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  • Writer's pictureHeidi Bekker

Celebrating International Women's Day:

Women have been transformative figures in cultivating the values I strive to live by since my early developing years to today, as a business owner. The women who have supported and trusted in my personal growth have been some incredibly dedicated individuals who are intentional in their stewardship of kindness, their acts of slow to speak, and how they choose to walk through life. These relationships are such a joy to continue cultivating through both work and play.

Heidi and pup 'Bjorn'

A couple of brilliant humans and very dear friends I {Heidi} have the pleasure of introducing you to are both women whom I had first met in two different times of life: careers and cities. What I didn’t know when meeting each of these ladies was how much they would inspire and shape my life. As influential leaders themselves, not only within their profession, but also palpably through their focus in work, care of the earth and love for other people.

So without further ado….Let me introduce two of my good friends.


Janelle (Janie) Gerestein

Photo Credit: Tara Whittaker Photography

If I were to describe Janie in a few words I would say she’s playful, kind-hearted, and focused. Janie is the owner and lead designer of 'FLOWERS BY JANIE' a boutique wedding floral studio in Calgary, AB. I met Janie a few years back as she was looking for locally grown flowers to use in her designs. As it happens, I grow specialty flowers and supply these as cut flowers for floral designers here in Calgary - something you may not have known about Forage + Design!

Janie works with such intentionality and care for her clients. She shines through in her love of all things beautiful. In her custom approach to design, each couple is delighted with her individual attention to their event. Along with her team, she brings joy, beauty and inspiring designs to each of her clients. All who have the chance to work with her or who have the pleasure of hiring her will be thrilled with the experience and connection to nature they will feel.

After meeting Janie, it was easy to form a fast friendship. Our chats revolve around gardening, flowers, work strategies, food and our shared love for Jesus. She is also a great road trip partner!

Up for a limited time, Janie is giving a chance for people to bid on a 1 hour mentorship with the woman herself for a local charity as part of International women's day and a way to give back. Checkout the link below!

Holly O’Flaherty

Inspiring, passionate, quirky and down to earth would be some words to describe this New Zealand native. Holly is the Managing Partner at 'GREENJEANS INTERIORSCAPE' a plant care company in Edmonton, AB.

While Holly’s accent might have you fall in love with her, it is her incredible human spirit that really reels you in.

Holly has the incredible ability to listen and grasp the whole picture when connecting with clients and employees. As a result, she is able to foster a strong work culture; something I strive to create everyday. Her ability to efficiently look at elements whether relationally or environmentally and the time she spends on research is reflected in the care that is applied to every project.

I can remember working alongside her to create Christmas décor designs for commercial spaces. I was often struck with appreciation for how she tackled design through a curious and confident freedom. Having Holly's assured and honest presence influences my personal creativity in design which is vital to making good decisions and trusting the quality of my own work.

When given the chance to see each other, Holly and I will find the time to relax and connect in ways that feed our souls; usually through amazing food and fancy cocktails. Sometimes it may also be a simple americano but always paired with fancy croissants.


These women are renowned leaders to me and why International Women’s day is a great day to show how both these women choose to lift up and raise the profile of other women, starting with me.

I hope till the end of my time, these relationships along with some other incredible ladies in my life strengthen not only for our own happiness, but to further connect and support others. I hope we continue to build friendships that will influence and encourage change and safe conversations for all women moving forward.

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