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#TribeThursdays with Phylicia Mendes, Founder of Jubilee Luxury Events Co.

What is the name of your business and what do you do?
Jubilee luxury events co. We specialize in bespoke event design & planning. I am also the owner of multiple businesses. First there’s Luxe in love, a pop-up where we specialize in pop-up events and experiences. Second, is pariah creative, It’s a business that focuses on fashion, entertainment and creative Direction and development. Finally a new but non-released company called PartyHaus, where we specialize in luxury supplies so you can DIY your event at home Tell me about yourself I grew up in a very artistic household. My parents were always very supportive of my dreams. I wanted to be a dancer for a really long time, I would say for about 90% of my life. Then for a small period of time I wanted to be a mental health and addictions counselor because I myself suffered and witnessed other people in my life suffer with addiction. Then I found a way to channel all of my creativity and love into hospitality. That's when I got into event planning. From there, I just found 11 passions projects. I have a really big family so I’ve constantly been taught how to prioritize my values and it also taught me how to empathize especially with my clients. What is the best lesson you’ve learned from being an entrepreneur?
There's no such thing as too big of a picture to dream of, but it does take work and devotion. No matter what, there are just as many downs as there are ups. What is your mission behind JubileeLuxuryEvents , Pariah Creative & The Luxe in love? Having a passion for art, hospitality and fashion has led me in the direction of learning how to value the art of luxury. One of my first jobs was at a yacht club. I learned so many things about the culture and the history that went into building a private establishment and why the chef and his meals are so important. I just had a larger appreciation for all the things that went into creating this space and when I discovered event planning and design, it was like a light bulb went off in my head that helped me reflect back to this experience. I didn't realize at the time that I can combine my love for fashion, art, people and planning and create some of the most important memories in people's lives. So really Jubilee luxury events represents that journey of appreciating quality and luxury. Pariah creative was really an outlet created by my group of friends and I. In our community, we struggled with support in fashion and arts. With no supplies or no studio space and even not having enough funding - it was a struggle. However, we noticed that everything was so repetitive in fashion. We wanted to stand out and make something different. So pariah creative is really for the people who aren't afraid to stand out and create something original. The luxe in love brand was intended to be for people who couldn't afford luxury services. As we were executing the Luxe in Love pop-up, COVID-19 hit the world. We were in the midst of a pandemic. So, I decided to make it a charitable focus where I could give back to the black community and at the same time give back to the people who were affected by COVID, who couldn't afford the lavish wedding they were going to have. We wanted them to still have a luxurious experience for an eighth of the cost. Seeing how a pandemic can effect everything, it really made me realize how much people should appreciate those experiences. I wanted to keep creating it. I want to keep partnering up with charities around the world and creating these pop-up experiences around the world. My next mission is hopefully to start pop-ups in California. Any advice on days where you feel stuck?
Film and music really gives me that drive. I try to watch movies to stimulate a trigger. It doesn't even have to be anything you know overly artistic but something like Alice in Wonderland triggers that lightbulb. When I watch something like that, it gives me my spark. I feel everybody has something that makes them, THEM and my artistic abilities is what makes me me. It pushes me and inspires me. Who are your biggest inspirations? Michael de Batek is my biggest inspiration. He was a photographer turned stage designer for over two decades. He has been designing runway stages for Dior, Versace and more. He just goes above and beyond with Design. He's probably my biggest inspiration. My next would be Kanye West. I love that he's so authentic. He’s very vocal and tries to bring that out of box thinking and creativity with all things like history and religion and then produces that vision into music and fashion. Lastly, would be Drake because I love his devotion to his dreams and his brand. It inspires me when I see somebody from Toronto doing that. What is one thing you would share to those who want to become a Event Planner/Business Owner?
Just when you think there's too many of us in our segregated saturated markets, there isn't. That dream you have. Go for it. Do it. Find out who you are, and find out where you fit in. Find out who your client is, let them come to you. Don't go looking for it because it will naturally come to you and everything will roll out. What is your social media handle and available contact information?
@jubileeluxuryevents @pariahcreative @theluxeinlove Contact:

#TribeThursdays with Sam, the founder of AssistHerMovement

Samantha Rimando, is a childhood friend and also an entrepreneur. She is a mother and one of the most kindest souls you'll ever meet. When I started this series, I knew I wanted Sam to be one of the interviews. In our conversation, we get real about the journey of entrepreneurship and as a working mom. She does not hold back as she shares her honest views on her experiences. Dive deep with me as we get into perspective on how it is to navigate motherhood, building a business and staying true to your mission. Let’s get to know you! Tell the world who you are and the name of your business and what do you do? Sam: Okay. I'm Samantha. The name of my business is AssistHer Movement. What we do is a bit hard to describe. I've literally spent this past* year struggling to really define what we do. Originally what I wanted to do was build a community. I wanted to throw events, have speakers and people sharing stories - kind of like a career counselor, but influencer style. So that's kind of how I originally had it, but it was very hard to form an elevator pitch. The goal for the upcoming year is hopefully to turn it into like a mentorship, or focus on the mentorship program. I wanted to focus on a program where you know what your options are and know what you can do especially for women. We've made so much progress over the years, but at the same time you don't know too many stories of women in entrepreneurship, women in leadership roles, women who started their own business and more. It’s all about finding these groups of women who want to share their stories and hope to inspire young girls and young women, and maybe even women in the older generation. Why did you choose AssistHer Movement as the name of your business?
Sam: It can be very isolating sometimes trying to navigate your career and see what options you have. So if you have a community to kind of help you out and assist you, and also assist in increasing your brand awareness as well. It's good to know that have that option as a resource. I actually went to a conference and originally the name I had wasn't AssistHer Movement. It was something like “move her” or something like that. The whole idea stemmed from me wanting to be able to raise money and then give it away. I thought that it would be so simple to do. However, it evolved, as my mission was focussing on wanting to ASSIST. So then I played around with “assist her”. It was like a play on words where it's like A-Sister/ Assist-HER. However, another company had that name. So that's where the word “movement” came from. I felt like adding the movement solidified the mission I’m going for. I definitely see AssistHer Movement as a go-to resource, a community and for people who are looking for mentorship. Sam: There's so many things that I wasn't aware of and I'm still learning by the way. Like all of the legal stuff, the contracts, like who knew this was all included. I know it looks so easy. I totally jumped the gun. Like I made Instagram, the website and then that was it. I didn't even have anything. Then a month into it, I realized there was a lot more planning required when building a business. So yeah, I really jumped the gun on that but this was probably an advantage for me in a way. It helped me learn. You start to see what's missing and what I need to put my attention to. In my case, jumping the gun was good because I learned. Tell me about yourself. Sam: Oh gosh. I hate this question because I never know what to say. So I always say I am a mommy of two boys and married. I am an operations manager at a clean tech company. I love my job and I love being a mother and wife, but I'm trying to learn to be able to speak about how I'm so much more, and that's what I struggle with. All I do know is I love giving resources to people and helping people find those resources. I just love sharing, helping them, uplift them, and giving them opportunities wherever I can. I know the businesses that entrepreneurs start, it stems from who they are. What is the biggest lesson you've learned from being an entrepreneur so far? Sam: I guess it kind of goes back to what I originally said: it doesn't have to be perfect. Just do it because when you just do it, it just gets you into the motion and the momentum starts to build. Even though I went into it not fully knowing what I wanted to do when I started, I didn't think of it as a business. I just really want to help people. So once the title of business came, that's what I went into a shock. That's when I kind of froze and shut down because it was just so much pressure. I didn't know what to do, but because I put that pressure on myself at the beginning and I just went ahead and did it. I kept going. I was already in motion. I already had followers. I already had this expectation for myself and this brand. “I can’t stop now.” That was one of the things that I kept saying. I've had a few burnouts this year and the reason why I didn't stop was because I was like, I can't stop now because there was so much momentum already there. I know you’ve already answered this, but what is your mission behind the AssistHer Movement - reiterate and summarize. Sam: AssistHer movement is basically bringing opportunity and resources to people. Everything is out there already, but people don't look for it. So the main purpose of me starting on Instagram was to connect with everyone on Instagram. Then I want to bring the resources to people and present it in a way where they'll actually look into it and see what’s available for them. Do you have a morning routine? If yes. Describe it? Sam: Um, It doesn't happen all the time, but on my good mornings, I wake up at least like an hour or two before the boys, which is like 5:30am ish. I've been working on not checking my phone right away and telling myself “I need to get up”. So I get up and I do the chores, as boring as it sounds. I do my chores. I do the dishes from the night before. I fold the laundry. I catch up on my shows. I know some people do it at nighttime, but it doesn't work for me. I'm not a night owl. I'm a morning person. So I prefer getting up in the morning and Daylight savings time helps me so much. It's a new routine. I wish I could say there's some exercise in there, but not just yet ;). What do you do on days where you feel like you're stuck or when you feel like the productivity internally is just not happening. Sam: Um, it depends on my children when those days happen, I do need my ALONE time. So I’ll tell John (Samantha’s husband) “Get out and take the kids with you.” I just need silence for like an hour or if it can’t be silent, I just need to be alone. Then before going to bed, I have a gratitude journal I like to do when I can. I do like my to-do lists because when I'm able to see it all, it doesn't seem as overwhelming usually, but yeah, it's my lists that help a lot. What is your personal mission statement? So it doesn't have to be business. It could just be who you are as a person.

Sam: I think one of the things I really like or I feel like I did naturally, especially when I became a mother, because it was a very hard transition for me. I constantly prayed. I want to do everything with gratitude and grace. I feel very privileged in terms of my life. I like the opportunities I was given, like with the job that I have. I just feel so beyond blessed. I feel so many people who don't have that passion and love for their job go home miserable. I’d like to think I inspire people to actually really look for something that they feel gratitude and love towards. For instance, there was a girl that I talked to. She loved reading and she didn't know what to do with it and later on she became a filmmaker. Who are your biggest inspirations? Sam: My boss. I love my boss. I look up to her so much - just everything about her, how she openly talks about her experiences, how she talks about the struggles she's had, how open she is to it. How optimistic she is, and how human she is when she makes decisions for the company. She inspires me. I hope that I could be in a position one day to be able to provide opportunities like she does for people. What is the one thing you would share to those who want to become an entrepreneur? I think it's literally just doing it. JUST DO IT. Nike! haha. Just do it and not get so hung up on trying to get it perfect. You can change your logo, you can change your brand colours as time goes by, but just do it. If you at least put it out there and see how people react to it, you can adjust things. I feel like that that's so important, but people think that once they do their first posts, it's going to just blow up and everyone's gonna jump on it and want to buy it or will buy into the brand or whatever it is. So Just do it, going into this life of entrepreneurship, that you're going to have to adjust. Last question is what is your social media handle and available contact information. @assisthermovement *Note about the interview: This Interview was conducted in 2020 during the start of the pandemic.

#TribeThursdays with Beverly Egamino

Becoming a new mother was a big transition for me to navigate. I had to accept that the person I was before was gone. However, after time, I learned that the person I have become is even better. She's stronger, wiser, resilient and beautiful. However, it took a community of mothers to teach me that. During my maternity leave, I was so fortunate to be a part of an amazing community called MOM HALO (previously known as Moms TO) where all mother's gather and share and create experiences together. There were so many interactive events where I can bring my newborn daughter and at the same time socialize with other human adult beings. That's where I met the woman in this next interview. She approached me on social media and noticed that I joined MOM HALO. I was so grateful that she reached out to me. At the time, I was not only scared to step foot outside my home with my baby but scared to socialize and meet new people. I never used to be that kind of person - scared to network with other people but I felt like motherhood was a whole other ball game. Fast forward to today, Bev and I continue to stay connected and stay in touch. When we did this interview, she exemplified traits of not only an amazing mother but an incredible leader in her industry. We talked about balance, mindfulness and empathy. Read ahead and see what it takes to navigate being a working mom! Bless: Tell me about yourself. I mean, I already know you but tell the world about yourself ;)
Bev: So as you know, I work as a property manager. Personally, I've recently started getting into this whole mentality of mindfulness.You know I've always done yoga and that it has been a part of my lifestyle, even pre-baby. I always like going to yoga studios. I've always been in tune with my health and fitness and all of that. However, I’ve started this mindfulness journey and it was more to keep myself grounded throughout everything that I’ve been going through. There has been so many moving pieces in my life and a few difficult times to juggle. So I'm really trying to focus on being present and not losing sight of the present time. That's where I'm at right now and then obviously, at the same time I’m trying to navigate this pandemic and everything as a property manager. A lot of my role is dealing with our tenants in the building; making sure that the building is running efficiently. It’s been a difficult time even for our tenants, since they too are struggling. A big part of my job is to help them through these times. Our strategy is to be partnering with them instead of working against them. We do our best to just be there for them. I actually haven’t stopped working through all of this, because the building stayed open for the retail component of the building since they were categorized as essential services. Bless: Well props to you girlfriend. It's tough. Especially as a working mom. It's a really tough role to juggle; trying to support your tenants, your family and then yourself at the same time. I love that being present has become a priority for you especially when you’re home with the kids. It’s always good to be able to separate work and home life. What is the best lesson you've learned from being a property manager or in another case? Bev: I'm a working mom. So, the best thing I've learned from being a property manager, and I guess this could also apply with my home life but my “mom life” is really about listening to people and I feel like it's so easy. Like for me it’s easy to come up with a response to their questions and respond to their opinions. I learned to just listen and be empathetic to people. What we learned in this role of mine is we need to be understanding and I think it's important that I listen to their concerns and put myself in their shoes. It’s important to listen and like to be empathetic to that. As for my personal life, I really learned to just stop and listen. My kids are at the age where they don’t stop talking and they’re curious about everything. So I have to remind myself that I need to be present with them. Bless: What would you say is your mission behind being a working mom?
Bev: My mission is just to have a work life balance. Ideally, I would love to be a stay at home mom if I could. I, hundred percent would, but it's just not my reality. And I don't think it ever would be. I gotta work. I gotta help provide for my kids. Which I think is also very important. However, I also need to balance everything. I can't always be on my work phone, replying to emails. It’s so easy to get looped into the hustle and check emails without feeling the need to reply to it. Then I’ve taught myself to say, “ I guess I'll reply to it in like an hour”. My mission is to just be the best version of me that I can be for them. That way they have like a role model to look up to and they could take what they can or don't want from me, and become the best versions of themselves. At least that way I know I've done my best and I think that's good enough. I already know, it is good enough. I think a lot of working moms need to hear that. I need to stop, chill and enjoy it instead of just looking for the next thing and the next thing. I try to build those experiences for them, but at the same time, I'm losing out on being present with them. So I'm really trying to work on that. Bless: I think you're doing a great job. Do you have a morning routine? If yes. Describe it. Bev: Yes. I'm so glad you asked, because this is new. The first thing I do in the morning is I don't check my phone. Before, the first thing I would do right away is check and my immediate reaction would be “Ok I need to do this.” I read this book called “Think like a monk.” and it says, when you look at your phone, first thing in the morning, you get bombarded with news or notifications and all these negative things. He says “If you start your day at 5am and the first thing you do is check your phone and you see one negative thing, It's like you start your day at like a minus one, because of all those things that's the first thought you started to build your day with.” I also started doing like 10 to 15 minute meditations and I have to make sure I’m using noise canceling earphones to block out the sound completely. I love having that time to myself. In the beginning it was very hard for me to meditate. It's hard for me to keep my mind from running to all the things I need to do but now I've sort of reached a point where I could check out and just have 10, 15 minutes just to read and focus on me. The third thing I've been doing is getting on my Peloton in the morning. I used to not be a morning person. I started my working out at 8am. What I started doing is doing at least a 20 to 30 minute ride, first thing in the morning and it just helps me. Bless: This is Amazing, I’m so glad you have a morning routine. Having a morning routine will depict what kind of day it will be for you. What do you do on days where your brain is on pause and you can’t generate productivity? Bev: I just stop and take a step back. You know, it's actually just happened recently. There was just a lot going on and I told myself “I can't do this right now”. So I just went out. I went to get a coffee and then I listened to a mindfulness podcast. And that just really helped me get in check. Right? Like it's so easy to get very worked up when things aren't going as planned. So, you know, I just stopped and I took some time. It helps me ground myself a little bit and not indulge in all the negativity. Bless: Totally! We need to remind ourselves to give ourselves a break. Who are your biggest inspirations? Bev: Okay, so obviously my mom. I think a lot of people like our moms, in our culture, they came here with nothing, right. They came here and left this full life they have back home and you know how it is back home. Like you have drivers and a full community and like all these things. They come here to build a better life for us, and for the next generation. So, my biggest inspiration is my mom, because it's like, how do you let go of all of that and choose to rebuild here? You start a brand new life with basically nothing in a brand new country. There’s also my sister, because she's had a lot of health conditions and she's gone through a lot at a very young age but just seeing her push through it all is incredibly inspiring. If I think I'm having a bad day or tough time. I think about someone like my sister who has endured so much more than me. Like I haven't been through half of what she's been through and who am I to complain. You know what I mean? Bless: Yeah, definitely. That’s a great perspective to have. What is one thing you would share to those who are, um, working moms and are struggling to balance both lives? Bev: Honestly, like we talked about just trying to balance it all. I think it's important. Just having that mindset, checking out of work during times when you need to focus on family. I'm not going to lie, being a working mom has been tough for me. When I went back to work after Mason, I still remember my very first day I was crying at work. I'm sure a lot of moms feel the same. I remember I started to question myself, and think about what I'm missing out on like all these moments with my kid and while I'm at work. This is why it’s important to at least be in a role or a workplace where you feel fulfilled because if it's a place where you're like very unhappy or, you know, you're not valued, then it will really make you feel like crap because it's like, you're missing out on these times with your kids, for THIS? Like one of my staff, for example, she just came back from mat leave. The first thing I did when she came back was tell her “whatever you need, I'm here for you. Like, if you need to FaceTime your daughter, do what you gotta do.” I just want her to know that I support her and it's tough transitioning back to work. I even told her to start with half days to transition back because I know how hard it is and she just felt so grateful for it. And I think that's important, right? Like we've got to support each other. Like we were all going through the things. ------------ We love to connect with other entrepreneurs. If you're interested in doing a #tribethursday Interview, please contact us at or submit an inquiry on our contact form here.

#TribeThursdays with Sincerely Image

This #TribeThursday series cannot happen without mentioning my partner in crime, business and lifestyle, Rachel Pangilinan of Sincerely Image. Sincerely Image is "A lifestyle company that offers creative services for conscious, creative and underrepresented people. Our main focus is to help tell your sincere stories and to capture perfectly imperfect moments" (Sincerely Image) When someone is in their journey and search for their "tribe" there are a few things to look for: A balanced Partnership, aligned missions and values and most of all, being able to automatically absorb energy with their mere existence, which is everything that describes my relationship with Rachel. She is constantly striving to experiment with new choices, methods and places. Her practice in art and design is carefully crafted as she utilizes natural traits of her subjects since she believes their individual traits is what exemplifies their natural beauty. Tune in to today's interview and discover what goes on in the mindset of a creative genius who wears many hats. B: Tell me about yourself R: I'm a daughter to Filipino immigrant parents. I'm a big dreamer. Super impulsive. I like to say that I'm a creative, because I do a lot of different things. I like wearing many hats. I'm a wife to a supportive husband and mom to twin girls, Artemis and Apollo. B: What is the name of your business and what do you do? R: I'm the founder of Sincerely Image, which is a lifestyle service + community for the creative, conscious + underrepresented. I also recently joined the Flow Journal App team as one of their UX designers. Full-time, I'm a graphic designer in the print flyer industry (currently I do the Sleep Country flyers). B:What is the best lesson you’ve learned from being an entrepreneur? R: A few lessons, actually: When things get really busy, don't be afraid to outsource. Protect your brand. Be selective of who you invest your time in.Keep your paperwork organized and set aside a % of your earnings for tax season.Collaborate with others you believe in and who believe in you. Ask for feedback and use it. What can you improve? What should be highlighted? B: What is your mission behind Sincerely Image R: My mission is to support and uplift underrepresented people. I’m talking mothers (of all kinds), BIPOC, POC, LGBTQ, small business owners, lonely trailblazers... B: Do you have a morning routine? If yes, describe it. R: I actually don't have much of a routine going because it varies based on whether my hubby is off work or not! Mainly, it's a lot of baby stuff, making a quick breakfast and then getting myself zoom call ready for my 9-5 WFH job. B: What do you do on days where you feel like you’re having a brain freeze? R: I'll let the off days happen and try not to fight it. If I'm working on something and I feel stuck, I need to stop and just give it time. Ideas don't usually come to me when I'm forcing it. When the time is right, it just flows. "When things get really busy, don't be afraid to outsource. Protect your brand. Be selective of who you invest your time in." B: What is your mission statement? R: To do the best work I can to thrive in my life, to learn life's lessons, raise great humans and to positively impact those around me. B: Who are your biggest inspirations? R: My past self and future self. B: What is one thing you would share to those who want to become a Photographer/UX Designer? R: In these industries, you have to have something to show. That portfolio should be your main focus when you're starting out. Ask yourself, "What kind of work do I want to do? Fashion photography? Get fashionable friends to stand in as your subject. Want to improve how the instagram app is used? Do a case study on it. And once you figure out which direction you want to go, work to have samples of that as proof of what you are capable of. B: What is your social media handle and available contact information? R: @sincerelyimage / @sincerelysevenxo / YOU CAN ALSO PURCHASE EXCLUSIVE SINCERELY IMAGE PRINTS HERE: Are you a female entrepreneur who wants to share their story and participate in #TribeThursdays? Email us here: SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER HERE

Tribe Thursdays: Attia Events (Rana & Theresa)

Theresa Dang and Rana Attia are not only partners in business but partners in life. I had the opportunity to sit down with them and chat about the vision behind Attia Events, a Wedding and Event Planning Company. We talked about their values and mission for the business, learning opportunities they experienced as Entrepreneurs and their pride and support for the LGBTQ community. They share their inspiration behind their unique designed and executed events and photoshoots and why they chose the non-traditional wedding aesthetics. If you’re thinking about getting into event planning, but not sure of what direction you want to go - this interview just might help you make a choice.

What is the name of your business and what do you guys do? R: We're Attia events and we're a Wedding and Event planning company. We also are involved in the design and decor aspect of the planning.

T: Yeah, Design is something we’ve added recently since it was something I'm more focused on, but overall it's weddings and events. What’s the story behind the name “Attia Events”? How do you pronounce it?
R: Attia (AH-Tee-yah) after my last name. A lot of people thought It was just “Tia”, so I’ll have people come up to me, thinking it’s my first name and say “Hi Tia.” And I'm like, “No, it’s AH-tia, but you know, close enough.” In the end, I want this to be MY company. Before me and Theresa were partners in this, I knew I wanted this to be my “legacy” you know. In that sense, I would be able to die knowing that my name was under this company. Just from its name alone, it creates its own identity. I commend you both for creating such creative campaigns, reaching out to other business owners and executing collaborative projects. What made you want to initiate these projects? R: We’ve always thought about it, even like from the very beginning. It's always been about collaboration over competition for me. T: There's enough to go around for everyone. Why not support each other and grow together, you know, in this little tiny industry that we're in. Tell me something about yourself. R: I guess a fun fact would be business-related. When I was doing my post-grad at Humber, I told myself and everyone around me that I was never going to touch weddings in my life ever because I hated it. And I remember telling myself “I don’t know too much about weddings - it’s not my forte. This is just not what I see in my future.” But something switched in me. I guess as I got more experienced in the industry and left school, it helped me become more open minded to weddings. Now! I can't see myself ever NOT doing weddings. Even if, even if it's a small spectrum of the company in the future. I will always have a little piece of my heart attached to weddings. B: That's great! And I love that! It just really comes to show that you've come a long way. You've completely evolved and established who you really want it to be. It's not even just weddings that you weren't going after. It's those relationships that you were establishing. I feel like that really shows throughout the world you both have created. Okay. Theresa, your turn! T: Before joining this business, and even before meeting Rana, I was a very insecure person. Like, I don't think it showed that much, but inside, I just never knew what I really wanted. I was confused about who I was, who I wanted to be with in terms of my sexuality and stuff. I realized after meeting Rana, she was the right person for me. She helped me become the person who I was meant to be. I'm so much more confident in who I am now, what I want to do. Also, joining the business helped me realize how creative I actually am. All of my previous jobs were very corporate and behind a computer screen. She gave me the opportunity to explore my creative freedom with her. She’s always supporting me, even when my ideas are really ridiculous. She's like, “Why not! Just do it! And let's see where it takes us.” For the first time in my entire life, I just feel 100% good. I've never felt like this in my life and I'm actually happy with where we're going and with who I am. What is the best lesson you've learned from being an entrepreneur? T: I think one of the major things is that you shouldn't be afraid to put your work out there. In the beginning sometimes you have to kind of do work for free. Especially when you’re trying to get more exposure and get your name out there. We did a lot of free work and helped others; wedding planners, and other photographers. We even put our own money into producing photoshoots to shoot content. That was our way of networking and developing more partnerships.You just have to do free work sometimes. Yeah, it sucks. but it's not like you're putting less value on your work. I think at the beginning that's like the best way to make connections. That's what helped us grow the most. I don't think it's devaluing yourself, but then once you know your worth, then you better price your services right.You just have to get your name out there. R: I think one lesson we both learned. Well, when I started the company on my own at first, I was just playing by the rules and thinking about what my audience will like, or what kind of content should I create? What kind of website should I have to satisfy the market and what I think other people will like in order to come and join us. T: Yeah like what a typical wedding planner should do R: Yeah! It was all based on what I think other people would like. But as we progressed throughout the years, I realized that's not the way I want to go and I'm not going to be happy because that's not who we truly are. We're trying to actually show who our true selves are. A lot of people are always going to have something to say about you, regardless of how much you try to please the world, they're always going to have something negative to say about you. So why not just do what you want to do and just BE HAPPY. What is your mission behind Attia Events? T: I guess you could say that our real mission is to just connect authentically with art, with people while having fun. We just want to celebrate all love with no judgment and have fun while doing that. R: Yeah! Just letting others look at us as a whole and know right away that this is a company where they will automatically BELONG into. Knowing that we're partners not just in business, but we're also partners in life. Just seeing that and knowing that, they’ll say “Okay, this is the company I want to work with.” To be honest, the wedding industry STILL has a lot of growing to do. This past summer, there was an article that came out about a videographer who didn't accept the same-sex couple client because they didn’t support same sex marriage. There was a lot of backlash from that. That article helped companies realize that they should be changing things around and making things more inclusive to others. We want to make sure that everyone feels represented. We want to show that you’ll have a great time with us and we're going to have a really great time planning your wedding or your event. B: This is why I believe event planning companies like Attia Events need to be amplified. We always need to think of ways to get your name out there in the transactional world. I always think “What can I do to get this brand, or my friend’s brand OUT THERE?” R: I honestly completely agree with that. Especially with us. Especially when our friends are just starting out, even something really small. For example one of our friends just started a spice blend company Moms Masala. He's leading a kickstart. You want to support your friends and you want to support somebody that is doing something really good. Even if you can't financially support them, just spreading the word is just as impactful. In the beginning, when we started, it felt so nice to get such positive feedback from the people that you knew. You remember the people that supported you from the very beginning and it's such a nice feeling. Next question. Do you have a morning routine? If yes. Describe it? BOTH: *laughs* Um, not really. R: We kind of just get up. We're doing this new thing where we're intermittent fasting and don't eat until 12 and just have water. But most of the time, we have no routine. We know what we're doing throughout the day. Sometimes we'll sit together and plan out the day, especially if something important is coming up. Then we know we have a lot to do and need to work together. We'll think of a to-do list for the day and keep ourselves and each other accountable. Other than that, honestly, not really. T: We like to go with the flow a lot and if we do plan something, we like to do it at the beginning of each week and write it in the calendar day by day. Then as long as we achieve our goals during that week, then like, we're fine. We don't need to keep to a tight schedule. R: We're very flexible in that sense because I like to work more in the daytime whereas Theresa likes to work at night. So sometimes we don't have the same schedule. Sometimes we work at different times. What do you do on days where you feel like you're stuck? T: At that point we just don't do anything. We don't ever want to force ourselves to work if we can't think of something or if we're not in the mood, because that's when we start to dread it and it's not fun anymore then what's the point right? So if we ever had a day like that then we just chill out and watch TV and relax a bit until we feel like we're ready to relax your brain and then get our thoughts together and then start working again. Who is your biggest inspiration? R: Truthfully, I was thinking about this. I don't know if I have any specific ones. For me at least. I look a lot at wedding planners around the world that are not just in Toronto. I like to look at what else is going on that's not in my own bubble and what we know here in Toronto, because what we have here is so different from a big wedding planner let’s say in Australia, or even Vancouver. I look at other countries for inspiration, to force myself out of my own bubble. When I look at Toronto, our trends tend to blend in together and we all seem to have the same stuff. T: For me, I never really followed the wedding industry, so I don't have much inspiration from there. But honestly I really like art. Viewing the variety of different pictures. I love their use of colors and design. I use that inspiration and apply that to what we're doing when we're designing. Even like, when we watch movies and TV. The other day we found inspiration from Rihanna’s Fenty fashion show, Savage, on prime! B: I always find that your content always stands out. There’s something about your style of events and design that makes your audience want to vicariously live through it. It's like a temporary escape. T: I never just want to blend in because that's not who we are. I think we're quite quirky as a couple. We want to show people who we are. So it's nice when people notice that we are a bit different in a good way. B: What is the one thing you would share to those who want to become an event planner? Or event planning company or a design company. R: This goes a little bit back to what Theresa was saying before, how it was like a lesson learned. One of the lessons learned is working for free, if you can, in the beginning, build up your portfolio, build up your experience. I went to Humber College to do a postgrad in Event management, but then I also did my WPIC, which is the wedding planning certificate. To be honest, I don't know if both of them are necessary. It depends on what you want, which spectrum you want to go into, if you want to go into weddings, definitely get your WPIC. I think this is the kind of industry where experience overtakes education. It's the kind of industry where you can't really learn it from books. You have to experience something and to be able to talk to people in an industry and shadow them. From there, the people you’ve assisted and worked with, they can start to recommend you to other wedding planners that need assistance. From there, your name kind of gets thrown around a lot. I’ve also met up with a lot of event planners as well. I feel like that experience really shows what kind of execution style you're going to be able to do for your own company when you finally start it. What is your social media handle and available contact information?

BUSINESS TOOLS you didn't know you needed until NOW!

Sometimes finding the right tool can help you save a ton of time, which is key for operating a business. If hiring specific people with a specific skill set isn’t in the budget then these tools might help you achieve great content and organized time management skills. Check them out below: Ubersuggest - is a tool that provides insights in strategies that are working for others in the market for comparison. It gives you the opportunity to look at your other competitors’ analytics and see what’s working for them. Canva - Not a graphic designer? Then this tool is for you canva is a content design tool with thousands of templates that you can utilize for your website, social media, presentations, ads and more! Trello - this is an organized management tool that you and your team can utilize to track and plan Projects and their progress. Planoly Is a scheduling tool for Instagram and Pinterest. This tool helps with plan and schedule content, hashtags, geotag and It also allows you to sync to your Facebook business page. Clip drop is an app that can extract any image you capture and paste it on your computer screen. It uses the state of AI to provide the best quality extraction. PSD mock ups - this is a tool that has templates to help create a personalized design mock up images to present to your clients Loyalty free image sites - These sites provides loyalty free images that you can utilize if don’t have time to plan a photoshoot. Pixabay Style Stock Society Pexels Unsplash Stocksy - photos at a good price TONL- diverse options Foodiesfeed Lightroom App - a great photo editing tool for your content where you can also customize presets. Illustrations (If you’re not a graphic designer) - open peeps Drawkit.Io Air table - Easy to use online platform for creating and sharing databases. You can store, organize, and collaborate on information about projects ex. Employee directory, inventory etc. Description - THIS is a great tool to transcribe videos and audio files (podcasts) into text. It also has the ability to edit text and screen record. For more tips, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter
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Last minute DIY gift ideas to give your mom on Mother's day

So you have about less than 24 hours to figure out what to get your mother, and Amazon or any online delivery services may not be an option anymore. Here are some DIY gifts you can quickly put together. Oh, add some flowers on top of that. 1. Chillin' with Chilli Oil Grab some olive oil, chili oil and voila! You have an easy to make Chili oil. Here's a recipe by Chili Pepper Madness to follow. 2. "Treat yo-self" Spa Kits - It can be a manicure set, a post-bath care kit. Basically a kit where mama can enjoy true "me" time. Throw in some lavender body lotions, nail polish, manicure tool kits, and a bottle of wine to set the tone. 3. Plan to plant a plant - Grab a small pot and twine from the dollar store or even an extra mason jar you have to spare, and buy soil and a pack of seeds and plant a couple of them deep within the soil. Take your twine and wrap it around the neck of the pot/mason jar and tie a bow. To add an additional touch, create a label/write a sweet note. 4. Preserves to preserve - Make mom a strawberry jam or any kind of preserve jam. Here's a simple recipe you can follow by Lord Byron's Kitchen. 5. The way to a mother's heart is...Food - You can make cookies, cakes, or any kind of dish. What matters is that she will be full. Here's a decadent chocolate cake recipe by Slaylebrity.

5 Ways to Balance WFH and Being a Full-Time Parent

Regardless of how your method of parenting looks like, it's still pretty exhausting to be responsible for taking care of another human life. We are responsible for thinking about feeding schedules, naps schedules, creating activities (especially developmental activities right?), spending time with our kids, socializing, etc. So, how are we supposed to balance Working From Home and taking care[teaching, playing, socializing] or our kids? Here are some tips that might help! 1. Create a schedule - Remember the 4th trimester? Remember when we lived in a daily schedule? For some, it might be a while since some of our kids are all grown up, but this is no different. Make sure you create an hour by hour schedule and stick with it. That way a specific time-frame is dedicated for either JUST work or JUST the kids. 2. Designated workspace - It might be a little tough trying to check and respond to emails in the middle of the living room, which might also be the kid's playroom, and where they watch TV. Your workspace can still be in the living room, but make sure you have your own space for just work. Get a desk, or laptop support, accessories, and possibly an accent chair to put in the living room. That way you don't have to be too far away from the kids, but far enough to still have your own bubble to work in. 3. Take advantage of "Nap Time" - This is the time where the little ones are passed out for maybe 30 minutes minimum. Take advantage of this time and use this time to either get a deep hustle into your workload or other things you need to catch up on like working out, eating meals for yourself, or even catching up on the news or TV shows. 4. Set your boundaries - Make sure your company knows your "working hours" that way communication and work can be efficient. Make sure you're also implementing these working hours on yourself as well. It's tough to ignore that *ding* sound when you receive emails so put your phone on do not disturb off working hours. (Add app, search)* 5. Hire or ask for help - Make sure you ask for help when you need it. If you have a partner, make sure they do their share on helping out with the kids. There are also different services that can assist you with certain admin activities like virtual assistants, copywriters, marketing professionals, and more. These services can assist in making the workload more efficient with your time.

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Wedding Planning 101: Common Mistakes to Avoid

No matter how prepared you are for your big day, mistakes are inevitable. However, a lot of these mistakes can be avoided. These issues shouldn't be something you have to deal with on your wedding day. Which is why a professional should be running the day for you. Story time! We did a wedding a two years ago for a client and we spent the week before the wedding trying to connect with all of the vendors. However, the Cake Vendor was unreachable. We've sent emails, left countless voicemails - there was even a point where their phones were out of service and we had no way of contacting them. We tried calling them a few more times the night before and the day of and I knew from there that was going to happen. However, chasing a cake vendor wasn't a priority, my BRIDE and GROOM were my priority. Now, the ceremony has finished, and here we are setting everything up at the reception hall, and all the vendors have arrived and set their stations up except for the cake vendor. They were still a no show. So it came down to two final decisions. We either use the additional desserts that was ordered to create some kind of substitute for the cake or we drive down to the cake shop to try and rectify the situation. There were pros and cons to both decisions, but I went with the decision that would make my bride happier (she wasn't too pleased with the lack of professionalism from this cake vendor) and that was to get the cake. Thank goodness she had me as her wedding planner, because I was able to drive to this cake shop and do whatever it takes to make sure that there was a cake in my car when I make my way back to the wedding. You wouldn't want one of your guests or anyone in bridal party of family dealing with a situation like this, spending time away from your big day, so leave it to the professionals to deal with these mishaps! You're spending so much money on your big day, so you deserve to enjoy every single minute of it! Here are 9 Common Mistakes to avoid when planning a wedding! 1. Hire a professional to run the day! We get it, wedding planners aren't cheap. You definitely do NOT have to hire a wedding planner from the beginning. If you're a bride who has the ability to plan you're own wedding, then big applause to you! However, hire someone a month before to bring all your vendors together, run the show and troubleshoot! That way you can spend that month preparing yourself as a bride and spending time with family. 2. DIY: Yay or nay? It's not always the best idea, however some people are really talented when it comes to arts and crafts. If you plan on creating your own decor pieces, then we recommend you start EARLY. That way, if it does not work out, you can quickly look into other alternatives. Don't settle for last minute centrepieces you won't be happy with (example: getting a random glass jar and throwing fake flowers or candy in it). 3.Music - We recommend to our clients to hire a DJ because how do you know what guests would want to dance to? Some songs make the dance floor a ghost town and will bring people straight to the bar, overwhelming the bartender and forcing the reception coordinators to provide insufficient service. 4. Alcohol and preventing overspending - You have different options. You can request to be charged on consumption, that way you pay for what actually gets consumed by your guests. You can also limit certain drinks from the bar for example: Martinis, premium liquor etc. Or you can find a venue to bring your own alcohol. Then, whatever is not consumed can be returned. 5. Booking Venue before finalizing certain details - Make sure to set your budget and create a guest list. Some venues cannot accommodate more than a certain amount of people. So, if you're planning to invite 250 people and your venue can only accommodate 200, then that would be 50 awkward conversations you might have to have. 6. PLUS ONE policy - If you’re inviting a guest that doesn’t know anyone at the wedding, give them with a +1. It’s nice to enjoy the event with someone you can enjoy it with. 7. Impulsively sending your save-the-dates - Be mindful of certain time frames throughout the year. For example, December is a really bad month and thanksgiving to send out SAVE THE DATES, which may get lost within the piles of holiday cards and mail. 8. If you received a gift, say thank you. - It's always polite to thank those who made the effort to show up to your big day and provide a gift on top of that! Make sure to reach out and say THANK YOU! 9. Wedding Photography - I have witnessed way too many situations where couples blame the photographer for photos that didn't turn out the way they imagine. However, that was it, they left their vision to their imagination and didn't bother to provide instructions to the wedding photographer. To avoid miscommunication, provide a shot list and details of your expectations to your photographer ahead of time. Doing this will prevent this disappointment from happening. *PROMO* EMAIL US TODAY TO BOOK YOUR DAY OF COORDINATOR! CONTACT:

Hello, My Name Is...

Welcome to the Blessanca & Co blog! My name is Blessanca, Founder of Blessanca & Co. This blog is like a window looking into how life is operated through my perspective as a mom, entrepreneur, wife, girlfriend of girlfriends, a fury-mom, city girl and more! There are different kinds of women out there in the modern world. We have The Mother, The Career Girl, The Animal Lover, The Entrepreneur and more! Blessanca & Co is about providing a platform for all types of women; creating experiences and resources for these women. We may be based in Toronto, but soon, Blessanca & Co will be an online platform that will be accessible to everyone and anyone around the world! Even though we're here to share our wisdom with you, we hope we can learn from you too! We want to get to know you too and hear your stories, thoughts. Let's connect, collaborate and enjoy each other's company!