Do you Bleed For Fashion?

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Meet Lilyanne Nguyen – the brains and beauty behind the blog

Written by Ashley Basran

We recently had the pleasure of getting to know Lily Nguyen, Fashion and Lifestyle blogger of the Bleed for Fashion blog. Lily is not only incredibly chic, she is also deeply honest with her audience. We admire her willingness to be extremely truthful and raw about personal experiences and challenges that she faces in her life. Read on to learn more about how Bleed For Fashion came to be, as well as where Lily finds her daily inspiration for her stylish outfits to her heartfelt blog posts.

Q. How did Bleed for Fashion start and how has it become the successful blog that it is today?

A. It all started in 2009. I created an account on Chictopia and was immediately inspired by bloggers like Rumi of Fashion Toast and Lulu of LULU AND YOUR MOM. Wanting a creative outlet of my own, eventually I decided to start my own blog. Incorporating both fashion and lifestyle content, the rest is history.
Q. What kind of tips can you offer to those who want to dabble in the world of blogging? 

A. Well, I can really only speak to fashion blogging. It’s easy to fall victim to the pressure of keeping up with trends, partnerships, etc. This is why I always remind anyone interested in starting a fashion blog of their own to have an objective first. It seems like everyone and their mother has a blog these days, so you really need to work hard at staying true to yourself. In a world where we often lose ourselves in the crowd, it’s important to hold onto your individuality.
Q. If you could give your 21 year old self some advice, what would it be?

A. That’s easy; I’d tell myself to SAVE MY DAMN MONEY. I wrote a blog post about it, too.
Q. Writers block is extremely frustrating. How do you find inspiration and the motivation to keep yourself writing?

A. I experience this often, as I’m not a great writer by any means. When I need inspiration, I’ll go read a few of my favourite blogs and more than often than not, find my motivation there.
Q. Ok so your outfits are always on point (seriously, always). How do you decide to put together your stylish clothes?

A. Haha thanks! When putting together an outfit, I usually start with picking out the shoes I want to wear first, then I work my way up.
Q. What kind of apps can you not go a day without?

A. Facebook and Instagram.
Q. What are two must read novels that you’ve recently read?

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso and If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

 

Finish these sentences… 
 


Fashion… is not a luxury; it’s a way of life.

When I’m stressed… I like to go for a bike ride and find a nice quiet spot to read.

Blogging… can be so one dimensional sometimes.


I love… my boyfriend and our dog, Maximus.

 

Follow Lily here:

facebook | twitter | instagram

Behind the Scenes with Megan Williams, author of “Our Interrupted Fairytale”

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Girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love, girl and boy live happily ever after. Sound familiar? That is the typical love story that has had made many careers in Hollywood. Our Interrupted Love Story completely goes against this formula and is a true love story in every way imaginable. It takes the reader on a journey from how they meet, the obstacles they encountered, how they fell in love and how they dealt with the “threesome” of multiple myeloma.

Right from the first chapter it taps into the full gamut of emotions ranging from happiness and laughter to incredible, deep sadness. Even writing this we still get overcome with emotion at some parts of the book! Beyond the incredible sadness though is pure inspiration. Inspiration in the sense that Megan wrote this book as a way to capture and honour their memories; in the sense that Megan self published this book (yes, self published!) and in the sense that Megan is so genuine and true to the book.

We had a chance to meet with Megan and jumped on it! Reading the book, it is written in such a way that you feel like you are life long friends with Megan and Chad. Meeting Megan in person was exactly the same way. She is extremely warm and friendly, great sense of humour, fantastic fashion sense (we had to add this!) and very genuine. Excited to meet her, we arrived at Crema, a cozy, delicious café right by the water in West Vancouver that was her home away from home while writing most of the book. Having just finished reading the book, we were empathetic, heart broken, a tad emotional and eager to meet Megan for the “behind-the-scenes” scoop about the book and the woman behind it all. Below is what Megan has to say to our Pink Tank community:

How did the book come to be?

She finished the entire manuscript in a year. With the help of a couple editors, the manuscript became the finished work. After approaching publishers to take on her book, she ran into some road blocks and ended up self publishing her book. Voila! Our Interrupted Fairytale was born. Self publishing turned out to be a gift as she had control over the book, the title (which we absolutely love!), the “characters”, etc. She could literally create the book she envisioned.  Right down to the colour of the wording (the colour of multiple myeloma), the “ribbon” running through the title (which also resembles a heart ECG) and the story as it truly happened.

What are you hoping people take away from reading this book?

“I’m hoping to give people a chance to meet and get to know Chad. And to show people that no matter how big the fight is, it will always be worth it”. Spoiler alert: He’s awesome, and you really get to know Megan and Chad’s relationship throughout the story. It’s not just a book bringing awareness of a certain disease; it’s a book with a life and an inspiring story behind it.

As Bloggers ourselves, we asked Megan what she does to battle writers block and if she had any creative suggestions?

“I focused on writing 1,000 words a day, every day until I was finished writing the book. It gave me a set goal to work with”. Serendipitous advice from a famous author she met while traveling on a bus to NYC.

She also found “listening to podcasts on screenwriting helpful, setting the difference between excuses and discipline (i.e. what you want to get done, versus what you’re going to get done)”. Willpower is a must for an author (and for anyone with a tangible goal!).

What was the biggest surprise in this whole process?

After much thought, she answered that she “was surprised with how well received the book is and that Chapters decided to take it on”. This was not just a “decision” but a strategic effort on Megan who successfully went into territory that only books backed by publishing companies usually take on. She did this with determination and focus (and great negotiation and people skills!) and asked them to give her a target to hit. She crushed the target and the book expanded into other stores in B.C.

Advice for the next generation?

“Being disciplined and not letting excuses get the better of you”.  Simple but effective advice. Megan wrote this book in a year committing to 1,000 words per day. Every single day. She did all of this while working a full time job as well, we might add. This took extreme dedication, focus and commitment.

One thing you want people to leave with?

“Love is always worth it. Doesn’t matter the ending, if you love someone that deeply it will always be worth it”.

Time for some quick and rapid fire one word answer questions!

Vancouver is,,, “awesome. I changed my mind! It is my favourite place in the world”.

I am inspired by… “selflessness”.

I love… “sparkles”.

Favourite tennis stroke… “forehand roller”

Colour of her Jimmy Choos… “nude”

Heels or flats… “flats”

After meeting with Megan, we were more than inspired to write this blog post! Such an incredible story that honours the memories between two amazing people. We hope we have inspired you to run out any buy a copy or order it through Amazon. It will not disappoint. A quick disclaimer: make sure to have tissues nearby when reading!

Did we mention we’re giving you a chance to meet Megan Williams and chat with her yourself? On Thursday evening, September 4th, we’ll be getting together at Salt, Gastown to discuss everything and anything about “Our Interrupted Fairytale”. Tickets for this are $40.00 and include one glass of wine and tapas (and fabulous ladies with conversations!). The remaining 100% of the ticket will be donated to the charity. To RSVP, click HERE

The Inside Scoop…

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The Inside Scoop… on the fabulous woman behind Styling the Inside, Jamie Dunlop.

Ladies, meet Jamie. She was recently nominated one of Vancouver’s Top 30 Mom bloggers after having a blog for less than a year. An impressive feat! Her blog posts are honest and inspiring and written in such a way that you can completely relate to her. We love her recent Fashion Friday post which is all about breaking out of routine which can overcome a lot of us. We love any blog which focuses on a little statement necklace here and there! Read on to find out what inspires her, what she loves most about blogging and her advice for the next generation.

1. Congratulations on becoming one of Vancouver’s Top 30 Mom Bloggers! How has this nomination inspired you and your blog?

Thank you. Becoming one of Vancouver’s Top  30 mom bloggers surprised me, big time! This honour has inspired me to connect more with other bloggers, and to blog more frequently. I daydream in blogs ALL the time.  Everything I do could potentially be my next  post!

2.What do you love most about blogging?

Styling the Inside is my online diary that I get to share with the world! I find blogging very therapeutic. When my words and life experiences are relatable and have an impact on others, it fills my heart with so much joy. I love a good challenge and my blog  definitely challenges me, forces me to become tech savvy and think outside of the box.

3.  What inspires you?

I’m inspired by people who use their lives to make a difference. These types of people are not only living for themselves, but also for the betterment of our world. We all know that making a difference within ourselves is the first step in making a difference around us, therefore I am  especially inspired by individuals who make personal development a top priority.

4.  What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of myself for overcoming my fear of what others think.  This is me, imperfections and all, take it or leave it! The amount of weight you feel when you are wrapped up in what other people think of you, feels like a ton of bricks on your shoulder. When you let go, you feel as light as a feather, ready to tackle more important stuff, like what you think of yourself!

5. Any advice for the next generation?

My advice for the next generation who are living in a world with so much pressure to be like everyone else, where their self-esteem is validated by the number of likes they receive through their social media feeds is this; if you know your own heart and think the truth, you will always have a friend who doesn’t lie.

I love….. CARBS and deep conversations.

Vancouver is…. full of culture, beauty and diversity.

Life is….. what you make it, so make it a memorable one!

If you could go back in time…. I would go back to my adolescent self and tell her that I love her!

Ladies, Meet Michelle Davies.

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Michelle was recently named one of the nicest people by Jen Schaeffers in a VancityBuzz post and is an inspirational force! She is part of the brains (and beauty) behind the amazing Sea Wheeze Sunset Festival and is also involved in dreaming up and executing world class events. Read on to find out how she got started working at Lululemon and what she is most proud of in her career.

 

What’s your position?

athlete programs manager with Lululemon

How did you get involved with Lululemon?

law of attraction. I knew I loved the product and the culture, and then via people within the company I’d met trail running and at various events…voila!

What is a typical day like for you?

I’ve yet to have a typical day…that’s why I love it so much! :)

sweat session of some kind (think yoga, bike, run), lots of emails, connecting with teams/athletes over phone or in person, tea with educators from our stores who are passionate about community and want to join our team, often travel, often brainstorming, and often problem solving. Always hanging with people who I don’t consider co-workers, but rather friends.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I genuinely love what I do and play to my strengths. I look forward to going to work on a daily basis. I am so grateful for this.

Favourite inspiration at the moment?

My horoscope as posted at a local coffee shop last May:
“Follow your instincts wherever they take you and don’t worry that you can’t see your ultimate destination. It’s the journey that matters”

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?

Stop worrying so much. You’ve got this.

Fill in the blanks…

Vancouver is…. the best

When I’m stressed out I….listen to music

Favourite yoga position is….pigeon

Favourite place for coffee in Vancouver is….I’m a tea drinker, my favourite place (and chocolate chip banana bread!) is JJ Bean

Cookies. Do or do not….Always do

Wolf Circus: jewelry for the badass within you

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Meet Fiona Morrison, Founder of Wolf Circus Jewelry

Written By: Ashley Basran

Attending University and keeping up with classes and assignments is extremely stressful (let’s be honest). It can sometimes feel as if there just isn’t enough time in the day (or caffeine). Stress levels are pretty high and you may feel like you’re going to have a mental breakdown (ah, life of a student). This was all something familiar to University of Victoria business student, Fiona Morrison. Although she was a student dealing with her own stresses, Fiona found inspiration (and time) to create a jewelry business of her own called, Wolf Circus in 2011.

“It all started when I wore a ring with a wolf head on it. People always noticed and it gained a lot of attention,” explains Fiona. After realizing that her ring was the catalyst to many conversations, she created her own jewelry line. “There wasn’t any badass jewelry that was also affordable in Victoria, so I started my own line,” says Fiona. The pieces are described as ‘minimalist bling’ and are available at a number of boutiques throughout Canada. Fiona has created a successful jewelry line consisting of stylish, edgy and unique pieces, yet she has never had any jewelry training or education. She has taught herself everything and has learned from YouTube (what would we do without YouTube?).

Each piece of jewelry is delicately hand crafted in Fiona’s studio and consist of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings and another line called: Creature of Desire (also known as, Wolf Circus’ older sister). “As our clients grow, we want to grow with them,” Says Fiona of the Creature of Desire line. This line is hand made as well, using bronze, silver or gold filled materials.

With the making of an edgy line intended for the bold, beautiful, brainy and badass we can’t help but wonder, where the inspiration for these pieces is drawn from? “I went to school in Sweden. I saw how the culture appreciates style and how people wear their pieces,” explains Fiona. “I also lived in Australia for a year after graduating and I’ve traveled to Singapore, Thailand, Bali and all through Europe. I have some pretty amazing memories and countries I’ve travelled to find inspiration for the line,” says Fiona.

Fiona has the soul of an entrepreneur and works her butt off to create new and affordable pieces for her clients. “Our pieces are aesthetically and price point unique. Even our dainty items have edge to it,” says the young business Owner. “We have beautiful models who are wearing the line and we’re working with Hey Jude Vintage and Gimmie Maron on a new project. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel for work to the states and most recently to Portland for trade shows,” says Fiona.

The successful jewelry Owner/Designer has some advice for future entrepreneurs too. “Take risks, as it can be extremely rewarding. Also, you have to learn how to work harder than you normally would. Remember that you’re writing your own pay cheques. Remember as an entrepreneur everything always changes on a day-to-day basis and where your passion lies and career goes,” advises Fiona.

This savvy-stylish entrepreneur is well on her way and has proved that her jewelry line is a success, which continues to grow. The Pink Tank Team is excited to see what’s next for Fiona Morrison and Wolf Circus.

Shop Wolf Circus here: www.wolfcircus.com

Instagram: @wolf_circus

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wolfcircusjewelry

Inner Fire Inspiration

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We are happy to feature the beauty and brains behind Inner Fire, Leah Emmott! We were connected to her through another fabulous Pink Tank feature, Liz Joyce with Joyce Training. When we went online, we fell in love instantly with the fun, stylish and witty take on yoga wear! They have such cute shirts that you can wear in yoga but also would look great with jeans. Did we mention how much we love their colourful leggings?! Read on to find out the business side behind Inner Fire and how the idea came to fruition, what Leah is most proud of and what she loves most about her job.

Q. How did you come up with the idea for Inner Fire?

A. In late 2011 I had emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst. I was a full time yoga teacher at the time, so the recovery period gave me a lot of time off to get my creative juices flowing. I decided to make some gifts for friends and learned how to screen print. I wanted to do something that brought out the lighthearted aspects of yoga and made people laugh. After coming out with a few designs, people kept asking me where I got them from, so I decided to start my own company! The name “Inner Fire” comes from a philosophical yogic concept that we have a fiery place in our bellies, also known as Manipura, the 3rd chakra. This area is where our passion and creativity resides. I truly felt like it got unblocked when I had my cyst removed. I’ve been creating ever since!

Q. What do you love most about your job?

A. Throughout my journey as an entrepreneur, I have been so fortunate to be able to connect to so many different people locally and abroad. Through these interactions, I’ve picked up so many nuggets of inspiration and wisdom that feed my creative process. I love it when one of my designs makes someone laugh – it’s that instant ‘I got the joke’ feeling that lightens one’s mood. It’s really about spreading more peace, love and joy in the world.

Q. What are you most proud of in your career?

A. I am really proud of our partnership with The School Fund, an organization that helps micro-finance educational scholarships for young people in developing countries. So far we have helped 12 students get the vocational training they need to be able to lift their families out of poverty. Inner Fire is much more than a clothing company. It’s about helping others find their spark too!

Q. Favourite app?

A. I’ve become a bit of an Instagram (@myinnerfire) addict over the past few months. I love looking at beautiful photography and there is a lot of it on there! The yoga community is also really active on the platform and it’s been an amazing way to connect with a really engaged audience.

Q. Any advice for the next generation of business ladies?

One of the most important life lessons I have learned as a yogi and entrepreneur is that in order to get something, you have to give it away first. Success and abundance only comes from an initial act of giving. The biggest lie we tell ourselves when we start out is thinking we have nothing. If we practice gratitude and believe we have abundance in our lives, then we will actually start to get what we want (and even more than we asked for sometimes!). It’s the big boomerang of the universe!

Finish these sentences…

I love… ocean air, especially from the Gulf Islands of BC.

Life is…. a crazy, wild and sexy adventure… so don’t sweat the small stuff… and spend less time in front of a digital screen.

My childhood ambition was…. to be the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

If I could go back in time… I would start practicing yoga sooner.

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Kurate Your Style with Jessica Karalash

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Meet Jessica Karalash, Founder & Editor of KurateStyle

Written By Ashley Basran

The world of fashion is a hard one to keep up with. Trends are always changing and it’s tough to keep up (let’s be honest). Some people are creative and can put outfits together in their sleep, while others just don’t have a clue (although some really do try!). Even shopping can become overwhelming, as there are a number of items to look at and choose from. Finding your personal style isn’t always easy either. Your style may change as you mature and go through different phases in your life. Or perhaps, you are comfortable with who you are, and don’t see the need in changing things up. Whichever the case may be for you, Jessica Karalash is your fashion savvy, go-to woman.

Jessica grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and considered herself fashion forward when growing up. Pulling outfits and styling her friends and family was nothing out of the ordinary, as was dressing up in vintage clothing that her Grandma always had in the “dress-up trunk.” Jessica enjoyed helping others with their style and says, “I wore the weirdest stuff even though I grew up on a farm, yet, my outfit choices were fashion forward at the time.” Jessica moved to beautiful Vancouver 4 years ago, after living abroad and travelling after living in Saskatchewan, where she fell in love with the city and lifestyle.

After the move, Jessica began working with Vancouver Fashion Week and with fashion designers and brands. She had the opportunity to work with young designers, while also learning about the business of fashion. Jessica’s background is in finance and marketing, and she always had a love for fashion, tech and entrepreneurship. KurateStyle was a way to create a new business (she had an investor relations business prior to KurateStyle) and combine everything she loves.

In 2013, Jessica founded KurateStyle which will help you find your personal style, or help you upgrade your wardrobe. “KurateStyle curates the best fashion trends from the runways of fashion week, street style trends and celebrities, and creates real outfits and looks that work for your lifestyle,” says Jessica. Since founding KurateStyle, Jessica has helped style men and women all over North America and Europe. She also works with clients in-person or conveniently online.

Jessica thought about the idea of the fashion website (KurateStyle) for quite some time. It didn’t actually come to life until she attended Startup Weekend (Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures). She wanted to create a fashion platform that was similar to Songza. Creating a program that would provide people with outfit options based on their mood, as Songza provides you with music based on your current mood. Jessica pitched this idea at Startup Weekend, where sixty ideas were pitched and Jessica’s was chosen!

Jessica now had the entire weekend to bring her idea to life. “I went into the mall, canvassing customers. I had a whole team of developers and marketers too,” says Jessica. She went on to win second place in the weekend competition, but it wasn’t until weeks after that KurateStyle was born.

In addition to founding KurateStyle, the business owner is also a fashion and personal stylist and fashion blogger. She also models and collaborates and partners with select brands. Oh, and she’s a public speaker (what a busy woman!).

Whether you’re a man or a woman, you should have a staple item in your closet somewhere. I had to get Jessica’s take on this and she says:

Women – “Black Blazer (fitted/tailored blazer) is a must. This will help complete a look and can also dress up an outfit.”

Men – “A really nice coat. It could be a spring or winter coat worn with a nice pair of jeans (that fit nicely).”

Jessica also has some simple fashion tips for putting together an outfit. She says, “Take one key item (i.e. statement necklace and/or shoes) and build around it. If you are adding too many pieces it gets too confusing. Last but not least, Jessica says, “Whatever you’re wearing, wear it with confidence!”

If you would like to learn more about KurateStyle visit http://www.kuratestyle.com! You can also see her on the Vanity Fair International Best Dressed List Challenge, and attend her next event at Topshop on Thursday, June 12th, 2014 from 6pm to 8pm.

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