Travel Diaries: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Brittney McCormick Hey Ma Boutique

Tell us about yourself

My name is Brittney McCormick, and prior to opening up a Maternity/Motherhood shop I worked in the music industry for the past 12 years. My work included everything from managing venues to hosting festivals and being on the road on tours.

Are you born and raised in Kelowna? If not, how did you end up there?

I was born and raised in the heart of Toronto, Ontario. I moved to Kelowna, BC after high school and have stayed ever since! I originally moved out for the mountains, as I am a huge snowboarder and skier, but now my entire life is rooted here--family and business.

Brittney McCormick

What is your favorite part about living in Kelowna?

We have the longest summers and lowest precipitation in almost all of Canada, which makes for “warm” winters in Canada. We are a desert after all! Kelowna is a town that is heavily populated in the summer months for our beaches and countless vineyards...and I mean countless. They are everywhere!  

Kelowna, BC

Where are the three places in Kelowna that you would recommend to a visitor from out of town?

My first go-to with anyone who visits is to take a drive to Penticton. The highway wraps around the 80 kilometers of Lake Okanagan, and you get amazing views the entire time. The drive passes through the cutest towns with names like Peachland and Summerland, until you end up in Penticton--a town with 80 wineries, 7 breweries and 3 distilleries. It’s one of only two towns in the world that is sandwiched between two lakes.

Secondly, our restaurants are outstanding. Our town is right on the lake, with City Park situated right on the waterfront, and there’s a lakeside cultural district, where many shops and amazing restaurants are. I highly recommend Kelowna staples like Salt & Brick, BNA Brewing Co., and Summerhill Organic Bistro at the Summerhill Pyramid Winery.  

Finally, depending on the season, rent some skis and ski Big White our resort ski hill, or rent a boat and do some wake-surfing or wakeboarding on Lake Okanagan which is steps off the main street of Kelowna.

Kelowna, BC

What does your perfect afternoon in Kelowna look like?

Grabbing the dogs, some tacos from Fernando’s and going on a hike to Paul’s Tomb which you can walk to from downtown. 

Kelowna Recommendations:

  • Best accommodations:
  • Best place to play
    • The Lake (Okanagan) and its many spots to rent paddle boards, boats, or play on the floating water park
  • Best places to eat
  • Best grown-up entertainment
  • Best hidden gems / spots that locals love
    • Knox Mountain & its countless trails + Idabel Lake as well!
  • Best Shops
    • Fossellos is unbelievable 
    • But my favourites would be several beautiful second-hand shops: Stone Fox, Lost Together and Frock
    • (And because Britt’s too modest to add it herself, we’ll throw Hey Ma on this list, obviously!)

How did you come to open Hey Ma?

I found out I was pregnant the day we went into lockdown at the very beginning of Covid. I was working at a new drag bar in town and had to just sit on my butt and be pregnant for the entirety of my pregnancy/lockdown. This gave me so much time to think and firsthand knowledge that there was nowhere to buy clothing and postpartum care essentials. With a background in fashion design and a love for creating I set out to open Hey Ma.

Hey Ma Boutique

What is unique about your store and its offerings to the community?

We are the only maternity shop in the Interior of British Columbia. You would have to drive 7 hours east to the next one. We offer many maternity brands--selling both new and vintage pieces. 

We’re gearing up to host a mom group in the shop, and we give $1 of every sale to a wonderful national organization called, “Mamas for Mamas.” They are true heroes to me.

We're so glad you found us! What makes Kibou such a good fit for Kelowna parents?

The Kelowna mom likes to look effortlessly cool which is what a fanny pack ultimately is, but above that we need functionality and… our hands free! I know for myself living downtown, I grab my Kibou when going for a little walk for coffee or a quick trip to the park, it’s easy, it’s right there and it goes with absolute everything in my closet! It can easily be worn for any outing long or short  (pssst you can totally take this bag out on the town)

What does it mean to you to be a part of the Kelowna community?

To have so many mothers and fathers come into the store and express their support and appreciation that Kelowna now has a store to purchase maternity, kids wear and a safe space to breastfeed while downtown has been overwhelming.

Where is next on your travel bucket list?

I am dying to go to Scandinavia with my son, but also New Orleans has been on my mind since I last visited 5 years ago.

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