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Patricia, Artiste La Pimbêche - Montréal, QC
October 28, 2021

Patricia, Artiste La Pimbêche - Montréal, QC

Meet Patricia, the fabulous founder / artist/ female/ kickass business owner behind La Pimbêche!

 

 

Patricia, can you tell us about how your brand got started and when you realized that this was the industry that you belonged in?

Well first, thank you for this amazing intro! La Pimbêche was born from an art project I launched for a collective art exhibition in Montreal. At first, it was a simple art series of contemporary activist art. That's when I started to translate the topic of feminism into art pieces.

After this exhibition, I felt the calling to pursue the mission of using visual art as the support for my voice. I started to create more feminist artworks and illustrations inspired by political moments, stereotypes, and women’s sexual empowerment with sarcasm and badass taglines. That’s when I realize how creating a brand would be the ideal strategy to expand the visibility of my art and mission. That’s when I launched La Pimbêche, the fashion and accessories brand. The objective is to allow my message and artwork to travel from one person to another, to trigger conversations and to contribute to a positive change in our society.

 

If you could explain your style in a few words, what would they be?

My style of visual art is very colorful inspired by pop culture and Y2K iconic elements (which bring up my inner child). I love playing with different dimensions and superpositions. Everything I do has layers of symbolism, while can be understood at the 1st degree. In terms of the look and feel of La Pimbêche, I would say it’s badass, confident, happy, and empowering!!!

 

What is your mission or purpose with La Pimbeche (and the women around you that you inspire)?

My purpose as an artist is to provoke self-empowerment in people, casting out normativity and the fight for gender equality. All designs are based on the mission to inspire confidence, happiness, and self-determination in order to contribute to a world of acceptance and inclusion.

Many women inspire me, such as my mother, which is a BIG inspiration. She devoted her carrier to human development in 3rd world countries, she empowered so many women and children across the globe while being a single parent raising 2 girls, me and my sister.

There's a lot of amazing modern women that support the same beliefs as La Pimbêche feminism. Chelsey Handler, Emma Watson, Beyoncé, Lena Dunham are all my fave modern feminist women that convey a strong message of confidence, acceptance, and equality.

  

Is there anything fun coming up for the holiday season that our amazing audience can look forward to?

Yes! For all Toronto folks, I am soooo excited to be part of the One-of-a-kind show from November 25th to Dec 5th, 2021. OOAK is one of the largest art and craft shows in Canada and will be the first edition after the pandemic! This is an amazing opportunity for my customers to come meet me in person and support local artists, designers, and craft businesses. How to see you all there!

 

What would you say the most challenging part of doing this line of work is for you?

La Pimbêche is now a brand, which means that the entrepreneur role is taking more space than being an artist. The most challenging part is the ability to change roles from being strategic to being more intuitive in my artistic vision. Slowing the team is growing and I am able to delegate tactical tasks. The ultimate goal is the delegate more time to creativity, slowly I am getting there.

 

And the most rewarding?

When a customer tells me that my art has inspired, or empowered them – that’s my paycheck. The most rewarding part of being an artist is the impact of your creativity.

 

And last, do you have some goals you can let us in on for 2022?

Growing the team is one of me goal in 2022, I also would love to participate to more in-person shows across Canada. Obviously, customers can expect new designs, new products and more exciting collaboration! 

 

Priscilla 

 

Artiste La Pimbêche

@La_pimbeche

www.lapimbeche.com

 

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Beads x Meg - Megan White in Banff, AB
October 13, 2021

Beads x Meg - Megan White in Banff, AB

Started beading now she's here.. everyday bead wear inspired by nature. Collection consists of gemstones, pearls and seed beads. 

 

 

How did Beads x Meg start and how long have you been in business?

Beads x Meg started 4 years ago. I have always made jewelry as a hobby and started to sell my pieces to friends and family. I received a government grant and began to expand my business on Etsy, selling in retail shops and hosting workshops.

 

What inspired you to get into beadwork?

I find bead work to be very calming. Beading is also a way to explore my creative side.


Is this your primary job and did you have prior training in business?

Currently Beads x Meg is not my primary job. I also work in the service industry. I am a self taught bead artist.

  

What are your goals for the next year?

My top 3 goals for next year;

  1. Reach 200 sales on Etsy 
  2. Have Beads x Meg in 2 new retail spaces
  3. Host more workshops (in person or online)

 

What would you say is the most challenging part of working for yourself?

The most challenging part about working for yourself is having enough time. Having enough time as one person to complete all the tasks that come with running a business.

  

What would you say is the most rewarding part about working for yourself?

 

 


The most rewarding part about working for myself is being able to be creative. I have always loved making jewelry and other crafts. It is also very special having so many friends, family and online community love the jewelry I create

 

Which beads are the most popular and what benefits can they give for healing/health?

As of lately Moonstone has been the most popular gemstone. Moonstone has been know to help foster new beginnings and promote inner growth. Moonstone also helps balance ones emotions and can create a sense of calm.

  

What would be your ideal dream for Beads x Meg?

The ideal dream for Beads x Meg would be to create full time. Would love to see my jewelry in more retail spaces and attending more markets and pop ups.

 

Do you ever get inspired by nature and your environment to create?

 

Yes I do. When I can I love making jewelry outside. Some of the gemstones I use also remind me of the beautiful lakes and mountains that surround me in the Rockies.

 

Lastly, any advice you would give to someone that is thinking of working for themselves?

 

Start the business! You do not have to have everything figured out to begin. 

 

Megan White

 

 

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Randa Roberts - So Comfy Designs - Sarnia, ON
August 02, 2021

Randa Roberts - So Comfy Designs - Sarnia, ON

Proud to introduce one of the first Girl Gang Members with a unique small business that has won her awards and high praise in her community. 

 

 

What is So Comfy Designs? How did you start and how long have you been in business?

It goes back to 2012, where my first collection was headbands and sandals made from upcycled t-shirts. The first, and most common feedback I got was "it's SO COMFY!" and my BFF suggested I name my business So Comfy Designs. Starting out I had a lot to learn, and I just tried to be open and find something that resonated with me, and to make a product that nobody else was making. Eventually upcycled sweater mittens, and then upcycled leather bags became what I was known for. And here we are! 

 

Creating new designs and keeping up on trends can be tricky, how do you maintain your growth and keep it fresh?

Well, the materials will always inspire me, so when I get handed some leather for a custom bag, or I find a couch on the curb to strip, that's when the first ideas come to me. I've found that the trick to keeping trendy is to pick one element of a trend I love, then include it in my work. That way it's timely but also timeless. So, a recent example is I love the trend of the pieced wood art wall hangings/furniture, so I was inspired to design something similar, but with leather, and made it into a coin purse. I do my best, and if it doesn't resonate with me, then I don't make it.


Tell us about your new Vessel Collection you just launched.

It came from the need to de-stash my couch leather collection! I'd been stripping couches and had a lot of really useful leather, but no idea what to do. I was totally inspired by the thickness and the beautiful suede back that was in excellent shape, so I created a collection of bags that didn't have linings, and really are a vessel for your essentials. Wallet, keys, phone. Simple bags, that in my opinion, were very beautiful in their own minimalistic way. I've been carrying one of the fold over styles for months and I love to use it. Perfect for summer!

  

What was one of your most memorable pieces you’ve made to date?

Like asking me who's my favorite child. No, there are so many stories behind most of my pieces, especially the custom bags that are made from a loved ones jacket. It's very meaning for me to be able to use my skills to give a family a little souvenir of a loved one in the form of a wallet, or bag, or keychain. I'll always value every single one of those experiences. I do want to give an honorable mention to the Louis V fringe out's that I've been doing. I had one customer come to me a few years ago with a picture and a Louis Vuitton, and since then I've lost count on how many I've done. Each one unique. I'm working on one right now actually!

 

Looking back now what would you never expect from working for yourself?

Funny story. 12 years ago I crossed paths with a psychic who told me that I'd be in business for myself. And she told me that it would be very hard and I'd want to give up a lot, but to keep going and it would work out. I never in a million years imagined at that moment that I would be a handmade maker and actually have been able to make hundreds of bags and mittens!

Working for myself is without a doubt the hardest job because there are a million steps to take before you make a profit for yourself. And that was unexpected, because I thought that a low overhead meant more profit, but really there are so many factors. And I'm still hustling towards that profit, so you have to be resilient as hell sometimes. I had hoped it would happens sooner (lol).

  

What goals have you set for So Comfy in the next 5 years? 10 years?

The next frontier will be recording some of what I've learned and hopefully turning it around and teaching and selling some sewing patterns. I've been a part of the OLFA Craft team for a few years, and I hope to continue working with them. I have some really exciting projects coming up, so it's already starting! I've been super inspired by my fellow maker and OLFA Expert Carla who paid for her kids university directly from her sewing and crafting, that truly is my number one goal in the next 5-10. 

 

How has the pandemic affected the way you work and what have you shifted that would enhance your skill set going into 2022? 

Maybe I could have had a pandemic-proof business, but the truth is, I'm a mom first, and having our lives flipped with the kids learning from home affected me a lot. It definitely robbed me of my creativity because of the stress and uncertainty that the pandemic brought. Like a lot of people, I struggled, and had to accept that it's okay, and I'm okay. Not easy. So going into 2022, I've been laying the groundwork for more social media posts, more tutorials, and making answering e-mails and message a top priority. Those things had suffered over the last 18 months and they are really important to my business.  

 

You were apart of the making of Girl Gang, over the past 3 years what would you say Girl Gang means to you?

Girl Gang is a like-minded group of super creative and fearless female makers, a lot of whom I call personal friends, and that's the real core reason why I love and support it. I know you speak to a huge market, and it is amazing that I can hand you my product, and you'll show it to them. I've loved your photography, location, mission, and marketing, and that's what I think makes the Girl Gang stand out. Also, you're pretty awesome women!

 

Who has been your BIGGEST support system through all of the ups and downs, the unknowns, and the successes?

My family and friends. My husband is very selfless and supportive always, and my Mom is the first person I call when something exciting happens for my business. It's really easy to have doubts, and see all the flaws in something when you're the creator, so having like minded friends who are also makers, and seriously the best customers a girl could want are the secrets to my longevity.

 

Lastly, any advice you would give to someone that is thinking of working for themselves?

Don't give up! Always be open to learning a new way. Search for podcasts that will teach you or inspire you. Show gratitude. Believe in yourself. Ask for help. And, don't give up (that one bears repeating).

 

Randa

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Photography by Meghan Chute Photography

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Allison McCracken - Rose & Grace Designs located in London, ON
March 02, 2021

Allison McCracken - Rose & Grace Designs located in London, ON

This month's boss babe is Allison McCracken from London, ON. She has a creative eye that is depicted in her original handmade earrings with Rose & Grace Designs. We love all her designs, find out why below...

 

Check out all Rose & Grace earrings in our shop. 

 

How did Rose & Grace Designs start?

After I had my youngest I decided to stay home. I wanted to be able to contribute, but from home.  I love creating things and I love earrings. Earrings can add so much to an outfit. I wanted to create something I would love and wear  and that others would too. So starting up my own business just made sense.  

 

Where did the inspiration for the business name come from?

My daughters. I named the business after them! It’s there middle names Adalyn Grace and Everly Rose.  No meaning behind the names.  I just really liked how the names went together. There names are so beautiful and feminine and when deciding on the name for the business I wanted it to have that feminine feel.

 

Rose and Grace will celebrate one year in business in July (wha-hoo), what were you doing before this? 

Dental assistant. 

Do you miss the office atmosphere?

Sometimes . I really loved my job, but there is something really rewarding about making something that people love. And it allows me to be home with my girls. 

 

Where have you seen the most growth in the past year?

In myself. I really needed to step out of my comfort zone to make this business a success. I never thought I would start my own business. I guess it took me a lot to believe in myself to actually go for it. I’m sure a lot can relate to that. 

 

What was the  most difficult aspect you faced opening a business during a pandemic, and where would you like to see the biggest change in this coming year?

The most difficult aspect I would say would be getting my business out there and noticed when we were not able to do it in person.  I will be joining a few markets this year in the spring and into the summer, fall months locally in London so am I am looking forward to that.  

 

What made you want to become a part of The Girl Gang?

I thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase my business with other talented, like-minded women entrepreneurs. 

 

If you could tell your 20 year old self some words of encouragement what would they be?

Too just go for it!  Not to be afraid to put yourself out there. When I was 20 I was actually in an art program. Beal Art here in London. I worked for a bit after that and then went to school to become a dental assistant. 

 

We know you make killer earrings, do you ever expand into other areas of creative design?

Yes!  I have worked with some local businesses for custom requests as well as other personal gift request. I hope to continue that and expand into other things. 

 

We love the mix of natural wood with the mirror/glitter acrylics, what top pieces are your customers buying lately?

People are really liking the mirrored with the walnut and the walnut with pearl white. They are also liking the small stud earrings as well. 

 

Now that you’ve come this far … what’s next for your 2021 goals??

I would like to branch out more and offer more jewelry options like necklaces. I would also like to continue with custom orders and possibly adding other items other then jewelry. I would like to add necklaces to my collection. I made some business name tags and signs for local businesses. I would like to start offering that more.  Possibly more personalized items for babies and kids as well. (room signs, month milestones etc.)

 

 

Allison McCracken/The Girl Gang 

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Sarah Jansel, Sadi & Sari -London, ON
March 05, 2020

Sarah Jansel, Sadi & Sari -London, ON

Have you heard of Sadi & Sari? You're going to love her boho chic fashions.

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Dani Hanicz, 519 Boutique - Sarnia, ON.
January 22, 2020

Dani Hanicz, 519 Boutique - Sarnia, ON.

What is 519 Boutique?

519 Boutique is a one-woman owned, online clothing boutique aiming to help women find trendy, affordable fashion! 519’s clothing is a curated collection of women’s and young contemporary brands.

What made you start a clothing boutique?

519 started just over a year ago out of frustration over the lack of trendy, budget conscious clothing in town. Assuming others had to feel the same way, 519 Boutique was born!

What is your favourite part of running your own business?

Owning my own business has been one of my most rewarding yet challenging experiences. There was definitely a lot of self doubt and tears in the beginning stages BUT watching my boutique grown and getting positive feedback is such an amazing feeling. I also love how being a business owner has introduced me to so many amazing people!

Do you have a favourite season you like to promote?

Fall is definitely my favourite season for fashion. Warm and comfortable are two of my favourite things!!

When you aren’t working, what are you doing?

Spending time with my husband and two daughters is my number 1 priority when I’m not working! Getting out for bike rides and spending the day at the beach are two of our favourite activities!

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

One thing most people don’t know about me is that I have my black belt in karate! I haven’t kept up with it since high school but I always get quite the reaction from people when they find out.

What does Girl Gang mean to you?

Girl gang has been amazing for me. Without this awesome group if women boosting my confidence, offering advice, and bringing so many exciting opportunities to my business I wouldn’t be where I am!
Having two young daughters, it feels good to show them that be a part of a team of girls supporting girls opposed to competing with other women is cool.

What are your goals for 519 Boutique in the next year?

I really hope to be able to extend our sizing range so we can accommodate a wider range of shapes and sizes!!

Who is a female role model to you and why?

My mom is my #1, hands down. She is always selflessly helping and doing for everyone around her. She is so supportive and always there to lend an ear, even when I text/call her 900 times a day (sorry mom).

What is one thing you would tell anyone looking to start their apparel shop?

Before starting any business, make sure you have a great support system. My husband has been so supportive of me. There were times I wanted to give up but he encouraged me to keep going and put my all into it. I couldn’t have done any of this without him.

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Sam McLeod, She is Art - Fergus, ON.
January 22, 2020

Sam McLeod, She is Art - Fergus, ON.

What is She Is Art?

She Is Art is a curated collection of thrifted clothing, jewelry, decor and art. Most items are vintage and some new, some refurbished or re-purposed but all looking for a new home.

What inspired you to start a vintage thrift business?

I have always had a love for thrifting, auctions, antique stores, garage sales since I was a kid. I am from Guelph, Ontario where there are many boutique styled thrift stores. I wanted to bring something like that to Sarnia and also pursue my life-long passion.

Who is one of your female role models and why?

My Mom. My mom is a strong independent woman who has overcome so many obstacles and worked hard. She maintained a very successful career while balancing work and her children very well. She always taught me and my sister to be independent women and to take care of ourselves, not to rely on anyone but yourself. Some people say I have a strong approach but it has faired well in this whirlwind called life. No matter the situation she has always remained positive and pushed forward.

What is your favourite part of running your own business?

My favourite part of running my own business is allowing to let my creativity to run rampant without any rules or restrictions. It is truly my visions and ideas that helps balance out the structure of business and taking small steps to become more succesful. Not all ideas are winners - and not all visions come out as planned but I try to take something from each experience.

What started your love for all things vintage?

When I was a kid my Nana would always take me to garage sales, and markets and I fell in love. These are memories I will always hold on to.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I do not drink coffee and I love board games - come over for some tea and competition any time!

What does Girl Gang mean to you?

Girl Gang (insert gang sign here) represent! Means a lot to me. This Gang life though... girl gang has helped me grow and conquer my business dreams. I have met so many amazing woman being apart of girl gang and I always feel supported and have a squad of boss babes in my corner. Female Empowerment is so important and Girl Gang is achieving this in so many ways. GG for Life.

What are your goals for She Is Art in the next year?

My goals for the next year are a possible expansion and also to make some partnerships with local organizations and raise money for charities and organizations. I also have been asked several times to make a mens collection, so currently am working on building that! (coming soon)

What should every woman try at least once in their life?

A solo adventure. Travel. Explore. Meet. Dance. Eat. Drink. Do You!

When you aren’t finding incredible items for your shop, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time outdoors with my dog Maverick either on hikes or at the beach. I love creating so I do lots of arts and crafts. I recently just got into barre classes at the Cove Wellness that I am enjoying very much.


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