You know when you have a dream and no matter how hard you try to push it away or forget about it, it shows up again, popping to the surface rather like a cork? The Om centre is my dream and it has been years in the making.
It would appear I just needed to move to Newfoundland to make it a reality!
My spiritual journey started in massage college in the early 1990s and I have covered a lot of ground since then, having trained in a large number of modalities over the past 20 years. I have always loved metaphysical stores. I could go in there and wander around for hours looking at the books and the crystals and knowing that there were so many worlds open to me that I didn’t even know existed.
I have been a voracious reader all my life. Add that to my love of all things spiritual and I couldn’t think of a better career choice than owning my own store and wellness centre!
Fast forward to 2009 when I moved to St. John’s from Ontario and discovered that there was no such store here. I didn’t quite know what to make of it. Sure, I could find some books at Chapters and at that time there was a small crystal shop which has since closed, but there was no one store that had it all; there was nowhere I could go and wander to my heart’s content.
That got me thinking that perhaps it was time to actually make my long-time dream a reality. So, off I went to the Y Enterprise office where the staff was incredibly helpful and informative and got me started. I would like to say “and the rest is history”, that I diligently pursued my dream without any setbacks. However, after a few months I hit a point of complete overwhelm in regard to just how much was required to complete a viable business plan. As a result, it went on the back burner for a while. I never forgot it was there, I just didn’t know how to continue.
After I spent a weekend facilitating at a Body, Mind, Spirit retreat in November 2012, a good friend of mine, Debbie O’Rielly, sat me down, said she believed in my dream and that she wanted to be a part of it. A partnership was born which breathed new life into my dream and we were off and running.
We first heard about Atlantic Business Magazine’s Super Start-Up Program from our lawyer, Mandy Woodland, who encouraged us to apply for it. I perused the list of contributors and decided on our top three choices, wrote the proposal and fired it off. Lo and behold a few weeks later we got an email from Dawn Chafe, editor of Atlantic Business Magazine, to let us know that the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union had selected our submission and wanted to work with us.
I think I did a happy dance on the spot. I needed that validation, to know that an organization like the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union thought we had a viable business idea. Yes, the grant part was a plus because it gave us the money for our legal and accounting costs, but it was the 25 hours of mentoring that we knew would be invaluable.
Our first meeting in mid-April was with CEO Allison Chaytor-Loveys, Director of Marketing Shannon Goodyear and COO Glenn Bolger. We left that meeting feeling very heartened and positive having received a lot of support and some very useful guidance and ideas to contemplate.
Our next meeting was with Director of Accounting and Corporate Governance, Jim Mayo and Commercial Business Advisor, Tom Drover. This meeting was set up because we knew we needed assistance with the financial side of things and needed experienced eyes to take a look at what we had and what needed tweaking. These wonderful gentlemen spent more than two hours with us, going over the financials, asking questions, answering questions, making suggestions, and offering guidance based on their significant experience. Debbie and I left that meeting with more clarity and insight about the financial aspects of the business plan and the business as a whole and at the same time again, feeling very supported.
From the very beginning of our association, the message that has come through loud and clear from everyone we have worked with at the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union is that they believe in our dream, and they will do whatever they can to assist us in making it a reality.
The past year and a half has been a series of meetings, conversations, business plan edits and rewrites, and more edits and rewrites, real estate viewings, more conversations and now, I am ecstatic to say, the plan is finally complete. We are at the tipping point. Our ducks are in a row. All we need now is for the next two critical components to fall into place – the financing piece and the perfect location for the centre. Then we’ll be on our way.
We already have practitioners interested in committing themselves to rental space, and enquiries from outside the province from individuals who would love to come and offer their teachings and workshops. Assisting people on their spiritual paths has always been a passion of mine and knowing that we will be creating a space that will function as the hub of the spiritual community in Newfoundland is exciting and I can’t wait to open our doors.
Stay tuned 🙂