Name: Nicole Dennis Durnin

Title: Owner and Curator

Organization/Business: LYNNSteven

Social: @lynnsteven

What do you do and how did you get here?

I own Lynn Steven Boutique and have had it for 7 years now. I come from a retail background, having worked in this industry since I was 16. Before opening the store, I worked for Lacoste for 5 years and I knew then, that I would own my own business one day.

If you had 15 minutes only, in Gastown, how would you spend it?

There is so much to do in Gastown! If I only had 15 minutes, I would grab a coffee from Coffeebar or Birds & Beets and sit down and chat with my friend Peter Wilds at his design studio. It is a beautiful space to sit, talk and drink coffee.

If you had a few hours in Gastown?

I would probably restaurant hop. I would start at L’abattoir and then see where I end up. When L’abattoir opened, my husband and I would eat there at least 3 times a week. It is still my favourite place to eat in Gastown.

What do you love about the neighbourhood?

It’s the environment. When I first opened my doors back in 2009, the first thing that happened was a bunch of Gastown business owners came and welcomed me. I feel that we are all independent and all trying to accomplish the same thing with our businesses. I really love the support from the community here. That is my favourite thing about the neighbourhood.

What’s your most memorable moment or experience in Gastown?

A lot of things have happened for me in Gastown. Before I opened the store, (and I always knew I wanted it to be in Gastown), I was at a long table dinner at The Salt Tasting Room. I was sitting next to Scott Hawthorne and across the table was Erin Heather (Sean Heather’s wife). They helped me get this space. I was 12 hours away from signing the lease on another location on Water Street but I really wanted the space here on Carrall Street. It was those two people who were fundamental in helping me secure this location. That was a very special moment for me.

What interesting thing should we know about you outside of work – hobbies, life, etc?

I love to cook and bake. It is a big stress reliever for me. I participate in a cookbook club here in Gastown. I spend a lot of time with my family and with my daughter.

What’s your philosophy for a good life?

Finding a work/life balance, especially as an entrepreneur. That has been the biggest struggle for me, particularly since my daughter was born 3 years ago. You can’t let your work run your life. It will ruin you. For a good life, I strive each day, to create a healthy balance.