MWSE BLOG

I Should Feel One Way But I'm Guilty For Feeling the Opposite

As I sit here typing this, I’m 17 weeks pregnant. I can feel this little bean moving around now and my husband has felt her/him kick twice. My breasts are bigger and tender. I’m still nauseous and eating is a struggle to keep the food down. I’m emotional and weep at most movies, regardless of the genre. I have a small bump but really, it’s mostly a layer of fat from winter hibernation. The reality that I am pregnant after four recurrent losses should excite me. I’m FINALLY pregnant! I should be ectatic! But I have a confession: I’m not excited. I’m scared senseless.

 Pregnancy #6: 14 weeks here and the night before my husband and I both felt baby kick! 

Pregnancy #6: 14 weeks here and the night before my husband and I both felt baby kick! 

For a long time, I thought I needed a second child to complete my family. The primitive and physiological desire for a baby overrode my logical mind. I had to have two kids and they had to be no more than three years apart and boy, did I try to make that happen! The need consumed me for almost five years and like I’ve mentioned previously in other posts, 2017 was full of loss and grief but also of acceptance and peace. A second child no longer holds the same weight it once did. A second child doesn’t feel necessary anymore. And I feel incredibly guilty for saying that.

 

Just because I wanted this doesn’t mean it won’t be hard

We have a good life as a family of three. We all sleep through the night, our daughter is toilet trained and she can independently play without me worrying what she’s getting into. She goes to daycare two days a week so I can work and write and clean without distraction. We can travel without hassle and she can communicate her needs and frustrations. We have our routine and our life and it’s perfectly imperfect for us. This new baby will change everything!

I’m scared of losing my autonomy as a person, as a woman. I’m afraid this baby will be a nightmare baby; one of the ones that are colicky and don’t sleep and grow into wild, difficult toddlers (re: the opposite of our daughter!). I’m afraid of the toll sleepless nights will take on my marriage. I can confidently say I’m a horrible person when I’m tired. Exhaustion seems to be the one common thing other moms are telling me about the transition to two kids.

 The early days when I believed even having one child would ruin my life because I'd be the worst mother ever. I think we're doing okay though. 

The early days when I believed even having one child would ruin my life because I'd be the worst mother ever. I think we're doing okay though. 

I’m scared I won’t have time for my business, Potions, or my non-profit, The Family Fertility Fund of Saskatchewan. More, I’m worried I’ll no longer make time to fulfill my dream of becoming an author and that the book I’ve been working on for months now will fall to the back burner among the other things that will become neglected: exercise, self-care, showering and probably laughter.

I’m scared I won’t be able to manage my priorities and I’ll become that person who loves the “I’m too busy” or “I’m too tired” excuse. I worry that the things that are important to me as a woman now will become obsolete as I try to keep a newborn alive while simultaneously taking care of my daughter, husband, two businesses and home. And my dreams? What dreams? I've always wanted to be a writer but put those dreams on hold because of my fears and beliefs that I was inadequate. Now that I'm facing those fears and writing anyways, I'm scared to lose the momentum and that those old beliefs of not being good enough will resurface.

I’ve met countless women who, when asked who they are, automatically start with “I’m a mother of two, (name) is (age) and (name) is (age).” I’m afraid I’ll become her: the one who identifies solely as a mother and who has forgotten who the woman underneath is. The mother who believes she isn’t worthy of a quiet bubble bath. The mother who gives so much of herself, selflessly, that she doesn’t feel like there’s time or money or even the energy to invest in herself. I’m scared I’ll lose the person I’ve grown into. I’m scared it’ll take me years to find her again once the second baby is in school. I can’t imagine 3-5 years of just “momming.” Being a mother is an amazing gift and one I am blessed to have received but I don't want to lose myself in the vomit, poopy diapers and haze of exhaustion. I'm horrible for it, I know. 

I wanted another baby with such a desperation and hope that I looked crazy to those not involved in the infertility community. I wanted this! But I’m so scared. And I’m not sure if that’s normal because I’ve been too ashamed of these feelings to ask fellow mothers (of 2+ kids) their opinions.

Amidst all of this swirling anguish and worry, deep down I know I’m speaking from a place of fear. I know once this little rainbow baby is in my arms, I will fall madly in love and all previous doubts will vanish. I will probably willingly accept the sleepless nights and constant sleep interruptions. I know the primitive side of me will awaken and I will just know what to do and how to do it and I’ll mostly do it with love as my motivation. I know my husband and I will argue and fight and probably sleep separately for a long time and I’m sure there will be some nights when it’s welcomed.

 Our family of three on vacation to Vancouver Island in June 2017. Vacations will be on pause for awhile but I hope we can take both kids back out west to enjoy!

Our family of three on vacation to Vancouver Island in June 2017. Vacations will be on pause for awhile but I hope we can take both kids back out west to enjoy!

I know this baby will complete our family; probably in a way I can’t even comprehend right now. She or he will be a delight some days, a nightmare on others. And somehow, I know we will all survive these next few years. I hope my tribe will remind me that underneath the messy hair, vomit and soaked breast pads, there’s still a woman in there. She’s just busy right now trying to raise her family but she’s there. She’ll emerge eventually. My time will come to focus on me. My dreams will just be on hold, not crushed as I’m imagining now, as I try to raise the best children I can for my community and planet.

I’ll probably worry and continue to feel scared for these huge life changes coming our way. In the meantime, I’ll be shopping for better breast pads and sleep training books. Wish me luck!

A Modern Wedding: Lovestruck Favourites

 Photo Credit- Lovestruck Portraits

Photo Credit- Lovestruck Portraits

We are very excited to present one of our sponsors this year, Lovestruck Portraits. Even though the company has only been around about two years, it's founder Chelsea Cameron has had her roots in the Saskatoon wedding market for over a decade. You may have heard of this company as Chelsea recently won an international wedding photography award. Her image became part of Wedaward’s collection 28, an award where thousands of photographers submitted their work from around the world. Lovestruck was also named runner up in the 2017 Planet S “Best of Saskatoon” under professional photographer. Chelsea isn’t just an amazing photographer, she is a mom, coffee lover, painter, ballet dancer and enjoys horseback riding in her free time.

 

Chelsea has had the photography bug since she was a little girl. When she was about 6 years old she received her first camera, it was small, orange and came from a McDonalds happy meal. Cut to a few years later and an upgraded camera she second shot weddings for a local photographer at age 16. Since then she’s done some traveling, shooting weddings in Jamaica, Oklahoma, Canmore, and various other Canadian cities. Now with over 200 weddings under her belt as a photographer and occasional event coordinator there isn’t much she hasn’t seen. You can check out her work at: www.lovestruckportraits.com and view some of our favourites throughout this blog!

 
 

With all Chelsea has done in the wedding industry she most certainly has a few favored vendors that she’s had the pleasure to work with. One of those vendors is also a sponsor of The Modern Woman Show- Hub City Rentals. They help create stunning displays and weddings for companies and brides all over Saskatoon. They have been in business for over 70 years, providing rentals, graphic design and so much more. If there is something you need there’s a good chance they will have it. They have a wide selection of furniture, wall drapes, audio and visual setups, and can accommodate for various cultural events. They are incredibly accommodating with all aspects of their business and work to make sure that everything is done right.

 
 Hub City Display and Event Rentals

Hub City Display and Event Rentals

 
 
 

We asked Chelsea for a few other top picks of the wedding industry and here's what she had to say...

Black Fox Distillery. They have some of the most beautiful flowers and make bouquets year round, going so far as to arranging a corn husk bouquet for a winter wedding. One of the coolest things they do is open their doors a few times a year and have various festivals. Their pumpkin festival is a personal favorite filled with various pumpkin related activities and some of the most delicious pumpkin soup.

Cakes by Jen, hands down has to be one of the best bakers in the city. She is affordable and makes genuine works of art with every cake. If you have an idea for a cake you’d like made Jen will work with you to make it more than just an idea.

W Bridal is one of those places that truly cares about their customers, regardless of who they are, by far one of the best things about them is their variety of styles that come in all shapes and sizes.

Whiskey and Wildflowers is another newcomer to the wedding industry, but that doesn’t mean Kyle Burgess doesn’t have an eye for the craft and a talent in filmography. Kyle and Chelsea have worked many weddings together and cannot say a bad thing about the experience.

 
 

Final words of wisdom… Chelsea has a few things to mention to help make your wedding day just a little bit easier:

“Don’t sweat the small stuff, it’s a cliché, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Enjoy the day for what is going right, don’t hate it for what went wrong”

“Be sure to have someone act as a “gofer”, not the animal but have someone whose job it is to go and run for anything you might need, the less running around you have to do the better”

“Keep food in the limo, those snacks will come in handy when you are driving to locations and you need that little something to keep you going”

“Always have a comfortable pair of shoes on you, especially for that first dance. Your feet will thank you”

 

Come visit Chelsea and Lovestruck Portraits at The Modern Woman Show where they will be acting as the official photographers of the show. Stop by her booth to enter her draw and book a session for yourself.

 
 

HAVE YOU LOVED YOU TODAY?

It’s the day of love.

A day when the world tells you to appreciate your significant other by buying them a red rose, a piece of jewelry, and making a reso at a nice restaurant.  I love jewelry, flowers, and good food so by no means is this blog post about the commercialization of Valentine’s Day.  This post is more about the things I have seen over the course of my almost 34 years.  I came across a Facebook status yesterday that struck a chord inside me. It read “No Longer Looking”. It wasn’t that this person had found love but instead felt frustrated that they simply couldn’t, felt deflated, and wanted to give up.  I want to tell the world that the only person you need to love is yourself and here is why-

My opinion varies on the subject.  It seems to be in human nature and probably a lot to do with the culture we live in that we join hands and walk two by two-before you get too old or you are deemed faulty.  If you reflect on past generations we have certainly come a long way from marrying within your postal code and not skipping a beat to start your family. Today, there seems to be less pressure to marry in your early twenties and jump into the minivan.  I still hear women talk about the time clock, how they wish they could just find the “one”, and have kids.  It’s like the movie Pleasantville.  We are not fulfilled in life if we don’t have the white picket fence, perfect home, and a variety of charger plates for our dinner parties. And look at little Chantal’s view on her future….I was drinking the Kool-Aid.

 My 10 year old self predicting the future...

My 10 year old self predicting the future...

Well it’s safe to say that my path didn’t quite end up with a cargo van of kids, a multi profession career, or the horses. I blame the Hasbro game “Life” …if you took the college route you made bank, throw in a few of those extra pegs and you were set to WIN.  Now, the storybook of my actual life had a bit of college, some travelling, and a variety of relationships including a short marriage. Far cry from the routine pathway I took in my favourite board game. 

What the game of life also didn’t teach me was it isn't as easy as falling on the space that said GET MARRIED- then place your appropriate gender colored peg in your car.  It was much more difficult.  I had a theme for over a decade- it was simply to pick the wrong guys. It has taken quite a few years to figure out the common link to each of them and in all my reflecting it was the lack of self-love. People simply have to be happy with themselves to be happy with another person.  I was also to blame because, staying or picking these types of men in my life was normal and I made it acceptable to be treated that way.  I lacked the love for myself. There was everything from mental abuse, alcoholism, dishonesty, manipulation, infidelity, oh the list goes on… over years I became a shell of a person. It was completely normal for someone to treat me with complete disrespect.  It became all I knew.  Even when I would end a bad relationship I seemed destined to arrive at another one.

I took a stand one day.  Told everyone around me that I was not interested in dating ever again. I was over it.  No one could be trusted.  I wasn’t willing to have my heart ripped out of my chest anymore.  Maybe it’s with age I started to learn who I was and that I refused to be mistreated.  By no means would I say that I have the world of relationships figured out but, I started to feel more confident and secure when expecting to be treated a certain way.  I wasn’t going to stay silent and just live with it.  I used to be so scared to stand up for my feelings. Fear that the other person would judge me and maybe they would walk away- be the one to leave me!  In the end…isn’t that better? To figure out that you’re not each other’s person before another 3 years goes by.  ‘Fake it till ya make it’ doesn’t work in matters of the heart.

When I look at all the people that surround my life I can directly pin point the ones in relationships that I believe are great examples-relationship mentors.  These individuals love themselves (not in a selfish, I only put my needs first kind of way) but in a I respect myself enough to choose a partner in life that treats me the way I demand to be treated and I also show that same respect back to my person.  I watch some relationships from afar and just think...if only you knew that you don’t deserve to live like that.  People had looked at me and I can guarantee they said the same thing. 

So in closing I want to reiterate that no one should ever feel like their life is behind because they haven’t found their person, started that family, with horses, on that acreage.  You will stumble, question your gut, then your heart, then your gut again.  You will curse the game.  But get back in that car and enjoy the ride.  Learn from your mistakes, no really….actually learn from them.  Recognize the red flags and the green ones too. 

So on this day of LOVE, I want to ask you...have you loved YOU today?

Chantal XOXO

The Fabulously Unfit Girl's Guide To Health & Wellness: let's talk.

Let's talk about something extremely personal. 

 

Something almost everyone who knows me is surprised to learn I have Bi-Polar disorder. And not just a little bit. I have full blown Bi-Polar 1 disorder and have my whole life - and although I was diagnosed at 18, I was never fully and properly treated or made to understand what I was dealing with until my late 20s. I have a family doctor, a psychiatrist, an ObGyn, and a maternal psychiatric specialist that are all fortunate enough to have me as a patient. Ha. I take 3-4 different medications daily, some twice a day, and I will have to for the rest of my life. 

 

Some people will suggest that you can control an illness like mine with breathing exercises, physical activity, diet, or yoga and green tea. Those people are wrong. They are ignorant and need to get informed. In short, until they decide to hit up a library, they can go f**k themselves.

 

People also assume that being bipolar means simply that you have mood swings. Nope. Wrong. In the simplest way I can explain it, it's like you are either in the deepest depression or high as a kite. And I don't mean sad or happy, although those are emotions that can come into play. I'm talking about crippling depression that will keep you in bed for days, so anxious you can't breathe, angry, sad, and desperate. I'm talking about highs so extreme that people will think they are invincible, not sleep for a week, spend money on ridiculous things, choose terrible partners, and take on far too many tasks. Being in a manic (high) cycle can make you feel magic - but like my psychiatrist says, magic comes at a price. Long story short - what goes up, must come down. And when it does, it's a not a gentle landing. 

 

Let me tell you a story... 

 

Last winter I experienced one of the worst lows of my life. It went and on and on and got worse and worse. I would get up every day, get dressed and put my makeup on, and go to work with a big smile for each of my clients like everything was fine. Everything wasn't fine, I felt like I was drowning. I was functioning but only as an empty shell - like a puppet. I would come home and take out my frustration on my husband, I didn't want to engage in any social activities, I was confused and angry all the time. 

 

After my household was asleep I would get up about 3:30am every night and have such an intense anxiety attack that I would often throw up and sit crying on my bathroom floor. My best friend Ted was always by my side... for anyone who doesn't know Ted, he's a big, adorable rescue mutt that I got just in time to save his life from being shot, after living the saddest life a dog could live. And yet, time and again, I wonder who has really saved who? 

 

Finally, one night or early morning, my husband woke up to find Ted and I on the bathroom floor. He knew this had been happening but hadn't seen it for himself to fully understand where I was at. 

 

The next day he told me he wanted to put me in the hospital. My mind raced... what would people say?... this would be on my medical records... my career would never be the same... people will lose all kinds of respect for me... I simply said "If you do that, I will never, ever forgive you."

 

To which he replied, "Well I will never, ever forgive myself if I come home to a dead wife."

 

Never had I considered suicide. Let me be clear about that. I am WAY too stubborn for that. Ha. But the fact that my husband saw that as an end game for what was happening was like a cold shower. The jig was up, I couldn't live like that anymore. My meds had stopped working, I hated my psychiatrist, and I was sick. Plain and simple. 

 

Luckily (very, very luckily), I had access to someone who manages a psychiatrist's office who had always spoken so highly of the doctor she works for. She is a beautiful person and so very compassionate. I swallowed my pride and explained what was going on and asked for help. I saw him within a week. He tweaked my diagnosis, changed my meds, added some new ones, and focused on the holistic things I could do to help myself. He actually listened to me. He asked my husband to attend my appointment to understand the illness. Nobody had ever done that before. Most importantly, he didn't talk down to me. 

 

Let's get something straight. Somebody can have all the degrees in the world but nobody is an expert on a mental illness like the person who has it. Trust me on that. 

 

Flash forward to 2017 and a year of new treatment and a good doctor. I feel really good. I can't say great because I don't think I ever feel totally great. It's something I still deal with everyday and always will. But I'm happy, I'm social, I'm lucky to have a job (correction, jobS) that I love. I try to put effort, research, humour, and kindness into everything I do. I appreciate the life I've been given and I try my best to take care of myself. 

 

I love my husband and I am nice to him... Most of the time. Ha. JK, he's seriously the best. 

 

... And Ted is still my best friend. 

 Photo by Leslie Kent.

Photo by Leslie Kent.

 Photo by Leslie Kent.

Photo by Leslie Kent.

 

This blog series is about health and wellness. Mental health still has a huge stigma around it, and until we can accept these illnesses just like any other that needs to be diagnosed and treated, people will continue to suffer. Not everyone is as stubborn as me, not everyone is so stubborn that they refuse to let an illness beat them. Not everyone has an amazing husband, friends, family, and dogs that are by your side the second they sense something is wrong. 

 

People without support systems will continue to live in poverty, battle addictions, resort to crime, and alienate their loved ones. People will continue to fill our hospitals, jails, and shelters. People will also appear to live completely normal lives, but come home and suffer in silence. 

 

Open your minds, open your ears, and get informed. You might just be the person to help someone who is struggling. 

 

If you or anyone you know feel that you need help, ask for help. As Canadians, we have access to health care. Use it. It's there for you. 

 

Take care of yourselves and love each other. 

 

Katie

Xoxo

#bellletstalk

 January 25, 2017 is the Bell Let's Talk day of mental health awareness that raises money for mental health initiatives. Talk, text, or use social media and let the world know your story. 

January 25, 2017 is the Bell Let's Talk day of mental health awareness that raises money for mental health initiatives. Talk, text, or use social media and let the world know your story. 

 



 

You CAN sit with us.

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Uh. That sinking feeling. A bit of anxiety. Knots in your stomach. The feeling of a little (sometimes a lot of) DEFLATION. And the innate desire to "squash them". 

What is it that I'm referring to? A new store has opened. A new product has launched. A direct competition. Your competition. Dang it. What does this mean for you? What will you need to change or improve to win the consumer's business. How do you keep your edge???? 

Being an entrepreneur is hard. Holy H E double hockey sticks. Competition is frightening but it is truly necessary and I want to share with you why -

"Competition is a good thing, It forces us to do our best.

-Nancy Pearcey

Change the way you think about your competition. The reason why you're in business is because you are offering a product or service that people want.  I call these people your tribe. Your tribe isn't just looking at the necklace you're selling but probably has similar values to your company. Maybe your tribe is environmentally conscious and the necklaces you make out of recycled materials hits them in the sweet spot. It is no longer just about a necklace. Boom you have built a relationship. Your relationship with your tribe is more important than anything else. Your competition most likely has their own values and it's not that often that they lineup exactly

I have a few examples of this in my world of business. I wear a lot of hats - from the world of managing cosmetic laser clinics to tradeshow producer to hotel owner. They are very different but one thing remains the same - I know my tribes and I value my relationships with clientele in each of them. I provide the best service I can in each industry and never trade my reputation for money

So what happens when your competition starts "biting your shit"? Imitation is flattery. It also pushes you to continue to be innovative. This is why you're an entrepreneur!! You are most likely a go-getter. A stagnant business is a closed business. Find your niche. Grow it like only you can. Recently I received a colorful review from a competitor. It was broadcast for all to see that they felt I had "copied" their business model. The truth was that I might sell a similar service but my values, integrity, ability to be innovative is what sets me apart. Also....to anyone who thinks writing poor reviews on your competitions social media site is valuable you should just stop reading this and basically take a hike. 

Understand that some competition isn't actually competition at all. You may be able to form some pretty sweet partnerships. A key example of this is my relationship with Michelle Strawford from Regina's What Women Want Tradeshow. She produces a successful tradeshow for women, she is well respected (this chick has INTEGRITY), and is always innovative. When asked by businesses what other shows I think they should be apart of I will always suggest hers because I value our relationship more than money. We have created a partnership through this and we are actually vendors in each others show's. Look for those opportunities. 

One upping is a waste of your time. March to the beat of your own drum. It is good to know what your competition is doing but you don't have to obsess over it. We get phone calls at our clinics inquiring all the time about our pricing, asking questions that only very very knowledgeable (within our field) people would ask and with the power of call display shows that they are coming from the phones of our competitors. Again FLATTERY.... but stop yourself from feeling like you have to play a game. Price wars are also a race to the bottom not the top. You may lose a few customers but in the long run you gain the business by educating your tribe. Creating the trust. Building the relationship.

Now, when you see another coffee shop open down the street - don't devise ways to burn it down. Grab a few slices of your grandma's famous lemon cake (don't give them the recipe but maybe see if you can become their supplier) and welcome them to the block. 

Chantal 

For those of you that want to join our Modern Woman "Tribe" we would love to have you! Our tradeshow takes place April 22nd & 23rd at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, SK. We focus on promoting women in business throughout the year, we offer mentor-ship opportunities with experienced #GIRLBOSSES, complimentary social media reputation seminars, and a plethora of add-ons to capture the essence of your business and make you stand out to your target audience. Click Here to learn more about being a vendor and HERE to apply for Our Modern Hustle Mentorship Opportunity. See you all very soon ;)

 

Here We Go! Welcome to the 2017 Modern Woman Show

Oh, how i love the holidays! It's a time where we feel the delight in giving - offering love and togetherness and of course, a few beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree.  Some of the most recurring themes of the holidays include family gatherings, overloading on food & beverages, and certainly feeling the fury of crowded malls. It is also a theme among us at Modern Woman that a New Year and SHOW is upon us.

When the team at Modern Woman started to plan the 2017 'season' (back in July....)we wanted to focus on the continued development of the show encompassing our forever motto -"inspire strong, confident women with an appetite for adventure and a passion for life." We have brought back the anticipated spring fashion show, with increased seating for those that were not able to snag a ticket. Our partnerships with local businesses has flourished to include a mentorship opportunity for one lucky winner - Click here for details on Our Modern Hustle.

In keeping with our values as supportive women entrepreneurs, we added new areas to the event including The Marketplace & Learn n' Shop. Local crafters and artisans have a farmer's market style area in the middle of our busy trade-show to showcase the intricate items that they are so passionate to share with us. The Learn n' Shop has already become such a success with interactive class options within the event. *SPOILER ALERT* We are tickled pink about having Paint Nite, Lead Pilates, and Ryde YXE among just a few of the classes that will be offered. New and exciting opportunities for businesses and attendees will continue rolling out over the course of the next couple months. 

As you may have noticed our website and blog has also seen a makeover in the last week.  I'm so excited to have our bloggers write some more 'hot topic' posts, focusing on issues that not only effect each of our personal lives, but often hit the hearts and homes of people in our community.  We will be featuring themed posts in series including The Fabulously Unfit Girl's Guide To Health & Wellness, I'm a Modern Woman - a look at local women entrepreneurs, and we will be sure to keep you updated on all thing Modern Woman.

From all of us at The Modern Woman - may the season find you among those you love, sharing in generosity and gratitude. We hope to see you in April!

Chantal xoxo

Diversity on the Runway

 

With the Modern Woman Show fast approaching, one of the biggest tasks as the fashion show coordinator is choosing the models that will be showing the clothing on the runway. Their job is to look great, that goes without saying - they're models... duh, but ultimately it is to represent the vendor's merchandise and make it appealing to the audience. But then the question becomes, what makes something appealing?

So often following any fashion show I work at or attend, I hear "The clothes look great on those models, but they sure wouldn't look like that on me!" That is almost verbatim. Every. Single. Time.

The thing is, while clothing on a parade of similar looking people can make a beautiful, artistic statement for haute couture shows, this particular show is about everyday people that shop with our local merchants. In our community, that means a melting pot of ethnicities, body types, and lifestyles. Aiming to have some diversity on the runway allows the audience to perhaps see themselves reflected in the show, feel more confident trying on the clothes, embracing the newest trends, and ultimately supporting those local merchants.

The goal is to show attainable fashion. That means no matter the colour of your skin, what your story is, your age, what gender you are, if you are thin, short, curvy or tall - you can come to the show and feel like you saw something on the runway that you can wear.

This year we welcome several new vendors that really put a new twist on the diversity of the show in terms of the clientele it reaches. We have FIVEAM, our first menswear retailer; Kiowa Sage - a local First Nations designer; and Red Lotus - a boutique that specializes in garments geared toward women who have undergone mastectomies.

A term thrown around loosely is "body positivity", but people assume that means loving yourself only at a certain size or weight. WRONG! It means accepting and loving yourself (and others) no matter what beef they have with themselves... and trust me, we all have them.

We have 30 (30!) models walking in this year's show, and not one of them look alike. I asked a few of them to weigh in with their feelings on runway diversity and here is what they had to say:

 

Mandy

"The only Webster's definition of 'model' that denotes a size requirement is when referring to a miniature replica. Since no one can essentially be a miniature replica in the fashion world, I'm ecstatic to see the industry finally embracing models of all shapes, sizes & colours. The focus should be more on projecting the image of healthy confidence rather than a particular body type to aspire to. Thin, curvy, tall, short - it's all beautiful."

 

Anton

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but true beauty is within all of us no matter your race, gender or shape. We are all beautiful and it is confidence that will make us shine. To quote Dr. Seuss 'Be who you are and say what you mean. Because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind!' At the end of the day we all smile in the same language.”

 

Shyla-300x202.jpg

Shyla

"Runway fashion is a visual picture of a moving art form. It holds many titles and is always presents the top fashion trends. Body imagery and its uniqueness plays an important role. I believe runway should take further steps to embrace ALL body types to create solidarity among designers."

Siera

"Bodies are beautiful no matter what shape and size. We are made to believe that smaller is better and we become obsessed with looking a certain way rather than treating the body like the magnificent biological machine it is. We need to turn our focus to optimal performance rather than fitting a particular mould. We are all unique and that should be represented in the media as well as on the runway."

 

Jeanny

"Diversity in fashion is essential and it starts by educating men and women that beauty comes in different shapes, colours, and sizes. This allows the younger generation to be empowered as they see more "relatable" role models on the runway. One day I will look back on this day holding onto my daughter's hand when she tells me 'Mom, you have done it, so can I!'"

 

Ashley

"When Katie first asked me to take part in this fashion show, my immediate response was 'How cool!' Followed by utter dread. As the date draws nearer to the show, I've actually realized how freaking cool it will be to be a model of a different demographic that people can look at and identify with. I feel like on this stage if I can make even one person in the crowd feel like 'Hey I could wear that too!' then that is worth the experience itself!"

As you can see, these models are just like you and me. They are you and me.

My personal advice? Take care of your body and mind and the rest will come. It's just that simple.

I can't wait for this year's show and see all of our beautiful faces and vendors light up the runway! Come out to the show and share our good vibes!

XOXO,

Katie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure to grab your friends and take in the Runway Fashion Show hosted by Chantel Huber at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 16th at Prairieland Park. See the newest trends in fashion with 11 boutiques including, Swank Shoe Lounge, Era Style Loft, Details at Home, Kiowa Sage, Harper Clothing Co., Tonic, Red Lotus, Lead Pilates, Two Fifty Two Boutique, Bella Chic, and FIVEAM. Come early to grab seats, win some fabulous prizes, and of course...get a head start on all the shopping at the Modern Woman Show & Expo. General Tickets are available at the door for $10. This event is proud to support the YWCA Saskatoon.

Meet our Partner: Realty Executives Saskatoon

 

 

With a new season approaching it always feels like the right time to think about home renovations, spring cleaning, planning out what you will do with your yard this year...or in fact look for a new or existing home to purchase.  In preparation for the big event we caught up with Broker/Owner of Realty Executives Saskatoon, Wayne Zuk, to talk about the brokerage, what inspires him, and what tips he has for female entrepreneurs.  Realty Executives Saskatoon is the Presenting Sponsor of The Modern Woman Show and the agents are truly - Where the experts are.

Tell us about your business?

Our business is a full service real estate brokerage offering Residential, Commercial, and Farm real estate services. We have 115 licensed real estate Executives, plus an admin staff of 10. In 2015 we were involved in 2200 real estate transactions with a volume of just over 780 million dollars.

 How did you get started?

We started out in 1976 under the brand name Ashford Realty. Ashford was a subsidiary of the Alberta based Nu-West Development Corporation, and a sister company to a prominent home builder called Cairns Homes.

 What inspires you?

I'm inspired by watching adults help children. I'm inspired by health care workers who work with our seniors. I'm inspired by watching young people achieve personal and professional goals beyond their wildest dreams.

 What is your idea of a Modern Woman?

My mother was born in 1921. Her focus was to get married, and have a family, and look after that household - which at the time was a Time and a Half job. Then, once her 5 children were old enough, she thought about work outside the family home. Very little thought or time was dedicated to herself. The idea of a Modern Woman, in my opinion, is different. The first focus, in most cases, is to get an education, travel the world, build a career, and then think about a family, which also amounts to a Job and a Half.  I think the Modern Woman is more in tune with looking after herself, and dealing with the stress of the Life/Work/Family Balance in a more effective way. In the end....it still amounts to ALOT of HARD, HARD, work.

 What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring female entrepreneur?

Take More Risk--what would you do...if you knew you couldn't fail--Do IT!   Learn how to maximize the opportunities that present themselves.----Learn to listen to your intuition.

 Do you have a female entrepreneur mentor?

I really admire the business acumen of Arlene Dickinson, and recently had the opportunity to listen to Christine Magee, co-founder of Sleep Country--both have compelling success stories. Women in business should be inspired by these ladies.

Do you think there is a supportive network for women entrepreneurs in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan?

I think there is room to grow in this area--and the efforts of events like Modern Woman can go a long way to ensuring that future female entrepreneurs have the plan, have the support, and have the mentoring necessary. Continued SUCCESS!

 

Visit the Realty Executive Saskatoon booth at the Modern Woman Show on April 16th & 17th at Prairieland Park. Learn what a REX agent can do for your buying and selling needs. You can also see a few of the agents on the Runway with FIVEAM clothing at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday April 16th. Don't miss it!

LEADING the way in Saskatoon: Our introduction into Pilates

 

What is Pilates?

The art of controlled movement to improve flexibility, build strength, and develop endurance in the entire body. It places emphasis on alignment, breathing, and developing a strong core, improving coordination and balance.

Now what is Lead Pilates?

Take all the fundamentals of Pilates and then place them in a facility with amazing instructors, advanced technology and equipment. Now add a wide range of services that include innovative classes to the ability of having Integrated Health Therapies such as Massage, Chiropractic, and Sports Medicine Services- ALL UNDER ONE ROOF. Oh, and don't forget the amazing exclusive clothing line Alo Clothing.

 

Our Experience

When I had the chance to check out the new Lead Pilates studio, I knew it was something I couldn’t say no to. Having never tried Pilates I was confident that Jocelyn and myself would have the best experience with owner, Jana Danielson guiding us.  Jana had suggested we start our afternoon off in a BURN class… being a lover of hot yoga I felt this was going to be right up my alley.

 

The class was taught by the amazing Desiree, an experienced instructor that teaches a range of classes at the facility.  The room was a perfect summer hot day– not hot like make you drip sweat and wonder how the heck you will get through the next 50 minutes.  They achieve this perfect temperature with infrared heating from the ceiling.

 

Jocelyn and I were supplied with beautiful mats, and when I say beautiful, it was literally the best mat I have ever used.  Desiree was a great instructor, she had a perfect location on the side of the room so we could see her movements and the room was filled with mirrors so we could always make sure our posture was correct in each exercise.

 

The work-out was dynamic and had a great focus on pelvic floor strengthening. From our toes to the top of our heads, the exercises were challenging and fun. When we finished they provided us with wet cloths in the cool down to wipe our brows.

 

After class it was time for a tour of the entire studio. What a wonder! I was in awe at the vision and execution Jana has made. Lead Pilates is not just the large Pilates machines (called Reformers), it has grown into several areas and as Jana says, “With each class we offer there is one foot firmly grounded in the world of Pilates, and one foot in another aspect of fitness.”  This is so true, Lead now offers classes like the one we took - BURN, as well as, Essentrics, and Bodhi Suspension Training – which gives the ability to be suspended from all fours to improve flexibility, balance, and strength.

 

They have great mat classes for all levels and yes, you can learn the Reformer and other Pilates equipment too. The list goes on to include Booty Barre classes, Prenatal, and Mommy & Baby classes.  One class that definitely stood out in my mind was their addition of cycling. This isn’t your regular spin class – everything about your ride is projected onto the screen in front of you, feeling the impact of different terrains, and creating a feeling of being outdoors with their advanced bikes.

 

Leaving the building I felt like I was leaving a new home. Everything about the facility and staff make you want to return sooner than later. I highly recommend trying out a class or two (your first class is always free!). In the words of Lead Pilates - Love the Life you Lead.

Thank you Jana, Des, and all the fabulous Lead Staff for making my experience so great! Can't wait to come back :)

Chantal

 

 

When I was asked to join Chan in a Pilates class I was super excited as I’ve been wanting to try it for quite some time now. I have a few friends that do it religiously and are always chatting it up.  So thanks to a lovely friend for some child care I was able to attend their Friday afternoon BURN class.

 

At first the thought of “hot” roomed anything made me a bit queasy, still having some baby hormones raging. It was amazing! The infrared heat was so cozy and nice.  I was so impressed with the class and the trainer Des was incredible. So knowledgeable and spunky.  This facility exceeded my expectations big time. In my head, I had only pictured mat classes and the reformer boards… It’s SO MUCH MORE!! The cycle classes, the massage and chiro, and a clothing line in the front lobby. This place has it all.  A huge thank you to Jana for having us. What a great experience!

Joc XX

 

Lead Pilates can be found at their new location just off of College Drive & McKercher Drive on the corner of Packham Avenue & 105th St. in Sutherland. Make sure to visit their website for detailed descriptions of all the classes and amenities they offer. Don't miss the complimentary mat class at The Modern Woman Show & Expo at 9:30 a.m. on both Saturday April 16th & Sunday April 17th at Prairieland Park (just bring your own mat!). Lead will be on location all weekend to show you all the services they provide, as well as, they can be seen on the runway at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday April 16th with their amazing multi functional athletic wear.

 

All photos courtesy of deMo Photography

I am a Modern Woman: Meet Modern Sole

Meet Shanna Simon: Owner of Modern Sole Saskatoon

 

Tell us about your business?

Modern Sole in a locally owned and operated boutique located in Stonebridge. We carry a wide selection of quality brand name ladies footwear, handbags and accessories. Our goal is to provide women of Saskatoon with beautiful, unique additions to their shoe closets that are of a high quality and one of a kind pieces -while giving them a comfortable, fashionable atmosphere, and honest shopping experience.

 

How did you get started?

The business process started years ago with a deep love for fashion (specifically footwear) and business. Several years ago a plan was put into motion. The research and decision making process transitioned from paper to real life back in 2015. Both Chad and I come from backgrounds of family businesses. We are so grateful to have the unconditional love and support of our families throughout this process.

What inspires you?

Having the chance to be a part of the evolving Saskatoon fashion world inspires me to be apart of the business community.

 

What is your idea of a Modern Woman?

A Modern Woman is positive, up lifting and supportive to herself and everyone she surrounds herself with. I believe the Modern Woman is confident in herself, her style, and her surroundings.

 

What tips can you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

Never give up. Write your goals down and make a plan to see them through.  Never be afraid to make a decision. You have to wake up everyday and decide to take as many steps as you can to get you closer to achieving your goals.

 

Do you think having a mentor is valuable both while you're starting out and even after you are more experienced?

Having a mentor is so important! If you can find someone in your community and in the field you desire to be apart of even better! Mentor's are people who have taken steps to be successful. Finding one who will support and help you along the way is a valuable piece to your personal success.

 

Do you feel a strong sense of community among business woman and female entrepreneurs in Saskatoon and in Saskatchewan?

The community of business women in Saskatoon are nothing short of amazing. Every lady I have had the pleasure of meeting has been outstanding and supportive!

Check out this amazing store online at Modern Sole or treat yourself to some great shopping in person at 150- 3020 Preston Avenue, Saskatoon. Modern Sole is a GOLD Sponsor at the Modern Woman Show & Expo and will be bringing all their great brands to the event. Make sure to come and meet the team and shop on April 16th & 17th at Prairieland Park.

Interview by Chantal Schulte

 

I am a Modern Woman: Meet Red Lotus

 

Meet Moneca McLean, Owner of Red Lotus

 

Tell us about your business?

Red Lotus brings to Saskatoon and the surrounding area, a stunning European clothing line, post-surgery garments, world leading breast forms and symmetry products, wigs, scarves, hats, yoga/meditation accessories, and giftware.  Although our clothing and products are designed for all women, Red Lotus specializes in women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, women who have had mastectomy, lumpectomy, breast reduction, augmentation surgery, and/or women in transition who require the use of breast forms and symmetry products.

How did you get started?

I worked in healthcare for 8 years prior to going into business.  Through the company’s re-organization, my position was eliminated in 2014.  It was then that I began reflecting on where/what I was going to do moving forward as a career.  During that time of reflection, I set up a criteria for myself that consisted of 3 items:

Whatever I decided to do moving forward, it must be something:

  1. that I feel very passionate about
  2. where I can make a positive difference in the lives of people
  3. that will provide financial stability for my family

From there I started reflecting on my life and experiences and exactly ‘what’ those things could possibly be and Red Lotus very quickly became an idea, then a plan, and now a reality.

What inspires you?

I was inspired to open Red Lotus through my own personal experience of supporting women close to me who required the use of breast forms. Through witnessing their journey, my desire to open a boutique that was warm, tranquil, fun, compassionate and inspiring became my mission. I was determined to provide women the ability to shop in a retail environment where they have access to a beautiful selection of clothing that is fashionable, fun, sexy, and (of course) comfortable!  My goal is to provide women the opportunity to feel confident and leave my shop carrying a higher positive body image!

What is your idea of a Modern Woman?

My idea of a modern woman is a woman who walks to the beat of her own drum, who is confident in who she is and confident in her abilities.  She makes a conscious choice to positively contribute to herself, her family and to her community regardless of career or finances.

What tips can you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

Whatever it is that you decide to do be sure it is something that feeds your passion. If you are wishy-washy in any way don’t do it!  When you are consumed so much that you are never more than 5 minutes between thinking/planning/imagining it – you’re meant to do it! Know that it IS going to happen and do your homework…all of it!

What is one piece of advice you would give yourself looking back?

In those moments of doubt when I was stressed and second guessing my decision to open a business, I would have said to myself, “Relax and Let Go – it’s meant to happen” and it all works out in the end.

What is in the future for Red Lotus?

Red Lotus will continue to establish itself in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan as the only business in the province to offer women the complete Amoena of Germany clothing line, mastectomy/symmetry and meditation/yoga accessories.

What would we find you doing in your free time?

My free time is spent with my family! I have a wonderful partner of 12 years and 3 children; a 26 yr old daughter, a 23 year old son and a 20 year old daughter! They are the loves of my life and spending time with them is always my priority!

Who is someone that you find is a role model for women in business?

A woman who I have always admired is Maya Angelou.  Her personal story of triumph over her diverse and unstable upbringing to becoming one of the most profound women in literature is incredibly inspiring.

Do you think having a mentor is valuable both while you're starting out and even after you are more experienced?

I believe having a mentor before, during, and after you open your business is valuable. I had the support of Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan throughout my process and I continue to access their support and services today.  They are crucial in my success.

Do you feel a strong sense of community among business woman and female entrepreneurs in Saskatoon and in Saskatchewan?

I believe there are avenues for women in business to meet.  As I am early on in my business I have not met these women but plan on increasing my attendance at events, seminars and socials to build my network.

 

Visit the beautiful and serene Red Lotus at #170 –  3020 Preston Ave, Saskatoon. We are proud to have Moneca and her team as a Gold Sponsor at The Modern Woman Show & Expo at Prairieland Park April 16th & 17th. Not only will their experienced and trained staff be there with their products but you can also see their clothing line and jewellery on the runway Saturday April 16th at 7:00 p.m.

 

Interview by Mandi Brown

Photo of Moneca courtesy of deMo Photography

Do Modern Woman Show in style...

 

We say VIP all the way.

 

Starting today you can purchase your VIP tickets to The Modern Woman Show & Expo.

You have two ways to check out the hottest women's tradeshow with all access passes!

On April 16th  at 7:00 p.m. grab a group of friends for some afternoon shopping before taking in “The Runway” Fashion Show hosted by CTV Saskatoon News Anchor Chantel Huber. 11 local boutiques will be lighting up the catwalk to music by DJ Kush, showing us the new trends in women and men’s fashion, shoes and accessories.

Don’t miss out on the appetizers, preferred seating, and ‘Swag Bags’ with the exclusive Runway VIP Pass for $35.

 

 

At 2:00 p.m. on April 17th  spend “An Afternoon with Gretchen Rossi”. Lia Reese Canada is proud to be bringing Gretchen to Saskatoon in an intimate and interactive setting. Gretchen made a considerable impression with her appearances on The Real Housewives of Orange County. She is the founder of Gretchen Christine, with her hands in designing clothing, creating a make-up line, furniture, jewelry, and handbags. This quintessential Orange County fashionista is full of spunk and humor; we guarantee you won’t want to miss meeting her and learning about her journey as an entrepreneur.

The VIP Gretchen Experience is $20 and includes general admission into the tradeshow, preferred seating, and the opportunity to meet Gretchen after her speech!

Don't wait and make sure to get your ticket before they sell out! Visit www.modernwomansaskatoon.com to purchase.

A look at the evolution of the Best Friend

 

What you need in your friendships changes with age, and over time. It starts to look different, but it changes so slowly you really don’t even notice it. A lot has changed for me over the past few years...

I have become very self – aware. I have found out how resilient and adaptable I am. I have allowed myself to be vulnerable and open. All of which is in huge part to the people I surround myself with. My closest friends are my family. They are the people who stand beside me, push me forward, and sometimes…hold me up. They give me the things I need the most, in ways I never expected.

You choose the people you surround yourself with. You decide what you need. We are all human, we all need a few main things from our tribe...

Support.

They drop what they are doing. They check in, as many times as they need to. They listen while you talk. They ask you the tough questions. The ones you know the answers to... somewhere in there, and they let you talk it out and get there on your own. No judgement, only love. They have only your best interest at heart, which means what is best for you, not them. And they will let you figure that out too, as frustrating as that is for them. They hold space. Which is a big, beautiful, and a rare thing.

Encouragement.

They get excited for you. They volunteer their time, hands, space, car, wine...whatever you need for whatever you are doing. They send you “you’ve got this girl” texts, motivational quotes (we all love them, don’t lie), and lists of ideas. And? They get on your ass. To get it done. They tell it to you straight- with love....and sometimes a hard and fast “get real’. They push you. Especially when you don’t want to be pushed. Because they know that’s when you need it the most. They don’t let you coast, because they know you are wayyyyy better than that. And you are. You just need that reminder.

Accountability.

Do yourself a favor. Surround yourself with people who hold you accountable. To your word. Your actions. Your goals. Those people? Those are the ones you want in your corner. They are the ones who not only celebrate with you, but for you. They genuinely celebrate. Like “girl pop the champagne we are dancing on the table” celebrate. Sometimes we put things off, sometimes we are scared to take a step. These are the people who encourage you to DECLARE what you want, what you need, what you will do. And then? They make sure you do it.

Fun.

You laugh till you cry over really stupid things, and that probably aren’t even funny. But you do it together. You have the best random afternoon adventures that generally end (or begin!) with a pint (or three) of beer at your fav pub. You share the kind of text messages that make zero sense to anyone else, that you screen shot because they are that good. You pause to dance in the kitchen mid-conversation because, I mean...obviously. The people who will be ridiculous with you, no holds barred and straight up ridiculous. Those are the most refreshing, vibrant people. Keep them- you always, always need more fun in your everyday.

To my tribe- thank you. You kick ass. I love you, big time.

Xo

Meg

 

Meet our Vendors: Soul Salons

 Janalyn Mehler - Owner of Soul Salons

 

Tell us about your business?

We serve to give each and every client a safer and healthier experience in our salon environment. We specialize in cleaner hairdressing techniques and products to protect the integrity of the hair and the condition of the scalp without compromising the results. Furthermore, we guide and educate our clients towards healthier lifestyles. Combining cleaner salon practices with overall health is our way of alchemizing true beauty. That's why we are Soul Salons- Hair, Body, and Spirit.

 

How did you get started?

I bought the salon five years ago off my previous boss and mentor. She stayed with me for a year to get things up and going. I got really lucky to have that kind of help.

 

What inspires you?

Nature in all its glory! Nature has this way of grounding me. When I am grounded I think clearer, feel lighter, and more relaxed.  I feel inspired and motivated to work hard so I can spend more time outside in Momma nature. -The ultimate modern woman!

What is your idea of a Modern Woman?

A modern woman has total freedom of choice when it comes to what she wants to do with her life. She is limitless in her choices and because her desire is so strong, nothing or no one will stop her. I believe a modern woman could and should have total time and financial freedom and I see more and more women going down the home based business route doing very very well for themselves and creating positive changes in their family and relationships. I feel for job security reasons these days it's a good thing to diversify and have your eggs in a few different baskets.

 

What tips can you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

-Stay true to yourself. What do YOU want to create?! Do not let outside influences steer you away from your dreams and desires.

-Meditate, do yoga, go for a float, get outside....spend time with YOURSELF once a day. If you have a partner or kids find the time to have some alone time, it's worth every minute!

-Morning pages- 3 pages, first thing every morning as soon as you wake up. Just write. Don't worry about spelling or it not making sense. This allows you to put anything that's bothering you on paper so you don't carry that energy around with you all day. And if your goal is to write a book imagine what 3 pages will add up to after a few months of this super powerful morning ritual.

-Build solid relationships. Allow people into your life. Your network is your greatest asset.

What is one piece of advise you would give yourself looking back?

Don't be so hard on yourself!

What can we find you doing in your free time?

You can find me at Moksha yoga studio, a spin class or biking around the river, walking my dog Osito, hanging out at the market/ cafes for hours, or at some sort of community event or music festival.

 

Who is someone that you find is a role model for women in business?

I've been spending a lot of time with this woman lately and my goodness has she taught me a lot, Celeste Lemieux of Balance Within. I've never met anyone with her life experiences who's been able to show up fully present everyday and hold space and help so many people. I've taken a few courses with Celeste over the past year. I can truly say I am a more compassionate and a more loving person because of her...especially towards myself.

 

Do you think having a mentor is valuable both while you’re starting out and even after you are more experienced?

I had a mentor when I started hairdressing, Jacquelyn Marquis.  I would have quit a year after I began if it wasn't for her believing in me and spending the time and energy to teach me everything I still use until this day. I am currently mentoring an apprentice. Next month she will be completing her Journeymen's. Mentoring has shown me just how much I relied on my mentor to get me through some pretty tough experiences and if I didn't have that support I probably would have quit early on in my career. The power of a mentor goes a long long way.

 

Do you feel a strong sense of community among business woman and female entrepreneurs in Saskatoon and in Saskatchewan?

1000% yes!

Many of my friends I grew up with in Saskatoon are now some sort of entrepreneur. We have all came across the same struggles and know what it's like getting started. I feel anyone who moves to Saskatchewan would have no problem being welcomed and supported in their business.

Make sure to visit Janalyn and her Soul Team at the Modern Woman Show & Expo on April 16th & 17th at Prairieland Park. We have always learned so much from her each year at the event and we know you will find her products and knowledge eye opening and her presence filled with positivity.

Soul Salons can be found at #7-405 Circle Drive East in Saskatoon. Call them at 306-978-2411 to book an appointment.

 

Interview by Chantal Schulte

Photos by deMo Photography

Entrepreneurship: How I went on a 'working' vacation!

 

I have a weird job. I'm the first to admit it. When someone asks me "What do you do?" I honestly wish I had an easy, clear answer. I just don't fall into your run of the mill professions that can be easily defined with a one word answer.

I am an entrepreneur.

My educational background is in Commerce. I am a makeup artist; an esthetician; a event coordinator; a blogger; and most recently, a student of photography. This latest undertaking makes me money, so I suppose that makes me semi-professional and gets rolled into my Liam Neesen style "particular set of skills" (Hellooo... awesome Taken reference alert.)

I figuratively wear many hats. (Literally too, usually hobo-style toques because I don't feel like doing my hair. #truth) Nothing is ever the same one week to the next. I created this job. Its unique to only me. And the best part? Anyone can do the same thing with their own "particular set of skills" ... trust me people, life is better when you are doing what you love to do.

Recently, my weird job offered the most awesome opportunity to come along as both a makeup artist and photographer for a wedding at the beautiful Barceló Maya Beach Resort in Mexico, I was pumped... my personal Holy Grail of gigs - "The Destination Wedding"!

But hold the phone, I was also super hesitant. This would be the first wedding I had ever photographed, and I didn't want to screw that up for this couple by getting in over my head. I asked my photography teacher (the very talented and wise Shannon Brunner www.shannonbrunner.com) what to do and she simply said "Take the job, we'll make sure you're ready." (Sometimes you just need someone else to tell you can do something. Validation - its ok, we all need it.) 

I first had to first condense and pack a travel sized professional makeup kit about 1/100th the size of my regular one. The heat can pose a buttload of challenges with skin irritations and makeup durability so I was well stocked with skin care solutions,  long-wearing, multi-purpose productssetting sprays, and lots of disposables that wouldn't be readily available at a resort. The challenge was to pack as few products as possible, with the most multi-tasking impact, and in the most travel friendly way. This bride is a natural beauty, wears little-to-no makeup in everyday life, but needed some extra vibrancy and definition to make sure her features didn't get lost under the bright, bright sun on the beach. Easy-peasy, since Richelle is a mega-babe.

 

 

Luckily, packing my camera equipment was super easy. I made sure everything was registered with my insurance company and I had a perfect carry-on sized travel bag. I took 4 lenses, 2 camera bodies, my external flash, a modifier, 3 camera batteries, 2 chargers, about 1000 SD cards, approximately 4 million AA batteries... and a partridge in a pear tree.

The wedding itself was beautiful. Short and sweet, with just their closest family and friends on the beach. The ceremony was followed by a couple hours of free time that we used for the formal portraits of the couple... and a couple cervesas, obviously. The evening included an amazing dinner and cake cutting at an a la carte steakhouse, and an absolutely fantastic private party on the beach which I can say DID include a spectular group performance of that Whip-Nay-Nay thing that I don't know much about. (#oldballs). They even got me out on the sandy dancefloor for a couple of songs.

 

 After the wedding, Chris and I still had a couple days to just enjoy Mexico(Did I mention I weaselled my husband in on the action?) We spent a day at Xel-ha, an Eco-park that is essentially one big inlet off the Caribbean Sea that has a bunch of cool activities like cliff jumpingsnorkelling and ziplining. We spent most of the day working on some hideous life-jacket shaped sunburns whilst floating down the giant lazy river.

 

We managed to make a day trip to Playa Del Carmen, take in a few a la carte restaurants, spent some time at the pool, and hit up the resort's bowling alley - which provided some seriously stylish hospital shoe covers for people without socks. Both clever and ridiculous... because who the hell brings socks to Mexico???

 

(Side note: Although this resort was pretty fab, the first two nights were home to the "Phish Festival" which not only could I not believe was a thing, but exposed me to legions of loud-ass, washed up 90s hispters that will haunt my nightmares. But THAT is a story for another time... #blur4eva) All in all, this trip was the best of both worlds and I felt happy and comfortable every step of the way. The point is, I may have an unconventional job, but its an awesome one. Entrepreneurship doesn't have to fit under a certain job description. My advice to anyone who feels stuck in their career, or lack thereof, is this: Find something you love to do, and then charge money for itYou will be happy and as a result, so will the people who hire you. #winwin

There are many roads to successbut having passion for what you do is the key.

Congratulations to newlyweds Richelle and Brian and thank you for the opportunity to be part of your awesome adventure and for taking a chance on a Noob! XOXO!

Katie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Info@katiemartin.ca

www.katiemartin.ca

From where I stand: a collection of photos from Deep Cove, North Vancouver

 

It’s one of my fav spots when I visit Van city.

 

 

It has a similar feeling to Banff or Waskesiu.

 

 

Full of cute little boutiques and coffee shops. All that over looks this most stunning view of the mountains.

 

I usually don’t have a tonne of time when I’m there to really soak it in, I  always make a point of popping into my fav store Room 6.

It’s the cutest lil place. Stationary, stuff for the kiddos, books, journals and clothing. SO cute and every time I go it has something I have not seen before.

 

 

We also grabbed a quick shake from the bluhouse cafe across the street for the journey back to the airport.

 

 

The air is humid and the people are beautiful.

If the real estate pricing wasn’t out of this world I would move there in a heart beat....

 

Joc xoxo

deMo Photography

Meet our Vendors: Midwest Laser Centre

 

Sabrina Stewart, owner of Midwest Laser Centre

 

Tell us about your business?

Midwest Laser is a business that provides non-invasive cosmetic treatments. We focus on cutting edge anti-aging treatments, skin rejuvenation, laser treatments, and even vaginal tightening treatments for laxity and bladder leak.

How did you get started?

My original training is in obstetrics and gynecology; I had a serious shoulder injury and it’s a very physical position. This led me into a new direction in medicine. I was blessed as the physician before me had Midwest for over 30 years. I became the new medical director and owner a year ago January. I am loving it so far! There are a lot of challenges, but always something new to push me.

What inspires you?

My biggest inspiration is to have my family be proud, have the respect of the community, and to be proud of what I am doing with a good reputation.

What is your idea of a Modern Woman?

Self-esteem and self-confidence; the ability to make educated choices for herself. Owning our decisions; woman can do anything, but making the right choices of what we SHOULD do is what makes a modern woman.

What tips can you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

Don’t be afraid to try something new, don't let fear of the unknown stop you from trying. The worst that can happen is failure and it may make you better for it. Mistakes are OKAY. Look at what other people are doing, take the positives and walk by the negatives. Listen, take advice, and learn to delegate to people with better skills.

What is one piece of advice you would give yourself looking back?

Sometimes your original “dream” turns out much differently than what you envisioned and that's OK!  Don't be afraid of change, accept the journey. Don’t waste energy worrying about what “might” happen. When you see something at winners BUY IT :).

What is in the future for Midwest Laser?

I see a growth in the services we are currently providing, and expanding our clientele. There is lots of potential for improvement- always. We are a leader as a clinic and we want to continue to be that in our industry.

What would we find you doing in your free time?

Full time taxi driver to my children, and entertaining family and friends. If I am not at the clinic- I am always busy with family and friends.

Who is someone that you find is a role model for women in business?

I didn’t have a mentor on this path, I have been creating a path on my own, and I am hoping I can provide that mentorship for other woman in the industry going forward.

Do you feel a strong sense of community among business woman and female entrepreneurs in Saskatoon and in Saskatchewan?

I am starting to to feel that there is a network out there, I am new to this world but I feel very strongly about connecting and supporting the community. In order to network and lift Midwest up as a business we understand that it is crucial to support our own community, charities, and events in Saskatoon. It’s so important to give back.

 

Located at #6-701 2nd Ave North Saskatoon

Serving Saskatoon-Regina-Edmonton

1-800-463-8700

Check out Midwest Laser Centre as a GOLD Sponsor of the Modern Woman Show on April 16th & 17th at Prairieland Park. They will be onsite with their technicians giving information about their services and providing demonstrations!

Interview by Mandi Brown

 

I am a Modern Woman: Cream Clover Designs

Joanne Rejzek, owner of Cream Clover Designs

 

Tell us about your business?

Cream Clover Designs are handcrafted pillows and slips, these pillows are high quality and give you the opportunity to re-slip the covers for a new look, save money, and space. Currently available online but soon available at retailers.

How did you get started?

I have been a stay at home mom for about 16 years, they are into their teens now and I have always been quite creative. I had to ask myself what do I LOVE to do? I absolutely love fabrics, color, texture, and especially home accents and decor. I started with the my love for designer pillows.

What inspires you?

Love of texture, color, fabrics, I used to paint and I have always been a creative person. I asked myself what would I love to do for free? I love DESIGN, use of color, and creative outlets. This fits perfectly!

What is in the future for Cream Clover Designs?

Cream Clover will grow as an online store and reach people with the tradeshows such as The Modern Woman Show to continue to grow.

What is your idea of a Modern Woman?

Finding out what you love and JUST do that. Don’t try and make it more complex than it needs to be. Find balance. Cream Clover is my business and I want to keep it in line with my vision. I trust my instincts and trust my design.

What tips can you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

Be who you are. Find what you're good at and DO THAT. We all have a gift, so use your gift and you will find success. Don’t focus on the money first.

What is one piece of advice you would give yourself looking back?

I would tell myself to trust my own instincts, if I don’t like plaid then someone else can do plaid. Stick to what feels right to you.

What would we find you doing in your free time?

Going to the gym, being inspired and being a great mom!

Who is someone that you find is a role model for women in business?

My sister Joan is an successful entrepreneur and has given me great advice and keeps me on track, always guides me to trust myself.

 

You can find Joanne's beautiful pillows and pillow covers on her Facebook Page Cream Clover Designs, and on her website http://www.creamclover.com. Also make sure to check them out in person at the 2016 Modern Woman Show & Expo on April 16th & 17th - Prairieland Park, Saskatoon.

 

Interview by Mandi Brown

Photos by deMo Photography

 

 

LIA REESE CANADA presents Gretchen Christine Rossi

Designer & Creative Director Gretchen Christine Rossi

Gretchen-Rossi-pic-1-683x1024.jpg

 

"Gretchen Christine was born to design."

Gretchen Christine Rossi is the Creative Director for The Gretchen Christine Collection. Ever since debuting her first handbag line, Gretchen Christine has steadily grown the company to be a well-respected and highly sought after fashion and beauty brand. With fans and customers in more than 144 countries, the companies’ extreme attention to detail, the quality craftsmanship, forward thinking colorways, yet simple and classic designs make Gretchen Christine handbags extremely desirable. Gretchen was born into a designer family legacy, Gretchen’s father Scott Forward, is a hugely successful designer and engineer who instilled in Gretchen a passion for colors, textures and designs at a very early age.

After obtaining her BA from Baylor University in Texas, her love of design, lead her to a very lucrative career in Real Estate and Interior Design. Her accomplishments by 2008 landed in her a very exclusive group of agents. Gretchen was recognized by Coldwell Banker International for being in the top 7% of the world for sales volume and interior design installations. In 2009 Gretchen decided to follow her dreams and make a transition into accessories and fashion. Gretchen Christine debuted her first handbag designs, The Gretchen Christine Collection during New York Fashion week in 2009 working very closely with David Manning and his Style360 Company to huge success.

In June of 2008 Gretchen’s desires to create and perform where noticed by Hollywood producers who approached her about joining the wildly popular NBC/Bravo Television series, "The Real Housewives of Orange County." Gretchen embraced the offer as a business opportunity, she saw the show as a way to showcase her designs to the masses. Gretchen’s presence and popularity had been a consistent factor with-in the TV series over 6 seasons. Now entering its 11th season, the show is a huge international success recently celebrating more than 120th episodes being aired in just over 160 countries.

Being owned and syndicated by NBC Universal, it has become a billion-dollar franchise for the network. Gretchen immediately became one of the shows break out stars. With adoring fans all over the world, the show has been seen by over 400 million people, from the UK to Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa, Dubai, Asia and Mexico. Gretchen now has more than 675,000 twitter followers, she has 660,000 fans on Facebook and another 466,000 on Instagram.

In 2010 Gretchen launched "Gretchen Christine Cosmetics", Gretchen’s name sake cosmetics line has almost 300 sku’s and is a staple among top salons and make-up artists. In 2011 Gretchen launched Gretchen Christine Swim wear into retail. An exclusive deal with Swim Spot retail stores, Gretchen Christine Swim was completely sold out around the country in less than 7 days.

Gretchen’s desire to design and create show no signs of slowing down as she is prepping to launch several other categories with in the Gretchen Christine collection by the summer of 2016. In addition, Gretchen Christine Rossi was named in the top 30 on Twitters 2015 top 100 Entrepreneurs to watch.

Learn more about Gretchen and her journey as an entrepreneur on Sunday April 17th at 2:00 p.m. at the Modern Woman Show & Expo held at Prairieland Park, Saskatoon. Your general admission of $10 gets you in to watch her and take in the tradeshow for the day! Don't MISS out on $20 VIP Tickets available March 1st at www.modernwomansaskatoon.com - Get a reserved seat and the opportunity to meet her with access to the tradeshow!