Alumna's dream career realized after taking risks

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July 6, 2021
This Lakeland College alumna’s career is soaring thanks to faith, taking chances and having a whole lot of heart.
At the northeast corner of 46 Street and 52 Avenue in Lloydminster, Alta., there’s a worn bench that Delia Morgan-Tetz often occupied in the early years of her working career. While she enjoyed her morning coffee and the occasional lunch break, she’d manifest visions of owning the little white house situated across the intersection.
 
“I used to stare at the house and dream about what I could do with it. It always bothered me that I didn’t own it, so I bought it when I had the chance,” says Morgan-Tetz.
 
Morgan-Tetz graduated from Lakeland’s marketing program when it was offered at the Vermilion campus in 2002. After a few years in the workforce, she earned an advanced business administration diploma as well as a bachelor of commerce through Athabasca University in 2007.
 
After purchasing the house and renting it out to tenants for years, the economic downturn in 2015 gave Morgan-Tetz the push to retrofit the dwelling into 900 square feet of fun and move in her nomad business, Walkn on Water Toy Shop, which officially opened in July 2017.
 
“I know there are so many more entrepreneurs like myself out there who have ideas and dreams. But I remember reading once that a dream is always a dream unless you put it into action. For years I was stuck in the dream of never moving forward. There’s risk in it all, and you have to want to take the risk. I’m happy I did.”
 
Before the little white house, Morgan- Tetz established Walkn On Water at trade shows across the region. She then grew her business model and utilized an old school bus, which she would drive to summer events on weekends. This earned her the nickname Ms. Frizzle.
 
Morgan-Tetz ran the business in a part-time capacity – consistently torn between making a living based on stability or a dream.
 
“There’s safety in a full-time job with decent pay and benefits,”she says.
 
As the business grew, so did Morgan-Tetz’s desire to be at the store. She hired part-time workers to help with the daily operations when she was at work and then worked in the evenings.
 
“I had a full-time job making good money with health benefits, so dropping that to pursue this full-time took a big leap of faith. Hence why it’s called Walkn On Water. I’ve trusted God through this whole time.
 
“I wanted to give my full-time job 100 per cent, but the more the shop grew, the more my heart wanted to be there. It was so empowering to finally say I’m just going to trust God with all this and give this business my undivided attention.”
 
The unique toy shop has always boasted an eclectic selection of toys, games, books and more because of Morgan-Tetz’s passion for people of all ages and her love for fun. Equipped with the learning opportunities from her grandparents’ and parents’ experiences running department stores, Morgan-Tetz is happy to be building on her family’s retail legacy and venturing out on her own.
 
“I think that’s why my business is thriving because I’m here now. I can listen to what my customers want and see their reaction to the toys I put so much effort to bring in.”
 
Even with expanding her business by opening a Wainwright, Alta. location in 2019, Morgan-Tetz says the business has never been better since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
 
“There’s a huge push to shop local right now, and that has helped us. I’ve found people are looking for that intimate shopping experience, and people aren’t traveling to the bigger centres for special occasion gifts. I think we’ve been able to cater to that.”
 
Morgan-Tetz says the homestead is almost at capacity and is excited about future opportunities to expand the current space.
 
"I didn’t wake up one day and decide this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. I’m sure many entrepreneur stories are like mine and that we stumble into our careers with a passion. It’s amazing what happens when you put heart and logic together.”

Photos: (Top) Delia Morgan-Tetz inside Walkn on Water Toy Shop' Lloydminster location. (Bottom) Exterior of Walkn on Water Toy Shop's Lloydminster location.
What Students Say
With the Student-Managed Farm you learn to be accountable for what you’re doing and the choices you make. You get an understanding of what it’s like to be out in industry or on a farm making decisions that count.

– Anthony Biglieni

Agribusiness Class of 2006

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College has been a integral partner in growing our own through the school of business. As an alumnus of the college, I have first-hand learning experience in the school of business. The professors welcome Servus Credit Union to facilitate classes in the Business Ethics course each year.

– Sandi Unruh

Senior Human Resources Consultant

What Faculty & Staff Say
Vertex has had great experience bringing on students from Lakeland College. We have found the Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Management) program to provide students with good academic knowledge of the environmental industry and the criteria that governs the land reclamation

– Sean Fuller B.Sc., P.Ag.

Vice President, Environmental Services, Vertex.

What Alumni Say
There is no way I would be where I am today without Lakeland College. It inspired me to be a better person and to get a job in something I love doing. I am so thankful I had such a great experience at Lakeland and I hope future students do as well.

– Danielle Gaboury

Business studies, Class of 2016.

What Students Say
I recommend the UT program to people all the time. The smaller setting Lakeland offers, is very conducive to learning. It's less intimidating than the larger universities and allows for more class interactions and discussions

– Kelly Mykytuk

2nd year UT student, 2017-18

What Alumni Say
Choosing to attend Lakeland College was one of the best decisions that I’ve made in my life so far. The welcoming and friendly Lakeland environment encourages a place of excellence, and fosters the ability to be successful not only in school, but in life.

– Mariah Van’t Hof

University Transfer, Class of 2015

What Alumni Say
I have loved my experience at Lakeland. The teachers are personable, and quick to share about their own experiences. They encouraged me to run with my own ideas and see what would happen; they got excited about my designs, which gave me the confidence to do my best and be more creative.

– Payton Ramstead

Class of 2016, Interior Design student.

What Alumni Say
At Lakeland College you are guaranteed to have time out of the classroom where you can put everything you learned together and actually see that what you’re learning is relevant.

– Alisa Brace

Animal Health Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The friendships I made, the experiences we were provided with, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Vermilion Campus made my time at Lakeland extremely valuable and memorable

– Grayden Kay

Animal Science & Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College was a learning environment unlike any other school. It allows students to learn beyond the classroom, and staff and faculty genuinely want to see students succeed. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable asking questions and where everyone has a place and fits in.

– Carson Reid

Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The instructors were the highlight of my time at Lakeland. It made a huge impact on my college experience to have instructors who challenged, encouraged, and believed in me.

– Jessica Cadrain

Child & Youth Care, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
At the beginning of my first year, I was really stressed out as I felt I had no artistic ability. But with the instruction and time put in by the interior design faculty, I was able to develop my artistic abilities. Now I am fully confident in and exceeding well in the artistic side of this career!

– Naomi Mason

Interior Design Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I just feel like you get the best education at Lakeland, especially from the time that the instructors can actually spend with you. I like the class sizes too – everything’s been great about my Lakeland experience.

– Dean Coulson

Heavy Equipment Technician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I do give Lakeland College credit for reigniting my interest and even preparing me for Miss Rodeo Canada. Lakeland helped me to grow enough to have the confidence to think I could take on that role and become that person. I think that I have and I am really grateful for that

– Ali Mullin

Agribusiness, class of 2014, former Miss Rodeo Canada.

What Alumni Say
I feel the professors at Lakeland actually prepared me for the profession. It’s impossible to be just a number here when there are 12 students in all of your classes. When the school advertised small class sizes, they actually meant it.

– Stephen Mark Visser

Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I was involved in the president’s gala in April where I was an emcee for the evening, it was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun doing it and would recommend it to everyone.”

– Lucas Tetreault

HOPE Power Engineering, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I would recommend Lakeland College for the simple fact that it's for everybody. As a mature student who went back to school much later than his 18th year, I was immediately accepted, and not ostracized in the least

– Donald James Shaw

Accounting Major, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
All the hands-on learning was great and very helpful once placed into the industry. Having clients leave with a smile after each service assured me that I was in the right field of work. I would recommend Lakeland to anyone.

– Courtnee Coolidge

Esthetician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The professors care so much about their students at Lakeland and are able to know each and every one of them by name, so much so that they are able to nominate a ton of students for awards.

– Stephanie Wakefeild

University Transfer, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
They really put you in the lead at Lakeland. Lakeland cares about its students, empowers them, and gives them opportunities to achieve their goals. I don’t see Lakeland as a stepping stone or a first step – I see it as a bridge and an integral part of my education.

– Alyssa Wells

University Transfer, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I wanted to get experience in the field of assessment as it would give me exposure to what it’s like day to day. It was an invaluable experience as I find it hard to imagine what it would be like working in a particular field or area until I’m doing the work.

– Sheldon Farrell

Real estate appraisal and assessment, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
In the campus spa, they give you time to work with each client so nothing is rushed and you’re able to concentrate on providing the best service you can to your client.

– Daphney Couturier

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
It’s going to be a lot easier to start our first jobs having this experience and having been able to build our confidence in the campus spa. I love that we get to have this opportunity.

– Darby Watchel

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Employers Say
Lakeland is a great place to find employees. The college provides real world training that equips soon-to-be employees with knowledge and people skills that are highly sought after in the agriculture industry these days.

– Dustin Dinwoodie

Key Account Manager – Western Canada Arysta LifeScience

What Alumni Say
The hands-on field trips, quality of education i received, professors who are invested in your success, and all the friends I made. I exceeded my academic expectations and I also had a lot of fun. If i had to do it all over gain, i would choose Lakeland!

– Nicole (Audet) Pysh

Class of 2006, Environmental Protection & Class of 2008, Applied Environmental Degree