When the doors of the new location for Oceanside Entertainment (formerly Oceanside Books and Games) opened in November, it was the culmination of a two-month whirlwind that saw the store move from one side of Marine Avenue to the other.
“I believe if life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, but in this case, I think we actually made lemon meringue pie,” says Karyne Bailey, who owns Oceanside Entertainment. “When our former building sold and we needed to move, it was quite a shock, but we were able to lease this location directly across the street. We’ve had customers comment on how bright and cheerful the space is, and how much more room we have for our inventory.”
Now located in the Hindle’s heritage building at 4721 Marine Avenue, Oceanside Entertainment is a one-stop shop for entertainment of all kinds.
“We have over 32,000 items in inventory, and it’s not just books and games,” says Karyne. “We carry things like puzzles, board games, video games, DVDs, role playing games, dice, frisbees, kites, Hot Wheels, comic books, colouring books, tarot decks, Pokémon products like booster packs and coins, Play-Doh, diamond art, poppers, and we have slime on the way!”
The new space is the next step on an 18-year journey for Karyne as a business owner.
“I was on disability, so I talked to my worker about taking part in the government’s self-employment program,” she says. “I had just watched an Oprah [Winfrey] show about making your passion your work, so I brainstormed three things I loved: books, recycling and thrift-store shopping. I went into a thrift store with $20, came out with 12 books that I knew people were interested in buying, and signed up as a third-party merchant with Amazon.”
Ten years later, Oceanside Entertainment provided enough income for Karyne to exit the disability system.
“I wanted to prove that people can get off disability without cheating the system,” she says.
Karyne’s business was exclusively online until her family moved to Powell River four years ago.
“My daughters Rebeca and Trystinna were competitive gymnasts, and we came to train with the coach at the Powell River Gymnastics Society for a week,” she says. “Nineteen days later, we moved here, and rented the store on Marine to try having a physical location.”
Rebeca and Trystinna are both part of the business, and each has different interests.
“Tryss likes manga, anime, kids’ books and humour,” says Karyne. “Becka is very interested in video games, and knows all about the different systems out there.”
Karyne also offers an online shopping service for Powell River residents who are not comfortable making online purchases themselves.
“I have ordered things like leaf blowers, overalls, car parts; you name it I’ve ordered it,” says Karyne. “We’ve ordered over 400 items for people this year alone.”
Karyne, her daughters, and new volunteer Dustin have lots of plans now that they’re settled into their new location.
“We have a room upstairs where we’re setting up monitors and gaming systems, so people can game away from small children, which I think is important,” says Karyne. “We’re also planning game nights, both board and role playing, in the new year. We’re excited about the options this new space gives us.”Oceanside Entertainment is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5:30 pm. Residents can follow the business on Facebook (@oceansideentertainmentbc) or Instagram (@oceansidebooksgame), or reach out by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to a mailing list about upcoming events.