If you ever wander into a Starbucks at just the right time, you may be lucky enough to find Martie. She’s often at a table with her no foam, no water, six pump chai-tea latte, writing out scripture from her Bible and her daily thoughts. She’s a usual at the coffee chain, brightening everyone’s day (literally) with her unmistakably brilliant coloured hair.
Martie moved to Victoria from Salmon Arm over two years ago in pursuit of a fresh start and a new beginning. In Salmon Arm, she had shared a house with her husband and owned a beloved clothing store, called “Martie’s Walk-In Closet.” The original plan was to bring their youngest daughter, Sarah, who has a severe handicap called Angelman Syndrome and resides in a home for special children, from their hometown in Saskatchewan to the Okanagan. But when things did not work out between her and her husband, her plans, health, and business began to fall apart. She needed a new beginning and a new view on life after dealing with the end of a long marriage.
Martie had hoped to set up her clothing store here on the island but it turned out that better plans awaited her. Letting go of her store, she was able to rest and settle in here, meeting new friends and taking in the incredible ocean air. The island has helped in her healing and also brought out her creative side. Along with her daughters, they have taken up making swing flags, which, unlike pole flags, are weighted and can be used in markets, festivals, and other events. The flags give her a way to bring out her passion for fashion by playing with colours and designs. She’s been able to be more creative here than anywhere else in the world.
One day, she dreams of bringing Sarah here. She is in very good care in Saskatchewan but her mother heart always wants to be close to her. She knows that Sarah would love the sand and the ocean. She would love to see the seals at Fisherman’s wharf. Martie says, “Sarah would laugh herself inside out”. She would love to bring her special daughter to the place where her heart sings, to the place she calls home.
And what does the future hold for Martie? She’s not sure. Possibly designing and branching more into fashion. Even more than her love for fashion, though, is her love for making people happy-the very reason of her dyeing her hair brightly coloured. She had said that if it made even one person smile, it was worth it. I know for a fact that she has already made countless people smile. That’s why I know that whatever the future holds for Martie, it will be good things. She has sown good seeds in every life she is a part of, and good seeds make for good harvest.