Take Ten: Tamara Bowman
Thanks for popping in for a read. I joined the OCM group about a year ago and I have to say that it is yet another thing in life that pushes me outside of my comfort zone. Putting words out there that are my personal take is a bit nerve racking, but the team and our readership's support makes it all worth while! I have so enjoyed talking about my great passions like interior design, wine, and whatever other lifestyle endeavor I'm pursuing at the time! So here comes the lowdown on me!!
1. The good life- I grew up on an acreage south of Saskatoon, and had an awesome childhood. My family was very active, and my parents worked hard to provide a lifestyle that any kid dreams of. We had all kinds of toys, a pool, trampoline, fire pit, etc., and I remember being outside playing all of the time. I tried lots of sports and activities, we spent most weekends at Emma lake, and for a month every spring we would travel around various parts of North America in a SUV. By the time I was a teenager I had visited this entire half of Canada, 40+ states, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Life was good, but then came a curve ball. My parents have always been an inspiring entrepreneurs, but as any entrepreneur knows, business is about risk, and some investments don’t always go the way you need them to. So at the age of 13, things turned drastically and the life we knew disappeared one possession at a time. Although this experience was difficult it taught me many things, but mostly to be appreciative of everything in life, as things can change in an instant.
2. Fashion, hair and makeup- I love fashion and definitely get my sense of style from my Mom. She was always shopping and always very on point with her look, and I loved seeing her dress up in these fabulous outfits and always look amazing. As I moved into my teenage years, I got my first job as a 'shampoo girl' at a Broadway salon and began appreciating the art of hair styling. This salon trained me as a makeup artist (my first client was my boyfriends ex-girlfriend…awkward!), and I ended up doing some hair modelling and modelling in general which led to a new hair colour of the month more often than not! Between modelling in photo shoots and hair competitions I was having a blast (25 years later my picture is still on the wall of my hairdressers salon), and in high school my photo rode around on a city bus advertisement for a while which my high school classmates thought was pretty cool. Now, I am a believer in making a personal and professional statement with my image everyday, as I know that people take you as serious as you take yourself, so fashion, hair and makeup are all a huge part of my life!
3. Music- I absolutely love almost any kind of music especially if it is live. Growing up I was an award winning air-bander, with claims to fame like taking first place at a school competition for my performance to Whitney Huston’s “I Want to Dance With Somebody” (claiming my prize of a bag of peat moss?!), and another time collecting a $200 Market Mall gift certificate for my Roy Orbison “Pretty Woman” performance…just to name a couple! Now, some people who know me well, would know that my favourite Sirius station is Pitbull and they can usually hear me driving up. I have a bit of an obsession with anything with a strong beat so hip hop is an easy sell, but anything that I can sing or bounce to, has me sold. Recently I was confronted with a pretty cool opportunity when a local music producer (Jesse Weiman) asked me if I would like to record a song. So lets back up here… I mentioned that I love to sing, but really I barely sing in front of anyone, and well I like to think I’m ok, well the truth is that I’m actually just ok at it! So when Jesse asked me I thought “no way”, but when he offered to teach me how to sing a song of my choice, of course I had to say yes (for my family’s sake ;). So I think it turned out ok and to date I have only allowed a few close friends and family to hear it, but today I’m going to share the link with you guys at the end of my blog! I just ask that you don't judge me too hard on this one please, and maybe think about putting something like this (that is way out of your comfort zone) on your bucket list... here goes nothing!!
4. I LOVE to dance! For me a great night out always ends in a dance party. One of my greatest dancing memories as a kid was when I was asked to do the twist on stage with another boy for a charity event and I made the paper…pretty exciting stuff for a kid! I have always loved dancing, but put me in a choreographed class setting and, as usual, I am just ok at it, but if I practice and try hard I can be decent for sure. For the past 2 years I have been asked to dance in the local version of Dancing With The Stars (called Swinging With The Stars) as an influential person who is paired up with a professional dance partner. I have major stage fright issues, but decided to buck up and figure it out, I realized that this wasn’t about me it was for charity. I was paired up with an uber talented partner, Brenden Turanich, who taught me some amazing moves and we danced to various versions of Michael Jackson blowing the crowd away 2 years straight. I will also post the video of one of the performance's at the end!
5. My family life- I am a mother of 2 awesome little homies. Ella 12, Bennett 11, and a wife to a “Lucky Bastard”, Cary (the Bastard of the LB Distillers equation). Cary and I began dating when I was the ripe young age of 15, and this year we celebrated 25 years together! Scary to think that could be my daughter in a few more years!! Cary and I have had an amazing life together. We both love all the great things in life like frequent travel (this year alone I have been to Italy, Spain, Mexico, The US, and have traveled in Canada), fabulous food (Cary is an amazing cook), cocktails and wine, family time, fashion, entrepreneurship, community involvement, personal growth, health, and being some of Saskatoon's "Socialites” (as my friend deemed us). My family is incredible as they understand my needs and support my quirkiness, charisma and zest for life (and I believe that I do the same for them), and yet through all the craziness of all 4 of our schedules, we somehow still manage to sit together for supper at night and say proper goodnights and good mornings, which can be hard to do these days.
6. Entrepreneurship- Growing up, building forts was one of my favourite activities and creating homes was my thing. I cleared out areas in trees, built some intense snow forts, flipped couches and propped-up cushions, swept paths in the leaves, and cut the lawn in sections all to create living spaces everywhere, so ultimately this was foreshadowing my future! Ha! I knew the risks of being an entrepreneur, but no matter what my father’s drive especially inspired me, and the need make my own path was always in my blood. The career path I chose was Interior Design, and after my schooling I was geared up to grow my practical knowledge. I worked at Home Depot, Benjamin Moore, and managed Urban Barn to gain some well rounded experience in my field. When I was 21, with the great help of my parents, I general contracted the build of my first set of spec homes (yup still standing), and learned all of the hard lessons about the industry… but that was the point! I officially started my business in 1999 and today I have a one-stop shop called Metric Design Centre (located in the old Ens building on Circle Drive), selling kitchens, plumbing, tile, drapery, etc., offering interior design and decorating services, and full renovation services.
7. Food and wine- If you have read my previous blog entries, you might know that I have a HUGE passion for wine. My love started few years back when I developed a fascination for the unique qualities of wine and to me, each bottle is like a mystery waiting to unfold… How heavy tasting will it be? Will it taste the same as another bottle from that region? Will what I am eating or ate that day change how much I enjoy it? So many questions, and I am still working hard every day to analyze the situation. I’ll keep you posted on how it is going! ;)
8. New home- Currently I am designing our forever home in River Heights. It is going to have a west- coast contemporary vibe and a sliver of a river view. The plans have been in the works for years now and of course I am still tweaking, to make it worse I haven’t even started on the interior design yet and we are supposed to start construction within the year. Designing for others is my passion, but when it comes to designing for yourself, it is daunting. The problem I have is knowing too much and liking it all. Ha, so anyway we will see if we get there on time, but none the less, it is a very exciting prospect in my life!
9. My Mom- So 13 years ago, I lost my Mom to breast cancer (she was 51). It was pretty devastating on our family and more devastating that she never had the great pleasure of meeting my children. One special thing that I did for my family and especially for my children was create a scrapbook and along with a special story that teaches them about her, and the things that made her special. This book has been an incredible way for our family to stay connected to her, and for my kids to feel like they know her on some level. As a family we read it together periodically, but mostly during special times when we are remembering her like her birthday and mothers day. The book is something that I do plan to publish one day, but I’m still waiting for Oprah to get back to me on my submission from 5 years ago ;)
10. Me time- About 5 years back I had a bit of a step back from my life, as I was overwhelmed with the stress of entrepreneurial lifestyle, and the intensity of fitting it all in with family, I realized that I didn't really know who I was personally in the equation. Cary was into volunteering and sitting on boards, was apart of social clubs, went to many events and had a great friend base, and as a comparison I could see that I didn’t have a lot any of that going on, which meant I didn’t have an outlet for myself. I decided to make a change and it all started with soccer. Besides some occasional sports during elementary, I had never played sports, and I never did any physical activity. So when I was 35 I took up soccer. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy and I was terrible! My team was supper supportive but they used to bug me to stop smiling out on the field, but really it was my scared face as I thought ‘what the hell am I doing’ every time I was out there. Now years have gone by (and I feel like I am getting a bit better) I play all year round and as often as I can as I know that it is the one place that I don’t think about anything else, and I get to make some good friends. This activity sparked something in me an since I have taken up all different types of athletics, stepped way out of my comfort zone on many occasions, stepped up to volunteering and speaking on boards and at events, and in general got me focused on my personal health and well-being, so it’s amazing how many great things that can come out of one scary decision.
Well I know this has been a bit of a heavier rant than the others so thanks for reading, I will leave you with one more bit of what I have learned in my 40 year old wisdom. Life, it comes with a lot of trials and triumphs but I advise you to never stop dreaming and creating for yourself. Don’t be ‘just’ a business owner, ‘just’ a hair stylist, or ‘just’ a mom, or whatever you chose, but instead be whatever you can be for yourself also. Push yourself to step beyond your comfort level, and live from your heart. A quote from the new B.T. Barnum movie trailer that I feel are words to live by… “no one ever made a difference by being like everyone else”. 51, or whatever the time we leave this great place, is just around the corner… live out loud.
Song- Toxic, by Tamara Bowman
Swinging With The Stars Performance 2016
I enjoyed sharing some personal facts with you today and I encourage you to do the same on your social feed. Just be sure to tag #OCMTakeTen so we can learn more about you too.
Headshot photo credit: Erin Boechler
Additional photo credits: Greg Patterson, Skipstone Films, Ken Greenhorn, Mark Reinbolt, & Lisa Landrie.