Emily Kogan-Young , Moonrise Herbals
Emily Kogan-Young left Montréal, where she was born and raised, to trade the big city life for small town mountain adventures in 2014.
Rossland, BC welcomed her with open arms. The thought of limited jobs in the area posed no problem to Emily. She would tree plant in the summer and play the rest of the year. That was until a chronic injury flared up and left her out of work during the 2015 season. All she had was a balm she’d made to treat the muscle pain and inflamed skin that comes with the job and an uncertain future. Emily made it out of necessity. Her body took a beating working out of a bush camp and her sensitive skin couldn’t tolerate most of the conventional pharmaceutical products. Before leaving camp she packed her balm and gave away the extra to friends. Upon Emily’s return, they told her about all the ways it had helped treat their various injuries and skin conditions and asked eagerly for more. That led to selling the balms at farmer’s markets where another vendor told her about the Community Futures Self-Employment Program. Emily had always thought of her love for herbal medicine as a passion and side project, not a viable source of income. She had no business training and barely an idea of how to make it work until entering the program, received training and guidance and started writing Moonrise Herbal’s business plan. Her love of helping others feel better through all natural plant-based products started to become a reality.
It hasn’t been easy. Being self-employed comes with all the freedoms you would expect - you decide on your schedule, how you spend your day, your every move. All your decisions and effort come straight back to you.
Each of these freedoms can also be a double-edged sword. Gone are the days when you can clock out and leave your workplace and responsibilities behind you for the day. These responsibilities carry a heavy weight that are hard to not bring home with you. The unknowns are endless. Self-employment isn’t for the faint of heart. It is for those with the passion to navigate its pitfalls. Throughout the hardships Emily has always carried with her the deep warmth of satisfaction. Does she feel stressed and uncertain? Yes, more often and in greater measure than she’s proud to admit.
“Do I feel proud of myself beyond measure? Yes, along with the feeling that I am closer than I’ve ever been to living my dreams.” “I can’t recommend this program enough. If you’re got an idea that you want to turn into a reality and are willing to put in your blood, sweat and tears this program is worth every minute of your time.”
This journey has felt akin to a mental climb of Mount Everest. As Emily ascends the views continue to leave her breathless and grow more stunning the further she goes. And with the climb the air gets thinner and she has to navigate simple tasks like breathing through it with her legs occasionally buckling under her. But people don’t get to the top of a big mountain without the pain, the leg cramps, the confusion and uncertainty. The views from the top and the satisfaction of the accomplishment make it all worth it.