What would any eight year old Canadian city girl, dressed in pretty Italian dresses, rather be doing at nonna’s house while on summer vacation in the outskirts of Venezia — one of THE MOST MAGICAL places on earth?
Climbing hot, glorious-smelling Italian plumb trees in grandma’s orchard and BOMBING UNSUSPECTING UNCLES with rotten plumbs? HELLO!
Passionate? Different? It’s Been Said
How about spending vacation time PICKING UP used wooden matchsticks off the ground and CARVING them into toothpicks, then SELLING them after every family dinner? Talk about EXHILIRATING — all those limone gelato’s those toothpicks bought — DELIZIOSO!
Perhaps the inspiration came from my incredibly hard-working grandfather who would climb out of bed at 4:00am EVERY MORNING and come home for dinner at 7:00 every evening, visibly spent. Perhaps it was how he would re-energize after an aromatic, wine-blessed meal and GET UP ONTO OUR VERY LONG DINNER TABLE under the portico and begin singing his old-time war songs with his beautiful, charismatic, close-to toothless smile.
One thing is for sure — ENTREPRENEURIAL INSTINCTS KICKED IN and began to shape Doris Ferrarese Blanchet.
A distinct need was identified. After an incredible multi-course, home-made italian cooked meal, who wouldn’t need a toothpick? Who wouldn’t need a handcrafted toothpick, that money hadn’t been wasted to buy? RECYCLE. REUSE. REPURPOSE. Right?
Have you ever found yourself PUSHING SO HARD and REACHING FOR THE UNIMAGINABLE — to the point where you feel like you might be headed for STIR CRAZY, when it happens — you BREAK THROUGH?
First you feel like dying, then you feel reborn. ~ Unknown
Forks in the road and hairpin turns have teased and shaped this journey to-date.
An Entrepreneur at Heart
It was by accident that I fell head-over-heels for university and computing science. But it was working for a company whose clients included Microsoft, Adobe and Corel, that I discovered my true love — web development.
At 32, I broke loose from a six-digit salary, to explore the world of bringing brands to life on the web on my own. LIFE HAS NEVER SINCE, been the same.
I have often found myself hyperventilating with excitement (and no, that is no exaggeration).
- I envisioned, designed, implemented and launched several online web applications that were the first of their kinds; launches that took their first steps within the Innovators Stage as described by the Diffusion of Innovations Theory.
- I have had people from all over the world telling me how cool my web applications were.
- I had no idea what the heck I had gotten myself into, but kept pushing all hours of the day and night for weeks on end ‒ with excitement and unbridled energy.
- I had become the target of copycat entrepreneurs — uncovering one full-out post from an Oregonian searching for the cheapest and fastest developers to copy my site.
A Marathon Junkie and Kid Wish Grantor
In 2011, I took a step of a different kind; an exploration into online fundraising and pushing my body through perceived limitations by running marathons.
I opened the door to begin to realize another kind of dream ‒ to help kids realize their dreams.
Two challenges were born:
- Run a marathon-a-month and
- Raise money for my charity of choice through the web ‒ the Make-A-Wish Foundation ‒ to help their kids realize one dream.
BUTS GAVE WAY to an ecstatic ❝I did it!❞
- I raised over $6,000 through online donations, and
- I ran seven marathons and one ultra-marathon, which included over 8,000 feet in elevation gain.
The eye-opening bit? I had only trained four months prior. This once deemed im-possible feat was in fact – POSSIBLE.
It’s Fall — and it’s my favourite time of year.
I am sitting here tapping at the keypad, glancing over my left shoulder through a pretty large window that looks out onto a balcony. In the short distance, there is a hill covered with trees (Easterners might even call it a mountain).
The beauty is, at this time of year, these trees are showcasing with seemingly great fury, their passion.
The beauty of it really is, I am 40 something and I have uncovered THAT IS pretty much THE ESSENCE OF ME — the gist of what Doris is about. Pretty simple, eh?
I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT FEELING ALIVE.
I AM HAPPIEST when reaching and kicking MAJOR BuTs to reach UNIMAGINABLE dreams.
I AM INSPIRED when surrounding myself with a community driven to reach their UNIMAGINABLE dreams.
I AM ECSTATIC when I can see others being inspired by what I do.