When I received the request to speak at The Fraser Valley Women’s Expo event, I wasn’t exactly sure what it all involved. That goes for anything new, you just don’t really know. But that’s not to say you should say no. Not at all. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.
Shannon asked me what I’d talk about. I’m afraid I probably talked her ear off because once you get me on a tangent about why my passion of inspiring and encouraging runs deep, there’s no room for any other words!
Next up, she requested a picture of a toolbox and myself. I didn’t know what to expect there either but was rather intrigued that I’d be in the local paper. Wow.
What I didn’t expect was to be in 2 WEEKS worth of papers, a few times a week, being part of the main poster! Now THAT is WOW!!
Not sure I should admit this part or not, but I’ve saved every one of those pages.
This stuff just never gets old. It just gets more exciting!
So I spent a good week creating these toolbox kits to accompany my speech, because I wanted to offer much more than 45 min worth of conversation. I wanted to encourage others to pick up a drill and build something once they got home.
And then it was speech day. I seemed to nail a VIP parking of sorts.. I was told to drive right up inside the building behind the stage and unload because I had a LOT of stuff. Probably more than any other speaker. With the wind howling outside and a snowstorm about to kick to high speed, this was VERY comforting!
Can you believe all that stuff was for a 45 min talk? Isn’t that insane?! I never do anything only 10% it appears. All my tools, biz cards, tool kit samples and bazillion toolkits came along for their Chilliwack appearance.
Right before I went on, I took in a small part of this talk to check things out and to offer those that couldn’t make it a glimpse of where this all took place. I had planned to ask someone to take pictures down below, but I forgot! So I’m glad I got this picture.
The stage was gorgeous! It was in a separate room from the Expo which made the space more intimate and easier to focus.
And then it was my turn. The support received from the staff was just top notch phenomenal and professional. They helped me unload, helped me setup and the camera man shooting for a special closeup screen bypassed his tripod because he knew I’d be on the move constantly and followed every step I made. He didn’t miss a beat.
Now, talking all over the world is the most amazing experience ever. But there was something that this hometown speech offered that the others couldn’t.
My family came.
When I saw them in the audience, so deeply touched, I knew everything would be alright. My sister Wendy came with our family friend Janice, my Aunt Edna!!! (she so reminds me of my mom every time), Faye and Pete, two dear friends from my campsite days, dear sweet followers, and so many others. Nervousness slipped away because I was quite simply among friends. Isn’t that amazing?
I got up there, totally into it… and even threw on my mom’s flannel shirt I had on in the poster, to emphasize that was the real me. Just plain’ ol country girl me.
And then I forgot my words.
I laughed, then just started over. And didn’t run out of words again until I was out of time.
The coolest part was watching this sweet gal build for the first time! We did this together but she designed the sides. So proud!
And silly me built it wrong, so I had to take it apart and build it again. But that’s the beauty of building with screws, it’s all too easy to do. Someone later commented that the mistake was the best part of the demo, because THAT is how you learn.
And I couldn’t agree more.
I admit my head was still in lah lah speechland, so when Kindrel from Lovely Home said hello, I zoomed right into her booth and fell in LOVE.
Kindrel sells vintage upcycles on her Facebook page as well as at local events, so you can bet I wish I had everything in her booth, such as these darling vintage tart tins turned garlands. Adorable!
I’m so glad Jen said hello as well! She and her husband Randy own Country Lane Decor, with the most gorgeous harvest tables and other cool wooden home decor accessories.
And then who did I find right across the isle?
This is the other poster girl! Kathy van Gogh brought her amazing self and her paints with her, decking out one colourful, gorgeous booth!
Ok, so I kinda sorda refused to leave Kathy’s booth for a good long while. This girl is a wealth of business knowledge and I couldn’t get enough! If she didn’t have that paint line of hers, I would have hired her on the spot to become my business manager. I’m not exactly sure what she would have to manage with me but something tells me she’d invent a reason! Amazing, AMAZING woman… and friend!
Kathy was also there doing a talk as well as hosting a workshop the next day right at the Expo. Cool!
And then it was time to go home. Packing up all my stuff and heading out into the snow, my heart was full of some wonderful memories that only this event could have offered.
A chance to inspire, meeting up with local artists, while growing new friendships. Now THAT is the secret to success. Toolboxes and talent at the Fraser Valley Women’s Expo indeed!
Thank-you again Shannon of Fraser Valley Women’s Expo, for the opportunity to be a part of your wonderful event! I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
Disclosure / I partnered with Fraser Valley Women’s Expo for this event. All opinions and all the fun I had were all of my own doing.