Picture Yourself Well: Registered Art Therapist
Kelly Gauthier is the owner and operator of an art and photo therapy practice in downtown Huntsville, Ontario. Her business, Picture Yourself Well, specializes in the use of photographs and projected imagery in treating clients. A significant focus of the business is helping remote First Nations communities because Kelly believes everyone, including marginalized communities, should have the opportunity to access online support whenever they need it.
Kelly has been a professional photographer for over 30 years, and an art therapist for 12. Over the years, she has gained experience and awareness of the healing and growth potential that an image holds.
“When we can look at aspects of ourselves from the outside and with a different perspective or lens, we can actually see where our behaviours and unhealthy choices are holding us back.”
Kelly has always been passionate about supporting others in living their best lives. Her photography practice started as a way of inspiring children by helping them notice the not-so-obvious through a camera lens. Over time, this evolved into working with children with emotional and behavioral concerns, which challenged Kelly to find new ways to use photography to support these concerns. From there, she decided to further her education and become an Art Therapist so she could provide support more professionally. At that point, Kelly launched Picture Yourself Well and has never looked back.
Since COVID-19 began, Kelly’s business has taken a hit. She was unable to travel north to visit reserves in person. Her income suffered, and more importantly, so did the individuals she was working with. It has taken a lot of effort, work, and worry for Kelly to get her business back to a place to generate a living.
To overcome this challenge, Kelly decided to build a website to share her content online. She applied for the ShopHERE powered by Google program and was paired with an eCommerce Coordinator to bring her business online.
Kelly found the program helpful and it was a smooth process as she worked with her coordinator to build the website and prepare it for launch. She learned that a website is only as good as the individual behind it.
“It takes work to make a business a success, but it sure helps to have support and a great website behind you!”
Kelly did not have the funds to hire a web developer or the time to build a website on her own. ShopHERE made it possible by providing free one-to-one assistance with creating the website and marketing training so she could learn how to get people to visit her new website.
Kelly knows so many people who have been dreaming about quitting their day jobs to open their own business and get started.
“ShopHERE made that possible in more ways than one. Not only did I come away from the experience with a fully functioning website, but I also came away with the motivation and desire to make this business a reality.”
Kelly is more motivated than ever to make her business a success. She is proud of her website, her contributions, and what she has to offer.
Her advice to other business owners is to stay true to what you are passionate about and use your strengths to propel you forward.
“If you’re undecided then it’s time to get clear, otherwise you won’t know which direction to follow and that isn’t going to help anyone, especially you and your business.”
Want to find out more about Art Therapy? You can find Picture Yourself Well at pictureyourselfwell.com
If you’re a small business owner who’s looking for a low-cost way to expand your business online, you can sign up for the ShopHERE program here.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay and Canada Post.
Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.