In the serene coastal haven of Nova Scotia, we find the remarkable tale of Jackie Barkhouse and Saltwater Soul. Her journey from an aspiring entrepreneur to a thriving business owner is a story of adaptability, resilience, and embracing life’s quirks.
Navigating Hard Times
Jackie’s foray into the entrepreneurial world happened before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. She envisioned creating a vibrant hub for artisans and creatives on the Eastern Shore. Organizing events and markets seemed like a fantastic idea, and she dove headfirst into the venture. Things were going great for over a year, but COVID-19 forced her to rethink her business strategy.
Enter our Dream Business Program. This program was a game-changer in Jackie’s entrepreneurial journey. It equipped her with the skills and insights to adjust and revamp her business during turbulent times. The invaluable lesson she learned was to listen to her customers and be open to tweaking her business model to cater to their evolving needs.
The Power of the Dream Business Program
As Jackie herself reflects, “The program gave me focus on being able to pivot my business and how to engage people to find out what they are looking for. That’s when I realized the value of the program. Be willing to listen to your customers. Be willing to adjust. What you think in the beginning may not be what you end up doing.”
Jackie’s story underscores the significance of embracing change and understanding that your initial business concept may differ from your final destination. COVID-19, as devastating as it was for many, ironically allowed her to create a business that she’s now head over heels in love with.
Jackie’s journey is a vivid reminder that life often throws curveballs, and our ability to adapt and embrace imperfections can lead us to true fulfillment. Her entrepreneurial adventure began with the dream of growing lavender but evolved into a harmonious blend of flowers, writing, and the untamed beauty of Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore.
In her words, “As bad as COVID was, it allowed me to build a business that I love so much more.”
Her mantra of a “perfectly imperfect” life became the cornerstone of her business and her writing. A former union organizer and politician, Jackie’s path included health challenges leading her to her Eastern Shore cottage. She decided to retire earlier than planned, take a leap of faith, and turn her dream into reality.
Saltwater Soul, her business, is aptly named, inspired by nature, and deeply rooted in passion. Her story strikes a chord with many, especially women who’ve experienced unexpected twists and turns. Jackie’s message is straightforward: Life is too short to trudge down a path that does not bring joy and fulfillment. She encourages others to take risks, embrace change, and march forward with unwavering determination.
She eloquently says, “You have to sometimes look adversity in the eye and challenge it. Even if it’s tough, keep going. You have to do that with a small business, roll with the punches and pivot.”
What makes Jackie so compelling is her authenticity. She didn’t set out to become an influencer, but her genuine sharing of life’s beauty and challenges has touched countless hearts. Her journey to create a business that resonates with people showcases the power of authentically chasing your dreams and passions.
Jackie’s story isn’t just about entrepreneurship; it’s about discovering purpose and happiness beyond a paycheck. Her “shedquarters,” a rustic and charming space adorned with treasures from her yard, is an inviting space for people to savour the beauty of imperfection and the authenticity of her journey.
In the end, Jackie’s message rings loud and clear. Life is unpredictable, and challenges are bound to crop up. Still, with resilience and determination, you can pivot, adapt, and construct a life and business that truly inspires you and others. She credits the Dream Business Program for arming her with the tools and mindset needed to navigate the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship.
Jackie’s story reminds us that you can turn your dreams into a vivid reality with a willingness to pivot, a sprinkle of creativity, and an abundance of heart! As she continues touching lives through her business and message, Jackie shines as a glowing example of what’s achievable when you follow your heart and chase your dreams with unwavering resolve.
Check out Jackie’s pitch!
An avid gardener, Jackie is often in ‘The Shedquarters’ working on botanical creations that are resplendent with fragrant flowers and herbs. She is the quintessential whim-driven creative, working on whatever inspires her at any given time. A lifelong love affair with old pages and inspiring words collided a few years ago, resulting in a much-favoured collection of inspirational greeting cards. Beyond botanical creations and greeting cards…you can never be quite certain what Jackie has come up with.
The perfectly imperfect journey and lifestyle of this rural artisan-maker can be followed on her social media. She uses these platforms to announce plans for select markets/events/popups.
Follow her on her socials or send her an email:
Ready to embark on your journey? Join the Dream Business Program and discover your potential! Learn more and register at DreamBusiness.ca.
Check out our other amazing Dream Business Program alumni stories here!