Marlaine BennettOwner and Accessory Buyer Bennett's Home Furnishings
Marlaine's Story :
After accidentally falling off a 16ft ledge on a hiking trail in South Africa in 2013 and luckily not harming myself I concluded my time was not yet up but…I’ll start my story at the beginning.
My 2 brother’s and I were raised by parents from the Netherlands with the belief that you work hard, try your best, ‘do unto others’ and whatever the outcome you won’t ever have regrets.
When I was about 13 we moved to New Zealand for 3 ½ years and met relatives galore in my Dad’s family. Before and after that we toured many countries which had a strong impact on my
life and gave me a desire to travel more. We ended up moving back to Meyersburg, Canada (near Campbellford) and fortunately for me, Campbellford is where I met my entrepreneurial,
life partner Eric. Little did I know how my life would change directions.
I graduated from the Loyalist College Early Childhood Education program and went on to assist teachers at Kent School in Campbellford, teaching Kindergarten to grade 5, primarily kids with
special needs. I really enjoyed the challenge and felt like I made a difference in the children’s lives so thought that’s what I would continue to do. I kept teaching but it ended up being our own children in the form of home-schooling before anyone back in 1988 even knew it existed! We have 3 terrific children, Kyle, Jasmine and Chelsey who make me so proud to be their Mom. They are by far the greatest gift I’ve ever received. Parenting is the most important job in my life and I’ve tried to be a positive role model, as actions speak louder than words, by being a strong, down-to-earth ‘Mama Bear’, as Chelsey calls me. They’ve make me both laugh and cry but each experience I have with my kids I cherish and they help me to become a better person. I encourage them to be genuine, be kind to others and themselves, and explain a great deal of how we live our lives is by attitude. You decide how you are going to deal with life’s challenges and disappointments. I prefer the glass is ½ full outlook and to move forward with a positive mindset. Squeezing in a little exercise, laughter and meditation helps too! Jasmine now has 2 beautiful girls , and “Nana” now gets to share life’s lessons with them which I’m so grateful for.
In 1990 we made significant changes and ended up buying an organic farm on Bradley Bay near Campbellford. We ended up raising ostriches, emus and rheas for a breeding market and an
eventual meat market. We had a whole host of other animals and crops on the farm as well as home-schooling and who knew we’d learn how to take care of all the farm animals and became experts in Ontario on raising these flightless birds. I loved incubating and hatching the large eggs and watch them toddle around the outdoor pens. For 7 years I fell into a farming routine including learning many veterinary skills and lived a very scheduled existence home schooling and all the responsibility that entailed. In reflection I’m happy I was born with energy galore to survive the workload. If someone had asked me back then if we would ever consider ostrich farming or homeschool our kids, I would have said “were not that crazy”!
Shortly after I married Eric asked me to be the spokesperson for Bennett’s and years later began writing the radio and TV ads. Around 2002 I resumed working full time and when we opened a store in Ptbo in 1999 I travelled weekly between the C’ford and Ptbo stores. I manage the accessory department mainly purchasing lamps, wall art, and accessories and attend furniture and gift shows each year (except this one!) We moved to Peterborough in 2013 and now were thrilled Jasmine is now succeeding us with our 3 Bennett’s Furniture and Mattress stores (this includes Kingston) and is the 4 th generation in our family business!
I would not feel complete without doing some kind of volunteer work in the community so I found a few ways I could give of myself. My lovable toy poodle named Zoe and I joined a group now called Trent Hills Therapy Dogs in 2002 and visited people in Hospital, Nursing homes and Retirement homes till 2017. That same year I decided to get over my fear of needles because I wanted to donate blood which I still do as often as I’m able. I was also a board member of the Friends of Ferris Provincial Park for many years. Eric and I love to hike and I felt it was such a beautiful park that together our group could improve trails, hold special events, and teach the community to embrace and care about nature. Since our family is very musical, we supporting Ptbo Musicfest and volunteer at Westben in Campbellford. Lastly, in recent years I’ve joined Women’s build teams numerous times to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity.
I like to always care for family first and acknowledge that personally I am a work in progress learning to be kinder and gentler to myself, but whatever you enjoy doing I recommend the following in work and play: be yourself and trust your intuition, have a positive outlook, treat other’s the way you wish to be treated, love whole heartedly, never compromise your ethics, be grateful and give back when you can. Good luck in your life’s journey- Cheers!