“Inspire: Success Stories from Saskatchewan”

What an honour, I was asked to be a part of a book about Saskatchewan success stories! This is a fund raiser for Big Brothers & Big Sisters and should be coming out in the spring of 2012!

Tamara Bowman

I have had the tremendous opportunity to express my creativity in the ever-changing world of Interior Design for the past 12 years, and I have now opened Metric Design Centre- a boutique style “one-stop- shop” for Interior Design in Saskatoon. I am so proud to be surrounded by a wonderful community, a beautiful family, and a fantastic amount of support.

Where were you raised?
I was raised just south of Saskatoon on an acreage where I lived until I was 18.

What was your favorite childhood memory of growing up near Saskatoon?
I have to say that my childhood was amazing and to sum it up with a single favourite is hard to do!
If I had to choose my most favourite activity though, it would probably have to be building forts. I would make them out of anything I could find- piling up leaves or sticks, make multiple-roomed houses in the snow, cutting the grass into different patterns to create rooms, tipping over the living room furniture & piling up all the cushions & blankets- I’m sure that you get the idea.

How would you sum up your teenage years?
Definitely “trying”- trying new things, trying to make friends, trying to keep track of the status of all the relationships, trying to be somebody else, and then trying to be myself.

What do you love most about living/working in Saskatchewan?
I love that it is a place that I can call home. I love it’s familiarity. I love that all my family is here. I love that in Saskatchewan, I can make a difference.

What was your very first job, and what did you learn from it?
My first job was mowing the lawn for my acreage neighbor, and well… their yard was a big one! The deal was that every time I completed the whole yard, I got $50. So I completed the task once or twice until I soon realized that being a teenager was much more fun, and as the summer drew on, and my interest had wavered, their lawn was sadly neglected. Every so often (out of mostly good old fashioned Catholic guilt, and some sense of responsibility) I would force myself to head over their way and for an hour or two to cut a portion of their lawn, and after a good 3-4 weeks went by I would finally complete the task. I think back to this now and sadly know that these poor people had the patchiest lawn this entire summer because of me, and even still every time I went to the door they always paid me and never complained. I realize now that they really must have been the sweetest people who deserved to be treated so much better, but being good natured Saskatchewan people who support each other, I am sure that they just wanted to give me a chance. I am so grateful, to everyone who has taken a chance on me, because I wouldn’t be where I am today without that.

When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
My father has always been an entrepreneur, and I have always respected his business skills so much. As a child I would would save every penny that I earned to spend on the very calculated item, so I always knew that I was headed down the same path as him. Now, my husband and I are always dreaming of our next big accomplishment in life. I know that it is through the strength that we hold together, and our support of each other, that we can risk and try everything that we we are passionate about.

Who was your role model growing up, and what did they teach you?
My role models were my family- especially my parents and my older sister. My sister was always a leader, a dare devil, artistically talented, and the one who wasn’t afraid to be herself, say what she felt, and ask for what she wanted.
My parents were always the best hearted, hardest working, determined & honest people ever, and they showed strength and integrity in every challenge.
I greatly admire each and every one of these attributes, and try to be stronger with these in my own life every day.

What day/moment really sticks out as a huge step for- ward in your road to success?
When I was 18 I made the decision to move to Victoria with my boyfriend (husband now). Against my parents wishes, I left my home, my family, and my comfort zone. We had no money, nowhere to live, no furniture, no jobs, and no plan, just a loaded up Suzuki Samurai which barely made the trek,and a passion for a new adventure.
As you can imagine it was quite the struggle once we arrived, but we survived and not to mention, had a blast along the way. To me this was a test for myself (as many things are in my life), if I could do this -and survive- then I knew that I could do whatever I want in life, and be just fine.

On your road to success, what was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome, and how did you do so?
For sure my biggest obstacle to date was opening my own store. I’m sure that many people open stores, but I had to come up with the most complicated business model ever! Not only do we have products and services to offer, we try to offer every product & service related to Interior Design. Plus I had to go and design my own furniture line, not only in Canada, but also with Artisans in Mexico, which I transport…aaagh why? …I often wonder. But really I know that it is for the people we Design for. I wanted to create a place where Design is approachable and accessible for Clients and where, as Designers, we have no limits and we really can get or do anything for our Clients.
I really could have never gotten to where I am without the support and encouragement of my amazing husband & children, and fantastic team of staff & Designers who believe in me and my dream as much as I do.

How would you sum up your life in 3 words?
Love every minute.

What makes you happy?
My sweet children’s faces.

If you could only teach your children 1 thing, what would it be?
To experience everything that you possibly can in life & to try everything once.

What characteristic do you most admire in your friends?
Selflessness, kindness, honesty, humble confidence & creativity.

What do you enjoy to do in your spare time?
Travel & eat. Whether it is jet-setting for a weekend, vacationing in the sun, experiencing other continents, or heading up to the lake, I just love experiencing all that that the world has to offer, and everywhere I go, I am mostly there for the good food!

Do you have a favorite quote/inspiring story?
Although I enjoy quotes, there are not many that stick with me, the only one that I always go back to is from a Garth Brooks song, The River…
Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tides.
Oh and one more great quote by Henry Ford that I like to live by is “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, your right”.

How would you sum up your life journey to success?
Try, try, again.

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