When we read Linda Klym’s letter asking us to consider her for Okanagan Woman’s Fall makeover, it was clear that she was a clever and courageous woman. Only after we met in person did we see what a uniquely compelling choice she was…filled with grace in the face of adversity, compassion and a genuine warmth. Linda was custom made for this makeover and she enjoyed every minute of it.
Linda moved to the North Okanagan from Alberta with her husband about four years ago, after their daughter passed away following a long battle with a brain tumor.
“Although the move was very good for me, my husband of 45 years never fully recovered from losing his daughter,” she wrote. About a year ago, he lost his life in a car accident. Along with learning her way as a new widow, soon after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Linda reported that everything went well with the cancer and she has learned a lot about running a household alone. She has now finished treatment and is taking advantage of all the Okanagan has go offer.
“A makeover would be the icing on the cake,” Linda wrote. “A new me on the inside, a new me on the outside.”
Linda started her adventure at Bra Heaven in Vernon, her home town. Here she was measured and fitted correctly for a bra. Valerie Van Bodegom, the owner was very informative and so helpful in selecting the right bra for me, says Linda.
“This was my first personal bra fitting and all my reservations were quelled by such a positive experience at Bra Heaven.” Linda was treated to an Empreinte, Melody bra, in soft caramel.
Linda’s hair was next. With over six years’ experience in cutting, styling and colouring, Jessica Langedyk at NV Studios, Kelowna, knew just how to coax the perfect style from Linda’s short hair. After a consultation with Linda over coffee, supplied by our friends at Fezziwig’s Bakery Café, Jessica administered her magic. She went to work on Linda’s locks; cutting, colouring, conditioning, spritzing and behold.. 2 hours later created a fabulous short layered classic look with a modern twist that looked so chic on Linda and will be easy for her to care for.
After a fun and hectic morning, we stopped to enjoy a wonderful light lunch catered by Fezziwigs Artisan Bakery Café. Fezziwigs features three locations in the Mission area and is a casual and fun spot for breakfast, lunch or a quick takeout for those on the run.
Okanagan Makeup Artist, Tammy Peterson said “I didn’t have to use a lot of makeup. I was after a classic but sultry look. Linda has beautiful skin. We started with ‘Drops of Youth’ which removes fine lines, a touch of aloe eye cream and moisturizer. After defining a soft powder brow, I did her eyes in neutral shades with a touch of purple at the edges. Peachy blush brings out her eyes and her lips are bold but natural in a neutral, sheer burgundy.”
For our next stop we visited Strut Footwear and Apparel store in Mission Park Shopping Centre, one of Kelowna’s premiere spots for those in search of the perfect shoe or boot for any occasion. Store proprietor Shandi Schwartz has recently enjoyed a hugely successful one-year anniversary celebration, congratulations to Shandi and her team!
Did Linda try on half of the shoes in the store, with lots of help from sales associate Brenda? Maybe. If so, it’s understandable as there were so many to enthuse over. Eventually, a versatile and stylish Hispanitas black pump was selected, perfectly complimenting her dress. But we couldn’t leave without picking up a stylish fascinator… as one never knows when one will be invited to attend that special function!
Throughout the time we spent with Linda, her favorite comment often started with “I’ve never ever….” She had no problem trying new looks and styles and she thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience.
A short drive brought us to Bellissima Fashions in Orchard Park Shopping Centre where we continued Linda’s transformation. We were greeted with a big smile by Deborah Mooney, store Manager, who was most helpful as the team combed the racks for dresses, tops, pants and jackets. Selecting an armful of clothing, it was off to the changing room to fit and find that perfect outfit!
“It’s completely different from anything I’ve ever bought, or even looked at before.” said Linda about the Joseph Ribkoff dress that was finally selected. The dress fit her perfectly, flattered her figure and ultimately, was an easy decision.
Bellissima has been located in Orchard Park Shopping Centre for more than 15 years. It’s a busy, vibrant store where, it seemed, almost everyone left with a package. As Linda says, “I felt like Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman, trying on all these beautiful clothes!”
The final phase of Linda’s makeover was the photo shoot itself and for this, Okanagan Woman looked to Bonne Donovan of Bonne Belle Portraits for her talent and expertise to capture the perfect photos. Bonne has a thriving business specializing in boudoir photography. Although she also shoots family portraits, corporate photos and videography, her greatest love is boudoir.
In the studio, Bonne’s gentle and professional manner helped to relax Linda and bring out her stunning smile.
The final photographs reflect a truly vibrant, fashionably confident woman who the camera adored. From bra fitting through hair, clothes, shoes, make up, photography and even lunch, Linda thoroughly enjoyed discovering her new glamorous image.
After all, she has embraced herself internally and as she stated in her original letter to Okanagan Woman, “…I am gaining strength daily with the help of faith, family and friends, and learning to take one day at a time, being thankful for everything I have.”
Thank you, Linda, for allowing us to get to know you better and the inspiration you’ve shared with our readers. W