Oh My! Handmade is the realization of my life-mission to build diverse communities where creativity thrives. What started as a multi-author blog evolved into a unique online community and portal for creative entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate, and cooperate to build supportive networks. Community, creativity, and collaboration are the keywords behind all of my work. OMHG is where all my passions intersect and those paths connect with you.
A LIFE IN SERVICE TO COMMUNITY
Before finding a home building this community online I spent over a decade being of service through community development, collaborative leadership + creativity, and advocacy for socially conscious business. I did amazing work with over 60 non-profits, cooperatives and social enterprises helping them increase their engagement, transform their communities and celebrate local diversity and innovation. Along the way I built community with every one from at risk families, preschool aged kids, inner city youth, and rural seniors, to non-profit CEO’s, corporate investors, and community leaders + all ages and stages in-between.
In past lives my adventures led me to wearing some fun hats including director of a community resource centre in Sointula (a small island named literally “Place of Harmony” founded by Finnish utopian socialists in the 1900′s & home to over 40 cooperatives), co-founder of an arts empowerment summer camp for inner city children, rural preschool teacher, director of large & small community events, and once upon a time designer of high fashion jewellery.
CREATIVE CONNECTIONS ARE MY SOUL FOOD
Moments of true connection are what define me and what I constantly seek to create for OMHG and in my life. In a conversation with a homeless window washer, a sensitive workshop with 20 hostile teenagers, or an online chat with handmade business experts, in everything I do I hope to radiate the message that we are all incredibly valuable and worthy of celebration. I want to see/hear you, be seen/heard by you, and in turn give you a place to connect and do the same. My biggest offering to the world is making spaces where these connections can unfold in beautiful, unexpected ways. You are in one of those spaces right now, be welcome (and consider yourself hugged).
MY ULTRA-CONDENSED LIFE STORY
I was born on the wonderful West Coast and grew up in culturally diverse East Vancouver, the daughter of a single, multicultural* young mama with a passion for social justice (meet my mama over here). She obviously rubbed off on me! I grew up surrounded by diversity and stories of struggle/strength. As an only child of a busy single mother I spent time with her at work; in group homes for people with disabilities, in drop-in centres for street or sex trade involved people, in a thousand board/committee meetings, and influenced by friends of every shape, colour, ability, gender identity, and belief. As I grew up I saw that everyone had a value and beauty, even if it was hidden. My journey hasn’t always been an easy one and as a teen I battled through abuse, addiction, loss and out the other side to be (joy)fully committed to building a world where we know we are not alone. I watched my mother and grandmother both struggle desperately with building creative businesses by themselves. OMHG is my personal answer to ensuring creatives never have to fumble along in the dark without the help of someone who has already been there to shine a light.
*I am African American, Cherokee Indian, European Jew & Scottish…I place blame for my big hair, freckles, & overdeveloped sense of social responsibility on my genetics*