Time to introduce another of our wonderful brand ambassadors, This time we introduce Christine from Life on Manitoulin. Here is her interview.


1.Tell Us about YOU! Your family, where you live, etc.
A city girl fell in love with a beautiful island and a charismatic farmer. They got married and had a baby, and the rest is history. Okay, maybe not so simple! I was a vegetarian for most of my adult life and happened to marry a beef farmer. How ironic is that? I am a self-professed city girl who now has to adapt to life in the country. It’s been a fun ride so far. Life in the rural North is never boring! Did you know that Manitoulin Island is the largest fresh water island within a fresh water lake? I didn’t either! As for family, Hubby and I have a beautiful, healthy, happy, BUSY 3 year old daughter. She has a mind of her own and wants what she wants, when she wants it. Proof? She insisted on being born early and catapulted herself into the world at 28 weeks gestation. A small but mighty 980 g baby turned into a very inquisitive and thriving 3 year old. Little One, our 100 head of cattle, our barn cats, and farm dog make life very, VERY interesting indeed!


2.How long have you been blogging? When and Why did you start?
I started a personal blog back in 2006 to keep in touch with my family, friends, and students when I moved to Manitoulin Island. I had no idea that the rest of the world could see my posts and quickly realized that people out there were reading when a few ladies came up to me in the grocery store and told me that they read my blog! I only started to blog “seriously” in 2008 when I got pregnant with Little One. I soon found out I had a high risk pregnancy and was put on strict bed rest (later on it would become strict hospital bed rest). With not being able to even sit, there was just so much a person could do on her back all day and all night. I ended up using the blog as an outlet for me to make contact with the outside world! I found tremendous support, advice, and friendships from the blog and all my readers. Companies and organizations started approaching me, and that set the stage for what is now http://www.lifeonmanitoulin.com.


3.What role does blogging play in your life; fun, extra income, main source of income, journaling, memories, etc.
Blogging has become an integral part of my family’s life. An English teacher by trade, I only wanted to work part time so I could stay home with Little One in her formative years. Blogging not only provided me with a way of communicating with family and friends, and a creative outlet, but has enabled me to supplement our family income. It’s also served as a means for me to connect with fabulous brands, form friendships with others in like situations as me, and it has also served as a way to chronicle our life for posterity. I’d love to look back on my posts years from now and show Little One what her life was like “back then”!


4.What role has social media played in your life?
Social media has become a very important part of my life. I remember telling Donna Marie last year that I was honoured to be invited to ShesConnected, but felt I was “just a small fish in a big sea of bloggers”. Donna replied, “Brands need fish of all sizes”. Since then, I’ve been very active in the social media scene. I’ve been offered jobs, contract work, blog opportunities, social media related work and ambassadorships because of social media (primarily from Twitter relationships).
5. Tell us about your “Brand”.
I never really thought of my “Brand”. I suppose I’d have to say that Life on Manitoulin and @chancesmommy could be considered a place for me to be me – somewhere that I can be open and honest, provide information, opinions, reviews and share with everyone all the things pertinent to my family and to me. I know that though I do not represent all moms in our nation, I have a unique voice and love to share with others. Any brand that works with me will know that I will always do my best to promote them because I believe in them and love their products/services.

6.How many SCCTO have you attend? Was the conference what you expected it to be? Why?
SCCTO 2011 was my first social media conference, so I had nothing to base any expectations on. I have to admit that I was blown away by how fabulous it was. I learned a lot from panels and speakers. I reinforced friendships I had already made on Twitter (it was so good to finally meet the people behind the Twitter handles). The booths were all informative and the sponsors all friendly and helpful. I was just wowed by the entire experience. Donna Marie was also so friendly and cheerful. It was great to meet her in person!

7.What was your favourite part of the conference? What was your favourite booth and why?
All the booths were great. I especially loved Heather Hamilton’s booth. Zack’s Dream Room is always going to be one of my favourite causes to support. Heather, Zack and their family are a true inspiration to all. Plus, Heather gives the best hugs ever. Elmo will from now on have a special meaning to me.

8.What was your most memorable moment from SCCTO?
I think the most memorable part of the conference for me was seeing how a single tweet could change the world, one tweet at a time. Our table pitched in and bought stoves for women in Sri Lanka. The feeling was empowering and exhilarating knowing that we could do something to help others. The power of social media is extraordinary.

9.Did you continue your relationship on social media with other attendees? Brands?
Yes, I have continued my relationships on social media with other attendees and with brands. Some of the SCCTO attendees and I have become fabulous friends in real life. We talk on the phone, chat on Twitter daily, and have even met up in person. As for the brands, I am connected with many of the brands I chatted with at SCCTO. It’s great to have that ‘personal’ aspect behind the brand. They’ve been able to get to know me more through social media and have had me on board with certain campaigns and opportunities. One of the biggest and most exciting things that has happened to me as an off-shoot from SCCTO has been my relationship with Canadian Beef.
During SCCTO I was tweeting with @ChickenFarmers, who have become one of my favourites to tweet with. Another attendee @justnikiv tweeted that I should connect with @CanadianBeef, and thus began our relationship. Being a Canadian Beef farmer’s wife, a beautiful friendship came to fruition with Canadian Beef. Heather Travis and I began chatting, I soon became a regular guest blogger on the Beef Blog, and one day during a phone conversation, I told her all about the amazing time I had at SCCTO and told her she needed to check them out and consider becoming a sponsor for the upcoming conference! I’m excited to be an Ambassador for both SCCTO and Canadian Beef! Both are connections I am proud to be aligned with.

10.Why are you proud to be this year’s SCCTO Brand Ambassador? What are you looking forward to this year?
I’m proud to be a Brand Ambassador for SCCTO this year because of the amazing experience I had last year and I know this year is going to be fabulous as well. I am excited to meet with all the brands again this year and catch up with fellow SCCTO brand ambassadors. Most of all, I`m looking forward to learning and drawing helpful tips and experiences from others.

You can also find Christine on Twitter and Facebook.