To celebrate International Women's Day, we're shining a light on the remarkable women who make QE Home so wonderful. We’re so pleased to highlight some of our fabulous women who dedicate themselves to delivering exceptional service to their customers.
We hope that in telling these stories, which are punctuated by experiences of loss and grief, we might help others to feel less alone on their journeys. Let's celebrate their unwavering determination, strong leadership, and uplifting attitude together.
Read the first two blogs:
Trigger Warning: The following content contains stories that involve the loss of an infant and child, which may be distressing or triggering for some readers. Please proceed with caution or avoid if these topics are sensitive or difficult for you to read.
Maryam's story is a true testament to the strength and resilience of women.
Store Manager of our Hillcrest location, Maryam brings a wealth of experience with a background in retail spanning 20+ years. Her professional strengths are equal in measure to the strength she has exhibited in her personal life. Despite encountering a number of extraordinary challenges on her journey, she has met these with an exceptional level of grace and optimism that would be difficult to surpass.
After moving to Canada as a young woman, and going on to work and study in different areas, Maryam eventually realized that her passion lay in retail, a field that has enabled her to interact with people, something that brings her immense joy. She worked her way up to become a store manager with QE Home and was thriving until the COVID-19 pandemic hit and she was diagnosed with cancer.
But Maryam refused to let her illness hold her back. Even during her recovery, she worked part-time, eager to return to full-time work.
In addition to experiencing her own health struggles, Maryam has also had to cope with the devastating loss of her son, who passed away shortly after being welcomed into the world.
Following a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy, her son was born with brain damage as a result of unexpected events that occurred during the delivery process. Despite these heartbreaking circumstances, Maryam made the very most of her time with her son, cherishing every moment and creating lasting memories in the few days she had with him.
In the wake of extreme grief and loss, Maryam's positive attitude and determination are truly remarkable. Even when recalling her battle with cancer, Maryam speaks with a sense of gratitude. She recognizes that she was fortunate to have been initially prompted to visit the doctor after speaking with someone who had been diagnosed. Despite having experienced great loss and sadness, she remains resolute; considering herself to be very lucky in many areas of her life, particularly when it comes to being the mom of a wonderful daughter.
Maryam's daily rituals include writing down the things she is grateful for and taking care of herself through self-care practices. Being able to find joy in small things and practice gratitude is not always easy, particularly in the midst of challenges. However, we're inspired by Maryam and her journey, which is a true testament to the power of perseverance and mindfulness. Her story is indeed a powerful reminder of the human spirit's resilience.
Recognizing and celebrating women like Maryam, who have overcome significant obstacles and emerged stronger and more resilient, is so important. These qualities are truly admirable and we’re really proud to have an individual like Maryam representing QE Home.
Meet Michelle, a woman who is equally strong as she is selfless, and who wears many hats. She is a devoted wife, mother, and a dedicated employee at QE Home for many years now. In addition to her full-time job, Michelle runs her own business, an impressive feat all on its own.
It may go without saying, she derives satisfaction in staying busy! Those who have had the privilege of working with Michelle can attest to her innate generosity and willingness to assist others, making her the go-to person for many.
In spite of the challenging circumstances she faced while growing up with a single mother after her father's untimely passing, Michelle's determination and grit were fostered at an early age. Witnessing her mother's struggles with depression, Michelle gained a deep appreciation for the value of resilience.
Even as a young person, Michelle displayed a natural inclination towards helping others. Her home was always open to friends in need of a place to stay or someone to talk to. These early experiences shaped Michelle's character and instilled in her a lifelong commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others.
With her mother, Michelle took on the responsibility of caring for her best friend's son when her friend was unable to do so. Unfortunately, in 2021, tragedy struck when he was involved in a fatal hit-and-run car accident. After being a part of Michelle's family for the most part of his 19 years, this loss was devastating for everyone. Despite the heartache, Michelle continues to honor his memory by cherishing the impact he had on her life and striving to make a positive impact in her community.
One of Michelle's proudest achievements has been raising her children and providing a warm and nurturing environment for them. Believing that women can accomplish anything they set their minds to, she strives to instill these values into her three young children as they grow up, and hopes to lead by example, just as her own mother continues to do.
Michelle describes her mom as being a daily source of inspiration, motivating her to follow in her footsteps by making a positive impact wherever she can. Michelle's mother worked hard to provide for her and her siblings, and Michelle carries that same work ethic with her to this day.
For Michelle, self-care is important. Though she tends to put others before herself, she still tries to ensure she takes time to care for herself, and hopes she can inspire other women to do the same. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, exercising daily, and flexing her many creative talents.
Michelle is an inspiration to other women who want to achieve success in their own lives. Her story serves as a powerful reminder of the immense dedication required to balance parenthood and career; and demonstrates that with hard work and a giving heart, we can achieve our goals and uplift others along the way.
We recognize and appreciate the countless ways in which Michelle enriches the lives of those around her, and we are so fortunate to work alongside such a remarkable individual.
Meet Naomi, the Store Manager of our Station Mall location, and an inspiring individual who believes in challenging herself and everyone on her team to be the best they can be. She takes pride in her work and is widely recognized for her positive personality by all who have the pleasure of knowing her.
Naomi's team highly regards her for all the strengths she brings to her job, and especially for her natural proficiency with numbers, often jokingly wondering why she did not pursue accounting as a career path. When she's not at work, she fondly describes the sense of fulfillment she gains from spending time in nature. Whether she's simply going for long drives with her husband, or engaging in more hands-on activities like fishing or kayaking, Naomi feels the most connected with herself when she's outdoors and staying active.
However, she has also gone through a challenging journey in her personal life, after being diagnosed with aggressive stage three cancer. After undergoing the necessary treatments, she felt unwell for an extended period, yet through it all, she was able to remain optimistic and recalls making visits back to work to see her QE Home team, an environment that has always felt like a second home to Naomi.
She also managed to keep her sense of humor intact, recalling how making jokes with her doctor during chemotherapy treatments helped her to stay positive through some of her most challenging moments.
Naomi is now cancer-free and is grateful for the strong team and caring company she has at QE Home. She considers her team to be like family and was excited to return to work, noting how grateful she was for the support she received from her team (and loyal customers) throughout her journey.
Her experiences have taught Naomi to embrace change and strive to inspire her team to view it as a positive force for growth and progress. Her considerate nature, optimistic personality, eagerness to help others without a second thought, and belief in treating everyone with kindness and respect set a shining example for all.
We are very proud to be highlighting such a remarkable character as Naomi as part of our month-long International Women's Day campaign. Please join us in celebrating her.
These stories are a true testament to the strength, resilience, and determination of women. Despite facing numerous challenges and heartbreaking losses, they have shown an unwavering spirit and a positive attitude towards life, going on to achieve their goals and make a positive impact on the world around them.
These individuals are a source of inspiration and a reminder that even in the midst of adversity, the human spirit has the power to persevere and thrive. We hope that celebrating and recognizing women like Maryam, Michelle, and Naomi will inspire and empower others to find their inner strength through all of life's challenges.
Stay tuned for our next blog post 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).