Celebrating Women: Joanne, Marlene and Lori
2023 Mar 16th
To celebrate International Women's Day, we're shining a light on the amazing women who make up the heart and soul of QE Home. We’re so pleased to highlight some of our fabulous women who dedicate themselves to delivering exceptional service to their customers. Let's celebrate their unwavering determination, strong leadership, and uplifting attitude together.
Read the first blog:
Celebrating Women: Avneet, Ellie and Jo
The lovely Joanne joins us from our Lawson Heights store in Saskatoon. Originally from Saskatchewan, she spent much of her life moving around, ultimately settling in Comox on Vancouver Island, where she worked as a pharmacist for many years, which she enjoyed immensely.
However, in 2017, her mother began to experience health issues, which led to Joanne moving back to Saskatchewan to be closer to family. For the next 10 years, Joanne became her mother's caregiver. After her mother passed away, Joanne found a job at QE Home. Although the world of bedding and retail was new to her, she quickly fell in love with the job and found it gave her motivation to carry forward and a reason to get up in the morning.
Joanne's past career provided her with valuable insights on caring for people, and the strengths she developed while caring for her mother are wonderful assets that she brings to her store and her customers. Once Joanne began working at QE Home, her creativity blossomed, and she discovered a newfound passion for designing and arranging stunning beds for her clients. This enthusiasm spilled over into her personal life, as she rediscovered a love for colouring and reading that she hadn't indulged in since her university days.
Joanne's empathetic nature and natural instinct for teaching have shaped her into a true embodiment of QE Home values. She enjoys helping people find the bedding that suits their specific needs. She listens to her customers and finds out where they're coming from, so she can provide them with the best advice and guidance. Her positive outlook and her approach to life has a positive impact on the store environment, from those she works with and those who visit the Lawson Heights store.
Joanne’s advice is to focus on what you love and try new things, something her mother taught her to appreciate. For those experiencing tribulations, she also recommends finding a support group and remembering that it's okay to ask for help.
To look after herself, Joanne practices mindfulness and finds joy in the smallest things in nature. Her personal motto is to let go and live for the day. She embraced a present-focused outlook, free of worries about the past or future, which has enabled her to develop meaningful connections with others, including her customers! Those that have the pleasure of knowing Joanne quickly grow to admire her for her kindness, patience, and her effervescent charm. She sets a remarkable example for women of all ages and backgrounds, we're so glad to have her on the team!
Meet Marlene, a woman of great strength and resilience, and Assistant Manager at our Quinte store in Ontario.
Marlene spent 15 years as a stay-at-home mom to three children, before working in HR for many years. However, Marlene's life took a difficult turn when both of her parents were diagnosed with cancer at the same time. Marlene stepped up to the plate, balancing her responsibilities and helping to look after her parents while they underwent treatment.
Unfortunately, her father passed away, followed by her mother shortly after. Dealing with the loss of both parents, Marlene also became a full-time caregiver for three of her grandchildren. Despite the challenges, Marlene remained positive and with her husband by her side, has focused on raising three teenagers and dedicates herself to giving them a great life.
Prompted by changes in her circumstances, nine years ago, Marlene dusted off her resume and found a job at QE Home. As someone who loves decorating and enjoys building connections with people, she found her job very rewarding. Recognizing that customers often visit the store during difficult life transitions, such as illness or loss, Marlene's own personal experiences have enabled her to empathize with them and offer the compassion and understanding they need when purchasing new bedding.
Marlene is a firm believer in forging ahead and dealing with whatever comes her way. She encourages others to make connections and not keep things to themselves, especially women. Marlene feels fortunate to have the support of her husband and hopes that others going through similar situations find support as well. She encourages others to reach out for help if they need it, whether that be through friends, family, support groups or professional help. Despite facing numerous challenges in her life, Marlene chooses not to dwell on the negatives or to succumb to self-pity. She believes that everyone faces trials, and lives her life with a philosophy of gratitude that is truly admirable.
In 2023, Marlene faces a new challenge - she needs hip replacement surgery. However, even with this added hurdle, she remains positive and thankful. We’re so inspired by Marlene's story and her positive outlook on life. Marlene's dedication to her family and her willingness to help others are an inspiration to all who know her. We are so proud to have her as part of the QE Home family, and wish her the very best in the years to come.
One of our terrific District Managers, Lori has always had a passion for retail, starting from her childhood when she would play store with a pretend cash register. This passion eventually drove her to become an entrepreneur and establish her own retail business. After three years, she expanded to a much larger location, but tragically, a fire destroyed everything. Lori made the difficult decision to start from scratch at a new location. The local community rallied behind her, and she was able to reopen and grow her new store.
Despite finding great joy in running her own business, it was also an arduous task as she was responsible for a myriad of tasks, including marketing, merchandising, sales, and hiring. After experiencing a difficult period in her personal life, she once again began anew, settling into a new home and a new job at QE Home. Being a part of something larger than herself was a tremendous source of motivation for her, and with her dedication and hard work, she swiftly rose through the ranks, first as an assistant manager and later as a store manager, before eventually becoming a district manager.
During her time with QE Home, Lori has greatly enjoyed the freedom she has had to grow the business and impact it positively. She's had to make key decisions, and has made mistakes along the way, but she always felt she could call on other managers for support.
When asked about her greatest accomplishment, Lori spoke about her journey towards improved health. Lori underwent back surgery and subsequently adopted a fitness routine, shedding 30 lbs in the process. Skiing, trail running, and hiking became an integral part of her life, providing a source of rejuvenation. She prioritizes her mental well-being and adheres to the mantra, "This too shall pass."
Lori believes in exploring, learning, and moving forward in life, and relishes the feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day. She actively seeks out moments of joy throughout her day and incorporates breathing exercises as a form of self-care. Additionally, she prioritizes spending time with her children and grandchildren, actively engaging in their daily activities. Lori places great significance on the fleeting nature of time and believes in pursuing the path one desires in life, as circumstances can change unexpectedly.
As District Manager, Lori elevates team morale and takes immense pride in her work. She encourages her team to focus on what they can control, strive for work-life balance, and avoid living solely to work. Regarding career advice, she emphasizes the significance of seeking out an environment that you genuinely desire to be in and that respects and appreciates the time and energy you devote. Additionally, Lori emphasizes the significance of showing empathy and understanding towards others, as one never knows the struggles people are going through.
We’re so grateful for the person Lori is and delighted to feature her as a part of our women’s month celebrations.
From their exceptional service to their vast product knowledge, these women truly go above and beyond to embody the essence of QE Home, creating a welcoming environment where customers feel heard, understood, and supported throughout their shopping experience. This is a quality we're proud to provide across our stores nationwide.
Stay tuned for our next blog posts where we'll highlight more inspiring women who are making a difference in their communities and beyond. Follow us on Instagram for updates and to participate in our #IWD giveaway (or find the details and enter here).