Sadly, Revelstoke may soon lose its Inspiration

After 24 years Karen Olsson (right) is wrapping it up at Inspiration Gift Boutique. That's a real loss to the business community, but will excite shoppers like Erynn Swett of Lacombe, Alberta, who stopped in to browse through Karen's stock and was pleasantly surprised to find it all on sale for 25 % off. David F. Rooney photo

By David F. Rooney

Revelstoke’s business community is about to lose another long-standing enterprise. This time it’s Inspiration Gift Boutique.

The shop, located at 202 First Street West, has been a fixture of the local retail sector since 1965.

“I’m the third owner,” says Karen Olsson, who purchased it in 1987. “It has been a good business and I’ve really enjoyed it, but it’s time.”

Olsson is currently offering 25 per cent off of everything in the store with an eye to deeper discounts as her planned closure approaches this autumn.

“I’d like to enjoy my grandchildren, travel a bit — go to Arizona actually — enjoy my gardening and all the other things running a business doesn’t leave you much time for,” she said in an interview, adding that it will give her more time with her husband.

“Fred’s been retired for a while and we’d like to travel while we can still enjoy things together.”

But that anticipation of a well-deserved retirement is tempered by the knowledge that Karen will miss her working days’ true high points — interacting with all the visitors and locals who enjoyed her store.

“Yes, we provide a service but meeting people and making friends has always been something I have enjoyed,” she said. “We get quite a few visitors here, but you can’t make it without the locals. Their support over the years has been remarkable.”

Inspiration Gift Boutique is open from 10 am until 5 pm at 202 First Street West. You can contact Karen Olsson by phone at 250-837-4098 or by e-mail at