I have personally known our next female entrepreneur, longer then anyone else, I know in Squamish. We met working at the local health food store and I quickly realized that there is more then meets the eye with this woman!
She has left pieces of her heart all over the world, and gives back to her community in so many ways (she is also co-founder of the charity GARD, which you should definitely check out!).
1. What motivated you to start your own business?
I have had many jobs in the past and all where shift work type jobs or definite hours that I needed to find child care or ask permission to go on a camping trip, for example. I know many people, including my husband, that thrive on consistency, the reliable pay check and knowing where to be and when. However, I have entrepreneurial parents, I saw them start businesses, sometimes fail, but always had their time to themselves.
Having small children and trying to juggle it all was overwhelming I needed to find something that fed my soul and allowed me to be a present parent when I was called upon and be there for pro-d days etc... as that became my reality.
Photography was not something I had in my mind for my future, I always thought it was going to be running a not for profit or making it big in the art world with painting, but it was something I had in my tool kit from art school and so when I started taking pictures it was a natural fit and suited the life I wanted to calve for myself and my family. And I think all the jobs in the service industry, secretarial jobs, graphic designing etc... all gave me the tools to be excellent at my job as we all know in the art world what we create is a small part of actually running a business.
2. What was the biggest challenge?
Money. I have had huge money blocks and I think imposter syndrome. I find photography to be an unregulated business so you can buy a camera and start charging people so there are so many pricing schemes out there. It took me years of training with other photographers, becoming accredited as a professional, which is actually very hard to get, for me to feel worth the dollars I was asking for. I had to learn that time IS money and any time I was not with my kids, husband or working on something that was not job related was costing me and I needed to factor that into my business. I am way more comfortable now at talking pricing than I was for many years, but that was just a mind shift that needed to happen.
3. What had been your greatest reward?
Two things come to mind when I see that question.
1. Having the freedom that I wanted and needed in a job has been such a blessing.
2. The opportunities that I have been given in this career has been astounding. I have met and befriended some of the most influential women in North America, I have flown in helicopters to glaciers, been witness to death and life. Really there is no job I can think of, for myself, that would have ever given me those opportunities.
Morning or Night? Oh interesting, I used to be more night but I recently sorted out a small cortisol imbalance and I am bright and ready to go now in the mornings!
Hot or Cold? Definitely HOT! I am African :)
Silence or Background noise? I love silence or a good podcast
Roughing it or Luxury/Pampered? Can I be a hybrid? - I love camping but also really enjoy a beautiful hotel, especially if it's a girls weekend :)
Singing in public or Singing in the shower? Oh I am actually very shy of my voice so definitely the shower or never!