Browsing archives for 'Women I Admire'

CRAVE Chat: Online Money Makers

30 May 2012 | 2 Comments

Last night I participated in a CRAVE Chat, with the theme of Online Money Makers.  (CRAVE is a club of sorts for women entrepreneurs – they have chapters in cities around the world, host regular events for entrepreneurs, and publish the CRAVE guide).

The event was held at RentFrockRepeat, and I was asked to speak along with Lisa Delorme of RentFrockRepeat, and Melanie Minor of Mildred and Doris.  (sidenote: RentFrockRepeat is amazing – you can rent designer dresses for special occasions for a fraction of the cost of buying.  I have a few weddings to attend this fall, and I am SO getting my outfits from RentFrockRepeat.)

Lisa and Melanie shared their experiences as online vendors, and I talked a bit about my career as a web designer, and how e-commerce has changed over the last 5 years or so.  I told the group all about my philosophy with websites (whether they be e-commerce or not) – don’t be a slave to technology.  The tech is the easy part.  When you’re thinking of running an online shop, you have so much to consider (how will you display your products? track inventory? take orders? how will you ship the products? do your reporting and accounting? etc etc). I encourage entrepreneurs to figure out all of those steps, and how they want it to work, and then go out and find the technology that works best for them.  Instead of the other way around – where you feel confined and trapped using some tech solution that doesn’t really fit your needs.

I compiled a list to share with the group of handy resources that entrepreneurs should consider when starting out online.  You can view it here. 

Other highlights of the evening were catching up with home decor and accessory designer/maker Avril Loretti.  I ran into Avril a couple months ago at the One of a Kind Spring show, where I remembered that we actually went to the same high school (small world, huh?).  Avril was literally the poster girl for the One of a Kind show, and her pieces are gorgeous.

I was happy to meet Jen Bulthuis from Fidoodle – Clara received this set of Fidoodle blocks for her first birthday, and we love them.  It was cool to meet the artist behind those great illustrations.  And now I totally want one of her flip dolls.

And when Kessa Laxton from Patouche introduced herself, I couldn’t help exclaiming “OMG! Patouche! My daughter has one of your bonnet hats and I love it!” (another One of a Kind Spring show score).

I had such a good time last night – thanks CRAVE and RentFrockRepeat for hosting such a great event.

Congratulations Erin!

21 November 2011 | 0 Comments

One of my rad clients, playwright Erin Shields of Groundwater Productions, won a Governor General’s Award for her play If We Were Birds.  Kinnon and I designed the Groundwater website last spring.

I saw If We Were Birds when it premiered at the SummerWorks Festival in 2008 (it then went on to a critically-acclaimed production at Tarragon Theatre in 2010). It was amazing. Congratulations Erin – you deserve it.

Women I Admire: Jenny

30 June 2011 | 1 Comment

I met Jenny in the first week of University, when we “discovered” each other in an Intro to Philosophy class.  We realized we were both in the Theatre program, and we both quite liked movies with Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient was quite popular at the time). That’s all it took to form a fast friendship that has lasted over 10 years.

Jenny has a crazy wonderful sense of style, and can make any outfit look fantastic.  She’s equally comfortable sipping champagne at the Waldorf Astoria in a sequin dress, or having a beer on the couch, watching the football game.  Jenny has a huge heart and is very giving and kind.  I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t love her immediately.

Tomorrow is Jenny’s birthday, so she’s in Montreal celebrating.  I’ll be at the cottage, but I’ll be sure to have a glass of wine while swinging in the hammock, in Jenny’s honour (she loves that hammock).

Happy Birthday Jenny, and Happy Canada Day everyone!  Hope you all have a great long weekend.

[Photo of Jenny and I at the Blind Tiger in the West Village.  We’re badass.]

Women I Admire: Jenna

5 May 2011 | 2 Comments

Whoa, I just realized that I haven’t done a “women I admire” post in a loooooong time.  And I have no excuse – it’s not like there’s a lack of amazing women in my life.  Anyway, this one’s all about Jenna.

Jenna is my pal who is super rad.  She’s trendy like a hipster, but not annoying like hipsters can be.  She’s way fashionable and has impeccable taste – check out her blog for proof of that. Jenna is always polished, gracious, and knows her manners, which I really like.  She spends her free time studying French, because she and her husband Dan are taking a year off and moving to Lyon, France next January.  How cool is that?

[photo above of Jenna at Bouchon, on our girls’ trip to Vegas]

Life Envy: Rosie Brown

21 July 2010 | 0 Comments

I’m having a serious case of life envy right now.  No, not in the Single White Female kind of way – more in line with admiration and inspiration.  It’s all for Rosie Brown, a Scottish designer and stylist.  I read about her on Design*Sponge in 3 different posts (which also define why I think she’s the coolest and kind of want her life):

1. Sneak Peak into Rosie Brown’s gorgeous home in Edinburgh

2. Sneak Peak into Rosie Brown’s gorgeous home in rural Scotland, where they moved to after leaving Edinburgh

3. A recent feature on Papa Stour, an online shop run by Brown, featuring the best of Scottish contemporary design.  Just look at these awesome Scottish items. I love the posters with taglines from Scottish treats, like “Taking Over Teatime” from Tunnock’s Teacakes.  Or “It’s the National Treat” from Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers.

Oh, and while perusing the Papa Stour website, I noticed this – they’re renting out their holiday cottage in the Highlands.  I’ve seen this cottage before – I keep coming across it when I’m daydreaming of trips to Scotland.  Could this be a sign?  Am I supposed to rent this cottage in Scotland?  I just might have to…

Kinnon’s in Uppercase!

5 July 2010 | 1 Comment

My good pal and Sidesaddle Creative business partner, Kinnon Elliott, was featured in the just-released Summer 2010 issue of Uppercase Magazine.  Uppercase is a gorgeous, award-winning, proudly Canadian magazine about design, illustration, and a bunch of other creative stuff.  Kinnon participated in a call for submissions – artists were asked to draw their workspace.  Although it has a small circulation, Uppercase Magazine is known and respected in our industry.  I hope a bajillion people see Kinnon’s work and want to hire her!

To see a larger version of Kinnon’s illustration, click here.

Women I Admire: Cynthia

11 May 2010 | 0 Comments

I first met Cynthia Martyn when I hired her to be my wedding planner in 2006.  As I worked with her on my wedding details, I learned that she was the director of the Toronto branch of Ladies Who Launch, a business networking group for women.  This was around the time I was thinking of leaving my job and starting my own business, and I was inspired by Cynthia.  It’s because of her that I joined Ladies Who Launch, which was (and continues to be) so helpful for me.

Cynthia never rests on her laurels.  As if building a wildly successful event planning business wasn’t enough, she recently opened Sash and Bustle – a bridal boutique selling gorgeous gowns from hard-to-find designers.  Cynthia has impeccable taste and design savvy – I often read her blog and find it inspiring for my own design work.

Awesome design by an awesome lady: Kelly

20 April 2010 | 0 Comments

Kelly Hogan is awesome.  Smart, fun, and stylish too. Kelly runs a design studio called Freshly Hatched, and she makes gorgeous websites and business identities.  I met Kelly through Ladies Who Launch (where I met Stephanie too) and I have often relied on her for advice.  She’s kind of like my web-design-big-sister.  I admire and respect Kelly a lot, and hope my little one-lady design studio can one day be as successful as hers.

Get a Tune Up

16 April 2010 | 1 Comment

I sit in front of a glowing box (aka – my computer, which I refer to as “the hot snot” – but that’s a story for another time) for hours and hours at a time.  And that eventually takes its toll on my neck, back, shoulders, and forearms.  I love my regular Pilates, which usually works out the kinks… but every once and a while, I need a serious tune up.

So I go see Michelle Yee, aka The Soft Mechanic.  Michelle is an amazing Registered Massage Therapist, and she works out of her home, which is in my neighbourhood.  So I can just walk over, which I love.

Michelle is so friendly and lovely.  And she has a great mix on her iPod of Feist, Ryan Adams, and Great Lake Swimmers, which she plays during my massage.  Because that “spa music” with the birds and classical music is SO overrated.

Women I Admire: Stephanie

15 April 2010 | 1 Comment

I met Stephanie Daga a couple years ago in a Ladies Who Launch incubator session.  Back then, she was a bit shy and timid about her makeup services company, BlushPretty.  Well, things have changed for Stephanie!  In less than two years, she’s built a small empire.  Stephanie’s grown the company to include 8 team members, a very active website/blog, regular “Beauty Board” events, an online store, and many appearances in local print media and on TV.  Oh yeah, and in the middle of all this, she still finds time to raise her two kids and dog, and also makes her own lip balm by hand in her kitchen.

I am impressed and inspired by Stephanie’s ambition and drive!

Stephanie did my hair and makeup for my sister’s wedding last summer.  And just look how well that turned out!  =)