Laser therapist and seamstress team up in Powell River

Body & Sewl on Marine offers products and services for the body and soul

Known for its eclectic blend of locally-owned small businesses, Marine Avenue offers shoppers a wide range of products and services not available anywhere else in town. Body & Sewl, Marine’s newest addition, is no exception.

Body & Sewl on Marine is home to Randy Crites’s Rebalance Laser and Massage and Stephanie Harder’s May Shade Sewing Services.

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“Being able to share retail space was the best way to get our businesses going in Powell River,” says Stephanie.  

For the past few months, Randy has been bouncing between Edmonton and Powell River while his life partner, Vanessa Bjerreskov, settles logistics in Alberta. They invited their friend Stephanie to join their Powell River adventure.

“We really wanted to move here for the lifestyle,” says Randy. “In Edmonton, it’s hard to be outside half the year. Here I can go for a row on the lake in January, even if it snows. Powell River is a mecca for people like me that love the outdoors.”

Body & Sewl opened officially in mid-December and Randy and Stephanie have been working to customize their new space. “Right now we have a lot of open space but we have lots of plans,” says Stephanie. “We want to provide a space for the Powell River artisan community to show the incredible work they are doing.”

Stephanie’s sewing area is located at the front of the store, and Randy’s clinic is set up at the back behind a privacy wall.

"I work on the body," says Randy. “Stephanie does the sewls. We like the play on words."

On the body side, Randy, a licensed laser therapist, offers his clients cold-laser treatments and massage targeted at reducing chronic pain.

The cold laser energy helps repair damaged cells by accelerating the body’s natural healing mechanisms, Randy explains. Cold laser therapy can penetrate up to five inches into tissue and is used to treat a wide array of conditions, ranging from sprains, tendinitis, back pain, and arthritis to surgical scars, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, and fibromyalgia.

“When it comes to acute and chronic pain, everyone seems to have something going on,” says Randy. “Laser helps pretty much all of it.”

Randy’s understanding of chronic pain treatment comes from many years of practice and from trying to heal his own chronic neck and shoulder pain, the result of a workplace accident when he was younger. He is excited about being on the cutting edge of healing technology with laser therapy.

“After my back operation, laser treatment closed my surgical wound 10 days sooner than expected,” he says. “The doctor was not happy with me for ‘waiting so long to come in!’”

On the sewing side, Stephanie has over 40 years of professional sewing and alteration experience. She has made just about anything from fabric and thread.

“I’ve sewn everything from bridal wear to kids’ wear, day-to-day clothing to pajamas,” says Stephanie. “I’ve even made motorcycle seats, wings for an ultralight airplane, and stuffed animals. I’m always up for new challenges, and I have lots of skill and experience to make people’s visions come true.”

She is also a big believer in repairing and altering clothing. “We’ve started to see clothing as something disposable, but it doesn’t have to be. A lot of times, there’s still plenty of use left in our clothing if we just repair it, alter it, or repurpose it, like turning an old jacket into a teddy bear or graphic T-shirts into a quilt. It is a way to reduce our environmental impact, save money, and give things that mean something to us a new lease on life.”

Stephanie also has a quilting machine in store, and offers rental and training for those who want to use it themselves.

Body & Sewl on Marine is located at 4566A Marine Avenue between Costa del Sol and Basecamp Coffee. For more information on any of the services Randy and Stephanie offer, give them a call at 604.223.7918. Laser treatments are by appointment. Body & Sewl is open from 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday.

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