Babes Promoting Babes – Kasia of Isabelle’s Bridal

Isabelle's Bridal - Martin Thornburg wedding dress

MY MISSION: To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entrepreneurs and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them, and you, my subscribers.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU …

In the mid 2000’s while I was studying Fashion Merchandising at VCC (Vancouver Community College), I was working part time as a receptionist at Beverly Ball Hair Design on West Esplanade in North Vancouver. It is unfortunately no longer, but when I was working there, and for as long as I can remember, I have admired the stunning dresses on display in the store front windows at Isabelle’s Bridal.

I recently featured their window displays on my Instagram and sought to find out more about the people behind Isabelle’s. The local bridal store is a perfect fit for my Babes Promoting Babes Interview Series. I am very honoured to introduce you to Kasia Bulva, one of the owners of the North Van iconic store.

M: What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like? 

K: I was born in Poland and lived there until I was 9 years old. I grew up in a city called Sanok with my twin sister Basia (who also happens to be my business partner). Growing up in Poland was great but it was during Communism when life was quite difficult at times. My parents decided to immigrate our family to Canada to give us an opportunity for a better life. 

Isabelle's Bridal - Wedding Palette
Isabelle’s Bridal – Wedding Palette

M: What did you want to do when you grew up?  

K: I was hoping to get into advertising. I’ve always had a passion for coming up with creative ways to sell and market products. As I grew older, I developed a passion for the art of selling and excellence in customer service.

M: Did you go to college or university? If so, what did you study?

K: I went to college and studied business development. 

M: When did you move to Vancouver?  Why did you move to Vancouver?

K: I moved to Vancouver in 1999. I was living in Toronto at the time and came to visit BC and I was hooked! It wasn’t long after that trip that I made the decision to move here. 

M: When did you start your business?  What was your inspiration?

K: My business was started in 2005 under different ownership. Funny thing is, I actually came in as a bride looking to purchase a veil. The previous owners and I had an instant connection. I felt like they had been my friends for years. After going home I quickly realized I wanted to spend more time with them so I became their first employee! I became the store manager and learned many valuable aspects of the wedding industry over the 10 years spent with them.

Isabelle's Bridal - Sweet flower girl dresses
Isabelle’s Bridal – Sweet flower girl dresses by Ooh La La Boutique

After the fantastic 10 years the previous owners decided to change pace and close the store down which forced me to look for other employment options. Upon my search it quickly became evident that my passion was bridal and that I wanted to continue working in the industry. I then had this “it” moment! I literally sprung out of bed at 3am and said out loud to myself “I’m going to buy the store!” And I have now owned the store for 7 years. 

M: What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

K: I love having the freedom of choosing how I spend my time and the ability to make my own business decisions.

M: What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

K: I would advise future Boss Babes to look within themselves and if what they are planning to do is really their passion. Running a business takes a lot of hard work and dedication. The 9 to 5 workday will not exist anymore and often you will take your work home with you in paper and emotional form.

Having said that, it is also very rewarding and exciting. Your business is your baby so you will need to make sure you do whatever it takes to make it run smoothly. Number one advice – get a very good bookkeeper!

M: Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book?

K Remember to keep it fun. Stay innovative and motivated. There will be great days and there will be not so great days. Always remind yourself that this a journey of your passion, enjoy the ride! My favorite quote is, “if you love your job, you’ll never work another day in your life”.

If you would like to see more of Isabelle’s Bridal’s beautiful wedding dresses follow their Instagram and visit their website to book an in-store or virtual appointment.

The Challenges of Being a Makeup Artist During the Peak of COVID – Beauty Expert Insha Pathan

Fashion INVESTIGATOR INC's Beauty Expert Insha Pathan

INTRODUCING … Insha Pathan!

I am very excited and honoured to announce Fashion INVESTIGATOR INC’s new Beauty Contributor and resident Beauty Expert, Insha Pathan. Most of you, will remember that I interviewed this Boss Babe back on May 16th in my Babes Promoting Babes Interview Series. If you missed it, and want to gain more insight into Insha and how she became a make-up artist, have a look after reading her blog …

If you had told me in early March that I wouldn’t work for three months, I would have given you a look of incredulity. Sitting here in the middle of June, I will say that COVID has affected me in more ways than I ever thought possible.

Three months ago, I had jobs lined up doing make-up in the Film Industry and was excited as usual. Being able to work in my aspired profession makes me look forward to going to work every day. When I found out that there was no date set to return to work and filming was postponed indefinitely, I felt lost.

Initially, I enjoyed my time and the break from work, I saw it as an opportunity to better myself and get my life organized. I became healthier, decluttered, organized anything & everything and worked on improving and focusing on myself. Eventually, however, not being able to work started to weigh on me.

Being a makeup artist in the Film and Fashion Industries is a dream come true. I didn’t think I would ever be doing what I am! I have always been an artist and now the only difference is that models and actors are my canvas.

A sample of Insha’s makeup artistry.

I am always full of adrenaline and so excited to be on set. Racing against the clock to get the job done, meeting deadlines and overcoming challenges left, right, and centre, while still being able to be artistic was perfect for me. Not being able to work was making me miss it more and more, and a sense of dread began lurking because there was no definite date for when filming was going to begin again.

It felt like I was sitting in a waiting room, patiently hoping that at any moment, my number will be called, but with no end time in sight. I had two options, one was wallowing in self pity and the other was taking that energy and channeling it towards my creative talents.

I was an artist before I became a Makeup Artist. My inclination towards anything creative is what drew me to my field in the first place. So during this time of not working, I started to draw, paint and beginning Do It Yourself projects and practiced my craft and explored all types of makeup.

Insha’s sketches rendered during time off from the Film & Fashion Industries.

I decided that I would use this time during COVID and social-distancing to express my creativity and open myself to inspiration, so that when the time came, I would go back to work with a fresh mind set. I concentrated on what makes me happy — ART!

COVID has been hard on many of us and the most uncertain of times. When have we ever gone through a pandemic?!

Finding a balance and keeping a positive outlook helped to keep me sane and I did this by doing the things that I love. I let myself be creative and channeled my energy into art.

To everyone out there reading this, not being able to do their dream job, be patient and don’t give up. Things will go back to normal eventually and till then, find other ways to use your energy that support your peace of mind and your talents.

If you would like to learn more about Insha Pathan, follow her on her Instagram profile: https://www.instagram.com/insha_artistry/ and her website: https://www.inshaartistry.com/ Remember to subscribe to Fashion INVESTIGATOR INC, if you would like to see Insha’s future Beauty Contributions as our resident Beauty Expert!

I AM Grateful …

I'm Grateful

I am GRATEFUL …

I am grateful for so many things but top of mind — Mama Izumi, Big Sis and a certain someone who has recently come back into my life …

I risk “scaring” him off if he reads this blog BUT I guess that’s the risk I take for expressing my thoughts in the moment.

This moment is sooo delicious too … Leave it to a foodie to describe time with a food adjective. Hahaha … I’ve got my ear buds plugged into YouTube music and Shawn Mendes’ song, “In My Blood” and I’m feeling really happy.

Sooo back to gratefulness and this certain someone … We are supposed to go on a date today. I have the perfect outfit picked out too. My thrifty finds that I purchased from a Facebook Marketplace seller yesterday — sleeveless white & blue blouse that ties in the back with a teardrop opening $5.00 and stretchy jeans with a proper waist $8.00 (I hate low-waisted pants – they give me muffin top – yuck!).

We recently reconnected on Facebook and exchanged numbers and spoke on the phone a couple of times. Almost every time I think about him I get butterflies … Awww … I’m such a girl. Hahaha ….

This blog is going to be short and sweet like ME. I shall end this here for: 1) fear that he will read this and I may reveal TOO MUCH and 2) I will continue this later and let y’all know what happens …

Question is — WILL HE ACTUALLY CALL TODAY …. Fingers crossed, Babes.

Babes Promoting Babes – Mayumi of Fashion INVESTIGATOR INC

Mayumi Izumi

I have been enjoying the Babes Promoting Babes Interview Series so much that — I decided to interview myself …. Lol.

Answering my own interview questions is good way for you to get to know me better and what I’m passionate about.

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entreprenuers and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them and you, my subscribers.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU …

Q: What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like?

A:  I was born in Vancouver, BC — Yes, I am a true Vancouverite and proud of it!  I grew up in East Van as an only child to Masako and Hiroaki Izumi.  We’re Japanese, as you can see from our names… Hahahaha …

Q:  What did you want to do when you grew up?  

A:  I wanted to be famous. Actress, singer, model, fashion designer.  It’s funny because my Dad named me after a Japanese actress — Mayumi and an Italian Singer — Rosanna.

When I was 11, I wanted to be a lawyer.  Very fitting as I am good at arguing my point.

Q:  Did you go to college or university?  If so, what did you study? 

A:  Yes, I studied Fashion Design at the International Academy of Design & Technology in Toronto, Ontario and Fashion Merchandising at VCC (Vancouver Community College). 

Because I love to learn, I also completed the Small Business Program at VCC as well as the Applied Digital Communications & Social Media Program at Capilano University.

Right now I am in the Bachelor of Communications Program also at Cap U.

 Q:  When did you move to Vancouver?  Why did you move to Vancouver?

A:  I was born and raised in Vancouver. But I lived in Edmonton, Alberta for 2 years and when my Mom (capitalized on purpose for respect to the woman who raised me on her own) & I moved back, we moved to North Van and I attended high school here.

I moved to Toronto in 1999 and lived there for 3 years to study Fashion Design as I mentioned above.

 Q:  When did you start your business?  What was your inspiration?

A:  I started Fashion INVESTIGATOR INC in 2018.  My inspiration was my love and passion for writing.

Q:  What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

A: I love waking up and being excited about my day.  What am I going to work on … How am I going to help my clients … What angle am I going to use to make my clients’ businesses shine …

I am an artist.  Any outlet that allows me to use my creativity makes me happy.

Also, working at home is AWESOME!

Q:  What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

A:  GO FOR IT! But do it with intelligence.  Save money  — 6 months to 1 year of income to have a cushion while you’re building your business before you quit your day job.

I did not do this BUT it is ideal to feel safe while GOING AFTER YOUR DREAMS …

Q:  Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book?

A:  My favourite quote is from one of my favourite books and authors:  

“The seventh spiritual law of success is the Law of Dharma.  Dharma is a Sanskrit word that means ‘purpose in life.’  The Law of Dharma says that we have taken manifestation in physical form to fulfill a purpose.  The field of pure potentiality is divinity in its essence, and the divine takes human form to fulfill a purpose.” — Deepak Chopra

You have to do what makes you happy.  When you find what that is and can make money doing it then you’re in Dharma.

Babes Promoting Babes – Insha of Insha Artistry

Insha of Insha Artistry

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entrepreneurs and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them, and you, my subscribers.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU … 

I originally met Insha Pathan at the bank she used to work at and although all the customer service representatives were great, she was my favourite!

Before the bank closed down, we exchanged numbers and we kept in touch. 4 years later, here we are!

M:  What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like?

I:  I was born in Mumbai, India and where I spent my early childhood. It was so amazing growing up in Mumbai and my time there has definitely influenced who I am today. 

Growing up, I would say my childhood was wonderful, filled with so much love and laughter with family and friends.

As a teenager, I was blessed with an awesome group of friends and we always found an excuse to make the most of every day. Whether it was playing outside, going to movies or exploring new areas in Vancouver.

M:  What did you want to do when you grew up?  

 I:  I was always very artistic and studious but if you asked me what I wanted to be, I wouldn’t be able to give you a clear answer.

The truth was, I didn’t know myself what I wanted to be, because I had so many interests. My main focus was trying to figure that out while I was growing up.

But sometimes things happen in their own time and you find your path without looking for it.

M:  Did you go to college or university?  If so, what did you study?

I:  I went to Simon Fraser University and got a Bachelor’s in Communication with a Minor in Publishing. Many years later, I went back to school to study Global Makeup at Blanche Macdonald.

M:  When did you move to Vancouver?  Why did you move to Vancouver?

I:  I moved to Vancouver when I was 8 in 1997. We moved here with the prospect of a better future for the family.

M:  When did you start your business?  What was your inspiration?

I:  I graduated Blanche Macdonald in 2017 and after that my journey as a Makeup Artist began.

Holi Festival Makeup
Insha was inspired by the colours of Holi & wanted to do makeup to celebrate the festival. Holi marks the beginning of Spring and signifies the victory of good over evil. It is celebrated as a day of spreading happiness & love.

At the age of sixteen I always had people tell me I should get into makeup because I was good at it, but my response at sixteen was, that is not a realistic career.

How wrong was I? I never would have guessed ten years later, I would be in school for that exact profession. After working a 9 to 5 job, I realized that I wasn’t fulfilled creatively.

I learned that I couldn’t live the rest of my life working a job that I hated. That was when I left my full time job and took the leap to follow my dream.

I knew I wanted to do something artistic,  but I wasn’t sure what that would be. Then one day I was scrolling the internet and the word Makeup Artistry stood out to me and it just clicked. I was an artist and people’s faces were just another canvas for me to explore.

It also gave me an opportunity of doing makeup for TV, Film and Fashion which have always been huge interests for me. It was in that moment that I just knew this was it.

M:  What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

I:  The best thing about being a Boss Babe is doing a job you love every single day of your life. I am so grateful that I was able to follow my creative passion and turn it into a profession. Work never feels like work, and every day I am excited to see what new adventure is going to come my way.

M:  What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

I:  My biggest take away from this is that the leap is so important to take. You have to tune out the voices of others and really listen to what you want out of life.  Sometimes it will work and sometimes it won’t but at least you tried. This way when you look back years later,  you will not have regret over why you didn’t ever try.

If you wish you had your dream job or that you could follow your passion, nothing will happen until you take that first step and put your energy into it. So I say, take that jump and follow your heart. It is terrifying but sometimes the best things in life happen when you face your fears and follow your dreams.

M:  Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book?

I:  Follow your dream and pursue what you really want. Things will always work out when the timing is right and as cliche as it sounds, everything does fall into place when it is supposed to. 

I will leave you with a quote from one of my favourite books which is all about following your dreams: 

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

If you would like to learn more about Insha Pathan, follow her on her Instagram profile: https://www.instagram.com/insha_artistry/ and her website: https://www.inshaartistry.com/ I am excited to announce that Insha will be a regular Beauty Contributor here, at Fashion INVESTIGATOR INC — so remember to subscribe!

Babes Promoting Babes – Daisy of DSS Creatives

Daisy-Babes-Promoting-Babes-Interview

I met Daisy Salvacion-Shields at VCC (Vancouver Community College) in the Fashion Merchandising Program in 2007. She was in some of my classes, but it wasn’t until after VCC that we connected on a personal level.

She is the talented artist who did my make-up and photos featured here, on Fashion INVESTIGATOR INC. Daisy was working on a project called, “Celebrate You” and she asked me if I wanted to be a part of it. I said, “YESSSS!”

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entreprenuers and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them, and you, my subscribers.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU …

M: What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like? 

D: I was born in Calgary, Alberta but at a very young age moved to the tiniest town called Hope, BC. Childhood was full of fun, creativity and adventure. I learned to love the outdoors but stayed a city girl at heart.

Bedroom walls consisted of magazine collages inspiring me with fashion and style, down time was dress-up with friends. I even organized my first fashion show in grade 7!

M: What did you want to do when you grew up?  

D: So many things, and still do … ha! Singer, dancer, teacher, writer, and artist (I loved doing cartoon drawings of Betty and Veronica).

M: Did you go to college or university?  If so, what did you study?

D: I was in the Film Program at Capilano University and also took Fashion Merchandising and Screenwriting courses at VCC. 

M: When did you move to Vancouver?  Why did you move to Vancouver?

D: 2001, to go to Capilano U. 

M: When did you start your business?  What was your inspiration?

Parent company, DSS Creatives was just born this year. And under the umbrella of DSS, are two divisions.

The first is Conceptual Portraits, started in 2011, the focus is on Editorial Portraiture (photo shoots) . Bulan Productions is the second and newer division, with its first film made in 2017 and its focus is Digital Film Making.

Daisy - DSS Creatives - BPB Interview
Daisy making her first film in 2017.

My biggest inspiration is storytelling, especially when it can help to motivate others and DSS Creatives houses my two favourite mediums to do that with.

M: What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

D: I’m doing work that is speaking to what I really love doing so it’s work that gives me energy back.

Energy to keep going as opposed to work that sucks the energy away. I am all about committing to a career that I love because life is too short.

M: What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

D: I’ve gone down that path. I quit my career of 15 years with a small amount of savings, support from my husband and no solid structure of what I was going to do next but a solid commitment to feed my soul. That’s it.

I knew what made me feel alive and I went in that direction. It’s been such a rewarding career ever since, monetarily, creatively.

So definitely, my advice is when you are at the point where you can’t ignore the whispers  (they don’t go away for a reason)  take the freaking leap. Of course it will be scary, but stay genuinely committed to your truth, whatever that may mean to you.

You are growing. It’s human. You’ll be met on the other side with synchronicities in your favour and I’m cheering for you!

M: Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book?

D: Favourite Book:The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. It changed my life. 

Favourite Quote: “When you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to Achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

Daisy Salvacion-Shields is the founder of DSS Creatives, a creative agency that specializes in visual storytelling through its digital film-making division, Bulan Productions and its editorial portraiture division, Conceptual Portraits. Check out her Instagram profile: https://www.instagram.com/daisysalvacions/

Babes Promoting Babes – Jessica of JC Inspired Wellness

Jessica's Photo - Babes Promoting BabesI Interview

I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica Cerato at Steve Nash Fitness Club in North Vancouver, BC when she was substituting for another one of the instructors. I liked her immediately and her style of teaching much better than the instructor she was subbing.

She is full of energy, vibrancy and openness. And a motivating and encouraging Fitness Instructor.

Jessica is also the Founder of JC Inspired Wellness and is a Certified Essential Oil Specialist. She consults, sells, and educates her clients on doTERRA Essential Oils.

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entrepreneurs and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU … 

M: What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like?

J: I was born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania.  As a middle child of two teachers, I was involved and active in a lot of things growing up. 

I loved anything to do with a team, so was drawn to sports.  I battled with weight growing up, but my activity kept it at a manageable level.

M: What did you want to do when you grew up? 

J: So many things!  I wanted to be an author, a professional chef, a news anchor – basically everything except what I am doing now!

M: Did you go to college or university?  If so, what did you study? 

J: I went to American University in Washington, DC to play Division 1 Field Hockey and study International Business and Finance.  I spent a year abroad in Madrid, so I also minored in Spanish.

M: When did you move to Vancouver?  Why did you move to Vancouver? 

J: After graduation and 2 weeks before set to start my career on Wall Street, I decided to alter course and went to work on a cruise ship! 

I spent 7 years at sea managing the onboard Youth Program and during that time, met my now, husband.  He is from Vancouver, and after sailing out of this amazing city for an Alaskan season – I fell in love with both him and Vancouver! 

M: When did you start your business?  What was your inspiration? 

J: I became a Fitness Instructor in 2010, and was inspired to make fitness accessible to all. 

You see, I battled with my weight all my life and my relationship with food and fitness overcame me in my early 20’s.  At 210 pounds, I felt horrible — both mentally and physically. 

I was living in Miami at the time and inspired to do something about it, I walked into my neighborhood gym.  I stood in the lobby for 20 minutes.  No one helped me.  No one even acknowledged me. 

And I left that day, inspired to do it for myself and everyone else who feels invisible.  My philosophy is to make my classes accessible to all — to have fun, and join together to lift each other up.

I kept teaching through my two pregnancies and felt awesome.  However, after going back to work in 2017 after the birth of my second daughter, I struggled. 

Struggled to sleep, struggled with debilitating headaches, struggled with my emotions.  I was medicating with chemicals that I knew my body couldn’t sustain long term, and I knew I wanted better.

Then, I found essential oils.  They started out helping with my physical ailments, but over time offered so much more support.  I became obsessed with learning, and got my Essential Oil Specialist Certification. 

After seeing what they did for my family, I was again inspired to help others get help too.  And so I partnered with doTERRA and became a Wellness Advocate. 

Now, I educate and help those looking for natural solutions, on what essential oils are, and how to use them. 

I am so passionate about bringing both sides of my business together.  Not just physical fitness, but emotional health and wellness too.  JC Inspired Wellness was born in 2019.  Many think JC is my initials, but the abbreviation and inspiration is actually Justine and Charlie – my two kids.

In addition to teaching fitness classes at studios, I also founded and offer signature programs of my own – “Squats with Tots,” “Barre with Babies,” and “Yoga Birthday Parties for Kids.”

M: What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe? 

J: That’s easy.  Helping others.  Whether it’s teaching a step class, flowing through yoga, offering sleep solutions, teaching green cleaning classes, or just holding a baby while their Mom does squats — it’s the connection, knowing we are all in this together that I truly love.

M: What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits — what would you say to them? Should they take the leap? 

J: Do what’s in your heart. 

I look back at my life, and see so many times when I decided to pivot.  From Wall Street to Cruise Ship, from the US to Canada … And I continue to pivot. 

It’s not about choosing a path and making it your goal forever, it’s about living life and doing it your way — Whatever that looks like for you.

M: Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book. 

J: So many that have made a difference in my life.  But for this audience, anyone contemplating going out on their own, I love Cathy Heller’s, “Don’t Keep Your Day Job,” podcast and book. 

And, don’t feel like you have to have it all together, all of the time.  It’s okay if you fall apart sometimes.  Tacos fall apart and we still love them. 

You are enough, just as you are. 

Jessica Cerato, Owner of JC Inspired Wellness, believes health and wellness is for everyone. Through fitness classes and natural health supports like essential oils and mindset mantras, she works with individuals and families to reach their goals.

To learn about Jessica’s tips, tricks, and inspiration on living your best life while sharing her own perfectly imperfect one, follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jcinspiredwellness/

And if you would like to purchase doTERRA Essential Oils, or book a wellness consultation with her: https://linktr.ee/jcinspiredwellness

Babes Promoting Babes – Nicole of Loopilasso

Nicole of Loopilasso

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entrepreneurs and to share our aspirations, goals and dreams.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU …

I would like to introduce you all to Nicole Hiebert of Loopilasso. She is a master crocheter, and mother to an adorable little girl but don’t let that fool you — she’s as tough as nails. I am very happy that she agreed to be a part of my Babes Promoting Babes Interview Series.

M: What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like? 

N: I was born in 1989 in Calgary, Alberta. The first 12 years of my life were relatively normal. My dad was a school photographer, ran his own business, so he was always working and always on the road. My mother was a stay-at-home mom after having me. She then had two boys and a girl. She was always very busy with that, housework, and just being a mom.

I spent a lot of time alone or taking care of my brothers and sister. Everything was as it should be, up until 2002 when my mother left my dad and also my brother and I. She took my younger two siblings and moved away. At the same time my dad lost his business, declaring bankruptcy, the house and everything due to the separation.

From this point forward my life was completely different and difficult. I switched between 6 schools in 2 years and moved many times. My dad had a very hard time being a single parent of two children. I was 13, very confused, angry, and sad. We moved to Kelowna and we didn’t have anything.

High school was extremely difficult . I had no friends, I was bullied and even beaten up. But I made it through. As soon as I could move away, I did. And I’ve been on my own ever since.

M: What did you want to do when you grew up?  

N: I wanted to be many things growing up! I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to be a photographer. I wanted to be a veterinarian. I wanted to be a fashion designer for Barbie dolls. I wanted to be an actor. I wanted to be a counsellor. I wanted to be a TV chef.

M: Did you go to college or university?  If so, what did you study?

N: I attended VCC (Vancouver Community College) and I took the Nursing Unit Clerk program.

M: When did you move to Vancouver? Why did you move to Vancouver?

N: I moved to Vancouver in 2008 to attend VCC and shortly after graduating I started working at Lions Gate Hospital. Although I really enjoyed my job, and I miss it every day, life doesn’t always go the way we plan.

I worked at the hospital for almost five years and then I really struggled for the next 5 years.

I have been gradually getting my life back on track since 2014 and directed in the way I want to go.

M: When did you start your business?  What was your inspiration?

N: I started my business and 2017 and in the beginning I called my business Loops & Press. With the help of my best friend, an amazing graphic designer, we started Loops & Press to showcase not only my crochet talents but her printed works of art. I was the loops, she was the press. 

In 2019, I decided to go solo and change my business name to Loopilasso. I’m inspired by many things. I have a lot of creative ideas and  I love to make things my inner child would enjoy playing with … I love to create cute, unique, and sometimes crazy things.

M; What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

N: I love having full creative control over what I’m doing. I love being able to have a thought or have an idea and manifest it. I love using my talent and skill to able to do and make whatever I want.

M: What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

N: It would be very scary to leave a secure nine-to-five job with benefits and jump into something completely unknown with no promise of success.  However, life would be pretty boring if you didn’t take any risks.

If you feel like your heart is longing for something more, then you should find it, and you should go after it.

M: Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book.

N: It’s never too late to change your life.

Crochet has been very therapeutic for me. I taught myself to knit and crochet in 2015.

It was around this time that I decided to quit smoking cigarettes. I had been a very heavy smoker for 12 years. Learning to crochet was an absolute perfect distraction for my hands and mind. 

My success in quitting smoking and my new found hope for my future helped me with the courage to work on my other issues. 

My problem was alcohol.  And it was a serious one. A genetically crippling one. It controlled my life and I wanted to take that control back.

I quit drinking in 2016 and put all my energy and emotions in learning to create things for other people — To make them feel happy and bring them joy with this craft. All that time I would of spent drinking went into learning and practicing crochet. I feel like a totally new person with a passion and fire for life.

Success is not easily acquired. It takes hard work, dedication, and passion. Sometimes it’s not always clear where your life is headed. But if you listen to your heart and do what’s right, you will get where you want to go, and achieve your dreams.

My beautiful 1 1/2 year old daughter is now my main reason for continuing to better myself and make good choices. She inspires me and is already very supportive of my work. She loves the different hats and toys I make for her.

I hope to make her proud with my work and one day share my knowledge and skills with her.

Nicole Hiebert is the wicked crocheter behind Loopilasso. If you would like to see her FUN & cute creations check out her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loopilasso/

Babes Promoting Babes – Keleka of Keleka Designs PART 2

Keleka Designs Hawaiian Beach Photo

For those of you who missed my last blog, I interviewed Keleka, Founder of Keleka Designs. She designs Hawaiian themed flame-less candles inspired by her love of the islands.

The following blog is Part 2 and a continuation of my insightful interview with her.

M:  When did you start Keleka Designs?  What was your inspiration?  

K:  In 2019 I decided to tell my advertising job of 12 years in Nevada that I was going to follow my dreams.  They were great about it since I did so well for them for such a long time.  They said whatever I wanted to do was fine, so I cut my hours to part time with them to pursue my passions. 

This is when Keleka Designs was born. I’ve always loved lighting candles in my yard in the evening, with the pool and the ambience that it created.  But with the extreme heat in Nevada, the wax candles always melted, even at night!  So, I had the idea of designing beautiful Hawaiian flame-less candles that never melt.  

I started creating my designs on Photoshop and began sending my flame-less candles to family members.  The response was overwhelmingly positive!  I also started making Rasta/Hawaiian incense holders, which also received a warm response. 

And, once I focused on building my own website, working on my social media platforms, and creating more flame-less candle designs, the response was phenomenal.  I was selling candles! The exhilaration to create and design my own candles is so fulfilling that I wake up every morning excited to produce more!

My inspiration is my love for the Hawaiian Islands.  I consider Hawaii my second home and my husband and I go home every year but our work schedule makes it hard to get back as often as we would like to.

Due to Covid-19, my part time advertising job is on hold and I know that it’s a hard time for many. The current situation causes me to rethink life and what is really important: my family, my health and going after my ambitions. I am dedicated to work hard to continue to offer creative, heartwarming Keleka Designs into your home.

I am now shipping all over the USA and internationally too. I have plans to continue to grow my business and create new designs every week.

M:  What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

K:  I love being my own boss, making my own schedule, fulfilling my dreams, inspiring others, connecting with people like you, Mayumi. I love to connect with honest, motivated people, so, we can all support each other with our aspirations.

It’s such a rewarding feeling! Everyday, I learn more and educate myself to become more successful with Keleka Designs.

M:  What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

K:  It took me a long time to take a leap.  Be sure to always have a backup plan.  Have some income coming in while you start planning to follow your dreams. 

Starting a new business isn’t easy and takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But if you are passionate about it, you will figure a way to do it. 

Go for it.  It’s rewarding, fulfilling, and eventually you will succeed.  If your first idea doesn’t work, come up with a new one.  Keep at it, as persistence will pay off!

If you would like to learn more about Keleka and her Hawaiian flame-less candles and Rastafarian incense holders you can see them on her website: https://www.kelekaart.com/

Babes Promoting Babes – Keleka of Keleka Designs PART 1

Keleka Designs

I was inspired to interview Keleka, founder of Keleka Designs because of her positivity and Aloha spirit. She embodies BPB’s (Babes Promoting Babes) most important pillar which is to motivate others to follow their dreams. She designs Hawaiian themed flame-less candles and home decor.

My Dad used to live in Hawaii and I used to visit him on my summer vacations. I share Keleka’s love for the islands.

M:  What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like? 

K:  I was born in New Jersey but shortly after I was born my family moved to California. We moved over 3,000 miles away because my father was a professor at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo. 

I absolutely loved growing up in California.  The Central Coast is so beautiful. Rolling hills, vineyards, farm life and the beaches.  We were always at the beach: fishing, clamming, boogie boarding, surfing, etc. 

I was also very involved in sports since a young age.  I started playing basketball on the boys’ teams, as they didn’t have sports for girls yet.  Then I progressed into soccer and softball.  My father actually helped start girls’ softball in San Luis Obispo.  I even became female athlete of sports in my graduating class.

And I won some local awards for art in my high school art classes.  School, family, friends, the beach, and art. It was an active and fun life.  Oh, and we traveled! I was 4 years old when we first traveled to the Hawaiian Islands.

I fell in love with the islands. The music, the culture, the art, the people. The Aloha spirit.  So, we continued to travel to the islands and the Jersey Shore throughout my growing years.  The Big Island, Hawaii captured my heart.  Hawaii has and still is inspiring my art and my dreams.

M:  What did you want to do when you grew up? 

K:  I always wanted to be a professional softball player or compete in the Olympics. By the time I finished high school and after receiving a full scholarship to Baylor University for softball, I decided I didn’t want to pursue softball full-time.

It was at this point in my life when I really started to get into art. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I loved to paint and decorate.

So, I traveled to Hawaii and after some time off I decided to go to a community college to figure out what I wanted to do with my future.  After returning to California,  I knew I wanted to be an art professor or Junior College teacher in the field of Public Art.

M:  Did you go to college or university?  If so, what did you study?

K:  I attended a Junior College for 2 years to fulfill my requirements for a larger University. After I graduated from there, I decided to go to CSUMB (California State University Monterey Bay). 

I studied Visual and Public Art.  I LOVED IT.  I worked with the community, with at risk youth, seniors in nursing homes, all involved with art.  I taught mural painting skills, watercolor classes and became involved with the community, which filled my heart and soul.  I was very successful and very happy.

M:  When did you move to Nevada?  Why did you move to Nevada?

K: Life happens, and my family became my priority.  My father was ill at the time that I graduated college, so I left some art opportunities in Monterey and Carmel.  However, it all turned out great.  I went into advertising and marketing after attending college in California for 8 years.

The money was good, so I kept doing it. It wasn’t my passion but was fulfilling for the time. Unfortunately, my Mom and Dad divorced, and I helped my mom and brother move out in Nevada. 

I have been doing advertising and marketing here in NV for 12 years.  The greatest day was when I met my husband in 2014 and got married in 2016.  Still doing my advertising but I decided it was TIME FOR ME TO follow my dreams ...

Babes, Part 2 will be posted SOON so make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss it!

If you would like to learn more about Keleka and her Hawaiian flame-less candles and Rastafarian incense holders you can see them on her website: https://www.kelekaart.com/