of this new foundation that is breaking new ground in self-determination,” said Hobenshield.

“I really believe in Indigenous community-led organization and change. It’s the direction First Nations are going and an opportunity for the country to show their support to create a better future for our children and our Nations. I look forward to leading with the values handed down to me by my Gitxsan grandfather who always told me ‘To be good is to do good’.”

robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.comLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Cowichan Valley Citizen