Let me introduce myself
I’m Janelle Desrosiers, the owner of Bloom + Brilliance, a boutique branding and web design studio, and the creator of the Creative Catalyst coaching program. I’m a born entrepreneur and naturally creative. A passionate feminist who works from home so she can spend as much time with her husband, her little one and her dog as she possibly can. I want to:
- be a loving, supportive spouse, mother, and friend
- be mostly happy (thanks, depression!)
- explore this big, beautiful world
- occasionally watch 6 movies in one day
- make something beautiful out of my life.
I love puppies, donuts, leather jackets, floating in any kind of body of water, and inspiring my clients to do more than they ever imagined.
I’m based in Winnipeg, Manitoba—the heart of the Canadian prairies. My husband is an illustrator and we are both self-employed. We’ve been sharing the same living and workspace for 7 years and have loved nearly every single minute of it! Over the years, we’ve found various strategies to balance intense workloads, family obligations, social lives and—most importantly‚ our relationship. On any given day, you will find us working at our dinner table, playing with our son and dog, and having 90’s dance parties.
I’ve wanted to be a designer and a business owner since I was a child. When I was 13, my aunt hired me to create the logo for her tanning salon and I was hooked! Since then, my burning passion has been helping women build their dream business. My career took a few twists and turns—working at a marketing agency, a stint as an educational assistant, going to university to be a teacher and dropping out (twice!)—but I always had some freelance design projects going. In June of 2013, I quit my agency job and went out on my own. Bloom + Brilliance was born and I was finally the owner of a design studio—just like I’d always wanted to be.
In my 15 years as a professional designer, I’ve worked with entrepreneurs from all over the world. My amazing clients are from as far as Vancouver, Toronto, San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong, Melbourne—and as close to home as my own neighbourhood. They’re at all stages of their business: work-at-home-moms women working to turn their side hustle into a career, and those looking to bring their established business to the next level.
My clients tell me that I’ve not only helped them build their business but that I’ve helped them believe in their wildest hopes and dreams. I’ve been called an energizer, a visionary, a mad scientist, a dreamweaver and a catalyst. I’ve been that catalyst for 80+ women in my capacity as a brand and web designer. The Creative Catalyst program was designed to offer my clients an even more exciting, effective and motivating coaching experience.
The program launches this April with a limited number of spaces. If you’re looking to get fierce, focused and fired up about your life’s work, I’m your woman.
Here are the nitty, gritty details
How I went from wanting to end it all,
to being so excited for my life I couldn’t sleep
How I went from wanting to end it all, to being so excited for my life I couldn’t sleep
New Year’s Day, 2012. It was my first holiday season as a single woman in 8 years. I was working full time at a web design agency. The work wasn’t feeding my soul, but I liked my boss and it was paying the bills. It was the first real job I’d had in 5 years and I was doing design work on the side. I was only four months out, so I wasn’t dating yet, but working on myself instead. I was starting to feel hopeful about the future, like I had something to live for again. I was ok with where I was in my life.
A couple of weeks earlier my friend had sent me a vision and goals worksheet. I gave it a once-over, decided it was too cheesy and tossed it aside. But the spirit of New Year’s Day got to me, and I started to reflect on all the self-work I had been doing post-break-up. I was determined to dig deep into the issues that my relationship exposed, and the unhealthy beliefs and patterns I engaged in. So I had been doing a lot of reading, journaling, and introspection. Asking myself some pretty hard, pretty brutal, questions.
I asked myself why I had stayed in an abusive relationship for almost 8 years. Why had I consistently made bad decisions that led me to rely on his financial support, instead of nurturing my own independence? Why did I obsessively devote almost a decade of my life to (trying to!) make a man happy instead of valuing myself and my own needs and dreams?
Why didn’t I think I deserved more?
The answers were ugly, and they broke my heart.
But I faced up to the truth. That my once rock-solid self-confidence was only a few layers deep. That—ultimately—I didn’t believe I was capable or worthy of anything better. But I didn’t want to be that person anymore. I didn’t want to be a woman who gave her partner the best of her and had nothing left for herself. I didn’t want to wonder what was so wrong with me that I didn’t deserve love. I didn’t want to believe I had nothing to offer the world, that there was nothing out there for me. That I couldn’t survive, let alone thrive, on my own.
I wanted to be the woman I knew I could be. And I was ready to do the work to become her. I knew that although reflection and introspection were necessary to my healing process, that it was just a start. I needed an action plan if I wanted real change to happen. I needed to identify exactly who I wanted to be and what I wanted to accomplish. Think about what kind of partner would help me build my dreams instead of tearing them down. I had to be familiar with my unhealthiest habits and darkest thoughts so that I could recognize when I was slipping into old patterns and get myself back on track.
So, I dug out the worksheet that I had tossed aside.
It asked me to picture where I would be in ten years. To visualize my life ten years from then in full, descriptive detail. I started panicking and told myself I needed to start smaller. The next section asked me to write out my “1 Year Goals” in list form. That, I could do! I wanted to be debt free. I wanted my health to be a priority. I wanted to enjoy and respect the person I was. And I wanted my business to focus on mentoring other young women.
The next step was “5 Year Goals”. I wrote: I’ve run a marathon. I own a home and am financially stable. I am in a safe and loving relationship. My business focuses exclusively on helping young women achieve their goals.
Then I filled out “10 Year Goals” in list form.
And finally, I went back to my 10 Year Vision. Where did I want to be by January 1st, 2022? I suddenly felt silly, and a little embarrassed at what I had been picturing. Who did I think I was? To want all of that? But I knew the voice inside my head wasn’t mine—and ignored it. I took a deep breath, and I wrote (typos and all):
I own a business which focusses on empowering young women to become entrepreneurs—assisting them in the development, implementation, etc. of their plans.
I am fit + healthy + exercise is a source of joy + energy for me.
I am married to a sweet, funny + loving man + we enjoy a balanced lifestyle rooted in our community, family + friends. We work for both luxury items + experiences, but are financially secure.
I have a close-knit group of cherished friends + remain close to my family.
I haven’t achieved everything I set out to, and it didn’t necessarily happen in order, but I’ve got:
- Amazing friends and family.
- More or less my dream lifestyle—travel, adventures, working from home.
- A magical, bearded angel of a man who loves me more deeply than I thought possible.
- A dream business that allows me to make money doing things I’m good at and to work with incredible women who inspire me.
Looking back on that list? Knowing what it took to get here and how hard it was for my younger self to believe on a fundamental level that she deserved all of that? Knowing that I’ve still got 3 years left to reach my 10-year goals?
It feels damn good.
I have something else, too. Something that I wanted so badly but was so afraid of not being good enough to deserve that I couldn’t write it down on that worksheet. It was a desire and a fear that I had pushed down so deep, I couldn’t even admit it to myself.
I wanted to have a child.
But I didn’t think I had it in me to be a mother. A good mother. I’d struggled with depression my entire life and often felt overwhelmed. I felt like I only had enough to be a loving partner and a successful business owner—but that being a good mother was simply beyond me. I leaned hard into the identity of being “childfree” so that I would never have to question it.
Then someone came into my life. Who supported, inspired, and energized me. Who found me easy to love. Who reflected all the very best parts of myself back to me. And I realized that my inadequacy wasn’t mine. It was a lie I had bought into from being in a relationship that barely allowed me to live. From allowing someone else to determine my purpose and my value, telling me what I was and wasn’t capable of.
I didn’t have room for those lies in my life anymore. I had been working, gradually, on stripping everything in my life back and rebuilding it with purpose and passion. I had discovered my potential in so many fulfilling ways so far—why wouldn’t I be just as capable of motherhood?
And now, the most sacred dream I’ve ever had has come true.
I am a mother. To a beautiful little boy named Jude.
I firmly believe that he wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that worksheet. It kickstarted my journey to self-fulfillment. It helped me see my potential. It helped me learn to love myself and work with the best and worst parts of me. It helped me do the dirty work, and keep myself accountable to the plan. It helped me create such a strong vision for the future that I could recognize when the right people and the right opportunities were in front of me. It helped me find a partner who inspired me to be my best self, and was worthy of me, too. It helped me create a business that uses my skills and my talents in a way that fires me up and helps other women fulfill their dreams. And it helped me envision a life where I could be a mother, a good mother, with the right balance and the right support.
I believed in my wildest hopes and dreams. Then I made them happen.
Eventually, I’ll figure out how the hell to actually get myself to the gym every morning. I’ve got a couple more years to figure it out. But for now… I’ve built a thriving business from the ground up and created my ideal work life. My work supports my family, is deeply fulfilling, damn near personal crisis-proof and allows me to spend as much time with my loves as I can.
It’s been a wild journey, a hard process and 100% worthwhile. I am so excited to share everything I’ve learned along the way and all the tools and exercises that helped me get to this point. I can’t wait to help other women reach their true potential, and help them see that they truly deserve everything they want—even if they don’t believe it yet.
I’m ready. Are you?