It’s Mother’s Day. I’m thinking of my mom; a nurse, a volunteer, an activist and cultural worker. I would add economist to that list. Economics, by deﬁnition, is household management. And manage a household she did. Her most powerful strategy was a simple scheduling technique to which we were required to adhere. When she turned the porch light on, it was time to come home.
As a child, I lived in North Bay. Much like Canoe, my neighbourhood was ten minutes from town: walkable, bikeable and close to the beach. We would play for hours but as soon as that porch light came on, in we went.
It was often bitter sweet. Bitter, as in the fun would be done for the day. But sweet, because we were assured a healthy dinner, a warm bed and a safe home. If ignored, the welcome home was slightly less comfortable.
To some extent, that porch light has been on, at least for my business, for some time. I have worked as a self-employed design and marketing professional for 20 years. At the end of 2018, I grew increasingly uncomfortable with the precarious nature of freelance work in a global and digital world. The world didn’t change just because of COVID, it had already changed. COVID just changed the light bulb from soft white to ﬂashing red.
I ﬁnally did see the light, closed my ofﬁce and moved my work home just weeks before the pandemic. Many of you have had to do the same. I empathize. We are all in this together.
And that’s the most important part. Please know that this Creative 55 initiative is a reminder of who will help you out of this red light emergency. Local, hard working, community-minded and uber talented businesses: not Amazon, not Wayfair, not VistaPrint, not Getty Images, nor Wix. Only the people who know and care about your well being can help you through. Know that you can rely upon your local creative community to get your story told, like Shuswap Magazine has done in this inaugural edition.
My money’s on them. With a great office chair from the Garage Furniture Company, a plastic floor mat from Salmon Arm Stationery and carpet from NuFloors, my office is graced by the art of Otto Pfannschmidt, a great desk light from Prisa Lighting and some fun vintage treasures from Church’s Thrift. I enjoy Frog Friendly Wild’s coffee and Little Red Hen’s bread daily. My community is with me and I’ve never been so grateful, so focussed, and, as it turns out, so clear on what success really means for me. So keep washing your hands (the espresso bar from Mossy Stump is great), we’re going to be okay.