Alright, guys. Full disclosure: I felt pretty frustrated with Kelowna for a while.
Let’s rewind for a minute. I moved here from Thunder Bay, Ontario in 2015 where I feel on and off home sick frequently. When I moved here, I took a full-time job in radio and honestly, this is just not an industry I’m passionate about. I basically fell into it by accident and felt nothing towards it. No passion. No excitement. Boring (Sorry). My career grew monotonous and that negativity started to spill over into my personal life.
Anyway, to my surprise, my freelance copy writing career became somewhat successful and I was able to quit my full-time job. Finally! Success.
Since quitting, I’ve managed to enter into this exciting marketing community where for the first time probably ever in my entire career, I really feel like I belong. I’ve met so many people who have similar career goals and passions to myself and the best part? These people have welcomed me with open arms and allowed me to feel the way I used to about Kelowna: happy and full of love!
There are four women in particular who played a role in changing my mind. So, without further ado, I’d like to give a special shout out to these ladies! Good karma, yo!
Kristi & Megan – Kelowna Collective
Okay, I’m obviously going to talk about the two other girls responsible for Kelowna Collective (duh!)
Kristi sent me an Instagram message not too long ago asking me to meet for coffee. She wanted to talk about this positive, amazing, fantastic, powerful (you get the idea) website and of course, I jumped at the opportunity. We hit it off immediately! She talked about how Kelowna Collective is an online community whose mission it is to spread positivity throughout the city, because let’s face it, sometimes Kelowna needs that. Plus, she told me about all these cool networking events that I’d never heard of before. Basically, she’s just an awesome and kind person, and if you see her around, you should introduce yourself!
I met Megan for the first time at the Farmer’s Market. This girl is cool, you guys. Like, probably one of the coolest girls I’ve ever met. You see, I’m dorky. Really dorky. I’m socially awkward (but, let’s be honest, also hilarious), and she’s cool, collected, and also hilarious. Megan lives and breathes local and is arguably one of the most passionate people I’ve ever met, especially about Kelowna. Plus, she understands social media in a way that I’m constantly trying to and because of that, she’s extra helpful. I look up to Megan and I’m excited to continue learning from her.
Blue skies for #biketoworkweek @biketoworkbc • • • • #kelownalife #okanagan #ylw #kelowna #bikeweek #okanaganlife #btww #okanaganvalley #lovelocal #picoftheday #okanaganlove #instalove #kelownalocal #kelownaphotography #explorebc #kelownabest #bclife #lovewhereyoulive #bikecommute #kelownalocal #okanagansummer
Sarah – Navigator Multimedia
I’ve only met Sarah once, but I feel like I’ve known her for such a long time. I joined forces with Navigator not too long ago and ever since Sarah has been so kind and welcoming to me. She gives me a pat on the back for a job well done and also provides great feedback. But, the main reason I’m giving her a special shout out, is because she did one thing in particular that really resonated with me. She asked me to go to networking events with her. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but at the time, it really meant a lot to me. When she offered this, I was feeling a little lonely. I had just quit my job and was already spending a lot of time alone. Her offer reminded me of the generosity found in this city and with that knowledge, it shouldn’t be too hard to make connections and hopefully, new friends.
Neel – Techfire Solutions
I need to let everyone know a little background about my first meeting with Neel because it’s hilarious and embarrassing and I love a good story.
Neel & I agreed to meet at Starbucks. Whenever I set up a client meeting, I do some obvious research on them first. Who I found on the gram was a red-headed bearded man, so this is who I was on the lookout for.
I found someone who kind of looked like the guy I researched, minus the beard.
“Hi, are you Neel?”
“No. Do you want me to be?”
Then, a FEMALE walks up to me. “Hi! Jessica?”
“Um – hi?! Neel??”
“Oh my gosh! I was looking for a man!”
With a smile, she responded, “That’s my husband, I get that a lot.”
Well, that was a great start to a client meeting. SMH. This did not phase Neel whatsoever. She was so lovely, passionate, and kind throughout our entire meeting. She told me her story about how “Techfire Solutions” came to be and I told her a little about mine. She also let me know the different organizations she helps out with like Mamas for Mamas and 100 Women Who Care, which by the way, I joined. We talked about how we’d hang out and go for dinner. How we would attend networking events together. I went to Starbucks to gain a client, but in turn, I also made a friend.
So humbled to be featured in Kelowna Daily Courier's 'Woman Today' piece, highlighting my involvement with 100 Women Who Care! This community has shown so much love in the short time I've been here – thank you Kelowna! 💙 . . . . #TechFireSolutions #kelowna #bc #okanagan #ylw #marketing #webdesign #entrepreneur #business #socialmedia #smm #socialmediamarketing #digitalmarketing #graphicdesign #local #technology #creativity #dailycourier #newspaper #featured #article #community #volunteer #100WomenWhoCare
If you’ve read through my entire sappy post, congratulations! Something I’ve learned over the last few months is if you have a solid community of like-minded individuals, their influence can have the ability to make you feel more at home and really enjoy where you live. I felt these four confident women deserved individual shout outs because each of them has really made a positive impact on how I personally feel about my career and the city of Kelowna. So, thank you!
If you see any of these ladies out and about, make sure to give them a high five because they really are awesome.
Who have you met recently in Kelowna who inspired or made an impact on you?