Toolboxes and talent at the Fraser Valley Women’s Expo

toolbox kits created from reclaimed wood at the Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

 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.

Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

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.

Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

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!

toolbox kits at the Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

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.

the stage at the Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

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.

Funky Junk on stage at the Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

photo courtesy of Fraser Valley Woman’s Expo

 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.

Toolbox building on stage at the Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

photo courtesy of Fraser Valley Woman’s Expo

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 truly had the most amazing, hometown experience I could have possibly had.

Kindrel of Lovely Home /  Fraser Valley Women's Expo via
After my talk, it was time to take in the rest of the event.

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.

Vintage pie tin garlands  /  Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

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!

Country Lane Decor / Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

 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. 

van Gogh fossil paint   /  Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

 And then who did I find right across the isle?

Kathy van Gogh and Donna of Funky Junk   /  Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

 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!

Chalkboard sign with van Gogh paint   /  Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

Kathy was also there doing a talk as well as hosting a workshop the next day right at the Expo. Cool!

The New Mercantile / Marnia's Measures & Treasures and Funky Junk /

The New Mercantile / Marnia's Measures & Treasures and Funky Junk /

Hooking up with other locals may have us meeting up soon! Marnia’s Measures & Treasures has a great workshop that we may play in soon with The New Mercantile. My kinda junkers!

toolbox kits at the The Fraser Valley Women's Expo via

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.

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29 thoughts on “Toolboxes and talent at the Fraser Valley Women’s Expo

  1. I’m glad you met up with Kathy van Gogh, I wish her all the luck in the world with her anti bullying campaign. I hope her paints become the best selling in the world. ♥

  2. This is so neat- very excited for you and all the opportunities that you’ve been experiencing so you can share some wisdom. I love to build I find it to be relaxing and a fantastic way to de-stress. Look forward to what you’ll be doing next. Really enjoy your posts your writing reflects your joy for what you do. Thanks! Carole at GardenUp green.

  3. How talented you are! and what an honor to speak and demonstrate at an expo. You deserve it. I have so much fun visiting your blog and looking at all your projects 🙂

  4. Donna – so glad you are doing what you love. You have a lot of talent and wisdom to offer others. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

  5. I thought of you this weekend and wanted so much to jump in my car and drive up for this (as well as I’m always looking for an excuse to come home.)
    Looks like it went wonderfully. Maybe I will have to start a blog myself and get in on all this fun!
    Love and blessings to you,

  6. Congratulations with your ever-growing success! You inspire so many – it’s only fair that you get to be inspired and have some fun in return. 🙂

  7. So I went to the Expo on Friday night so excited to do your workshop only to find out that you were going to be there on Saturday, not Friday. I don’t know how I missed seeing when you were going to be on stage, but I was bummed to not be able to make your workshop. Looks like you had a lot of fun, though:)

  8. Bravo dear friend,what fun was that..Thanks for sharing your fun adventure.What’s next for you and your talent? Springs just around the corner..Woot woot! Peace form Calif.

  9. Wow, thanks for the feature Donna! I’m happy you found a “retreat” of sorts in my Lovely Home booth-that’s exactly how a home should be!! Can’t wait to see what the future holds for us in the realm of teaching, junking and plain ol’ country fun!

  10. What a wonderful experience and it looks like a fabulous show! I would have loved to attend, you really need to come to Ontario! I would be there in a heartbeat. Vintage, building, painting…wow…
    Debbie 🙂

  11. Donna…it was awesome meeting you. It was like meeting a rock star! Change that to a funky junk star! I’m a fan of your work. Too bad I couldn’t attend your demo. I so wanted one of those tool box kits!
    Looking forward to creating something junky with you!

  12. Donna, what a wonderfully talented, humble beautiful person you are. I am so thrilled that I finally got to meet you. Believe me, the pleasure was all mine! You bet your hiney I’d love to manage you, but something tells me you’re a woman on a mission. You certainly don’t need my help, but if you ever want to let me take a crack at it…you know where to find me baby. with love and gratitude, Kathy van Gogh

    • Kathy, I’m LAUGHING! I 100000000% know you could do this but I’m not sure I could! haha

      I had a blast at your booth. I think motivational kick butt talks to bloggers is part of your calling…

  13. It looks like a great time was had by everyone. I would have loved to come and hear you and Kathy. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and training with Kathy. I know we’re only 1 province away, but still so far away. Maybe one day.

  14. What FUN!!! I need to start up a blog(do I have to blog??) and join in ALL the FUN!!!
    Great work to ALL the bloggers!!!
    SO MUCH FUN!!!!

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