When Stephan and Annie Maingot decided to expand California Closets to the Okanagan, they reached out to local businessman and philanthropist, Brent Marshall, to help them find the best location for their new retail outlet.
Not only did Marshall find them the perfect space at 1217 Water St. in Kelowna, but he also introduced Stephan and Annie to Shannon Christensen, founder and CEO of Mamas for Mamas, a national charitable organization that supports moms, caregivers and their children that are in crisis, by providing a safe, comfortable and compassionate place to go for poverty relief support.
“Brent recently donated a much needed, new 1800 square foot warehouse space for Mamas for Mamas’ Karma Market—a place where struggling families can access groceries, clothes and toiletries that they need, at no cost,” Stephan says. “However, the big, open space needed to be transformed into a beautiful and functional marketplace.”
For over 24 years, the Maingots have developed the California Closet brand in British Columbia, with a focus on providing first-class, innovative custom design products, and doing business for good. All California Closets BC systems are manufactured in Burnaby at a state-of-the-art facility, and 80% of all materials and components that California Closets BC uses are made in Canada.
“We have always supported our local charities and non-profit organizations, and when we opened our new store in Kelowna, we knew that we wanted to immediately start supporting our new community,” Annie says. “Providing the Karma Market with a custom and expert-designed installation to accommodate their diverse needs was the perfect way for California Closets to give back.”
Adds Stephan: “We knew that California Closets would be the perfect partner to work with Mamas for Mamas and design their new Karma Market. We jumped in right away, and it was a match made in heaven.”
The new Karma Market was originally an army surplus warehouse, and it needed to be completely overhauled to accommodate all the store’s products, such as food, clothing, shoes and seasonal wear, as well as formula, diapers and baby furniture.
“Even though this was a much bigger space than we had before, I didn’t know if we could make it work for us, as we needed an organized and functional space to properly accommodate all of our market’s items,” Christensen says. “The California Closets’ team were incredible to work with. They provided us with a range of design solutions that specifically met our needs. They incorporated cabinets on wall spaces that I didn’t think could be used, and they made it look like the gorgeous custom cabinetry had always been there. They also ensured that the room flowed and fit the architecture of the warehouse and the aesthetic we were hoping for to suit our mamas. We can now accommodate 15 people in the market at once, instead of two. It has been an absolute pleasure working with the California Closets team, and we are so appreciative for all their generous support.”
California Closets’ specialized designers, pre-production specialists, skilled manufacturers and installation technicians collaborated with the Mamas for Mamas team. Together, they created a unique and multifunctional space with a purposeful design that includes a well-appointed front reception and workspace for greeting customers, extensive shelving, and suspended cabinets for displaying food, clothes and products, and creatively placed closets and shelves for optimal storage.
“California Closets is a wonderful addition to our community,” Marshall says. “They provide outstanding customer service and premium, quality products, and they have also proven themselves to be a charitable and caring community partner. When I reached out to Stephan and Annie for their support, they activated immediately and helped to create the beautiful Karma Market for mamas in need to feel safe, secure and respected when collecting necessary items for their families.”
For more information about California Closets, visit www.californiaclosets.ca.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.