“The truth about stories is that’s all we are” – Thomas King
Inspired by Humans of New York, every other Thursday we’ll be introducing you to one of our remarkable team members. While we’re big fans of LinkedIn, our resumes don’t tell our stories. This edition tells the tale of a self-professed hippie, the consequences of having a huge heart in a tiny start-up, and an impromptu trip to Africa.
Part-woodland nymph, part-ambitious career woman, Cindy Bidan, 25, grew up in Perkinsfield, Ontario.
Never heard of Perkinsfield? Don’t worry. I’d be willing to bet that most people haven’t.
Cindy herself refers to it as “the boonies” (AKA the sticks; the middle of nowhere).
Perkinsfield is a community located in Tiny Township, an area that as of 2016, has a population consensus of only 11, 787.
“I grew up in a literal forest, so I spent a lot of my time playing in the woods. I was an only child, so I would play hide-and-go-seek with my dog, Rose.”
It’s likely that Cindy’s rural upbringing has contributed to her current self-professed hippie-status.
As a result, her favourite show to binge-watch is one that follows a sustainable community built in the depths of the Panama jungles – a program aptly named Jungletown.
The van Cindy lives in. Just kidding.
It’s noteworthy that when I showed Cindy the caption I wrote for the picture of the Volkswagen Microbus, she laughed heartily and said “I would.”
In true free-spirit fashion, Cindy boarded a plane and flew to Africa in November 2016.
“I went out of pure spontaneity! I bought my ticket without putting much thought into it,” Cindy says.
“I helped build a library for the children. I learned that we are so fortunate for what we have, but also that money does not buy happiness. Those kids were so happy it blew my mind. I would love to go back to see how big those kids have grown!” Cindy says.
For Cindy, swapping the mundanity of her routine for a great adventure was the key to growth.
“[I’ve been] stepping out of my comfort zone in the past couple of years. It has really improved my quality of living. I think getting too comfortable is one of the worst things that could happen to a person,” Cindy notes.
Cindy, pictured playing games with the kids from the Rainbow House orphanage in Watamu, Kenya.
Working at a startup company has been a surprisingly perfect fit for the passionate flower child.
“I have a lot more heart in it. I’m more emotionally invested, which I think is the key for me to stay motivated every day. Under a big company, I might not be as motivated,” says Cindy.
Cindy first met Mallory, Siva Creative’s CEO, on a snowy day last December in downtown Barrie.
The pair met up at Casa Cappuccino, a small café that has called Dunlop Street East home for more than a decade.
She admits she was “terribly nervous” to meet Mallory, saying “I remember talking her face off about the importance of social media and my schooling at Georgian (Web Animation and Design).”
Despite her initial anxiety, the two young women quickly hit it off, forming both a business relationship and a budding friendship.
“She’s so welcoming – she treats everyone like a friend! I try to take notes about how she interacts with people so I can be more like her,” Cindy laughs.
When Cindy’s not in the office, she can be found walking her 7-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Casey.
A determined, empathetic adventurer, Cindy Bidan is the caterpillar’s spats (AKA an integral part of the Siva Creative team).