Behind-the-scenes

Cupcakes + Conversations: Celebrating One Year of CuratedLife

Our amazing panelists & MC. [left to right] Hayla Amini, Jade Janelle, Emily Antflick, Alyssa Bertram & Mary Young.

Our amazing panelists & MC. [left to right] Hayla Amini, Jade Janelle, Emily Antflick, Alyssa Bertram & Mary Young.

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.

We're all set to begin...

We're all set to begin...

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).

A Sneak Peek of our panelist's gift bags. Which featured all the items below, plus extra, full-sized goodies from SweetSpotLabs.ca (A Canadian & Women-owned company)

A Sneak Peek of our panelist's gift bags. Which featured all the items below, plus extra, full-sized goodies from SweetSpotLabs.ca (A Canadian & Women-owned company)

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.

 

curated life magazine aw16 winter issue cover featuring Aurora James Toronto

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.

MASTERCLASS ft. Shecosystem & Futurpreneur Canada

Emily Rose Antflick, founder of shecosystem,ca sharing her start-up story

Emily Rose Antflick, founder of shecosystem,ca sharing her start-up story

Happy Civic long weekend everyone! First of all, can I send a huge thank you to everyone who attended this Friday’s MASTERCLASS. I know you could have been either at the cottage or getting ready for other festivities in the city. I am so grateful that you decided to start your weekend with us.

When I was preparing for this week’s event, I came across a program from the first event I ever coordinated.  It was 12 years ago and I was only in high school, but it was the first time I truly saw myself as an entrepreneur. Since then my academic pursuits took me in a different direction, but I always found entrepreneurship to be my creative outlet on the side. Like other women entrepreneurs, my business began when I felt unsatisfied (and a bit frustrated) about not finding the opportunities I wanted within the structured environment of a traditional workplace. So, I felt like I had to go out and create the opportunity for myself. In some ways, being an entrepreneur has turned me into a D.I.Y. wonder woman but it has also taught me the value of mentorship and a supportive network. Mentors, in business or in your personal life, can help you along your journey by offering advice and wisdom they’ve gained on their own journey. Mentorship can be formal or informal. Your mentor can act as a coach when you need to be challenged or a cheerleader when you need a boost. Your mentor can be more experienced or even a peer.

This is why I wanted to create an anthology of stories and resources by and for millennial women entrepreneurs through Curated Life magazine.  I wish to grow Curated Life into a platform that will allow us to learn from each other’s journey. In doing so, I knew I that it would be important for us to connect face-to-face.  And so, I launched the MASTERCLASS event series in January. At each MASTERCLASS, you will be connected to community resources that will help you start or grow a prosperous business.

Introductions lead by Linda Morena, mentor-in-residence and Daniel Graham, Business Development Manager of Futurpreneur Canada

Introductions lead by Linda Morena, mentor-in-residence and Daniel Graham, Business Development Manager of Futurpreneur Canada

This month’s event focused on understanding the value of mentorship. To begin, we were joined by Linda Morana and Daniel Graham of Futurpreneur Canada. Futurpreneur Canada is the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Their internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors. During the event, Linda and Daniel explained the benefits of mentorship. We learned that good mentorship can build your confidence, add to your business acumen and provide you with an extended network. We also heard of the success story of Kailey Gilchrist, founder of NONA Vegan Foods Ltd. You can find out more about Futurpreneur Canada’s mentorship program and other amazing resources at www.futurpreneur.ca

Emily starting her talk with a quick mindfulness exercise.

Emily starting her talk with a quick mindfulness exercise.

Our featured start-up story of the month was Emily Rose Antflick, the founder of Shecosystem: a co-working and wellness environment where women thrive. Her work stems from a feminine paradigm that values collaboration, emotional authenticity, and work-life integration. She is a versatile educator and program designer with rich perspectives on learning and community building. Emily also hosts weekly co-working meet ups with integrative wellness sessions. Emily began by leading the group through a breathing exercise and sharing a spoken word poem. When describing her business journey, Emily referred to it as a “seed in a dark place”, saying, “This is how most stories begin. So I let myself be in that dark place for a while and took the time to water myself with creativity and the things I liked to do.” And oh, how that seed has grown! In less than one year in business, Emily just announced that she has received the keys to her own space and is looking forward to establishing Shecosystem’s very own co-working space this fall. Until then, you can catch Shecosystem’s co-working sessions.  Her next sessions will be held on Tuesday, August 2nd and Tuesday, August 9th at the Gladstone Hotel Melody Bar. To learn more about how you can join in visit www.shecosystem.ca

 

Our refreshments and gift bag swag. Details below. 

Our refreshments and gift bag swag. Details below. 

This event would not be all that it was without the generous support of our in-kind sponsors. I’m extremely appreciative of the gifts they’ve allowed me to pass on to you. I would like to send a special thank you to Panago Pizza for including our event in their #randomactsofpizza campaign. Panago Pizza provided delicious food that accommodated different dietary restrictions/lifestyles (including vegan ‘za). Guests were also provided with a voucher for a free Chocolate Chunk Pretzel Cookie with Caramel Dip (sweet!). Find your local Panago or order online.

When curating the gift bags, I try to find items from brands that reflect the message of Curated Life, so every item has a unique tie. I’m pleased the share this month’s gift bag reveal:

1.       Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Quad (provided by Sephora Canada)

 Like a true girl boss, Kat Von D has used her business acumen to take her on a journey from tattoo artist to global beauty phenomenon.  The Shade + Light Eye Contour Quad can be used to transform your eyes through the art of colour contouring. Each quad contains a base colour and additional eye shadows to define, contour and highlight the eye. The palette is available in four colours: sage, rust, plum and smoke. The quad is exclusively available at Sephora for $34CDN. 

2.       Papabubble Toronto Handmade Candies

Established in Barcelona, Papabubble is all about artistic and innovative sweets that are handmade with love. New to Toronto, this artisan delight is made right before your eyes in their downtown boutique. The candies are made using just 5 simple ingredients and can feature custom made designs for your business or special event. You can check out the Toronto boutique at www.papabubbleto.com or visit in-person at 3360 Yonge Street (at Melrose Ave).

3.       The Body Shop Vitamin E AquaBoost Essence Lotion (full-sized)

I love The Body Shop for so many reasons (read that post here). For one thing The Body Shop was established by OG Girl Boss, Anita Roddick, in 1976. Her vision was to use her business as a force of good – there wasn’t a name for it back then, but that business model is called “social enterprise”. This year the brand renewed this commitment by announcing their mission to “Enrich, Not Exploit,” making it one of the most recognizable and innovative conscious beauty brands. MASTERCLASS attendees received The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Aqua Boost Essence Lotion, which designed to quench thirsty skin for up to 48 hours.  The formula is light weight so it absorbs easily into skin and it is made with naturally-sourced hydrauronic acid. You can layer this lotion under a cream to prepare your skin for the day. The lotion is available at The Body Shop for $20CDN or online here.

4.       Holt Renfrew H Project  x  Boxed Water

In the spring/summer issue of Curated Life magazine, we discuss the importance of shopping consciously. This is because the products you consume can have a great impact on people and planet. This is why we were so pleased to learn that Holt Renfrew’s H Project has partnered with Boxed Water to replace the plastic water bottles distributed in-store. Boxed Water has a lower carbon footprint and is 100% BPA-free.  And if you’re in the area, be sure to check out Holt Renfrew’s newest location at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The 130,000 square foot store has amazing live installations this weekend which include fashion illustrations by Monica Smiley and cold-pressed juices from Village Juicery. Holt Renfrew Square One will also offer Bespoke services that include a Leather Artisan, Nail Bar and Beauty Lab. View store address and hours here.

5.       Easy Period (info card)

Recently launched, Easy Period is a subscription service that delivers organic feminine hygiene products directly to your door (bonus: each box comes with a fair-trade chocolate bar). The company’s founder came up with the idea after wishing her tampons would magically appear at her door and never run out (don’t we all have that wish? Urgh, #lifeofagirl). But, it was after researching the nasty chemicals often found in mainstream brands, that she decided to step in by establish a company that provides healthier options to mainstream tampons and destigmatize periods; empowering women locally and abroad. Easy Period donates 5% of profits to ZanaAfrica Foundation, a non-profit that delivers pads and health education to girls in Kenya. Learn more at www.easyperiod.ca and be sure to look out for a feature about the company in the next issue of Curated Life magazine.

6.       Access Community Capital Fund (info card)

Access Community Capital Fund is a Canadian registered-charity that provides micro-loans up to $5000 for individuals looking to elevate their standard of living through entrepreneurship. Access Community Capital Fund has also partnered with Ignite Capital to offer an opportunity to compete for $20,000 of business funding. The competition closes on September 2, see www.ignitecapital.ca for application details. Access Community Capital Fund can be found online at www.accessccf.com.

An awesome way to end an awesome night!

An awesome way to end an awesome night!

If you missed this event, don’t worry. MASTERCLASS events are now bi-monthly.  Save the date forFriday, September 23rd ,2016.  The topic and speakers are to be announced shortly. If you’re a company interested in learning how you can sponsor an event or advertise in the magazine, feel free to email hello@curatedlife.ca. 

Until then, please enjoy a few more photos below. You can also follow @curatedlifeca and #mycuratedlife on Twitter and Instagram. 

I’ve been kissed (Kissed by Light Studio Review)

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

Kissed by Light is an all-female photography studio based in Toronto. The studio caters to women who want to capture their femininity while celebrating both their bodies and personalities. The studio’s work ranges from boudoir and fashion, to business and maternity shoots. The studio also uses photography to empower women entrepreneurs and tackle body image issues. I really liked their philosophy and aesthetic. So, when I needed to have business portraits done a few weeks ago, I knew this was the studio I wanted to use.

Other than school photos and a family portrait at Sears, I’ve never had professional portraits taken. As a perfectionist, I prepared ahead by scouring Pinterest for inspiration and packing a carry-on of my favourite outfits/accessories. But, on the day of the shoot I had butterflies. I’m always uneasy when I have my photograph taken. That feeling often leads to awkward facial expressions that make me avoid taking photographs and selfies altogether. I’m more at ease behind the camera. But Claudia Baltazar (make-up artist), Lora Vertue (the studio’s lead photographer) and Ameri (the studio assistant) made me feel very comfortable during the shoot. I’m so grateful for the great experience.

The morning started out with having my makeup done by Claudine. While she was doing my makeup, we talked about how insightful kids can be, crossborder shopping for makeup and Drake’s Hotline Bling memes. Claudine even took a quick look at my makeup bag and made suggestions on new products I might like. One of the products she recommended was Charlotte Tilbury’s Retoucher concealer for under the eyes. Claudine was so kind, informative, and humble I didn’t even realize how much of an accomplished make-up artist she is until I read “Plutino Group” on her business card. Her past work has been published in Nylon, Flare, Toronto Life and Billboard magazine (she worked on Drake’s Billboard shoot).

During the shoot, it was easy to trust Lora’s expertise and interesting to see her genius at work as she styled furniture and props for the shoot. Lora showed me exactly how to pose - point toes, lean into the shoulders. I felt like Joan Smalls for the day.  I wanted my business portraits to be glamourous but still true to who I am as a person. And based on what I saw, I can tell Lora captured that. I can’t wait to see how the final images turn out. Until then, below are a few behind-the-scenes photos.

If you’d like to have a little taste of the Kissed by Light experience, the studio will be hosting an “Art & Beauty” event this Sunday. The event will feature an art showcase, music and vending tables by local female entrepreneurs. And there will be wine! The event seems like it will be an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The event will be held at their studio on November 8th and begins at 1PM. See the flyer below. You can also visit the Kissed by Light Studio blog here.

This is not a sponsored post. The thoughts expressed are honest and my own.