Who’s Who: Bettyann Balcom
By Mike Butler
It has been a few years since I had the pleasure of working with Bettyann Balcom, but we’ve remained in touch since my career in lighting took a different turn. Bettyann was so much fun to work with because she was so open to new ideas and she always had the most unique, and often tricky, little projects to tackle, which made the job fun and our working relationship blossom. I am so glad she touched base with me recently about being profiled in The Grapevine.
Bettyann Balcom was born in South Berwick, NS. She attended Somerset Elementary School then moved onto Central Kings High School. From there, she went to NSCC where she earned her trade in Horticulture. After some years with plants and gardening she went into design work and is a graduate of the New York Institute of Art & Design. Bettyann has a son, 25, and daughter, 22, and she loves having her immediate family all residing in the Berwick area.
After receiving her degree in horticulture, Bettyann established Indoor Gardener Inc., an interior plantscape service which ran for 24 years, and from there she managed Pulsifer’s Flowers for 16 years. “Customers appreciated my talent for scale, colour, and how to create what they envisioned” she says, “This expanded to advice on furniture, art, and paint selection, and the realization that people needed help with these decisions.” So, she enrolled in the three year design program with the NYI of Art & Design. In 2006 she graduated and hung out her design service shingle, which took off like wildfire!
“I had completely underestimated the trust and confidence built up with clients through 20 years of providing customer service in my other businesses and the response to my design career was overwhelming” says Bettyann, “One year later in 2007, I created and opened my first commercial design: The Designer Cafe, supporting local, fair trade and organic farmers and suppliers. The Cafe enjoyed a very successful ten years before it moved into other hands. We are now in 2017 and with the sale of my designer cafe behind me, I have been continuing with my design business, and my Talking Horse business.”
In 2015 Bettyann completed her certificate as an Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator and created Talking Horse. Within Talking Horse, she hosts clients for workshops & sessions with her herd, enhancing people’s lives through customized horse experiences. This has been very rewarding for Bettyann, her clients & her family! She says, “I care for and enjoy my herd of five horses. I’ve been practising Natural Horsemanship for 15 years. I spend a lot of my “free” time riding out into the orchards, fields, and forests. I recently purchased a harness, jog cart and a meadow cart. Learning the skill of harness driving has been demanding but very gratifying.” I encourage you to check out talkinghorse.ca or visit the Facebook page for more details on this new unique business.
For the past few years, Bettyann has been dubbed “the Reno Queen” as she’s dipped her toes in many renovation lakes here in the valley and beyond. She says, “l work with both residential and commercial spaces which keeps me hopping and thriving for excellence. It’s so rewarding to turn an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan, and get exactly what the clients want.”
My years spent working with Bettyann were fun and fabulous as we clicked so many times on lighting selections and designs. It’s designers like Bettyann that make me miss working in that field, but I look back fondly on that time together and I STILL get compliments from the clients we worked with together.
With such a busy and successful past & present, Bettyann only looks to the future with the same zest that brought her here: “I’ve had a wonderful lifestyle change since selling my Designer Cafe in Aug 2016. I’ve been enjoying having the time to spend with my two adult children, who are my two favourite people! I love working in my home design studio as well, it’s such an awesome space to create and educate myself on whats new and trendy in design. I can look out my windows and watch my herd and I’ve been out riding with my daughter a lot this summer, which is so special to both of us. And that’s what I’ll keep doing: living life and loving it!”
No need to wish you luck Bettyann, if history speaks for itself, you’re doing great!
For more information on Bettyann you can choose any of these options if you’re looking for a designer with a great eye or a horse of a different colour!
Instagram: Bettyann.design, Facebook:BettyAnnBalcomDesign,