Christine Weatherby is holding an open house at her store in Qualicum Beach as a thank-you to the team of volunteers that have helped keep her shop open.
Weatherby owns Purple Essentials in Qualicum Beach, which she ran with her husband Graham until his unexpected passing at the end of August. Since then, a team of volunteers —- some that she didn’t even know before this — have jumped in to help keep the doors open.
She’s been calling them the Purple Angels.
“They’ve all taken such beautiful roles in keeping our dream alive. Which now is, my dream,” said Weatherby. “It is so humbling and so eye-opening.”
Graham’s passing was relatively sudden and unexpected. The two were having dinner on June 24, when he started to feel unwell.
“Never sick a day. He was one of those people didn’t go to the doctor, never missed a day of work, his checkups were always 100 per cent,” said Weatherby.
After two weeks of tests, he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the same type of brain cancer that took the life of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie.
“He was my best friend, and my husband, and my business partner, my person,” said Weatherby.
She said the two had been talking about lessons learned through his illness, back before Graham passed.
“The first thing that we both said was how kind people are. And now we know — you don’t just stand back and say ‘if there’s anything you need,’” said Weatherby.
“It’s the people that jump in. Because sometimes you don’t know what you need,” said Weatherby.
Weatherby is hosting the open house Tuesday until 4 p.m. at her store on 101-663 Beach Rd. in Qualicum Beach. Purple Essentials sells natural body care products that are made on site.
“I wanted to take it as an opportunity to kind of thank the community. They’ve been so supportive. Ever since we opened – but especially since [Graham’s] diagnosis and then after his death. People have just continually come and support the store, and myself. It’s such an amazing community,” said Weatherby.
Weatherby has also been gifted a two night stay at the Long Beach Lodge in Tofino, where the couple first fell in love with Vancouver Island and spent their honeymoon.
The open house will feature coffee, treats and various refreshments, as well as three prize draw baskets donated by local businesses.
Ten per cent of the sales from the day will go towards glioblastoma research at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
There will also be a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Brian Wiese.