Brandi Hewson is shining stylish light on design for local consumers and trades through her new company, Kohara + Co.

Hewson will officially launch the interior/ exterior lighting, décor and design business on Sept. 16 and 17 with grand opening events at the showroom and store on Industrial Park Road in Haliburton.

“It is our mission to deliver exceptional lighting solutions and a very tailored experience to our clients,” said Hewson.

“We work very hard to collaborate with designers, trades, consumers, or homeowners to provide functional and elegant lighting enhancing interior and exterior spaces.” in addition to highquality lighting fixtures, Kohara features home décor pieces, candles and lamps and provides free design consultations.

“We will also be offering select custom furniture and already are looking at other items to expand into as our vision to provide a full home solution.”

The name Kohara is rooted in Hewson’s beginnings as an entrepreneur in New Zealand. In the Indigenous Māori language, it means “to gleam, to brighten, to shine, to be passionate,” said Hewson.

Kohara is a division of another Hewson business, WAI Products Ltd. Hewson said WAI’s customer base has been “95 per cent non-local,” distributing water supply, irrigation, and landscape lighting products throughout Canada to trades and the country’s largest national retailers. WAI also operates a business development consulting division for international manufacturers.

When COVID-19 hit, Hewson saw potential for both risk and opportunity in her field and the Kohara concept was born.

“Having been in the landscape lighting industry over the past eight years, we were being asked by our valued trades for interior and exterior lighting solutions. The challenge of supply to local trades and consumers presented the gap we needed to dive in. It is important to me that we contribute to our own local economy and support so many local talented trades as well.”

Hewson thoroughly researched the market before taking the plunge, including considering client input, local contractor and designer needs, competitors and the best quality manufacturers to ensure the right selections for every budget and style.

“Haliburton has drastically expanded over the past couple of years as the dream of lakeside living and cottaging grows but also as COVID hit our market, and [that] lifestyle is very much desired. The contractors are all overwhelmed with work and opportunity so what better time for Kohara to provide full support on quality lighting solutions?”

While business at WAI dipped as predicted at the start of the pandemic, it “took a major growth leap” a few months later, creating a juggling challenge with the Kohara start-up. Hewson credits Tamara Bain, lead account and office manager, with helping to keep things on track and aligned with the Kohara + Co. vision.

“I am very grateful to have someone equally as committed, excited and passionate on my team,” said Hewson. “No matter what style of fixture or spec of ceiling fan you need, Tamara will find it for you on your budget.”

Kohara design consultations will feature not only Hewson’s WAI experience but also her 10-year background as owner of Elegant Details Wedding Event Planning and Decorating, which she sold just over two years ago.

“I have always had a passion for interior and event décor and a vision to fully transition spaces.

I have built and personally designed two of my own homes and our cottage and just have a love for every aspect.”

Kohara + Co. will host an invitationonly event on Sept. 16 for family, friends and customers who supported Kohara’s creation, and a public grand opening on Sept 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both events will include gift bags for the first 40 guests, display discounts, draws, and giveaways for new lighting fixtures such as a Kichler chandelier, a Monte Carlo ceiling fan, a Matteo wall sconce and more. Visitors to the public event can take advantage of the chance to sign up for free in-house consultations.

Kohara + Co. is located at 175 Industrial Rd., Haliburton. Phone 705-455-9417; email info@koharaco.com; visit koharaco. com.

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