Two years ago we launched our signature event series, MASTERCLASS by curatedlife.ca. Its purpose is to provide millennial women entrepreneurs with the skills/resources to build a prosperous business and an empowered life. We learn. We hear. We create.
The first MASTERCLASS of 2018 was an extended event; complete with a #BossBabesNightIn. During this MASTERCLASS, we learned about design thinking and how entrepreneurs can use this methodology to create innovative solutions or products. We discussed the design process and examples of well-designed brand experiences. We also discussed the importance of making products or services human-centered and ways to empathize with your product/service users.
Next we heard from two amazing entrepreneurs – Krys Lunardo and Sana Virji. As the founding editor of Dauphine, Krys Lunardo sought to create a brand that would bring luxury to life. Before launching Dauphine, Krys completed degrees in architectural studies and fine art history. As a young professional who was a young woman of colour, Krys didn’t feel welcomed into the field of architecture. While on a trip to Paris with her husband, Krys was immensely inspired to make a bold career move – she was going to launch her own business. Krys’ desire was to create an impeccable print publication that intertwined Haute Couture with lifestyle. Breaking into Toronto’s publication industry with no connections, Krys carried Dauphine from concept to newsstand as an independent publisher (all while pregnant with her first child). “I had the first print of Dauphine brought to me right after I delivered my first child, so I had my baby in one arm and this baby (the magazine) in the next,” she said. Krys provided us with inspiring insight on building a strong business brand and balancing entrepreneurship with motherhood. “It’s all about scheduling and breaking up your work…you have to find balance and spend quality time with your children because you’re an entrepreneur 24/7,” she said. Learn more about Dauphine and follow Krys on Instagram @kryslunardo
Our second start-up story was that of Sana, co-founder of Ribitt – an app that rewards you for supporting local businesses. Sana and her co-founder, Ribat Chowdhury launched Ribitt while studying at Trent University. There Sana was challenged with launching a profitable business with only $5 and 5 days. Originally Ribitt was a coupon book that offered students discounts at local businesses in the area. After the success of the project, Sana was determined to transform the student-run project into a full-time start-up. “When we started as a student project, it was easier to get support…We had a huge learning curve when we became a business. The expectations were higher and we had to deliver,” Sana said. This meant transiting Ribitt from a physical product to a smartphone app. But the problem was none of the co-founders knew how to write code. To overcome this challenge, Sana and her team designed mock-ups of the app and went to local businesses with a promise to develop the app if they signed on for a year subscription. After raising enough capital, Sana and her team hired a developer to build a functioning app. Ribitt is now rapidly growing platform that allows you to experience the best local shops in every neighbourhood. Learn more about Ribitt and follow Sana on Instagram @sanavirji
During the second portion of the event, we learned how to turn our dreams into goals using the S.M.A.R.T. acronym (an ode to our very first MASTERCLASS). We went from creating mood boards to listing our goals on whiteboards based on “Your Guide to a Boss Babes Night In” (page 22 of issue 4). The session was made complete with refreshments courtesy of Panago Pizza and Toronto Popcorn Company. Panago Pizza provided us with a variety of unique pizza options. My personal favourite was the Veggie Mediterranean complete with fresh passata tomato sauce, fire-roasted tomatoes, kalamata olives, red peppers, baby spinach leaves, red onions, feta and mozzarella – yum! You can order Panago Pizza by dialing 310-001 or online here.
From Toronto Popcorn Company, we enjoyed their delicious salted caramel popcorn- the perfect sweet treat to top off the night. This flavour combines classic caramel with a pinch of palatable saltiness that is hard to resist. Fun Fact: Toronto Popcorn Company was founded locally by a husband-and-wife duo in Kensington Market. Shop or learn more here.
Attendees of the MASTERCLASS were also provided with a special anniversary gift bag from L’Occitane. The gift bag contained deluxe samples of L’Occitane’s Cherry Blossom body duo and hand cream. The collection combines the delicate scent of cherry blossoms with nourishing ingredients like shea butter and rosemary leaf extract. Luxurious bonus: it is made in France. You can shop the collection online or find a local boutique here.
A special thanks also to BumbleBizz for providing us with notebooks and pens.
Want to join us at the next MASTERCLASS? Be sure to follow us on Instagram and turn your notifications on to be the first to know when registration is open.
See you soon!