Our next amazing REAL Real Housewife of YVR is my good friend, Jen Schaeffers. Jen is truly an inspiration to me. She manages to balance her work, as Executive Director of the CKNW Orphans’ Fund, with her family life beautifully. Mom to Kaylee (3) and Ronan (just shy of 6 weeks old), Jen is a dynamo.
Jen is a natural connector with the gift of putting the right people together for various projects. She began NetworkinginVan.com in an effort to help in the professional development of individuals across the lower mainland. She is a firm believer in the power of networks and how people can help one another in their road to success (whatever that looks like!).
This lady is an example of how REAL women in Vancouver work hard and play hard, while maintaining a balanced and happy family life!
Occupation: Executive Director, CKNW Orphans’ Fund and Founder, NetworkinginVan.com
What characteristics define the Vancouver Housewife?
Domestic goddess. Well accomplished in her career. Conquerer of snowy mountains (winter) Tanned beach bum (summer). Yogi. Foodie. Wine-o.
Are you a good representation of a Vancouver Housewife? Why?
I love to cook, however with the kids at the ages they are right now – they are hardly appreciative of a fine meal so I stick to the basics. I am a master of managing a lot of challenging timelines at once so I feel like I am a good housewife as it relates to the ability of managing work and domestic responsibilities at the same time. I wish I had more time for yoga but at this point in my life with the kids so young and life so chaotic, it’s a challenge. I am trying really hard to create space for myself so that I have the energy and patience that my family so deserve. I am not a martyr – I am a big believer of putting the oxygen mask on first so your family benefits. We’re all just trying our best! Do you feel that living in Vancouver in some way defines who you are? Please explain.
Vancouver is the city I have grown up in, and although I have travelled and lived in other countries – I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I love the ocean and mountains – in Vancouver we have it all.
Have you ever had cosmetic surgery, Botox, Restalyne injections, etc.? If so, please provide details. If you haven’t had any of the above procedures performed, would you consider it?
I’ve had braces in my twenties, does that count? Oh and eyelash extensions (that’s an expensive habit that I couldn’t keep up). Other than that, no. And never will. Botox is cheating!!!
Other than your children (if applicable), what is the accomplishment of which you are most proud?
I am incredibly proud of the work I do and the causes I have volunteered my time for over the last 10 years. I have had the privilege to both volunteer and work for children with special needs, as an Executive Director for the CKNW Orphans’ Fund and as a past volunteer of Ronald McDonald House, Canadian Cancer Society, the Canucks for Kids Fund and Canuck Place. I am thankful to have a compassionate heart that just wants to keep giving. I am very proud of the work I have done, the money I have raised and the children those funds have benefited.
Has the desire for affluence/power/money been a motivator in the choices you’ve made for your life?
I work in non-profit, so I definitely would not think I am motivated by money. However, living in Vancouver, it’s something you have to have if you want to get by and ever afford to go on vacation!
Tell us about your stuff. What do you like to buy, collect, etc.?
I have a bit of a lip gloss addiction – I love all colours and brands! Most especially NARS, MAC, Stila and Laura Mercier. I currently have about 35 in my makeup drawer (EEK!) If I have a few hundred bucks burning a hole in my pocket (who doesn’t?) and I was allowed to splurge – I would purchase a fabulous Michael Kors purse. I love a nice purse and a fab pair of jeans.
Do you have “staff” in your home? (E.g. nanny, driver, chef, etc.)
As a working mom of two children, help is a must! We have a dog walker who comes twice a week and a wonderful cleaner who comes twice a month to clean the stuff I loathe cleaning – bathtubs, showers, toilets, stove top etc.
If I was rich and/or lived in a bigger home (in which you pretty much have to be rich or move to the country) then I would love a live-in nanny and a chef! I cook every meal and it would be nice to have a break! Coming home from work to a home cooked meal…yes please!!
Do you belong to any clubs, teams, groups or social organizations?
I am a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade! I network a lot and attend events through Women’s Executive Network, Y.E.S! Vancouver, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and more. I run a blog NetworkinginVan.com and list and promote all the different types of networking events and groups in the city. I am a firm believer in the power of great connections!
Finish this sentence: “My life’s motto is ….”
“You can do no great things, only small things with great love!” I stole that from Mother Teresa and try to think about it a few times a week when life and work seems insurmountable!
As a special thank you to Jen for participating, she will be receiving a special gift of Dagoba Chocolates from Canadian Choice Wholesalers. Canadian Choice Wholesalers was established in 1999, out of a recognized need for an independent voice in the natural, organic, and specialty foods market. Our extensive catalogue, and customer-oriented service focus allow us to make these products available at all levels of retail, from the locally owned and operated markets to the most popular grocery chains across the country. Canadian Choice Wholesalers is BC family owned and operated. Offerings include products manufactured locally, throughout North America, to international specialty foods. Current product representation stretches from throughout Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, and the interior of BC to Calgary, Edmonton, the prairies, Ontario and Quebec. For more information, please visit www.cdnchoice.com and on Twitter @cdnchoice.
Legacy Liquor Store will be hosting a private wine tasting for the first few REAL Real Housewives of YVR profiled. Stay tuned for a post about this exciting evening. An elegant and modern 8,600 square foot space that includes a state-of-the-art wine cellar, Legacy is the largest privately-owned liquor store in the province. Home to thousands of beers, wines, and spirits, including exclusive and specialty items, with some of the most knowledgeable and friendly staff around. Legacy is the ideal venue for groups to host casual social gatherings. In-house catering is available with access to a beautiful kitchen and tasting bar area.