Meet Tamara Hill. Tamara was born and raised in the city of Kamloops. She is a strong-willed woman who enjoys spending time with her husband as well as photography!
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kamloops?
Born and raised in Kamloops.
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My wonderful husband who always supports me and my crazy ideas. He is always on board with my adventure and work ideas.
What is your favourite local store in Kamloops and why?
There are so many! It's a little outside of Kamloops, but I'm obsessed with Alpine Images Photography in Sun Peaks. Every time I go into the store I buy something. Everyone should check it out!
Describe yourself in one word.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
I have a huge travel bug right now. This list could be long, but I would say Tofino and Ucluelet. I want to experience Storm Watching Season there so badly.
What is your favourite activity in Kamloops?
I love going to local events and getting outside to take in the beauty of where we live.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
One that stands out would probably be the terrifying screaming noise our older Aussie, Lilly, makes every time a strange dog comes near her. It sounds like she's being attacked. It's a bit tough to explain to others that she's just a scaredy cat.
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
When my husband and I first got Kaia, we had no intentions of anything other than having another adorable dog in our lives. Since then, we have realized that having a dog that has an impairment is truly a gift. We hope that through the platform of her Instagram account that we can raise awareness of what life with a deaf dog is. We hope that we can show everyone that she is unaware that she is different. She is equally as smart as other dogs. I also hope it can help everyone to see that people and animals that are 'different' are still so amazing and loveable!
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
I would probably be tied for two amazing moments. Being an animal lover, I would have to say it was the day I got my first horse, Misty, and the day I got my first cat, Whiskers. Getting these two amazing animals when I was a kid was a dream come true for a girl who watched more Animal Planet than cartoons. It is so amazing to learn from animals and see how intelligent and caring they are.
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I have volunteered for TRU Sports, Kamloops Storm Hockey and the IIHF Women's Hockey Tournament when it was in town. My current goal is to train Kaia to be a therapy dog. I believe because she is deaf that many people would love to meet her. I want to have the opportunity to make people feel better.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
I really believe that the world needs to be more understanding and compassionate. We live in a world where animal testing still exists and where animal cruelty is not considered a major crime. These creatures have more compassion than is even fathomable. These animals have such incredible hearts. They can have terrible upbringings and still love someone who treats them well. I wish that we, as humans, can strive to learn about things before judging and love others regardless of anything about them. As Ellen always says, "Be Kind to One Another."
Where would you sneak away to in Kamloops to spend some time alone?
I would sneak away to any of the beautiful hiking spots in town and take my dogs (Lilly and Kaia).
Where would you like to see positive change in Kamloops and why?
I would like to see more local events and support for local development to facilitate local events.
What do you think makes Kamloops great?
I think the location of Kamloops makes it ideal. We are so close to so many amazing locations. Kamloops is a great hub!
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
1. Owning all the animals! Good thing my amazing husband agrees with me.
2. I want to travel to every continent and explore the world as much as possible.
3. I've always wanted to live in Canmore and San Fransisco, so that's probably the third.
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
People may not know that I'm working on becoming a golfer. It's a slow process, but I'm trying!
How do people connect with you, personally, through social media?
Connect with both my dogs for adorable photos! @kaiafluffkins and @lillyfluffkins on Instagram. Or me at @marabarker on Instagram.
What is the name of your business/organization?
Kaia and Lilly Fluffkins - @kaiafluffkins and @lillyfluffkins on Instagram.
Why did you get into/start this business?
I got into this as a way to share cute photos.
What is the goal of your business?
Since starting these accounts, I have had my eyes opened to a whole new community. The amazing small companies in the dog Instagram world are so incredible. I hope to continue to help grow small businesses and advocate for deaf dogs.
What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
My biggest struggle is always work-life balance. With working for my family company (The Mane Event), having these accounts for my dogs, working on starting another company and trying to have an actual life, the balance can be very difficult.
What do you always find yourself saying?
I'm always asking if we can adopt whatever cute animal I see.
Tell us your best piece of life advice.
It may sound cheesy but live without regrets. That thing you regret in life led you to where you are today. Maybe it wasn't a great experience, but it allowed you to have something great happen later in life.
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
I would love to spend a day with Kaley Cuoco. She seems like such an incredible person. She is an equestrian like me, so I would love to see her ride and go to her barn. She is also a huge voice for animal rights. She would be a great person to connect with, and her love for animals is so inspiring. She has adopted so many animals. She really is a kind and generous person.
Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
I think it's important to give our hard earned money to people in our own community who work hard to stand out from the big box stores.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
I have had many proud accomplishments in my life. In my equestrian career, I had the opportunity to compete at the World Level. It was a great accomplishment. Another would be when I got to intern in the NHL before I turned 20. It was so fun.
Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
My whole family! They're so awesome and have definitely made me who I am today. They also, mostly, support my animal obsession.
My choice for the KamloopsBCNow In Focus spotlight is:
Arnica Crawshay and the girls at Sugar and Spice Beauty Bar. They're the best!
Some general comments I would like to share are:
BIO - Tamara and Triston HIll are newlyweds embarking on the great journey of having two adorable dogs. With one deaf puppy, life is always creating new adventures. Lilly is a six-year-old Toy Australian Shepherd, and Kaia is a 6-month-old deaf Toy Australian Shepherd.
We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kamloops.
In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition of the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great!