We love the prairies. We love the landscape … the big blue skies … the groundedness of life … and of course the gutsy ‘can-do’ attitude that prevails here. Growing up and living in Alberta, Canada has instilled within both of us an unending determination to go after our entrepreneurial dreams. We believe a lot of it comes from the culture and history that are part of this unique prairie heritage we appreciate so much.
DID YOU KNOW… The prairies stretch from Texas in the USA, to the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, in Canada. Settling the prairies over a century ago, (once deemed the new territory), was a gritty time filled with tales of heroism, courage and toughness. The history books recorded stories and pictures of cowboys, Mounted police, First Nations chiefs and tribes, whiskey traders, missionaries, pioneering farmers and ranchers, and of course politicians. But they don’t often tell the whole story…
What is conspicuously missing from most stories and pictures are women. Thankfully the Internet provides us with the means to explore their lives more fully nowadays. The original prairie women were not silent or absent partners in the majestic settling of the West. A little more than a 100 years ago, against enormous odds, women were living and persevering in ways few of us could imagine today. Their labor, skills, and ability to adapt to the harsh environment was important to the formation and development of prairie society and culture, as well as the country as a whole. (We’ll get into the ways they made a difference in upcoming blog posts.)
So, the prairies have always stood as a symbol for freedom and possibility. The untilled prairie soil provided fertile ground for the dreams and imaginations of those who came to the new territory. Early prairie women knew they were part of a magnificent movement to build a new land on the last frontier. They were hardy, resilient and persevering. They had GRIT and they displayed character-defining traits and values as they laid claim. In reality they left us with spirited stories that can inspire and strengthen us today.
We love hearing stories about pioneering women, both past and present. Our current day ‘new territory’ is not settling unclaimed land, but it is just as powerful. We know that we live in a time where women have the freedom and opportunity to create new opportunities in their lives and their livelihoods. It’s a time where we can bring new ideas to life and venture into new territory. We see this as a time where we, as women, can really choose to live authentic and meaningful lives as we shape and develop our chosen lifestyles.
Through family history and stories, special places and unique cultural events, we’ve always been influenced by the legacy of early prairie women. It is energizing and inspirational to see how the creative, resilient, hard-working prairie women pioneered a path to their dreams. Their way of life was a necessity. For us today, it is a choice.
You see, we view the prairies as more than a landscape or location. Prairie is a feeling, memory, sight or sound that brings us back to our values and our roots, in a wholesome way. We’ve always felt it whether we were living in a city, small town or out on a back-country road, as we are now. The open prairie vistas give us the space to envision, unhindered. They inspire us to dream bigger, to expand our horizons.
For us, to live prairie is to explore and create, and to do it with wholehearted passion. It’s planting the seeds of our dreams and ideas, and nurturing and growing them into existence. It’s letting ourselves be inspired by prairie culture and prairie history. This is the foundation and inspiration that embodies the Goods and Gatherings we are creating for ourselves and for you. This is our prairie life and how we experience it, and we invite you to share in it and claim something prairie for yourself.
Live Wholeheartedly. Live Prairie.
– Jan and Erin
Two prairie girls