Brett Pope and one of his Molded Stone Studio kitchen countertop creations.

Brett Pope and one of his Molded Stone Studio kitchen countertop creations.

Sweet stone in Winlaw, new suds for Nelson Brewing Company

Local artist Brett Pope is officially launching Molded Stone Studio to fill a demand created by the design trend towards decorative concrete

The ability to follow your own creative whims is a sure benefit of being in business for yourself. Ideas are just the beginning. Putting a plan into action is often less inspiring — frustration, sweat, even tears are where the whims often lose their whimsy. But sometimes, breaking down walls, figuratively and even literally, makes it all worthwhile.


Ooo la la, Shoe La La — the Ward Street shop has undergone a major transformation. Formerly Kootenay Cobbler and Silver Lining, the long-standing Nelson consignment clothing and high-end shoe store had already combined their name and now has expanded their space.

Breaking through the walls of their 546 Ward Street shop into the former Figments, the new store is roomy and elegant.

“We have needed more space for quite some time,” says owner Megan Elliott.

With more square footage, Elliott has the freedom to turn her store into the one she’s been dreaming of for some time. Her showroom displays feature an impressive antique collection — an enjoyable buying spree for the shop owner. Can you imagine?

“It has been a vision of mine to combine antiques and shoes for many years — originally inspired by the Fluevog store on Grandville Street in Vancouver, I always loved that store,” says Elliott.

Shoe La La is also breaking into the gift market with jewelry, art, pottery and body products for sale. Local artisans such as Shprixieland, Curios, Cheesecake Body Bars and Trillium are featured.

Another dream was to have enough space to participate in Artwalk.

“I would like to see art and beauty around me all year round, and now we have the ability to do that,” she says.

Shoe La La will be having a grand opening this spring when the original side is compete and all their spring and summer stock have arrived.

Helping Elliott pull off this dream has been her team: Lily Angrignon, Amy Hill, Trudy DiPasquale and her daughter Erin Elliott.


Local artist Brett Pope is officially launching Molded Stone Studio to fill a demand created by the design trend towards decorative concrete in the West Kootenays.

Located in Winlaw, Molded Stone creates one-of-a-kind functional concrete pieces with artistic and sculptural intention for homeowners and commercial applications. Local materials, sand and aggregates, primarily quarts and granite, are used for the studio’s unique pre-casting techniques.

“We create beauty in the home in the form of functional, every-day objects like bathroom vanities, fireplaces, furniture, stair-treads, architectural details, countertops, and commercially in the form of front desks, bars, wall-panels, front entrance areas, and water features,” says lead studio designer Pope.

Graduating from the Kootenay School of the Arts in 2000 majoring in Mixed Media and Bronze Casting, Pope has 16 years of experience working with three-dimensional forms using sculpture and assembling found objects, in addition to experience in construction doing foundation work to roofing.

Prior to launching the studio Pope spent the six years focusing on the uses of decorative concrete and training under Fu Tung Cheng — one of the founders of the decorative concrete movement.

Concrete features offered by the Molded Stone Studio are influenced by Cheng’s unique knowledge base. For example, the integration of back splashes, false fronts, sinks, drain boards, trivets, inlays and other personal details into the functionality of day-to-day objects.

“We gave Brett some objects that we wanted to be part of the countertop and we were so pleased with the innovation and creativity around how he integrated them — what he came up with was really awesome,” says Chloe Sage.

Visit Molded Stone Studio’s online portfolio for a glimpse into the stunning possibilities of customized concrete design at


There’s a new spa opening up on Baker Street today. Called IsaBella Bella Day Spa, the business comes into being as Araya Day Spa suddenly closes this month. Julie Stickley and Ashlee Kirk will be offering their services in their new space — at Renaissance Hair Co., 555 Baker Street. It’s been an unexpected change for Stickley who’s had an eventful three weeks creating a new space all the while caring for her nine-month-old baby and keeping up with clients at Araya.

“At Araya, myself and my other Esthetician were contracted out so this is a completely new venture I have undertaken on my own,” she says. “At the age of 26 with a young baby, only moving to Canada four years ago, I must say I would never have imagined it if someone was to have told me back in the UK that this was where I would be four years later.”

For more information about their full line of services check them out at or call 250-352-1955.


TGIF! The Nelson Brewing Company is launching a new beer today. Called Full Nelson, the double IPA is now available on tap at Mike’s Place in the Hume Hotel.

Chad Hansen of NBC describes the brew as a “very hoppy beer” with a “real fruity body to it.” At a whopping 8.2 per cent alcohol content, it’s strong but doesn’t taste boozy, he says.

“It’s just so well balanced and it tastes so good.”

The Full Nelson name has been floating around the brewery for quite some time and finally, the NBC has found a beer that can tackle its wrestling-move namesake.

“It’s such a big strong beer — a bit of an animal,” says Hansen. “This is definitely the Full Nelson of the Nelson beers.”

The Full Nelson will be available in bottles mid-April.


Powder skiing at Whitewater, dancing at Shambhala, history at the Kaslo Hotel, golfing in Crawford Bay and agri-tourism in the Creston Valley were all recognized by MLA Michelle Mungall as important parts of the regions tourism sector in the legislature earlier this month. Mungall was speaking in support of the creation of Destination BC, a crown corporation with a mandate to market BC as a tourist destination.

“The point is that all of these places in Nelson-Creston will be benefiting from a coordinated approach to tourism,” Mungall told the house after listing over a dozen tourism operators, businesses and events from the region.

Mungall did express some reservations about the funding and leadership of the organization. She urged that Destination BC be industry led, so that it would not be used to play political games, and that funding to the organization be transparent and stable.

To close her remarks Mungall said she was glad the government responded to calls from the tourism industry and calls from the opposition to re- establish a coordinated approach to tourism, ending “it’s very much needed, it’s about time, and I’m glad that we’re moving forward with it.”


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