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Sofia Sayani – Executive Hotels & Resorts

Sofia Sayani is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. She is the Director of Marketing & Operations for her family business, Executive Hotels & Resorts, a chain of boutique 4-star hotels spanning across North America in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Washington, California, and New York. We are excited to share Sofia’s story!

mompreneur Sofia Sayani marketing director for Executive Hotels and Resorts - Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Washington, California


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. My parents started the Executive Hotel chain in 1986 – they opened their first hotel just before Expo 86 and expanded the hotel chain from there. I grew up learning that nothing happens in your life unless you make it happen – and that you are the key to your own success. Based on these principals, I knew I wanted to run my own business and be in control of my own destiny.

Entrepreneurship is about seeing opportunities and having the faith in yourself to jump in and do it.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
For me, it’s the satisfaction of creating and providing something relevant and valued. To open a Hotel (pub/lounge/restaurant) from zero and build it into something other people value and appreciate is rewarding: as is creating a place they want to be at. I love having a creative outlet where I can build something beautiful – a place where Design, Style, Tastes and Trends converge and develop. I also enjoy working with and inspiring a team of people and I get excited over the synergy when the whole team is working towards the same goal.

Apart from managing the Hotel I have a real estate investment company and my husband and I renovate and flip condominiums in the city. Vancouver is a beautiful and desirable city to live in with lots of condos looking for a fix up. I do the design and style, and he does the hard work!

Continue reading Sofia Sayani – Executive Hotels & Resorts

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Minerva Maharajh – Goddess of Wisdom Spiritual Life Coaching

Minerva Maharajh is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Toronto, Ontario. She is a certified Life & Spiritual Coach, Reiki Practitioner, and owner of Goddess of Wisdom Spiritual Life Coaching. We are excited to share Minerva’s Success Story!

mompreneur Minerva Maharajh of Goddess of Wisdom


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I decided to become an entrepreneur to create more opportunities for myself and to offer something special to the world. I was in a job and totally different career path that was unfulfilling and making me unhappy, so I decided to quit and go on a soul-searching journey to figure out once and for all what I am meant to do in life. I wanted to find what my gifts, talents and passions were so I could use them to help others, make an impact, and wake up loving what I do – and I found it through Spiritual Life Coaching!

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The best part about owning my business is how much it challenges me to grow and become better. The more I grow, the more my business grows. The more I grow, the more I have to offer to my clients and to the world. It’s a really cool process and it also makes you face your lower self, your deepest worries, fears, limiting habits and beliefs; and should you choose to face it, on the other side of the challenge is a greater and better version of who you thought you were. I feel like my business is an expression of who I am – where I get to share the deepest, realest and most important parts of me in order to help others overcome their own struggles, deepest pains and achieve success. Nothing brings me more joy!

mompreneur Minerva Maharajh of Goddess of Wisdom spiritual life coaching

Continue reading Minerva Maharajh – Goddess of Wisdom Spiritual Life Coaching

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Monique Parker – Wallis Evera

Monique Parker is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Vancouver, BC. She is the founder of Wallis Evera, a Vancouver-based ethical fashion company that designs and locally manufactures modern women’s workwear using the world’s most eco-friendly fiber – hemp. Wallis Evera products are sleek and stylish, made in Canada, tailored eco-chic. The company was founded specifically to support the Fashion Revolution – a growing, global movement to stop the social and environmental damage being caused by fast fashion. With core values of sustainability, simplicity and individuality, as well as a focus on ethical, eco-friendly and local production, Wallis Evera has earned recent mentions in such media outlets as The Good Trade, Ecouterre, Flare, The Huffington Post and Magnifeco. We are thrilled to share Monique’s Success Story!

Mompreneur Monique Parker of Wallis Evera ethical hemp clothing in Vancouver


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Becoming a mom was really the spark that ignited the fire for me in terms of wanting to actively create the kind of world I wanted to live in. Prior to motherhood, I was a fast fashion shopaholic. I only really became aware of “Organic Cotton” when I started shopping for bedding and clothing for my new baby girl. Only then did I start paying attention to fabric content, chemical additives and where things were made when it came to choosing what would be touching my daughter’s beautiful, newborn skin. Of course, I wanted only the very best for her! It took a few years, but gradually I started looking at my own closet and began examining what I was choosing to put on my skin, too.

When I returned to work after being home with my kids for 5 years, I found it very difficult to find work clothes that were aligned with my aesthetic, values, and pocketbook. I was also really longing to find a way to work from home, doing something that I loved and believed in. I saw that there was a gap in the sustainable fashion market for really great and accessible workwear, so I jumped in.

Mompreneur Monique Parker of Wallis Evera ethical hemp clothing in Vancouver

What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
The average modern woman’s wardrobe is about as disposable as a box of Kleenex, and that’s not OK. There is a very unglamorous side of today’s fast fashion industry  – an overabundance of “cheap and cheerful” products are the result of cheap and/or unethical materials, processes and labour practices, which are having a disastrous social, economic and environmental impact. My mission is to help move eco-fashion from the fringe into the center of mainstream clothing consumption. I want to make sustainable fashion accessible so that everyone can look great and feel great about the clothes they wear every day.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I love the challenge and responsibility of creating something tangible, useful and beautiful from just an idea in my head. I’ve created a business that I’m excited to get up for every morning, because Wallis Evera is all about transformation – it’s our reason for being; it’s what we do; it’s what we love. Globally, we’re working to transform the environment, fashion industry and society. Socially, there is a transformative power to clothing – what we wear affects how we feel and how we’re viewed. It’s an honour to be able to create clothes that women can put on and feel beautiful, powerful, and able to do anything in the world. On an individual level, this journey into entrepreneurship in sustainable fashion has certainly been one of personal transformation. Every day, I’m growing and learning something new. It’s extremely exciting.

Mompreneur Monique Parker of Wallis Evera ethical hemp clothing in Vancouver

Can you describe a typical day?
My mornings are spent with my two kids. My son is an early riser, so we usually have time for artwork or a puzzle together before breakfast. Once I’ve dropped my kids to school, I’ll go for a run on the beach or go to a yoga class, write in my journal, then begin my workday. Fulfilling customer orders are my first priority. If there’s time in the day after that, it’s spent on planning for the next season – designs, sourcing of materials, crunching the numbers for production and sales. My official workday ends at 4:00pm, when I get my kids from after school care. Unofficially, my workday starts up again once my kids are asleep and I’ll keep going until midnight.

Mompreneur Monique Parker of Wallis Evera ethical hemp clothing in Vancouver

Who do you count on for help?
I have interns and a number of contractors that I work with to help with the manufacturing, marketing, market research, social media, and photography/videography aspects of my business. I also have several mentors that I meet with at least monthly, to help keep me grounded and keep my business moving forward. At home, I’m lucky to be able to count on my other mom friends for carpooling and play dates when I need the extra time for work. Also, I’ve recently discovered online grocery shopping – what a great help that is!

Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Yes, I usually sacrifice sleep for both!

What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
My days off from work are spent with my kids, ideally at the beach, but sometimes we just like to stay home and bake, watch movies and play board games. My days off from my kids are spent working!

What does the future look like for you and your business?
My business is still a start-up and we are growing our team each month. As an online company, our customer base is international, so one of our future goals is to expand our manufacturing operations to the USA, Europe and Japan. We would like to be local, wherever local is for our customers.

Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
You don’t need to know all the answers before you start. Done is better than perfect. If it’s important to you, you will find a way… if it’s not, you will find an excuse. Every minute counts. Schedule activities to “fill your bucket” every single day.

 

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Rachel Trudel – Anew Graphics

Rachel Trudel is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of the Guelph & Kitchener-Waterloo area, Ontario. As the founder of Anew Graphics, Rachel brings knowledge and creative insight to every graphic design project she works on, from custom logo design, company branding, print design and marketing to custom graphics for websites, and she is dedicated to providing you with imaginative and cost-effective solutions for your design needs. We are excited to share Rachel’s Success Story!

mompreneur Rachel Trudel of Anew Graphics


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
In late September of 2016, my boss came into my office and ‘out of the blue’ told me that I ws being laid off. In those few moments, my secure little world collapsed and I wondered how I would pay the bills, what I was going to do about benefits, and how I was going to provide for my family. Being a graphic designer, I had often done ‘little jobs on the side’ for friends and family such as party invitations, special posters and greeting cards, but I never thought that I could be my own boss. I was always more of a “give me the job and I will get it done” kind of person, but now that I am an entrepreneur, it’s crucial that I go out and find the work. It has been challenging to get my head around this total change, but also rewarding at the same time. I have learned so much about myself and I am still discovering new strengths and talents I didn’t know I had!

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I make my own schedule. I get to take my son to school every day and if I need to take a day off because he is sick or there is a field trip I can. Being there for my family is so important to me. It’s a bonus that I can still do what I love every day and in the process meet others in business, one-on-one, and get to know my community.

Can you describe a typical day?
After I take my son to school, I sit down with my tea and catch up on my emails and plan a schedule. Each day is different; one day I am working on a client’s website or creating a new brand, and then the next day I am photo editing. My aim is to set aside time from dinnertime to bedtime to devote to my family, and when all is quiet again, I check in with my business to get a head start on what tomorrow’s agenda might look like.   Continue reading Rachel Trudel – Anew Graphics

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Susan Eliuk – Travel Agents in Action

Susan Eliuk is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of London, Ontario. With Travel Agents in Action, Susan and her husband Rob are Group Cruise, Destination, and Dream Vacation Specialists. We are excited to share Susan’s Success Story!

mompreneur Susan Eliuk with Travel Agents in Action


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
The thought that I could present my ideas and accomplishments, and the freedom of setting up my own schedule so I can prioritize my family.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The fulfillments — you see your accomplishments and set your pace.

Can you describe a typical day? 
With my Travel days, I start with emails and responding to texts. Then I am always trying to finish a new Certification/Specialist course to enhance my knowledge so I am better informed for my clients. Most of all my goal is to enjoy my day!

Who do you count on for help?
I count on other team members within the Travel Agents In Action group. Their expertise and knowledge can always help you when you need advice or help in your business. We work towards all of us being successful. Continue reading Susan Eliuk – Travel Agents in Action

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Cheryl Himburg – Key Element Solutions

Cheryl Himburg is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Kitchener, Ontario. She is the CEO and Principle Solutions Provider of Key Element Solutions, a one-stop-shop for all of your business needs, including assistance and expertise with Project Management, Business Development, Meeting Facilitation, Training, and more. We are thrilled to be sharing her Success Story!

Mompreneur Cheryl Himburg of Key Element Solutions


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I have always been driven with a variety of interests. Law was always my plan, but when that changed due to circumstances beyond my control, I fell in love with business. Having a broad skillset to draw upon I found people seeking me out for advice, yet I didn’t take the plunge into consulting. It wasn’t until after I was working in a job, after being downsized from a company and career I loved, that I began to consider leaping. I was going to work every day not enjoying what I was doing. I dreaded Mondays and started tensing up on Sunday afternoons. So, with the support and encouragement from my husband, I followed advice from my Dad after he asked a me a crucial question: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid”. I created Key Element Solutions, and never looked back.

The response has been incredible and I find myself excited for Monday mornings. Doing what I love has been the most uplifting and freeing experience ever. I am able to help empower others to succeed, and also be present with my family. Who said you can’t have the best of both worlds?

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
There are two things that are the best part of owning my own business. First, the freedom it provides me to be able to provide my daughter with the emotional and physical support she needs in her medical challenges. I am able to manage her medical appointments without the stress of not being “present” in the office.

Second, being able to do what I am passionate about and help others succeed has been the most fulfilling career opportunity I have ever experienced. Every day I wake up with a renewed sense of engagement and excitement.

Continue reading Cheryl Himburg – Key Element Solutions

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Caren Funnell – Thirty-One Gifts

Caren Funnell is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Mount Hope, Ontario. She is an Independent Senior Director with Thirty-One Gifts, and we are happy to be sharing her Success Story!

mompreneur Caren Funnell, Senior Director with Thirty-One Gifts


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I have always done a little something on the side (i.e. wedding invitations, paper party decorations, crocheting, pattern design) but they were really just a hobby. The Universe knew I had the drive – it was me that didn’t quite get it. One day my friend asked me if I wanted to try selling Thirty One Gifts and I laughed it off.  But I started to realize that I might NEED this. Maybe this is my sign and I should just try it. I didn’t want to go back to a thankless job. So I didn’t!

What’s the best part about owning your own business? 
The freedom of time. Although I don’t take it for granted – I know I have to work. I show up to work even though it is at home most of the time, but I love that when my kids need me to get them from school I don’t have to ask anyone permission. Or when I feel like taking a break – cause Lord knows we all need one sometimes – I don’t have to schedule in vacation time around other people’s seniority.  After all, this is MY life. I want to live it they way I want to.

mompreneur Caren Funnell, Senior Director with Thirty-One Gifts Continue reading Caren Funnell – Thirty-One Gifts

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Bobbi Wright – Blue Whale Moon Publishing

Bobbi Wright is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Ontario, and founder of Blue Whale Moon Publishing. She is the author of the children’s book  “The Princess and The Whale”, a story about Princess Hannah who gets lost and strays far from home. Princess Hannah is like all of us; lonely, afraid, stuck. There are 4 characters that come to her aid that represent the voices we all hear in those difficult moments; the voices that tell us we are too much, not enough, too small,or too big. There are multiple layers of lessons in this story that are good for all of us to be reminded of. We are honoured to share Bobbi’s Success Story!

Mompreneur Bobbi Wright of Blue Whale Moon Publishing


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Oh this is a long but good story! I actually wrote these stories years ago and they got lost for about 10 years; out of sight and out of mind. A series of events occurred, starting with a dream, which turned into a painting, which then landed in a massive “Aha moment” when the stories were rediscovered. The similarities between the dream, the painting, and the story The Princess and The Whale were so full of synchronicity, it couldn’t be ignored; I knew I had to publish. Regular publishing deals are few and far between these days, so I did my research and decided to self publish.

What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
When I write, or am creating something, it’s when I feel my most authentic self. When this story reappeared after so many years of being completely gone, I was feeling lost and alone and very small, and had no idea what to do with my life. The path I was on to become a holistic nutritionist was no longer ringing true for me. Discovering the stories (Princess Madison and the Land of Nohitum is coming this year!) and putting this book together made me feel the most alive I’d felt in years… and holding the finished book in my hands? Priceless.

The Princess and The Whale book written by mompreneur Bobbi Wright

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The flexibility and balance are pretty cool at the moment. And I own the story – in a typical publishing deal a publisher would have more rights to make changes, which could change the vision I have for the book. Continue reading Bobbi Wright – Blue Whale Moon Publishing

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Cynthia Green – Leading Pathways to Mindful Living

Cynthia Green is an Elite+ Mompreneur  member based out of Guelph, Ontario and owner of Leading Pathways to Mindful Living. As a certified meditation facilitator, Cynthia courageously shares her life lessons, and guides participants in corporate settings, retreats, and local studios on their journey to deeper self awareness and calmness. We are honoured to share her Success Story!

mompreneur Cynthia Green of Leading Pathways to Mindful Living


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Honestly, years ago it was for the tax advantage. I’d been a single mom working a corporate job and when my son turned 18 I didn’t have the dependent write off. That was many years ago but it always stayed with me. After being restructured, downsized, reorganized and burnt out I realized that the only real security in life is knowing what we are truly capable of. In 2009 I made the decision to join the leagues of women entrepreneurs changing the world full-time.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The pride in saying I’m helping change the world one person at a time.

Can you describe a typical day?
A typical day – there isn’t one. In the morning my first thought is ‘do I have a presentation today’. If the answer is yes, my mind rehearses the content. If the answer is no, then it’s meditation, workout, healthy meal and prep for the next seminar.

Who do you count on for help?
I’m reminded of a quote ‘the story begins with family’ and then there are the friends that become part of our soul family. I have an amazing circle of women who I can count on, and of course my husband Tony whom I lovingly refer to as “Teflon Tony” because my stuff doesn’t stick to him. He reminds me everyday of what I’m capable of.  Continue reading Cynthia Green – Leading Pathways to Mindful Living

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Teri Holland – The Empowered Life Academy

Teri Holland is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Maple Ridge, BC. She is a Trainer of NLP, Hypnosis, Time Line Therapy® and NLP Coaching, and Founder of The Empowered Life Academy. We are excited to share Teri’s Success Story!

Mompreneur Teri Holland of The Empowered Life Academy


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I watched my parents work jobs they hated. They would come home from work every night miserable and exhausted. At a young age, I decided that wasn’t the life for me. Then I found myself one day working a job I was miserable in, dreading going to work every day, and it was affecting my health. One day I had enough and I walked out. My husband (then boyfriend) was at depot training to become an RCMP officer and had no income, we had no savings so it wasn’t ideal timing, but I knew I could make it work and that night, I started my business and I made it work.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Knowing that I am in control of my destiny. Nobody determines my income but me. If I want to make more money, it’s on me to create it. I determine when I work, how I work and when I want time off. To me, it is the ultimate empowerment.  Continue reading Teri Holland – The Empowered Life Academy