Where and when were you born?
I was born in St. John’s, NL on May 11, 1985.
What is your current job and list some things you like about it?
I am a small business owner operating a craft-based business, Hillside Fine Craft, located in Tors Cove, NL. I create one-of-a-kind jewelry for sale on my website (hillsidefinecraft.com) and at my seasonal shop at 22 Back Road in Tors Cove. I also sell finely crafted work from other local makers at my storefront. A big part of my business is working with other shop owners who I wholesale my products to, they then sell at their storefronts across Newfoundland & Labrador (NL) and Canada. I love that I have creative freedom with my job and working with my hands. Building relationships with great clients and the ability to create new opportunities for myself. Being my own boss, working from home, and creating my own schedule has its perks too.
How does it relate to your diploma or certificate?
My day-to-day business directly relates to my two College of the North Atlantic diplomas. I used my creative/hands-on skills learned through my Textiles Studies diploma when creating and designing my products and marketing my business. I also use my administrative skills learned through my Records and Information Management: Office Administrative diploma when dealing with the back end of my business.
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your lifetime?
Making the leap to operating my business full-time. Taking the chance that my product would stand out and do well in a competitive market. Making financial investment and sacrifices to make the business a success.
What’s your favourite place in the world?
Our beautiful home/property in Tors Cove, NL.
Can you describe an experience that changed your life?
Getting the chance to go to school to follow a creative career path. I started my creative studies when I entered the Textile Studies program through CNA and completed the two-year diploma. Once I graduated from the Textiles program, I was able to transfer credits and continue my studies at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. From there, I gained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in two more years. These experiences allowed me to explore creative possibilities and build connections with other creatives / creative organizations.
What’s your favourite movie or book?
I enjoy instructional books like, The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight. This book has been a go-to since I studied metalsmithing at NSCAD.
Is your current career path as you originally intended?
Not really, but it is still a creative one! When I first entered the Textile Studies program at CNA, I had dreams of working in costume and set design. But by the end of the two-year program, I knew I wanted to make unique jewelry/accessories. I didn’t start my own business full-time till about a decade after graduating, but always made sure I never lost sight of working towards that goal.
What challenges did you face in launching your career?
Finding the confidence to put my product out there in a competitive market. Taking a chance on a career that doesn’t have financial certainty like a standard hired job. I am very lucky to have a supportive family that has helped me chase after my dreams.
What advice would you give to your CNA first-year self?
Be confident in yourself. All your hard work will pay off. Chase your dreams because anything you work hard for is possible.