business

MASTERCLASS ft. Flawless by Friday, Lisa Zamparo + Ignite Capital

Brittny Sklar Robins, founder of Flawless by Friday. Photo by Red Tumi Creative.

Brittny Sklar Robins, founder of Flawless by Friday. Photo by Red Tumi Creative.

Hi everyone, I hope you’re having a great summer so far. I’ve really enjoyed meeting you face-to-face at our spring and summer MASTERCLASSES. And I can’t wait to see you again in the fall. We’ve been really busy over the last few months developing some very special projects that I will be sharing with you over the next few months.

Until then, here is a quick recap of our summer MASTERCLASS, which focused on ways to fund a start-up. We discussed the challenges we face securing capital as young entrepreneurs who may have student debt and little assets. Though overcoming these challenges may be difficult, it isn’t impossible.

Our featured start-up story was that of Brittny Skylar Robins, the founder of Flawless by Friday. Growing up in rural Ontario as one of five sisters, Brittny was her family’s very own beauty expert. Moving to Toronto in her early-twenties, Brittny tapped into the concept of inner confidence shaping outer beauty through her work as a make-up artist. Brittny later desired to transform this concept into her own beauty brand. During the MASTERCLASS, Brittny shared her journey from starting her company with a $5000 loan from her parents to now approaching investors.

In terms of advice, Brittny provided us with a lot of gems. For example when speaking about approaching hesitant investors Brittny said, “I am okay with people thinking that I don’t know what I’m doing more than I am okay with not pursuing my passion. In terms of funding my start-up, I spend every day proving myself. When I’ve proven myself this much more, [I say] this is how much more support I need – whether it’s support from friends, family, the bank or a venture capitalist.” 

Brittny also provided us with samples of Friday by Friday’s Flawless in 15 Under Eye Rescue and Facial Mask System. Made with honey and gold, these hydrogel masks provide a luxury facial in just 15 minutes. The masks are designed to sooth your skin, boost collagen production while decreasing puffiness and redness. Flawless in 15 is perfect for beauty on the go and one of our favourite new product discoveries. We’ve even featured Flawless in 15 in our Issue 3 editorial feature, “Carry on Beautiful”. If you are looking for a new facial system to try, #supportyourgirlgang and check out Brittny’s line here.

Next we heard from our resident CPA, Lisa Zamparo.  As our expert for the night, Lisa provided us with practical steps to “wellth,” by harnessing energy, money and confidence to build a business. In summary, Lisa’s advice was to know where you’re starting from (ask what do you own? What do you owe? What do you need?). Be your own venture capitalist by funding your business with a 9 to 5 job. Be credit worthy. And finally, start managing what you already have. Lisa suggests bookkeeping even when your business is small. Read more from Lisa in our magazine on pages 34-38.

Finally, we learned about Ignite Capital’s upcoming business competition from Laura Gannon. Each year Ignite Capital invites emerging Ontario entrepreneurs who have limited access to capital, to compete for up to $25,000 in funding. The competition has four award categories: young entrepreneur, women entrepreneur, immigrant entrepreneur and the “start me up” category. To compete you will need to complete the application on their website. From there a short list of participants will be invited to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges. In addition to funding (which is a combination of a loan and grant), participants are also provided with business skills training. Applications for the competition are due September 10, 2017. Visit ignitecapital.ca for application details.

If you are looking for more advice about ways to your start-up be sure, be sure to read “How to Fund Your Start Up” in the magazine (page 36), digital downloads are free and there is also the option to purchase a print. Also be sure to follow us on Instagram @curatedlifeca for our upcoming event announcement. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Enjoy the rest of the summer!

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. 

Getting Your Ideas Funded

Katherine Hague, founder of  Female Funders.  Photo by Pam Lau.

Katherine Hague, founder of Female Funders. Photo by Pam Lau.

According to recent research, millennial women entrepreneurs face a unique set of challenges due to being both young and women. These challenges include difficulty with business planning, lack of confidence, and lack of financial literacy, but the greatest among these challenges is limited access to venture capital. When I read these facts, it was almost like reading a checklist of my past experience with entrepreneurship. This is why I started the CuratedLife.ca empowerment project a few months ago. Through this project, my hope is to connect Canadian millennial women to resources that will help women start and grow prosperous businesses.

As mentioned earlier, securing enough funding for a business idea is often a challenge. While looking into ways to fund my project, I came across the inspirational story of Katherine Hague. Katherine is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and the founder of Female Funders, an online destination dedicated to inspiring and educating the next generation of female angel investors. She is also the author of O’Reilly’s upcoming book, Funded: The  Entrepreneur's Guide to Raising Your First Round. (I am looking forward to announcing a special project that involves Katherine’s book in a few weeks, stay tuned!)

As Canadian business prodigy, Katherine is a graduate of the Schulich School of Business at York University, and was recently listed among the “7 Canadian tech stars to watch” by the Financial Post. Only 23 years old, Katherine is the co-founder of ShopLocket, an eCommerce platform, which successfully raised a $1 million seed round to expand its business. Next week, Katherine will be sharing her expertise on venture funding through an online course that helps explain the process and shows what you should do to get your business successfully funded. Katherine’s online course will be live and hands-on. By the end of the course you will have a clear understanding of core venture capital concepts and an effective fundraising plan for your company. You will also develop an expertly-honed investor pitch and the confidence to negotiate the key terms of a funding deal. Katherine’s course will be held on Wednesday, March 30th, 2016. Individual tickets are $299. If you are interested in the course you can register here:

To help prepare for the course, you can also listen to a sneak peek on Sound Cloud and check out these “6 Question Every Founder Should Ask Before They Raise Capital.”