BLOG 28 – What you Focus on Grows

AEFBBANNER18 - airdrie exchange
I’m not going to showcase a business in this blog because I have a sense of urgency to shine a light on what we as a community can do to help our small local businesses make it through to the other side of this economic slump. Recently we have seen a couple businesses announce that they are closing thier doors for good and the community appeared distraught by the news. Two months ago it was First & Vine, last month it was Peppercorns both independent, well loved restaurants. This month Cody Party shut their retail location to switch to a different business model for their party rental portion of business, why is this happening? I know a lot of people are speculating, and based on the provicial election, pointing fingers. I’m of a different opinion. It’s about us, the community of Airdrie. Remember when High River flooded, Fort MacMurray had their fire and the Humboldt bus accident? Do you recall how we all came together to take care of others in need? This actually shows we are capable of being a highly connected community. So what happens in between crisis? It’s like we operate under extremes only, peaks and valleys. What if we could figure out a way to moderate the ride so we don’t go into a deep valley that may play into a sense of guilt and overcompensation in creating our gloriously huge mountains of goodwill? What if we could create a healthier baseline of engagement? In moments of crisis would we be better or worse as a community to take on making things happen with this approach? I don’t have the answer but in every model of instability we see peaks and valleys showing wild swings of action vs inaction. If we engage enough to lessen the valleys would it also diminish the peaks or would we see unprecedented peaks? These are questions that make challenging status quo in this area worth exploring in my opinion. A connected community can change the world, what you think a community is may need to be challenged for you to see how true this is. I was talking to a couple organizations looking for volunteers for events, festivals, daily operations and what we all recognized is until a threat of cancellation or loss is communicated there is no engagement. Based on the responce from the community at that point we realize a crisis was needed for hands to go up. What can the organizations do? We’re going to start with if we can create a hub for the community to get connected through, maybe just maybe we might change the world as we know it.

BLOG 27 – Jessica Mitchell of PurClean

I connected with Jessica on a business thread on Facebook where we were exploring collaborations and contra. Jessica and I ended us agreeing to trade 10 hrs of cleaning for an annual listing. I was warned that these trades rarely go well, I’m happy to report it has been fantastic. My home is sparkling even when I have been working non stop it feels like at times. Jessica has been housecleaning for 4 years and 1.5 years ago she made the decision to incorporate so she could hire and accomodate the growth of clients rather than turn them away, and PurClean became her baby, only to compete with her other three children 9, 2 and 10 months old. Jessica explained that she doesn’t consider her business house cleaning, it’s more house detailing. She likes that herself and her team look to do the things we typically don’t get done. They take on all the details as best they can on the first visit so the maintenance go forward is easier on their end as well. This means, cleaning not just dusting the baseboards, cupboards and cleaning out the window tracks. They also consider the health of your home as well as the cleanliness. They use chemical-free cleaning products (they actually make their products!?) so pets, kids are safe, although Jessica said the one exception is toilet bowl cleaner, she can’t find anything that works as good as the product they are using currently, and they are cognitive in their process to ensure the bowls are flushed immediately.
Raise your hand if you suck as cleaning… only me? I’ve always said I have no ambition to be a better housecleaner, it’s not my talent so I’d rather be in the position to get someone that is good at it, to do my house. I am so glad to have had the opportunity for this contra exchange as it helped me see there is nothing wrong with focusing on what you are good at.
Jessica explained to me that she was in an accident on the Coquihalla by Merritt, BC in a rollover with all her kids in the car 9 months ago, do the math and that means her youngest was 1 month old. My stomach got ill instantly at the thought. It resulted in only Jessica being seriously injured and so severely, the doctors thought they were going to have to amputate her foot. She had broke both legs and her foot and ankle were so mangled it’s a miracle she is now walking. They ended up reconstructing the foot with some heavy hardware but it’s her foot and she’s walking so she is grateful! Here’s what she taught me in our chat. Because of how great her employees are, she not only was financially taken care of as the business continued with out her, her business actually grew while she was healing! Isn’t that amazing!? I think we hear too often of the lazy or entitled but this restores my faith in humanity. Employees that took on more and made things work while their boss and quite evidently friend, was in need. Oh yeah so back to what she taught me is, it’s all about the people and remembering people are humans, imperfect and good. Check our PurClean to see what a house detailing looks like!

BLOG 26 – Rian & Harley of Ascension Float

Let me preface before I ever went for a float at Ascension, I just happen to see a Free Float certificate at almost every charity event, draw or in a basket being raffled off for a good cause, like the most recent Airdrie Family Eye Care fundraiser for Evie a local young girl fighting a rare form of cancer. I actually walked through their doors 3 weeks ago on a free float certificate I won at the Project Jack and Jill event last fall. Rian was the one to greet me at the door and as I soon learned her was working 14 hr days 6 days a week because Harley was working up north to keep their business a float… Me blissfully unaware of the suffering, immensely enjoyed my float. I was relaxed and injected with so much creativity that I worked in their chill out room for a good hour. I did chat with Rian and he alluded to the rather bleak outlook for their business. I offered our 30 day free trial offer to get them in the directory, as I have to dedicate my time to businesses in the directory. We parted ways and I didn’t see his listing come through two days later. That day happened to be the evening that First & Vine announced they were closing their doors. I saw the people on Facebook saddened by this and I was struck with a pang of guilt. Why hadn’t I approached them, what if I could have helped? So I immediately messaged Rian and told him to get Ascension in the directory and that I wanted to help if there was any way I could help him avoid closing his doors. He did that night, I came in the next morning and we talked more extensively as I really tried to get a grasp as to whether there was anything that could be done at this point. Together we saw that if the community rallied for a good three months there was totally a chance. So we walked over to his community wall and started an impromptu video. What we posted on our Facebook page for Airdrie Exchange was the first and only take. I posted in the parking lot before I left and shared to 2 groups and went grocery shopping quickly before heading home to work on the Friday Top Ten Events Video. Before I made it home the video had started to garner some attention and it was shared 5 times within the first hour at like 1130am. The rest is essentially history. This video was shared 270 times and had 31.2k reach with 13.5k video plays and 8k engagement. I was totally blown away with the community response to Rian’s wholehearted, lay it all on the table, ballsy video. That responce was a testimony to Rian and Harley’s community involvement.
I went back one week later to get the update as to what the video translated into for them on their bottom line and lets just say we were both blown away. The online sales doubled, the online bookings were filling up complete days for the next two weeks and the emails from people looking to help and collaborate were coming in a constant stream. That is a community that answers the rally cry for help an I am so proud of Airdrie and area. While I was there a family from Crossfield bought a birthday gift three float package and then bought themselves a float package. Wow, just wow. I have asked to be able to get another update at 3 months and Rian agreed so stay tuned. In the meantime what are you waiting for, get out there and try a floating with Ascension Float!

BLOG 23 Bobbie Cochrane of Bobbie Cochrane Counselling and Coaching

In speaking to Bobbie I could see how she puts people at ease, because she is warm and friendly. Interesting connection is that Bobbie is married to Rob of Cadco Rentals who is also in the directory. She reached out to Airdrie Exchange because she made her video coaching series free and she wanted her community to have access to this resource. There are no strings attached, she genuinely wants all to have access to tools and resources, because it takes doing the work included not just watching videos. Bobbie has been counseling and coaching adults and teen since 2009, and recently has been working heavily with businesses for workplace coaching for executives and teams. There is no shame in needing help and Bobbie Cochrane Counseling and Coaching offers privacy and comfort within her home practice for you to receive professional care or she can come to you for workplace assessments or lunch and learns. Did we mention she is also a published author with her book “Why Does This Keep Happening?”, check her website out for links to purchase as well as the free video series . Bobbie is trained in EMDR, hypnotherapy to help people work through trauma, depression and anxiety. Please don’t suffer, if you need help reach out. If you are ready to take your life by the… horns, give Bobbie a call as well so with her coaching you don’t get sidelined by life, she can help you step into the most powerful version of yourself.

Blog 24 Karen & Mark of Dang Good Carpet Cleaning

I’ve only spoke to Karen of this couple powerhouse and yet everyone I talk to has only met Mark. Karen is the behind the scenes, admin and marketing while Mark is who you see coming to your house as he is the physical aspect of their business. Although Mark and Karen reside in NW Calgary and their equipement is in NE Calgary, 50% of their business is conducted in Airdrie. Their focus on offering impeccable service and cleaning has resulted in a loyal word of mouth foundation here. Isn’t that what every business would love!? Yet so many business in their industry are not in their integrity with how they run their operation. This is my observation not Karen’s and as a true stand up entrepreneur her and Mark only focus on what they do and it shows.

Dang Good Carpet Cleaning does furnace, carpet and upholstery and coming soon this year 2019… window washing. They have been in operation since April 2016, so three years coming up real quick. They just came home with the HomeStars 2019 Best of awards for their business so they are doing a great job. There are 4 employees now and come summer with the addition of window washing they anticipate hiring two more. When I asked Karen about their community involvement she was almost apologetic as she seemed to think that their involvement with the local church was not enough? Based on the current economic landscape, their very valid focus has been to ensure their employees are taken care of. That is the sentiment of a true leader. Community involvement isn’t always about supporting events or non profits, its making sure your people are secure so their families are stable and cared for. Community involvement must always be within your means and should never threathen your sustainability. Saying no now so you can give a meaningful yes down the road is something I identify with and support for new businesses. I love that Dang Good Carpet Cleaning came on board with our directory because it challenges you to reconsider what support local means. It’s not about where you live, it’s about how much you care for those you serve. Their excellent reputation and growth through word of mouth is testimony to that.

BLOG 22 Kim Greenzinan of WFG (World Financial Group)

You may know Kim from all his years of involvement in our community with his work on the Parades and Firework Committee as the volunteer coordinator as well as the DeMolay Youth group where Kim recently ensured were all well fed on their last weekend camping event. Or you may see him when the Wildrose Shrine Club puts on their Santa pics at Walmart to benefit the Children’s hospital. Kim and his wife also are involved with helping the city with their urban beekeeping project with tours to their personal hives, as they own Bee Wize(also found in the directory) selling bee products and equipment for beekeeping. Kim has been licensed in the financial industry just over two years and he describes the immense satisfaction he gets from seeing young families getting clarity though the education and awareness he provides on how money works. Helping families see a future with their finances is very fulfilling to Kim. If you want to learn about your own personal finances check Kim Greenizan’s WFG listing

BLOG 21 – Edna Jackson with Tails to Tell

Edna standing with the van purchased from the donation from 100 Men Who Give a Damn, December 2018
If you have ever met or spoke to Edna you will understand why Tails to Tell is an Airdrie non profit sweetheart. Airdrie an area is compelled to help and volunteer with Tails to Tell because the dedication of Edna is inspiring. In case you are not aware of what Tails to tell is, it’s a no-kill cat rescue shelter run 100% by donation and volunteers. This little operation that creates such huge impact is a story that needs to be told.
Edna owned Critter Pet’s Supply Shop, she started Tails to Tell, July 12th, 2010 and they rescued cats and dogs. In 2012 Edna made the decision, she closed her pet supply store and went to rescuing strickly cats to simplify the space available for the greatest impact. When Edna went over the financial obligations they need to meet every month and the fact that they are a 100% donation and volunteer run organization I was blown away. Who here could fathom raising $16k a month? I certainly can’t. I’ve been on a team that raised that in 6 months for a local festival and that was a concerted effort of a team and engagement from our local businesses. Edna ensured the rent for location is paid every month through her personal pension. If that doesn’t get you in the feels, you may need to hold a mirror under your nose and see if you’re breathing… The food, litter and vet needs of the felines is 7-12k! In order to promote responsible pet ownership Tails to Tell ensures all of their animals are spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated, tattooed and microchipped before they leave their shelter. Edna said there is typically more month than money left each month.
When we spoke in relation to my favourite question, If the world was your oyster what would you like to see happen with your organization? Edna expressed her desire to bring the rescue operations to be housed in Airdrie as 70% of her volunteers are from Airdrie. The current needs of Tails to Tell that Edna is scrambling to make happen is source a reliable set of washer and dryer to have on site as they launder more than you can imagine. They also have a $1600 annual renewal of their insurance coming up that is causing organization to sweat.
I was privy to a rescue of a sweet cat that was spotted in the construction site on Sierra Springs where the Montana’s just opened during the cold and dark of last winter. An injured cat was spotted and volunteers showed up with flashlights and fanned out on site. Theycaught the attention of the construction crew and with all hands on deck they found poor little Ronin with a broken hind leg suffering in the dark cold. Ronin has since healed and been rehomed. On that note Edna humbly advised that almost 4000 cats have been rehomed over the last 9 years through Tails to Tell! When I asked what she would say if she had an audience that was listening, without hesitation Edna pleaded that people would spay and neuter their cats. Cats would not be suffering to the extent Edna has witnessed if owners were responsible and got their pets fixed. I wholeheartedly agree with Edna and recognize that many owners love their cats unquestionably and yet don’t see the neutering or spaying of cat as a big a priority. Through education and consistent messaging from Edna and her army of 40 volunteers, they hope to change this for Airdrie and area. Volunteering with the organization is always welcomed and great for all ages. Jessi A has her two young daughters there every month to put in some volunteer hours and instill the habit of contributing to their community. Parenting done right in my eyes! Check Tails To Tell‘s listing if you can see anyway to help through your time, energy or donation, or you just want to see cute cat pictures!
Obligatory Cute Cat Pic

BLOG 20 – Moudie(son) and Radwan(father) Baroud of Moody’s Mediterranean

If you have ever visited Moody’s Mediterranean in the Cooperstown Promenade, you may recognize the owners. They were the original owners of the franchise Opa in town, which they sold to pursue this original family owned restaurant. They decided they needed the flexibility to bring the flavour and variety that inspires the mediterranean cuisine with such delectable plates from Greece, Italy, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Morocco and many more.
The Baroud family planted their roots in Airdrie in 2001 with their larger than average family, 7 kids. I almost fell off my chair when they told me this as I have the utmost respect for parents raising large families. Radwan went on to explain his medical background and I can see so much desire to contribute to the betterment of his community, we had a great conversation. Moudie is one of the four boys and he graduated from George Mac in ’06 and continued on to university to major in Business Management and minor in Marketing. It is easy to see based on the social media and branding that Moudie is knowledgeble and excels because of his keen eye for detail with marketing. You’ll see a beautiful patio that is waiting for the warmth of spring to welcome us to enjoy, only a couple more months. I’m personally so done with winter at this moment. Moudie explained an absolutely brilliant collaboration occuring between Moody’s Mediterranean and the pub soon opening across the parking lot Balzac Brewery. I can’t wait to see this come alive, so stay tuned for that update.
Let’s talk about the food and the experience Moody’s Mediterranean is all about. First of all I met with Moudie before the restaurant opened one morning and the open kitchen was immaculate. I absolutely loved seeing this and with an open kitchen you are able to watch your meal being made right before you so it’s quite reassuring when cleanliness is priority. As my family enjoyed our meals one evening Radwan came over to introduce himself and offer some free Balklava and turkish coffee. I’m a huge fan of cardamon so it was amazing! We felt like guests not customers and the food was a creation of love not a stagnant menu item. Watch his social media he is constantly introducing a new item or a special based on a plate he wants to create for our enjoyment. Fresh, healthy and affordable is now possible with Moody’s Mediterranean in town. Check them out, your stomach will thank you.
Logo - Moody's Mediterranean


BLOG 19- Theresa Bowker of Best of Health

I met Theresa last year at an AWBA meeting where she explained BOWEN technique. It’s relatively new to Canada, as it was brought here from Australia 15 years ago. Theresa has 20 years experience as an RMT(registered massage therapist) and added BOWEN to her repertoir 7 years ago. Her motivation to bring this therapy to everyone is a great story. Knowing what Theresa knows now and applying it to her life events, everything makes so much sense.
While Theresa was a young child in grade 2 she experienced being dropped by her good friend from the full height of the teeter-totter when the bell rang to notify them recess was over. She was sore for days but recovered without much incident, however within a month of this she experience the onset of a lifetime of pain and discomfort of debillitating migrains and sciatica. She manoevered her life with an almost constant 8 out of 10 for pain and saw some temperary relief from receiving massage therapy, which was her first reason to see others dealing with pain to get any relief she could provide them. Eight years ago she herself went through BOWEN therapy and for the first time ever she achieved a constant 1 out of 10. This was life altering and obviously why she obtained the training to provide relief for others. She not only does this through her home practice she also employs many others to bring this therapy into senior living centres in over 10 other cities and towns. As I write this I have just completed three sessions with Theresa last Friday and I highly recommend. This is a therapy you can claim through your insurance under massage, though the experience of the Bowen technique does not feel like a traditional massage.
BOHM Logo - Best of HealthSo what is Bowen technique you ask? It is the repatterning of your targetted nerves, almost a reset if you will so you can allow the body to operate as it is designed. Theresa skillfully determines where the imbalances are based on the symptoms or ailments you experience, where she applies the techniques are not always obvious. I personally learnt about the nerve issues that can arise from tailbone injuries, pelvis trauma from giving birth and other nerve related issues you can trace back to an incorrect signal from the nerves due to trauma, or built up stresses on the body that can cause chronic issues. Theresa treats many for anxiety, gut issues, fertility, sciatica and hormonal imbalances through BOWEN with great outcomes. Since this is relatively new I would suggest contacting Theresa at Best of Health to see if the Bowen technique would help you. All this time I thought of muscles and bones and never once really considered the nerves, this was quite eye opening.

BLOG 18 Jaclyn Ung of Smart Fit Personal Training

jaclyn ung - Smart Fit Personal TrainingJaclyn has been operating Smart Fit Personal Training for over 6 years and she started with helping moms with fitness as she herself had young kids and was all to familiar with the challenges. Her business has evolved as her kids independence has and she now helps moms train for obstacle course races. I personally have done Color Me Rad and FoamFest and these are fun 5k runs with obstacles, I plan to bring my 10 year old to FoamFest this year if my achilles is healed and ready. I learnt that Jaclyn does the next level of races and obstacle courses like Tough Mudder, Spartan and Rugged Maniac. Her training consists of outdoor bootcamps during the spring, summer and fall, winter she has online training, bootcamps and nutrition coaching. Her intention is to allow clients to train/exercise/ and tackle nutrition without overwhelm so they can feel confident and prepared for their race. If you plan on taking on an a challenging obstacle course race in 2019, you should consider taking advantage of her 4 week program of Bootcamps @ Home. It has workouts, accountability and nutrition coaching, so huge value for affordable cost of $47, starting the 18th of March. Please see her listing to contact her.