We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Hotchkiss and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christine, what is the most important factor behind your success?
In 2020 I was a featured person in this magazine, Shoutout Arizona. Not knowing what the opportunity of sharing my journey as a non profit founder of Remember Me Always, Inc. and podcaster for Stories of Hope, I had no expectations, and yet at the same time I had no idea how I would be able to help others with having shared what inspired me to both my non profit and podcast.
There are a couple of important factors behind the success of my brand and who I am, the first being my healthy and positive mindset. How I think determins how I act and connect with others on a genuine, spiritual and real life level. Because of my personal journey as a berieved mother and the passing of my youngest sister, my emotions are connected to my mindset, but in a more positive way so I can connect with people providing healing, hope and positivity with their grief.
Grief is not a comfortable topic spoken about confidently because it has a heaviness being a loss of anything once had and no longer have. Having experienced different grievances through my lifetime, I have been able to grow, heal and inspire other people not with only actions of living a day with chosen happiness but also with my own affirmations with comforting words that help the heart not feel so heavy.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I like to think I am just like anyone else chasing a dream and making a difference within my community and anyone who crosses my path, but then again we are all unique. So what sets me apart from others? I would say it is my ability to connect with people whether it be loss or life experiences. You’ve heard the saying “I wear my heart on my sleeve”, well I would say my heart is connected to people and the things around me because everyone has the need to feel acknowledged, loved, and important. It is without saying there are many challenges in our lives, some of my challenges were overcoming my belief system, low self-esteem, and knowing that what I have experienced that my struggles and challenges could help someone else get through theirs to have a healthier and happier version of themselves.
What do I want the world to know about me, my story, and the brand that I will refer to as my legacy? I am an advocate for volunteering, giving back, and supporting non-profits because they are not only a resource to the community they were founded on someone’s story to change another person’s life in a positive way. As a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, the founder of Remember Me Always, a community outreach board member for Chandler Business Alliance Foundation, and an active community member and volunteer with For Our City Chandler, I am also a Community Leader with Fortis Femina (Latin for Strong Woman). Each role and opportunity and responsibility provides a solid foundation of trust, hope, and purpose.
.My current and most proud moment is having the opportunity to share my story as a bereaved mother in a movie with 5 other ladies who have overcome their personal struggles and traumas. The movie will start filming in October of this year, taking us to 5 locations for filming.
It all started with each of us having come together at the first Annual Fortis Femina Ladies Retreat in Pinetop Arizona where we bonded and discovered each of our stories made us who we are and by sharing our journies we can make a significant impact in the community by helping others heal, find hope and live life in a healthy way.
I want the world to know through each struggle there is a lesson, and personal growth to become the person we were intended to be. Through each of our stories, we are able to provide healing, hope, and positivity when there may be a feeling of being alone or in darkness in one’s journey.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love my home state of Arizona, it is very diverse with beautiful deserts, mountains, and lakes. Two of the most beautiful places I personally like to visit are Canyon Lake and the Salt River. Canyon Lake has a beautiful 6-mile chartered boat cruise aboard the Dolly Steam Boat. On this boat cruise, you may see bighorn sheep, bald eagles, and a host of other animals viewed from the deck.
The Salt River is great for taking in a tube, paddleboarding, rafting, and the experience of seeing wild horses in the water as you cruise down the river. A breathtaking and calming experience everyone should enjoy at least once.
After a day of being on the water, we would spend another day up in the white mountains to experience the beautiful cooler temps, catch a heard or two of elk, and do some local small-town shopping and eating. Ending the week with a long drive along Interstate 260 over to Prescott and Prescott Valley to experience a different small-town feel, shopping, eating, and taking in the history of this wild west town.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
In a person’s lifetime, we will reach many milestones and achievements, some of the people we recognize when we have reached them are not always living but have touched us somewhere along our journey. I have always acknowledged the people within my life who have allowed me to grow when I needed the lessons, pushed me when I was resisting, and guided me when I had no direction. I want to recognize a couple of people who either made me accountable, saw more of who I could become, and my loved ones who inspired me to keep putting one foot in front of the other so that I could be the difference in a world that needs Hope.
The first person I want to thank is my 1994 high school freshman teacher Mr. Chuck Stickle who recently passed away. I was a fragile freshman in a new school and state having moved in the middle of the school year. He took me under his wing, protected me, and always encouraged me. He always said “keep your eyes on the donut, not upon the hole”, in other words, stay focused and you will achieve anything.
The second person is my son Austin who has been my rock when life got difficult and I had to keep putting one foot in front of the other despite it.
The two other people I want to recognize are my late daughter Nicole Marie and my late sister Lisa because of who they were to me when they were alive and how their lives impacted me after their passing, which has allowed me to show people there is life with loss.
Other: Email: Christine@ChristineHotchkiss.com