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Our Origin Story: 4 Traits We’ve Carried Through 23 Years


Listen to More Episodes of The Trailblazher Podcast

Welcome to the very first episode of The Trailblazher Podcast! It’s Jan and Erin here and we wanted to kick the podcast off by sharing a bit more about our origin story on how we ended up where we are now with Trailblazher Co. We hope you’ll tune in to catch all the details but we’ve provided an overview of the conversation below in the show notes. Keep an eye out for even more episodes releasing every Thursday morning!

Life Before Trailblazher Co.

Even before Trailblazher Co. was a thought in our mind, we had always been on the path of entrepreneurship. After 23 years in business together, we can tell you, we’ve had every kind of feeling about every kind of situation and circumstance. We’ve been through highs and lows and we loved reflecting back on it in this episode and sharing what we’ve learned from it. We haven’t always felt empowered with everything that’s gone on along the way but we are here to lay it all out for you.

Our story really starts with Jan, being a working, single mom. For a good ten years, she was subcontracting her services under a company name called Jesrin, which is a combination of Jesse and Erin, (her two kids). This season of life really provided her with a solid mindset and communication skills. Both of which carried over, not only to her kids but to her future businesses as well.

Our first business venture was actually creating and selling hand-painted greeting cards. It was a great product, but sadly, we didn’t know how to market it back then. Mind you, there wasn’t any social media so our options were a bit limited. That first business was humbling in all the ways a first business usually is. From there we started designing corporate journals, and large-scale wall art. It was around that time we started helping women entrepreneurs in Calgary develop marketing collateral.

Then enter our Prairie Girl Outpost era. From 2011 to 2020, we were known as Prairie Girl Outpost where we offered website development to women entrepreneurs and this is where the magic really started to happen. Jan would do the writing, we would interview together, and then I would design. At the time, we just felt so powerful in what we would see happen for women’s businesses because we weren’t just interviewing them for content, we were helping women get clarity on who they were, what their values were, and what they were offering. We were actively listening to uncover and dig deeper into their whys, their purpose, and their passions. Even though on the outside, it looked like we were just getting content for their websites. This step in our journey really tested us but also gave us insight as to who we were as entrepreneurs. One of our favorite quotes from this part of the conversation is this,

“Who you become is just as important as what you create and who we were becoming was women who were destined to fulfill a purpose.” – Jan

This quote speaks volumes about this stage of life for us and little did we know what was just right around the corner.

The First Generation of Trailblazer

You might be wondering why there isn’t an “H” in the Trailblazer above and that’s because our first rendition of “Trailblazer” didn’t have it yet. The first generation of “Trailblazer” was our first product design or business offering that was around us and the messages that we were putting out. This was also when the whole idea of that trailblazing woman came to life. Around this same time, we both got our equine-assisted learning certification and went on to facilitate numerous workshops and creative in-person learning, then launched an international course that had facilitators across Canada, the U.S., and Australia. It was called Trailblazer on Fire.

There is a whole more to this story, but you’ll have to tune in to catch all the details!

Other Key Points to Listen for in This Conversation With Jan and Erin

  • The road to discovering the soul of Trailblazher Co.
  • How to navigate a business you don’t know anything about
  • The evolution of Trailblazher Magazine to so much more

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September 21, 2023

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