Kelowna Rainbow Women started in July of 2019 and has grown to over 335 members since then. The group was borne of the idea that the women of Kelowna, residents and/or visitors, need a sense of community and the opportunity of a full calendar of events happening within the city that include more than just pub nights.
So, who is a Kelowna Rainbow Woman? Anyone who identifies as a woman within the LGBTQ2+ community some (genderqueer, two-spirited) or all of the time. Kelowna Rainbow Women (KRW) is an all-inclusive, zero-phobic, chill and relaxed group.
KRW is NOT a group strictly for cis-females who identify as lesbians.
Kelowna Rainbow Women is a young endeavor, and we are continuing to grow while we support each other in an online community where we share personal stories, news events, and other things that matter to us.
Smashing sexual shame and living outside the box. “All women are entitled to experience pleasure in whatever form aligns with them. Pleasure is their birthright,” says Chantel Porter, owner and operator of Wild Love Co., an online Pleasure and Sexuality Life Coaching company.
Working with women 1-on-1 or in group classes, Chantel educates women about how their bodies work, their anatomy, and how to experience sexual pleasure in a safe space. She assists her clients in navigating the negative messages women have learned about who they should be as “sexual beings”, teaching them to create healthy, happy, and fulfilling sexual and intimate relationships with their partners without shame.
Chantel previously worked for herself as an aesthetician for about 5 years. She had always known she wanted to be self-employed, so when she started delving more into self-education, it flowed—a natural progression to continue to work for herself—just in a different industry.
She chose to help women with their sexuality because she struggled for many years. She experienced a lot of trauma including sexual trauma as a child and teenager that negatively impacted the way she lived for many years.
When she began healing from the abuse, she found great clarity and happiness that she didn’t know she could have in her life. Chantel knew she needed to help other women find happiness as well. She knew she could help them more deeply because she had come through what they were dealing with.
“I am deeply passionate about helping women to find their self-love and empowerment,” says Chantel. “I get to see women transform right before my eyes, like watching a flower bloom but it’s a woman. It is the most amazing feeling to know that I can have such a massive positive impact in women’s lives, that someone like me who was so broken for so long, can guide other women to finding their happiness.”
Chantel’s advice for women wanting to start their own business.
“It can be terrifying to take a leap or a baby step, but if this thing is nagging at you, pulling you towards it, it is for a reason! Do it afraid! If you don’t try you will always live your life wondering “what if”. People may tell you all the reasons why it can’t, won’t or might fail, that’s okay, they aren’t you! They aren’t doing it, you are.”
Sherry Yeoman realized quite by accident that she wanted to be a landlord soon after she bought her first home 40 years ago. It started with a frantic phone call from a friend who was searching for accommodation for a mutual friend in dire need of a place to stay. Upon hearing this, Sherry quickly revamped her basement and her friend moved in the next day. She ended up renting from Sherry for over 6 months. After that positive experience, she has renovated every home she bought since then and added a suite to each one.
Sherry’s favourite thing about running her own business is being her own boss. In particular, taking houses that need her tender, loving care and her creativity to become the beautiful, renovated, well-maintained homes they were meant to be. Every home Sherry has offered for rent is a home she would be happy to live in.
Sherry’s advice on starting your own business. “When opening your own business be prepared to work long, hard hours and have enough money already saved to take you through the tough times. If you are interested in being a landlord make sure you know the “Residential Tenancy Regulations” and talk to a landlord who has been in this profession for a few years because being a landlord is not as easy as many believe it to be.”
Ivy Thomas has always felt a
connection to God and was actively involved in her worshiping congregation. However,
when she was in her early 40s, married with two children in their early teens,
and considering what she might do with the rest of her life, she felt a strong
call to ministry.
It took another three years of
what she called “Holy 2 x 4s” before she dared take the leap of faith
to go back to school and pursue her Master of Divinity.
The challenges Ivy faced were not
so much within the profession, as in the journey to get there. Her decision to
follow her call led to the ending of her marriage and a difficult time of
adjustment for her family. It also took her
into a time of personal discernment, as she searched to understand who she was
as an independent person, no longer attached to her husband.
Shortly after her marriage ended she
fell in love with another woman, a fellow student in Seminary. Both of their long-term
relationships were ending or had recently ended and they found with each other,
a deeply spiritual connection that has continued to grow over the last 19
However, the denomination Ivy grew
up in was not accepting of LGBTQ2+ people and so she had to make a decision,
and it was an easy one. She turned to the United Church of Canada, which has,
since 1988, ordained LGBTQ2+ people. It
was a natural fit not only because of her orientation but because of the social
justice perspective to the gospel that is lived out in the denomination.
As an out lesbian clergy, Ivy has
been warmly and respectfully welcomed by every member of her congregation. They
are a welcoming community on a continual learning curve. They are willing to
ask questions, hear explanations, and explore ongoing and expanding ways to be
Ivy says, “It’s difficult to
choose one favourite thing about ministry. There’s the opportunity to help
people develop an awareness of the movement of the Spirit in their lives, and encourage
them to open up to and welcome the fullness of the experience, finding
meaningful and creative ways to remind people how much they are loved and how
important it is to share that love through our everyday living.
“But perhaps the most
important thing for me is inviting people to understand God in a way that is
meaningful to them. This often means letting
go of the traditional perception of an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful,
vengeful, white-bearded guy in the sky, and learning to read the Bible in a way
that makes sense for us, today.”
Some advice from Ivy about deciding to enter Ministry:
Discernment, both personal and
communal, is essential. Pray, think it through, and talk with others, including
those in the field, about your sense of call.
Listen carefully to what people are saying, or perhaps not saying to you.
Never forget that there are many
forms of ministry, some are clergy roles, some are not. It’s hard to say which are the most
important! Ministry is about teamwork.
Know too that the church is an
organization filled with real people who are as far from perfect as you are.
There are challenges to deal with and much patience required, but underneath it
all, as in the rest of our lives, is a group of amazing, beautiful people
trying to do the best they can with what they have at the moment.
The church Ivy currently serves
is St. Paul’s United, a congregation within the United Church of Canada. They
are currently leasing space from the Kelowna Seventh Day Adventist Church at
1130 Springfield Road in Kelowna.
St. Paul’s is a joy-filled congregation that believes in the respect and honouring of all people. No matter who you are, where your life has taken you in the past or where it may lead you in the future.
Doreen Lambert operates a Graphic Design/Art business, Mind Full Designs, in Kelowna where she creates business stationery, logos, banners, ads book covers, or anything else you might need for a business or event.
Possessing a wide range of abilities, Doreen combines problem-solving,
innovative art, and design principles which she obtained through her Military
Service, personal art, and her program in Graphic and Digital Design at The
Centre for Arts and Technology.
Her knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite, vinyl installation
techniques, and customer service allows her to play an integral role in the
implementation of design initiatives.
Doreen went back to school after her Military service with the
goal of starting her own business. She chose Graphic Design because she has always
liked creating and was amazed to discover her passion could be expressed in the
computer graphics field.
Plus, she likes helping people with their business projects,
so it is the best of both worlds.
Doreen commented, “Each assignment is different and
each client needs my help, so I try my best to make their ideas come to life.”
Some advice from Doreen about starting your own business:
Find your passion and do research. In the end, just go for it and have faith that hard work will get you to your goal. Also, talk to everyone! Doreen has found clients standing in line at the grocery store!