Fashion and Beauty United Issue 2 November 2021

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At Tired Moms Club, Owner and Creator Katherine Dubois made sure that she offered a “do you” attitude to the community when starting her brand. After Tired Moms Club launched their clothing and apparel brand in March, Dubois realized that she did not have enough comfy clothes to wear once she had her son. “I had lots of pyjamas, but not casual sweaters and tees that I could “clean myself up” in while still being ready to nap or breastfeed the moment I needed to,” she says. “I’ve always loved graphic design as well, and I didn’t want to make cookie-cutter clothing - I wanted to make truly unique and original designs that couldn’t be found anywhere else. Thus, Tired Moms Club was born.” With her brand slowly extending past being mom-focused, people of all sorts are welcome, and they are happy to be adding more diverse themes to the lineup. “I will always stay true to my - mainly - mom brand, but adding dashes of other communities to Tired Moms Club helps us

remain inclusive and also shed light on the fact that many people identify as more than one thing,” she explains. “For example, I am a mom. I am a dog mom. I am a creator. I am a nurse. It’s important to promote being true to all aspects of who you are in this world.” Dubois, who does all her logo design creations on her own, shares that creating is very therapeutic for her. “Very rarely will you see a piece I didn’t design from scratch with my own hands. Occasionally, I do purchase a font I like that I didn’t create and use, but most of my pieces are 100 percent drawn and hand-lettered by me,” she says. “My pieces are original, and they can’t be found anywhere else.” Describing herself as honest, creative and tired, Dubois explains that what empowers her daily is the idea of growing her brand and being able to spend more time with her son. “It’s super empowering for me to be creating things from my own mind that I love and having others love it too,” she shares.

Want to lear n more abou t Tired Moms Club? Visit their website op

“It’s super empowering for me to be creating things from my own mind and having others love it too.”


Why We Keep Experiencing The Same Problems Over And Over Again

I’ve done it and so have you. We keep doing the same thing and expecting the same results. Sometimes they are the results we don’t really want and when it comes to the challenges, the same goes. We keep manifesting the same problems into our lives. Why is that? Why do the same problems keep occurring? Proponents of the Law of Attraction, believe that if you keep complaining about the same problem or challenge, or keep obsessing over it, you just keep recreating the same problem. Could that be the reason? Possibly, there are many things that happen to us that are completely out of our hands, but remember events and circumstances keep happening to you till you have that one moment, that one take away. The one that is life transforming, the aha-moment! Let’s break it down, why do you keep experiencing the same problems? 1. You are wearing blinders or earmuffs In other words, you are only choosing to see or hear what you want. You are not allowing yourself to see the full picture out of fear of disappointment, fear of that same problem rehappening again, besides that, you just choose to ignore it. 2. You believe your way is the only way This all has to do with your ego. You’d rather tune out what others are telling you and don’t allow yourself to grow or learn differently. You choose to look at things your way so that they work out in your mind the way you planned it, but do they actually?

3. Your communication is kinked When a wire is kinked, it can’t transmit a signal properly. If you allow yourself to be closed off and expect others to understand everything about you, you’re wrong. Communication is key when it comes to trusting in the process of life. If you want something, you need to communicate, if something is becoming a problem, communicate. 4. You are stuck in your ways Sometimes problems can be resolved pretty easily, but when you’re stuck in your own ways and don’t listen to others opinions or try and venture out of your bubble, you will keep experiencing the same thing. Venture out of your bubble to experience new adventures, surroundings and environments. You will never grow if you’re content with being in the same spot, always. 5. Be true to what you want Excuses, excuses, excuses. We can keep making excuses as to why we are not getting where we want, or doing what we envisions but at the end of the day, all of that is on you. Nobody is going to give you what you want, you are the creator of your own life! Figure out what you want and what is aligned with your purpose, put yourself out there and go for it! Whether you are older or younger, there is always room to learn something new. Look at some of the top leaders, they pushed past every single problem they have experienced and learned to move forward with what they had. The ability to move past big road bumps in your life is the major key to success.




By: Matt Jean With school starting, one thing that parents should always have on their radar is the subject of bullying and whether or not their child is a victim of it. Bullying takes on many forms. It’s far more than occasional teasing or kids excluding other kids from playing games with them on the playground. Instead, bullying includes recurring incidents of harm or humiliation. For years, schools and parents have tried to push the importance of choosing kindness over harassment - either verbal or physical - and celebrate our differences instead. Unfortunately, bullying can be motivated by many different things. For example, some kids feel the need to bully others to feel superior to others that are different, weird, or “weaker” than them. Bullying can also be motivated by racism, homophobia or transphobia, disability, etc.

Bullying doesn’t stop once school is over. For some students, it follows them home when they log in on social media. Cyberbullying has been increasing as a way to taunt their peers through social media platforms. Students now call out and tease their peers in video game live streams, Instagram, and TikTok videos for other classmates to see and comment on. They’ll even go as far as to post humiliating videos without their consent. 37% of Canadian students stated that they had been the victims of cyberbullying - where someone has said or done mean or cruel things to them online. Bullying can often lead to emotional, social, and academic problems, low self-esteem, anxiety, and some people may even turn to self-harm in some cases.

As reported by a study by CBC, more than half of young people that identified as visible minorities say they’ve been subjected to racist names or comments. In 2019, one in four students who attended high schools in the Greater Toronto Area, say they have been called hateful names or have been subjected to comments that are homophobic or transphobic.

Here are some things to do and resources to help you and your child in case they are being bullied. Bring it up to school personnel (teacher in charge) and school administration, if necessary. If being cyberbullied, take screenshots of the offensive messages, block them on social media, and report them to the site. In an emergency, if you need help right away, call 9-1-1.

Other types of physical harassment include: 40% of Canadian boys (14-21) say that they have experienced some type of physical assault at school. 1 in 7 girls say another student has sexually harassed them 47% of Canadian parents report having a child who is a victim of bullying.

Contact the Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or go to the Kids Help Phone website. Kids Help Phone is a free, anonymous, and confidential phone and web counselling service.


By: Matt Jean “We’re all born naked, and the rest is drag” - RuPaul. Clothing has always been used to express ourselves and as a way to express our attitudes and behaviours. On a lazy Sunday afternoon, people typically wear comfortable sweatpants and a loose t-shirt to lounge around the house instead of dressing up as they would at their office to look the way they feel. Clothing gives you a chance on how to present yourself to other people. Some clothes never go out of style, like a pencil skirt, jeans, a nice sweater, animal print, etc. Some old trends even tend to come back in style after spending years away, like loose ponytails, knee-high boots and fringed clothing. While some trends make it full circle and become popular again, others fade into obscurity as a relic of their time. I can’t see Hammer Pants from the ‘90s or 70’s bell bottoms coming back anytime soon. Some trends stay the test of time, but one trend that’s pushing forward is the current trend of more gender-neutral clothing. In 2021, clothes can stand for individual gender expression, or the lack of it, with more examples of individuals using clothing as a way to break down barriers to show off what they’re most comfortable displaying to the world. For example, Harry Styles unapologetically wears dresses and other flamboyant clothing because he likes them. Rapper Kid Cudi also proudly wore a dress during a performance on SNL. Women also don’t need to be confined within the norms of dresses or skirts. Depending on the clothing brand, gender-neutral clothing can have more neutral colours and shirts and pants can have a baggier fit.

Clothing through history was meant to signify personal reflection. In the 17th and 18th centuries of European fashion, men wore more flamboyant clothing to reflect their wealth, as it showcased how much money they had. It was campy and grandiose, but it was normalized as a typical fashion for men. When women began dominating the office in the 1960s, the rise in pantsuits were worn to reflect their new position in what was then considered a mostly male-dominated workspace. When it comes to personal fashion, people like to mix and match clothing styles to find their amount of comfortability, regardless of being male or female. It wasn’t until the 1940s where clothing was getting marketed more gender-specifically, with blue being associated with boys and pink being associated with girls. Pants were considered practical for males, and dresses were meant for girls. Clothing has always been a way to break down barriers, regardless of gender. Women’s rights activist Elizabeth Smith Fuller wore pants in order to fight for women’s dress reform, for example. We have seen many trends that come and go throughout the years, but bending the rules has never gone away. Clothing has always been a means of self-expression, showing who you are, whether it’s to be comfortable or to express your true style, regardless of colour or make. Fashion and - the people wearing them - are constantly changing.


Meet The Face Of

Black Business Can Inc.


From Left To Right: Brenell Dean (Chair of the Board), Ruby Foster (Secretary), Angelina Ebegbuzie, Victoria Rubio, Maxine Shelton (Founder & President)

By: Julianna Bonnett With their main mission to advance black businesses and programs that aid in closing the gap of black entrepreneurship, President Maxine Shelton and her team aim to bring black businesses in Ontario together on one platform to build, uplift, network, educate and organize around economics and politics. After spreading the initiative to support black entrepreneurs in 2020, Shelton and her team officially began Black Business Can Inc. in the first quarter of 2021. “We offer free diagnostic reports for your business, we pull your actual analytics and conduct a deep analysis of your website, social media, local presence, reputation status, reviews, competitors’ websites, how you measure up against your competitors, your pain points, and guiding you on where to optimally invest your time and money,” shares Shelton. While running the ship at Black Business Can Inc., Shelton also has dipped her feet in a few other business ventures. “As a former athlete and fitness professional, I formed a business called InstaHealth Box, which provides plant-based beauty products and organic food delivery. I am also the Chief Marketing Officer and Brand Specialist at Max Mobile Solutions, a business consulting firm that specializes in everything digital marketing; reputation management, web development, SEO, content development, automation, applied AI, social media management, graphic design, photography and video production,” she explains. “We sponsor 150 businesses monthly with free diagnostic reports powered by our in-house AI machine learning software to expose pain points and strengths so businesses during the pandemic can see clearly where to optimally put their time and money. We want to see local businesses not just survive, but thrive during the pandemic.”

Holding two degrees, a Bachelor of Education, a Bachelor of Commerce, a diploma in Accounting, and several certifications in Media, Marketing, Graphic Design, and Web Development, Shelton exudes enthusiasm in everything she sets her hands on. She is an experienced community builder who, as an executive, helped to launch over seven thriving organizations. She has worked in non-profits for 28 years, one of which was the launch of the largest region to date in Canada for a media company. “Our short-term goal is to bring on board 300 black-owned businesses, that provide service and products, to join our directory and our Black Marketplace initiative,” she shares. “In addition, we will facilitate networking and collaboration amongst our members, cultivate an increase in knowledge, and skills through our education sessions that will bring about growth amongst the black businesses that we serve.” Working alongside some incredible individuals including Angelina Ebegbuzie, Brenell Dean, Ruby Foster, Victoria Rubio, and Lara Doan, Shelton states that when starting a business of any kind, it’s important to incorporate self-care into your daily activities. “As an entrepreneur, your business success has a direct relationship with your mental, physical and spiritual health. Nourish it daily so you can be your best self. Evaluate your circle, actively surround yourself with people who possess the integrity qualities, skills, and expertise you wish to have,” she shares. “Find a quality mentor that doesn’t Lord over you and tell you what you need to do, but who walks you through questions and thoughtful discussion and discovery so you can see professional development as your friend!” To learn more about Black Business Can Inc, visit their website at




Illustrations by: Melissa Bonnett & Suraj Sasi


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Being Your Own Boss With Natasha Feghali By: Julianna Bonnett

Founder of Feghali Group Inc, Natasha Feghali, knew that when she started her business, she was driven and inspired by the need to work for herself. Feghali Group Inc. started in 2014 and is an independently owned and operated rental homes, rental of storage units and holding group. Priding themselves on giving their customers the best quality care and expertise, Feghali explained that after meeting with her mentor, the idea came to her about being involved in real estate. “I had a mentor who told that I either needed to marry very rich or start to get myself together because I would be bankrupt by 30 years old,” she shares. “He said real estate is the way to go because it is a basic need and will always be a necessity.” After receiving $4000 that she borrowed from her mother, Feghali knew she wanted to work for herself. “My inspiration was driven by the need to work for myself and not to be the subject of someone else’s vision,” she explains. Born in Windsor, Feghali is both Lebanese and Croatian and has worked in four countries.

“I am a recipient of the Sovereign Canadian Medal and many other awards. I love to work in education and sit on multiple Board of Directorates across Canada and Globally,” she says. “I am a fitness and beauty lover and probably spend most of my free time at the salon.” On top of that, Feghali also creates videos for new investors and property managers who need tips and tricks. In addition, she offers her followers the ability to contact her at any time. ​ “I believe that we are different because we are more of a boutique-style business, and we operate in the city we invest in,” she says. “We love Windsor-Essex, and we want to keep giving back to the community.” Describing herself as motivated, bold, and uncensored, she shares that for the last 23 years she has been working, she feels like she has an excellent balance to everything. “I feel that I have been able to really keep and maintain my health and weight by taking care of my body and mind,” she states. To learn more information on Nastasha Feghali or Feghali Group Inc. check out their socials, @nefeghali and @feghaligroupinc.


Mindfulness With Rebecca Reagan By: Julianna Bonnett

For Yoga Teacher and Owner of Lumina Family Yoga, Rebecca Reagan, when she started her business this year, she knew she wanted to make every person and child feel connected with each other and foster family bonding. After having the idea in her head for quite some time, Reagan worked as a children’s yoga teacher and was inspired by the parents she talked to who either took adult yoga classes or were interested in trying them after enrolling their children in yoga. “I had also conducted research during my Master’s degree that taught me about the ways in which families have an enormous impact on children’s psychosocial development and wellbeing,” she shares. “From here, I got the idea to start teaching family yoga classes and work to create an environment that supports families in maintaining close relationships throughout the lifespan.” When Reagan was younger, she took a children’s yoga class offered at a community centre with one of her friends and loved it.

“I immediately connected with the idea of practicing meditation and mindfulness but felt it difficult to do as a high-strung, stressed-out teen,” she explains. “Regardless, I tried my first adult yoga class at a studio downtown and really enjoyed that it took me out of my head for an hour and into my body. After that, I started occasionally practicing because I couldn’t afford a regular membership at a studio, and once I learned enough poses, I started doing them at home.” While also obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and a Master’s degree in Human Kinetics, Reagan shares that she enjoys teaching adult and children’s yoga classes separately. Although, she thinks the real magic happens when you can witness the family bonding that occurs when parents and children are given a chance to participate in physical activity together. ​ “In addition, much of the family yoga classes I have seen offered are either parents and children or mother/daughter dynamics. With my classes, I want to acknowledge that family dynamics and relationships are not limited to nuclear and or biological families,” she says. “For this reason, I intend to create classes outside of what is currently being offered, with the message that you may bring anyone who you consider family. I also want to engage all members of the family, including grandparents, who are often forgotten about in the family yoga setting.”


Most of us already know this, but it is essential for our inner happiness when we fall in love with ourselves. In addition, it can help us be successful in other relationships and help us connect with the person you want the world to see. When you can fall in love with yourself, you will receive more love in return. When you exude love and confidence, you will attract people in your life that also have the same zest for living. So the cycle is clear, and it all starts with one thing, falling madly and deeply in love with yourself. But where does self-love come from? How do you build it? How do you work through the things dictating your everyday life and holding you back from true happiness? 1. Be Kind To Yourself It seems so simple but can be one of the hardest parts of self-love to master. Unfortunately, we are growing up in a society that tells us how to look, feel, and act. The way to fix this? Take back your power. Whatever that may be - negative outlook on life, feeling empty, lost, or unconfident, take your control back! Learn to catch yourself when you fall into negative self-talk and make a conscious effort to change those words into positive reaffirming comments. 2. Change Your Self Talk The way you talk to yourself affects your mind and your overall being, and a lot of the time, negative self-talk can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s ok to hold yourself to a high standard and feel the emotions you feel within the moment, but it’s not good to get stuck into that mindset and let it dictate your everyday life.

3. Surround Yourself With Supportive People Remember that you come first in your life You are your number one priority, and having supportive people around you reminds you that it is a good thing to set yourself up with a positive mindset in life. In addition, creating positive and healthy relationships in your life can remind you that there is good in others and that good is present in your life. 4. Push Yourself Getting out of your comfort zone is the key to happiness. When you get out of your comfort zone, you allow yourself to be free of your fears of failure. Pushing past those fears can bring a new and exciting aspect to your life that you once dreamed of that now is a reality. 5. Give Back When you’re checking out, and the cashier asks you if you want to donate $1.50 to a cause, do it. It’s such a small gesture, but it can change the whole aspect of your life. When you give back, you feel like you helped someone during their time of need, but you realise that helping others could potentially be your life purpose, and when we find our life purpose, everything else falls into place. These are just some small steps you can take to start to fall in love with yourself and your life. Life can have its ups and downs, but we need to focus on those ups and acknowledge the downs. Then, even when we fall, we can get back up and start over. There is no playbook to life; it’s what we want it to be.


Fab Food Recipes Pumpkin Spice Muffins Uhm yum! It’s that time of the year again and for this Fab Food Friday, we thought we’d feature one of our favourite Thanksgiving recipes! How to make Pumpkin Spice Muffins? You will need 1 Box Of Spice Cake Mix, 1 796 ML of pure canned pumpkin and Hershey Chipits Chewy Milk Chocolate Chips. First, pour your cake mix in, after that throw in your canned pumpkin, mix it all together and then last but not least, don’t forget your chocolate chips! Make sure when stirring them together, you are folding the chocolate chips with your mix.

Spooky Peanut Butter Popcorn

After, place your mix into your muffin tins and set your oven to about 350 degrees and let the deliciousness bake for about 12 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven! And voila, the smell of pure joy!

Want a simple and delicious Halloween treat? Try this recipe for Spooky Peanut Butter Popcorn 🍿 What you need: Chocolate chips (for melting) 1/2 cup Peanut butter 1/2 cup Honey 1/4 cup Sugar Whatever Halloween candy you want Directions: 1. In a small saucepan, heat the honey and the sugar till the sugar has desolved on medium-high heat, resist the urge to stir until the sugar has fully dissolved. 2. Once it has dissolved and bubbled a bit take it off the heat and add in the peanut butter. Stir until completely combined. 3. Pour mixture over popcorn and mix Wait a few seconds before adding in your Halloween candies. 4. Melt some milk chocolate over the stove top in a double boiler or in the microwave until fully melted. Drizzle over popcorn mixture and allow to harden.


Dutch Boys Chocolate By: Julianna Bonnett

For this Fab Food Friday, we are featuring Dutch Boys Chocolate, located in Kingsville, Ontario! This delicious and mouth-watering chocolate shop offers everything from truffles to medallions and even 3D creations. With so many flavours to go around, Dutch Boys Chocolate has a lot to offer, even when it comes to the way they started making their sweet creations. Here’s their story: After two retired Dutch men by the name of Cor Boon and Henry Noestheden met at a friend’s dinner party in 2012, they began to learn of one another’s business and creative experiences and share that neither one of them was enamoured with the concept of remaining retired. While giving their full attention to the design and production of what they wanted to put out to the world, they created a new line of hand-made chocolate confections and truffles. With their 3rd year anniversary just passing in May of 2020, The Dutch Boys are still going strong in creating and producing amazing and tasty creations for their community.


Fab Food For this Fab Food Friday, we are showcasing Birdies Perch bustaurant & takeaway food truck located in Leamington! This perfect little truck offers a wide variety of food and we have to say, making the trip out there to get some of their delicious eats is completely worth it! Offering Perch Tacos, Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Gringo Beef Tacos and more, they use the finest and tastiest Lake Erie Yellow Perch! You are not going to want to miss out on this place! Check them out at 625 Point Pelee Dr, Leamington!

Caffeine & Co, located in the heart of Downtown Amherstburg is the perfect little coffee shop to get all of your essential morning sweets! Offering many different morning meals along with delicious desserts, luxury tea and spirited beverages, the options are never endless at this beautiful little cafe! Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday, this is somewhere you need to check out! We promise you it’ll be worth it!


The Power

Of Gratitude with Ghazal Zorriasatein

By: Julianna Bonnett

When the Owner and Founder of Whiskingbabe, Ghazal Zorriasatein, started her online baking business in December of 2020, she made sure that all the desserts she offers are homemade and made with fresh fruits and no food colouring. While making sure her desserts are made to perfection with attention to detail, for Zorriasatein, it wasn’t until after completing one of her school projects in business at the University of Windsor that one of her professors encouraged her to continue with it and make her business a reality. “That was the first spark. Once I graduated from the university, I had a plan to run my own cafe, but then Covid hit, and I had to change my original plan to an online dessert shop,” she shares. “Whiskingbabe was created in Dec 2020, and my mom is an essential part of Whiskingbabe. She is Whiskingbabe’s sous- chef.”

“I published my poetry book, which is a collection of Haiku and modern poems in Persian. It’s called “The world calms down when I braid my hair,” she explains. “I would also love to translate it to English as soon as I get the chance. I graduated with an Honours degree in Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Windsor. I am currently a full-time TD Personal Banker, and I also manage my small business after my work at TD.” Offering many desserts like cheesecakes, mousse cakes, healthy chia seed puddings in different sizes and shapes, Zorriasatein explains that she is very grateful for her amazing customers, businesses, family, and friends who always supported her small business. “Word of mouth is an essential part of my business success,” she says. “On top of that, I promote my business on my Instagram and Facebook page by creating discount cards and publishing posts and stories and through advertising businesses.”


Photography 101 for dummies

Inspiration can come at any time and any moment, and I can’t even begin to express how many times I’ve seen something and thought, “damn, I wish I brought my camera with me.” Once you get into the art of photography, the options are endless when it comes to creating a digital masterpiece, but first things first, you need to know how to control the beast and tame it in the way you like it. Yes, I’m talking about your camera. There are so many ways you can create a beautiful shot, and depending on what you’re shooting, there are a few basic skills every beginning photographer should have in their rule handbook. Pay Attention To Your Light This is a simple but handy tip. Whether you’re in direct sunlight, a shaded area or in a dark room, your light is what will dictate your photo to turn out well. Often, the goal here is to balance the light’s intensity between your subject and background. So even if you’re photographing a fantastic sunrise, the photo could turn out bad depending on the way you shoot it and what type of lighting is hitting your camera. The easiest way to solve this is to pay attention to the direction and softness of the light. If the light is too harsh, you could get bad shadows going across your subject, which is especially a problem for portrait photography. If your light is coming in and creating an unflattering look on your subject, see what you can do to move around your light source, whether in a studio or outside, wait until you can see your subject correctly through your viewfinder. Set Your Camera to Raw RAW is a file format just like JPEG, but very different from JPEG. This element allows your camera to capture all the images recorded data by your camera sensor rather than compressing your image, which JPEG does. When I shoot in RAW, it gives me the ability to have higher quality images and has allowed me WAY more control in post-production. For example, have you ever taken a great image, but the lighting was too dark and editing it in Photoshop as a JPEG did nothing? I could promise you that if the same thing happened in a RAW file, you would have more control and more ability to fix that image. Stop using your on-camera flash Time and time again, I have made this mistake. Your on-camera flash is meant to be there as a security blanket, a backup, but it doesn’t get the job done.

If you’re not careful, using your built-in camera flash at night or in low light situations can lead to some unpleasant effects like red eyes, shadows and sometimes blur. Therefore, it’s recommended to get your camera an attachable flash, one that is a good backup in case you need a flash in low light settings. Be Selective It’s a good thing to realize that every photographer has taken some bad shots, no matter how talented or skilled. Their work stands out because they only put out their best images, the few that turned out the best. That’s why it’s best to be selective and remember quality over quantity. Sure, you can take over 2000 photos over the course of eight hours at a wedding, but a lot of the time, only about 500 turn out great, and that’s ok. So promise your clients quality over quantity. Learn from your mistakes This one was so hard for me to apply. Even if I knew in the back of my head that a photo I took didn’t turn out well, I would still tell myself it was good to avoid self-disappointment. Not all your photoshoots and sessions will turn out great for many reasons but use these as tools and ways to learn from your mistakes and analyze what you can do better next time to make sure you avoid it. Understand your Exposure Triangle Although it may seem scary to have to remember all of this, it will just come naturally to you once you take the time to learn. The Exposure Triangle simply refers to the three most important elements, ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture. Especially when you’re shooting in manual mode, you will need to know these three elements to make sure your image turns out crisp and clear. ISO: Controls the camera’s sensitivity to light. Shutter Speed: Controls how long the shutter stays open when you take a picture. Aperture: This is the opening of your lens and controls how much light gets through the camera sensor. If you can apply all of this into your daily manual, I promise your work will start being more consistent, more clear and you’ll be proud of yourself!


Trusting Your Gut with Katie Stokes By: Julianna Bonnett

When Katie Stokes started her business Whiskeyjack Boutique in 2019, it became a reminder to her that when you trust your gut, good things can happen. Before opening their business, Stokes and her business partner, Allison Mistakidis, had a vision of creating a business after learning more about the downtown area and what opportunities were available. “The store and concept were originally her idea. She came to me wanting to learn more about the downtown area and what opportunities might be available for her in the neighbourhood, and the more she talked about her vision, the more intrigued I became,” she shares. “We first met over coffee in early April 2019, and by May 2019, we opened our doors for the first time.” Located in the heart of downtown Windsor at 55 Maiden Lane West, Whiskeyjack Boutique specializes in Canadian made gifts for locals, and unique Canadian made souvenirs for tourists. “We’ve always been a safe and inclusive space from day one, and we do our best to give back to local and Canadian charities on a regular basis to support causes that matter to our customers and us,” she states.

When they first started, they already had a Shopify website and product catalogue, but they were not using it to their full potential or marketing it as a means for ordering products. “When the pandemic hit and everything shut down, we quickly pivoted to push our online shop and were able to adapt very fast to taking delivery and curb-side orders as well as shipping worldwide,” she explains. “The biggest impact we’ve seen because of the pandemic has been the loss of tourists in the downtown core and our city in general. A big part of our business was built on the people who visited Windsor from other cities, communities and countries, so we had to shift our product base and focus a bit to move forward focusing solely on local shoppers.” With her parents Rick and Rita also volunteering their time to help out with the business, Stokes shared that their business is unique because they make sure to focus on Canadian brands. “What makes our business special is our focus on supporting Canadian brands, makers and bringing new products to our area that showcase all the wonderful things this country offers,” she says. “Customer service is very important to us, and we go above and beyond for our customers whenever possible.”



For Co-Founder, Chairperson and Executive Director of BOLT Safety Society, Vedanshi Vala, it has become her and her team’s responsibility to do something about the profoundly alarming reality facing violence against women not only in their community but nationwide.

That means in a friend group of 6 people, at least two could very well be survivors,” she says. “I have also personally known survivors of violence and abuse who have shared their lived experiences, and their stories really affect me on a personal level as well, because I wanted to help protect them and countless others who have faced similar trauma.”

After creating Bolt Safety Society in 2017, Vala and a team of high school students called ‘HP-TIE’ (Harnessing the Power of Technology through Innovation and Engineering) entered a competition called “International Anu and Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE competition”. Despite not winning, they pushed forward with their idea.

While entering her 3rd year as a Bachelor of Science student at the University of British Columbia and also majoring in Integrated Sciences, Vala graduated high school with a bilingual International Baccalaureate Diploma in English and French.

“We pushed forward with our initiative and officially incorporated as a federal not-for-profit in the summer of 2020. As such, technically, it’s been just over a year since we’ve officially been an organization,” shares Vala. “Over the years, we’ve grown and learned a considerable amount; however, our core objective remains the same: to create safer communities. Today, our organization consists entirely of volunteers, with youth leadership at its helm.” With their headquarters based in Metro-Vancouver, British Columbia, Vala explains that the idea of BOLT Safety Society came with realizing the gravity of the situation and wanting to do something to improve it. “There are harrowing stories you see too often in the media about sexual assault and domestic violence. For example, the UN Women organization reported that one in three women experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetimes.

“Outside of BOLT Safety, I have had the opportunity to sharpen my leadership skills through involvement with other organizations,” she states. “For instance, I serve as an Officer at St. John Ambulance and the Co-Coordinator of the BC Heritage Fairs Society’s Provincial Alumni Council.” With their organization having well over 20 volunteers with many different roles, Vala expresses the most valuable lesson she has learned is that you should always do your research, ask questions, and learn from the experts. “As much as you may think you know it all, you don’t. And to quote Newton, we “stand on the shoulders of giants”. There are people who have paved the path to the present, learn from them and build on their work for a revolutionary future,” she shares. “You are not alone. Change making happens by joining hands with others, and the collaborative spirit is the way forward!” To learn more about Bolt Safety Society visit their website at www.


Branding Done Right With Kyra Cole

For Owner and Photographer of Kyra Lyn Branding and Consulting, Kyra Cole, she finds it essential to help her clients tell their stories through her work and services. After her journey began as a photographer ten years ago, Cole was working in the tourism industry when they needed advertising and marketing photos. That’s when she decided to take some herself. “I had a fairly nice entry-level DSLR at the time, and my boss liked my work so much she asked me if I wanted to do all of the photography for the department,” she shares. “It all kind of snowballed from there. I took some college photography courses, some masterclasses and practiced for years to define my style. I shot weddings for many years before I transitioned into branding.”

“I’m in the process of finishing my ECD (Economic Community Development) certification and also have my technical certification in Native Development,” she says. “Most of my career has been spent in Municipal Economic Development/Tourism or Destination Management. I’ve worked with Chatham-Kent Tourism, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, Parry Sound Tourism, and the Municipality of Leamington. All of these jobs were to support business growth and economic development, and it ended up being such a beautiful synergy for my branding business.” Cole explains that a lot of planning goes into a branding session for their clients, working alongside a team of very talented individuals.

While offering many different digital services, Kyra Lyn Branding and Consulting is here to support you and your business in every way they can, whether by helping you build your online presence or by capturing your business through visual imagery.

“We have a discovery call with the client to understand them, their business, their clients, how they will use their images, and how the services KLB offers can support their goals,” she shares. “We talk about more than outfit and location; we get to the heart of their messaging.

“I think what is important to me is helping my clients tell their stories. In particular, highlighting the stories of women and people who are underrepresented in the business world,” she explains. “Photography can say so much, and help people see themselves more confidently, and elevate their brands.”

Describing herself as driven, passionate, and kind, Cole shares what empowers her daily: doing values-driven work, being surrounded by kind and motivated people, and her family and friends.

Before getting into photography, Cole completed her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in history (specifically Canadian Gender and Oral History) and a Bachelor of Education Intermediate-Senior.

To learn more about Kyra Lyn Branding, visit their website at


Q & A Transformation and Success Coach Victoria Rubio Are you looking for some advice and help in life? Coach Victoria Rubio has got you covered! 1. What are some tips or tricks for work stress? I always have issues controlling my anxious thoughts at work and I haven’t found a solution on how to calm those thoughts down. --Anonymous Work stress is one of the most common stressors in our lives, but it doesn’t have to be. Many times, we feel stressed at work because it’s something we feel “stuck” doing, rather than something we are happily partaking in willingly. Feeling forced to do something that goes against our happiness with no end in sight can be incredibly stressful and take a huge toll over time. If leaving the job for a better opportunity is not an option, one effective way that I suggest to help handle work-related stress and anxiety is to learn to be grateful for your job and what it allows you to do, pay for, and experience. Many times, we get so caught up focusing on what we don’t like about our job that we take for granted the positive aspects that come with it. Things like the ability to pay our bills, feed our families, gain professional experience, learn new skills, interact with colleagues, security of consistent income, etc. Try listing 10 positive aspects of your job and post them up where you can see them daily. What we focus on always grows, and we end up experiencing more of it in our daily reality. Therefore, by focusing on what you DO enjoy or appreciate about your job (or what it allows you to do) you will switch the paradigm shift from feeling stuck and helpless to feeling grateful and empowered about your experience, and you will begin to experience more of that daily, which will naturally reduce your stress and anxiety levels.

2. How can I become more connected with my spiritual side? I have taken yoga classes and have done at-home meditations before, but I really want to practice my spirituality daily but it’s hard for me to get connected a lot of times. Thanks for the advice whenever you send it!! --Anthea Young Spiritual connection comes from within. The practices and outer experiences you mentioned above do very little to help anyone connect with their spiritual core if they don’t have that aspect developed with themselves first. One universal way to begin to unfold your spirituality, which applies to any religion and school of thought, is to implement a solid daily gratitude regimen. Being grateful for everything you have, all the people in your life, all the beautiful little things we take for granted in our day-to-day reality, is one of the most effective ways to develop a strong connection with the direct bridge to the All/Universe/God that dwell within ourselves. True gratitude teaches us to love, understand, heal, forgiveness, and attracts happiness, abundance, peace, and joy into our lives. This type of euphoric serenity is what many people seek when they are looking for a strong spiritual connection outside of themselves. However, you must shift your mindset and allow your spiritual nature to unfold from within for that to happen. Once you experience that shift, you can then utilize tools such as yoga and meditation as spiritual building habits that will help strengthen your path of spirituality, but it always starts within first. @successpathcoach


Victoria Rubio is a Transformation and Success Coach who is passionate about helping people overcome obstacles and shift their mindset so they can lead lives of happiness and abundance. During her career as a professional social worker, she noticed a pattern in many of her clients and realized that most people have the passion and ability within them to reach their desired successes, but they just don’t know how. Since then, she has made it her mission is to help others reach their highest possible potential. Through her transformative coaching programs and strategies, Victoria helps her clients create paths of fulfillment and success. @successpathcoach

3. I have been dealing with an ongoing problem for years now. Back and forth I have been on medication for my anxiety and depression and some days are good some days bad. I want to work through the trauma and pain without having to use medication but I think I have mixed feelings about it. Lots of things in the media encourage medication others don’t. I have gone to a therapist a couple of times and done some classes but I’m not sure how else to work on it besides the medication. Is there a healthy way to work through your issues and fears? What do you recommend? -- Anonymous I wouldn’t recommend going off your medication without the advice of your doctor or psychiatrist. There are safe ways to wean off medications and try other alternatives, but I would seek the advice of a medical professional before doing so on your own. As far as effectively dealing with your trauma, seek a therapist, counsellor, and/or professional coach that specializes in your specific type of trauma. It makes a world of difference to get help and assistance from someone experienced in your trauma, who can offer you tangible resources and solutions, rather than someone who is can only offer general helpful support. Once you find someone who understands your trauma, the process of healing will be a much more productive, proactive, and effective experience.

4. I have been a single mom for more than 5 years now and being alone is never something I thought would happen, but I’ve become ok with it. It is hard and the guilt is high when it comes to being with someone else or having an interest in someone else, not my son’s father. I want to feel comfortable to date again but I feel like I’m hurting my child by doing that. --Anonymous One of the best pieces of advice I can give you, from one single mom to another, is this: make sure YOU are happy too. Sacrificing every ounce of personal joy because you think it is an automatic part of single motherhood will leave you feeling like a shell of yourself and will affect you negatively in the long (or short) run. Of course, one of our main responsibilities is to make sure our child is loved, cared for, safe, and happy, and that should go without saying, but that should never mean that you are supposed to accept a life of loneliness if you yearn to have a loving companionship in your life. You hurt your child more by being unhappy. Teaching them that you deserve happiness and love will help them to learn how healthy that part of adult relationships can be, and that will help them tremendously as they grow.


Shaping You With Angie Guenette

Fitness and Fashion model, Bikini competitor and professional hairstylist Angie Guenette is a force to be reckoned with. While representing major companies in the fitness industry, including Allmax & Magnum as well as Jed North, Guenette has been awarded as one of the Top 3 in the Hot and Fit 100 in Inside Fitness Magazine.


By: Julianna Bonnett Fitness and Fashion model, Bikini competitor and professional hairstylist Angie Guenette is a force to be reckoned with. While representing major companies in the fitness industry, including Allmax & Magnum as well as Jed North, Guenette has been awarded as one of the Top 3 in the Hot and Fit 100 in Inside Fitness Magazine. After falling in love with fitness and health at 17 years old, fitness became a huge part of her life, and getting into modelling allowed her to be more aware of what she was putting in her body. “As time went on, at about the age of 19, I had someone tell me at my gym I should try to compete in bodybuilding shows. I had no idea what they were or anything about the process, but I looked into it and said, “Let’s do it!” and began the process of my first prep at 19,” she explains. “Ever since then, I fell in love with the fitness world and all things that play into it, including that all bodies are celebrated. I am now inspired daily to keep going further in the fitness world, compete more, and continue my fitness modelling as I want to show young women that you do not need to be a size 0 to love your body. Strength is a superpower.” Before getting into the fitness world, Guenette began working in a salon at 16 and has always loved working in the beauty industry. “I have been lucky enough to take classes from some celebrity stylists such as Guy Tang and Larissa Love and have been sent to the Schwarzkopf Academy for training as well,” she explains. “I went to St. Clair College for a Hairstyling Apprenticeship as well. As a result, I am certified in Tape-In Extensions as well as Blondes and Balayage.”

Describing herself as fun, bubbly and a busy body, Guenette shares that what empowers her is the people she chooses to surround herself with. “My online following has always been such an awesome support,” she says. “It holds me accountable to something. I stay motivated because of all the good energy it brings in my life. I’m always looking to be better than I was yesterday.” With her goal to grow bigger in the fitness industry and compete again and grow even more in that sense, Guenette also hopes to own her own hair salon one day. “Do it for YOU! Do not conform to what the online community tells you to. Your authentic self is what people want to see,” she states. “Keep your personal life private, share your life but do not overshare; people can be harsh and criticize you even when you do not ask for it. Get a coach if you haven’t already; it is a huge motivation and helps you get a better direction when you are really looking to get serious about your health and fitness goals. If you get frustrated, it is OK! Take a break, but don’t give up.”


Sharing Strength Through Her Words With Krysta Miceli

By: Julianna Bonnett When Author, Krysta Miceli, started her Facebook page, Angels Above Us, as a safe space for her to vent about loss and grief, she never thought it would connect people to her message as much as it has.​ After her son, Benjamin, passed away from sudden infant death syndrome in June 2015, Miceli created the page as a way for her to express her emotions without overrunning her personal Facebook profile with quotes about loss. “Before I knew it, posts started to go viral, and I began to reach more people suffering from loss and grief. I’ve been told that the words spoken on the page, and the community of like-minded people had helped so many of them along their grief journey,” she shares. “From that point, I began pushing it harder, keeping up on posts & even published a book of poems written by fellow authors and grievers, and donated most of the proceeds to cancer & diabetes research in Canada.”

While managing that page, Miceli also runs an online Facebook group, allowing members to talk and be honest about their journey with grief. “Here, members can post stories, photos and videos about their loved ones. It has helped many people in the times they feel like no one will listen,” she explains. “I also have a published book of poems that is available on Amazon.” (Angels Above Us poems for the grieving heart) Describing herself as different, determined and kind, Miceli shares that what keeps her motivated is knowing that there are people out there that she can help. “Even just by writing out a short little quote, or just reminding them that they are not alone in their pain,” she says. “My children are definitely my main source of willpower.”


Strong and Fierce With Tawnya Jacob


By: Julianna Bonnett Tawnya Jacob, a cancer survivor and dental hygienist, wants to remind women going through a similar journey as hers is this: If you feel like giving up, remember that everything we feel is temporary.

The following week the pandemic began, and she was officially laid off. After being referred to a nearby imaging clinic for an ultrasound and the following week for a biopsy, she received a phone call from her doctor.

In January 2020, Jacob’s randomly asked her husband to check her chest to see if he could notice anything different or abnormal. Within seconds he detected a small pea size lump below her skin on her right breast.

“On the 31st of March, I received a phone call from my family doctor; he called to tell me my results came back as positive. Unfortunately, at 27 years old - I had stage 1 breast cancer in my right breast,” she shares. “He told me to expect a phone call in the coming days from my surgeon and eventually my oncologist. I was a mixture of emotions; scared, shocked, devastated, and anxious about what was to come. However, I will admit that I did not fear death or question if I would die. I knew that much of my destiny was completely out of my control at this point.”

“He recommended I keep an eye on it and get it checked out. So after two months of wishing and hoping for it to disappear and realizing it wasn’t going anywhere, I frantically approached my boss and requested to have the following afternoon off to get my suspicious lump checked out,” she explains. “The following day, I went to a walk-in clinic and had my chest examined by a nurse practitioner.” After speaking with her doctor through a webcam, Jacob was assured that it was likely just a cyst but was recommended that she have an ultrasound and biopsy to be safe.

After her best friend was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer at 24 years old, Jacob went into her journey with previous knowledge.


It allowed her to remain positive, hopeful and determined. “I will always look back with gratitude and wonder how I got so lucky with the timeline of everything. Had I not advocated for myself and had my lump examined when I did, I could have very possibly been diagnosed at a later stage with a poorer prognosis,” she states. On the 1st of May of 2020, Jacob started her 1st round of chemotherapy and, over a 22-week span, received 16 rounds of chemo infusions. “Overall, I tolerated the chemotherapy generally well aside from the traumatizing part of losing your hair and feeling like a zombie. On the 30th of September, 2020, I elected to receive a double mastectomy with complete reconstruction (implants). At this time, my surgeons were able to completely remove all of the cancer which was localized to my right breast,” she says. “Fortunately, my lymph nodes were not affected, and they only had to remove a small number of them to be tested. I was also able to keep both of my nipples, and I am very happy with my reconstruction results. I am happy to report I am in remission and have been cancer-free for one year! I am currently on hormone therapy to keep the cancer cells from returning, and I am feeling great.” Through everything, Jacob shares that her best advice to any woman going through a similar journey is to remember that every journey is different and that no two stories are ever the same. “If you feel like giving up, remember that everything we feel is temporary. What you are feeling is likely to fade, and emotions of happiness and joy are always on the horizon. Remember that you are loved, and there are people who need you here. Think about your goals, things you want to do in your future and the person you would become. All of these thoughts will help you to remain hopeful and motivated to keep fighting.

It is normal and natural to have moments, even days where we feel like we are always falling, we want to give up. Rest, rejuvenate and when you are ready, dust yourself off and get back up again.” Describing herself as hopeful, empathetic, and motivated, Jacob says what empowers her daily is her husband, dogs, family, friends and her mind and soul.

If you feel like giving up,

remember that everything we feel

is temporary. What you are feeling is likely to fade, and emotions of

happiness and joy are always on the horizon.


Windsor-Essex T

Photo By: Adam Knehler from Neighbur Windsor

Photo By: Adam Knehler from Neighbur Windsor

Photo By: Julianna Bonnett From Julianna B

Photo By: Julianna Bonnett From Julianna B

Through The Lens

Bonnett Media

Bonnett Media

Photo By: Adam Knehler from Neighbur Windsor

Photo By: Adam Knehler from Neighbur Windsor



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