Muskoka sunset on the dock


contemplation by the lake in Muskoka, Canada

As I grew up in New Zealand in the 1970’s, my favourite TV show of all time was Grizzly Adams. There was just something about the North American Wilderness that stole my heart. The huge redwoods, cedars and firs, the vastness and remote lifestyle deeply surrounded by nature. Not to mention the most adorable woodland creatures I have ever seen. Chipmunks, Squirrels, Racoons, not to mention the Bears, Moose and Skunks and other wonderful creatures of this great northern land. I always knew I would visit I there one day, I just never expected that I would live or work there another 20 years down the track.

By 22 years of age in the early 90’s I was a young Aesthetician and Massage therapist, internationally trained and qualified via the Swiss syllabus of CIDESCO, and work wise the world was indeed my oyster. I couldn’t wait to travel and see the world. As luck would have it, through industry contacts, I managed to land my CV into the hands of a fabulous trainer based in Toronto, Canada.

She had the perfect place to recommend me to, a five star, Relais & Châteaux resort, located in Northern Ontario, nestled on the shores of Lake Manitouwabing in the Muskoka Lakelands area.

I was thrilled and excited to land my first international job there. I worked as a spa therapist in the luxury resort, and lived close by in a little cabin by the lake with one of the other aestheticians who remains one of my best friends to this day. Many of the staff were internationals too, all coming to work at the resort in different capacities - tennis pros from all over the globe, chefs, sommeliers, dining room staff largely from France, and a lovely group of Canadians who warmly welcomed us all. Our 1996 crew had a particularly special bond and 26 years later many of us remain in touch with each other wherever we now reside in the world and share a lifelong friendship.

In my time off, I would often walk down by the lake and reflect. It was the most beautiful and peaceful spot I’d ever been. The lake waves would lap up against the granite rock and the sound of the loons calling in the distance was haunting. Little woodland creatures like chipmunks would scuttle around and squirrels would dart up and down the trees. Sometimes I would take a kayak out onto the lake and bask in the vastness of the huge stretches of water in-between tiny islands.

I was completely mesmerised by this gorgeous place and a feeling of deep peace grew inside me that I had never known before.


All stress left my body - I describe this as “the awakening”

The beauty of nature in Muskoka was inspirational, and the warmth of the people and experiences surrounding me during this time is to be treasured for a lifetime. Over the course of the years, after working internationally for a while, I returned home to New Zealand, where I still reside today with my family. Muskoka has never left my heart, and I am so excited to use this experience as inspiration to bring life to my Muskoka Lifestyle luxury brand, Nurturing Mind, Body and Spirit. Candles and melts that are lovingly created promote a beautiful ambience in your home, LED seed & festoon lights and globes to add some magic and light to any area, and both beautiful and comfortable lounge and outdoor wear keep you snug.

No matter if you have journeyed to Muskoka and fallen in love with it there too, or you are from another part of the globe and just want to feel nurtured from the comfort of your own home, it is my hope that I can deliver a quality product that really touches the heart of the recipient and brings much joy.

Anna x

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