masterclass

MASTERCLASS ft. Dauphine Magazine + Ribitt

The start-up stories:  Krys Lunardo (Dauphine Magazine) and Sana Virji (Ribitt.io)

The start-up stories:  Krys Lunardo (Dauphine Magazine) and Sana Virji (Ribitt.io)

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. 

Krys Lunardo (Dauphine Magazine)

Krys Lunardo (Dauphine Magazine)

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

Sana Virji (Ribitt.io)

Sana Virji (Ribitt.io)

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  

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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!

MASTERCLASS ft. QUINSCO & Dr. Stacy Thomas

rachelle quinsco

Rachelle Joaquin, founder of QUINSCO. Photography: @andreyaklobucar

As millennial women entrepreneurs, we often face challenges that are two-fold because we are both young and women. Generally these challenges include limited access to capital, financial literacy, business planning skills and confidence. At Curated Life, we’ve designed our signature MASTERCLASS series to specifically address these issues. During this spring’s MASTERCLASS, we focused on confidence and how it impacts your business or personal brand (because as entrepreneurs they are one in the same). 

Our featured start-up story was that of Rachelle Joaquin, founder of QUINSCO. An actuary (mathematician) by trade, Rachelle started her company as a way to foster her creative side and passion for jewelry. Feeling like an outsider in the fashion industry, Rachelle started out by only giving or selling her creations to family and friends. As she started to receive positive feedback, her confidence grew and so did her business. In addition to her start-up story, Rachelle also shared her strategies for building confidence as an entrepreneur. One strategy is the use of affirmations, “it seems silly at first, but this one small thing really helps…my favourite affirmation is, ‘I am enough’” Rachelle said. She also shared that staying true to who you are in your business is also essential. “At the end of the day, I’m not just selling jewelry, I’m selling my story.”

Our expert for the evening was Dr. Stacy Thomas, a clinical psychologist who specializes in helping people design their lives. Dr. Thomas is known for her approachable style and ability to translate research findings into practical strategies for everyday life.  At the MASTERCLASS, Dr. Thomas taught us that “confidence is the intersection of belief, not just your belief about yourself but the belief of those around you.” We learned that fear and seeking perfection can impede confidence. But focusing on prioritizing our own voice and focusing on our mission can build confidence.  Dr. Stacy led us through a discussion designed to challenge us to change fundamental assumptions about ourselves. We assessed ourselves, thinking about when we felt the most or the least confident, and why. From there we created a plan to take practical steps to boost our confidence.   

To help you along your journey, we’ve included a summary and worksheet on pages 13-15 of Curated Life Magazine Issue 3  You can also download a copy of Dr. Thomas’ resource sheet here.

curated life master class sponsors

Our gift bags have become a must-have staple at our MASTERCLASS. This spring’s gift bag features beauty and health products that can help you look and feel confident. We would like to thank each of our in-kind sponsors below for their contribution.

Got2B Volumaniac Bodifying Mousse & Hairspray: If the 90s are making a comeback, why not mousse? This mousse gives your hair extra body andaccompanying Volumaniac holding spray features 24 hour hold. Available at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Nagi Raw Organic Energy Bars: From the Polish word for naked, Nagi is exactly that. These delicious energy bars are raw, organic, non-gmo, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and free of artificial preservatives. Created by health and fitness expert, Justyna Kozlowska, Nagiis nutrient-dense to help sustain an active body and a sharp mind. Made in Canada. Available in a case of 12 for $44.99CDN at eatnagi.com

Flawless by Friday Mesmereyes Eye Mask System: These eye masks use cooling gel technology to quickly hydrate, depuff and firm the delicate skin under your eyes. Flawless by Friday was founded by Brittny Skylar, who went from growing up on a farm north of Toronto to running her own company right in the heart of the city, all before the age of 30. Mesmereyes 3-Day Eye Mask System is available for $26CDN at flawlessbyfriday.com  

Way of WILL Sampler Set: Based here in Toronto, WILL is a modern aromatherapy system for active lifestyles. This set includes five samples: 35 Yoga Mat Spray, 42 Foot and Shoe Spray with Moisturizing Body Oils- 06 Warm Up (Nutmug + Galbanum), 05 Refresh (Basil + Black Spruce) and 07 Breather (Cedarwood+ Grapefruit).  Prices range from $19.50-$32USD. You can also receive 20% off by using the promo code CURATED20. Available at wayofwill.com

Tealeaves Jet Lag Therapy Kit: 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 alert and focused. While Relax is a floral, caffeine-free blend to help you ease into a peaceful sleep. Available for $3.80CDN at tealeaves.com

Schwarzkopf GLISS Oil Nutritive: Made with liquid keratin and 8 beauty oils, this hair system is designed to nourish your hair without weighing it down. Guests will receive the full-sized shampoo, conditioner and weightless oil spray. Available for $9.99CDN each at Shopper’s Drug Mart.

NEST Fragrances Eau de Parfum: This collection of fine, botany-inspired fragrances is filled with modern yet feminine florals. Each guest will receive a 8ml roll-on from the line. Available for $32CDN exclusively at sephora.com

CND Creative Play Nail Lacquer: Get creative with vibrant nail colours that are perfect for your summer manicures. Guests will receive one of the following lacquers: “Poppin’ Bubbly” (champagne) or “Jammin’ Salmon” (pink). Available for $6.99CDN at sallybeauty.com

Bite Beauty: These lip products are made of natural ingredients & by hand, right here in Toronto. Guests will receive either the Matte Crème Lip Crayon in “Leche” or the Amuse Bouche Lipstick in “Liquorice” or “Chai”. Available for $28-$32CDN at sephora.com

Lipidol Overnight Facial Oil: Add this to your beauty routine to help nourish and rejuvenate your skin while you sleep. Made with Ylang-Ylang and Black Pepper essential oils, it is a luxurious but affordable way to replenish your skin. Available for $9.99CDN at Walmart.

This year, our MASTERCLASS sessions will run bi-monthly from May to November. Be sure to join us for our next MASTERCLASS, July 7th, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. This MASTERCLASS will focus on financial planning for your personal life and business. The event will feature Charted Professional Accountant, Lisa Zamparo and Flawless by Friday founder, Brittny Skylar as our keynotes. Please register below.