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Work2Life “I could be bigger, better, make more money, yadda, yadda…but, for me that would be more headaches, she notes. “I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my family as much as I do. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. My kids always come first.” Her career choice works well for her family as her husband is the main source of income and her children benefit from her presence. “Not everyone is as fortunate as me to be able to find their bliss through work, she observes. “I happen to have a husband who encouraged me to follow my dreams. He could have easily said to me, ‘you need to do the 9 to 5 thing, benefits, retirement, etc.’, but he didn’t. I have had a few women who have wanted to join me, but I’m not interested in growing too big. My life is happy because I am present to those I teach and to my family.” A typical day for Bernadette is nothing typical. “I could start out doing housework and think I am going to paint and then the day ends and I’ve done nothing,” she jokes. “The next day, I could paint for five hours straight on my own stuff. The following day

maybe I have a custom order or need to pick up supplies. Then maybe the following day I set up for a class and teach that day, which for me is a total of 4 hours start to finish because it includes set up and clean up. I might teach once a week, occasionally twice depending on how I want to set it up.” Bernadette’s story is that she knows her strengths and she acts on them. “Am I the best painter around? NO,” she offers. “But I know that painting cheerful subjects are going to draw people to come

and paint and buy. I know that women need women. I create community. My classes do the same. I know that being upbeat and positive is going to create a fun atmosphere. When I go to teach a class, as I am setting up their paints, I think about the $40 they are spending; that they want to have a experience. I know when to be funny, serious, helpful and most importantly, how to connect them with each other as well as what they are painting. It didn’t happen overnight, but with time, I’ve figured things out. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d enjoy sharing my passion with others as much as I have. Inspiring others to get their own supplies and paint at home, that is exciting stuff! I also love commissioned work. When I see the tears stream down someone’s face because I painted something personal for them, I’m not gonna lie…it’s one of the best feelings!”

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