Business

Qualicum Beach gift shop focused on community

Mother daughter team Faye McKnight and Katherine Wilk invite locals and visitors alike to browse their unique selection of gifts at Faye
Mother daughter team Faye McKnight and Katherine Wilk invite locals and visitors alike to browse their unique selection of gifts at Faye's Gifts in Qualicum Beach.
— image credit: Auren Ruvinsky photo

Active with the chamber and downtown business association, the women behind Faye's Gifts are eager to keep promoting downtown Qualicum Beach and fostering a sense of community among businesses.

Faye McKnight bought the then flower and gift shop in 2005 and eventually dropped the flowers to focus on unique and original gifts, she said.

A couple years ago her daughter Katherine Wilk moved to the Island from Vancouver and joined the team.

"Katherine brings all the computer skills and social media skills," McKnight said.

"We've got a website, Facebook and we Tweet and those sort of things," Wilk said.

Together they continue McKnight's focus on offering as many made-in-Canada products as possible and product lines that few if any other stores offer.

"We try to find things that are unique and not sell anything that any of the other stores in town sell," Wilk said. "We have some lines that there are only a handful of dealers in B.C. or even in Canada."

"We sell Rinoni, Italian-made handbags and there's only about five stores in all of Canada," she explained.

They are the official mid-Vancouver Island dealer for Pandora, for example and are exclusive distributors of Holly Yashi jewelery.

Both women are members of the Qualicum Beach Downtown Business Association (DBA), of which McKnight is chair, which they see as a great avenue to help bring and keep shoppers in town.

They are both enthusiastic supporters of local shopping, pointing out they are excited the DBA is working on a business focused website that will highlight shopping opportunities when people Google the area.

McKnight grew up in Port Alberni and though they moved to the Lower Mainland for a long time, where Wilk was born and raised, they always came back to visit family and friends and considered the mid-Island a home base.

McKnight moved back to the area in 1997 and owned Bailey's In The Village cafe for a while before the opportunity to buy the gift shop came up after she was "semi-retired."

Their wide ranging products also include Lampe Berger, ELLE, Panabo, Lug, baby clothes, native gifts, soaps, lotions and more and they say they and their friendly staff focus on excellent customer service.

The store at 142 2nd Ave. W. Qualicum Beach is open seven days a week. Check www.fayesgifts.ca for more information.

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