We first met Shelley and Lynn, the founders of Empowerment Inc, through our friend Mel McKay at Camp Hooha, and we were really intrigued by their self-defense and assertiveness training, which comes with a unique twist. They're combining the physical as well as mental side of things in a way we think is very unique, and so powerful. Not only that but they bring in a padded attacker for their simulations! I wouldn't want to be the person in the suit, for a tonne of different reasons.
We did some great portraits of them, as well as the video above, and they were a pleasure to work with. Shelley very kindly and eloquently filled out our questionnaire, so in their own words read on to learn more about this exciting company.
Who are you and what do you do?
We are Shelley Hayes and Lynn MacDonald co-founders of Empowerment Inc., an assertiveness and self-defence coaching and training company. We provide unique, fun and relatable empowerment programs for companies, schools and groups.
Tell us more about your background, related to this business (where did your passion came from).
Shelley believes in being a Women's Empowerment Warrior. She partners with women and teen girls to expand their choice, strengthen their voice, and embody their power. Her areas of expertise are leadership, assertive communication, power dynamics, healthy boundaries, and confidence-building. Prior to Empowerment Inc., Shelley gained 17 years of experience in Executive Coaching and Organizational & Leadership Development in not-for-profit, healthcare and corporate sectors.
Lynn has consistently been a protector and advocate for people, women, underdogs and fur babies. She started her career in the military, then was an Emergency Medical Technician. Lynn has now been an inspiration to women as an outstanding member of the Calgary Police Service for over 22 years. In addition to her policing career, she has been teaching Personal Safety & Self-Defense to people from small children, to survivors of abuse, groups of differently-abled kids and to the elderly for 12 years.
Explain when and why you started this business.
In 2016, we started this business because we KNOW that when women and girls feel EMPOWERED and FREE to choose, speak up, and be powerful, their success skyrockets. We are dedicated to empowering women and girls to feel safe, so they can build their confidence, and then embody their power in every area of their life. Also, Shelley is a survivor of abuse and trauma, and her journey to empowerment through assertiveness and self-defence was incredibly healing. As Shelley says, "I didn't know how afraid I was until I wasn't afraid anymore." She lives to offer the same hope, healing, and empowerment to women and girls everywhere.
How rewarding is it for you to be doing what you're doing?
We feel tremendously honored to witness the impact and hear the feedback from our community of Empowered Warriors. This is soul fulfilling work that drives us every day to do what we can to share this information in a down-to-earth, fun and relatable way.
Who are your main customers? Who are your best customers?
Our main customers are corporations, companies, schools and other groups. Our best customers are those who are ready to invest in confidence-building, leadership skills and empowerment of women and girls.
What are you struggling with right now?
We are working hard to help women and girls access the education they deserve toward their full empowerment. We are looking for connections to decision makers within companies and schools who are interested in our programs and speakers.
How can people help you at this point in your work?
Introduce us, recommend us or book us for an empowerment talk or workshop for your company, school or group!
Any other interesting stories about you and your business? Fun anecdotes, interesting facts, anything else you would like to share.
Did you know…
86% of women remember being taught to be nice to others growing up, but only 44% remember being taught to be a good leader and only 34% were taught to share their point of view.
or did you know that . . .
. . . half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
When girls start school, it's true they are more likely than boys to do well in reading, writing, and forming friendships. Yet as girls approach adolescence, their early advantage is overshadowed by: 1) high rates of sexual assault and other violence, 2) a sharp decline in mental health and confidence, and 3) negative stereotyping and sexualization.