Archive for September, 2016

Pure Integrative Pharmacy

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016


“A Personal Approach to Wellness”

Entering Pure Integrative Pharmacy is like stepping back to a simpler time. The staff greet customers with a warm welcome when they enter the small pharmacy, which specializes in dispensing medication along with the sale of high quality vitamins and nutritional supplements.

Kal Rahimi, the charismatic owner, operator, and pharmacy manager of Dunbar’s Pure Pharmacy says, “The company’s vision is to provide traditional pharmacy services while offering alternative solutions to our clients.”

Pure Pharmacy focuses on a holistic approach to health and wellness by providing services and products of the highest quality.

In 1999, Pure Pharmacy’s CEO Bob Mehr and his pharmacist wife, Mahtab, established their first location in Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island. Today the business has expanded to eight locations in Metro Vancouver and continues to grow.

pure_pharmacy_kal_dunbar_life_palla_mediaRahimi graduated from UBC’s pharmacy program in 2011. He grew up in Burnaby and was not very familiar with the Dunbar neighbourhood until he lived in residence at UBC. Having had an opportunity to spend time here he realized it was a very special and unique area of town. He was also aware that Dunbar residents take an active interest in their health. He thought it would be the perfect area to establish a Pure Pharmacy and opened the store in 2013.

Rahimi believes community pharmacists are highly trained and well positioned primary health care providers who can ease the burden on our publicly funded health care system by playing a more proactive role in the health and wellness of their patients.

He uses the example of a hospital triage to explain the personal service his pharmacy provides. On a daily basis, dozens of patients visit Pure Pharmacy to seek treatment for minor illnesses or to simply get advice on their health and wellness related concerns.

“My goal is to not only recommend a remedy to alleviate the bothersome symptom, but also to work with my patients to address the underlying cause of that symptom.” Kal Rahimi

That is what sets Pure Pharmacy apart from other retail pharmacies. For cases that are not within their scope of practice, or a customer would benefit from another practitioner’s inter-vention, Pure’s pharmacists use a systematic approach to ensure a referral is made to the general practitioner or other health care providers such as naturopaths, chiropractors, or dietitians if necessary.

pure_pharmacy_dunbar_life_testingHe truly cares about his clients’ overall health profile and is happy to discuss the importance of exercise, diet and nutritional supplements. Rahimi explains that a symptom is a mental or physical feature felt by a patient and is a manifestation of an underlying condition or disease state. He adds, “In some cases medications simply alleviate, mask, or temporarily make a symptom go away without addressing the underlying cause.” He states that this is particularly true in the case of digestive disorders, autoimmune issues, chronic fatigue, sleep disorders, chronic pain, and mood disorders to name a few.

Rahimi provides an example of a patient experiencing recurrent and painful muscle spasms and the functional medicine approach he uses to devise a therapeutic plan. He acknowledges that while a prescription medication may be necessary in the short term, it does not address the underlying cause, which may stem from magnesium deficiency. In this case, Rahimi discusses whether the patient’s diet includes sufficient green vegetables and assesses the amount of coffee, alcohol, and carbonated beverages they consume as they can play a part in depleting magnesium. He also assesses the patient’s current medications. He mentions some prescription medications can cause micronutrient deficiencies and if we fail to supplement, these deficiencies may lead to certain symptoms.

In addition to filling prescriptions, the pharmacy also offers injections, blister packaging and lab tests for vitamin D and hormone levels.

There are only a handful of Vancouver pharmacies that offer compounding, which is the art and science of preparing customized medication for patients. Today, the vast majority of medications are mass-produced by pharmaceutical drug companies. A compounding pharmacist is trained to compose alternate dosages, which may come in other forms such as creams, caplets and suspensions, and to create specialized compounds for pediatric and veterinary patients. It is even possible to combine multiple medications into a single dose.

This service is particularly helpful when a medication is prescribed but the dosage is not commonly available. Instead of going through the headache of cutting up a tablet, Rahimi and his team of pharmacists can compound the exact dosage.

Rahimi is genuinely humble when he mentions people return on a daily basis to say thank you. He says, “It is a very satisfying part of my job. That’s what I feed off. It makes my day and keeps me going.”

pure_pharmacy_dunbar_life_exteriorThe sharing of knowledge is important to Rahimi. He has hosted weight loss presentations at the Dunbar Community Centre and blood pressure clinics at Dunbar Village Business Association events.

The busy pharmacist commutes from Coquitlam where he lives with his wife and one year old daughter. When not working, the couple can often be found discovering new hiking trails with their baby accompanying them in a back carrier.

Rahimi is excited to announce that the pharmacy will be relocating on September 30th. Have no fear as this popular pharmacy, with the well-liked Rahimi at the helm, will remain in the neighbourhood, conveniently situated next door to Preventum medical clinic at West 16th and Dunbar Street.

Pure Integrative Pharmacy
4198 Dunbar Street
New address effective September 30: 3228 Dunbar Street
Telephone 604-732-3010

Elements Academy of Martial Arts

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016


“Champion of Dunbar Village”

Giving back to the community comes effortlessly to Elements Academy of Martial Arts business partners Mysha Dewar-McClelland and Emma Hamilton. They share the common value that Elements is much more than a neighbourhood business.

Dunbar reminds Dewar-McClelland of Lindsay, Ontario, the close-knit rural town where she grew up. She feels fortunate to work in this special neighbourhood; therefore it is part and parcel to invest in the community where Elements’ members live and attend school.

“We encourage our students to not only build community within our studio but to embrace and give back to our larger Dunbar community.”

Mysha Dewar-McClelland

For a number of years Dewar-McClelland volunteered and subsequently was employed at Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW). She attributes the personal satisfaction she derives from volunteering to the time she spent assisting the rape crisis centre. WAVAW is one of many organizations that benefits from the excellent fundraising work Elements regularly undertakes.

Dewar-McClelland had no experience with martial arts until she was 27 years old. That was when she was introduced to Hamilton who persuaded her to attend a class. She trained with Hamilton and has been working as an instructor and the studio’s administrator since Elements opened in 2009.

She wishes she had discovered martial arts when she was a teenager. The girls’ programs have special meaning to her. “I see myself in them. It is inspiring to see young women taking pride in their physical ability,” she says.

Hamilton is the only female owner of an independent martial arts studio in Vancouver.

As role models for girls of all ages, she and Dewar-McClelland like to offer the gift of empowerment through self-defence and kickboxing training whenever possible.

A few years ago Hamilton connected with KidSafe Project Society and volunteered to train Grade 6 and 7 inner city girls. Subsequently, she discovered KidSafe’s GEMS (Girls Exploring Motion and Self) program, which assists girls at Florence Night-ingale Elementary on Vancouver’s eastside.

Elements_Academy_Dunbar_Life_Harvest_FestivalElements held a fundraising Kick-A-Thon at the studio to benefit GEMS. Elements’ members of every age (kids, youth and adults) collected pledges and participated in different categories to demonstrate their ability and technique and to see how many timed kicks they could accomplish. They were ecstatic to raise over ten thousand dollars for GEMS, far surpassing their goal; the extraordinary accomplishment provided the girls’ program with funding for a year.

Other Elements fundraisers have benefited WAVAW and Big Sisters. This year the martial arts academy (in partnership with Vancity Buzz) offered four free self-defence workshops for women, including one held at Musqueam. Over the years Elements has run numerous community programs at the Musqueam Community Centre.

Dunbar Apartments recently invited Dewar-McClelland to talk to residents about self-defence and safety in the community. It was so well received that she plans to return to offer a self-defence workshop.

Elements can also be found participating in Dunbar Village Business Association’s (DVBA) events such as the Harvest Festival and Salmonberry Days. Another way Dewar-McClelland gives back is through volunteer work as a DVBA board member.

After two terms as Dunbar Village Business Association’s secretary to the board, Dewar-McClelland has recently been appointed as vice president.

elements_academy_dunbar_life_exteriorShe says, “Since taking my place on the DVBA board I have become even more integrated into the Dunbar community. It is a source of pride knowing my business neighbours and being able to say hello to many familiar faces when I walk up and down Dunbar. I love it. It’s a stepping stone that connects me to the community.”

McClelland believes the assorted ways Elements contributes to Dunbar nurtures the community. Relationships develop both inside the studio and out and ultimately connect people from all walks of life.

Hats off to Elements Academy of Martial Arts, this champion of Dunbar, for leading by example and showing how a small business can accomplish great things.

Elements Academy of Martial Arts, 4465 Dunbar St, Vancouver BC   Telephone 604-568-3441

The Shop Hair and Esthetics in Dunbar

Monday, September 12th, 2016


“Dunbar’s Downtown-Style Hair and Esthetics Salon”

Jag Sangara is the vivacious and enterprising owner of The Shop Hair and Esthetics. She confesses that when she wants something she goes after it at full throttle. When she opened The Shop it did not faze her that she had no business experience, she simply learnt everything there was to know about running a small business and has proven to be a very astute businessperson.

the_shop_salon_jag__sangara_dunbar_life_palla_mediaSangara has three children who are now adults. When they were young she made the choice to be a stay at home mother and put her hair styling career on hold. In 2008 she was living in the Dunbar area and decided the time had come to open a downtown-style hair salon, which she felt the area was lacking. “It’s been great going from being a stay at home mom to running my own business,” she says.

With a roster of six stylists and one esthetician, The Shop’s clients include toddlers through to Sangara’s 93-year-old father. While she no longer cuts hair she makes an exception for her dad.

Over time Sangara shifted from cutting hair to specializing in her passion for anti-frizz smoothing treatments. She has become an expert in treating frizzy hair and her clients are hooked on getting up to three months of easy to style locks with a sleek and radiant shine.

She acquired her knowledge while on a trip to Los Angeles with her daughter who happens to have frizzy hair and was seeking a solution. She tried it and found having frizz-free hair liberating. Subsequently, Sangara received her certification in L.A. to use this specially formulated anti-frizz semi-permanent product and has provided education and training to many stylists across Canada.

What are the current hair trends? She mentions younger women are looking for simple, low maintenance cuts. They come in with long hair and have it cut to easy to manage lengths. Beachy waves continue to be a popular styling choice.

“We find people don’t want to spend as much time on their hair anymore.” Jag Sangara

When it comes to colour, the focus is also on a natural look. Ombré continues to be in fashion. This colouring method gives hair the look of having spent time in the sun (think surfer girl hair) as hair transitions from shades of brown to blonde. Balayage, a distant cousin to ombré, is also frequently requested. This technique looks like sun-kissed highlights throughout the hair. The transition is more natural and involves less maintenance than ombré.

the_shop_salon_shampoo_dunbar_life_palla_mediaWhen asked what lies ahead in hair trends Sangara notes she recently read about an interesting technique called hand-pressed colour which is so new it isn’t being offered at salons yet. It involves painting highlights onto a sheet of plexiglass, then the colourist uses a putty knife to smear the shades into the strands resulting in multi-dimensional colour.

In addition to haircuts and colour, a range of esthetic services from makeup application to hair removal are offered. Although The Shop is closed on Sunday and Monday they will extend business hours, earlier or later if needed to accommodate clients’ schedules.

Sangara is excited to announce a new eyelash service is now available at The Shop. At the end of July she went to L.A. for training in the Yumi Keratin Lash Lift. She was required to perform the treatment on models in order to be certified. Sangara, her daughter and niece have all had the treatment and love it. She says, “No mascara, use of an eyelash curler or lash extensions is required. Best of all, we wake up in the morning with natural looking curled lashes.”

Clients come from all over the city and their client base includes an equal number of women and men. We all know how hard it is to let go of a good stylist once making that connection. Sangara mentions that clients who have moved away from the neighbourhood will return for a hair appointment.

A level of trust develops in a relationship between a client and stylist that stems from being in close contact, and assisting with personal choices that will affect your daily look. She says, “Clients feel comfortable opening up to us because we open up to them, while maintaining a professional relationship.”

Sangara laughs when she says one client called her a “hairapist” which is a great description of the additional role trusted stylists serve.

Community involvement is important to The Shop’s team. They enjoy participating in Dunbar Village Business Association’s events. Sangara says, “Halloween is the best time around here.” Every other year they identify a charity and throw themselves behind it one hundred per cent. Past accomplishments include assisting the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and raising $35,000 in donations for Free The Children.

the_shop_salon_4446_dunbar_life_palla_mediaOn a personal level, Sangara recently participated in the Tough Mudder event at Whistler. She encouraged her children to join her in this gruelling 10 to 12 mile mud and obstacle course designed to drag you out of your comfort zone by testing your physical strength, stamina, and mental grit.

She says it is one of the hardest things she has ever done. Sangara describes the experience as “challenging yourself to overcome your fears by running, climbing 10 foot walls and crawling under barbed wire.” It took her four hours to complete and she did not train for it. The same thing happened a few years ago when she signed up for the Sun Run completely untrained and completed the 10 km run.

She reiterates that when she sets her mind to something she goes for it. The success of her busy hair salon is a shining example of Sangara’s drive to make things happen; she took a running start and shot off full speed ahead.

The Shop Hair and Esthetics
4446 Dunbar Street
Vancouver BC V6S 2G5
Telephone: 604-736-7467

Sarah Jagger

Monday, September 12th, 2016

sarah_jagger_domestic_objects_dunbar_life_palla_mediaCut From Entrepreneurial Cloth

Sometimes the best business ideas grow from the imaginative seeds one unintentionally sows. In Sarah Jagger’s case her thriving business, Domestic Objects, was born from a lifelong passion for sewing.

An advocate of imaginative play for children, and knowing how much her kids like to hide in and play under things, in 2014 Sarah Jagger started looking for an indoor teepee play tent but was unable to find one that appealed to her. This did not deter her; she set to work and created one. Pleased with the results, she posted a photo on Facebook. Her friends and family loved it; they encouraged her to make more so she created an online business through Etsy and sales instantly took off.

Domestic Objects Tent Dunbar LifeAt the time her business was born she and her husband Stephen Jagger and their two young children were on a four year overseas work adventure involving Stephen’s business. During that time they lived in Manila followed by time spent in Singapore. Sarah Jagger had enjoyed a fulfilling career in cardiology information systems with Vancouver Coastal Health, and looking for something to do while away from home, threw her creative energy into her new enterprise. She quickly realized this was something she could do anywhere in the world they travelled.

She reflects, “Looking outside of comfort zones opportunities can arise. I had the idea and jumped in.”

Domestic_Objects_striped_tent_dunbar_lifeThe fabrics she has collected from her travels range from 100% cotton to poplin and natural, unbleached canvas. Sarah Jagger is drawn to classic patterns such as the grey and white striped fabric seen on her Etsy site, which happens to be her top selling tent. She chooses attractive timeless fabrics prints to complement a home’s interior and reckons children don’t mind what the tent looks like on the outside; it’s the good times they create inside that count.

The frames (which are not visible) are constructed from PVC pipes, a flexible and safe material so children won’t hurt themselves if they bump into the tent. The lightweight design is also beneficial for shipping. Etsy customers from all over the world have been ordering from her.

To date the tents have shipped to 25 countries, although the primary market is Canada and the United States. Orders have been placed from as far away as the Maldives, Norway and Pakistan.

Since the company’s inception she has sold thousands of tents. In addition to online sales, Domestic Objects wholesales to businesses and customers can also purchase directly from Sarah Jagger.

Domestic Objects began as a one-woman show, however, with the company’s incredible success Sarah Jagger could not keep up with the demand and hired five families in Manila to assist with production. She mentions that her employees were formerly factory workers and now they sew from their homes. They are extremely well paid and have become the envy of their community. She also continues to create tents at home in Vancouver.

In addition to the teepees, Domestic Objects has introduced accessories including throw pillows for the interior and an adorable Happy Camper felt/plush campfire comprised of realistic looking stuffed granite rocks, stuffed felt fire logs, jumbo marshmallows and felt covered roasting sticks.

“I test all of my new products out on my kids first to see if they like them, and if they do, I make more.” Sarah Jagger

Domestic_Objects_canvas_tent_dunbar_lifeTwo years after the initial play tent was created her kids still play in them. Stuart (6) likes to read inside his teepee and other times his imagination transforms it into an elevator or spaceship. Meanwhile Tamsen (4) can often be found hosting tea parties for her dolls. Sarah Jagger is delighted to see the cloth structures constantly being used in different ways. “Every day it’s something different. The tents inspire their imaginations,” she says.

While the family was away from Vancouver they chose to not own a television set. In extreme circumstances, such as a long flight, they would offer the kids a tablet to play on. It is her belief that some parents rely too heavily on technology and her intention is to stimulate imaginative play and communication. She feels there is beginning to be a push back against technology as parents are seeing the loss of communication skills.

The family returned to their Dunbar home in June and is happy to be back. Sarah Jagger missed the clean air, familiar foods and her running routes. She also missed her family’s favourite Dunbar hang outs such as Chaldecott Park, Jethro’s Fine Grub and Kokopelli Café.

Book_cover_play_tent_dunbar_lifeWhere does she see Domestic Objects headed? Sarah remarks, “I would like to continue expanding the product line. I would like to see the tents in more stores.”

Released this summer, Sarah Jagger has authored a book titled “The Play Tent of Imagination” about two siblings and where their creative minds wander off to as they play in their tent. She mentions the illustrations by Lenny Wen are beautiful. The book will be sold on Etsy and she imagines parents will cuddle up in the tent and read to their children.

Based on the success of her company, which began with a needle pulling thread to create a single tent, imagination can indeed take you to wonderful and unexpected places.