I met Dominique not long after she hosted a Post Holiday Season Decluttering Challenge to gather donations for Refugees and other Ottawa residents in need. Her business, Home Wellness Ottawa, specializes in decluttering and home organization. Visit her website or Facebook page to find out more about the work she does. Read about her journey as she shares her responses to the questions below.
Number of years in business: <1
Briefly describe your business and why you do what you do:
Home Wellness Ottawa specializes in Decluttering and Home Organization. We work
with clients to identify and let go of items that are no longer working for them in their
homes in order to recreate their home as the sanctuary they envision. We give new life
to useable items by donating them to local charitable organizations and initiatives
serving marginalized groups in our community.
1. Looking back on your life, were there certain events or people that helped push you
to follow your current path? Describe one of these key turning points along with any
fears or challenges that may have held you back from pursuing your passion.
I’ve always aired on the side of caution, never allowing my dreams to take flight for fear
of failure and other negative consequences. I tried the conventional approach of going
to university after high school and getting a job with the government and, although I did
enjoy learning in the positions I held, I was not driven by the work. It was not until I lost
my job in 2012 and falling into the worst depression I have ever experienced that I truly
reconnected to myself and my purpose.
Although depression is a terrible beast (which came this time with a side of social and
generalized anxiety), it was a blessing in disguise. That is not to say that the journey
was an easy one. My home had become overrun with clutter and, over time, I lost all
motivation and energy to do anything at all. I didn’t want to eat, talk to my friends,
bathe, nothing. All I could do was watch tv and sleep. I was so disconnected, from
myself and from life around me. It got to a point where I was no longer functional and
was forced to move back in with my parents. They were terrified and confused, not
knowing what to do to help me. They brought me to see a few therapists before I was
sent to the Day Hospital in the Mental Health Clinic at the Montfort for a 40-day
After almost being kicked out of the Day Hospital program due to lack of engagement,
something happened. I thought “If they don’t help me, who will?” and “If I don’t do my
part, who knows if I’ll ever get this opportunity again!”... This was my “ah ha” moment,
the make or break moment. And it was MY choice! I am so thankful to fear for pushing
me in the right direction that day, because from that day forward, I have been engaged
in reestablishing and maintaining my mental health.
I am so grateful to my family and friends for standing by me when I couldn’t love or take
care of myself, as well as the wonderful team at the Montfort for helping me shift from
darkness to light. And although this may seem strange, I thank my depression because
it showed me that I wasn’t living my truth and that I needed to honour what was in my
With therapy, determination and time, I turned my paralyzing depression into the
foundation from which I would launch my new, incredible life. I took a few years to
nourish myself and gained the momentum I needed to propel myself out of my comfort
zone. I had learned a lot from my depression and knew that the calling that had
become an incessant sounding alarm in my being was alerting me that it was time to
take the leap!
I have always had a passion to help others and my suffocating intimate relationship with clutter
helped me realize how I could turn that passion into a tangible service. I decided
to start a Decluttering and Home Organization business to help others overwhelmed by
clutter and to help prevent clutter from taking over anyone else’s life.
I designed a website and started telling friends and family about my business. That’s
when fear snuck up on me and made me question my ability to carry out this work. I
think there is a tendency among want-to-be-entrepreneurs to undervalue their work and
what they have to offer the world. Even with my personal experience, my background in
psychology and a lot of support from friends and family, I was still worried that my
business idea was not original, that no one would like it and that I was not enough.
Knowing well the tricks our minds can play to keep us “safe”, I knew I had to push
through fear and procrastination and take the risk of making my dream a reality. It was
one of the best decisions of my life.
2. How and when did you know you were pursuing the “right” career?
It was not until I put my business out there 100% that my doubts about my career
choice disappeared. I decided to host an online Decluttering Challenge to gather
donations for refugees and other marginalized groups in our community. I didn’t expect
it to be a major hit, but I was hoping it would be since I knew first hand the amazing
benefits of decluttering and wanted to stimulate a sense of community in my life by
Once launched, people were excited and motivated to take part in the challenge! It was
incredible! I was even offered to be featured in a segment on local television! It was
more of a success than I had ever imagined. I had 100 people taking the challenge and
many were actively engaged in the online group!
The feeling I get when I am coming up with ideas to improve and grow my business and
to better help others is like no other feeling in this world. I feel empowered, confident,
capable and full of love. This is how I know I am pursuing the right career: I feel it and
the benefits of my work are seen all around me, in others. People feel good letting go of
things they no longer need and they feel good helping others.
3. What has been your biggest failure and how did you change as a result?
There is no such thing as a failure, only learning experiences! I suppose if I had to
name somethings it would be self-doubt and not taking risks. I have felt far more
nourished following my passion in the last few months than I have in my entire life! The
biggest failure is not trying and not believing in yourself.
4. How do you define success?
Success is respecting yourself and being able to be authentic in all areas of your life.
Success in living in alignment with your values and contributing to the world at the same
time. Success is waking up in the morning, excited about your day and your work.
Success is following our passions and sharing our gifts to make the world a better
5. Based on your experience, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Listen to your heart, your gut, that voice in your head! Follow your dreams, take risks
and always believe in yourself. You are your biggest ally, it’s time to team up with
yourself! XO Ps. If you encounter obstacles, keep going! It’s likely a sign you are on
the right path ;)