“My parents were always handy with stuff,” Amber told us. “They ran a few different businesses before my dad started working at the nuclear plant in Oshawa. They ran a painting business, and when my brothers destroyed the walls [of their bedroom], my mom said if I wanted their bedroom, then I had to fix the walls and paint it. That's, I guess, where it started. Then I moved in with my dad, and there was a guy that was staying with him to do this retirement home in Peterborough, and he asked me if I wanted to learn … I left high school to learn how to tape.”
After about a two-year stint learning the tools of the trade, Amber ran into her first wall, when her mentor moved to Toronto. She tried to make the long commutes work on weekends, but after some bad experiences, she took a break from the trade; she went to college and got into a career as a social worker for four years. Soon enough, though, Amber felt herself almost magnetically pulled back into her true calling and re-entered the taping world. But, even with all her experience, she ran into several more walls, with employers who were unable to pay her and a local union that refused to let her join up.