Miranda Kissick – YOGA Teacher

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Miranda Kissick is a Yoga Teacher. I met with Miranda 2 years ago when I began my  journey in learning the practice of Yoga. She is awesome! If you have never tried yoga before, go see her!  If you have been practicing yoga for years, go see her you will not be disappointed. My friend Tanja (who is devoted to the practice), summed it up perfectly “Miranda speaks and practices from the soul!”  I know if you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend her class and experience her spirit and quiescence you will know you have found something truly wonderful in your life.   I call this a gift!

HOW DID YOU GET THIS JOB?

I am in essence a private contractor, so I am self-employed.  I work for a studio, teach yoga to people in their homes and work at a local fitness club.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

First and foremost I like helping people.  We live in a society where many people’s’ lives are over-scheduled.  As a result, people are more stressed than ever.  So if I can be of help to someone in learning how to breathe and relax, then I am happy.  Another benefit of this type of work is being able to set your own hours.  I can work as much or as little as needed and schedule my day around family commitments.

WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT IN THE WORKFORCE? (Especially if they want to do what you do?)

For someone just starting out, the first decision is where to go for your yogic education.  There are many schools/programs available, so ask around find the best fit for you.

Also, had I known I was going to be teaching yoga for a career, I could have benefited from greater exposure to courses such as anatomy and kinesiology.  Being a physiotherapist or personal trainer would be helpful to someone wanting to teach yoga.  the more knowledge you have about he body the better.  Also, having a degree or career in one of these areas would allow someone pursing yoga to support themselves! 

Yoga training is a lifelong pursuit, and training is expensive.  It is possible to make money teaching, but many people struggle to earn a living solely through teaching yoga unless you have another means of support.  To actually own and run one’s studio is costly and one needs business savvy as well as the ability to hire additional teachers.

HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?

I’m where I am today via a very circuitous route!!  I attended Purdue University (many years ago) and have a degree in Humanities, with a minor in travel and tourism and recreation.  I worked in the travel industry for many years and then I working in the publishing industry in sales.  I always had an interest in fitness and dance and yoga…. but never expected to actually become a yoga teacher.  I did take several yoga classes throughout my young adulthood, so perhaps I was preparing all along.  The seeds were planted years ago…..but just took time to sprout!

WHAT ARE YOU READING NOW?

The Bhagavad Gita, a mystery novel, and La Prisonnaire.  (A true story of the 20 year imprisonment of a Moroccan woman, by her own adopted father.)

FAVOURITE COLOUR?

Blue…..For as long as I can remember.

IS THERE SOMETHING IN YOUR CHILDHOOD WHICH MIGHT HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER PATH TODAY?

When I was in grade school, I used to watch a PBS program called Lilias Yoga and You.  I was strangely attracted to this very slow-moving program with one person (Lilias) in a body suit doing yoga.  She had a very gentle and calm manner and wore her hair in a long braid down her back.  She seemed quite exotic to me!

This was in the 1970’s and I lived in a small farming community in the middle of Indiana.  I was truly mesmerized by Lilias, and have only realized recently that this was the very first seed of yoga planted for me.  One can see old videos of Lilias on You Tube and she is still teaching today!

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WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT (work related?)

One of the truly wonderful benefits of teaching yoga is the daily satisfaction of seeing someone’s life change (if only a little) by their practice.  If someone  feels better after class than they did when they walked into class, then I have accomplished my goal.

IF YOU COULD TALK TO A ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE INTERESTED IN YOUR WORLD – what would you say to them and why?

Number 1 … any person (body) can do yoga and every “body” can benefit from yoga practice.

Yoga is the simplest action or practice that one can adopt to achieve the greatest, most powerful positive change in one’s life.  Mental happiness,m the ability to concentrate, relationships, personal peace and contentment compassion for self and others. 

The health benefits include better sleep, a balanced nervous system, flexibility, better digestion, lower blood pressure, a calm mind and happy heart, more energy, and increased sexual satisfaction…..just to name a few! 

Need I say more!  Try yoga today.

You can find Miranda at the Awareness Yoga Studio in Elora, www.awarenessyoga.ca  The studio is located downtown Elora, with a view of the Grand River.  Miranda has a great “Gentle Yoga”,  Friday Class.   I always enjoy coffee after the class with “my yoga girls!”  

 

 

 

 

3 Greek Sisters – Cookbook Authors

3GS Bio Group

 

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I had the pleasure of meeting with the 3 Greek Sisters recently.  They are Cookbook Authors of 2 published cookbooks.    We are both members with the Guelph Mompreneur’s Group.  An association connecting Mom’s in the business community with chapters across Canada.

 

Owners of “Adelfes” – Publishing Company

  Cookbook Authors  –  Betty, Eleni and Samantha Bakopoulos

“Three Sisters Around the Greek Table”

“Three Sisters Back to the Beginning”

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HOW DID YOU GET THIS JOB?

We created our own job!  The 3 of us had careers of our own before the cookbooks, one of us was still is an artist, and two are former teachers.  There came a time when our lives took us in different directions.  We were either at home raising children, or due to our husbands’ careers, found ourselves displaced in Ontario somewhere.  During this time, we pooled our energies, combined our talents and passions and started writing down all recipes that we grew up with.  We were lucky enough to grow up with wonderful home-cooked meals and our family dinner table was always the centre of our home.  We knew we not only had great recipes to share but a great story that many people would relate to and perhaps be inspired by.  We had all the parts required for writing a cookbook:  we love writing, we are passionate about food, and Eleni is a photographer.  So the adventure began.  We also decided to self-publish and started our own publishing company.

Four years later, we have 2 award-winning Greek cookbooks, best-selling status and we have appeared on radio, television and in print across the Country.

 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

We love that there are always exciting new things happening that we never would have dreamed before writing the books.  Our first book was awarded Best Foreign Cookbook by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.  This meant that we would be competing on an International level, and that competition took place on Valentine’s Day in Paris, France.  It couldn’t get more exciting than that!  We decided to take the plunge, we all went to Paris in the winter and we took along our parents – they deserved the award just as much as us.  We ended up placing 4th in the World.

This year, our newest book won Best Mediterranean Cookbook and the International awards take place in Beijing, China in May.  We are hoping that we can head to the far East and be there in person.

Around the Greek Table

  

WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT IN THE WORKFORCE?  (Especially if they want to do what you do?)

The best advice is to talk to someone who has already walked the path.  They can give you so much information on what the world of publishing is all about.  We reached out to several cookbook authors, Emily Richards, Elizabeth Baird, and Greta Podleski; each women was candid and honest and their feedback was priceless.

Also, you need to realize that the world is changing, and social media plays a big role in marketing.  Whether you like it or not, you will have to engage in twitter, Facebook and all the rest if you want to expand your brand and business.

 

HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?

It was a lot of hard work – writing the book was just the first part, and in many ways it is the easiest part.  Marketing is a job that never ends.  You always have to think of ways to let people know about your products and why it is something that every home should have.

One of the best pieces of advice we read was, “do 5 things a day for your product” – it could be a phone call to a book-store, a blog, or a Facebook post.  If you keep to that each and every day, you will reap benefits.

 

WHAT ARE YOU READING NOW:

Betty:  Three Day Road, Joseph Boyden

Eleni:  The Orenda, Joseph Boyden

Samantha:  419, Will Ferguson

 

FAVOURITE COLOUR:

Betty:  Purple

Eleni:  Red

Samantha:  Blue

 

IS THERE SOMETHING IN YOUR CHILDHOOD WHICH MIGHT HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER PATH TODAY?

When we were young we were very fortunate to spend our summers in Greece with our Grandparents and extended family.  We jokingly referred to it as “Greek Girl Guides.”  It was like travelling back in time.  We made egg noodles from scratch with our Grandparents.  We went crab hunting in the ancient Neda river, and had lamb on a spit in the shade of olive trees.  Those memories made a very strong impression, one of food, celebration and family as the key to happiness.

 

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT (Work Related?)

Selling over 16,000 books!  In Canada, that is a huge number, especially when 4 years ago, no one knew who we were.

 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO A ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN YOUR WORLD – WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM AND WHY?

When it comes to food and family, make the time.  Eat together.  Connect with your food and each other.

 

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE PERSON (MENTOR?)

We would all agree – our parents.  They came to Canada in 1970 not knowing the language and having to work so hard to make ends meet.  They were like all immigrants in the 70’s.  They worked days and nights to make a better life for their kids.  And they did just that.

They also gave us courage to become entrepreneurs, they have been truly supportive of us throughout the cookbook journey.  In fact, they still join us at events and roll up their sleeves to wash a pot or two if needed!

 

WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

We have a warehouse full of books!  They can be purchased at Chapters, Amazon, and our website, www.3greeksisters.com

 

 

 

 

Lisa Dalrymple – Children’s Author

LISA DALRYMPLE

HOW DID YOU GET THAT JOB?

Lisa Dalrymple and I sat down at a local coffee shop in Fergus, Ontario where she lives with her husband and 3 children.  She began her writing journey at the age of 8 in England.  She has a Masters Degree in English and is a published Author of 3 Children’s Books.

1.  IF IT’S NO TROUBLE … A BIG POLAR BEAR

 Written by Lisa Dalrymple / Illustrated by Lizz Pratt (Tuckamore Books, 2012)

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2.  BUBBLY TROUBLY POLAR BEAR

Written by Lisa Dalrymple / Illustrated by Lizz Pratt (Tuckamore Books, 2013)

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3.  SKINK ON THE BRINK

Written by Lisa Dalrymple / Illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo,

(Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2013)

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HOW DID YOU GET THIS JOB?

We moved from England to Canada when I was 8.  I don’t know when I began writing, but it was least that long ago. Lisa has a BA in English from the University Western,  and a MA in English from the University of Guelph.  She is a published author of 3 Children’s books.

1.  If It’s No Trouble… A Big Polar Bear

2.  Bubbly Troubly Polar Bear

3.  Skink on the Brink

Lisa alongside the illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo of the book Skink on the Brink, were the Winner of the Writers Union of Canada’s Writing for Children’s Award, 2011.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE LEAST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

I have learned patience.  She said it might take months or years for someone to follow-up about her submissions. Through this she has honed her ability to focus on multiple projects at one time.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

I get to work in my pajama’s  Being a mother of 3 children she enjoys her flexibility she has with her young growing family.  Although she has flexibility she follows a daily routine and tries to write every day.

WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT IN THE WORKFORCE? (Especially if they want to do what you do?)

Read a lot and talk to people about your writing and create a network of peers.  Feedback is critical and appreciated to Lisa with her writing.

Find “like-minded” people.  Figure out how and why they are doing well and surround yourself with this attitude! Mentor-ship is very important.  She finds women or other writers to be very supportive.  Yes, many writers of kids’ books are women, but I hate to sound like I’m stereotyping.

She really enjoys being part of the Canadian “kid lit” , as in kid’s literature.  It takes skill, perseverance and luck!

HOW DID YOU GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?

Lisa works very hard at her craft.  She has faced over 200 rejections from publishers and submissions but that didn’t stop her from following her dream.  She knew in her heart and wanted to share her stories which she felt needed to be published for our children.

She held on to her dreams and motivation and surrounded herself with supportive people.  She didn’t give up! Having personally met with Lisa and attended one of her writing workshops I know she is truly passionate and inspirational to aspiring writers and and anyone who wants to follow their dream!

WHAT ARE YOUR READING NOW?  

Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil

FAVOURITE COLOUR?

Lisa quickly told me it was purple!  She used her favourite purple pen when signing a copy of her book, “Bubbly Troubly Polar Bear” for my children.

IS THERE SOMETHING OR SOMEONE IN YOUR CHILDHOOD WHICH MIGHT HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER PATH TODAY?

One significant memory from her childhood is sending her “Grand Pop”, who was a Champion Boxer” her writing to review.  They would share letters with her family back home in England.  They would offer her their feedback and reviews.  This helped her support her writing craft at an early age and they continued writing for many years.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT (Work Related)? 

LISA WON!  Her book  “Skink on the Brink”, was the WINNER of the Writers’ Union of Canada’s Writing for Children’s Award.

It is a coveted award which there were over 800 entries.

IF YOU COULD TALK TO A ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN YOUR WORLD – WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM AND WHY?

Perseverance, do not give up.  Lisa has had her share of rejections and used her patience, perseverance along with her supportive community of friends and family to overcome the 283 rejections.  Until that day, July 1, 2011.  Her first book would be published, “If it’s No Trouble …. A Big Polar Bear”.  Later that same day she found out she was the winner of the “2011 Writers’ Union of Canada Writing for Children’s Award for her book “Skink on the Brink”.

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE PERSON (Who is your mentor?)

Husband Marc and 3 children, Natalie Sage, Danielle Kate and Ethan Alexander.

WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU (or anything else you would like to add to this interview?)

Lisa will be busy writing new stories for her launch in 2014.  In October 2014 with illustrator David Sturge and another book launch in the Spring of 2015.

A Moose Goes a Mummering, illustrated by David Sturge, published by Tuckamore Books, Fall 2014.

WHERE CAN I FIND YOUR BOOKS?

Look for Lisa’s books at our local book-store (Roxanne’s Reflections & Books), in Fergus,  or Chapters.

Lisa has a Facebook Page.  Visit her Website.   She loves to visit children in local schools and organizations to share her stories, contact her for more information!