I grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick and left for the big city just seconds after I was handed my high school diploma to study Fashion Marketing and Merchandising at Toronto's International Academy of Design and Technology. From there, I began a 15 year career in retail that included Management and Visual Merchandising. When an opportunity to move back to the Maritimes from Ontario presented itself, I considered it the next step in the right direction on my journey and decided to abandon retail for a Monday to Friday 9 to 5 office job.
My excitement about the career change (and my own filing cabinet) lasted no more than one week.
I missed having face to face conversations with new people every day, I missed the hustle and bustle of city streets and the holiday season. I missed new collections launching 3 months too soon and I especially missed the fashion in the streets of Montreal I would see while traveling from store to store. I felt stuck. I was desperate for a creative outlet but in a city like Saint John, opportunity in the fashion industry was very limited.
Or was it?
The great thing about living in a small city is that it isn't overrun with ideas that have tried and failed. Competition is slim to none and the support from the community is truly overwhelming. All I had to do was think a little further outside of the box, put pen to paper and decide what path my heart was telling me to travel towards.
On a Summer trip to Boston, lights, bells and sirens all started to go off at once as I spotted "The Fashion Truck" at the SoWa Market. It was a store. In a truck. With a dozen ladies all crowded around the door waiting to get inside. I knew instantly THIS. WAS. IT. I'd heard of Oprah's "a-ha!" moments but would have never believed them to be true had I not Googled more about the concept and practically squealed at the information I found once I arrived back at the hotel. At the time, only about a dozen Mobile Boutiques existed in the US. Now there are over 300 unique trucks and new ones popping up across the USA and Canada all the time.
That fateful day began the long process of sourcing a truck, convincing my brother (shameless plug: My brother is an amazing carpenter based in Fredericton and owns Country Cuts Carpentry. If you have a project or renovations that need an honest, dependable, talented carpenter he's your guy! Contact: 506 476 1626) my horribly sketched ideas would turn into something beautiful, applying for funding, and the most difficult of all; getting the City of Saint John to agree to overturn their existing by-laws and deem Mobile Business to be legal within city limits. While I won't bore you with specifics, the entire process took just over 2 years. Remember what I said about support? Had I not reached out to anyone I could find that would listen to me, the doors to the truck would have never opened.
In Pursuit has been a dream come true. It's given me the opportunity to do what I love, become my own boss and realize that it's true what they say, "the things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling." I'm passionate about doing everything a little bit differently, causing a ruckus in a positive way, the fashion industry, making people feel confident and giving back to the local community as much and as often as I can, particularly by reaching out to young entrepreneurs just getting started.
So far, this has been an adventure of a lifetime and there are definitely no stop signs ahead that are going to slow me down any time soon.