Archive for August, 2016

Divorcing Peacefully, Yes It Is Possible

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

DivorceGoing through separation can be one of the most challenging and stressful times in one’s life and it can be made much easier and less costly by choosing a peaceful rather than warring approach. Consider the choices and outcomes of the following families.

Jane and Doug and Jeff and Melisa are two couples going through separation and divorce. They are capable, loving parents, each wanting what is best for themselves and their children. They know, despite the end of their marriage, they will continue to have a relationship as parents of their children.

Right now, as they separate, they dislike each other as though they never loved one another.

Each of them is worried about the adverse impact their separation and divorce will have on their children, finances, emotional wellbeing, time and future. As you will see, each couple’s path through separation and divorce is vastly different because of the choices they make from the outset.

Jeff and Melisa each meet with and retain a divorce lawyer. Jeff is very upset and tells his lawyer, “I want Melisa to feel the pain I feel.” Jeff’s lawyer starts a court action right away. Melisa is shocked and angry and, in response, her lawyer files a counter action. Each of them is anxious, hurt and scared. They worry about losing their kids, their savings, and their home.

Jeff and Melisa’s negative feelings towards each other are heightened and fueled by allegations and demands made by their lawyers throughout the litigation process. This adversarial process intensifies their conflict to a point where they cannot even discuss simple matters affecting their children. They must go through their lawyers for everything.

Each of them spends over $70,000 to litigate, and take time and energy away from their kids, families, friends, and career to focus on the court process.
After numerous court applications and a trial, the Court makes many orders that affect all aspects of their lives, including how they interact with each other, with their kids, how they will spend their money, divide their assets and debts, and where they will live. Their family’s story is now part of the public record.

Neither of them is happy with the results. They are financially destitute and emotionally distraught. Neither of them is a winner, and there are many losses. The fight does not stop here. Since they are both unsatisfied with the outcomes, they keep returning to court to resolve their ongoing disputes, which only fuels their conflict.

Jeff and Melisa’s experience might have turned out differently had they chosen a non-adversarial path to resolve their disputes. The fault is not theirs or with our court system, it is simply that family disputes and family law do not belong in the court room.

Now take Jane and Doug’s experience. Jane does some research and learns about collaborative divorce law. She finds out that it is a process where a couple agrees not to go to court. She schedules an appointment with a collaborative divorce lawyer to learn more and asks her lawyer to invite Doug to the process. Doug, although upset about the separation, is relieved to know it can be done without litigation so he too hires a collaborative divorce lawyer.

Jane and Doug are each represented by their own collaborative divorce lawyers, along with other experts, who work together as a team to help them through the divorce process. Jane and Doug find comfort and guidance from the entire collaborative team. Taking a creative and respectful approach, the team helps Jane and Doug learn ways to effectively communicate their concerns, needs and goals for the benefit of themselves and their children. Together they make sure all issues are addressed and work towards mutually beneficial outcomes.

Since Jane and Doug agree not to go to court they control the process and outcomes, rather than having a third party make decisions for them and their family. They are able to concentrate their time, effort and finances on what matters to them. They leverage the expertise of the therapists and financial advisors part of their collaborative team to address their children’s needs and the emotional and financial aspects of their divorce. Their children are given a voice in the process and are spared the trauma of litigation.

The end result is one that is private and less stressful. There is no public record. Jane and Doug have improved their communication with each other thanks to the collaborative process that promotes respectful and considerate dispute resolution. Jane and Doug find sustainable outcomes; each is content. They accomplished this in an efficient, productive and targeted manner because of the unique structure of the collaborative process.

Not only did they save themselves enormous financial cost, more importantly, the process has not emotionally drained them. Instead they have learnt how to continue being parents to their children and carry on in their new reality.

Separation can be one of the most challenging times in a person’s life, but it does not have to be. Divorcing peacefully is the best choice for couples and families going through separation. It is possible even if one of the spouses has a high conflict personality; in fact it is in those situations that litigation should be avoided altogether.

Choose wisely; choose peaceful and respectful resolution for yourself and your children.

Zahra H. Jimale is a collaborative divorce lawyer, family law mediator and the founder of Jimale Law Corp. For more information please visit www.jimalelawcorp.com

NOTE: the names used in this article are fictional.

Juvelisto

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Treasure Hidden Inside a Pod

Juvelisto Steveston Insider 1One of the questions people often ask business owner Sasha Shkolnik is where she came up with the name Juvelisto for her jewellery boutique. She explains the word stems from a universal language created in 1887 called Esperanto, and in this language the word for jeweller is juvelisto.

Sasha trained as an artist in her native Ukraine where she worked in the disciplines of oil paints and ceramics and she designed theatre props. During this time she also discovered jewellery making and began to create with clay and porcelain; this led to her dream of pursuing metal arts.

In 1995 she and her husband Leon Shkolnik and their young son decided to leave their homeland for a better life. Sasha mentions, “There was no economy for art during the recession in Ukraine and we saw no future for our family.”

Juvelisto Steveston Insider Sasha ShkolnikWhile they had no previous connection to Canada they felt fortunate to have the opportunity to immigrate here. They arrived in the country with nothing, and like many immigrants worked their way from the ground up. Sasha enrolled in the respected Jewellery Art and Design program at Vancouver Community College while Leon worked at assorted jobs to support them. When Sasha completed her diploma it was Leon’s turn to attend school to train in computer studies.

Upon graduating Sasha approached Karl Stittgen in South Granville with examples of her work and she was instantly hired. Her career as a goldsmith continued to blossom during the 12 years she spent at Costen Catbalue in Kitsilano and finally at Bill Chow Jewellers in Kerrisdale until she decided it was time to consider opening her own business.

“I needed to find my own path. There was a lot to lose but also a lot to gain by going out on my own.” Sasha Shkolnik

Sasha and her family (their daughter was born here) have lived in Richmond since moving to Canada. On a weekend walk in Steveston in 2011 they spotted a for lease sign on a vacant Moncton Street storefront. Sasha dialed the number immediately and promptly signed an agreement.

Her concept was to create a European style boutique where customers could observe the creative process and communicate with the jeweller. Sasha’s bench was literally centre stage, located in the middle of the floor plan until the shop was renovated last year.

What will you find at Juvelisto? In addition to Sasha’s exquisite work she represents artists from Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Russia, Turkey and the United States.

Sasha’s creations are breathtaking. She draws inspiration from organic textures, shapes and nature. Her gorgeous nuts and pods collection is inspired by objects found in nature, such as pea pods and peanuts, which are cast in silver or bronze and set with different beads, pearls and gemstones. She describes this collection as “treasure hidden inside a pod.”

Juvelisto Steveston Insider 3The primary focus of her business is custom work. This gifted artist has the talent to recycle and redesign sentimental pieces of jewellery into masterpieces. She loves hearing the stories that frequently accompany custom orders. She says with a smile, “The stories I hear and the people I meet are so diverse.”

She presents clients with beautifully rendered sketches (which are also works of art) depicting numerous ways new life can be breathed into a treasured possession. Metals can be recycled or reclaimed and gemstones can be used in new designs. Sasha’s creative mind conceives so many original possibilities it must be hard for clients to narrow them down to the final choice. Many of the orders involve a significant life event such as a birthday, wedding or anniversary. Sometimes clients have an idea of what they would like and other times Sasha is given free rein.

“I love my job. I am in the best profession in the world because I make people happy.” Sasha Shkolnik

Juvelisto Steveston Insider 7Last year Leon left his career as an information technology manager to join the business. Sasha is appreciative of all his hard work and notes he is responsible for all of Juvelisto’s impressive professional photography. This is the first time they have worked together and they are enjoying the partnership.

Leon is also fully responsible for Juvelisto’s stunning renovation that took place in April 2015; he transformed the vacant retail space next door (formerly an ice cream shop) into Juvelisto’s School of Metal Arts. The two spaces are joined together with a spectacular sliding barn door constructed of steel and wrought iron created by local artist Miran Elbakian. Sasha mentions that much of the functional decor found at Juvelisto, including the door, is for sale.

Customers had always expressed an interest in jewellery making lessons; Sasha kept a list of names and over time saw there was a demand.

One year ago the school opened. This is a very unique concept, incorporating a school with a jewellery shop. The workspace is visible from the front windows. Sasha laughs when she mentions, “We have to clean the nose marks from curious passers by daily.”

Eight students can be accommodated in the attractively renovated space, seated around a striking custom-made bench constructed from reclaimed wood. Each workspace is equipped with its own tools. Classes and workshops are offered year round and benches are also rented to artists when classes are not in session. Leanne Guthrie is one of the instructors along with invited guest teachers including Andrea Roberts from Circle Craft and enamel artist Peggy Logan.

Depending on the project, participants can leave with their own creation the same day. Other classes take place weekly over a five to eight week period. All classes are project based and are designed to stimulate the imagination. It is entirely possible to create a piece from scratch without previous experience. Ideas for new classes are constantly germinating and Sasha is currently excited about the idea of offering a class for couples to design their own wedding bands.

Juvelisto Steveston Insider 3500 MonctonJuvelisto has earned a devoted following of repeat customers. They are attracted to Sasha’s magnificent work and her genuine warmth and loving attention to each design she is entrusted with.

Sasha concludes with a smile, “I love Steveston. There is a real sense of community with people supporting and helping each other. From day one people supported me and entrusted me by leaving their precious pieces with me.”

Juvelisto
120-3500 Moncton Street
Richmond BC V7E 3A2
Telephone: 604-241-7376
www.juvelisto.com

Hunni’s

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

The Arrival of a New Clothing Store Has Steveston Buzzing

Hunni's Steveston Insider interiorEarlier this summer social media was abuzz when Hunni’s made the announcement a new location was set to open in Steveston village. Fans of the trendy women’s clothing boutique, and there are many of them, with an impressive 41,000 on Facebook alone, were chatting about when this exciting development was going to take place.

Judging by the reaction, the second Hunni’s is destined to become as popular as the original Langley shop, founded in 2004 by entrepreneur twin sisters Christi Hunniford and Danielle (Hunniford) Stratuliak. Steveston residents and husband and wife duo, Chris and Jenelle Marshall, are the owners of the first Hunni’s franchise.

Hunni's Steveston Insider Jenelle MarshallOriginally from Kelowna, the Marshalls relocated to Vancouver in 2009 when Chris’ place of employment, Crown Packaging, shut down. The company offered him an attractive transfer to join their Richmond manufacturing plant. Jenelle was a social worker and Vancouver offered her many job opportunities. At the time the couple had no children and jumped at the opportunity.

“Life takes you where you’re supposed to go.” Chris Marshall

Chris says, “We spent four years living in a downtown Vancouver condo and enjoyed music, wine and good food. In 2012 we had our daughter Presley, and in 2013 we found our home in Steveston.” Jenelle chimes in, “We fell in love with Steveston right away. When we were in Kelowna people told us to check out the village. We got an immediate sense of community.”

How did the opportunity to own and operate Steveston’s Hunni’s come about? Chris worked with Curtis Stratuliak (husband of Danielle (Hunniford) Stratuliak) at Richmond’s Crown Packaging. They had discussed the possibility of future business opportunities; Curtis approached the Marshalls in March 2015, hoping they would be interested in opening a Hunni’s. Jenelle was pregnant at the time with their son Rex (who is now one-year-old) and they delayed the invitation for a year.

Chris explains, “Our intent was never to franchise per se, but to open a shop we could call our own, and working with Hunni’s allowed us to do so with some heavy duty support on the back-end. It’s a unique opportunity and we are very excited.”

“We wanted to live, work and play in the village.” Jenelle Marshall

Hunni's Steveston Insider interior3They were aware there was a fashion shortfall for their particular demographic in south Richmond. Combining Chris’ talent for marketing and accounting with Jenelle’s passion for clothing (she confesses that her sister, her mother and herself have always been professional shoppers) and her ability to work in a busy, public environment was a natural fit.

Later this summer Jenelle will work in the shop full-time alongside Hunni’s staff who all happen to be Stevestonites. Each have their areas of expertise and Jenelle and Chris have been very impressed by their assorted talents. Chris is continuing his career with Crown Packaging, in addition to providing behind the scenes support for their new business.

Jenelle says, “We are confident that Hunni’s will be a positive influence on the neighbourhood where we plan to raise our children. We see this as an opportunity to further immerse ourselves in our community.”

Big advocates of shopping locally, they hope to attract customers not only to Hunni’s but also to explore other businesses in the village.

Hunni's Steveston Insider interior2The store opened on June 15 and has received glowing feedback. People are very happy Hunni’s has arrived. They are enjoying more clothing options in the village and appreciate the shop’s aesthetics. The Marshalls had expected primarily 20 to 45 year old clients but have been pleasantly surprised to discover a diverse age range of customers happily shopping at the store.

Hunni’s is known for carrying a large number of unique and affordable labels not found at the mall. Up to seventy per cent of the lines are created by boutique designers from Langley, Squamish, Vancouver and Los Angeles. Other popular brands such as Billabong, Element and Hurley are also carried. Jenelle points out, “West Coast inspired fashion reflects what’s going on here. It is very seasonal and functional wear.”

This summer flirty festival fashion has been all the rage. What can you expect to find at Hunni’s for fall? Think cozy and retro, as 1970s inspired flare jeans will be making a comeback paired with warm layers of knit sweaters, plaid flannel shirts and topped with a vest or leather jacket. Hunni’s also sells a selection of footwear. Jenelle points out, “Ankle booties are likely here to stay and have already proven to be a hit in the village.”

Chris says, “We’re both excited about the 70s throwback that seems to be popular now. That tends to be the generation we identify with in the arts and music.”

September is synonymous with back to school and students need head no further than Hunni’s to find backpacks. Vancouver based company Herschel Supply Co. makes backpacks with a heritage vibe that have proven to be a hit with the high school crowd. Herschel backpacks come in many styles and fabrics; some are reminiscent of vintage Boy Scout bags made of canvas with leather straps. Ipad cases will also be available.

Hunni's Steveston Insider 3900 MonctonIn their free time the couple can be found out with their children and their pug named Jude (as in “Hey Jude”). They point out their daughter is a social butterfly and knows many of the merchants at their favourite Steveston shops. They enjoy the local music scene and take advantage of all that is offered.

Smitten with Steveston, they share one car and feel there is very little need to leave the area. Jenelle says, “We can often be found close to home at the playground or library.” For the young couple it all comes down to community involvement and they feel very fortunate to be living, working and playing in a village they love very much.

Hunni’s
105-3900 Moncton St
Richmond BC V7E 3A6
Telephone 604-272-0214
www.shophunnis.com