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About a Squamish local

Kristen McBride wins national award.

Despite the seemingly never-ending pandemic, which is creating obstacles for everyone, Squamish's Kristen McBride has reasons to celebrate these days. 

McBride, an Independent Sales Director for Mary Kay Cosmetics, recently won the national Mark of Distinction Award from the Direct Sellers Association (DSA) of Canada.

The winner "upholds the values of trust and integrity, which are so vital to the direct selling industry, as well as being a leader who inspires others to achieve their utmost potential," reads a DSA news release. 

"Involved in a car accident at the age of 20, which left her a quadriplegic, Kristen’s can-do attitude is an inspiration to her team and embodies the principles of Mary Kay’s founder," the release states. 

"Admired by her customers, team and other leaders in Canada, Kristen has inspired countless members of the sales force through her determination, positive attitude and leadership."

McBride said when the announcement was made over Zoom, she was completely taken off guard and lost for words. 

"Oh my gosh, I'm not someone that's ever lost for words," she said. "But I was like, I couldn't, I just cried." 

Asked to say a few words in response, McBride's husband had to take over, she said. 

McBride started with Mary Kay on New Year's Eve, 2009. 

Soon she quit teaching preschool to work at it full time. 

She now has customers from all over Canada and, as a director, has a team of women under her. 

“Kristen’s story is inspiring and she is a worthy winner of this prestigious award," says Peter Maddox, president of the DSA, in the release. Others are encouraged to follow in her footsteps.

McBride said that the cosmetic company already had virtual options, so it wasn't a huge transition to keep working online when the pandemic struck. 

Like with most businesses, supply chain issues have meant one or two items have not been available, but otherwise, it is almost business as usual. 

"I would have to say Mary Kay has been incredible through the pandemics and the floods," she said. "In the floods, anyone in B.C., they were expediting our packages, and I was getting them faster than before the flood." 

New parents through a pandemic

Because of her spinal cord injury, McBride is at higher risk for complications due to COVID-19 and so has had to be very careful. 

McBride's two-year-old daughter, Rylee was born just before the pandemic hit. 

"I feel like my husband and I still look at each other every day. And we're like, she's ours? She's still here?" she said with a laugh. 

Because she was a preemie, the couple had kept their bubble small before such a thing went mainstream due to COVID-19. While McBride acknowledges she — and other new parents — have missed out on many in-person things they normally have access to, she got to be part of the local in-person Healthy Pregnancy Outreach (HPOP) for a few months before things went virtual, and continues to meet virtually with moms. 

McBride said she feels lucky because she has had a nanny to help three days a week, so the family hasn't been completely isolated. 

"So, Rylee has got to have a lot of wonderful adults in her life," she said. 

For Rylee and other pandemic toddlers, the trappings of the pandemic are just normal, McBride noted. 

One day, she and her daughter were out on the deck without masks, which struck the little girl as odd.

"We were just playing outside this way. And she looks at me and she says, 'Mommy need a mask,'" McBride recalled. "I was like, wow, it's just normal to her."

Asked what she is looking forward to, McBride noted a Christmas with close family and keeping on in 2022. 

"Honestly, I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing. And, and focusing on — Rylee always comes first, and my business has always been able to work around my life and it's just gonna continue to do that. And yeah, I look forward to finding fun new ways to keep going in this ever-changing pandemic... It is never dull."

"About a local" is a regular column that features an interesting Squamish local. Have an idea for someone we should feature? Email