Sometimes you don’t find your path, but your path finds you. Christine Bergsma didn’t set out to start a wellness and stationery business, but circumstances allowed her to turn passion into purpose and profit.
Her story begins back in South Africa where her mother was the main psychologist for an oncology practice. She watched her mother help others navigate grief and loss from an early age. After immigrating to Canada, her own psychologist recommended using journaling to work through her own traumas. She always had a passion for the written word, having even earned her law degree, which like many Canadians she wasn’t able to get accredited, so she started putting pen to paper.
Working with limited time and resources to go back to university, she enrolled in screenwriting courses and became a script reader. It was through this work of upgrading her writing skills that she had a lightbulb moment. She had all this information on how to deal with life-altering events from her previous life. She had also completed courses on how to write your story. So she combined the two into these journals where you are the protagonist of a story, but the story is your life. She asks very deep, open-ended questions, to get the reader from the beginning to where they are in their journey towards healing. Thus Journaling Through was born - a series of guided journals to help people through all of their major life events. It runs from topics as COVID to cancer, to loss and grief, infertility, working moms, and everything in between. What drives the core value of the business is her belief that every person is worthy of living a fantastic, passionate, thriving life. And it's not with things, it's not with status, it's just truly finding that flow and that core within to live that peaceful life.
Thankfully, prior to COVID, she was a print-on-demand business, so there wasn’t as much physical impact on operations - but like with many, there was an emotional one. She took some time off and put the business on hold in 2020, to really take stock of her life and business. After six months, she
launched an interview series on YouTube series. These hour-long conversations with people who've had near-death experiences, people with cancer, infertility and so much in between. It was her way of easing back into the world of wellness, which was needed more than ever. The world of virtual allowed her to add workshops and training on how to use the journal products, opening up the world like never before.
She credits joining the Women Entrepreneurship Centre as one of the best experiences of her life. Entrepreneurship can be such a lonely journey, and with COVID, it exasperated it even more. Setting that time aside on a weekly basis for WEC was so instrumental to Christine’s personal growth, but she was also amazed at all the presenters, and often thought, how is this free? One of the key reasons for joining was though her website had a lot of traffic, even with the SEO is optimized - there was a struggle with conversion. WEC helped her through the process with Digital Boost, and everything finally clicked into place. She has also partnered with some of her fellow WEC cohort participants, making use of her new entrepreneurial family.
Five to 10 years from now, Christine is looking forward to the long-lasting impact on a community built of people who write, and people who are fulfilled in their lives, and people who found value in what she brings to the world. That is how legacies are born and fulfilled.
Tanya Hayles is an award-winning event planner, public speaker, and freelance writer authentically telling stories and creating change. Located in Toronto and can be found tweeting her free time away at twitter.com/tanyahayles or at tanyahayles.com
The Women Entrepreneurship Centre (WEC), as part of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, is dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs of every age, stage and culture to achieve their business dreams. We believe in fostering leadership. We believe that everyone deserves an equal shot at success. We believe in connecting you with the right people, skills and support to make it happen.
We see you are accessing our website on IE8. We recommend you view in Chrome, Safari, Firefox or IE9+ instead.×