Your Name: Helga Schulte-Schroeer

Business Name: FIBREARTISTRY, an artist that uses fibers to paint and sculpt

Type of Business: Arts & Entertainment

Business Location: Winnipeg, Canada


Reason for starting
I learned the whole breadth of fibre arts from my grandmother because life on a farm in the 50’s was all about self-sufficiency. Though I experimented with and shared fibre work all along, my livelihood as single mother of 2 was derived through working in the social field. Though I love the work in itself and still believe it worthwhile to devote oneself to assist others, I increasingly questioned the practices, directives and corruption of the system. So, once my children were well on their own way I decided to turn things around: work in the social field took a place on the backburner (providing some supplement income) while I started my own business as fibre artisan.

How do you define success?
Success is when I look back on a day, a year, a decade with full integrity.

Biggest Success
THAT is still in the making – though I’m well on my way at 60. Looking back where I came from to travelling the world to attend exhibitions, I’m absolutely awed at the possibilities of the human spirit. The small, everyday successes in overcoming obstacles (the process) accumulate to form the biggest success: a life well lived.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Self-confidence. It still amazes me that people like what I do and are willing to pay for it. I have found exchanges, friendships, co-operative ventures and peer reviews with fellow artisans very helpful to find and hold my own place and worth.

Who is your most important role model?
Thich Nhat Hanh – because: whatever achievement or obstacle life may present is worthless if it cannot be met in gratitude and transformed into the next step.