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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A Fashionable Inspiration.

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Ladies, meet Brooke. She is the West Coast Business Manager with Lacoste Footwear and also an amazing spin instructor (with the best tunes!) at Cadence. In male terms, she could be seen as a double threat being both a kick ass spin instructor and also a successful business woman in the world of fashion.  In female terms, she is an inspiration! She has purposely led her career based on passion and a desire to get into the fashion industry. We love featuring women that go after the careers they want! Read on to find out how she got started in the industry from Toronto to Vancouver, what awards she has won and her fabulous advice on paying attention to excel in school!

Q. How did you get started in the fashion industry?

I moved to Vancouver from Toronto almost 9 years ago and I gave myself a goal that I would start over with a new career once I got settled. I knew I wanted a change (my previous background was the fitness industry) and I wanted to do what I really had a passion for which was Fashion.  I knew it would be tough with no education related to fashion but I knew I was meant to be in this industry.

Q. What do you love most about your job?

What I love the most about my job is our quarterly product launches.  The North American team get together 4 times a year to view the new collection.  It is a chance to catch up with everyone and get excited about the new product we get to sell fot he new quarter.  The designers present the collections to us and it is amazing to see all the time, energy and creativity that goes into each style! So  inspiring.

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

This year I won 2 awards in my company. The first was the top sales person of the year in North America and the second was a chairman’s award called the Passion award. It made me feel proud that my peers nominated me based on the love and excitement I share about my company and the opportunities that have been given to me.

Q. You are one of the best spin instructors and play the best music! How did you get involved in spinning?

First of all, thank you!! That is so nice to hear.  I first got into spinning when I lived in Ontario and worked at a gym.  I was never a fan of group fitness until I tried spinning.  I was hooked immediately and I thought that it would be a great opportunity to get certified so I would be able to teach classes at my place of work. I am obsessed with music so that is the easy part for me!  I am also a certified personal trainer and bosu ball instructor.

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

This is a tough one! Probably pay more attention in excel classes because you will ALWAYS use excel spreadsheets! On a lighter note I would tell my younger self to let things go or be less hard on myself. At the end of the day really the most important person you have to answer to is yourself.

Finish these sentences…

Vancouver is….the best where I fell in love

Work is…. challenging and rewarding

My childhood ambition was…to be an Olympic figure skater!

I love…cats :)

 

Meet Lillie – The Woman Behind Betty Baguette

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Introducing the lovely Lillie of Betty Baguette; a cool local brand that specializes in catering healthy food right to your desk! We came across Betty Baguette on social media, took a look at their website and fell in love. The story behind the brand, the healthy choices and the fact that we can have our favourite sandwiches and macaroons delivered right to our desk – How could we not? We contacted Lillie and connected and are so happy to have her on board as our catering sponsor for NextGen 2014! Read on to find out what made her start Betty Baguette and her advice to budding entrepreneurs.

Q. What made you want to launch your own business?

I’ve worked for myself since I was in my early twenties and I love it: it’s challenging but oh so rewarding. Starting Betty Baguette a few years ago made all the sense: I love food and studied nutriton so all my favourite things are combined!

Q. What is your favourite thing about Betty Baguette? 

With our DeskSide Delivery Service, we see a lot of the same faceseach week and we get to know people: what they did on the weekend, what their kids are up to, how their dinner party went the night before. I really like having those relationships with people.

Q. How would you describe Betty Baguette in five words?

Fresh, convenient, friendly, healthy, TASTY.

Q. What time do you start your day?

Totally depends on the day, usually not earlier than 5am, sometimes as late as 9:30am.

Q. Any tips for budding entrepreneurs?

Be organized, get your ducks in a row as much as you can before you get started- research is key.  But also- just do it! If you have a dream, try it out.  It’s better to fail than to never try at all.

Finish these sentences…

Food is… the best thing ever!!

Birds are… interesting… especially those crows that fly over East Van every evening. What are THEY up to?!

The sky… often captivates me.  I love looking at it and often wish I was a better photographer so I could better captivate it.

Strawberries… are best organic.

Vancouver… I love you!!

The Inspiring Tracy Hall….

 

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We are so happy to be featuring Tracy Hall, Legal Counsel at Plains Midstream Canada! Ever since I first met her, she has inspired me with her strong work ethic, passion for her career and the fact that she is a female lawyer in the predominantly male oil & gas world of Calgary. Not an easy feat! She is also one of the most genuine ladies with a true sense of empathy for others. Have I also mentioned her great sense of humour and fashion sense?! Needless to say, she has the perfect mix of what we look for to help inspire the future generation of female business leaders. When we approached her about speaking at NextGen she was all over it! We are excited to hear her speak and give a genuine depiction of what it is like after University and what she would have done differently or the same leading to her successful career in the present. Read on to find out what inspires her, what she is most proud of and her hilarious thoughts on apples. To RSVP for the NextGen click HERE.

Q. As a female Lawyer, what kind of advice can you offer to other women who are pursuing their dreams of becoming lawyers themselves?

As an articling student, a judge once told a group of us that “law is a jealous mistress”. It is a profession that will take as much of you as it can, demanding long hours and personal sacrifice. But if you want to succeed, don’t lose yourself in the process. Take time for yourself, for your health, for your friends and your family. Also,  “balance” may be a fluid concept that is not defined by an 8 hour workday, but it could mean that when you have a transaction, you will have long hours and little personal time in order to meet  client obligations and deadlines, but that can be balanced by taking more time for yourself after the transaction has closed.

(Candid answer: Think long and hard.  Way better gigs for less work and more pay.)

Q. What do you love most about being a lawyer?

I love that the work is always different and challenging.  You will never see the same issue or file twice as the facts of each file will always change, so each circumstance will be challenging.  Lawyers are also non-traditional helpers because we are problem solvers.  Someone will come to you with a problem or a goal as to what should be accomplished, and you try to find the means to get to the end.

(Candid answer: The quote from “The Devil’s Advocate’:  Law is the ultimate backstage pass.)

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

I’m proud that I have maintained a strong sense of self.  It can be easy to lose yourself in this process (eg. by getting swept up into the rat race or losing touch with your friends).

(Candid answer:  I didn’t step over any bodies to get ahead and didn’t throw myself out the window during any closings.)

Q. What time do you start your day? 

I typically start around 8 or 8:30am, but this can be a bit flexible depending on the day and what needs to be done.

(Candid answer:  8:30 or 9am but that looks bad when I am surrounded by early birds, so let’s bump up the answer by 30 minutes… it’s all about optics.)

Please finish these sentences…

Apples…are a boring fruit and much more interesting as a symbol of temptation, sin and adoration.

My life…continues to unfold in unexpected ways, but having life twist in unplanned and sometimes painful ways can turn out to be beautiful.

Work…is where you will spend most of your waking hours, so find something that is satisfying, enjoyable and challenging but don’t let work define you.

Happiness…is a choice and sometimes we have to fight for it, but it’s also okay to allow yourself to feel all your emotions in order to heal, to be human, or to work through certain issues that your inner self may be feeling. There can be intense pressure to be happy, but there need not be any shame or weakness when feeling not happy. But when you are given the opportunity, try to choose happiness.

Sunshine… is great in moderation but can cause wrinkles and skin cancer, so use sunscreen.

 

Spreading Love – One Eyebrow Session at a Time

 

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Meet Ravy Mehroke & Amy Minhas, Owners of Bombay Brow Bar

Written By Ashley Basran

Playing dress up and styling one another’s hair is something that almost every little girl can relate to and it’s something that Ravy Mehroke and her sister, Amy Minhas found themselves doing quite frequently. “We always played together and pretended to own a beauty salon. We knew that when we grew up we would own some type of beauty business,” says Ravy. Fast track to the year 2010 where the sister duo turned their dream into a reality. Yaletown, Vancouver welcomed the first location of Bombay Brow Bar (BBB).

The idea of a brow bar ironically came to mind when Ravy and Amy were waiting for an eyebrow appointment of their own. They witnessed a number of girls waiting patiently to have their brows perfectly shaped. Some left extremely happy while others were just not satisfied. Ravy turned to her sister, Amy and said, “Wouldn’t it be great to go to a place that just focused on eyebrows by people who were passionate and truly cared?” Soon after the sisters had their light bulb moment, a business plan was created. Ravy and Amy worked with amazing mentors like Judy Brooks, Co-Founder of Blo Blow Dry Bar, to help develop their new vision. “Having a mentor is extremely important in business or anything else. It’s so valuable to have someone take you under their wing in an industry that you may not be an expert in,” explains Ravy. The sisters crafted their business plan in a year’s time and designed BBB to make others feel confident, well taken care of and most importantly, loved.

Bombay Brow Bar believes in spreading love to its fantastic customers and all Vancouverites. You may have seen some of the Brow Bar’s drops of love around the city. Ravy and Amy leave a hand written note, a long stem rose and a gift card for a stranger every Friday in Vancouver. With this generously kind act, BBB hopes to brighten up a stranger’s day and remind them that they are loved (what a fabulous movement). The lucky strangers will enjoy an eyebrow session for themselves. During the consultation, the beautician will listen for a preference (tweeze, thread or wax) and give feedback and recommendations. Once the eyebrows have been shaped, the client will then enjoy a peaceful massage with soothing rose gel (I almost fell asleep during my session). Once the massage is complete, the beautician will then apply brow makeup and you will be ready to go back to work, all within 20 minutes!

As the brow bar continues to empower women through beauty with its three locations (in Yaletown, Kitsilano and the Shangri-La Hotel) it also plans to introduce new products and services (from the face up). The BBB Team is excited to help enhance their beautiful clients features with future beauty additions. “We want to grow our beauty brand and want to be recognized as an iconic beauty brand. We have the opportunity to change what people think about beauty,” explains Ravy of the future plans for BBB. Ravy and Amy also want to grow through Canada and the United States. After developing what was once an idea into a functioning business (with multiple locations) Ravy has some valuable advice to offer for those who are pursing to open a business of their own. “Take the time to develop your business plan because this will make you more successful. It’s so important to be able to love what you do and be passionate about it. I’m also a big believer in taking calculated risks,” explains Ravy.

With three locations in Vancouver and plans to expand, there is no doubt in my mind that the Brow Bar’s will be beautifying women for years to come. Thank you to Ravy for providing me with new insight on developing a business from the ground up. It was a pleasure to learn about BBB’s story and we’re extremely excited to have Ravy and Amy as speakers for our NextGen event!

 

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Behind The Brand of Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, BC & Yukon

Amanda CBCF

We are excited to announce that the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region will be the official charity of choice for NextGen! We love how this came across organically as the lovely ladies, Kerrie and April, reached out to the Pink Tank team to connect over coffee. We love spontaneous invitations to connect! In chatting, we found out they will be announcing a new campaign targeted to the younger generation and thought they would be the perfect fit for  our upcoming event which is meant to inspire and mentor the next generation of business leaders. Their Community Relations Specialist, Amanda, will be presenting at NextGen and will be talking a bit about the CBCF and their new campaign. Read on to find out a bit more about Amanda and the woman behind the PR of the charity.

How did you get involved in working for the CBCF?

When I was 16 years old, I lost my mother to breast cancer. She was just 43 years old. Seven years ago my son was born and becoming a mother brought new fears about my health, not getting to see my children grow up and I knew I had to get more involved so I started volunteering with CBCF. I first volunteered as the Run Director, helping to organize the Run for the Cure for three years. Just over three years ago I was offered the position of Community Relations Specialist.

What do you love most about your job?

This is a tough question as I often say I have the best job in the world. I feel extremely grateful that I have a job that allows me to honour my mother every day while at the same time making a difference for myself and others when it comes to breast health knowledge and hopefully helping to create a future where my children won’t have to worry about breast cancer.

Favourite app to use for work?

I love using Instagram

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the life balance that my family and I have been able to maintain and support each other in. We work hard and we play hard.

What advice do you have for the next generation of business ladies?

Find something that you love to do and do it. Everything else feels easier when you love what you do. Life is busy and there is a lot to juggle. I find that I am better able to balance everything because I love what I do so much and my family values that.

Finish these sentences

I love…laughing so hard my stomach hurts the next day.

I am happy when..I am surrounded by family and friends.

Life is…right now, so live it!

My Childhood ambition is…(was) to be a teacher. I was perhaps (a little) bossy and thought this would be a good fit. I also loved sharing what I knew with others.

 

We cannot wait to have Amanda in at our next event to share more about this amazing organization! For details on NextGen, click HERE.