Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my website. I hope you will find pieces of my story, my life, my fears, my falls and my triumphs relatable. My goal is to show you the importance of showing up for people in a genuine and authentic way.
A quick walk through my journey...
With having 20 years of valuable entrepreneurial experience, I have been fortunate to work with some thriving businesses that have made their mark during challenging economic times and with unique business models.
While growing up in the Kootenay's (British Columbia), my family owned and operated a successful business that inspired me to be the entrepreneur that I am today.
Gabriel's Restaurant was opened by my father in 1980 (in Castlegar BC) and was very much a part of my everyday life starting from age 1. I began working at the restaurant at age 11 and it seemed absolutely normal to me as I had a real passion for understanding all layers of the business. I learned at a young age that you need to work hard in order to be successful, that your people make your business, and that you can't only manage from the outside (you need to get your hands dirty and really walk the walk). Having this strong business foundation provided me with an inside perspective of how a business operates. I returned home after completing the design program at Blanche McDonalds Institute for Applied Design in 1999 and after working in the field until the end of 2001. While at home, I worked the family business until we closed in 2003. Throughout that time I realized I was not quite ready to dig my roots and commit to living in the Kootenay's long-term. I knew that I still needed to move back to the city in order to continue growing through new experiences.
The year 2003 marked the start of my incredible 6.5-year journey with lululemon Athletica. It didn't take long after I started as an educator with the company that I wanted to achieve my goals as part of this fast-growing and exciting company. The beginning of this journey also marked the start of my path in understanding my strengths; how to develop others through operating a rapidly changing retail environment and how to foster a strong company culture. In realizing these strengths, I soon realized that fashion designing was a passion, but was not what I was best at! I learned that I thrive in an environment where I am held accountable to results and am given the freedom to get these results. I learned to tailor results directly to people’s strengths and most of all found success in managing people. The tools and development lululemon provided me with helped me become the leader that I am today and gave me a platform to understand how a value-based culture creates an effective, profitable, and sustainable environment like no other. Throughout my journey with lululemon Athletica, I was able to fuse my passion for creating and connecting communities with building strategies for our stores and in order to develop people’s talents everyday. Shortly after starting with the company I moved to Montreal and began the process of opening 4 bilingual stores there. After opening and managing the store in Westmount, I was placed into the role of Eastern Regional Manager (including Ottawa and Kingston) and I continued in this region for 3 years, overseeing the operations of 7 stores and opening 6 of these 7 stores locations.
In 2007, I moved to Toronto to oversee the Southeast region. This was an exciting move for me, as I knew I was embarking on a challenging journey. By this time, I recognized that I could be successful in opening stores and building culture from scratch; I was very excited to see if I could sustain the same results with a region that was already established and where the sales volume was much higher than the other locations I worked with. In this position I oversaw the operations and development of 7 stores! A great achievement for us was opening a location that at the time was the most financially successful opening (up until 2008)!
In 2008, I decided to move back to Vancouver so that I could be closer to my family. I took on managing the Park Royal location for the following 1.5 years; returning and making a full circle allowed me to reconnect with the store experience from the ground up. I was challenged and confronted with some really big, amazing lessons in the process. It was a very exciting time being in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics…what an amazing experience and unbelievable memories. This move was a challenge like none other I had faced before--it brought me to a point where I needed to re-evaluate my goals and decide in which direction I wanted to head based on my strengths once again.
I moved back to the Kootenay's in the middle of 2010 to have my son (Sawyer) and to be close to my family. Being exceptionally drawn to community, it only made sense for me to return back to my roots so that my son could have the best of all worlds. In February 2012, I created thrive Consulting, a collaboration of all my tools, strengths, and passions and a mission that says it all- we CHANGE by CHOICE. In 2013, my family grew by 1 more gem (a little girl, Peyton) and 2 years after, I chose to become a single parent. I chose courage, personal responsibility and happiness as opposed to security, appearance and regret.
Wow. I'm glad I got that off my chest! Have I mentioned how passionate I am about people living their best life ever? Playing small never got anyone one anywhere special. I refuse to live my life like this. I often think about my long-term legacy and how every single one of my choices has and continues to pave the way to my inevitable exit. I often ask myself...
Will I have been a contribution?
Did I stand up for my values?
Did I live holding back in fear or did I live being bold and courageous?
In 2015, after my separation, I had the best moments of my life (other than the birth of my children) but I also experienced some of the worst.
In June 2015, I became certified as a High Performance Coach with my mentor Brendon Burchard; it was a missing piece in my professional life and a connecting piece to my own personal journey. I returned home from this trip with a new sense of purpose along with new tools to help me set my mission on fire! But with this amazing professional high, came a very personal low…
After going on a trip in the summer of 2015, I returned feeling unlike myself. I continued to have dizzy, vertigo-like experiences that left me feeling very anxious, afraid, and out of control. After three failed hospital attempts of learning what the problem was, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed and out of touch with myself. I am usually one that listens to and understand my body very well and yet, I had no idea what the problem was and why I felt as if I was having a mixture of a stroke and a heart attack almost daily.
Because I wasn’t receiving answers from our medical system, I had to start making new health choices. It was important that I looked at the fundamental pieces of what I was feeding my body, my consistency in working out, my levels and length of sleep each night, my water intake and I even went as far as . cutting out caffeine and alcohol. Another big area of change was creating balance and managing stress differently. I started practicing more yoga and meditation, and I took some time off work to get myself back on track. Taking a step back and taking care of my body and my mind led me to realize that my symptoms were most likely due to my body trying to tell me to slow down! I had been going non-stop for five straight years, not to mention the seven years I spent with lululemon, and my body put a forceful and scary end to the stressful lifestyle I was leading. I wasn’t committed to listening to body, and changing that, in-turn, was the biggest gift I’ve ever given myself.
It was these years of health and mindful neglect while continuing to push my own limits that reminded me the high performance coach I was ready to be. I experienced and learned through these circumstances that I want to help others learn that when we are in stressful situations and aren’t living up to who we really are, we can’t run away from choices--they will catch up to us and our bodies gives us these symptoms so that we recognize when it is time to take a step back.
Improvements come from focusing on ourselves and our wellbeing, surrounding ourselves with good, uplifting people, and shedding all negativity from our lives.
I remain incredibly passionate about delivering tools and coaching so that I can help people learn how to successfully grow their business and more importantly, develop themselves. As I shared above, people are the most important part of a business; how we develop them, utilize their strengths and invest in them ends up being the most valuable way to impact. My second passion is to develop business owners so that they gain an understanding of how creating an environment of people-focused culture will generate long-term success for their business.
This is a mindful practice that WILL provide everyone with transformative change, from the inside-out.
Thank you for reading and learning about me, my journey, and my passions. I look forward to talking and working with you!
I am always thinking of new ways to improve myself and to strengthen my skills so that I can be the best coach and mentor for you! With that comes seminars, conferences, mentorships, and certifications. Take a look at some of my "behind the scenes" pictures of the exciting things I have coming!