Last year when I launched my Curated Life project, I chose to fulfill the one of my biggest but least-likely-to-come-true dreams. It was intimidating because I had no industry connections and not a lot of experience since most of my career was spent in a completely different sector. I was afraid of failing. But, every time I thought I should just quit and go back to my quiet, comfortable life there was always an encouraging word from a Curated Life follower or a sign that pushed me to keep going. Now that we’ve reached this one year milestone together, I can truly say the struggle was all worth it.
On Friday, there was so much to celebrate. Within a year, we have built a community of millennial women entrepreneurs who support each other and connected them to community resources through 6 events (3 of which were at capacity). We built connections with Canadian and women-owned businesses through in-kind sponsorships of our gift bags that were distributed at each event. We also launched a print/digital magazine as a platform to further share the inspirational stories of these entrepreneurs. This November marks the launch of our second issue which features the story of Aurora James (founder of Brother Veilles), profiles of women who are using creativity to innovate and our Boss Babe gift guide by Veri Chic with Chy. (Side note: mail delivery/pick up for pre-orders will be arranged soon. The issue will be available for sale on December 2nd).
We were also celebrating the accomplishments of our amazing panelists. Mary Young, who was our first master class speaker and a contributor to our first issue, celebrated her first major collaborations with Apple Canada and the Peace Collective (And she’s so humble, I still remember how she helped us haul tables up a set of stairs at the first class). Hayla Amini, one of our very first gift bag sponsors, celebrated a successfully transitioning Flashionistas from a retail business to a provider of event activations and collaboration with TOPSHOP for the Bobbyball. Emily Antflick, our July master class speaker, celebrated the launch of Shecosystem’s new space and receiving a Start Up Canada grant. And Alyssa Bertram, our September master class speaker, celebrated two successful brand events and transitioning easy. from a part-time to a full-time business.
With over 90 guests in attendance, this was our biggest event yet! Our panel discussion was led by Miranda McKie, President of Young Women in Business-Toronto chapter. Miranda is a Master Data Governance Professional by day, but also believes in the importance of breaking down barriers for women and helping them succeed in their careers through her work with YWiB. The panelist discussed what ignited the spark to start their own businesses and what keeps them motivated. We also discussed if there is or isn’t a formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur. As well as challenges specific to being a young woman entrepreneur and how they overcame these challenges.
Blogger, Jade Janelle provided her voice as our MC for the rest of the evening. In addition to the panel, we had a brief presentation from a new project called askconnie.co, which will be showcasing the best local businesses in Toronto over the next few months. And heard the start-up story of Shiva Burnett, co-founder of Avazera. As one of our first gift bag sponsors last November, Avazera has always been supportive of our mission to empower young women. This year, Avazera was not only a vendor at our event, but also a patron of the second issue of Curated Life magazine (along with Dr. Liza Egbogah of the[fix] chiropractic+massage). And a special thanks goes out to Chyauna, verichicwithchy.com, who sponsored our DJ for the night, SoWaveyy Sound (@sowaveyy).
I would also like to thank all our in-kind sponsors who contributed these amazing items for our curated gift bags:
Barreworks Class Pass, $21 CDN, barreworks.ca
Founded in 2012, Barreworks was the first Toronto studio to specialize in ballet barre-based fitness classes. Their technique was developed by a team of local dance and fitness professionals, all dedicated to the creation of a safe, effective, and fun exercise system. With two locations, and classes 7-days a week, they're ready to welcome you to class! You can read more about Barreworks in the winter issue of the magazine.
Lipidol Overnight Face Oil, $8.97CDN, Walmart and walmart.ca
A great addition to your nightly beauty regime, this nourishing oil works while you sleep. It’s designed to supplement the skin’s natural oily layer, increase moisture retention and enhance overnight rejuvenation. Lightly fragranced with essential oils of Ylang-Ylang and Black Pepper, Lipidol’s overnight face oil is non-comedogenic and suitable for sensitive skin.
Joe Fresh Plum Powder Eyeshadow, $6.00CDN, Shoppers Drug Mart
Makeup doesn’t have to be complicated. You can keep it simple and still enhance your natural beauty. The Joe Fresh Beauty line is filled with products to help you master the 5-minute face without breaking the bank. Now at Shoppers Drug Mart, Joe Fresh offers a great selection of on-trend beauty products, like this pretty plum eyeshadow.
Marc Jacobs Daisy Trio (the same fragrances retail as a roller ball set for $59.00CDN, sephora.com)
Adding a bit more luxury our gift bags is this Marc Jacobs fragrance trio. This family of floral fragrances is fresh and feminine. The trio includes Marc Jacob’s signature scent Daisy as well as two other interpretations- Daisy Eau so Fresh and Daisy Dream. Guests received a 1.2ml sample coffret with all three fragrances.
Pur Gum Bubble Gum, $1.69CDN, shopcan.thepurcompany.com
Pur Gum is all the goodness gum should be – vegan, nut/soy-free, gluten-free, and aspartame-free. Pur Gum is naturally sweetened with xylitol, a sweetener with a low glycemic index. What makes Pur even sweeter? The company is Canadian-owned. Guests also received an offer of $10 to use on the online shop (coupon).
Sweet Spot Labs Wipettes, $11.99, sweetspotslabs.ca
SweetSpot Labs is on a mission to refresh every woman’s shower routine and daily cleansing rituals. SweetSpot Labs recently launched a new collection of natural washes and wipes that are pH balanced for your sweet spot and good for your entire body. SweetSpot Labs products are made by women, for women and use natural ingredients to gently clean, hydrate and soften skin. Guests received a sample of the wipettes with a coupon. Our panelists received an assortment of full-sized products.
Tealeaves Jet Lag Therapy Kit, $3.80CDN, tealeaves.com
Tealeaves is a Vancouver-based, luxury tea company. Each guest will receive the carry on essential, Jet Lag Therapy kit which contains two masterblend teas – Energy and Relax. Energy is an invigorating blend of mint, citrus, yerba maté and ginkgo biloba to help keep you focused. And Relax is a floral, caffeine-free blend to help you ease into a peaceful sleep.
Because I am familiar with the social determinants of health, I truly believe that a woman is best empowered when she is economically empowered. That is why there is a strong emphasis on women’s entrepreneurship throughout each Curated Life project. So there was no better way to celebrate our one-year market then with a pop-up market. We were so pleased to have this diverse group of vendors and are looking forward to hosting more pop-ups in the future. Please be sure to check these vendors out and support them by making a purchase if you can.
Shiva & Svetlana – Avazera (www.avazera.com )
Julie – Pinkfolio – (www.pinkfolio.me)
Rachel – Q U I N S C O (www.quinsco.com )
Monique – London Ivy Natural & Organic (www.londonivyproducts.com)
Christina – Curls & Confidence Healthy Hair Subscription Box (www.curlsandconfidence.ca)
Lisa – Upnorth Naturals(www.upnorthnaturals.com )
Mya – Beauty Counter (beautycounter.com/en-ca/myabreukelaar)
Thu – VO2 CO (www.vo2co.com)
Brittany – Fjord Life (www.fjordlife.ca)
Tianna – Pink Princess Cosmetics (www.pinkprincesscosmetics.ca)
Yuliya – Yuliya C Jewellery (www.yuliyachronajewellery.com )
Mo – The Covet Lifestyle (www.facebook.com/thecovetlifestyle/)
I’m looking forward to giving you a look into our winter issue shortly. But for now, enjoy our cover reveal below.
Thank you again for all the support. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @curatedlifeca / #mycuratedlife to stay up-to-date on our events and publication projects.