The owner of a local business that used to be set up in the Temperance hotel is concerned she won’t be able to find a new rental space after being evicted.
“When we signed this lease we anticipated being here for a few years because I live in Ladysmith and the spot is perfect and it was told to me by my landlords, who are also local, that the renovations that would be needed would only displace me for one to two weeks,” said Emily Schwan, owner of Daisy and Vine Vintage Design.
The heritage building is undergoing major renovations and she was not given a guarantee she will be able to move back into the space once they are complete.
Throughout her tenancy, she said she had renovations all around the business and she ultimately agreed to end her lease, which was supposed to expire on Jan. 31, early due to the disruption.
“Our hope is to open another location because our sales have skyrocketed in the last six months,” she said in December. But she is challenged in finding a new home for the store. “There is nowhere to go.”
She said she hopes to be able to find a new location in either Ladysmith or Chemainus.
“We were kind of just gaining momentum and it’s like the rug being pulled out from underneath of us because we have developed a relationship with our customers here and developed this foundation and it wasn’t in the plan to be displaced after only 11 months.”
The 11 months were not easy, she said the landlords attempted to evict her in October, in the middle of the lease. The timeline for renovations changed multiple times while she was there, making it hard to plan. The store sold out its inventory and closed the location on Dec. 15
“I’ve put a lot of time money and energy into this store,” she said. “It has been a very horrible situation.”
The Temperance Hotel will include rental units, including short-term vacation rentals, as reported by the Times Colonist in October. The owners of the Temperance Hotel denied an interview for this story.
Schwann said she plans to ramp up her online store and use her social media following to help sales as she searches for a new location.
“We [were] doing well which is why it is such a bummer that this is happening,” she said. “The community wants us here and there is nowhere to go right now so we are looking for a space that’s bigger.”