Community over competition
Lately I've been thinking a lot about women.
This started introspectively, as I grappled with my own worth regarding my decision to stay home with my kids.
Then one evening in November I found myself driving home alone, having been out for an errand. It was about 9pm, and I had just briefly chatted with Dominique Leger from In Pursuit Truck five seconds before I got in the car. I started thinking about how cool her truck is, and how amazing she is for giving that idea life in our small city. I was feeling pride, in her and in us for supporting her. In Saint John, things are changing and magic is happening. Uptown is going through some things, and it's pretty wonderful to watch. I started to think of other amazing women in Saint John who, like Dominique, made something from nothing. It dawned on me how much of our civic progress is female-driven, and I started compiling a mental list. After some conversations with my sister, I realized that even though I could think of dozens of businesses owned and operated by women in Saint John, I was sure there were others I didn't know of yet. So I did what anyone does when they have a question; I asked Facebook, and wow, did I ever get an education.
I wanted to know about any woman in our province doing anything unique and creative in any capacity. Full-time or side hustle. Big or small. At home or in an office. Products or service. Crafters, moms, entrepreneurs, shop owners, consultants. Whatever. New Brunswick is ripe with opportunity for anyone who has a good idea, and I want to know and talk about all the women that are making things happen here. I want to connect with them and learn about what they're doing, why they're doing it and how they balance it all.
I had over a hundred comments on that first Facebook post, and I am a relative nobody, so that was very exciting. I started asking women if they would spend a few minutes chatting with me, and then I just started having conversations - which I loved. Each woman I've talked to has pointed me in the direction of other amazing women, and I have to tell you I continue to be floored by the things that are happening right in our own province that I had virtually no idea about. I want this to be a major thing we talk about when we think of New Brunswick, and so I'm going to start a conversation here about it.
The title of this series will be Ms New Brunswick. This has personal meaning to me and my family - we one time got to watch the actual Miss NB pageant at Old Home Week in Woodstock (a big deal for a family with 5 girls). Not long after that, one of our cats was named Miss New Brunswick, and is to this day, the qween of that house. I'm not really into pageants anymore, but I like the idea of taking the title back for all the women who really embody the heart and soul of our province. The makers and doers who are sharing with us their time, energy and talents, and carrying us forward while they're at it. They are the real queens.
From the conversations I have already had, one thing has become really clear already; community over competition. Something that everyone has already figured out is that the more we can help each other out, promote and support one another, the more we benefit ourselves. A rising tide lifts all boats. I want to be the tide, don't you?
I've already done several interviews with fascinating and amazing women (and girls!) who are creative, passionate geniuses. I am going to feature them all here, one by one, until I run out of women - which will be never. If you know any woman who fits the bill, send them my way! If it is a unique idea and a woman is behind it, I want to know about it.
As for me, the truth is I do more than just raise my kids all day, and I always have. I have many "side gigs" as it were. I knit things (sometimes to sell), I run a small business with my wickedly talented stepmother and I attempt to keep up with this blog. I treat my Instagram like one of my children, caring deeply for it, spending quality time and only giving it the very best. I sometimes take non-professional but non-rookie photos of people. I even occasionally will do the laundry.
If you or someone you know would be right for the Ms New Brunswick series please fill out the Nomination Form!