Mandy Swanson poses for a photo in her store Mandy’s Fashion, located at 5029 50 Ave.​ in Rimbey. (Photo by Rachel Dietz Photography)

Mandy Swanson poses for a photo in her store Mandy’s Fashion, located at 5029 50 Ave.​ in Rimbey. (Photo by Rachel Dietz Photography)

Local business woman nominated for national award

Mandy Swanson has owned Mandy’s Fashions for 26 years

When told she was nominated for a national award, Mandy Swanson, owner of Mandy’s Fashions, was appreciative but thought it wasn’t a big deal.

Swanson said she was happy when she was asked by her nominator if she was alright with having her name and store submitted for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.

“I didn’t think much of it to be honest… Once I got into the application form I realized that this is kind of a big deal,” Swanson said, adding the forms were very detailed.

The application part of the nomination put Swanson out of her comfort zone, because she had to view herself and her store in a way she normally wouldn’t.

Part of the application forms for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards included testimonials.

“The testimonials were so nice and it really brought a tear to my eye reading everything people had to say about me and my store.”

The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards are national business awards recognizing the country’s leading female entrepreneurs, according the awards’ website.

The awards “spotlight Canada’s most accomplished and impactful women who have demonstrated excellence — from economic growth to social change, from local to global reach, across multiple sectors.”

Swanson, who has owned Mandy’s Fashions for 26 years, says it is important to honour and celebrate female entrepreneurs because women “wear so many hats” while operating a business.

She says so many of the hats women wear come are not solely for business.

“It’s not just me getting up and going to work. Women have to worry about kids schedules, the groceries, the dry cleaning, making sure the bills are paid, planning supper and the kids’ schedules on top of things like pay role and social media and paying employees,” Swanson said.

“It is a bit different from most men, because a lot of time it is all separate for them, whereas with women, we have to balance life and work and bit more.”

Being nominated for this award comes with recognition, though if she wins, Swanson says she isn’t sure what that will mean for her and her store.

“This whole process has made me think about my end goals a bit more. What do I want to do 10 or 15 or 25 years down the line, and I’m not sure,” she said.

Looking to the future Swanson says she will continue working on Mandy’s Fashions’ online presence and maybe look into a second location as well.

“It was nice to be thought of and to be recognized,” Swanson said.

Finalists for the awards will be announced on Sept. 15 with the gala, which will be virtual this year, being held on Nov. 17.