As International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated globally, it's fitting to shine a light on inspiring women who embody determination and empowerment.

Tamara Litun, the owner of Willow Tree Laser and Esthetics in Strathmore, stands as a prime example of resilience and pursuing one's dreams.

With a diverse range of services including massage therapy, aesthetics, infrared sauna, manicures, and pedicures, Willow Tree is more than just a spa—it's a sanctuary where women are encouraged to nurture their skills and passions.

Litun's journey began with a vision rooted in empowerment. From a young age, she harbored the dream of creating a space where individuals, particularly women, could thrive and develop their talents.

"This has always been a dream of mine. I have a super cool team working with me. I have 11 employees and then some contractors to work out of here. This was a dream that started when I was 14 years old."

Reflecting on her path, Litun offers sage advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women venturing into the spa industry.

"The spa industry doesn't need to be unapproachable. It's for everybody. And I feel like your life experience, even if it's gritty sometimes and it doesn't seem glamorous, that's going to be your best asset, just follow your heart."

She emphasizes the inclusivity of the field and encourages others to follow their hearts, regardless of perceived obstacles or stereotypes.

Her journey wasn't without challenges. Battling self-doubt during her teenage years, Litun overcame adversity with resilience and perseverance. Now, she serves as a beacon of hope, inspiring others to believe in their potential and pursue their aspirations relentlessly.

Litun attributes much of her strength and guidance to her supportive family, particularly her mother and sister.

"My mom is a huge supporter and an inspirational influence for me. I was very, very blessed to have her support and encouragement throughout my whole life she would always empower me and make me feel like I could do anything and also to just nurture my craft."

Their unwavering encouragement and selfless acts of kindness have been instrumental in shaping Litun's outlook on life and business.

"My sister is an incredible mother. I'm not a mother myself, but she just is such a nurturing soul and she, even when she was struggling with some things herself, always puts others before herself and that is something that I try to mimic every day."

Moreover, Litun expresses profound gratitude for the community of Strathmore, which welcomed her during a pivotal moment in her life.

In the face of uncertainty and upheaval, the warmth and acceptance of the community provided solace and inspiration, reinforcing Litun's commitment to giving back and fostering a sense of belonging at Willow Tree.

"A few years ago and had to relocate from Calgary and just like, change everything about my life took off, came to Strathmore, and I just remember sitting at PJ's Diner and being like, what am I doing here? And the community embraced me." 

Litun expresses how she also works with a bunch of motivating and captivating women at Willow Tree Laser and Esthetics. 

"Each one of the incredible women in the team has been through so much on their journeys and they inspire me every day. Each one is an essential piece of the Willow Tree puzzle. I am so grateful for the faith they have in me and I couldn’t do this without them. It’s my goal to empower them nurture their skills and help them achieve their dreams."

As she continues to evolve and grow her business, Litun remains dedicated to her mission of creating a safe and nurturing environment for all. Her journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of determination, support, and community, making her a fitting symbol of empowerment on International Women's Day and beyond.

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