On the western shore of Lower Arrow Lake, about an hour and a quarter south of Nakusp, the tiny community of Edgewood is home to a thriving business that is all about celebration.

Okanagan Ribbons manufactures award and event ribbons for clients across Canada. Business owners Pam Isaacson and Lynda McNutt use a process called hot-foil stamping to imprint foil letters and icons onto award ribbons of all colours and dimensions. Their product line includes rosettes, sashes, promotional buttons and more.

The list of events that use Okanagan Ribbons is long and varied. The events range from small craft shows, fall fairs and school events, to more ambitious ventures like regional equestrian and canine shows and competitions, to mega-events like the Interior Provincial Exhibition, Medicine Hat Stampede and Calgary Stampede.

“We make a happy product,” says McNutt.

“It’s always about celebrating success.”

That success extends to the partners’ own community. In late 2016, with financing from Columbia Basin Trust, Okanagan Ribbons expanded its operation by acquiring the client list of DiKor Ribbon Technologies in Vernon. With the added volume, Isaacson and McNutt have been able to offer their seven employees more hours of work on an ongoing basis.

Okanagan Ribbons’ sales have risen year over year as the company’s reputation for a high-quality product has spread. The figures for 2017 are showing a substantial increase because of the extra customer volume from the recent acquisition. The direct financial success is rewarding, of course, but there’s a broader impact that’s even more satisfying.

“The number one benefit is the employment in Edgewood,” says Isaacson. “It’s a very small community with very few opportunities for employment. We don’t rely on the community to buy our product, so we’re bringing money from outside into the community and the people who work here spend their earnings in the community.” Which means yet more reasons to celebrate.