Peggy Morrison

Miss Peggy is a remarkable woman with a curious mind, a fervour for knowledge, and a stoic personality that hides her big heart. Peggy has taught for over five decades at Blanche Macdonald in Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing, where she has put her heart and soul into building the programs. She is the Executive Program Director of both programs.

I am grateful that Peggy has accepted and invited me to her home for this interview. Entering Peggy’s home was an honour to witness her universe, in which each corner tells a story and represents Peggy’s multitude of interests, beliefs and values. All great stories happen around the dining room table. Sitting in Peggy’s home, having a cup of coffee with her at the dining room table, and listening to her calm voice sharing her life story, was a life-touching moment for me. She is a master storyteller.

Peggy Morrison’s Interview- June 2022 in Vancouver, Canada.

Peggy’s home is a photographer’s dream. I was so inspired to take many pictures. I wanted to capture the beauty and historical meaning of each section so artistically arranged by Peggy.

The dining room wall features a collection of photos of friends – as well as artwork created by friends and photos taken by friends.

Pictures of Peggy’s eclectic and unique space. You will feel at home immediately, and you will never forget it. 

In Peggy’s words: “Assorted favourites… Lulu the 1920s store mannequin dressed for Pride Week/portrait of Todd McIntosh by Victor Penner/Kermit and Mickey/Judy and Miga”

In Peggy’s words: “The autograph wall. Hours of fun” and “The fireplace. Eagle by Clancy Gibson. A Scorpio’s dream”

Peggy’s home-June 2022

Her love for the Beatles – since 1964 – is evident everywhere. Peggy as Groucho Marx.

More pictures of the Beatles.

The bathroom’s unique decor reflects Peggy’s love of fashion icons, designers, photographers and models.

I loved the painting in her bedroom, “Christina’s World” by Andrew Wyeth. Peggy told me, “It was Blanche’s favourite and became one of mine, and it represents hope.”

I met Peggy in 2010 when she and Donna Boldock interviewed me when I applied to become the Director of Esthetics at Blanche Macdonald. Over the years, we have become friends. She is very thoughtful and never fails to remember her friends on their birthdays, Easter, Christmas,  and Hallowe’en (her birthday). She makes you feel special, and no doubt anyone who crosses Peggy’s path feels that way. 

Her students must be in awe and grateful to be taught by The Marvelous Miss Peggy,  whose career spans over five decades, and who exudes an unwavering passion for teaching and learning. You will realize how much she cares for her students and their success by listening to her story. I wish I were a student in her class.

Her dedication to preserving her family roots and stories impressed me the most while listening to her story. Her love and care for her brother Jimmy (Jimbob) touched my heart. 

In Peggy’s words: “Jimmy in fun times”

We have not had a chance to speak about her love and dedication to animal welfare in this interview. Her cat Monkey is adorable, curious during our interview, and ready for the photo session. 

Peggy’s interview is just a glimpse into her extraordinary journey in which she remains humble despite her monumental impact on many.

Words cannot describe my appreciation for you, Peggy.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview you.

Blanche Macdonald Christmas Party 2016-Peggy and I

It is not Adieu, Ma Chérie Pascale

Your passing yesterday shattered my whole being, and it is unimaginable to accept that you are not with us anymore. Your stoic journey against cancer took you to the final destination, but your impact on everyone you met is alive. I am writing this post as a tribute to you, My Dear Friend.

Where do I begin to tell the world what an Exceptional person you were? 

As a Mom, Your kids meant the world to you. You are their Guardian Angel now.

As an Esthetician, you inspired many colleagues to strive for excellence, care and not forget to have fun in the process. I was one of them. You took me under your wings when we worked together, and I learn so much just by watching you. You shared your knowledge with passion and wanted what is best for everyone. Some people might not have readily accepted your sincerity and directiveness. Still, it demonstrated the strength of your character and fairness. You believed in bringing the best in people, and those who were very fortunate to be taught by you, become better thanks to YOU. Your clients LOVED you, and you never LET them down. You put your heart and soul into all the services and treated everybody equally. 

As a Friend, as you said in our many conversations, you loved good, sincere and positive people. You were the shining light of any party!! You brightened the room!! Your laughter, your passion for life, and your sense of humour were contagious. We are all very hurt now, but you would want us to celebrate all the beautiful memories we created over the years. Your beautiful “French ladies,” as I used to tease you, put together a beautiful slide show that I will share on this posting.

Our group of “ Romanian Ladies,” also known as “ Les Cherries,” Adored you. We will continue to cherish all the magical moments spent with you. Camille is our “Cherrie”. We will keep our promise to you.

Ma Chérie, Pascale, you will always be in my heart.

Being 49 for one more day

Today, I am celebrating being 49 for one more day. I still cannot fathom, that I am turning 50 tomorrow. That is half of a century. Each milestone birthday makes us reflect on our past, count our blessings, or regret the things we never tried but wanted to do.

Yesterday, I had an Amazing early birthday party with a Wonderful group of women who have inspired me over the years. I am grateful to call them friends and cherish the moments spent together.

My plan for the past year, has been to interview 49 women who are very dear to me, and to blog about their unique stories in order to inspire other women. However, I have not completed my plan before I am turning 50, but I am learning to go with the flow to accomplish my goal.

Today, I enjoyed a cappuccino with “My Habibi” at the 49th Parallel coffee & Lucky’s Doughnuts, to prepare for the arrival of my 50th birthday.

I am blessed.

Gabriela M.

Gabi inspires me with her zest for knowledge. She moved to Canada with her husband and son. She was a journalist in Romania before she moved to Canada, and like any newcomer, she had to make a career change. It is very hard to leave behind a successful career, social status, family, and friends to start a new life in another country, with the hope of a better future. The challenges of new beginnings in Canada more than twenty years ago, did not stop Gabi from achieving success or making new friends from different cultures.

Our friendship has had an interesting journey. When we met for the first time, we realized how many things we had in common, so we could literally talk for hours and hours. Since then, we have shared many wonderful moments over the years. Every time I was visiting Gabi and her wonderful family, I felt at HOME. Being a single mom at that time, and away from family, having true friends meant A LOT.


GabifamilyGabi, Viorel and Vlad

A couple of years into our friendship, there was a miscommunication between us, and I took it personally, more than I should have. We had not seen each other for many years, even though Gabi was trying to reach out, but I was the stubborn one. That was not typical me. Even though, I missed our conversations, I did not reach out or even responded to Gabi when she was trying to connect. One day, after many years, we ran into each other, and we picked up where we left off. I apologized for my stubbornness.

The moral of this story is not to allow a small thing to become bigger than it should, to address it right away and let it go. It is not worth it to hold onto a problem for so long.  I have missed so many wonderful years of our friendship.

We all make mistakes, and we need to learn from them.

You can imagine our first lunch together after many years!!!

Here is one of our conversations for this blog:

One of Gabi’s talents is her thirst for knowledge, which makes her very open to learning new things with dedication.

A few years ago, she taught herself how to paint, and now, she could easily have a successful  exhibition of her art work. I always admire people who are not afraid to explore, get out of their comfort zone and change their routine. Here are some samples of her art.


Snapseed (1)

Being talented as a journalist and as a painter is unique.


Gabi’s conversations are filled with wisdom, laughter and authenticity, and I am looking forward to spending more wonderful moments with her.


Pascale C.

Photography by Simona Gozner

Ma Cheri Pascale,

Larger than life. She is beautiful, funny, smart, and tres chic!!

We met when she was interviewing me for an esthetician position at the Versailles spa, where she was working as Head Esthetician. After my long practical interview (which included too many services…she just wanted to be pampered!!) we both felt like we had known each other for a long time. I was looking forward to be working with and learning from her if she were to offer me the position. A few days later, she called me to offer me the job, but I respectfully declined because in the meantime, I had been promoted at my workplace.

However, when people are supposed to come into your life, they will come sooner or later.

I did not hear from Pascale for a few years. Meanwhile, I changed my work place, and worked at another spa for about two years, until the spa closed down. Before looking for another job, I decided to spend some valuable time with my son and went to visit family back in Romania for a few weeks. Upon my return from my holiday, I found many voice messages from Pascale, asking me if I wanted to work at Spa Ethos (where she had been for a few years) because she was going on maternity leave. I called her back, accepted the offer and we started working together. That was the beginning of our wonderful FRIENDSHIP.

I learned so much from Pascale.

Her interview will remind you to have hope even in the most difficult times, and to surround yourself with good people.

Pascale is direct, authentic and a very loyal friend. However, it takes a while for her to call someone her friend, but once she does, she is truly committed to the friendship. 

We have shared so many beautiful memories over the years.

At Spa Ethos, alongside wonderful colleagues like Eugenia, Farin, Sophie, Maria and Daniela, Pascale’s career has taken her around the world, and she has no hesitation to share her expertise, and passion for esthetics with junior estheticians who need mentorship. Experienced estheticians reach out to Pascale for advice, and she always finds time to help them. Her high standards for the industry, and fairness in treating her colleagues, make Pascale a wonderful teammate. 

During the interview, I also found out that she is a graduate of Blanche Macdonald makeup program.

We have had many marvelous memories with her full of life and inspirational French women friends, who accepted me into their circle as their “amie”.  You do not know the meaning of ‘joie de vivre” until you have spent one evening in their presence. They are full of life, laughter, humor, and of course, great fashion style. Merci Pascale for introducing me to Marie-Noelle, Natalie, Marie-France, Sylvie, Lorraine, and Katherine.

Pascale 2-01-01

2012 – My B-day with Pascale and Marie-Noelle


Dinner with Pascale, Lorraine and Marie-Noelle

Lovely memories at her home, where she made me feel welcome so many times. Great conversations over delicious French cuisine, birthday celebrations, or summer picnics. 

Pascale's_home  A couple of years ago, I was working on a photography project, and I had the privilege to photograph Pascale with her mother and her daughter Camille. It was magical to capture a family portrait of three generations. It is one of my favorite pictures. camille10-0755

Three years ago, Pascale, myself, Silvia D. and Silvia P, created a group of friends called “Les Cherries” with the intention of trying something new every month that is fun, creative and inspires us. Pascale’s daughter, Camille, has joined us in many activities from learning how to make macarons, pottery, or for dinners in unique restaurants. She is part of Les Cherries!!! We have our “Sisterhood divine moments” which probably make Camille smile quite often. She is the darling of the group.

Cherries - Edited


Pascale C3

I admire so many things about Pascale, but her courage and strength in dealing with her breast cancer has made me commend her, and taught me so much about life and strength. Going through what she has gone through, including chemo, surgeries, or searching for new treatments, did not stop Pascale from being Pascale. She is the life of the party, and her energy and smile are contagious.

Pascale is a Great MOM. Her kids, Hugo and Camille are everything to her.

I also learned from Ma Cheri Pascale to respect a friend’s wish to be alone, when she goes trough difficult times and wants to see nobody in order to find her strength. The first instinct of a friend is to help a friend in need as much as one can, but sometimes it could be overbearing and not (helpful)  at all.

Pascale’s friendship is so precious to me.

A few years back, she gave me a great book as a gift on my B-Day. One of the pages describes Pascale’s charisma.


Merci Ma Cheri for being in my life.



Ashe V.

You know you are in the presence of a great Woman when you are with Ashe.

Some people have a zest for life and knowledge, and their inquisitive mind leads them on a continuous journey of explorations in order to satisfy their mind and soul. That is Ashe. She opens herself up to many possibilities. 

If you are on a quest to find which path you need to embark on to find your purpose, Ashe’s interview will inspire you.  Intelligence, wisdom, creativity, courage, intuition, kindness, and beauty are just a few of Ashe’s attributes. Her eloquence during the interview, when she shares her incredible journey, and her calm voice will soothe your soul while listening to it.

Make yourself a cup of tea, get cozy and enjoy the interview.

We met for our interview at Mo’s General Store in North Vancouver. This was Ashe’s choice for the location of our interview, it was not accidental. She supports local businesses, which are trying very hard to stay in business against giant corporations and online shopping.


The store is unique, located inside a building with so much history, and at the same time it is modern, and has a strong presence in the community. The store’s mission statement  is “A general store is there to help you prepare for your adventure as well as refuel while you reflect on your adventure.”  What a synchronicity! Writing this blog makes me reflect and celebrate my connections over the years with inspiring women, and I hope that their stories will inspire the next generation of young women as they are trying to find their purpose. Here is the link to the store:

One of Ashe’s accomplishments was her business, Eclipse Beauty Supply, which provided exceptional services and education to many estheticians in Canada for more than twenty years. Her knowledge of the industry and the integrity of her advice make her an Extraordinary Esthetician.

After working very hard for more than two decades, she decided to sell her business (which I can imagine was not an easy step). She took one year sabbatical to reflect on her next chapter in life. As an entrepreneur, knowing when to let go of something that you have built , takes courage. Ashe’s courage to explore and re-invent herself inspires me to remember my dreams, and to start doing something about them rather than just dreaming.

Ashe loves animals. Her love for animals is going to take her on a journey, where her intuitive and healing skills will help and guide many pet owners.

I would like to share with you a funny story about  fireworks and their special meaning in our friendship.

One year, I invited Ashe over in order to celebrate her birthday. We were sitting on the balcony, after a delicious Romanian meal, enjoying a glass of wine and dessert. Jokingly,  I was telling Ashe that there should be a fireworks show starting soon for her special B-Day. Before I even finished my sentence, fireworks started at the marina across my balcony. You can imagine the look on our faces. I said to Ashe, “remember, my birthday is in December”. She said: “I am leaving the country, I cannot top this”. She was indeed leaving the country to travel the world on a well deserved sabbatical.  Later we found out that the fireworks on her birthday were for an engineering show which took place at the New Convention Center.

The following year, we were having dinner a very nice local restaurant, The Lift Bar and Grill. The restaurant has magnificent views of the ocean and mountains, and it is located in Coal Harbour, Vancouver.  While we were enjoying our dessert, I was telling Ashe that I was not going to let her down and that there were going to be fireworks soon. Sure enough, fireworks started five minutes later. We were both speechless. Really, speechless. You can imagine the jokes and the laughter afterwards. Not to mention the expectations for Ashe for my Birthday!!! That time there was another convention taking place, and the fireworks were part of the closing event.

The third year, I was not feeling well, so I had to cancel the dinner planned for Ashe’s birthday. However, I was jokingly telling her, that it was too late to cancel the fireworks, and it was the least I could do for her birthday. Sure enough, that night, another fireworks show came as a surprise, and I texted Ashe to make sure that she likes them.

I think the fireworks symbolically celebrate the wonderful friendship we have developed over the years. I really respect and admire Ashe, and I always look forward to our conversations filled with so much authenticity and of course, laughter, lots of it…



Thank you Ashe for being a true friend, and for the wonderful moments spent together which have inspired my mind, soul and my heart. Looking forward to more memories spent together. 



Zepur Maria T.

Photo by Yukiko Onley

Maria. An incredible woman with a big heart, and a true friend who has become like a Mom to me. Her friendship has given me comfort in the most challenging times, her wisdom and intelligence have inspired me, her kindness and generosity have made me feel loved and appreciated. Having her as part of my life is a blessing, and I cherish every moment spent together. 

Listening to our interviewing tape, I decided that it would be more inspirational for you to listen to the interview. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy listening to the audio. You will be inspired.

How I met Maria: We started as estheticians, and we met during a Darphin training seminar more than 15 years ago. A few months later, we realized that we were living in the same building. It was synchronicity and the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

Maria’s story? Maria was born in Beirut, Lebanon. The civil war in 1975 forced many Armenian Lebanese to escape the country. Maria and her family, including her 3 children, came to Vancouver, Canada in 1978.  A few years later, she became a proud Canadian citizen. 


Maria2Like any other immigrant, she had to adapt to a new culture and language, working very hard to make a future for herself and her family. Even in the most challenging times, Maria has not lost her values installed in her by her parents, who had played a huge role in her life. One of the things I admire Maria for is her tenacity, and resilience in challenging situations. She never loses hope and strength, no matter how difficult life might be. She is a TRUE FRIEND who will always be there for a friend no matter what.

Her family is very important to her. Her children and grandchildren mean the world to her, and I feel very humbled by Maria calling me her adopted daughter. I am also grateful to her children who have made me feel as part of the family.

Maria had a very successful career as an esthetician for many decades, appreciated by her colleagues, leaders in the industry, and loved by so many clients. Everywhere she worked, she made an impact.

Maria3 - EditedAnother coincidence is that we both studied esthetics at Blanche Macdonald.  She had the privilege to know the founder of Blanche Macdonald when she was alive, and Maria’s esthetics diploma is signed by Blanche herself. I have been working at Blanche Macdonald for the past 8 years, and I have invited Maria to meet some of our students in the esthetics department. They were really impressed by Maria’s presence and words of wisdom.

All the moments spent with Maria are and will continue to be cherished by me.

MAria5 - Edited

I wish for all my friends to have a Maria in their lives.


49 stories of incredible women

I am turning 49.

For this year, before turning the Big 5 Zero, I am challenging myself by doing something totally new to me. I am creating this blog with the intention of celebrating my 49th birthday by sharing the stories of 49 amazing women, who have impacted me, since I moved to Vancouver which is on parallel 49.

I have one year to complete this project.

I hope their stories will inspire you.

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