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Suzanne Thompson, Kootenay Women’s Show Sponsor
With Speak Your Mind, the Kootenay Women’s Show quickly approaching, it is important that people get to know some of the strong women behind the businesses that have invested in platinum-level sponsorship of the event.
Suzanne Thompson is a physiotherapist and owner of Kootenay Therapy Center who is a Platinum Sponsor for the upcoming Speak Your Mind, the Kootenay Women’s Show.
Q: Why did you decide to move to Cranbrook?
A: I loved the outdoors, loved the mountains and it seemed like the environment was very similar to where I grew up in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. We looked around BC and thought the lower mainland was just too busy but Cranbrook seemed right. When I moved here, I actually didn’t have a job waiting.
Q: So you showed up in the community without work—that must have been difficult.
A: Our kids were four and two and we did need jobs. I had taught fitness since I was 17 years old—that’s how I put myself through university—so when Golds Gym was opening up I worked there. I told them I could do fitness training and aerobic classes and when there was room, I could do some physiotherapy.
Q: When did you decide to strike out on your own?
A: Within a year, there was a need for more physiotherapy space, so I moved to the Colonel Baker Home and within a year I needed more space and I moved here. (Kootenay Therapy Center at Western Financial Place).
I knew this was a great space. I made a business plan that would work. I put together the plan and went to Community Futures and it has grown from there.
Q: As a woman, did you encounter any challenges or conflict in setting up the business?
A: I think the only conflict I would have would have been from within me. I came from a family of hard workers and I was raised to be no different. Anyone who has been my patient from the beginning can tell you I brought my kids to work and my puppy to work. A conflict would have been leaving my kids at home. Sometimes having kids here was challenging, but most people understood and I just can’t feel like I’m constantly leaving something behind.
Q: What empowers you?
A: There are so many things I really believe in to empower people—not just women—and I think at the end of the day, what empowers me is the phrase, “Choose to live life well.”
I really believe in choice and I never want to personally to feel like a victim and there are times that I do, but I choose not too. When I feel not quite so well, I just choose to do whatever I can do get by this. We deal with chronic pain here, but we still have choice. We may not like the choices available, but we still have them. Make good choices.