Since launching CityMatch in London, Ontario just over a month ago, I have been overwhelmed in the best way possible by your response. Thank you to everyone who has played a role in supporting me. Your contributions and words of encouragement have meant a great deal to me.

I have come to learn that sharing your passion and purpose with the world when launching a business is a tremendous act of vulnerability. When you have the support of good people who care and want you to succeed, this path becomes much easier to travel. Throughout this journey, I have turned to and leaned into receive support and guidance from amazing, caring people, and I want to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who provided me with a soft-landing as an entrepreneur here in London.

Every entrepreneur hopes for a positive reception when introducing a business concept that is unique, and the weeks following the launch of CityMatch have been incredible. It has been exciting to watch my social media networks explode, and I want to thank all you who actively shared my posts and showered my feeds with messages of encouragement, enthusiasm and love. I hoped for kindness when I launched; you all delivered this in spades and I will be forever grateful.

I am especially thankful to Celine Moreau from CTV London for sharing my news with London within hours of launching (an amazing opportunity!); to TechAlliance for featuring CityMatch as your member spotlight (it’s good to be back!); to London’s loveable local celebrity Lincoln McCardle for your invitation to have me to speak on your weekly Rogers television show LdnOntTV (you were a wonderful host!); and to Gord Delamont of Business London, who featured the story of my start-up this month (thank you for a great write up!).

I know most entrepreneurs often test their ideas with friends and family, and I am no exception. Sometimes that initial enthusiasm from a friend is enough to give you the energy to say - maybe there really is something here and pursue it further. Whether it was over dinner, a glass of wine, a cup of coffee, or around the campfire, I had friends who motivated me to move forward. So thank you Shawna & Michael Lewkowitz, Rachel & Andy Berdan, JP Mouton & Denise Ritchie, Grace & Douglas Keddy, Jason & Katrina Clark, Juliette Hunter and Lindsay Sage for the early encouragement I needed to pursue this idea.

I also want to thank all those I reached out to who were willing to help turn an idea into a full-blown business concept and model: Chris Moss, Joel Adams and Amanda Stratton for that awesome December business jam session; Paul Hogendoorn, Bill Wilkinson, Eric Morse, Leone Rowland, Kadie Ward and Kyla Woodcock for sharing such important and useful advice about entrepreneurship; David Ciccarelli, Mary Holbrook, Erin Pollet, Damir Slogar and Claudette Critchley for the opportunity to practice my business pitch before I even had a business card to hand out. Your guidance has been so appreciated.

As many of you know a business name is a big deal, and for me it was a huge undertaking. I went through a brand development exercise, which was a lot more challenging than expected. I was frustrated because nothing was sticking - that is until Adam Caplan showed up and CityMatch was born. Thank you Adam for your wisdom and advice, and more than anything thank you for CityMatch!

We all know that kicking your business out the door takes time and effort, and I am forever grateful to James Kingsley for creating a brand and website that I am proud of. Your creative is amazing and you are an absolute gem to work with.

Shifting gears can be daunting, and I want to thank Harrison Pensa and all of my colleagues who supported me making this transition. Your friendship and support over these past few years has been important to me, and I remain lucky to have worked alongside you. Special thanks especially goes to Geoff Pulford, Jann Danyluk, Tim Hogan and Steve Atkinson who helped clear a path so I could pursue my passion.

For the support I received in the weeks and days leading up to the launch, I also want to thank David Canton, Lisa Bondy, Christina Kuefner, Kevin Van Lierop, Wendy Sanderson, Ryan Hodge and Alenka Manners.

I have read a lot about the resiliency and courage of entrepreneurs. In addition to working on my business model and plan, this past year I also spent time working on myself. I began what is, and what will be, a life-long journey of living wholeheartedly. I want to thank the following beautiful human beings who continue to teach me so much about becoming the person I want to be. My gratitude and thanks to Michelle Hurtubise for teaching me about resiliency and leaning into vulnerability; Chantelle Diachina for providing me with the space I needed to find my centre (again); and Johnny Fansher - thank you for being a wonderful role model to living authentically, manifesting your heart’s desire and marching to the beat of your own drum.

Lastly, I want to thank my partner in life and love Shawn Adamsson for believing in me and encouraging me to make the leap. Thank you for having patience when I experienced times of doubt and frustration. I am forever grateful for your wisdom and guidance, and I love and appreciate you more than you can ever know. I also want to express my gratitude and love to my supportive and loving family, who played a key role in this exciting journey. I love you all so very much.

Overall, I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities and developments that have occurred over the past few weeks. These are early days, but I feel encouraged and energized about the future of CityMatch and I have all of you to thank for it.