In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting some of the impactful women that belong to Minerva. In this third feature, we interviewed a long-time volunteer, Shauna Harper. Learn more about her journey in the blog below!
As the founder of Live Work Communications, a digital marketing agency, Shauna’s entrepreneurial journey has by no means been linear. Through the ups and downs, she has grown along the way, both learning from and shaping her community.
After high school, Shauna received a degree in Sociology then returned to Vancouver to work in the travel industry. In 1999, she got sick and re-evaluated her life, realizing she had been blindly going through life hoping things would pan out rather than proactively striving to be her best self.
“You may not know what is ahead of you, but it is important to know who you want to be versus what you want to be.”
Following this epiphany, Shauna decided what she wanted out of life: to be creative, active, invested in family, and impactful. Her solution: to become an entrepreneur.
And so, Shauna launched her first business venture – an inspirational magnet company. She thrived as an entrepreneur and was empowered by the freedom she had to carve her own path. She learned what she was capable of, made time to keep her body active, and nurtured her creative side.
But in 2008, the market crashed. As a mother of two, it became challenging to balance both business and family. Wishing she had a community to support her, she yearned to connect with other women. While the women’s ecosystem in Vancouver was bustling, Shauna didn’t know how to ask for help and tap into available resources.
For financial reasons, her family decided to move to Prince George – a move she expected to last no more than a year and a half. 11 years later, she could not imagine herself anywhere else. Relocating to Prince George was a pivotal step in the right direction as the tight-knit community gave her the confidence to develop her voice and start Live Work Communications.
“When I moved to Prince George, people reached out saying ‘we need you in the community, what can we do to help you stay?’ My confidence grew because of the networks that championed me before I believed in myself. You can’t fail when you have people rooting for you.”
Shauna has always been surrounded by women leaders, including multiple sisters, a strong mother, and many mentors. Now, as seasoned digital strategist, Shauna honors all those who championed her by paying it forward. She is always searching for mentees, groups to lead, and volunteer opportunities, constantly paying the debt of the strength given to her when she felt undeserving.
“That’s how I see the impact of Minerva’s leadership programs. To make sure a woman’s skillset is there, but also that mindset piece, which takes skillset to a mastery level. When you believe you can do it, you can take what you learn and bring it out into the world.”
Through her role as a member of Minerva’s Northern committee, other organizations like Women’s Enterprise Center, and her business, Shauna has worked hard to bring greater visibility to the North. Many projects she takes on are in smaller communities, and it is her job to express the sense of belonging the community provides.
“It is important that as we climb as leaders, we use our voices in ways that open more doors for those behind us.”
Thank you, Shauna, for sharing your passion and wisdom. We are grateful for all that you have done to elevate women and girls and bring visibility to Prince George.