Rethinker Profile

Rethinker Profile: Amanda Blakley

Name: Amanda Blakley
Age: 38
City: Toronto

What do you do when you are not changing the world with philanthropic gestures?

I am a mom to two little boys, Archer and Atticus, a constant tourist and a family-friendly travel expert contributing prose to some of Canada’s preeminent publications.

What is one thing you have re-thought in your life?  How did you approach it?

In my late 20’s I re-thought my life and career. My business partner and I had an epiphany that the two could and should be more correlated than we had initially been led to believe. We passionately chased the harmony of lifestyle and career as a whole (as opposed to two competing silos) and we created a business that was also a movement – a place where our passions intersected with our pursuits (and drove revenue, created opportunity, inspired others and ultimately delivered on our mission of making culture relevant and approachable for young people). Today this is nothing ground breaking, but 12 years ago the idea of leaving a stable 9-5 job to create a business that was nontraditional was a risk. I love this quote by Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” After running this successful business for ten years, my partner and I both started families at the same time. And again, I re-thought my career and lifestyle. My new life with a baby was drastically different and what I wanted out of life also shifted. I would say that my second profession is still evolving and shape-shifting but I could not have dreamed of a more perfect compliment to my life as a parent and wife. I re-thought the lifestyle that I wanted and focused on the end goal instead of the means goal, and now I get to travel the world with my tots in tow, writing about the places, people and travel brands that inspire me.

What is the most important thing to know when it comes to donating to a cause?

I think it’s important to know that there is more than one way to donate. People make the common assumption that it must be a financial contribution for it to be significant. But guess what? As a donor and volunteer, in most cases, it is actually our connections, competence, craft, prowess, trade, skillfulness or smarts that can be the most significant and meaningful contribution to the charity or cause.

Who is a person who gives back that you aspire to?

I have always known my parents to be extremely charitable – not just financially but setting an example for my siblings and I by truly caring about humanity. Stepping up when it counts – not for the accolades but because it’s the right thing to do. That is what I try to emulate and aspire to in my life.

How do you find a cause you are passionate about?

I think we are all touched and inspired by different things throughout our life – the good and the bad. If something moves you to action, honour that impulse, whether it’s politics, health-related issues, environmental issues – find a way to use your skill set to help, on a local level, or even a global scale. Unfortunately there are so many causes out there and all can use some extra skilled hands.

What is innovative about the Rethink approach?

I admire the way they speak to a younger generation – they have made a concerted effort to remove the fear and scare-based tactics used by many charities and causes to market to their donors.

What inspires you daily?

Artists and creative individuals making their own rules and breaking everyone else’s. My own children who are both so different and so divine. They are too young to be swayed by convention and their rawness and innocence make me want to do more and be more on the daily.

Why should people support a cause they are passionate about?

Because what could be more important than contributing to our environment (both local and at large), our earth, our fellow humans? To stand up for what we believe in and make a small or mighty difference for someone – or lots of someones, that should be what life is all about.

When I give back I feel


Want to read my stories about our inspiring Rethinkers? Click here. 

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