Calgary Entrepreneurs Put a Colorful Spin on Mental Illness Awareness

I know it's not August 6th yet, but this just couldn't wait.  If you've been following my blog for the past 5 years, you'd know that August 6th is an extreemly important date for me.  I call it a Celebration of Life Day, in honor of my big brother, James', birthday.  5 years ago my brother passed away.  Not a day goes by that I don't think about him.  But I made the promise that from here on out I would celebrate is birthday and not the day he passed.  And on his birthday, I also made a promise to myself, that I will do everything I can to get the word out and support Mental Illness Awarenesses. 

Even if Mental Illness doesn't directly affect you, it affects everyone around you.  The one thing I ask you to do is not to judge anyone, as you don't know their story, and you've never walked in their shoes.  And at the end of the day, tell the ones you love the most how important they are to you.
With this years celebration, I wanted to share an amazing campaign that everyone can get involved in!

Calgary Entrepreneurs Put a Colorful Spin on Mental Illness Awareness
~ $25,000 fundraising campaign to raise awareness for mental illness gearing up

Calgary small business entrepreneurs are showing up with generosity, compassion and willingness to advocate and open up the conversation around mental illness.

On Tuesday July 31st, three Calgary entrepreneurs are creating a sea of blue.  A mental health advocate, blogger behind the popular website SimpLeeSerene.com, and the founder of Going Blue 4 U, Lee Horbachewski is on a mission to put a colorful spin on the blues.  To build a bigger and better 2nd annual campaign, a fundraising campaign created on Calgary’s own Katipult.com is gaining momentum.

Catherine Tkach of Cat’s Eye Vintage & More and Karri Egan of The Hot Yoga Lounge are working with Horbachewski, to create a sea of blue.

Cat’s Eye Vintage & More will be hosting a BLUE Sale event from 2:00pm – 6:00 p.m., with 20% off everything in the store and 20% being donated to GB4U.  Snacks, entertainment, and a table featuring BLUESock Dolls, created by Horbachewski’s 12 year old daughter and her friend will be available.

The Hot Yoga Lounge will be hosting a BLUE Glow Yoga in the Dark event at 7:30 p.m., yogis will be getting bendy in the dark.  Well not completely in the dark, they will be glowing.  Glowing BLUE.  A minimum $5 donation will be donated to Going Blue 4 U. 

Other entrepreneurs have been making blue waves with campaigns, and initiatives to raise funds and create conversation for mental illness.

Kim Page Gluckie of MPowered Marketing shared this masterful insight: Going Blue 4 U: A Philanthropic Study in Success

Susanne Alexander-Heaton, author of ABC Field Guide to Faeries is donating 40% of all online book sales.

Linda Kiernan, created a SOLD out private screening of I AM at Self Connection Books on Sunday July 22, 2012 in 3 days, raising $590.00. 

Robin Havlicek of RAD Printing created TRUST banners, creating a visual display of support and trusting in GB4U.  Robin has also committed to dyeing her hair blue if the $25,000 is raised by August 15th

Jaclyn Olsen of Diffusion Solutions has created a Dream Big – Believe in Better Series event with her donations as a speaker benefiting GB4U.  If Jaclyn’s friends donate $1000 by August 15th she will dye a strip of her hair blue.

“I’m thrilled to say that $3,838 has bee raised to date and we have met our first milestone of producing a video by Calgary based storystudio.tv which will be key in spreading this life-saving message” says Horbachewski.  “We are off to a great start, but additional funds are required to ensure the success of the 2012 campaign.”

 Mental Illness impacts 1 in 5 Canadians (20% of the population)
  • According to the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 43.3% of Albertans believe depression is a weakness.
  • Age with the highest rate of depression symptoms: Under 20 years of age
  • Every 4 minutes, a call for help is received, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at Distress Centre

24-Hour Crisis Line: 403.266.HELP (4357
About Going Blue 4 ULaunched each year in conjunction with Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), this year September 30th – October 6, 2012, we will create a sea of blue, for everyday people affected by mental illness and suicide.  By providing resources and avenues for inspiration and empowerment, GB4U is armed with the vision of encouraging people to reach out and ask for help, thereby realizing they are not alone.

 About Lee Horbachewski
Lee Horbachewski is an author, speaker and certified coach with a deep passion for serving and empowering others to shine bright and steady.  Lee has been featured on Global TV, CTV, ET Canada, The Calgary Herald, and MetroNews.  She was featured as one of Mompreneur Magazine’s (2009) top 5 Mompreneurs in Canada and is a spokesperson for the Distress Centre in Calgary and the founder of Going Blue 4 U. To see her full story click here for the video.

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Role Mothers

If you've ever wondered if you've found your soul mate
~ have a child.
If you've ever wondered if you've been blessed in your life
~ have a child.
If you've ever wondered if you've made a difference in the world
~ look through the eyes of a child.
If you've ever wondered if you are loved
~ be a mother.
Christina Rowsell
Photo by Corrina Walker Photography
It's been said before, being a mother is the toughest job in the world.  And yet, women become mothers everyday.  It doesn't pay much (infact sometimes nothing at all), but most will tell you it's the unconditional love that is payment enough.  Most mothers are willing to take a hug from their children for a days worth of work.  Something just changes when you become a mother.  There's a deep sense of committment to wanting what's best for your children.  And along the way, there comes another sense that she wants to give back to her community, to show her gratitude for all the blessings in her life.  That is a Role Mother.

Role Mothers, Empowered by Market Mall, is a mom-powered online community and forum that supports families in weaving the spirit of giving into their daily lives to inspire future genterations of philanthropic Calgarians.  And now is your chance to nominate a Role Mother!

Do you know a mom who's dedicated to giving back and inspires her family and friends to do the same?  Whether she champions her own philanthropic activies, has turned her birthday parties into charity affairs or spearheads family outings to volunteer at the food bank, Role Mothers wants to know more about the moms who make Calgary such a giving community.  If you know a Calgary-based mom who makes community an important part of her family's fabric, they're asking you to nominate her as a Role Mother!

To nominate someone, (or even yourself... and yes, it's okay to do that), simply visit http://www.rolemothers.ca/ and fill out the nomination form by Monday, August 13th, 2012.  A panel of community leaders will narrow the submissions down to ten finalists and then Calgarians will vote for the top four Role Mothers whose stories inpire and encourage them to get more actively involved in the community. 

The top four Role Mothers will become the faces of the 2013 Role Mothers campaign, receive a $1,000 Cadillac Fairview shop!card® from Market Mall for themselves AND a $1,000 donation will be made to their charity of choice.   What a GREAT way to tell these AMAZING mothers you appreciate everything they do for not only their own familes, but for making this world a better place to live!

Role Mothers Online
Role Mothers Facebook

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Here are a few organizations that The Brighter Side Supports


Brighter Business Empower

Since starting The Brighter Side in November 2011, we have been overwhelmed with the response.  The idea for The Brighter Side was to bring Good News, Great Ideas and Amazing People to those you needed a pick me up from the everyday news that had us down.  The Brighter Side's mission was simple, bring a smile to those who need it.  Our founder Christina Rowsell found herself caught up in the day to day grind of everything out there was bad news.  Plus, having a family member who suffered a chemical imbalance, who didn't have the option of seeing The Brighter Side of life, so Christina made it her mantra to bring happiness to those who couldn't seem to find it themselves.

Along the way, within these last 9 months, we've met some incredible people with amazing ideas.  Small businesses with incredible people behind them.  Most run off of passion.  They followed their hearts desire and have made a run and turning it into a business.  But what we found was that most didn't have a business degree.  They just did what they know to try to make it work.  They have GREAT ideas, but don't really know how to take it to the next level.

Look at Confident Curls. When I met with Vanessa McWilliams, I was in awe of her story.  While out for a cup of coffee talking about Confident Curls I asked Vanessa if she had a press release.  She said, "What's a press release?".  I led her in the right direction, and within the week she was doing radio and television interviews.  Plus, through her media blitz, she was the Woman of Vision for the month of March with Global TV.

Along the way though, we met one company who had it together.  Get It Together Inc.  Sheri Bruneau from Get It Together was a former elementary school teacher, and now runs Get It Together full time.  Sheri says, it's not just about organizing space, it's about organizing your life.  Get It Together not only organizes residences, but they work with small businesses as well.  From office space, to social networking.  Sheri has taken training in Social Media and Social Media Management and provides clients with custom landing pages for Facebook, setting up Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google + business pages, as well as offering Social Media management and training.  And while out for a coffee meeting, Sheri and Christina realized that The Brighter Side and Get It Together would make a great team!

Meet the Brighter Business Empower.

The Brighter Side and Get It Together both have the same ideas.  Wanting to help small businesses take their companies to the next level.  The Brighter Business Empower series of seminars will do just that.  To "Empower Individuals To Succeed In Business."  Together Sheri and Christina have put together an impressive line up of seminars to help those small businesses with the tools they need to succeed.

The Brighter Business Empower events are held the first Wednesday of each month starting in September, excluding July and December, at Cardel Theatre in Quarry Park.  For 2 hours, between 3-5pm you'll have an opportunity to network with other business owners, and learn from the best professionals in their field.  The first seminar is September 12th, Press Releases. What works, what doesn't, how to write one and who to send it to.  It's a marketing tool that most companies don't know about.

The second series is October 14th.  Sheri Bruneau from Get It Together will host Social Media.  She'll take you through the maze of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and the latest craze Pintrest.  Social Media is certainly a tool that, if used effectively, can help boost and generate interest in a company.  Sheri will help you understand the importance of this new tool, and how to use it effectively and not waste your time.

And finally, the third series this year is November 14th with Tracey Agnew and Nathalie Wright, financial advisors and owners of Agnew Insurance Ltd., and Wright Insurance Agencies.  Together, they say whether you run your business from an office or run it as a home-based business, insurance is a must.  They will guide you and what you need and what you don't.  Business owners without business insurance can be held personally responsible for damages and injuries they cause to a third party.  And a personal policy such as a homeowner's policy does not cover business property or activity.  These ladies know their stuff and want to share it with you.

These are just a few of the tools the Brighter Business Empower series of seminars will give you.  (Stay tuned for more updates... including Life and Business Coaches, Product Management, Promotions and Marketing, etc...)  And as a Platinum and Standard member you'll be able to get interactive with the guest speaker with the Brighter Business Empower Blog Talk Radio and call in to ask them a question.  Here's an example of our Blog Talk Radio show.

Listen to internet radio with Brighter Business on Blog Talk Radio
If you know a small business who needs to be empowered to succeed, get them to have a look at http://www.brightrbusinessempower.com/.  Seating is limited, and filling up.  Don't wait to sign up.
The Brighter Side and Get It Together, a partnership to help other's move forward with their business.
Brighter Business Empower Facebook
Brighter Business Empower Twitter
Brighter Business Empower Online
Get It Together FacebookGet It Together TwitterGet It Together LinkedInGet It Together PintrestLike The Brighter Side Facebook


Follow Your Passion

When you were a kid it was up to your parents to make sure you followed the right path in life.   Teaching you manners, presenting you accountability with chores, introducing you to sports and team work.  But as soon as you move away from your nest, it's up to you to find your way. 

It sounds simple.  But in reality it's one of the most difficult choices you'll make.  And if you make a wrong turn along the way, it's okay.  That's the tough one, being okay with a choice that didn't quite work out for you.  Every life experience makes you up to who you are today.  And who you'll become tomorrow.  In the moment, however, it may bring you down.  But finding that strength and courage to pick yourself up again will only make you stronger for what's to come.  Life isn't easy.  And would you expect it to be?  If it was, we'd live a pretty boring existence. 

At some point, you'll come to the realization that in order to find the right path, you need to follow your passion.  A passion is something that makes you breathe easy.  A passion is something that you wake up to everyday and are thankful for this wonderful opportunity.  A passion makes you smile.  A passion will give you butterflies at first, but as soon as your realize the potential you'll be calm.  A passion is a choice you make to fulfil your hearts desire.  But in order to follow that path, you must discover what your passion is.  Everyone has it in them.  And you'll find it by listening to your heart.  And once you do, your heart will smile. 

This photograph was taken in Kananaskis, Alberta Canada.  Enjoy it's beauty. 

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Papyrus Calgary

In today's day and age, life has become so busy and hectic, that the only way to keep in touch is through digital media.  Facebook reminds us about someones birthday.  You can Tweet hashtags to express #thanks for the coffee.  Or even digital invites to your parents 45th wedding anniversary.

But, what ever happened to the "good ol' days" of writing your wishes and thoughts on paper.  Sticking it in an envelope and licking the bitter stamp?  Well... it's not gone, perhaps just forgotten.

Allow me to introduce you to Papyrus (if you haven't yet met).  You may have seen cards with Papyrus and the famous humming bird on it.  (Which is what I only knew them as).  But did you know they have an actual retail store?  Right here!!  Believe it or not, they've actually been in Calgary for 3 years in TD Square.  (Don't worry if you didn't know that, I didn't either with my avoidance of down town parking).

Now, there's a new retail store in Chinook Centre on the second floor of the newly renovated part!  And Papyrus is not just cards!  (I'll get to the card part in a bit).  But I found myself in awe of the beautiful jewellery and handbags they have.  Plus there's a wide selection of children's gifts, birthday gifts, thank you gifts, or just a little something for your self!  And I did just that and bought myself this amazing bracelet from NIQUEA.D.  I didn't want to unwrap it.  It looked so pretty!  Love this bracelet.  I try to make it with every outfit!

As for the stationary, there's a wide selection of cards to choose from.  It's always nice to have a blank card handy for those times you're going to a surprise party, a dinner party, or just a little visit with a friend.  And if you have a bit more time on your hands to peruse the cards, you'll LOVE these vibrant cards.  I've certainly sent my share of Papyrus cards to loved ones.  I especially love their wedding shower, anniversary and romantic selection of cards.  Nothing says it better than a hand written card!  Plus, you can add a little gift to your card with a great selection of books.  I was eyeing up the Lady Gaga book.

Say it with love and with elegance from Papyrus.  Say hello to the amazing staff in Chinook Centre Mall!

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Email ~ info@thebrighterside.ca