Sue is a born-and-bred farm girl, with the farm very near an Air Force Base, at Trenton, Ontario, Canada. Romantic dreams of flying planes found her signing on the dotted line, joining the Canadian Armed Forces in October 1983. at the age of 21. After serving her country for 11 years, not as a pilot, a new path was chosen.
Enjoying small successes in the cottage industry, first with her own furniture repair and refinishing shop, Rejuvenations. Self-taught woodworking and finishing was followed by a baking and confectionery business, One Accidental Bakery, and lastly, by the development of seven flavours of a candied-nut product, Almond Maple Crunch. All these endeavours occurred while being gainfully employed by someone else. The struggle to find the perfect fit came when she began listening to her heart.
While working as a customer service representative, 2000-2019, Sue spoke with tens of thousands of phone-in customers. Always familiarizing herself with new products that her employer, Lee Valley Tools, was introducing, she would see, touch, and demonstrate the use of samples enabling her to answer a customer’s questions before and after their purchase. Reviewing the newest products one afternoon, she had a weird revelation. Some might call it a light-bulb moment.
“I glanced at the new, patio-stand-style weather vane. Instead of the typical rooster motif aloft, it had a pair of dragonflies. My eyes were then caught by a fanfold display of shiny new copper plant tags. I looked from one, to the other, and back to the first. Like a lightbulb lit up, I knew that I could, and would, make dragonflies from the copper tags. I even said, outloud, that, ‘I can make dragonflies out of these.’ No one was around to hear me. Weird, I know.”
With no reason to create them, but a lot of determination, she spent the next weekend designing prototypes.
“My first two attempts looked horrendous!”
Undaunted, she set them aside and persevered. By the fourth attempt she was satisfied that she had a recognizable copper dragonfly. Sue has mounted all four prototypes in a shadowbox. A single word, BELIEVE, shares their space, as a reminder to listen to her heart.
Neighbours noticed her dragonflies on a wreath hung outside her front door. She was asked where she bought them. Others asked how much she charged for them. Up until then, Sue was willing to make them and give them away..
Sue began to assess the pros and cons of her past ventures, comparing them to a new one, Hazy Dayz Dragonflies. She considered artistry, uniqueness, finished product size, weight, durability, infinite shelf life, and ‘green’ construction. Lastly, Sue remembered colleagues were willing to pull out their wallets before a price had been set.
“The Fancifulls are cute and most importantly bring smiles and joy to those who see them. I was hooked.”
With many design ideas, and customer suggestions, her mind races. “I am keeping track of all comments for future reference.”
“I had almost given up on being an entrepreneur, when this venture darted into my consciousness. It hovered, and came to rest in my heart. I take pride in making every dragonfly, knowing it’s my imagination, design, technique, and crafting ability that brings each one to life.”
The shadowbox, above, displays my prototypes for Hazy DayZ Dragonflies. An acceptable fourth attempt rests above my guiding word, believe.
Passion and commerce do not always mix.
When they do, you are on your way to living happily ever after.