Social Media Education-One Step at a Time
My name is Cathy Burrell. I am an ordinary human being who teaches other human beings what social media is, and how to use it.
This is me, in 1990, the year I opened the first of my retail clothing stores: Cavern Clothing Design in Abbotsford. Before I was a retailer, I was a fashion designer and produced a line of clothing under the Cavern Clothing label. In 2001 my husband and I moved to White Rock, and I opened a second store on Marine Drive in 2003. In 2008… after nearly 18 years in retail, I decided to reinvent myself. I closed my stores, took a deep breath, and decided to go back to school. I am in my first year of a Masters in Adult Education-specializing in Adult, Community, and Higher ED.
I took a few writing courses, worked at a few odd jobs, became a volunteer mentor through Women’s Enterprise Centre and started to educate myself about a subject that was new to me: social media. I studied, I learned, I practiced, I kept learning, and in 2011 created a new business: Cavern Retail Consulting. Through mentoring, I reaffirmed my years of experience in retail were valuable. I had been a solo entrepreneur and had worked in every aspect of my business, from customer service to marketing to merchandising to buying.
When I decided it was time to introduce myself and my business to the world, I began networking. I wasn’t surprised that everyone knew what retail was, I was surprised to be asked the same question, over and over:
“What is Social Media?”
In 2012, after receiving multiple and ongoing requests for information on where someone could learn more about social media I developed 5 course outlines and started teaching Social Media Workshops. It became clear that my students wanted an explanation of what Social Media was, and how they could use it to communicate. I had no idea who would sign up for these workshops. What I discovered was that the people were mostly “Boomers” who were tired of pestering their grown children to show them how to create a Facebook account, and teach them what to do with it… when all they wanted to do was see pictures of their grand-kids… while not worrying about privacy.
When I started studying social media I was 46, and had not attended University in over 2 decades. 15 minutes into my first class, I knew one thing for sure: Learning had changed. The old laptop I brought to class might as well been a typewriter. I wasn’t technologically savvy, I was overwhelmed and confused, but I stayed, I asked questions, and I just got on with it. In the next few years I traded my PC in for a MAC and taught myself how to use it. I continue to update my website. I write 3 blogs: cathyeats.blogspot.com, blogs on this site and occasionally ‘guest blog’ on mentoring and entrepreneurship. I have a Twitter account with more than 800 followers, connect with others on LinkedIn, a Facebook page and a variety of boards on Pinterest
My next adventure begins February 1st,2015. After 40 years, I will be returning to Calgary! I will be teaching Social Media courses through Chinook Learning Services and the ATB Entrepreneur Centre on 17th Ave SW in Calgary
I’m here to listen, help, and educate you about social media.
I know if I can learn social media…so can you.
Please contact me, and let’s get started!