I’m so excited to have my first duo on the blog! Lindsay Heer and Anna Gauthier make up the brilliant and creative team behind Creekside Floral Collective.  These women are special to me because they’re some of the first people I dared to speak my little dream of a blog out loud to.

They’re the creators behind each of my Long Table shoots, which we have changed with the seasons, providing either locally grown or BC sourced flowers. We’ve had such a wonderful time getting to know each other better and their love for what they do is so evident, and inspiring. They are a true example of community over competition, which is what this little blog is about.  

I’m not sure I’ve ever met two more hard-working women, and it’s my pleasure to call them friends.

Welcome to the table, Lindsay and Anna!

How long have you called the Bulkley Valley home?

L:  The Bulkley Valley has been home to be for over 30 years. Hudson Bay Mountain was right outside our dining room window growing up and that mountain will always represent home and comfort to me.

A:  I moved to the valley on a thanksgiving weekend, 13 or 14 years ago? As I count it out, I can hardly believe that it’s been this long already, it feels like an instant, yet at the same time, the soil of this valley feels like it’s been ingrained in my soul forever.

What is one thing you’ve learned about friendship (or community)?

L:  One thing I have learned is that any relationship, be it friendship or the greater community, can’t be measured or compared. You can’t keep score, and you need to give your time and energy without expecting anything in return. I believe it’s important to show up for others, and in our world that often means jumping in to help move cows, catch a lost animal, loan a piece of equipment when someone has a breakdown, or bringing a bouquet to a friend who needs a smile. I believe whatever energy you put out into the world you receive back so always strive to do good! It takes all participants in a community at all their levels to create the unique makeup that is ours so you cannot compare yourself to one another, just be grateful for your part (and others) in the story.

A:  Lindsay’s answer! Couldn’t agree with it more, I think she answered it enough for everyone. Ever. no other answers needed.  🙂

What is one area you are growing in?

L:  I am working on letting go of the past – the things that no longer serve me. This is not to say forget the past but to cherish the memories, learn from hardship and now be mindful and live here in the present.

A:  I am deeply passionate about producing our product but I truly hate ‘selling ourselves’. It’s taken me a lot of time to feel confident enough to charge our worth. Farmers tend to struggle with valuing the time they put into the end product, but in what other industry would it be reasonable and expected to make less than $5 an hour for your labor. As a stay at home mom, it feels especially hard because we tend to think ‘our time is free’. Working with talented business women in creative fields over the past 2 years has been unbelievably valuable. I cannot thank them, or credit them enough, for beating it into our heads and hearts that the work we do is ‘real’ and that we owe it to ourselves to place a true cost to our work. In doing so we have realized that when we can value ourselves, we are also helping others to properly value themselves truthfully as well. ALSO, when you undervalue yourself, you are undercutting other business owners who are working hard to support themselves. Owning a small business doesn’t mean you are standing alone, it means you are joining a vibrant community of other people, and that you can all “stand alone” – together.

What is one thing you would say to your younger self?

L:  Please be yourself. The world needs us all, and be yourself. Your loud, boisterous, funny, and caring self. Don’t change for anyone, don’t change because you think you need to fit into a specific mould. Just be unapologetically you.

A:  Be brave and think bigger. I lacked self-confidence to pick a ‘career’, make a concrete plan, and follow it. I knew the things I liked but it never occurred to me that I could just go and do it. I can’t change that for myself, and it’s taken me a lot of years to find a way to work in the industries I’ve always loved. I hope that by working so hard to create this path, I can pass this lesson on to my children.

Who inspires you and why?

L:  There are so many people out there who inspire me, but the first that comes to mind is my Aunt Denise. She inspires me with her strength and wonderful way of knowing what is true for her, what path she wants to take, and who is true to herself. I think her positivity, compassion, and humour are what I love most about her. But what inspires me the deepest is her authenticity. I just love her!

A:  I could never narrow it down, but just about every farmwife/ranchwife out there inspires me in some way. Within our rural community there is a rich depth of strong women working away with more ‘can do’ attitude and grit than I could ever hope to hold.

What do you know is true, and how do you carry that day to day?

L:  I know that each day the sun will rise no matter how dark the sky is the night before. This became so clear to me when my mom passed away and I remember feeling it was so cruel that the world kept turning and life kept on, even though I was grief-stricken. It was a reminder that things can seem impossible, hopeless, and dark, but there is always a way through – always something to be hopeful for. We are never stuck in any moment or mould; we are always able to change and adapt. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but each day is a new beginning and a chance to create something new. In the darkest of moments, remember the sun will eventually rise.

A:  That a strong community needs people of all walks of life. We don’t need everyone to be the same, think the same, and live the same. What is needed is to respect each other and treat each other with kindness and open minds no matter our differences. Life would be incredibly boring and our communities would be far weaker if everyone was exactly the same. There are no monocultures in nature. In our natural world all plants live in communities, these communities are called polycultures. Nature grows stronger with diversity and I believe we do too. To me, this is what Creekside Floral Collective is all about; embracing our differences and allowing our weaknesses to be strengthened by the diversity of community.