542 2nd Avenue Rivers, MB

Ph: (204) 679-7806
Fax: (204) 480-4537
Email: butterfly@mts.net

Archive for March, 2012

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The Birth of Butterfly…

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

I’m baccckkkk…  yep, after 3 months of blog silence, I am back with a whole lot to say it seems 🙂 No, I am not going to talk about babies, pregnancy or parenting – those are issues that you can read in my other blog – this is simply not the place for it. This is where I want to talk about politics, current events and well – me. So here it goes…

When people look at my website or hear about another project that I am working on, they usually ask me in one way or another, ‘What do you do??’  I take that as their very polite way o saying – ‘You do so many different things that are seemingly unrelated – exactly what is it that you do???’ And it is a very valid question and one that I try to answer as quickly as possible but don’t always get the chance so here and now, I am going to explain in full.

When my son was born in 1994, I was a waitress – I had always been a waitress, working in restaurants since the age of 11 – it was all I knew. I had a high school education and a few university classes but no real education and it looked like I was destined to repeat history and raise my son in base poverty, struggling to make ends meet. That prospect didn’t bode well for me so I started taking correspondence courses in management and business – eventually moving up the ladder to running and owning y own restaurant before I was even 22. After I lost that business in a fire and went through an ugly divorce that left me penniless and again back to waiting tables trying to raise my son on my own, I went back to the books – eventually earning 2 diplomas back t back in Bar Operations and Food Services Management. These pieces of paper along with my then 15 years of restaurant experience moved me up to the level of general manager with salary and benefits and an introduction into a lifestyle my son and I could enjoy.

The long hours, the stress and the isolation of the north finally got to me and I swore off the restaurant and bar business for life – returning to school to take a new turn – studying Law enforcement and applying to the RCMP – a dream that was always in the back of my mind. I trained, I studied, I passed all my entrance exams including the physical with flying colors only to discover that the 6 months of training would require me to leave my son behind. End my short stint as a cop.

Another life twist and a new marriage to my fitness training partner in college,  found me using my education and training in the field of institutional food services – something I was trained and qualified for but never practiced. Working at Frontier School Division’s Residence introduced me to some serious issues with the nutritional education and practices of our Northern Manitoba youth so again, seeing a need, I returned to school taking a year of correspondence to earn a third diploma in Nutrition and Diet Therapy – after which I began educating groups and working with private clients on weight and type 2 diabetes Management.

Fast forward a few years to the birth of my second child in 2005. i found myself in a position that i had always envied – stay at home mom! having reached what I thought was my dream fulfilled, I realized something significant – I wasn’t cut out to be a stay at home mom. I loved my children (11 and 0) but found I wasn’t fulfilled and needed something more – much of this had to do with the fear of being financially dependent upon another person. Not trying to blame my then husband for the sins of my former, but having an internal drive for independence, I found what I thought was a perfect compromise. Instead of returning to my managerial field of work I opted for something I could do from home, with my children – the best of both worlds, something to make a little money but still allow me to be a full time mom. I started my own Mary Kay business and withing 9 months earned my first free car and two diamond rings. I was hooked. the second year had me surpass all my annual earnings of any other job, a brand new car (my second) in the driveway courtesy of Mary Kay and a couple of more diamonds – then disaster struck. My husband died and I found myself a single mother again, this time with 2 kids (13 and 2) and they needed me at home. I quit my Mary Kay business, or at least stopped working so hard at it, resigning my position ans Senior Sales Director and sending back the car (the diamonds I kept 😉 ). And for a year after their Dad’s death, I was what they needed me to be. A full-time, stay at home mom.

Once I believed that we were all ready for me to focus less on the past and present and more on the future I looked for something to do with myself where I could use my education, training, experience to generate a little money and give myself the fulfillment I had always searched for. I was and am grateful that their dad had left us provided for so while we were far from rich, I could be choosy with what I did as the income wasn’t as important as my sense of accomplishment. hence the birth of Butterfly Consultations. What is it that my company does? Everything that I am trained to do.

As a certified trainer for the National Food Safety Training program – I certify food handlers and restaurant owners in food handling safety.

As a certified nutritionist, I offer private weight loss counseling along with public speaking and workshops on healthy living.

Not having any fitness studios in our area, I again returned to school , earning my Certification as a Fitness leader with the Manitoba Fitness Council and teach group fitness classes in our own studio here in Rivers – all year long as well as offer private training sessions for my clients, I have even developed a few of my own classes like Burlesque, Strip Aerobics and InfuZion. Dancersize will be coming next fall! using my training from my law enforcement days, I have even offered basic kick boxing as an aerobic routine!

Using my education and 20 years of experience in management, I offer training and trouble-shooting for restaurant owners and staff, I have even done bookkeeping for some businesses and budget planning for individuals since I have been doing my own since the 19080’s.

One of my newest endeavors has been wedding and event planning – this came about after meeting my new husband and becoming engaged in 2009. While planning an extravagant dream wedding 2 provinces away, I couldn’t fathom relying on anyone else for something so important so I spent 6 months studying and then traveling to Toronto to receive my event planning certification. Our wedding was a fabulous affair and I am eager to help others have the same experience, even if my training was initially for personal reasons only.

And now here I sit in my latest brainchild – Creative Creations Gift Shop in Rivers Manitoba, a store that is dedicated to Manitoba artists and crafters, selling their handmade products on low consignment, offering them an avenue to do what I have done – stay home with their kids while still earning a living. This store came about after my first store, a health food center closed after a year. We opened that in 2009 as a support to my nutrition counseling and fitness studio, giving me a space to work from. It was a mistake – great concept, wrong location. So 2 years later with our commercial space vacant and a new baby in tow, here we are.  I actually have to thank a  local home-party business operator for the idea. She approached me last November looking to rent my space for a home-party based central store. She never went through with renting our building but in January when I was sitting at home feeling that same old itch to get back to work (after 3 months of bedrest),I kept returning to her concept and considering how popular craft shows are in our area, adapted it into what we now have and I am loving it. Thanks Deborah!

So what do I do?? Just about everything. If it makes me money and allows me to be with my children, if it utilizes my education and training, if it allows me to make my family a priority without losing my own identity, if it helps me make a difference in the lives of others, if I am able to give back just a smidgen of what was given to me, it is what I do. And as hectic and as crazy as it sometimes ok, always is, I love it. And when I compare my life today with all of the yesterdays I wouldn’t change it for the world!

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