My new basement studio has seen a lot of use over the past couple of days. I’ve been working on layering and pouring skills, and I’m still enchanted by the absorbing mindfulness of the chemist component.
This, my friends, is one expensive hobby. I thought the cash drain had come to an end when I set up the studio with everything I could possibly need, but not so. I’ve already had to restock a few canvases and some often-used paint colours. I am counting on the fact that it will become less expensive as I waste less. I scraped several canvases and started over yesterday while learning some new techniques.
Sheila Wright, our Acrylic Pour guru, has mastered the Dutch Pour after several weeks of dedicated effort. This technique produces an abstract blossom a la Georgia O’Keefe and is surrounded by negative space. Not only is a rare breed of blow dryer required, boasting both the proper nozzle and a setting for high air flow with no heat, but Sheila found that she had to upgrade from dollar store paints to get the results she was seeking. A butane torch has been used to bring out the bubbles.
She has also created her largest ocean pour to date on a 16x20 canvas which is “still wet” days after the pour. Check out the gorgeous jewellery she’s made from the paint "skins" left on the tray after the work is done.
Artistic talent is not one of the assets in my arsenal. I had a flirtation with macramé in my hippie days, was seriously devoted to photography for many years and passionate about refinishing furniture, but drawing and painting? Nope. In my book, those skills are right up there with sewing and any other craft requiring long hours of patient sitting and dexterity.
I wasn’t expecting anything life-changing to occur when I joined the Forte Acrylic Pouring workshop with Sheila Wright last month. It was fun, and a great time was had by all, but I didn’t picture myself heading off to the dollar store afterwards to pick up a few bottles of paint and a couple of canvases. Just for fun, you know. Pouring medium and silicone, the expensive components, were also required.
I loved my first home pour. The second had some issues. Four canvases later and armed with a rudimentary understanding of all the things I did wrong, I headed back for more supplies. I bought a greater supply of everything the second time with two visions in mind. There was a large wall in my bathroom that could really use an update. Six or eight small paintings would do it, crafted in the purples, blues and greens of the room’s existing art pieces.
We have a cherished collection of black and white paintings, prints and photographs displayed on both sides of our hall walls. One side needed reconfiguration to accommodate a wonderful caricature by New York artist Eric Jones, recently gifted to guests by the SOS Lounge at their second anniversary celebration. Two small black and white canvases on either side would be perfect. Ten canvases were purchased, along with the paint for two dedicated colour schemes.
Sheila taught us the flip cup, the simplest technique, at the workshop. It calls for layering multiple colours of paint into a cup, upending it and tilting the canvas to manipulate the flow of paint. Messy, but rather a sensual joy as the colours and patterns swirl out. She also taught us the swipe, which is a little more difficult. A layer of paint is pulled over a constructed pattern of paints, which then emerge through the surface in a spectacular reveal.
Creating a successful black and white for the hall was unexpectedly challenging, since the three colours I had chosen (black, white and metallic silver) pretty much blended together to create a sparkly gray with little contrast. Sort of nice, but bland. I started experimenting with direct pouring and with turning a vertical swipe to horizontal to create an entirely new pattern. At this point, I was beginning to see possibilities for greater control of the outcome, and I found myself getting seriously motivated and trying new ideas every day.
I was delighted with some of the pieces I made, but I also experienced countless disasters. Some canvases were scraped and remade, only to be rejected a second time. Back to the stores for another round, and then another. By this time, other walls in my home had come to my attention as potential recipients for new art. My bedroom could use a couple of additions, and the vibrant colour scheme in our basement rooms beckoned with creative appeal.
And so it began. I took to reading up and watching countless technique videos. The artists make all techniques look like a simple process that produces an astounding piece of art. It’s not always like that for a beginner. According to my stack of receipts, I have now made seven trips to the stores, spending increasingly higher amounts of cash each time. Winning entries started to accumulate and be hung temporarily on walls, while the pile of someday-I’ll-sand-and-gesso-those-canvases-to-reuse grew.
I was painting every day, making three or four at a time. Acrylic pouring makes one heck of a mess, so it only makes sense to maximize efficiencies and reuse dirty cups while the paint in them is still good. Sheila invited me for a painting session at her studio and I was wildly inspired, not only by some of her work but by her organized and waste-reducing methods.
The time had come. I had been playing Picasso in my kitchen, early in the morning. We have a long, extra-wide counter and I was able to use the non-kitchen side for two paintings and accommodate a third at the far end. My eating space at the table was claimed. There were paint-spattered gloves, rags and supplies on every other available flat surface. Paintings were drying on trays in out-of-the-way spots on the floor. The mess and clutter were horrendous.
My project for this past weekend was to set up a studio in my basement, which is also home to my workout studio, laundry room and guest room. Fortuitously, we added kitchen cabinetry and a counter to the area opposite our laundry facilities last year, so the space is perfect and has a sink. I made my first painting there on Friday night.
The current plan calls for one more 10x10 for the bathroom wall, two large paintings for over the bed in the guest room and a couple of challenging visions in the riotous colours of the existing art in my fitness studio. After that, who knows?
Creating art, whether good or bad, is a beautiful thing that stirs the soul. Acrylic pouring has an absorbing in-the-zone chemist aspect to it as paint colours are selected and mixed in tiny little cups. I have been loving it. And, at the risk of sounding pseudo profound, the flowing abstraction of this art form in its completed state often brings order to chaos as the mind processes analogies to what the eye sees. I've seen storms, battles, attacking armies, undersea tranquility, flowing water, trees, flowers, creatures and animals in these paintings. Really. Animals.
The Warkworth Lilac Festival was little more than a vision when Janice Allen became Honourary Chair of the Festival Committee in 2009. The Committee's vision has bloomed into one of Trent Hills' most beloved events, and the Village of Warkworth is gearing up for the opening weekend of the ninth annual celebration of all things lilac on May 25 and 26.
The Millennium Lilac Trail, the original Festival site, now boasts over 300 plantings of 83 varieties of the fragrant spring bloom including many rare varieties. Thanks to a blend of early, mid and late-blooming species, the Trail provides an ever-changing tapestry of colour for 30 to 40 days. It’s not just about the flowers, however. It takes a village, they say, and the Village of Warkworth comes together every year to roll out an activity-packed opening weekend that celebrates music, art, dance, food, fun and local business.
“It was good for the businesses, bringing the festival to Main Street,” Janice says. “The challenge was to balance the happenings in town with activities along the Millennium Trail to make sure that visitors enjoyed the full experience.” The Festival is a major tourist draw, bringing countless guests to Trent Hills and offering a favourite destination for bus tour groups from throughout the province.
A new section of trail opened this year, extending the scenic, scented route to just under 3 km. As well as the immersive splendour of the lilacs themselves, the journey on Festival weekend offers plenty of discovery with live music, dancers and a Crafters' Market of artisan vendors situated along the path. The trail is easily navigable for those with physical challenges and guided tours are available by appointment.
One of the Festival’s most popular highlights, the Victorian Tea, takes place in the gazebo on the trail. “I met a lady on Main Street last year,” Janice remembers. “She was beautifully dressed and had a gorgeous purple hat. She told me she came all the way from Ottawa to attend our tea!” This year’s theme is the Roaring Twenties. Coordinated by Ellie Tweedie, elegant sandwiches and treats are served with tea or punch in bone china teacups by Warkworth Guiding. Guests are encouraged to dress for the occasion in vintage hats, gloves, pearls and boas. Some hats and gloves will be available for loan at the Tea party should anyone be caught unprepared.
Warkworth’s Main Street is a veritable hub with activities planned non-stop from opening to closing daily. As well as live music at The Mews, the thoroughfare showcases local crafters, artisans and horticultural vendors along with live demonstrations from rug hooking to bellydancing. The festivities include an annual photography show with entries competing for prizes sponsored by local businesses and organizations. This year’s photo gallery will be hosted by Centre & Main Chocolate, which will once again be offering a celebratory spring lilac chocolate bar to mark the occasion. The pretty delectable was a hit with Festival guests last year.
Art Around Ah! at the Arts and Heritage Centre is also a major draw, featuring the work of local artists in various mediums. Children’s activities include crafts, cupcake decorating and facepainting. The Blades of Glory medieval entertainment/education company from The Realm in Hastings will be appearing at the Festival for the first time this year with a live reenactment of the tale of King Arthur and the Sword In The Stone. Kids will have an opportunity to vie for the crown and do their best to free the sword.
The Touch of Lilac floral design competition is always a winner, Janice says, both for the participants who create the flower arrangements and for the observers who have a chance to enjoy them on the porch of the Cheeky Bee Candle Company storefront.
The first day’s celebrations come to an end with the signature Jazz in the Lilac Room performance at the Warkworth Town Hall Centre for the Arts on Saturday night. “The room always looks just beautiful,” Janice says. “It’s all decorated and they set it up to look like a French nightclub”. This year’s performance is another first, the premiere outing for the Moonglow Jazz Strings quartet and the “coming together of a dream” for founder Howard Baer. During his 38-year musical career, one of Howard’s “greatest musical pleasures” was to write and conduct full orchestra scores which he “put on hold” in 2010 when he turned to playing upright bass. The Warkworth resident has scored and produced the sold-out performance, featuring Karen Oxorn as vocalist, Allanna Ellison on harp, Michael Monis on guitar and Howard on bass, presenting beloved jazz standards by the likes of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Cole Porter.
Janice is excited at the headliner for this year’s fundraising luncheon as well. We’ve held the luncheon in a tent, and in a garden,” she laughs. “Every year we held it outdoors, we had problems with rain and wind.” Marking its third year at Villa Conti Oak Heights Estate Winery, the venue is now “nice and cosy”, she says. The Mane Event, A Hair Raising Luncheon, features Canadian celebrity and award-winning hair style artist Darek Wierzbicki. The Villa will offer Italian cuisine and wines while Darek shares information on new hair styling techniques and demonstrates a live hair and cosmetic makeover. All proceeds from the luncheon go towards the Lilac Festival and the Millennium Lilac Trail.
The Warkworth Lilac Festival was recognized with the Canada 150 Garden Experience Award in 2017. “We are very proud of that,” Janice says. Commending the “wonderful committee” behind the Festival, she also salutes the “tireless efforts of volunteers, organizations and businesses that contribute their time and support to the success of the Warkworth Lilac Festival and the development and maintenance of the Millennium Lilac Trail.”
Warkworth Lilac Festival on facebook
Warkworth Lilac Festival Victorian Tea on facebook
Guided tours of the Millennium Lilac Trail, email WLFTours@gmail.com
The Incredible Edibles Festival was born in 2013 when a group of friends and community advocates gathered around a farmhouse table to brainstorm ideas about promoting local food producers and tourism in Trent Hills. Convinced that the region’s abundant agricultural offerings combined with the unique talents of local chefs and entrepreneurs could put the municipality on the map as an agri-food destination, the group left their initial meeting armed with a vision, a mission and a plan.
Their defined mission was and is “to provide a free admission festival in downtown Campbellford that offers the opportunity to sample and enjoy the food of local chefs and entrepreneurs, learn about the abundant agricultural offerings of the region, and be entertained by food-related speakers, demonstrations, and live music.” As well as strengthening Trent Hills through a celebration of food, the underlying purpose of the Festival is to “showcase our abundant farmers and food producers, commemorate our agricultural history, and promote sustainability for a healthy future,” reads their website.
The first Festival was an unqualified success. Held on the Saturday of the second weekend in July, Campbellford’s Front Street was closed to traffic and hosted 22 vendors along with workshops, live music and children’s activities. Vendors with unique offerings were sought. “We wanted to create a festival where visitors could sample delicious and unique foods, while learning from experts about things like preserving, cheesemaking and more,” the website explains. The organizers were beyond delighted when over 3,000 people attended the initial event.
The Incredible Edibles Festival is heading into its sixth year in 2019, and it has continued to grow, drawing thousands of residents and tourists alike to enjoy an engaging summer’s day filled with food, fun and festivity in Campbellford. “We are so excited for this year’s Festival,” says Sandy Chapman, Secretary and Treasurer. “We’ve expanded geographically for 2019 and we’ll now have two streets closed off. For the first time this year, we’ll have use of the Clock Tower Building for our first indoor Annual Artisan Vendor market, showcasing the works and wares of local creators. We’re very excited about this as the Clock Tower Building is located truly at the heart of the Festival.”
"The Clock Tower Building is air-conditioned so it’s always a pleasant place to pop into to cool off, if needed," she says. "And now our visitors will be able to see the creations for sale by these incredible artists." This new initiative, Sandy explains, was motivated in part by her recent visit to the Artisan’s Market in Warkworth during the Maple Syrup Festival held in the village. “I was blown away by the quality of the work,” she says.
Incredible Edibles has already become a major local event spanning two days with numerous ancillary add-ons including the Incredible Doctor’s Cook-Off on the Friday night prior, a unique fundraiser for the Campbellford Memorial Hospital in which local physicians are paired with chefs to create mouth-watering fare in a friendly competition atmosphere.
Since 2015, Incredible Edibles has also offered a full-day Farm Life Experience Tour on the day prior to the Festival. The guided bus tour escorts visitors to dairy, livestock and produce farm operations for hands-on experiences, provides a farm-fresh lunch and ends with the experience of a livestock auction at the Sales Barn in Hoard’s Station.
The 2018 Festival culminated in a street dance hosted by The Rotary Club in celebration of its 90th anniversary in Campbellford, another unqualified success as attendees danced under the stars to the rock and roll sounds of local favourite Freddy Vette and the Flames.
This year’s Festival will host over 40 vendors showcasing their unique products. Workshops and lectures are offered throughout the day in the agricultural tent as well as all-day cooking demonstrations on the main stage. Little ones can enjoy crafts and food prep activities in the children’s tent. To top it off, live music and entertainment are featured all day in the beer tent along with specialties from local craft breweries and cideries.
“We have a big team behind the Festival now,” says Sandy. As well as the accomplished five-member Board of Directors led by Chair Amanda Solmes, the facilitators now include 15 other volunteers who lend their expertise to various elements of planning and execution, from coordinating entertainment and cooking demos to social media and print media marketing.
Incredible Edibles has been generously sponsored by many stalwart corporate citizens as well as service organizations, united in the goal of drawing tourism to Campbellford. “Our hope was that the Festival would bring visitors to town, boost the economy and expand awareness about the unique and relevant things we’re doing,” says the Festival website. “An event like this was also bound to help other sectors as well, stores in town, accommodations, restaurants etc. Our hope was that it would be a win-win for everyone.”
The Festival is also supported by its own fundraising efforts, most recently its third annual Dinner and a Movie event at Campbellford’s Aron Theatre in February. Featuring a meal catered by local chef Adam Low and a screening of the academy award-winning musical Chicago, the full-house event proved to be an enjoyable evening with guests donning the garb of the roaring 20’s to celebrate the theme.
"We are so proud and excited by everyone’s acceptance and support of the little idea started by five moms," Sandy smiles. "From a little seed, something magnificent grew." Mark your calendars for July 13th and remember, "if you eat, you're in!"
Incredible Edibles Festival, website www.incredibleediblesfestival.com
Incredible Edibles on Facebook
Farm Life Experience Tour tickets are available online at www.incredibleediblesfestival.com
or in person at Campbellford shops Philosophy and The Dizzy Goose
Tickets are $45 for adults, $25 for children under 12 and $100 for a family of four
For Pam Vorkapic, it was love at first sight. It didn’t matter that her realtor labelled her 17-acre property choice a “monster”, or that the home had a broken furnace and a basement full of water. “We fell in love with the river and the space,” she says. Love at first sight is a recurring theme in this woman’s life. She met her husband, Tom, when she was 10 years old, and they started dating when she was 15. “We are childhood sweethearts that have lived, laughed, and loved our way through life,” she says.
The couple bought their first home in Bewdley a few years after they started dating, and subsequently moved to their Warkworth property in 1999. They embarked on extensive renovations and family life with their two young daughters, aged five and one at the time. Pam found the village welcoming from the very beginning. “It’s a fantastic place to raise kids,” she says, “I love the community here.”
At that time, the property next door was nothing more than an appealing view with its river frontage and in-ground pool. The cottage was owned by a couple in their 80’s who, along with their three grown children, had many fond memories of family times there. They were reluctant to put it on the market even though it was rarely used in later years.
Pam's husband Tom did some maintenance work for the owners in his spare time and they both “developed a fondness” for the place. Although it took several years for the stars to align, the couple were eventually able to purchase the property adjacent to their home in early 2017. “We really didn’t know what we were doing,” Pam laughs.
Both husband and wife work full time. Tom is an ironworker, what Pam calls a “boom and bust life”, and she is a law clerk, employed by the same Cobourg firm since 1991. They had no fall-back plan when they decided to renovate their new purchase into a retreat, nor were they sure that there would be a market for such a thing. “We purchased Evergreen Valley Retreat in February 2017 and immediately did a complete renovation to make it a cozy and welcome place for our guests to kick back, relax and get back to nature. We hope you love it as much as we do!” reads their website.
The Retreat opened its doors in June 2017 after a complete make-over. Pam says she developed a social media presence prior to their opening by posting construction updates, establishing rapport and credibility with potential clients. The facility offers an airy open concept cottage with three double bedrooms, bath and a Bunkie which accommodates two more guests. As well as a wonderful view of the river and its wildlife, the 20-acre property offers guests a 40-foot salt water pool, a hot tub, kayaks and bicycles as well as innumerable homey touches and absolute privacy.
“The people have been amazing,” Pam says. “We had bookings right away and we’re seeing lots of repeat guests.” The retreat has hosted family vacations, women's weekends and couple's romantic getaways as well as writers and artists seeking solitude.
Living next door is convenient for the host and hostess, although they remain as unobtrusive as possible unless their attention is needed to address a client need. They leave a welcome package along with maps and brochures detailing local attractions and events. The entry offers a signature Welcome Wall on which guests can write their names and impressions, a feature that has proven to be very popular with clients of all ages.
Evergreen Valley Retreat website, www.evergreenvalleyretreat.com
Evergreen Valley Retreat on Facebook
After four months on the job, Rachel Whitton is feeling pretty comfortable with her position as Manager of the Campbellford District Racquet and Curling Club (CDCRC). She took the reins in December after job shadowing for a month with retiring Manager Eunice Stapley, who held the position for 13 years.
“The job is really cool,” says Rachel with a smile. “I’m learning a lot.” When the job posting first appeared, she wasn’t at all sure that she wanted to apply despite a long-standing relationship with the club. She had just returned to her home town of Campbellford after a one-year post-education sabbatical in New Zealand and was, at the time, just “crashing at a friend’s place”. She purchased a home in Campbellford after deciding that the time was right to make a big commitment.
Rachel began curling in grade 7, largely motivated by the fact that curling was one of the few activities that her very active sister was not engaged in. The youth curling program was huge in those days, she says, and there was endless opportunity to play. She and her team-mates, skip Katherine Nicholas, Tess Brown and Holly Curle, have played together on and off over the years, bringing in substitute players as required to fill in when one of them was out of the area to attend school. They’ve played together in provincial championships and are still a team to this day.
Despite her youth, Rachel already has an interesting Resume to her credit. A “joiner” from an early age, she served on Student Council and the Youth Advisory Committee at her school. She took some culinary arts courses at George Brown College and subsequently completed a diploma in Hotel & Restaurant Management at Algonquin College in Ottawa. She completed her placement at the high-end Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper, Alberta, where she found the exposure to management of a five-star facility to be invaluable. Rachel had previously worked on her baking apprenticeship at Campbellford’s Dooher’s Bakery, where she was employed “forever” in her younger days, taking on progressively more responsible roles.
The year she spent in New Zealand was memorable. She and a friend embarked on the adventure after completing their schooling and settled in Milford Sound, a rain forest location within Fiordland National Park on South Island. Often named one of the world’s top travel destinations due to its breathtaking scenery, Milford Sound was dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world” by Rudyard Kipling. The nearest town was more than two hours away by car, she remembers, and the closest urban centre, Queenstown, a five hour drive. Rachel worked as a cook on a 10-day on, 4-day off schedule which allowed the friends to travel and experience the country on their extended weekends. “We met the coolest people from all over the world,” she says. To round out that experience, they moved on to the north end of the continent where they lived in tents for months and picked kiwi fruit for a living.
In her role as Manager, Rachel reports to two boards. The non-profit CDCRC owns the building, she explains, and the Meyers Sports Board rents the facility and oversees the curling schedule and other activities held there. “There is so much expertise on the boards,” Rachel says. “They know what’s already been done, what works well and what doesn’t.”
Rachel had no intention of coming to her new desk with grand notions of changing the operation to make her mark. There was no need for that, she explains, since the club runs well. She is looking forward to experiencing all seasons in her role to complete her understanding of operations.
Her primary goals include increasing revenues through rentals in all seasons. The lounge and off-season arena areas are ideal for both large and small gatherings. Rachel is excited about hosting a gala Wedding Show in September 2019, but other small-scale initiatives have recently taken hold as well. A new hourly rental rate has been established to allow smaller events, like birthday or anniversary parties, to rent the Lounge for a few hours rather than a full day. Wine glasses and dishes are now available for rent as well, a service most recently employed by the Incredible Edibles Annual Movie Night & Dinner Fundraiser at the Aron Theatre in February.
The club boasts over 400 members, Rachel says. Citing no need for membership drives, her focus is on membership retention and to ensure that the members are happy with the experiences and facilities available to them. Restoration of the club’s squash courts has recently been completed thanks to a Trillium Foundation grant.
Class offerings have grown in recent years and are open to the public for a drop-in fee as well as to members who attend as part of their membership fee. The club offers popular Kettlebell, Yoga and Boot Camp programs, and a Trillium grant last year allowed the CDCRC to purchase five Spin bikes which have proven to be an excellent addition to their roster. Rachel is excited about the club’s newest offering, a Meditation Class with Spiritual Teacher Tineke Smit. The seven-week program will focus on one of the seven chakras, or energy centres, each week.
Rachel is serving as a Director on the Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce board this year for the first time, taking office in March of this year. “I’ve always followed the Chamber,’ she says. “I like to be involved.”
Campbellford District Racquet and Curling Club on Facebook
"Dot Painting is art as therapy," says Campbellford artist Krista Moreton. "You almost go into a trance when you get absorbed in dotting."
Krista has been developing her skills for some time now and has turned her attention to increasingly complex projects. She began with mandala patterns on rocks but soon found that canvas afforded her greater freedom and creativity with the art form.
Dot painting, also known as Pointillism, is a simple process for the beginner. A hand-drawn or stencilled pattern is etched onto prepared canvas and the hypnotizing dots are applied with varying sizes of brushes or “dotters”.
Acrylic paints are used which can be purchased affordably in a great range of colours, and even mixed together for more colour options. Some metallic and glitter paints for special accents like jewellery cost a bit more, Krista says.
Although it is engaging work, Forte's recent workshop with Krista proves that it can also be a great project to enjoy while chatting with a friend, at least in the learning stages.
Dot painting lends itself to any subject or genre, and is limited only by the imagination of the artist.
Krista finds that faces are the most challenging works she's undertaken so far due to the amount of detail required to create a recognizable likeness through shading, shadow and features. "It's not something you do at one sitting," she says. "Simple pieces can be completed in a couple of hours, but more complex works can take 40 hours or more."
Krista displays her work at local craft and Christmas markets from time to time, and some pieces are available for purchase through her social media page. Prices are based on the complexity of the work and the hours required to complete the project.
If you'd rather try your hand at this entrancing art form than buy a finished piece, stay tuned for another Forte workshop with Krista in the not-too-distant future!
Is retirement really the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? It sure sounds good when you’re so busy juggling the demands of family, household and career that you have little time left over for anything else.
The reality often turns out to be something quite different. Retirement is a major lifestyle change, not a never-ending vacation. We live with routines all of our lives. Suddenly, we have none. We have more available hours than we ever dreamed of, and they have neither structure nor obligation. We move on from the family and careers that gave us challenge, social interaction and purpose, only to find that every day is a blank slate that offers us nothing but what we create for ourselves.
Retirement can be a major source of stress. Even if we are financially comfortable and blessed with good health, we can lose our identities, our motivation, our confidence in ourselves and our belief that we play an important role in society. We have no choice but to take a realistic look at our age and what the coming years may hold. All the minutiae that we once had to juggle into spaces between our obligations are now the only items on our to-do list, and chances are that they’re not our favourite things. The dreams we could never find time for, like learning a second language, playing an instrument, trying our hand at painting or writing a novel, may seem unimportant if we’re overwhelmed with feelings of depression, boredom, loneliness and isolation.
Financial planning is essential to retiring successfully, but so is life planning. How will you live? Who will you be? What will you do with your time? Experts agree that these questions need to be addressed before retirement. The goal is to figure out what will truly satisfy you and allow you to grow in this chapter of your life. Start a small business? Relocate? Reignite your spousal relationship? Develop new social connections within the community? What will motivate you to get out of bed every morning?
Aside from money and health, psychologists agree that there are a few foundational necessities for a happy retired life. Health, fitness and nutrition are important, and retirement offers the time to focus on them like never before. Social interaction is crucial, as is having purpose and gratitude. Friends, family and the changing parameters of the spousal relationship are high on the list, while community involvement and volunteering benefit the retired giver as much as they do the grateful recipients.
Perhaps you haven't yet figured out what that long-burdened inner you really needs. If that's you, an upcoming Forte workshop with Cathy Ginsberg will help you assess your inner aptitudes and interests. Cathy shares great insight and helps you plan the route to reach your goals. The founder of People Focus Training in Trent Hills, she brings over 20 years of experience in business, team-building and leadership to our community. The event will be posted shortly.
Christine shares her successful experience in the industry and addresses work ethic, passive income and leveraging time as well as the stigma surrounding multi-level marketing as a profession.
Christine Althouse on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/christinealthouse/
Related Forte Stories
MLM Experience, Cassidy Cathmoir
Could Home-Based Selling Work for you?
Christine Althouse, WomanSpeak in Campbellford
Feature, Cassidy Cathmoir & Christine Althouse, October 2018
Since that time, Cassidy has found her niche in the Youngevity world. She has always loved cosmetics but had given many of them up, either due to unfortunate skin effects or the length of time it took to apply them. It's no hindrance that her face is an ideal canvas for make-up, but she also has a broad social network of like-minded women who are interested in maximizing their beauty with clean products. It’s a great fit.
Cassidy believes that Youngevity products are unique in the marketplace and offer great value. The foundation, she explains, is made from five pure minerals in powder form and mixed with water for use. Most competitors contain more additives and chemicals, and some top brands have a long list of laboratory-sounding ingredients. “It only takes 26 seconds to absorb something into the skin,” she says.
One of the unique services offered by Youngevity cosmetics is a sample tower of foundation powders that purchasers can experiment with to develop their perfect shade. It can then be custom made for them. A nominal fee is charged for the tower which is applied to the purchase price of the first order.
“Less is more” when it comes to Youngevity cometics, Cassidy says. It lasts longer because less is used, and she finds that her application time is reduced as well. She has noted improvement in her complexion since she began using the products.
She has clearly absorbed the business and speaks knowledgeably about competitors’ pricing. Some of the priciest, best-known brands carry the largest loads of additives. Cassidy also enjoys Youngevity’s organic, fair trade coffee and uses their cleaning products throughout her home.
She was “hesitant” at first to embark on a direct sales venture. As well as a full-time job as a Graphic Designer at BMR in Campbellford, Cassidy founded her own business in 2017. Cassidy Cathmoir Photography & Design kept her busy as she progressed through photography, merchandise and apparel. Her business has now become more digital, with greater focus on logos, business cards and other branding tools.
She has progressed three levels since joining Youngevity in October. Each level of Associate is assigned a Qualifying Value (QV), which equates to a points system requiring purchase of the company’s products to maintain their status. Level Three, Sales Associate, has a QV of 150. There is a 300 ceiling on this obligation.
Cassidy has easily addressed this by “swapping where you shop”. She buys products she would have had to purchase anyway through Youngevity, and finds that she prefers them.
Clients order directly from Youngevity under Cassidy’s flag, and she receives commission on her sales. Should she recruit a team, she will earn commission on their sales as well. Associates receive incentives and perks regularly. Cassidy applauds the Wallach family, the founders and current leaders of Youngevity, for interaction and engagement with their representatives. “The people at the top are really involved,” she says.
Overcoming bias against multi-level marketing companies has been an issue. “People see it as the person at the top makes all the money,” she explains. “But that’s not the way it is. Everybody’s making money along the way. It’s like any business. The President is going to make the most money.”
Despite having an industry giant at its core, every representative runs their own small business, Cassidy says. Supporting associates of multi-level marketing companies supports local entrepreneurs, independence and families.
Facebook, Energize Your Life Youngevity
Cassidy Cathmoir Photography & Design
Forte feature, Cassidy Cathmoir & Christine Althouse, October 2018
Forte blog, Could Home-Based Selling Work for You?