Willy and Kennedy Rain, from left, bought Vernon’s Sun Dial Lighting from Rod Faust, right, on Dec. 1. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

Willy and Kennedy Rain, from left, bought Vernon’s Sun Dial Lighting from Rod Faust, right, on Dec. 1. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

Bright future for Vernon lighting business

Former Olympic skiers buy company as 25-year owner Rod Faust readies for retirement

For a quarter of a century, Rod Faust has had a hand in making Vernon homes bright.

But now he’s ready to hang his hat having sold his business to a couple eager to fill his shoes within the business community.

Faust purchased Sun Dial Lighting from its original owner in the mid-’90s after moving to Vernon from Stettler, Alta.

“Twenty-five years later, we’re ready to move on,” he said, noting he plans to spend more time with his grandkids.

“Thanks to our customers for 25 great years and best of luck to the new owners.”

His team of eight, however, will stay on board with the store’s new owners, Kennedy and Willy Raine.

“We have big shoes to fill,” Willy said.

Little turnover among staff is indicative of Faust’s leadership style, Kennedy said, adding she feels lucky to have the staff’s expertise behind her during the transition.

“We are all sad to see him go,” Kennedy said of Faust’s retirement. “We really want the community to come in and meet us and know that everyone is still here to help them in the same way.

“Willy and I really have these experts behind us that will allow us to grow towards whatever Sun Dial’s new vision will be.”

The Raines purchased Sun Dial Lighting on Dec. 1 after searching for a business to buy for the past two years. Before this, the couple, who met at the ‘92 Winter Olympics in France, called Whistler home. There, Kennedy owned a candy story for 17 years and the duo owned a coin-operated vending and laundry company for seven years.

The pair was drawn to Vernon because of its vibrant community and energy, Kennedy said. The fresh start in the new community allowed the couple to dabble in a variety of things before settling on purchasing another business together.

“I am always looking for growth and things I can develop and be inspired by and inspire other people by,” Kennedy said of her entrepreneurial spirit.

When searching for the right company to buy, she was looking for something big enough but that she could still further develop – whether that’s enlarging the space, diversifying the product or adding an e-commerce aspect.

“As long as we can continue the service levels we’re known for providing the local Vernon community,” she said.

There’s no rush in changing anything, Kennedy said, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Raines are too busy learning the ropes from Faust and his team.

Willy said he’s been learning to repair light fixtures the public brings in that requires some TLC.

“It’s really neat,” he said. “You see a lot of things that are being repurposed instead of just being thrown out.”

“He’s a man after my own heart,” Faust said with a laugh.

Meanwhile, Kennedy said she’s learning the behind-the-scenes business aspects.

Willy said he and Kennedy will keep Faust’s phone number nearby.

“There may be some celebrity shifts,” Willy said.

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