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In Focus | Vanessa Gammel

Meet Vanessa. Vanessa has been a part of the Kamloops community for 26 years. This momtrepreneur's passion for early childhood education lead her to opening and operating Tumbleweed Toys, a valued business of the Kamloops community. When she isn't busy with her business, you can find her boating on Kamloops Lake or traveling around the world with her family.

What is your name?
Vanessa Gammel

What is your email address?
[email protected]

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kamloops?
31 years minus 5 years in Fort McMurray in between.

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My husband. We've been married 19 years next month and he is my best friend.

What is your favourite local store in Kamloops and why?
NuLeaf Produce. I love the locally grown selection they have, the prices and it's convenient for me to pop in on my way home from work.

Describe yourself in one word.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Europe. I've never been and I'd love to go and see where my ancestors came from. One of my interests is studying our family geneaology.

What is your favourite activity in Kamloops?
Boating on Kamloops Lake.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
Taking the Early Childhood Education program at UCC (now TRU) completely changed my life. Learning about how important unstructured play time is for children and how we, as parents and educators, can facilitate it. I left working directly with children early in my career but I have never stopped being an advocate for the importance of great early childhood experiences in children's development.

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
Until I was 10 I grew up on Vancouver Island. My greatest memories are going out for long walks on the beach, playing in the tide pools and going out on our boat fishing and whale watching. Being outdoors as a child are my best memories.

What do you think makes Kamloops great?
Kamloops has a small town community feel and has lots of great amenities.

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I am currently obsessed with the Outlander books and TV series!

How do people connect with you, personally, through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
Twitter: @Tumbleweedtoys
Instagram: @Tumbleweedtoys
Facebook: @TumbleweedToys

What is the name of your business/organization?
Tumbleweed Toys.

Why did you get into/start this business?
It was 9 months old when I bought it. I have a background in Early Childhood Education and quality toys have always been a passion for me. I was a stay-at-home mom at the time but itching for something new to do. This toy store was a perfect fit for me.

What is the goal of your business?
To provide quality toys, games, puzzles and exceptional service.

What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
My biggest struggle is maintaining a work/life balance. I have 3 kids and my husband works out of town. Between the kids' extracurriculars and the demands of running a business it can be difficult to manage.

Tell us your best piece of life advice.
Treat others as you would like to be treated. You never know what other people are going through.

Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
Shopping locally is good for our local economy but also great for our sense of community. Local businesses are run by people who know the community and support local charities and events.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
My kids. I have 3 amazing children.

Give someone you think that deserves a shout out and explain why!
Leashia Peacock. She just fulfilled her dream of opening a Yoga Studio this summer.

My choice for the KamloopsBCNow In Focus spotlight is:
Leashia Peacock.

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!

Send your news tips, photos and videos to [email protected]
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