It was some welcome good news in a year that hasn't had much of that for small business owners.
Squamish decor and jewellery label Scandinavia Wolf Designs has won Maker of the Year in the Western Living Magazine Designers of the Year Awards.
The company's designer Kristy Turney's winning entries included West Coast- inspired ceramic and wood wall hooks, ceramic towel hangers, and ceramic and wood art pieces.
"When I found out, I was super excited. It was like the best news," Turney said.
Scandinavia Wolf Designs isn't new to awards. Its designs have been finalists several other years; and, this year too, its wood and gold and silver jewellery were finalists in the fashion category.
"Being a finalist is very rewarding as well, being amongst such great talent, and still being recognized," she said. (The wooden Ballin Hook by Scandinavia Wolf Designs was also a finalist for the Vancouver Magazine, 2020 Made in Vancouver Awards.)
Like most everything else this year, the Western Living Magazine Awards' process didn't go according to plan. Firstly, the contest, which usually asks for submissions in March, was postponed for a couple of months due to the pandemic.
On top of that, Turney had to switch gears in terms of what she would submit.
"Half the pieces that we wanted to submit got stranded in a kiln, so I couldn't get them to submit them. I had to pick different pieces," she said.
The pottery wheel and kiln she uses is at Gleneagles Community Centre in West Vancouver. It was shut when the pandemic was declared, stranding some of her work.
(She has the pieces back now.)
Like many small businesses, Scandinavia Wolf Designs also had to close their store, which is located in the Squamish Town Hub, for a few months, due to the pandemic.
Thus, the award recognition was a nice boost.
"With COVID, everyone took quite a few bumps and bruises during this time and it was a really nice pat on the back to have a little silver lining come out of it," said Jeff Turney, Kristy's partner in the business and in life.
Government subsidies kept the company afloat during the shutdown, though it didn't compare to usual revenue.
"What was really nice is that when we did open up, I wouldn't say we were right back where we would normally be, but we were pretty close actually," he said. "We were really impressed. The community really reached out and supported us and supported local... We felt a lot of love and care from our community and everyone wanting to make sure we stayed alive. They were definitely there to support us."
The business reopened about two months ago and in the last month, sales really picked up, he added.
"I would say we were very close to being where we were last year at this time," he said, adding the store has the usual COVID-19 protocols in place.
Find Scandinavia Wolf Designs, where a majority of the winning pieces are available at #3 - 1861 Mamquam Road or online at www.scandinaviawolf.com.
The virtual awards gala for the Western Living Designers of the Year Awards is on Oct. 8. (Time to be announced.) Find it here.