I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful Thanksgiving that we just had. Sunshine, trees glowing in full colour and an extra day to spend time with loved ones.
Every year at Thanksgiving I think we are all reminded to think of what we are most thankful for. This year it really hit me that my health and the health of my loved ones is what I truly treasure.
Health is something that most of us consider a number one priority. Eating well, exercising, surrounding ourselves with positive people. All great ways to stay healthy. Sometimes those things are not enough, many people are dealt cards in life that some of us will never have to face. I have close friends that have had to deal with so much turmoil, grief and fear in their lives and they truly are the strong ones!
I want to introduce you to one of those people. A dear friend Janet Cockburn who is a two time breast cancer survivor. Through all of Janet’s suffering she had the strength to make her pain her passion. She translated her experiences into helping women just like her, to empower them, help them feel comfortable in their own skin and she has become a new friend to many.
I invite you to check out Janet’s website and read her story, I know it will move you.
Janet is a powerful woman that teaches us all to believe in ourselves and that sunny days are always ahead.
So this beautiful trip I took across Canada in September was truly inspiring in many ways.
As many of you know I picked up a dear friend who has been living in Kelowna for the past 12 years. She made a decision to move back to Ontario for many GREAT reasons. Still, she left behind family, mountains, and beautiful lakes to make a major change in her life. I was so proud to stand by my friend and bring her back to Ontario. The way she embraces change is so motivating. She’s always been a friend that has loved change and craved it and as a result has lead a pretty exciting life.
What a healthy outlook. The trip across the country and our conversations in the car with the music blaring and the windows open made me realize how much of an adventure life is! Sure things can become, mundane, routine and ordinary and often we crave changes but are too afraid to make them because we fear how we will cope with them.
For me the traveling has really become an addiction and way I LOVE to spend my time and generate new business. I do however remember a time that I did not feel that way. I had traveled with friends in my 20’s to Europe and other places and then again with Wayne but the thought of making that extra leap and actually visiting places alone was something that felt a bit scary. I started by making little changes. Visiting small towns in Ontario and staying the night in a hotel on my own. Those one night trips turned into 2 or 3 days and before I knew it I was off to Florida for 2 weeks, British Columbia for a week and Ottawa and Montreal for a week at a time.
As a result of making those little changes I eased into something that is painless and FUN and the way that I prefer to do business!
The BEST part is when I get home and Wayne is at the door so proud of me and eager to hear about all of my adventures!
Ever wanted to be in two places at once? I figured out how to do it! Ha Ha!
This is such a cool picture, a friend in Calgary took this Panoramic shot of me on a beautiful morning walk last week!
Did I say Calgary? Yes I did! I should also say, Vancouver, Kelowna, the Okanagan Valley, Canmore, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Brandon, Winnipeg, Dryden and Thunder Bay!
That’s right! I drove across Canada with glamjulz! What an amazing experience. My dear friend Jen had decided last year that she wanted to move back to Ontario from Kelowna. What a huge decision for her and Wayne and I really didn’t want her to take on that drive on her own. We talked about it and decided what a GREAT opportunity! I could go over and help Jen and then we could take our time seeing this AMAZING country together while I visit tons of beautiful stores along the way. So Jen and I made a plan! And we DID IT!!! Once in a lifetime opportunity.
I loved it all and honestly feel even more proud than ever to be Canadian. I do have to say that the drive into Ontario was so breathtaking. The Canadian Shield is so powerful, I had goosebumps! I am so priveleged that my work can take me through all of these wonderful adventures.
Hmmmmmm…..now I need to make a plan for the next road trip….Nunavut perhaps?
Have you ever met someone and realized that they walked into your life at the right time for all the right reasons?
That’s how I felt when I met Amber of Amber Richmond Photography. We met at a Wedding Show in February and hit it off right away. Amber’s positive energy and lust for life was contagious, watching her interact with the brides lifted my confidence and helped me have a GREAT show!
An exchange of business cards and an email back and forth and that was it. Then almost 6 months later I was doing an in store event in Port Carling and Amber walks in! Looking gorgeous checking out my necklaces…took us a minute and then we realized our connection! So great to see each other…..Amber had her eye on one of my pieces but had to dash and we said, let’s get back in touch! I felt so happy to see Amber and thought, this is a girl that I need to connect with and talk about how we can help each other in business. So I got back to the studio that Monday, wrapped up that necklace and sent it to Amber with a note.
Amber was thrilled!!!! The gesture blew her away and she wanted to meet for a coffee. We made a date and the day before I had been feeling not myself, challenged, overwhelmed, scared….lots of crazy feelings, which come along with being an entrepreneur. I wanted to re-schedule with Amber so that when I saw her I was sincerely POSITIVE and UPBEAT and not ruin our meeting while in my rut.
Amber walks into Starbucks and as soon as I see her I feel like I’m looking into the eyes of an old friend. So we just start talking…..Amber starts by openly sharing with me all of her fears and what keeps her up at night running a business. I could have cried! We had sooooo much in common it was unreal. We were able to share our insecurities and pump each other up with kind words of re-assurance and reminders of why we do what we do everyday. Together we realized that we all have fears, doubts and insecurities. Sometimes it’s okay to embrace that dark cloud, have an outburst. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be strong and not put anything “negative” out there! That’s okay though, feelings are important no matter what they are. It is our inner strength that makes us powerful and capable and one of a kind. We need to realize that no one has it right, there is no right or wrong, there is JUST DO IT! Be out there, surround yourself with what you love and be passionate, allow the good to flow and it will come fast and furious!
As Amber said to me, “I AM and I WILL”…………………..yeah baby!
As you all know most of August was taken up by moving into our NEW studio space. We are all loving the new space and owning it makes it even more special.
When we started packing boxes at the old place I felt so overwhelmed! How am I ever going to get to unpacking? How do people in business handle a move? There will never be enough time to take care of all this! I need to be out there promoting glamjulz!!
I was having one of those moments where I felt like I had to “control” the situation because no one else would understand how things needed to be organized. Was I ever wrong! Wayne and Dawn took the bull by the horns. They are the ones that spend most of their time in the studio so they needed to make it functional for them. Absolutely amazing, I never unpacked one box!
By staying clear and allowing those two to have “control” the studio is more efficient and organized than I ever could have done myself. Shelves are labeled, we have a proper shipping area, we have a lounge area, the showroom is perfect and the bead wall looks great! Wayne’s even created an area where he can do all his photo shoots and video work.
Sometimes we just need to let go and let the people that support us take over!
Do you ever over-analyze EVERYTHING???? I sure do! I think it’s what makes us the smart, intelligent, powerful women that we are! But when is enough? Enough?
Dawn and I sat down a while ago and talked about how we were working the business and whether or not our “jobs” were in line with what we do best! Dawn started the meeting by saying write a list! I want to see all of the things you do everyday that you don’t enjoy and then I want to see a list of what you LOVE to do! Hmmmmm….easy enough! “Now, she said, I want you to tell me what’s stopping you from doing what you LOVE to do!”……okay you just had to make this hard didn’t you Dawn? LOL! Wow! What an eye opener. I realized that most of the time I am not doing what I LOVE because I am worrying…..worrying about what? How are we going to get all these orders out? How are we going keep up with customer demands? How are we going to handle custom orders?
Dawn quickly pointed out to me that these thoughts of worry and panic and fear really had nothing to do with me at all! She said, “Do you think I worry about HOW you are going to bring in the sales?”….”of course not, you just do it because that’s what you LOVE to do”……
Getting the orders out, making the julz, managing production…..hey that’s Dawn’s job….that’s what she LOVES to do! BINGO! Epiphany!! Bright light!
At the end of our meeting Dawn said, “Never worry about those cursed hows…have faith, trust and believe” that’s how things get done! Thank you my wise friend.
Last week I headed out with my favourite traveling buddy, my Mom, and went to see all of my Northern Ontario customers! Along the way Mom and I stayed in a little town outside of Sault Ste Marie called Bruce Mines. We stayed at the Bavarian Inn, a quaint little motel right in the heart of town with beautiful Lake Huron right behind it! By the way, Mom and I attempted to take a dip while were were there and YOWZAH!! That water is colder than Lake Ontario on New Years day! We saw our toes go from pink to blue and opted not to swim!
That night Mom and I had a lovely dinner at the Bavarian Inn, Mom had the Whitefish and I had a T-Bone Steak. The service was fantastic and the food was mouthwatering! This is a picture of the two women that made our evening so wonderful. Chef on the left, waitress on the right! I gave them each a little pearl floater for making our evening so special and they were both so grateful and appreciative.
I often think about random acts of kindness and how important it is to make people feel great. Especially when those people go out of their way to make you feel important and well taken care of. It could be anyone, the teller at the bank, the checkout girl at the grocery store, the girl that does your nails. Whoever it is I think it’s important to let them know that they’ve made a difference. How many times to you get a card in the mail? How GREAT does it make you feel if someone sends you a little thank you note? Acknowledgment of the good in people is something I think we need more of in this world. Not everyone has a supportive family to go home to, a loving partner or a caring friend. These little acknowledgments can really change a person’s perception of their world.
Next time you are at a card store, just pick up a bunch of beautiful blank cards and start sending them, through the mail, to people that have a made a difference in your day. You’ll feel WONDERFUL and so will they!
Not to get into all the details but about a month ago I met with my Insurance lady and decided to get coverage…..you know just in case stuff happened…..but I’m healthy, fit, feel great….chances are slim to none that anything would happen…especially not deliberately because I’ve always seen myself as more on the side of scaredy cat vs. dare devil.
I’m not sure what changed in me….is it being over 40?….is it getting insurance and knowing that everyone will be okay if??…..you know! No idea what brought out the girl that wanted to take a risk but it happened! I learned how to ride a dirtbike! Good friends of ours are motorcycle instructors and came up to the cottage…..I knew Wayne was gonna try it, but me? Really?
I was not dared to try, I was not pressured to try….I just listened, I learned and I loved it….even the major wipe out that I took! I LOVED it all and especially enjoyed showing off my bruise with my short skirts selling jewelry the following week!
Taking risks in my business is something I do everyday! Sometimes with my eyes closed, sometimes strategically and sometimes with apprehension!
This little lesson on the bike taught me something new, falling down is okay……it’s all about getting back up and making that ride count! That’s what we are all here for anyway! No one knows how to do it right, no one has the same perspective as the next guy….all we can do is try and try again….enjoy every minute of it whether we get it right or not!
Now, I’m gonna go pop a wheelie!
Last week my little brother turned 40 and in a couple of days I will be 42! Yowzah! I plan on having a girls night out and then a wonderful day with Wayne, just getting spoiled and feeling like a kid again! Niagara Falls is always a great place to go for that! Clifton Hill, the Ferris Wheel, the falls at night, I love it all!
My brother and I are lucky being so close in age, we have a lot of the same friends and when we’ve had parties they’ve always been tons of fun, whether we were turning 10 and 12, or 40 and 42! On the weekend when we celebrated Eric’s birthday it really hit me, how lucky we are. Our friends have been around since public school and highschool. Amazing people, some married, some have kids, some are divorced, some are single…..everyone has had their own unique life experiences but we all accept one another and bond the same way we did back in the 70’s and 80’s. Whenever we come together we quickly catch up on “life” stuff but before long we are all back on inside jokes, our love for music, memories that we have shared and all of the other important stuff that is the glue in our friendships.
My friends are all so important to me. They are the family that I have chosen, I always have someone to call and get a new perspective if I am stuck in a rut or just need to see life from a different angle. Turning 42 is going to be exciting, just like all birthdays, I think it’s important to feel pride in all of our accomplishments. This year my greatest one will be to recognize that I have chosen the best friends in the Universe!
What is it about fall that makes us feel so invigorated and ready to go for what we want, full speed ahead?
Last week I launched the glamjulz fall collection and the Mode Accessories Show in Toronto. The show is open to retailers all across Canada. We display our jewelry in a section with many other talented jewelry designers like, Myka, Foxy, Bejewel and Lisa Ridout.
The energy at the show was fantastic! We noticed a line up of people wanting to come into the Canadian Designer section on the first day. So great to see! Canadians are such great supporters of all that is made in Canada!
We have another couple of weeks to go with this beautiful hot summer and I plan on enjoying every minute of it! Great things are on the horizon and I can feel it! So many new things are happening for me right now and I am embracing them all. New studio, new beads, new customers, new travels……………I love it all!