Today’s interview is brought to you by Dr. Mallory Quinn. Mallory has chosen to interview Caitlyn DeBruyne, part owner of Northern Therapy Services. Here is what Mallory has to say:

My friend Caitie is, in one word, a powerhouse. A business owner, hobby farmer, wife, mom to two littles, and a selfless friend.

She, along with her business partner, run a very successful and highly respected company providing culturally safe therapy services to isolated communities throughout Northwestern BC .  As small business owners, she and I often end up in lengthy conversations about the realities of running a business as a woman. Her business acumen is enhanced by her immense heart and the care she shows for everyone she meets.

I think of her as a “soul feeder”. That friend who carries so much light within them that every time you see them, you leave feeling lighter, happier, and re-energized. She is the first to point out the good, the first to welcome you to a new setting, the first to offer help, and the first to celebrate others’ achievements. I often find myself in awe of all the things she’s accomplished and the connections she has made in the valley after moving here over a decade ago. While many people, myself included, have a list of things they wish they could do or would like to do, Caitie has the courage to actually jump in with both feet and do those things. She is truly a remarkable human, and I am humbled to call her a friend. Just don’t ask her any questions about donkeys, you’ll never get another word in. šŸ˜‰

Welcome to the {extended} table, Caitie!

What do you treasure about the Bulkley Valley? 

One of the things I love best about the valley is the intergenerational social network that thrives here. It feels wonderful to have friends that span all generations and age groups. It’s not uncommon to go skiing with someone in their 60’s and then attend a potluck with a bunch of kids running about. It makes me feel supported and grounded to the community. It is such a gift to raise my family here. 

What is your most favourite thing? 

Donkeys! I grew up on a donkey farm in Alberta and my love for donkeys has never left! I feel like everyone would benefit from spending time with such kind, patient and compassionate animals. We are now continuing the family tradition and have 3 miniature donkeys on our hobby farm enriching our personal lives. They make me laugh every day! 

What does generosity (or kindness) mean to you? 

To me, generosity/kindness is thinking and being aware of others. In Smithers, this is represented by food. One of my favorite things about our small town is how people reach out and show their support, empathy and excitement with food. For example, I’m currently recovering from a broken leg with two small children at home. The community’s kindness towards my family during a difficult time has been expressed by the endless amounts of food that has been showing up on our doorstep. The kindness and support of our neighbours has been so incredibly heartwarming. 

What is something youā€™ve overcome? 

Like many women, I’ve had to overcome feelings of self-doubt and wanting to run away from uncomfortable feelings. It was a steep learning curve to realize that vulnerability is a strength and is important in building resilience and problem-solving skills. I struggled with speaking up and feeling that my voice was valued. It took a lot of false starts to find the courage to speak up to advocate for what I believe in, challenge the status quo and build a career that I am proud of. 

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

That you can’t do it alone. I’ve always had an independent streak so it took a lot of self-growth to realize that asking for help and receiving support was not a sign of weakness. I would not be where I am today without two very important people in my life. One is my spouse, Derek, who provides a solid loving foundation from which I can spread my wings. The other is my business partner, Jocelyn who has been a constant source of inspiration and support for me. I am so grateful for both of them.