In June of 2006, I moved to Fort St. John to be closer to family. The economy here was booming and the oil and gas sector was the cause. My nephew, his wife and their 5 children were here and I was looking forward to spending time with them and helping out. Sadly, my nephew and his family were transferred on July 1, 2006 to Prince George. I found myself alone in a place I hardly knew. Years ago, my Mom had told me that the best way to meet people was through volunteering. The next thing I knew I was volunteering at the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society (FSJWRS). It was not what I expected. I had this preconceived notion that this organization was full of male bashing women. Boy, I was really wrong. The volunteers came from all walks of life and were in different stages of life. Some had been single, others had young families, some were widows and many had successful long-term relationships with their spouses. These women were extremely supportive of one another and had a wealth of knowledge. The goal is to empower women and girls by providing tools that would improve the quality of their lives. Social media has been used to build the brand, inform and educate however there is so much more that could be done.
The City of Fort St. John is located in Northeastern British Columbia in the Peace Country. The scenery is quite picturesque here and the northern lights are stunning. Take a look at Darcy Shawchek photos on his Facebook page. These photos will give you a glimpse of Northeastern British Columbia. Our winters here can be extremely long and one does get cabin fever. I have seen snow as early as September and been horrified with snow Canada Day long weekend. Mindfulness is talked about quite a bit these days and many companies are incorporating it into their wellness programs. In 2011, I was introduced to Zentangle® as a method of practicing mindfulness. The tools I required were a tile, pencil and a fine tipped marker, most of which I picked up at the dollar store at the time. It wasn’t until I went on the internet to search for Zentangle® patterns that I came across their website. This is where I ordered a few more supplies which has kept me busy ever since. The thought of taking formal training in Zentangle® interested me but you know where I live. What is the possibility of that ever happening? LOL, well it did happen. Fort St. John is fortunate to have Deb Bowyer, CZT (Certified Zentangle® Teacher) of Deb’s Accidental Art or on Instagram. She took the training to become a CZT and I couldn’t be happier.
A few years ago, I heard about a company called Farm Bound that was delivering fresh organic produce once a week on Fridays to a retailer here in Fort St. John, BC for same day pick up. I inquired and a few of my co-workers were using the service and were extremely pleased. The cost of living is much higher in Fort St. John and the access to fresh organic produce was limited. If you purchased cucumber on Sunday for Greek salad on Wednesday chances were the cucumber was spoiled before you could use it. It was disturbing to waste so much food so I learned to buy the day I was going to make Greek salad. Fresh only means “Fresh” to the store not the freshness of the produce that was on a truck for a couple of weeks. The initial offerings from Farm Bound were organic produce however the selection of organic offerings have improved greatly and it is extremely worth the purchase. How did they get this way you ask? Well, a lot of it has to do with listening to their customers about the products and service they wish to receive. The other aspect has to do with service development and the speed, cost, quality and brand impact.
The social event of the year in Fort St. John, British Columbia is the CKNL Trade Show and just about everyone in town shows up. There was a booth that was absolutely impossible to get to for the crowd. It was Sand & Stone Jewelry. What was it about this jewelry that caused such a frenzy? Word of mouth was spreading like wildfire and the rage was to own pieces of their jewelry. There are several contributing factors that are key to customer engagement and the first one is transparency, the second one is long term customer engagement and lastly is how authentic and humble the owner is.