When Your Downtown Kelowna Community Has Your Back

In the fall of 2018, olive & elle, an independent boutique located in downtown Kelowna, was facing a nightmare - a flood in the store that would put them out of business right before the busy holiday season. This is the story of how the community of downtown Kelowna banded together to support o & e, keeping them in business and on track to fill orders for clients before Christmas.
Categories: Business Insurance
Oct 9th, 2019 | By: Lorraine Miller

At the coveted corner of Lawrence and Pandosy in downtown Kelowna sits the beautiful and refined boutique olive & elle. Successfully serving clients (and clients who have become friends) for 15 years, olive & elle peddles the ethos of working hard and being kind.

Proprietress Linda Povarchoook and her dedicated staff have made it their mission to know their customers while promoting downtown Kelowna. No easy task in a growing city. In addition to knowing her customers, Linda knows her business neighbours and works hard to support the community. She even knows a few of the marginalized citizens who spend time on o & e’s sidewalk. Linda’s years of commitment to community and advocating for local businesses has paid off.

olive & elle storefront.jpg

olive & elle is typically a serene and unique shopping experience, but one early morning in the fall of 2018, o & e’s serenity flooded across the floor right out onto the street. A water coupling let go beneath the floor of the neighbouring business, allowing water to fill the store from below. Imagine the panic and worry of not only losing merchandise but losing time and business in the precious retail window leading up to Christmas. This unforeseen accident could have ended in retail failure.

In the days, weeks and months following the flood, many local people pulled together to keep olive & elle in business and on track to fill Christmas orders for clients. The short list of supporters includes:

  • Landlord’s Insurance Company. Their comprehensive policy and quick response to assess and contain the damage to the structure included: water removal, restoration, (and then later) dry wall, electrical and plumbing replacement. An experienced adjuster helped to make this process as painless as possible. No horror story here. Just timely and efficient help.
  • Retailer’s Insurance. The second layer of protection to assist the business and people who are at risk of loss. olive & elle had purchased a comprehensive policy that provided for business interruption, employee wages and contents. So valuable and a real relief to know that you can keep your staff employed and look for solutions to maintain customer relations.
  • Business Neighbours At The Ready to Help. Mosaic Books, an independently owned bookstore just a block over, generously let olive & elle use some space to fill custom bedding orders. And the Downtown Bean Scene stepped up to help as well. While fans were running and HVAC was being assessed at the store, customers were picking up their orders on time and in perfect condition. No need to wait for the brick and mortar store to reopen to get their merchandise.
  • Sandhill Urban Wine Tasting Room Hosted a Pop-Up Christmas Store. A beautiful space (also in downtown Kelowna) graciously allowed olive & elle space for 4 (yes 4!) weekends before Christmas to set up their seasonal décor. Regular clients did their shopping and o & e met some new friends along the way. A win-win for everyone!

The long list of supporters is well…long.

New clients became new friends. People who follow olive & elle on social media kept up with the building process, watching and waiting.

In March 2019, the tradespeople finally drove away. The project was finished. The doors opened on this version of olive & elle.

At the corner of Lawrence and Pandosy in downtown Kelowna.

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