Warm. Stylish. Cruelty-Free
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Both Bandit and I got to strut our stuff down the runaway during Toronto Fashion Week, while sporting Wuxly Movement, a brand that continues to prove outerwear can be warm, stylish and cruelty-free! The whole experience was memorable; from the moment Bandit and I stepped foot & paw into the Fashion House, we were immediately greeted by the Wuxly team and escorted to our grooming zones. Bandit was stationed in a play room among other furry friends while I was brought backstage to the beauty zone buzzing with chatter and excited models. My hair was styled by Redken and makeup by Dalish Cosmetics (a vegan, cruelty-free brand, yes please!). Before we knew it, both Bandit and I were reunited and waiting in line for our turn to show off our fashionable attire down the runaway. We’re thrilled to have participated in such a great show, among other supporters of ethical fashion.

Wuxly Movement are not only advocates for animal rights but also demonstrate inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry. What's not to love? #LiveWarm #TOTFW

Photos courtesy of George Pimentel

My Top 5 Digital Must-Haves

As a Branding Expert, content creator and entrepreneur, I’m either running to and from meetings or producing photo and video shoots for clients. Equipping myself with tools that allow me to be productive, minimize my inbox, collaborate with team members and produce social media content on the go is vital! I’m excited to share with you my TOP 5 Digital Tools that I use daily. Please keep in mind that some of the items below are available exclusively on Android (yes I know, how could I not be using all things Apple right? haha).

Check out my list below!

  1. SLACK: This has been a game changer app for my team! Its user-friendly platform allows me to collaborate with team members remotely, share docs, large media files and create specific conversations organized by channels aka hashtags. Some of the channels we use are #inspiration #clients #campaigns and any other topic that might come up. Its search function makes it easy to locate files and reduces the need to send emails. We especially love using the app to share designed graphics for our monthly social media content calendars #Cool

    The app is available on your desktop and available for download via Android and Apple.

  2. PERFECT 365: This app is great for retouching photos - you can go from looking bland to flawless in a click of a finger - no professional photographer needed. You don’t even have to wear makeup in your photos, this app will literally perfect your face by allowing you to add eyeshadow, longer and fuller lashes, brighten up your eyes, slim your face, and even raise your cheekbones. But be careful, this app is extremely addictive its easy to get filter-obsessed, making you unrecognizable in real-life. This is especially true for those using filtered pics for their dating profiles haha you know who you are!.

    The app is available via Android and Apple.

  3. EVERNOTE: This is such a great tool for creating notebooks for all the various projects you may be working on. The app allows you to upload pictures, create task-lists and the sync feature allows you to work offline while keeping your notes up to date across your desktop and mobile. You can also share these notes with your team, similar to Google Sheets, any edits you make are all made in Real Time.

    The app is available on your desktop and available for download via Android or Apple.

  4. YOU CUT EDITOR: This is a great tool for editing videos on your mobile. You can of course add filters, text, music (they even have a free music library) and all the bells and whistles you need to produce videos on the go. You can also create slideshows and merge videos easily. Video file too large? No problem, you can compress your video file and upload it directly to your Insta/Facebook profile. Easy peasy.

    The app is available via Android only.

  5. VOICE RECORDER: I use this especially when I’m driving! This app was available on my Samsung Galaxy smartphone and has been such a great way to capture some of my most creative thoughts and ideas. There’s something about being in motion, specifically driving, that excites me and gets my creative juices flowing. I record at least 20 sound bites while driving to and from Montreal each month - converting your delicious ideas is a breeze with their “speech-to-text” feature. You can also this app for conducting interviews, in fact, I’ve recorded some for our “Sustainability is Sexy” podcast available on iTunes and Spotify.

    The app is available via Android only.

    BONUS FEATURE: I recently discover the Pocket Ring Light - this has become a new favourite of mine because it allows me to capture gorgeous, perfectly lite selfies without resorting to my blinding mobile flashlight. I often use it to record videos from my car, which I’ve been doing a lot lately. The light is small enough to fit in a crossbody or even your pocket! I’ve included it within this list of digital essentials because it helps me produce digital content for the apps I’ve included above.

What are some of your favourite apps and tools? Please share them in the comments below.

Interested in winning a pocket ring light? Checkout my Instagram page for contest details (contest ends on Thursday, july 16 at noon - must reside in Canada to qualify).

Straight/Curve - Redefining Body Image

Did you know 78% of girls at age 17 are unhappy with their bodies?

I've personally struggled with body image since I was a little girl. It escalated when I attended high school and the importance of being popular became a priority. Working out 2-4hrs a day was the norm, I became obsessed with "looking good" and wouldn't dare consume anything that could lead to gaining a few pounds.. this translated into an eating disorder that lasted about 4 years. Although I am no longer bulimic, I still struggle with my appearance and even though my gym workouts are down to only 30min a day - I'm still preoccupied with looking my best, always. Botox, fillers, body contouring, filter-flawless skin.. media, social media I can't look in the mirror without stressing over my perceived flaws. How exhausting!  

As a recent Fashion Group International Board Member handling all things creative, I'm fortunate to kick-off the year with our very first event featuring a public screening of Straight/Curve - a documentary set out to redefine body image around the world hosted by FGI and The KIT

straightcurve event

Join us for an evening of cocktails, networking, a screening of the film and an engaging panel discussion featuring industry experts: 

If you have ever struggled with body image, this is AN EVENT YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS! #straightcurvecanada


Watch the trailer: http://www.straightcurvefilm.com

SPECIAL PERKS FOR FGI TORONTO MEMBERS: Get access to our exclusive lounge, cocktail refreshments, premium seating and opportunity to mix & mingle with VIP guests. Not a member? Sign up today - http://fgitoronto.org/membership

*Photo credits to Anastacia Garcia

Where my inspiration thrives
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I'll never forget the moment when Greg, the CFO at Venus Concept said to me at the end of my first interview "Tania, do you like to travel?". Those words sent a jolt of excitement down my spine, I'm not psychic but at that moment I knew my life would change forever.. and it did. Just a couple of months into my Marketing Communications role, I was doing what I do best... orchestrating photo/video shoots, digital campaigns followed by themed events, I was making medical aesthetics sexy, Internationally
My experience working at Venus was a whirlwind.. I absolutely loved it. The people, the places, the products.. it was my new world and I couldn't get enough of it. I flew to Italy, Spain, California, NYC, France and even India to name a few - helping the public & some of the world's most recognized physicians reach their beauty ideals through non-invasive technology became my new mantra, I lived it for 3 years. This opportunity developed my desire for travel, exploring different markets/cultures and allowed me to reach the confidence & know-how to execute my creative ideas.. globally. I noticed that I was the most creative in the sky. While most people passed time by watching Hollywood films, I spent it jotting down new ideas, strategies and vision board planning (more on vision boards later - they really do work). There's something about flying that makes me feel so alive, on top of the world - like anything is possible. It may very well be due to the elevation, but there's something about traveling alone that heightens my senses and gets my creative juices flowing. Do you get inspired when you travel? When are you the most creative? 

I will forever be grateful for Venus Concept as it made me acknowledge the value behind my skills and gave me the extra push I needed to re-enter the world of entrepreneurship and take my career to new "heights". This is called lifestyle design - something lots of millennials live and breath each day by working anywhere in the world while monetizing their social networks. 

Discover my travel essentials below - 

Tania SemperComment
Why you shouldn't give a F@*k

How do you maintain a positive outlook on life amid the daily grind? I was reading motivational articles, watching TED Talks, practicing positive affirmations.. I even downloaded an app called Grid Dairy; a journaling platform that allows you to categorize your day in sections so that you eventually train yourself to be performant in all areas of life. I had sections labeled; what am I grateful for?, how have I expressed selflessness?, new business opportunities & connections I've made etc.. Being positive all the time can be so exhausting!! Until I read, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. It reinforced the way I used to think when I was in High School/College and I felt liberated again.  

Here are some of my fav takeaways - 

You are not special - "the rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they're exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they are obsessed with improvement"

The value of suffering - "if suffering is inevitable and if our problems are unavoidable, then the question we should be asking is not "how do I stop suffering" but "why am I suffering - for what purpose?" 

You are always choosing - "when we feel that we're choosing our problems, we feel empowered. When we feel that our problems are being forced upon us against our will, we feel victimized and miserable". This is SO powerful. I come across a lot of people who have managed to overcome some pretty gruesome experiences. Have you heard of Bethany Hamilton? What an incredible story of resilience. Bethany is an American professional surfer who got her left arm bitten off during a shark attack while surfing in Hawaii in 2003 at the age of 13. But that didn't stop her, she still surfs professionally, has a growing family and is thriving today. What a Rockstar.

photo credits @Bethany

Failure is the way forward - "we can be truly successful only at something we're willing to fail at. If we're unwilling to fail, then we're unwilling to succeed." I've been avoiding starting a blog and sharing my opinion publicly due to possible backlash. I've always been concerned about what people would think - and where has this mentality got me? Stifled. Do you remember the movie Julie & Julia? That movie came out in 2009 about a woman who got famous blogging about Julie Child's  lavish french recipes. All she did was publish it, and it grew organically. Can you believe that I've been thinking about launching a personal blog since then? 

And here I am almost 10 years later, I've decided that it was finally time to get myself out there.. share my work, voice, life & views all while practicing the subtle art of not giving a beep ;) 

Have you read this book? Does any of the above resonate with you? I'd love to know!