support women

Local Shopping Made Easy

sask made.jpg

When looking to support locally produced or sourced products it can be a bit of a daunting task.  I can almost guarantee that if asked each one of you would LOVE to support more local businesses but cost and convenience would be factors that may lead you astray. This is something I know all too well as I made a commitment at the beginning of this year to support as much locally produced food products as I could. 

With a constant eye for business opportunities and growth I decided to turn one of my rental properties into a Saskatchewan experience on the short term rental site - Airbnb. The rental market was taking a massive hit and I thought I would use this as an opportunity to change things up and test these new waters. I love marketing so I created a vision board - on that vision board I asked myself what would set me apart and tell a story.  My Airbnb story would be exposing my guests to as much local goodness as I could. From the art on the walls to the soaps in the shower. Recommendations to locally owned restaurants and directions to our local farmer's market - complete with my fav things to do. Now a plan was in place but how to source all of this? Common grocery stores have few selections of Saskatchewan products and the convenience of trying to get to the farmers market just wasn't happening with a busy schedule. I knew where I had to go.....Sask Made Marketplace.

Road Coffee Co . and  Rock Paper Coffee Roasting Company  are always ready for brewing.

Road Coffee Co. and Rock Paper Coffee Roasting Company are always ready for brewing.

Everything was all there in one spot. It was perfect - I was able to decorate the walls with framed post cards from local photographers and artists. The coffee beans and teas that I provide complimentary to my guests are all local entrepreneurs. Even a collection of local cooking oils, jams, and an assortment of other treats are left for the guests to try. 

Three Farmer's,   Over the Hill , and  M&M Garlic  are ready for guests to experience. #local

Three Farmer's, Over the Hill, and M&M Garlic are ready for guests to experience. #local

Not only does Sask Made Marketplace have all the items that complete my local experience they are very knowledgeable about each of the companies they support. With freezers filled with local meats, perogies, and pizzas it truly is a one stop shop. The stores hours make it convenient to shop at and there is always something new being sampled. I'm a few months into this new venture and the guests adore these little local touches and I adore the convenience of going to one place. Match made in local heaven ;)

We sat down with Amanda from Sask Made and wanted to learn more about the business, their goals for 2018, and what we can expect to see at their booth in a few weeks at the Modern Woman Show. I see big things for this company! These women are certainly making a #supportlocal difference in our city.

Tell us about your business?

The SaskMade Marketplace is a Saskatchewan company partnered with local farmers, processors, and artisans to provide a wide range of unique, locally produced gourmet ingredients, grocery items, giftware, souvenirs, and gift baskets.

How did you get started?

The business was started as a medium to educate people about farm to fork and what it really means to support local. We wanted to become the local authority on food, which I think we have.

What inspires you?

Challenge and Change. I always want to be challenging myself and learning. Life is an opportunity to continuously grow and experience new things - I love that! 

What is your idea of a Modern Woman?

A Modern Woman isn't afraid to be who she is or do what she loves, nor does she pass judgment on other women. We need to support each other and understand that we are all going to make different decisions and take different paths in life; none of them are wrong. If you want to be a career woman, be a career woman. If you want to be a stay at home mom, good for you. No judgement. "Whatever makes you happy" is my motto.

What tips can you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

Women are stronger when they support each other so get to know other women entrepreneurs in your area. Join local industry and women-in-business groups.  In these organizations you will always find good advice and guidance when you need it. There are many people who have gone before you, so learn from them!

Also, never be afraid to ask questions or make mistakes. Two little pieces of advice we often give our friends and family but can sometimes forget to do for ourselves.

What is one piece of advice you would give yourself looking back?

It would be to trust yourself and do not hold back. If you want do something, do it now!

What is in the future for your business?

This year we are hoping to bring in some unique kitchenware, cookware and entertaining items to compliment our vast selection of gourmet groceries.  But we are always on the lookout for new grocery products and gift ideas to change things up!

As for a 2-5 year goal, we'd like to have a second location or expand our current store and add a complimentary space, like a cafe or bistro.

Who is someone that you find is a role model for women in business?

A particular person doesn't come to mind, but I respect any women who are out there changing the world and breaking down barriers. For example women in science and technology or agriculture, which are largely male dominated industries. It's hard work and not everyone can do it.

Tell us about you – what makes you tick, what are your hobbies, where would we find you on a Wednesday night? A Friday night?

Well I have 2.5 year old twin girls, so Wednesday evenings would find me at home hanging out with my family or maybe squeezing in a quick workout once the kids have gone to bed.

Friday's are a bit more exciting; I'm usually cooking dinner with my husband with a glass of wine or having friends over for appetizers and drinks. I love cooking, eating and drinking so anything that involves those makes me a happy lady.

If you could have any super power what would it be?

I would have the same super power as Magneto from X-Men. The ability to control metal would be amazing!

What will you be showcasing at the Modern Woman Show?

We will be showcasing all the wonderful food items that our local farmers grow and produce for us. I want to focus on some of the great gourmet cooking ingredients like oils , vinegars, mustards and sauces that anyone can easily use to create an amazing meal at home.

We will also have two of our vendors sampling with us, one each day. So make sure you stop by for a few samples!

Sask Made Marketplace can be found online www.saskmade.ca and shopping made easy at 1621 8th Street East. Come visit their booth and start your local journey with Sask Made at the Modern Woman Show & Expo on April 14th & 15th at Prairieland Park. 

To check out the little local airbnb and all the lovely companies we support visit our Instagram Page @stay_at_cas_hill 

Chantal

It's Okay to Be Okay...or not.

The other day a new friend, a fellow Phoenix mama, expressed sympathy for my four recurrent miscarriages. She apologized for the losses and said, “oh, your poor heart.” While I certainly appreciated the love and her sweet, kind heart, I didn't feel the sting of pain. In fact, I felt nothing.  There was no sadness or anger or angst like there had been for years before. Instead, there was just gratitude for her acknowledging my journey and my angel babies. But I spent the next 24 hours examining myself. Was my depression creeping back in? Had I lost all capacity to feel somewhere between the second and third loss? Was I numb? Truth be told, I panicked a bit.

A few days later, I asked another friend for some blog ideas and she suggested this exact topic. She too was a Phoenix mama: she lost her son at 23 weeks. We discussed at length these feelings, or lack thereof, and that it wa scaring me. She reassured me with her own similar feelings and how, with time and grieving and support, we heal and that's okay. But yet, we still feel guilty for it.

It’s as though we think that if we move on and find happiness after the loss (and this can be any loss-not just infant or pregnancy) we are betraying them. We think we aren’t allowed to experience joy again when our world had previously crumbled. We think our happiness isn’t deserved and somehow, the loss needs to stay with us in some negative, cloud-hanging-above-us way that prevents us from forgetting what happened. Because, of course, if we’re happy and moved on, we think we will forget them.

thankfulquote.jpg

Similarly, when we find this strength and resiliency after a loss, we feel guilty for that too. I know I especially do. When I miscarried the third time, I had quite a bit of time alone to cry most of my tears and grieve. Plus I had a few tools under my belt for bereavement so I was able to process more quickly that time. A few days later, I had two friends bring meals for us (at separate times) and they both cried while standing in my living room while I awkwardly consoled them. I understood their pain in knowing their friend was going through a terrible loss but it was weird to be okay when it was happening to me and they weren’t okay. I felt like I was supposed to be hysterical and upset to show others how awful the loss was to us. I felt that if I wasn’t crying and grieving outwardly, the loss didn’t matter to me. I also felt like my strength portrayed me as unfeeling and bitchy. It can be strange to see someone be fine so soon after a loss but we all grieve in different ways and at different stages. It's never linear and it's never the same with each loss. When my friend’s dad died, she was more relieved he wasn’t suffering anymore and her grief didn’t show itself as hysterical tears when she told me his death story. Grief isn’t a one size fits all. And that’s okay.

grief.jpg

I’ve since learned that it’s okay to be okay. I can’t imagine any lost loved ones are looking upon us and wishing us ill will for moving on and finding happiness again. I’d like to believe my angel babies want me to be happy after suffering so many times before. Once in awhile, in a seemingly random and unexpected moment, I'm hit with that wave of sadness again but then I think about where I am in that exact moment and am thankful for the hardships because I am the best version of myself for that time because of what's happened. Moving on doesn’t mean we will forget them, not if we don’t allow it. That’s why many people want their loved ones recognized. When we say their names or send kind messages on anniversaries, we keep their memory alive. When we hang pictures and tell stories and shoot a shot in their honour, we keep them alive in our hearts.

And in our hearts is where it matters most.

I’ve also learned that it’s okay to not be okay. Sometimes grief is so heavy it smothers us. We feel like we can’t breathe and getting through the day seems damn near impossible. I rarely have these days myself now but I know many people that do. Your job as the okay person is to love them through it. Check in daily whether through email or text or a phone call. Bring a meal or a book or a bubble bath kit even if they say they don’t need anything. We always need something in times of grieving but can rarely decipher what it is so opt to saying, “It’s okay, I don’t need anything.” Grieving people don’t want to feel like a burden on others so more often than not, they don’t reach out. Thankfully there are so many online and in-person support groups now that grieving can be felt in a safe, healthy space with people who are also grieving. Many people are not okay, and that’s okay. There is always someone to listen, to cry with, to hug you, to bring you anything. We grieve to process and then heal. We only hope we come out of the other side of it strong and healthy, ready to move on with love and acceptance.

stormquote.jpg

To be okay is okay. To not be okay is also okay. We are all perfect souls in imperfect bodies trying our best to make the most out of this life. Whether you have healed and are okay or haven’t healed yet, there are many people in your corner rooting for you, including the ones you’ve lost. They’re in your heart, you memories, your energy awaiting your triumphant rise a new kind of happiness once again.

 

 

Don't Fear the Reefer

download.jpg

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking. Why would one of the Modern Woman girls be blogging about weed?! The tragedy, the scandal, whatever is this world coming to?

 

Still with me? Fabulous.

 

We all know cannabis by many names, weed, reefer, dope, pot, marijuana, maryjane, ganja etc. As much as these were all the norm for the past several decades, we’re coming into a time here where cannabis is making it’s grand reappearance on the global stage. Not to get too history-ey but it is worth noting that cannabis has been used for hundreds, thousands, millions of years for dozens of different things.

 My favourite fun fact is that Queen Victoria did in fact use cannabis tincture to quell the pain of her period cramps, good ol’ Vicky and I have that in common. 150 odd years later, and here I am using that same cannabis tincture recipe to make gummy bears that replace the advil in my medicine cupboard. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve dealt with chronic migraines most of my adult life and I’d rather eat a gummy bear once or twice a day than roll the dice with what pharmaceutical painkillers are going to do to my liver down the road. That’s not to say pharmaceuticals are bad! That mostly says that I’m extremely paranoid and live in fear.

 

And that doobie you smoked in college while you were experimenting? Definitely not the same plant we’re seeing these days. Cannabis prohibition caused so many growers to breed out so much of the good stuff and bump up the levels of the psychoactive stuff (which is still good, but that’s another rant for another day).

 

As it stands in Canada here, cannabis is currently only legal for medical purposes, so that means we’re seeing more and more information and research surfacing on how cannabis can help and hinder us. And the way I see it, that’s great! Give me the lab tests, show me your lack of pesticides! Immuno-compromised? Try an irradiated product! There’s so many options out there for people nowadays that there’s almost no reason not to at least open your mind to it a bit.

download (2).jpg

 That THC molecule that makes you so giggly and paranoid? In a therapeutic amount it will alleviate your pain and calm depression.

 

 The munchies? Imagine how that feels to someone suffering from an eating disorder.

 

THC’s best friend and partner in medicinal crime, CBD, has no to little psychoactive effect but is quickly becoming one of the most popular oils and buds that producers sell because it lowers anxiety levels, helps with inflammation and some studies are solidifying their findings of CBD slowing the development of certain cancers.

 

This is all great news to a lot of people who suffer with a host of illness’. I know, as someone who works in the medical cannabis field, I’ve seen amazing things happen. I wouldn’t go so far as to say miracles because, well, that’s a bit much. However, if I can see a simple plant improve someone’s quality of life, then it’s all worth it.

 

 I started out working in this field long after I became a patient myself, battling breast cancer when you already don’t have the hardest working immune system presents a challenge. All of the pills I was dependent on to live were starting to wear me down, in more ways than one. As a long time nay-sayer to weed I was reluctant to use it, medicinal or otherwise.

That all changed when I started chemotherapy. I hadn’t eaten or slept in days, I just laid there and cried about the pain in between reruns of Say Yes To The Dress. On day 8 of not keeping food down, I broke. I smoked a bowl and low and behold, ate the toast. I also stopped crying, my anxiety and fear that had been operating at 110% for weeks finally started to dissipate. It was like clouds parting, I was sentient, I was alive.

 

 Years later, here I am, writing this article and spraying peppermint flavoured THC spray under my tongue to deal with the wild lower back pain my estrogen suppressants give me. I’m in remission, but that doesn’t mean I ever stopped using cannabis, I suffer from PTSD as well and as anyone who’s ever dealt with that knows, flashbacks and triggers are exactly ZERO fun. THC allows you to step outside of that VCR-esque rewind and replay you get stuck in, which I wouldn’t trade for any pill in the world.

download (1).jpg

All of this being said, I’m a huge advocate for recreational cannabis use as well.

 

Contrary to the typical ‘stoner stereotype’ that exists, I own exactly 0 bob marley merchandise, I have never had dreadlocks, and I do not live in my mother’s basement playing video games all day. I simply am a part of a generation that is pushing forward a change in how we see alcohol, cannabis and other vice-like past times.

 

 I’m no stranger to a glass (bottle) of wine every once in awhile, but I’ve also seen alcohol do some pretty terrible things to families and individual’s lives. So, in the name of hereditary alcoholism and my sad, sad liver I choose to partake in cannabis instead. Most days. I’m weak, don’t judge me.

Smoking a joint has the desired effect of taking away the stress of the day, while alleviating my aches and pains. Hip-hip hooray for no hangovers and a full night's sleep!

 

Smoking a joint? That’s so unhealthy! Correct, but we all have our crosses to bear and mine is the love of looking like a badass James Dean smoking in a leather jacket. Quote this article when I develop the black lung. Alas, smoking isn’t even the most popular way to ingest cannabis now! My absolute favourite part about using cannabis is that the world is your metaphorical oyster. Sublingual oils, concentrates, and edibles, oh my! Currently under health canada’s laws, approved companies can only sell dried bud and sublingual oils, but you can also tweak these two things to make your cannabis work for you. Use a hair straightener to make rosin, use your slow cooker to infuse coconut oil, whatever you like. Girl’s just want to have fun, after all.

 

Julie Vickaryous XOXO

Back To Good

I've recently spent a good chunk of time living in a zombie like state of chaos. I've been checked out mentally and physically and didn't even realize it. I felt like I was accomplishing my day-to-day activities, but then I blinked and maybe a month had passed, maybe two? Maybe 6? I don't know, but I DO know that we all get stuck in ruts from time to time. Sometimes our lives can unravel right in front of our noses. I'd like to say it happens to the best of us, but frankly, I have no idea what kind of life problems you people out there in Internet Land have. Let's just say that you can relate to this. If not, click the back button, cause this post isn't for you. If you've ever found yourself coasting day to day like that Groundhog Day movie, except not one bit funny... read on, friends. 

I was lost and I had no idea. The smiling, funny, ambitious, compassionate, adventurous girl I knew when I looked in the mirror had left the building, and a deadpan version had taken her place. I had become really good at faking it sometimes, sometimes not. That was not ok. Not for me, and not for those closest to me. Let's be real, the he ones you love end up taking the brunt of something like this, because we often take them for granted, or we don't notice how our actions even differ from one day to the next.

I ended up unexpectedly hitting a wall, and I was forced to realize that some changes needed to happen for me asap to break out of my Garbage Pail Kid state and find myself again. After all, how can you be the best person for for those you love when you aren't respecting yourself? They say you have to do it for YOU, but sometimes you want to do it for others too, and it pushes you that much harder. 

An authetic paparazzi capture of me currently trying to bumble through life. 

An authetic paparazzi capture of me currently trying to bumble through life. 

I started with small things and will keep working on cultivating my little personal growth seed. Things take time. When dealing with self-care, I tell myself each day is a new opportunity to be humble and do the best I can. (Chicken Soup For The Soul Anyone?? God, what has become of me?) Realistically, some days I get up and feel like there is no reason to do anything other than go back to bed. But its one day at a time with these things. We, as women, (and for those male readers who can relate to this), think. We are thinkers. We are often over thinkers. Sometimes that thinking can propel us forward with strength and grace, and sometimes it leaves us feeling defeated, internalizing the blame for everything you felt you've ever done wrong.  For now, if you're struggling too, here are my Top 10 little things for starting to get myself back to good. 

1. Making my bed. Seriously. Such a small thing, but something I started doing before anything else in the morning. Start the day with a small accomplishment that will be waiting for you when the day is done. 

2. Making sure my dogs get a run. It is a priority and a privilege to treat other living things with respect, rather than viewing them as a hassle. As humans, we are all they have. 

3. Feed and water myself. This should be a no-brainer, but not necessarily the case when you are a resident of Zombieland. I try to always have a huge cup of tea in the morning and strive for at least 80oz of water a day. This is aside from wine, mmmkay? Then eat something, anything, try to pick something healthy I guess. Or live off Triscuits if you must, its better that nothing. 

4. Make a plan. What do I need to get done today?  I make an effort to clean up and respect my space so I can have some clarity.  I may not get every daunting thing done at once, and some things may get done later than sooner, but I make a list and take it one task at a time. Yard work, fixing shit, decluttering, washing walls, it all sucks. However, it's satisfying when something gets done, because I can check it off the list. I love lists. 

5. Take the time to make someone else feel good about themselves. The smallest thing can make someone's day. I believe in putting little bits of good energy out there, because it will come back around. A little check in with someone can go a long way in today's checked out world. 

6. Cry it out. Sometimes you just have to. Sometimes it will come out of nowhere, sometimes in unfortunate places and situations. Often it happens at home, when you are alone. Sometimes it might feel like a private purge of emotion, but most times you will likely wish someone else was there to see you at your worst and comfort you. It's when nobody is there that you really are forced to dig down deep and find your strength. 

7. Make time for physical activity. Easier said than done, cause frankly, it sucks ass. But our bodies and minds are connected and if they are outta whack, we won't feel good. It gives us clarity. I try to pick something that I don't dread that day, maybe something new, take a workout friend, switch it up. Even just go for a walk. (Maybe I should get some of those weird walking sticks I see people with... google them, they are bizarre.) Just get out and move. 

8. Indulge. Watch a shitty reality tv show, read a crappy thriller, meet friends for a beer, take a soak in the hot tub, drink the expensive glass of wine. Do those little things that make you feel sneaky and awesome. Maybe it's sitting by yourself watching re-runs of Master Chef while eating cold ravioli out of a can... Is that beyond the scope of acceptable? #askingforafriend

9. Choose kindness. Choose optimism. Choose forgiveness.  Choose love. Believe in happy endings. It can be difficult in hard times, I know, but break out those rose coloured glasses whenever you possibly can. 

10. Sleep. I don't care how you do it. I do it my own way with good old fashioned sleeping pills because that's how I roll. it's about as badass as I get. But you can meditate, use breathing exercises, smoke dope, take melatonin, get someone to knock you out with a frying pan for f*cks sake, or by all means, join the pharmaceutical Valley Of The Dolls like me. Have a good bed, good pillows, and remember that your body can't function without proper rest. 

Are all of this things easy? Hell no. If they were I wouldn't be writing about this floofy crap. But but when things are sh*tty,, we have to start somewhere. Will my little things work for you? Maybe, but maybe not. We all need to find ways to plant our little seeds and try to feel calm, accomplished, and worthy of living another day. So even if there is one person out there who feels like you're living in chaos and cruising along in a big ol' rut - take a deep breath, ask for help, you aren't alone. 

Take it one day at a time. 

Start by making your bed. 

Katie xoxo

A thank you to Realty Executives

The Modern Woman Show & Expo proudly presented by Realty Executives Saskatoon is a hub for the discerning palate - those with a hunger for food, travel, fashion & beauty. Together with our sponsors we have created a space for entrepreneurs to share their passions, and to be the breeding ground for ideas & excitement - - for an inspired lifestyle. On Saturday April 22nd & Sunday April 23rd join us at Prairieland Park for most anticipated women’s event of the year. 

This event is proud to be behind a mission that empowers women to make their voices stronger, their influence bolder, and their support of one another unsurpassable. Without the support of Realty Executives Saskatoon this event would not be possible. We thank all the agents, support staff, and broker - Wayne Zuk, for their support and encouragement over the last three years. Here is a look at a few of the many agents who work not only for your real estate needs but for our community. 

Myra Kirk

Realtor, Realty Executives Saskatoon

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF? I am a real estate professional for Saskatoon and surrounding area and I am licensed in residential, acreages, and farmland.  I have purchased many homes and became interested in the industry to be able to help others make an informed decision. As an agent, I enjoy helping people, seeing them happy and being a part of their journey.  

WHAT IS A MODERN WOMAN TO YOU? A modern woman is someone that is confident in themselves and respectful of the abilities and contributions of others.

ADVICE FOR WOMEN IN BUSINESS? Trust your instincts and do research. Seek out the advice of others that have been down the same road. Get a feel for the venture you want to embark on before jumping in with both feet.

DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A MENTOR? A mentor is absolutely valuable. At Realty Executives, there are some very helpful peers. It is always great to get advice and hear about other situations that have transpired. The learning never ends.  


Alisa Skalicky

Realty Executives Saskatoon

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? My business has been derived from word of mouth and referrals. I have worked hard to network and put the needs of all my clients first and foremost. I also am keenly interested in the development of our real estate community and how women are perceived in our industry.  There is a vast opportunity for a strong leadership with women entrepreneurs in the industry.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS AN ENTREPRENEUR? A life event that put me in the position of being a young widow with young children forced me to reinvent myself and I saw an opportunity with real estate to be self employed and work from home. One thing is constant and that is change. We either embrace it or succumb to it and it can be a positive and reawakening decisive decision. For me it was the best thing I could have done for myself and my children and I have no regrets.

WHO IS A MODERN WOMAN IN YOUR EYES? My idea of a Modern Woman is an adaptable, courageous, accepting, driven female who is proactive in changing the landscape of global perception.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FUTURE WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS? My tips are don't second guess your intuition and don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. Strive forward with conviction!

DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR? The most important role model in my life is my Grandma, she exemplified a life of humbleness, love and forgiveness and was one of the most well respected hard working women in our province.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON WOMEN IN BUSINESS IN OUR COMMUNITY? I feel that the business community and female entrepreneurs in Saskatoon is a strong partnership that has blossomed immensely. I personally cannot wait to see what the beautiful and brilliant women of Saskatoon will deliver!


Nora Jacobs

Realtor, Realty Executives Saskatoon

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF? I am a Realtor with Realty Executives Saskatoon.  Seven years ago I decided to leave my senior management position with Saskatchewan Housing Authority as an Area Manager and to begin a new career path in Real Estate.  In the late 1980’s I began working as a Property Manager in private industry and quickly rose through the ranks and became the General Manager/Broker of my firm.  I worked in this industry for 10 years, then due to corporate changes I accepted a position with Saskatchewan District Health managing a large staff for 3 years and then moved over to Saskatchewan Housing Corporation for 12 years.  During that time, I always had the desire to work for myself and Real Estate was a natural choice.  The hard decision was to leave a paid position with benefits and pension to pursue my dreams.  6 years ago, I took the plunge and have never looked back. Working on my own with a powerful brokerage behind me is exactly where I had hoped to be, and the move has been very positive and fulfilling.  Now, when I work long hours – I work for myself.  The goals & achievements are mine to make.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? Getting started was the most difficult journey I have ever taken.  Educated, all dressed up and nowhere to go.  It was humbling the first year, however it made me stronger & more determined to succeed.

HOW ARE YOU INSPIRED? My inspiration comes from achieving my goals and doing what makes me happy.  I found through the years that this is a very busy, often stressful and yet exciting industry, that if you let it, can consume you.  I soon found myself putting my work before everything else, not allowing myself to take part in the things I love.  My social interaction other than through work was becoming less and less.  Three years ago, I accepted an appointment as a Marriage Commissioner which was something I always wanted to do.  It is a position that forces you to dress up, take care of yourself and perform publicly.  It is a position that surrounds me with people, happy days & beauty.  This is just the mix I needed with my Real Estate Career.  The two go so well together and shape me into who I have become today.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A MODERN WOMAN? To me, a Modern Woman is one who puts herself first.  Takes care of herself, works hard to achieve her goals and is driven & motivated.  If you can shape yourself into a person you respect & love, you will have so much more to give people.  Working hard is great as nothing comes without persistence & determination.  However never forgetting what is important – family, relationships, friends, home, & self.  You have to develop a full package or everything else fails.

WHAT ADVICE OR TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR WOMEN IN BUSINESS? My advice to women considering working for themselves is to know what you’re good at, and develop those skills further.  Set a written business plan with goals and action plans.  Monitor your plan daily, weekly and monthly.  Don’t look at setbacks as failures.  Learn from each mistake and move forward.  Keep doing what you’re doing.  Always have various avenues to grow your business.  Don’t do the same thing all the time.  Do many things all of the time.  And lastly, give yourself time.  You can’t build success in a day.  It takes months, years and sometimes a lifetime.

WHAT IS IN YOUR FUTURE? Realty Executives Saskatoon is growing every year.   We have strong leadership, excellent training for new Executives and ongoing training and support for everyone in the brokerage.  It is the only Brokerage I would consider working in.  There is no doubt that we will continue to grow and achieve numbers we have not yet imagined.  I see Realty Executives as the #1 choice of the people of Saskatoon and Saskatchewan for years to come.

WHO INSPIRES YOU? I can’t name one particular woman.  I admire women who are successful while juggling family, small children, homes, jobs, and still seem to find time to be involved in community and events.  It takes incredible energy and determination to make it all work as a woman so I have nothing but admiration for successful women who are doing it all.


 

April Townsend

Realtor, Realty Executives Saskatoon

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I got started in this industry 17 years ago. I had been a business owner in Winnipeg for a number of years and decided that I needed a change both with work and my city. I relocated to Saskatoon in 1998 and decided that I would give it a shot here. I had researched all of my necessary requirements before heading to Saskatoon to take my exams for licensing. I became licensed in 1999 and never looked back.

WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF A MODERN WOMAN? My idea of a Modern Woman is someone who is not afraid to take charge, doesn’t feel the need to back down to stand strong to make their voice heard, knows that with knowledge it does not matter what sex you are, you can do the job!

WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS? My advice would be: be bold and assertive when needed, and taking chances leads to great things. Follow what is in your heart and things will all fall together.

WHO IS A ROLE MODEL FOR YOU? My role model for women in business is Venus Williams. This women stands strong each and every day. She has bounced back from major health issues, is still a force on the tennis circuit today and continues to own her own clothing business to which she designs all of the items as well.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN HAVING A MENTOR? Having a mentor in this industry is positive at any stage of the game. It is a necessary way to succeed in the beginning but it is also a positive reinforcement as time goes on. There are always ways that we can become better each and every day . Our broker Wayne is a huge part of many of our Realtors success stories.  

DO YOU THINK SASKATOON HAS A STRONG SENSE OF COMMUNITY WITHIN WOMEN IN BUSINESS? I definitely feel a strong sense of community with women and female entrepreneurs in Saskatoon and our province. It is nice to see the support that women have for one another and the amount of women that are there to showcase their trials and tribulations to show other women that , “yes it can be done, so don’t give up”.


Make sure to stop by the Realty Executives booth for a quick chat and a complimentary coffee all weekend long! 

Modern Woman Show & Expo

Saturday April 22nd 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Sunday April 23rd 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Prairieland Park 

 

I AM A MODERN WOMAN: Ammy Murray with Glittersaurus Rex Jewels

Photos by deMo Photography

Photos by deMo Photography

Tell us about your business?

I primarily make handmade wire wrapped jewelry with semiprecious stones, but recently have expanded my offerings to include a line of crystal elixir oils.  These are oils you can use for massage, as bath oils, as diffuser oils, or just as perfume scented with essential oils.  Each bottle contains a number of crystals as well as a handmade resin pendant.

My Etsy shop intro says I am make jewelry for your inner forest gypsy, making her way hidden through the modern world.  It's made with the understanding that maybe you can't bring your crystal wand to the office, but you can sure adorn yourself with it!

How did you get started?

It all started with a love of crystals.

For as long as I can remember, I've been attracted to crystals. My mom talks about making me empty my pockets before I could come inside the house as a child, as my pockets would be filled with various rocks I had collected during the day. I liked the way they sparkled, or an unusual colour, or a unique shape, or just the way a particular rock felt.

As I grew up, my love of crystals morphed into a small obsession with healing crystals and jewelry. After a particularly rough couple of years where I went through a lot of personal changes, I started learning more and more about the healing and vibrational qualities of different crystals. I started a new rock collection, and found myself with bowls of crystals everywhere - on my desk, in my bathroom, in my kitchen, under my bed. At the same time, I became more and more interested in jewelry featuring crystals. I wanted to have some way of carrying my crystals with me all the time without destroying my pockets - turns out my mom was right to make me empty my pockets every day! Rocks can be rough on fabrics. Plus, I wanted to see my little sparkly beauties shine. I began dreaming about all of the different ways I wanted to wear my crystals. I always knew what I wanted, but finding it was another matter!

Finally, after years of seeing pieces that were almost, but not quite, what I wanted. I decided to start making the jewelry I wanted on my own.  I started reading blogs, and watching youtube, and practicing with craft wire. Then I started asking friends for feedback on what I was doing, and started giving away some of my excess as gifts. I kept experimenting, and as fast as I could make something, ideas for the next piece would start percolating. Very quickly, my house started to become overrun with supplies and finished pieces. That's when I decided to take the next step and open my Etsy shop!

But still, I was increasingly frustrated that I could carry or always access the particular crystal combinations I wanted in a practical and everyday way.  Although making my own jewelry was the solution for a while, I wanted more.

I have always believed in the power of dreams.  Every person is a dream interpreter for themselves – they just need to learn their own language.  If you can understand your own personal set of symbols your subconscious uses, then you can go a long way to solving your own problems.  You are your own best counsellor, if only you can learn to listen.  When someone close to me is going through change or is unhappy, I’ll usually ask them what they are dreaming about lately – because the answer and comfort they need is already there.

In September of 2016, I started dreaming about beautifully scented crystals, singing in harmony with nature, rising out of bathing pools where people would go to heal.  People would come to the pools and were told to enter into one, hurting and disfigured.  After some time in the warm healing waters, inhaling the scents from the crystals and relaxing, they would stand up, completely healed.  The crystals of the pool would then transform into a beautiful woman, who would hand the bather a small piece of herself to keep.

I knew this had to mean something.  I knew I had to make it.  I knew I had to offer it.  But how?  I started meditating on it.

Eventually it came to me.  I knew about making crystal elixirs using water – but what about oil?  I started doing research, and discovered that with some harder crystals, it was possible to infuse them into carrier oils, and the oil itself would begin to carry the vibration and power of the crystal.  But some crystals, especially copper based or bluish crystals, are not appropriate for elixirs as the chemicals in the stone can leach into the surrounding liquid and then be absorbed by the user.  And then I remembered orgone generators.  Essentially, these are crystals and metal shavings embedded into resin.  The embedding itself, or perhaps the organic matrix of the resin, seems to amplify the chi or energy flow of the crystals within.  I had already been experimenting with embedding crystals into resin in my jewelry making – why couldn’t I use the same process to make “wands” that would protect the user from chemical leaching, but at the same time amplify the power of the crystals embedded within?  And why couldn’t this wand eventually become a piece of jewelry for its user?

But that didn’t solve the problem of a scented crystal.  I started researching essential oils and aromatherapy, and found that many different oils have compatible uses with the crystal combinations I love using.  And indeed, one of the best ways to access aromatherapy is to use combinations of essential oils in a carrier oil.  Aha!

Once I struck on the how, the next step became what: What were the best ways to best combine these two powerful modalities?  I sent myself back into dreaming and meditation.  And sure enough, as I meditated, combinations of oils and crystals and purposes began to come to me.  And, the moment a combination was “right”, the name of an associated Goddess would arise alongside to claim this elixir as hers.

And that’s how the Glittersaurus Rex Crystal Oils were born.

My love of making jewelry still stands.  In fact, rather than leave the buyer with a “wand”, each bottle of 4 oz or larger oil contains some small crystals, some larger crystal points, and a series of resin-encased crystals that I’ve made into a pendant for your use long after the oil is gone.  The beauty of it is, the crystals are in a symbiotic relationship with the essential oils and the quartz points, meaning that as the pendant is in the oil, it “steeps”, like a tea, making the power of the crystal stronger and stronger over time.  So, by the time it is ready for you to wear, it has spent all that time growing and recharging its energy, preparing for you, getting to know you.

Each blend contains as a base a piece of obsidian and a quartz crystal point.  The quartz helps to purify intention and amplify power and continues to cleanse the other stones in the oil, and the obsidian provides a grounded base for action to occur.  Each stone used is carefully cleansed with sage, and programmed with the blend’s intention before it is placed in the bottle.  The oils are diluted in either 100% apricot kernel or sweet almond oil.  All essential oils used are 100% pure and organic essential oils.

What inspires you?

The stones.  For me, it all starts with the stones.  I listen to when the "rocks talk", and move from there.

I sort of waver between being very, very minimalist in my designs, and being very intricate.  I'm also very attracted to asymmetry.  I think everything about you should be interesting and unique, and so I'm also very attracted to asymmetry.  I very rarely, for example, make a pair of earrings where both are exactly the same.  They will match, but they will be slightly different in shape or arrangement or in the stones used.

I think these are all a function of being so inspired by nature.  I like to say that perfection is boring.  What I mean by that is, every thing in nature is both absolutely unique and slightly imperfect - which is what makes it unique! I want that echoed in the things I give to the world.

What is your idea of a Modern Woman?

A woman who knows what she wants, and is not afraid to do what she needs to chase it!

What tips can you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

Learn as much as you can.  Listen to podcasts, read books, talk to other entrepreneurs.  Apply the same creativity to you give to your business to marketing your business.  And remember - failures are always opportunities to learn.  The only difference between an expert and a beginner is practice.

What is one piece of advice you would give yourself looking back?

Trust yourself.  Listen to yourself.  Meditate more, listen to your body, and don't feel like you have to be perfect all at once.

What is in the future for Glittersaurus Rex Jewels?

I would really love to find some dedicated studio space where I could branch out even more!  I'd love to be in a few stores over the next year or two.  I'm also looking to launch a website as well as a few video series explaining a bit more about each of the oils I create, and the reasons/uses for each crystal.

What would we find you doing in your free time?

Those rare occasions are dedicated to my children.  We like to cook, go for walks, talk and joke.  It doesn't matter where we are or what we are doing - just time together is enough.

Who is someone that you find is a role model for women in business?

Is it trite to say Oprah?  I love that she has built an empire, but an empire with a heart for the Universe.  I love that she encourages and empowers other women to be present and be connected.

Do you think having a mentor is valuable both while you're starting out and even after you are more experienced?

Mentorship is always valuable, at any stage, in every part of your life.  No matter what you are going through, someone else has gone through it first.  I find that my biggest challenge is my own fear of reaching out and seeking mentorship.  However, I've been blessed with some really great role models so far.  And I've always found that when you ask for help or advice, people are always happy to do it.

Check out Ammy's designs HERE and make sure to come visit her booth at The Modern Woman Show on Saturday April 22nd.  She will be located in the Marketplace area and we are so excited to have her and all those healing crystals!