Without really knowing it, I have been pursuing a dream of entrepreneurship my whole life. At six years old, I started a “business” of testing my friends for colour blindness along with the obligatory summer roadside stands selling juice, paintings and pretty rocks.
After a wonderful childhood in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia then a disturbing phase of young adulthood (usually smoking cigarettes at Tim Hortons and generally not living up to my potential), I quit high school at the behest of my employer to pursue a lifelong career as a chef. Stay in school kids and don’t do drugs.
During that time, I also catered independently and made all sorts of art to sell to friends and family; I was not able to sell my wares on local dial-up as there were no images on computers as of the mid 1990’s.
This creative exploration, along with a new allergy to all fish and seafood, led me to the metalsmithing and design program at NSCAD University as a “mature” student. I completed 3 years of my degree before taking a short break to travel and sow my wild oats in British Columbia…
I was then a stay at home single mom of two amazing children for the next 7 years! Going slightly batty and having lost myself in playgroups, diapers and toys (thank goodness for Lego!), I started needle felting which quickly escalated into a successful home art business for almost 9 years.
During this time I also practiced a variety of additional trades including carpentry, house painting and landscaping. All of these were transformed at some point into informal small businesses in my community or massively successful organizations in my dreams.
At 39 I had a searing realization that although everything I had created, learned and experienced over my life had made me a very skilled and well rounded woman, my incomplete education had boxed my into a corner of low paying, manual labour job options. Noble, satisfying work but so hard on the body!
Was it too late to do something completely different? I had invested so much in my art practice and the idea of becoming a full time student and single mom was pretty terrifying. Would I fail and waste my time, putting my family through unnecessary hardship?
Casting all self doubt aside, I took steps that led to graduating from university and high school within the same month and immediately enrolled in an Industrial Engineering Program to become a professional problem solver.
This critical time changed my life as I ripped off (band-aid style) limiting beliefs about what kind of growth I was actually capable of and what actions I had to take to be successful for the next 30 years. A big dose of self respect and financial reality!
After several successful work terms in health and manufacturing, then three years of intensive and rewarding Process Improvement leadership roles in the industrial service industry, I have decided wholeheartedly to return to entrepreneurship for good!
I am well grounded in how business works from a senior management and front line perspective and through multiple departments such as IT, Supply Chain and Operations. I have developed expertise in cross-functional process improvement, systematic problem solving and project management. The challenges in my life have made me smarter, stronger and great with people.
I don’t think of any unique twists and turns in my career and being failures or losses. They have all led me to this point where I am eager and excited for intense challenges, unending creativity and the tenacity to follow through with my long time goal of making work awesome for everyone.