The Gift of Balance

Welcome our newest writer Angela Cowley to the Her City Lifestyle team. Angela operates a small retail gift shop and will be writing about entrepreneurship, small business and other topics.

For as long as I can remember, adults have always asked children what they want to be when they grow up. I’m sure you remember this too. What was your answer? Being born in 1968, I always said what was expected, the typical “Nurse” or “Teacher” and “Mother”. Always a “mother”. Before anything else, I wanted to be a mother.

Fast forward several years, I finish high school, learn the skill of Dental Assisting in college and marry my soulmate. After a few obstacles, we start that family that I have been aching for and I begin my career in Motherhood. My daughter is born two years after my son and my life is perfect. The choice to stay home is an easy one, and this turns into what my husband has jokingly referred to as my “13 year maternity leave”. But, as much as I loved being home with my kids, I began to feel like little more than a maid and quite frankly, was starting to doubt my own self-worth.

I think my family is proud of me and that feels good. I have found the perfect balance between motherhood and independent business owner and that feels pretty good too.

Feeling completely “out of the loop” in my field after all those years, I knew I couldn’t go back and pick up where I left off. I thought of going back to school, but financially, there was no way to make that happen. What I really wanted was to be my own boss. What I really wanted was to own my own shop, maybe a bake shop or a gift shop. I really wanted to be around other adults and have adult conversations on a daily basis. I wanted to have my own identity again.

An opportunity to work for a friend arose when my kids were 12 and 10. It was close to home and the hours were good. I later moved to another department within that office but soon found myself unemployed due to a lack of incoming work, and their inability to pay my wages. I enjoyed the summer off with my kids and started working part-time at a local independent coffee shop. This was good, and so close to the right fit, but not the perfect fit. A neighbourhood storefront became available and I made my move.

In September 2013, I opened the doors to my gift shop in downtown Stoney Creek, just blocks away from my home. I have my own identity and I have lots of new and wonderful friends. I think my family is proud of me and that feels good. I have found the perfect balance between motherhood and independent business owner and that feels pretty good too.

Angela Cowley

Angela Cowley is a married mother of two teens and a small business owner. When she isn't helping people put together the perfect gift at her gift shop in downtown Stoney Creek, Ontario, you can find her relaxing on the front porch of her century old home with a cold beverage.

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