Do what you love, and it doesn't feel like work.
It's often said.
But Janine Reynolds, owner of Billies House in Squamish (38082 Cleveland Ave.), is truly living it.
The store, which features flowers, gifts, plants and decor, has been a mainstay locally since 1973.
Reynolds and her husband, Francis, purchased it in 2018.
She had just concluded her maternity leave and was preparing to resume her work as a massage therapist when she learned her favourite shop in the community was for sale.
"I loved it because it had been around for so long, and we wanted it to be part of the community," Reynolds says.
"Those kinds of relationships are essential to me. Especially since I have already created so many while working with people locally through my massage therapy business."
Plus, she simply adored the shop's aesthetic, which is known to locals as "Billies."
"It was always something new and different, and I got the opportunity to work with so many beautiful things," Reynolds says. "It also showed so much potential since Squamish is growing so rapidly.
"And it was nice to employ a group of women who were doing something they love," Reynolds says. "That part is very important for me."
But, she didn't have any experience in the floral side of the operation.
"That was the challenge," Reynolds says. "Flowers, and helping make someone's home beautiful, is a very emotive business to be in because you often deal with some of the biggest events in peoples' lives - from birthdays and anniversaries to graduations and weddings."
Fortunately, Reynolds used her experience in restaurant management to partly help guide her way.
"The food and floral industries are similar because in both cases, you are working with perishable products," she says. "That made me feel quite comfortable.
"But I still had a lot to learn, so being surrounded by so many lovely and talented people - many of which stayed with the business when we bought Billies - makes it easy, fun, and memorable."
At its very essence, Billies is simply a good-for-the-soul place to be, something not lost on those passing through its front door.
"So many people come in, and I can see they feel it's such a relaxing place," Reynolds adds. "They come in not to shop but to have a 'zen time,' which is fantastic and encouraged.
"That's exactly what the store is all about."
Essentially, Billies is more a sanctuary than a store.
"Creating that is really important for us. People don't have to come in and buy anything. It's all about the experience and joy of being in here."
For more information and a look at what's in store, visit Billies House on their website at billieshouse.com.