1. Tell me a little about you.
I’m a 41-year-old, lifelong, Chelan resident. Currently a store manager, sister, aunt, and dog mom of 5.
2. What is the most poignant moment or time in your life where you showed resilience?
I began my working career at 14 years old. I had tried a few different jobs around town, all gathering unique experiences. At 21, my video store clerk job was becoming extinct (literally), and a new opportunity was presented as a store manager of a brand new business. I took the job, having nothing more than a high school education. I felt a connection to my agriculture roots, I saw a vision for growth and a use for my creativity. Truth was, I had no clue what I was doing! I’m positive I still don’t, but this decision changed everything I knew about who I am.
3. How did that moment shape your life?
The business proved to be a constant source of challenges. Mighty battles were fought and won, just to keep the doors open. I think those early struggles lit a fire. I can’t fail, this has to work, don’t give up. Every single day I was making a choice that was shaping my future, the life of the business owner and every employee. How do I give my best self? How do you build a business from scratch? Even before the days of social media, you know that everything you do affects the customer experience. That’s heavy. My staff became my family, and most of my family became my staff. The responsibility of being the 'boss’ meant I missed a lot, but I gained many blessings. I had my mom working with me for almost 7 years before I lost her to cancer. I built amazing friendships with customers and staff that will last a lifetime. The knowledge I gained from all the thousands of questions asked, conversations with perfect strangers and finding my innermost strength to push forward shapes me everyday.
4. What tips do you have for those in need of hope?
The reward of completion drives me. When you feel like all control is lost, know that you can start something -even the smallest task- from beginning to end and make a difference. Laughter is medicine. A very wise friend of mine told me to smile when you talk - you can hear the happiness. Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with a stranger (face to face, when we can), you’d be amazed at the knowledge you can gain. To be a listener, to be compassionate and to see their emotions. I believe in the power of the two hands God gave you, with their strength and a kind heart, anything is possible. And an occasional four letter word never hurts.