FOLLOWING MY DREAMS

Growing up, I always had a camera with me and loved capturing every moment with friends, family and the world around me. I kept diaries and photo albums galore never wanting to miss a minute to remember! Then I discovered the "new" technical term "scrapbooking" over 20 years ago. Who knew that's what I'd been doing all these years and have now become the "Memory Preserver".

When it was time to go to college I knew I enjoyed travel and wanted to own my own business so Hosiptality & Tourism became a great first fit. Specializing in Marketing, Event & Tourism Development, I honed the skills that were the driving force to eventually starting my own business. With lots of trips and moving to places I could enjoy and take pictures!

After moving home to be with my awesome better half - it was time to begin making the dream a reality. I started Gone Scrappin' (with my natural love and addiction of all things paper & stickers) part-time with the goal to slowly be able to focus on it full time. A few years later and a growing family (while on maternity leave from my marketing postion, with my 2nd child) I decided to take the plunge.

I bought the old general store, my mom's flower business and began to expand the business to become: GONE SCRAPPIN' IN BLOOM! It became the flower, scrapbooking, gift and cafe store with so much in between!

During renovations we discovered I was expecting baby #3! WOW! It definetly created a few learning curves and stresses our first year!

2010 brought the immense honour of becoming a finalist for the Manitoba Women's Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (Emerging Business Category)! It was an amazing experience! Through the gruelling process to be able to learn and document how much I have accomplished over the last 5 years was a feat in itself and then to meet the other finalists who were all so talented, was an honour as everyone deserved to win. To share stories and receive encouragement and advice from other women entrepreneurs who have gone through the same struggles of ups and downs, was great to know I'm not alone!

The past few years have been a roller coaster with 3 young children, a new and growing business trials & tribulations and so much more! Some days the stress is unbelievable but honestly - I love every minute. I wouldn't change it for the world. I am living my dream. I live by two mantras - #1 Life is too short to not enjoy every opportunity. #2 If you are going to do it - do it right and go big or go home!

My passions are still the same - my camera, scrapbooking, designing on my computer, a good book, a great cup of coffee, art & music and the spa! So a lot of products that work their way onto GSIB shelves originate with some of my passions!

GSIB is now a place - it is my inspiration. I walk in and it reminds me this is why I did it. It re-charges my soul and calms me! This is a dream that it does the same for everyone else who enters it's doors! By owning my own business I now have more flexibility with my children and can take in opportunities that life throws my way. When I need to re-charge or get away from the chaos of the Hunter house - you can find me at the store having a latte! Come and join me!