Wednesday, April 1, 2015

LIFE OUTSIDE THE BOX by Marilyn R. Wilson, Vancouver

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Published by Influence Publishing, in 2015, this is a fascinating look into the "extraordinary journeys" of ten multi talented entrepreneurs who have developed and kept their own businesses, have overcome significant challenges and who inspire others with their fine examples of persistence, vision, creativity, spirit of adventure and yes, by stepping out of the box.

Marilyn is a story in herself: her clothing and accessories make the eye travel and draw you to her.  Where did she find these treasures?  But she wants to know all about you and hear what you've been up to. She is a wonderful listener who always connects you up with others who not only share your interests but offer more directions, as well. I had to get her book because she is the never ending story and I knew her writing would be the same. Would love to have had a window into how she met each of her interviewees, however, having seen her in action, I know that people are drawn to her; she brings the story out of each one, in "Life Outside The Box"!

Marilyn's admiration and appreciation for what people bring to her and the world, is particularly evident in her writing about Julie Salisbury, the founder of Influence Publishing. Julie learned how to publish her own work and then taught others how to work collaboratively, both in terms of vision and economics, that culminates in books. Yes, and it can happen here, locally. 
Challenges faced by Julie, included coping with Scoliosis, surgeries, casts and life long pain, as well as those that arose from being from a 'public' school instead of a more prestigious private one and being a woman in a man's world of business and industry. She was passionate about heading in her own direction and excelled at Marketing and Product Development.  Overcoming challenges, hard work, drive and talent plus acting on "... that "defining moment"took Julie in another direction. What did she really want to do with the rest of her life?

Stepping out of the business box, she pursued travel through sailing and surviving on the sea and in South Africa. A true collaborator ad entrepreneur, she marketed for supplies by sourcing via radio and developed her own unique products: ginger beer and rice wine. In Thailand, she and her partner turned their boat into a charter experience, often for first timers. As she was so open to new experiences, she passed this spirit of adventure on to her passengers  Finally arriving in Canada, she published her travel journals into a book: A Seven Year Journey Around The World: Discovering My Passion and Purpose", 2008. She developed her own workshops: Inspire A Book, once again sharing her expertise. A successful publisher, she has not had an easy journey. She does have what it takes to keep that journey full of successes and creative opportunities. After reading about her, I now know that I would love to attend a workshop and drag a few friends, who write very well, into the possibility of publishing. 

There are nine more fascinating 'documentary' stories: Women's shoe designer, Ruthie Davies, Katherine Soucie, Eco-Sustainable Fashion and Textiles designer, ("I believe the hand has the ability to perform, not the machine.") Geir Ness, Perfume Creator (Laila Brand) and developer of Handling with Care, a therapeutic touch program to assist with recovery and healing, Patricia Fieldwalker, Vancouver based, designer of fabulous, (and unique) silk lingerie, (" It's not a career, it's a love affair.") Pamela Masik, life size canvas painter, sculptor, and educator, especially known for her 69 paintings of The Forgotten, realistic portraits of murdered and 'disappeared' women from the downtown eastside of Vancouver, as well as for her workshops, "The Creative Journey" to assist women living in poverty to develop and market their artistic abilities, Shane Koyczan, Spoken Word  Slam Poet, Novelist: "Stick Boy" and so much more, William Orlowski, Canadian Tap Icon and founder of the National Tap Dance Company of Canada, (Yes, we do have famous hoofers, too )an award winner, who is also a writer, choreographer and teacher, all this while suffering from Dystonia, Lisa-Marie Mazzucco,,make-up artist, multi media artist and photographer, who, with her husband, designed limited edition artwork boxes for LancĂ´me Canada's Olympic Gold Fascination Campaign for the 2010 Olympics, here in Vancouver, and Caroline MacGillivray, multi-talented singer, dancer, actor, Medical Qigong practitioner and founder of Beauty Night, which offers workshops in wellness and life skills for those living in the downtown east side.  Beauty Nights are opportunities to find safety, acceptance, self appreciation and support to develop and share talent.

"Life Outside the Box", is indeed about real people and their real, extraordinary lives.  I highly recommend it as a fine read about achievers who are very willing to share their strategies.  Marilyn vividly describes the inspiration she finds locally and world wide.  She sees it, shares it and draws us in around the fire.  Documentary story telling at its best!  Learn more about Marilyn R. Wilson at and buy a really, really good read!

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