Interview provided by Northside Rising, an Inspiring Communities nested initiative.
Tell me a little bit about yourself
I graduated from StFX with a degree in Psychology and worked in Mental Health both off-island and on. I met the boy, got married and we had three babies. Those years inspired and encouraged me to make the jump to start my own seamstress business. I learned to sew sitting at kitchen and laundry room tables with my grandmother. I learned the value in holding onto odds and ends of fabrics and laces because there will be that perfect project that calls for it. I still have a wrapped lace hand-pinned by her that I have yet to unwind. One day.
How did you hear about this program?
This is another example of something I will talk about later – how women championing other women here is a real thing. I opened my inbox to a note making me aware of a program that might be of interest to me. A woman I had yet to meet in person, and who had nothing to gain from sharing this opportunity with me. I tell everybody that the standard of character here is overwhelming.
What do you love about the Northside?
The Northside shows up in a big way and the people in the community really are rooting for you to win. The women on the Northside have been a continuous source of inspiration for me, through their support of my business, offering their advice, experience and opportunities. Many times over, I open my email to find a kind gesture from another woman I have yet to meet. It truly is community over competition.
When you think of the word Changemaker, does anyone you know come to mind?
I think of the businesses here and people who have laid their roots on the Northside and dug deep to give our community some really great offerings. We have family run shops, multi-generational businesses and young families deciding to open up on our streets so we can enjoy services in our own neighbourhoods.
What are your hopes for the Northside?
I hope that I can make something here that allows my children to picture doing the same. I hope for the choice to be there. The opportunities. The compassion and the means. I hope more young people see the value in setting up shop in our communities. Shoot big. Worst case you tried something you believed in and that’s important. Best case, really great things start to happen.
Rapid Fire Questions
(Adapted from Brene Brown Rapid Fire Questions)
Fill in the blank: Vulnerability is _______________
Vulnerability is Trusting.
You’re called to do something brave, but your fear is real and stuck in your throat. What’s the first thing you do?
Just do it.
What is something that people often get wrong about you?
I started my business doing alterations but have since moved into making my own designs. I have met so many great people on the Northside through my business and they have all been so encouraging and supportive. So, while I may not be offering my alteration services at this time I always encourage people to reach out and I can line them up with someone who can help, and I’m always happy to share tips or tricks if they want to try their hand at a project.
What’s the last show that you binged and loved?
My TV is usually on the FF Channel on YouTube. The Saint Laurent Spring Summer 2021 / Fall Winter 2021/2022 and Dior Pre-Fall 2021 are some of my favorites right now.
Give us a snapshot of an ordinary moment in your life that brings you great joy?
Either too early in the morning or too late at night. It’s still dark. Hot tea. Low music. A fire or a sunrise. The best company.
Give us a film you really love?
The 1996 version of Romeo & Juliet. Vanilla Sky. The Fifth Element. I watch tv for costume/set design or to watch people fall terribly in love.
What’s your favourite meal?
Vegetable samosa, paneer tikka masala, mixed vegetables. Also known as Date Night at Mians.
What’s on your nightstand right now?
Candle. Lavender oil. Book. Water.
Natalie can be found at https://www.instagram.com/thefloralrabbit/ or follow this link to see a video profile of Natalie’s Brightside Project, providing graduating high school students with ties and a new appreciation for their community.