Updated: Jan 25, 2018
If someone would have told me 15 years ago that I would own a Spa at some point, I never would have believed it. I have always been a go-getter; someone who always went for what I wanted and wasn't afraid to take chances, but I always thought I would be a teacher. I didn't quite know in what capacity, but I knew I wanted to educate others and help them acheive their goals.
By 21, I had taken a few different things in College and couldn't really figure out which route I wanted to take because truthfully, I had no idea who I was. I was just living day by day, working at a call centre full time and going to school for Medical Office Administration, (because I liked doing paperwork, ha!). That is when my whole life changed.
My son was born on November 9th, 2006. As circumstances would have it, I became a single mother. I knew from the very beginning that I needed to find a career path that would sustain my little family and do something that my son could be proud of. In chatting with one of my girlfriends, she had mentioned that she was going to take a Medical Aesthetics course. I thought to myself, "hmm, that sounds interesting." I had never considered Aesthetics as a career, because, although I enjoyed doing my makeup, I was never one to take care of my skin or even paint my nails. I washed my face with a bar of soap for goodness' sake! Upon doing some research however, I thought Aesthetics would be a fun job. So off I went, to look for the best Aesthetic Programs available to me.
I settled on Gina's College of Advanced Aesthetics, as they had the most comprehensive and skin care based education I could find. I thought when I started, that I would excel at all of the machines; Laser hair removal and Microdermabrasion, etc. Although I did very well with the machines, I began to realize that my passion seemed to be more in the scientific side of the industry. I started becoming deeply interested in advanced skin care , the healing aspects of the services and the science behind how ingredients worked in the skin. I enjoyed every part of Aesthetics and excelled in every area, but Skin Care had my heart.
During my time at Gina's College, I attained my first job at a very small spa in Burlington, as well as a spa in Georgetown. At that point, I was going to school 3 nights a week and Saturdays, working 2 jobs, and still parenting my son on my own. There was no other way, I needed to start making my way in the industry if I planned on moving up as quickly as I felt I needed to.
After I graduated from College, I was hired as a manager at the spa in Georgetown. I packed up my life, along with my 2 year old son and moved out to Georgetown for this dream job. I thought I had hit the jackpot! Imagine, a management position, without any experience whatsoever?! As far as I was concerned, I was set. Unfortunately for me, that dream was short-lived, as unbeknownst to me, the spa had already been failing. There was nothing I could do, with no industry experience, to revive it. In the end, I ended up moving my life back to Hamilton and landing a fantastic job at a spa downtown. I made a few more moves in my career, mainly to gain different experiences that would be beneficial to my goal of becoming a well rounded spa therapist, who could handle any position and any situation that was thrown at me.
In 2014, while working at a super cute spa downtown Hamilton, I had been performing different skin care based seminars through the spa and had decided that I wanted to start more actively pursuing my passion in Education outside of the spa atmosphere. I decided to contact Gina's College to see if I could present a mentor style seminar to their students, simply to get some experience with public speaking and education and share my passion with the up and coming spa therapists. Nothing more, nothing less. The Director of the College however, had other plans. Upon sitting in on my seminar, she offered me a job by which I was able to design the parameters. I was able to keep my job at the spa, and teach at the same time. All was right with the world... Until it wasn't.
On February 15th, 2015, my father passed away suddenly. He was 62. My entire world was flipped upside down. I was commuting to Etobicoke to teach and things were not going well at the Spa I was working at. Whatever was about to happen, I knew would lead me into the biggest transition of my life.
Throughout my life, I have lived in a continuing state of transition. I have never been happy or satisfied with my situation for too long. Perhaps in my mind, I knew I could do better. I knew I was destined for more than what I had or what others had been willing to give me. After my Dad passed, I started to wonder what my purpose was. Why am I never satisfied? Why do I always feel like there is something more? What am I going to do now? So many questions and such elusive answers. Through this devastating loss, came clarity. Clarity of my past. Clarity for my future. Clarity of self. I began to realize that the whole time I was in this constant state of transition, all of the jobs, all of the moves, all of my experiences had led me to this point in my life. I now knew I had the brains, the drive and the passion to do things the way I wanted to do them. I now knew I had no other option than to build something for myself that my Dad would be proud of. Something that would sustain myself and my son far into the future. I realized that the Universe had been leading my to this epiphany, my whole life. That it took such an incredible tragedy to show me the way.
I started my business in May of 2015, with a little bit of money that my Dad left me when he passed. I was starting a new business on my own, still teaching and all the while, still parenting my now 8 year old son on my own. It was tough. No, it was DAMN HARD, I didn't take any clients with me from my last job. I needed to do it on my own. I didn't want anyone to be able to say "you wouldn't have this if it weren't for me." No matter how hard it was, I knew that I was meant to do things my way. I was meant to help people and to educate them. I was meant to spread positivity throughout the community. I was meant to heal others.
In the past 3 years, The business has expanded, more than doubling the size of the spa. I have hired employees and helped out where I can in my community. I have won a Business Achievement Award and Flourish has been awarded multiple Reader's Choice Awards. I am excited for the future and all of the hard work that comes with it. I look forward to spreading love and light through my business and beyond and I am thankful every day for the opportunity to do what I do.
Every day, I am thankful to my Dad for showing me my worth. I am thankful for him guiding me in the right direction. I am thankful for the lessons, past and present. Every day, I vow to always continue on the path of self discovery and growth. No matter how hard it may be.