Collective. It’s an interesting word. As a noun it’s often described as a cooperative enterprise, a group of people working together to achieve a common goal.
Alexadra Krajewski’s Peacock Collective has recently become a collective in this sense now that she is working with her friend Chantelle Carter who came on board May 4.
Before Carter was part of the Collective, Krajewski had been busy on her own getting the business on its feet.
The Peacock Collective arose out of Krajewski’s determination to live and work back in the beloved Kootenays where she had come from after spending some time in the busier Okanagan valley.
“I knew the Okanagan wasn’t going to be my home,” said the mother of three boys who was working in the mental health field during her time there.
It’s easy to fall into the beautiful, quiet Kootenay valleys, but it can be much harder to find enough work to pay the bills and stay here. But Krajewski was determined.
Always having been a handy person, she decided to take the carpentry foundation program through Selkirk College and round out the skills she already had.
The next step was taking advantage of the Community Futures self-employment program, which Krajewski feels very grateful for. It was in that program that the Peacock Collective took shape in the form of a solid business plan.
Krajewski’s enthusiasm and energy are abundant and obvious, but she did run into naysayers at the beginning. Fortunately, they didn’t deter her.
“I’m glad I didn’t listen to anybody,” she laughed. Seeing the Collective as her way to stay in the part of the world she loved, she began running her company as an environmentally-conscious cleaning service.
To her surprise as well as that of the naysayers, business took off virtually right away, and Krajewski soon found she was branching out and offering more services.
“People sometimes need an extra hand,” she said, and she now finds herself “decluttering” space as well as gardening and cleaning houses.
Entering people’s living spaces requires trust and sensitivity, and confidentiality is extremely important to the Peacock Collective.
“Some people are really self-conscious to have someone in their personal space. We’re just there to focus on getting the job done,” said Krajewski, who has earned the trust of many by respecting privacy and maintaining confidentiality.
Carter and Krajewski’s radiant positivity also has an effect too.
“A friendly smile goes a long way,” Krajewski said, noting that having a positive attitude can brighten someone else’s day.
Not only are the houses gleaming, but it sounds like their owners are beaming by the end of a Peacock Collective visit.
One of the newer offshoots to the Collective is sign making, and Krajewski has already fabricated signage for the Paddy Shack and Studio In Balance.
And the requests just keep coming in. This year, her creativity includes mandala painting, something she is incorporating into some of the new signs.
It’s tough to have a collective with one person, but Krajewski’s definition came from just this kind of range of skills and projects.
It was the variety of jobs and projects that led her to dub her enterprise a collective; as part of a team of two, she will be able to explore the multiple person meaning of the word, an exciting prospect for both of them.
“Chantal brings new passion, supporting, collaborating and augmenting,” said Krajewski.
It’s that level of enthusiasm that has made the Peacock Collective a viable and growing business in Nakusp.
“A lot of it is attitude,” confirmed Krajewski, “and nobody can take that from you.”