Today we raise our fists high and put our hands together in celebration of our Feature Girl Warrior, the multi-talented and creative entrepreneur, Amanda Grace, Owner and Chief Designer in the “geeky, girly-girl” labs Sibsea Soaps in Sooke, British Columbia. Born in America and raised in Alberta, Amanda spent her wonder years picking wildflower bouquets on the hillside and exploring the wide-open spaces of Cochrane. It was here that her deep spiritual connection and love of nature was born and nurtured. After a stint in the Calgary Theatre scene, Amanda headed north to work in oil and gas exploration as a Juggie. It was at this intensely challenging and soul-destroying job that she had the opportunity to discover amazing treasures that taught her to push herself beyond what she thought possible. She had some highly memorable experiences along the way, like the time she came face-to-face with a huge lynx with the most extraordinary golden eyes. It was a close call but according to Amanda, well worth it! She then went on to work in boatbuilding with Park Isle Marine during its golden days when they were building a 65’ fiberglass custom yacht named The Wanderbird for George Baker. Among her many accomplishments was a free store she created called The Blessing Boutique in a historical old church in Midway, BC. Amanda’s current passion is her bath and body product company Sibsea Soaps where she makes all sorts of beautiful products like bath bombs, shampoo bars, and the best salt soak ever! Constantly learning and inventing, Amanda says there is always something new to discover at Sibsea to satisfy your senses. The products are made with top quality ingredients and good science to ensure the best end result for her customers. And because they care about their impact on all levels, and strive to make it a positive one, Sibsea is currently transitioning to sustainable packaging for their entire line. Amanda loves the spectacular forests of Vancouver Island and knows many remote unique local treasures that can’t be found anywhere else on earth. Hiking in the forest heals her heart and recharges her soul. Amanda says it gives her the juice to return to this world again and again no matter what happens…one foot in front of the other. And to that we say YES!
What makes you a Girl Warrior?
My drive and commitment to a high ethical standard and the morals of my heart at all times. It takes real bravery to be soft in a hard world then what it takes to mirror the hardness back and in turn harden our own hearts losing the greatest treasure of all.
What is your most vivid childhood memory and how has that shaped the way you view the world?
That would be the eternal battles and power struggles present in my childhood and the peace I would feel away from the house dancing in the garage to classical music.
What’s a Juggie?
A Juggie is the bottom of the line in the oilfield – a job a robot could do if not for the rough terrain. It would be better suited to a robot aside from the gorgeous places you get to explore.
What important life lesson did you learn while working in Northern Alberta in the oil and gas industry?
That no matter what I “think”, life can push me harder and farther then that, by such a long shot. It boggled my mind. This can be applied to all things, both physically and psychologically.
How did you get into boat building?
I heard a rumor of a job that was decent pay and had potential and was sort of local and the idea interested me.
Why did you start your free store, The Blessing Boutique?
I started the free store because the timing worked out for me to do something that has always mattered to me on a large scale. I didn’t have to wait for some intangible future; I got to grasp the opportunity and run with it. It was the most rewarding and soulfully joyful time for me really.
What is it about hiking in the forest that you love so much?
That I can process emotions and thoughts and burn off the frustrations and pain, transmuting instead of blocking or denying life experiences and their impact upon our souls and spirits. The trees and nature never let me down; I am always amazed and treated as an equal. I am healed in the silence.
Tell us about your bath and body company Sibsea Soaps? Where did the name come from?
It comes from the first initials of all of my children’s names and then sea for the fact we came to the sea to catch our dreams.
What’s the biggest decision you ever made?
To accept myself then to love myself no matter what I had been told and taught and shown. This decision led me to grasp my inner strength and allow me to wrestle some intense moments of pain with positive transformational effect.
What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve overcome?
My sorrow. I look around and I always have, and I can be heartbroken by how far we are from where we should be by now, and the patterns I see reflected in this world at times don’t bode well for a gentle learning curve, shall we say.
What do we need to know “for sure” about being self-employed?
Never give up. Everything is progress and never give up. You have to be a warrior to be self-employed because you drive yourself. Which is the most effective motivation of all really if we’re honest.
What would you say to your younger Girl Warrior?
You will meet many people on your path and journey through this life that cannot believe you are what you are, and they will try their best to cause you harm or break you down to respond on a level that they identify with, in order to justify their own choice of action. It will hurt you and it will crush you but each time you grow stronger and find your core. Trust your instincts; they are right no matter what you have been told, and follow your heart to your path of honor. This life won’t be easy but hold the line against the darkness and remember you are light even in the darkest of moments you are the light you seek, and you only have to remember that in your soul to light it up again, and move onwards and upwards. You’re on the right path.
What would you say to future Girl Warriors looking for inspiration?
Similar to what I would say to younger me only remember to stay humble. I had already learned humility via the path of projected worthlessness.
Who is/are your Girl Warrior hero(s) and why?
Anyone who follows their heart and who speaks and lives by the truth. Anyone who has seen pain and has been broken but rebuilt themselves even if they needed help, and who still can love with a purity of strength and the power of deserved respect.
Blue Sky it. No boundaries here, just limitless opportunities. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In a house in the trees with huge windows and a garden full of my own veggies. Chickens and the smell of the forest on a hot summer day, sweet and full of pleasure, abundance and contentment. Still with a sparkle in my eye, still mixing up bubbly potions because I love it and dancing my way to all my dreams. The small stuff. Hahaha.
What makes you laugh uncontrollably? Cry out all the tears?
Well a side effect of this level of pain in living means my sense of humor can be rather twisted and used at all times and even without filters. That makes me laugh because I crack up at myself for my sass. I suppose some people do it internally, not me so much. I laugh at anything and everything. I was at the store buying a cord thingy for my phone and the clerk and I started to talk about YouTube and what a scam it was. I then went on to say what downright bastards they were and heartless to boot as I had been listening to music processing heartbreak, finally starting to dance again, and whammo next ad on YouTube was for a mother loving engagement ring; I was lost for the next thirty seconds uttering a string of profanities in sassy glory that would make a sailor blush. Hahaha. Never meant a second of it but loved saying it and laughing at myself for doing it. I can be rather animated and I had her laughing so hard her eyes were watering by the end.
What makes me cry out all the tears is when I give love innocently and wholeheartedly and get taken advantage of, disrespected and/or oftentimes not even noticed in having taken the action, as it is actually rather rare these days that love is seen. It is easily corrupted through the filters of another’s pain and that. That makes me cry out all the tears and always will but I still never regret a second of the love I have given, more how it was regretfully received.
If a movie were written about your life, what would it be called?
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