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Resilient • Hard-Working • Passionate

Her Story

Jennifer James

Executive Director - Rustic Mama Retreats

Jennifer's Story :

Adventure and a Sisterhood of incredible women have always been a huge part of my life.

I grew up in a tiny town where my fondest memories from childhood are the times I spent camping and exploring with my Girl Guide Unit or playing outside until the street lights came on with the neighbourhood girls.  I relished this.  Being outside was freeing to me.  The sun on your face, the wind in your hair, the dirt on your toes.  I craved adventure and excitement.  I had big dreams and wanted to conquer the world.

I was always surrounded by so many fascinating, independent women as role models, who in my eyes could accomplish whatever they set out to do. From watching my Teachers and my Girl Guide Leaders to my own Mother and Grandmother, I learned that hard work and determination would get you everywhere you wanted to go.

Fast forward to 20 years later, trapped in an unhealthy marriage, I realized that I had lost that part of who I was… of who I had dreamt of becoming when I was a little girl.

This wasn’t the life I wanted to live and I needed to do something about it.   I had lost my friends.  I had lost myself.  I had settled and the only option was to be brave like all those strong independent women I grew up knowing so I could make the changes I needed to.

The way my marriage ended was incredibly painful and terrifying, but also sparked a strength inside of me that I didn’t know I had.

Day by day, knowing that my children and I were going to be just fine allowed me to realize that limitless opportunities lie ahead.  I was unafraid.  I felt powerful and I knew something incredible would come from all those years I had spent so lost.  Moving back to my home town allowed me to connect with a tribe of so many amazing, independent women and enjoy the power of a sisterhood again.

The day I dreamt up Rustic Mama Retreats I knew I had to do it.  I knew it was my calling.

Did I have the qualifications and education to take this on?

No…. not really, but what I did have was an endless passion and an incredible work-ethic.  I knew I would figure it all out, learn as I go and build it piece by piece.

My dream was to create a place where women could come together for adventure, laughter, and healing.

Not only would it be an incredibly fun weekend away, but it would give women a chance to focus on themselves.  Reconnect with who they are.  Remember what it was like to not have a care in the world.  Be the kid with the sun in her face and the wind in her hair.

Laugh, Dance, Cry, Run, Jump, Craft… whatever the heart and soul desire.

If there is one thing I have learned in this life, it’s that when women gather… something magical happens!