Member Spotlight – March 2014


Kathy Suffel 2014 Barbara Aylesworth 2014

Kathy Suffel

Realtor with Sutton West Coast Realty in North Vancouver


Kathy Suffel provides professional advice and service to people buying and selling residential properties.

Before Kathy became a realtor, she was a lawyer working with the federal government on First Nation land claims. Kathy explains, “I moved from Ottawa to Vancouver to take on a new challenge with a First Nations organization, but it required much more travel than I had anticipated and turned out to be the kind of work I just didn’t see myself doing for the next 20 years. So I left that job and took about six months to think about what I really wanted from work and life. It became clear to me that the most important things to me were to be able to live and work in my community, amongst my friends and neighbors, and to really develop great relationships with those people and with my adopted North Shore home.

For Kathy the biggest benefit of belonging to a networking group like SWAN is meeting the many wonderful business women who attend SWAN, from all walks of life and who are running all kinds of interesting businesses. And, she adds “I have done business as a result of real estate referrals from my SWAN friends.”

Kathy finds balance by having this amazing attitude: “It’s all one life. I love my work, and the majority of the time I am more than happy to give whatever it takes to serve my clients as completely and professionally as possible. When I want to see my granddaughter Abigail in Ontario, I take the time to do that because it’s so important to me. I enjoy my friends, I go to church, I am on the Board of Directors of the Laudate Singers, and I enjoy growing veggies and flowers in my community garden plot. So I really manage my time to do lots of great things!”

Kathy’s greatest achievements in life are raising two smart and accomplished sons, and now enjoying her “little girl” Abigail. Kathy’s greatest work related achievement is “Saying “yes” to going into business for myself.”

Her hobbies include house/cat sitting, gardening, fussing over other peoples’ dogs and kids, book club, networking, helping fellow entrepreneurs make good connections, social media, and Powell River.

You can contact Kathy at Kathy Suffel Homes, Sutton West Coast Realty



Interviewed by Elizabeth Shewchuk



Barbara Aylesworth

A Stroke Of Genius Interiors

Barbara Aylesworth has been interested in interior design all her life.

In 1997, after spending almost 20 years in the retail/wholesale fashion industry, she decided it was time to follow her passion. Barbara started out by offering her clients high-end specialty paint finishes for their homes. Her business quickly grew into offering full interior design and decorating services. From Italian plaster and gold leaf wall finishes, to full interior renovation and design, Barbara enjoys assisting her clients to create the space they have always dreamed of.

One of Barbara’s biggest obstacles when first starting out was adjusting to life outside the corporate world. Cash flow was scarce, and she did not always know when or from where her next project would come. Barbara committed herself to working long hours and living by her mantra: work hard, work smart, stay focused, network, follow-up, repeat! She also kept business cards with her at all times and got very creative in how she looked for work.

Her advice for new business owners is to stay focused, set goals, prioritize, learn to manage time wisely, and stay positive. Barbara realizes that working in a small business can be isolating and sometimes lonely, so she encourages entrepreneurs to find a support system. Joining SWAN in 2013 has provided some of that for Barbara; she has made new friends and connected with other like-minded women in her community.

Finding a work-life balance is very important to Barbara. When she isn’t working in her business, she enjoys spending time with her three beautiful children, her fabulously supportive partner, and her dog. She enjoys hiking, walking, cooking, gardening, and traveling.

To learn more about Barbara and her business visit:

Interviewed by Kerry Hanna

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