In this instalment of interviews, we speak with the amazing Cassandra Bradshaw. She has navigated careers from make up artist for Benefit cosmetics to doing away with the ideal picture of beauty to live a natural lifestyle that gives her fulfillment. She works at Province Apothecary and is beginning work on her own non-for-profit business called Jars of Joy.
Although it looks like everything is coming up roses for Cassandra, her journey to find the happiness she has now has not always been so easy so we’re here to hear about some of her obstacles, and set-backs before finding her true calling.
Tell me about what you are doing now?
I’m a holistic aesthetician at Province Apothecary, I’m starting my own recipe jars called Jars of Joy, and I’m collaborating with an illustrator to create re-useable “Shop Local” bags and have the profits donated to charities supporting sustainability and local economy.
What made you begin?
I suddenly had a burning fire within to find work in an environment where I constantly felt positive about providing a worthwhile service to the community. I wanted to work for a local business that had similar morals and values as my own.
How did you get started?
It was fairly serendipitous how this all came together. My boss, Julie, ran a “make your own skincare” workshop that I attended, and that secured my love for small batch skincare and aromatherapy. I sat down with her one day and discussed her need for help and I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The job kind of came to me, and I had welcomed it with open arms, knowing there would be risks and less security than my corporate job.
What keeps you going?
I love what I do. I wake up each morning and know I am making a positive contribution to the working world. I believe whole heartedly in Province Apothecary and all of our clients truly brighten my days. We have a lovely following and I feel blessed to be a part of it all.
How do you stay motivated?
There are always obstacles along the way. I stay motivated by reviewing my goals and concentrating on them daily. Repetition is the key to mastery, and it keeps me aware of what i’m working so hard for. There are times when we do things we don’t want to do. But as long as we have a good enough reason to push harder, work smarter, and be stronger – we will do that until it kills us. I know of people who are in their late 80’s and still hard working entrepreneurs. Their passion and mind-set are what keeps them going.
3 things that someone who wants to be a vegan/ start a not-for-profit/ live a natural lifestyle (you do so much :)) should keep at top of mind:
1. Have good reasons and review them often
2. Let your mistakes guide you forward, not pull you back
3. Nothing in life is ever perfect. There are always positive and negative sides. Focus on the positive, because the great thing is, we have a choice.
What were you doing before?
I was a Brow Expert / Makeup Artist for a couple different cosmetic companies throughout the years. Prior to that I was in college working part-time jobs in customer service.
What are some struggles that made it difficult to get from that to this?
I feel as though I struggled internally, and once I started looking within for the answers, everything sort of came together externally. It was almost like I had certain opportunities handed to me – that I didn’t quite go in search of it or feel I prepared enough for it, it just happened. And I went with it – once you realize that mindset is key, you can overcome a lot of personal challenges just by switching the way you think.
Tell us about a point in your life when you didn’t ever think you would make it.
There was a point where I was working long hours at a salon that started going under. I watched the place go from heaven to hell in under a year and it was a nightmare. I was applying to other positions and although I had some interviews – no call backs. I didn’t know what I was going to do, and I could literally see the end was coming – the manager had fired someone and had me doing her work, so it was in the papers. Then finally someone threw me a lifeline and I got an (at the time) amazing opportunity with Benefit cosmetics. I’ve come to realize that whenever you sink low into negativity, it can swallow you whole or propel you further into something beautifully positive.
Who told you no?
One of my bosses fired me when I was in training mode, then contacted me 6 hours later to say she’d made a mistake.
What was your turn-around point?
When she told me no, and I told myself “I can do better” and I set out an intention to master the craft and go back with a skill she couldn’t refuse. When you want something, truly and passionately, nothing can stop you. Repetition is key and reason backing your choices. did you always have a dream to become what you are now?My dreams have constantly been changing. I think what has always stuck with me is a dream to help others. And I can sincerely say that I help many people through my job and I’m grateful to do so.
What inspired you to start on this journey?
My passion for holistic health, environmentalism, and sustainability. what was your no means yess moment? To explain this concept, when was a time when everything may have felt like a struggle, you could have given up but you used a power inside to keep pushing forward.When I was working two jobs, going through a rough patch with my partner and dealing with landlord/neighbour issues. I was extremely stressed and found relaxation and comfort through yoga and meditation. I kept reminding myself that a brighter future lays ahead. I cannot stress deeply enough how important our mind-set is to overall happiness. Nothing lasts forever, and sometimes we must endure deep pain before experiencing greatness.