From a career in the Caribbean as a recruiter to gaining an online following sharing crafts and baking tips, Collingwood resident Suzy Rebelo has spent her time a lot of different ways.
For this week’s edition of People of Collingwood we sat down with Rebelo, 58, creator of a homemaking YouTube channel that seeks to draw new residents to Collingwood.
Q: For how long have you lived in Collingwood?
A: I moved here in Dec. 2016.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I was born in The Azores... so I’m Portuguese. I came to Canada when I was five and lived in downtown Toronto for the majority of my life.
Then I moved to Bermuda as I was an IT (information technology) recruiter, and did it internationally. I lived there for six years. Then I moved to the Cayman Islands.
When I moved back to Canada, I had a cottage in Muskoka and decided I wanted to build a year-round home. I lived there on Skeleton Lake for seven years.
It was pretty isolated. Muskoka has basically two seasons: summer and winter.
I had a friend who had a condo in Blue Mountain and I came to visit her.
I loved Collingwood. I moved here full time.
Q: You currently have a YouTube channel that focuses on homemaking tips and tricks. What made you want to start this channel?
A: I’m been trying to recruit friends and family to move to Collingwood ever since I arrived here because I don’t know many people and I just love the town.
I like sharing what I’m doing. I thought if I did YouTube then everyone can see what I’m doing up here.
There’s so much here in terms of food and activities. It’s a great place to live.
Q: Can you describe the content you’re making?
A: It’s really about home living, and living in your community. There are crafts, cooking, trying innovative things with available ingredients.
I (did a video) where I made cherry liqueur. I have a friend here who has a cherry orchard. There are a lot of wild fruit trees here.
It’s a mixed bag about living at home.
Q: Are you finding there’s more of a market for your content now that more people are staying at home due to COVID-19?
A: COVID-19 has impacted everybody’s life.
Home has always been the most important thing to me. It’s important, especially now, to do things for yourself and be creative. With YouTube, it’s a way to connect and have the same experiences with your friends and family while exercising social distancing.
While I’m home more often now, I’ve been in contact with more people. It’s kind of opened up my social circle and I think that’s a positive thing that’s come out of COVID.
Q: Do you have future plans for the channel?
A: It’s more just based on instinct. What I make for myself, I just share with other people.
My latest one was making coffee filter flowers.
That was inspired by people being stuck at home. I came upon it and it’s such a beautiful craft. In the middle of winter, everybody could use a nice bouquet of flowers. It’s been the video most people have viewed.
Q: Do you have other hobbies?
A: I like sewing, gardening, painting, I cook. I’m interested in health, so I like finding ways to introduce nutrients into your diet.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like people in Collingwood to know about you?
A: I think the most important thing, especially during these times, is to... continually explore and look for the good in whatever is happening today.
Use your own creativity to create the kind of life you want for yourself. Ultimately, you’re responsible for your own happiness.
For our feature People of Collingwood, we’ll be speaking with interesting people who are either from or are contributing to the Collingwood community in some way, letting them tell their own stories in their own words. This feature will run on CollingwoodToday every Saturday. If you’d like to nominate or suggest someone to be featured in People of Collingwood, email email@example.com.