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 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!

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 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.”