From fitness experts to technology buffs, Douglas Magazine’s 10 to Watch honorees are a varied and innovative bunch. In the countdown to the 2013 Douglas awards on March 27, we caught up with some winners from years past.
BUSINESS: BDHQ – Body Dynamics Headquarters
YEAR THEY WON: 2011
WHAT THEY SAID THEN: “No one works out here alone. We are in business to change lives, and we, with our clients, are accountable for their success. Everyone who comes in here is partnered with a personal trainer or is part of a group.” UPDATE: BDHQ is celebrating five years at their Johnson St. location. And December 2012 saw the opening of their second location, BDHQ2, which owner Michele Shorter calls a hybrid of gym and BDHQ. It’s an 8,000 square foot, 24-hour facility at 2841 Quesnel St., in the former home of Odyssey Gym. Shorter says they’re looking forward to doing more updating and renovations based on their clients needs.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING NOW: “[The new location] is affording everything that we need and that our customers wanted of us. We have yoga, we have daycare, we have free parking, we have 24-hour access to our gym, and we have more affordable prices. With our existing studio downtown, we’re really giving our clients what they need with respect to a short, hard, fast workout that’s effective. And we’re really thankful to be in Victoria in the downtown core and to be part of that community. ”
BUSINESS: MD Esthetics
YEAR THEY WON: 2010
WHAT THEY SAID THEN: Colwood may not be the first place you’d think of for up-to-the-minute cosmetic procedures, but Milkovich says the location has been a positive. “It’s been an advantage for us because we know the community so well.” UPDATE: Leaders in the field of medical esthetics, Dr. Milkovich and Dr. Banks are national experts in injectables and Allergan-appointed physician trainers on Allergan’s advisory board for Botox and Juvederm. As their business has grown and evolved, they have tripled their staff of laser technicians and concierge and have expanded with several renovations, doubling the size of the clinic. Another expansion is planned for the near future. In their new Body Center, they now also specialize in CoolSculpting, a non-invasive fat reduction treatment. In 2012, MD Esthetics won the Business Examiner “Business of the Year (Under 50 Employees)” Award, as well as several Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Awards. WHAT THEY’RE SAYING NOW: “Since receiving the “10 to Watch” award our business has continued to grow. Our passion for making women and men look and feel their best has attracted amazing clients. Our “Refer a Friend” program continues to be successful as our clients love to rave about their experience they had with us to their friends and family.”
BUSINESS: VIBES FITNESS
YEAR THEY WON: 2010
WHAT THEY SAID THEN: “I understood immediately that the success of the business depended on developing long-term relationships with my clients, so I work very hard at ensuring their workout experience is positive.” UPDATE: Vibes has expanded to four locations in Victoria and is preparing to move across Canada through franchising. The unique concept has proven to be a great way for Franchisees to realize the dream of business ownership while improving the lives of their members.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING NOW: “We are making fitness a pleasurable experience — a rare offering in today’s marketplace. By offering simple, effective, low-impact workouts under the guidance of a personal trainer, our inviting studios attract individuals of all fitness levels. We have watched as members throw away their canes, climb mountains, fit into their “skinny” jeans, and, most importantly, learn to love who they have become by spending time at Vibes!”
BUSINESS: First Light Technologies
YEAR THEY WON: 2012
WHAT THEY SAID THEN: “We have two major product lines: providing consulting services for solar and LED lighting product development and designing solar and LED lighting products. Our major business right now is on the consulting side, but the product design is growing rapidly.” UPDATE: According to co-owner Justin Taverna, over the past year, First Light Technologies has developed two new products. Baby turtles are safer thanks to the First Light PLB amber LED, which has been approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for use in Sea Turtle Nesting Habitats. The new PLB Series amber LED Option has a 180-degree back light shield that provides necessary lighting for visual landscape of beachfront properties near marine turtle habitats.First Light has also developed a new integrated pathways light (IPL). Their IPL series builds on their previous successes with a fully integrated aesthetic design, self-learning energy management system, and architectural grade construction. The IPL series is not a panel on a stick and shatters the solar stigma combining aesthetic design with high-quality light output. The new unit is a pole-mounted luminaire with a suggested pole height of 10 – 15 ft with typical spacing of 30 – 50ft. It is ideally suited for pathways, bikeways, and greenways. First Light products are now in 16 countries worldwide.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING NOW: “This past year we have been busy developing new additions to our fully integrated, LED solar lighting product family. In tandem, we have been further expanding our sales channels, both domestic and internationally. The result of these efforts has been a positive response within the lighting design and landscaping architecture markets. We look forward to organic growth within our industry and a successful 2013.”
BUSINESS: ArenaLINE Zipline Adventure Tours
YEAR THEY WON: 2010
WHAT THEY SAID THEN: “We tried to do as much locally as we could, “ says McQueen. An arborist helped design the course and advised on rigging the cables, and six metal fabricators worked on the towers…Our idea for this, in part, was a ‘light hand on the land.’” UPDATE: According to Jeremy Wilson, director of AdrenaLINE Zipline Adventure Tours, since 2010, AdrenaLINE has developed partnerships with three different cruise lines to create custom on-demand Zipline Adventure Tours with shuttle service and have expanded their partnerships within the tourism industry over tenfold with the development of over 100 resellers, including Clipper Vacations, Blackball Ferries, and Kenmore Air. They also created Canada’s only Night Zipline Adventure Tour, including full-moon zip tours throughout the season and haunted night zip tours at Halloween. To facilitate guest transfer to the top of course, they have also purchased a UNIMOG — a German multi-purpose four-wheel drive truck. In December 2011, AdrenaLINE was recognized as one of the best companies to work for in B.C. by BCBusiness Magazine. Also in 2011, they won the CRD EcoStar Award for Land Stewardship and the Tourism Vancouver Island Industry Award for Tourism Sustainability.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING NOW: “We’ve seen unprecedented success in the three years since receiving the “10 to Watch” Award — not only in the profitability of our business, but also with the sustainability of our operations. We look forward to continuing this trend with some exciting new ideas.”