As I settle, very appreciatively, into my more relaxed retirement lifestyle, I have had time and head-space to think about how I want to spend my time in this chapter of my life. I know that I want to use my knowledge and my love of the natural environment as inspiration for new ventures. I have reflected on what is important to me and have found clarity about why I am choosing this path. I love a challenge and pursuing artistic interests is a new and challenging endeavour for me, as is starting a business. I love taking photographs of beautiful scenes and sharing them with others. I also know that I love the peace and tranquility of painting in a studio with fellow artists. I enjoy talking to people and appreciating their perspectives and experiences. These new pursuits also offer flexibility, with time to enjoy family and friends, as well as travel.
I started painting classes shortly after retirement. Thanks to Terra Simieritsch for introducing me to watercolour painting, and to Teresa Grasby for working with me over the last year to advance my painting skills. Mid 2019, I saw a post from a former colleague, Karen Hughes-Field, that reminded me about her business, The Way of the Wildflower. She mentors women entrepreneurs at various stages of their business lives. I contacted her and we started meeting monthly to explore business ideas and map a path forward. I began the hard work of creating the components needed to start my business: creating a vision, a business mission statement, an artist’s statement, and thinking about a potential product line. And so, with encouragement from my family, friends, and with my daughter, Alyssa Gerling’s, marketing expertise, “Sprig of Heather Artistry”, is born!