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FIERCE /fi(ə)rs/ adjective, fierc·er, fierc·est. 1. having an unrestrained nature


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C0NTRIBUT0RS

WRITERS

Evra Ali, Alexandra Almeida, Sunanna Bhasin, Brittany Davis, Kat Kalenteridis, Camelia McLeod, Krushangi Patel, Fatima Yousufi

ARTISTS

Kerri DeLisi & Dana Bell

FEATURED

Melissa Chan (Olive Branch & Co.) Courtney Hinz (The Local Kingdom) Kristen Kieffer (She’s Novel) Kathryn Hilderbrand master tailor (Good Clothing Company) Cindy Lee, Jenny Cui and Emilie Chan (Her.Box) Maureen Dunn (Mata Traders)

LOGISTICS

.CONTENT EDITORS. Lisa Alves, Sunanna Bhasin, Krushangia Patel & Jenna Samantha .CREATIVE DIRECTION. Sarah Mae Conrad & Whyishnave Suthagar .SOCIAL MEDIA. Yunesta Soedarmasto & Dominique Daniella .FINANCE MANAGER. Jessica Amin

© FIERCE media


a letter It’s been a while since we released an issue of FIERCE, but we decided to create a mini zine for Issue 4 on the millennial businesswomen. In an age where 10 year-old fashion bloggers can go on to meet Anna Wintour, YouTubers get feature films made out of their lives and instagramming is a part of your day job it’s no wonder that many millennials are using the web as the primary platform for launching their start-ups. A decade ago starting a business without a business plan would have been impractical and rash, however with the onset of the Internet it is becoming more and more feasible to make impulsive choices like that work in your favour. But that is not to say that building online presence and business viability happens overnight. It remains true that to make any business work it takes a lot of labour, persistence and strategizing. In this issue we got the chance to speak with various entrepreneurs pursuing a diverse range of online businesses to get the ins and outs of starting a venture from the ground up. These women share with us the obstacles they had to overcome when building their businesses as well as the benefits of following through on their entrepreneurial pursuits. So hopefully after reading this issue you’ll be inspired to act on your impulses or just gain a greater appreciation of the inner workings of the millennial businesswoman.

Sincerely, Whyishnave Suthagar editor-in-chief


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FIERCE C0NTENTS

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008 OLIVE BRANCH & CO. - Rising calligraphy artist, Melissa Chan, discusses her growing business and art practice. THE LOCAL KINGDOM - Courtney Hinz explains her creative collective, design work 014 and her experiences navigating an online business. SHE’S NOVEL - An interview with Kristen Kieffer, a novelist and creator of She’s 016 Novel a website dedicated to helping writers of all skill levels improve their craft. 019

GOOD CLOTHING COMPANY - Master tailor, designer and entrepreneur Kathryn Hilderbrand shares insight into ethical and sustainable clothing production.

020 A GIFT FOR A GIFT - Meet the multitalented young women at the helm of Her Period Box, making menstrucation manageable with products designed for R&R during that time. 021 MAUREEN DUNN & THE MATA TRADERS - A chat about the fair trade movement with the founder of Mata Traders a brand that focuses on sustainable production.

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LEAN IN REFLECTION - a recap of the highlights from Sheryl Sandberg’s bestseller about women pursuing leadership roles in the world of business.

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GENDERED PARENTAL LEAVE - a discussion about the laws in Canada governing the right of working parents to take care of their children.

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INSTAGRAMMING - Observations and suggestions by an avid instagrammer on how to use this social media platform to promote your work.

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YOUTUBE LUV - A look into some successful female youtubers who rose to fame by following their passions and utilizing this infamous video sharing platform.

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COVER - Collaged cover by artist Keri DeLisi

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COLLAGES - Collages by artist Dana Bell.

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Melissa Chan, inspired by some “calligraphers and hand-lettering artists on Instagram,” had an altruistic vision for her own calligraphy business, Olive Branch and co. “From the beginning,” Chan tells me via email, the vision of her calligraphy business has been to bring peace. She wanted to create pieces that encouraged people and lifted them up. All of her pieces reflect this initial vision of peace for her customers. She sells cards that tell the receiver things like, “You are so loved”, and she writes “Home is where you are” on maps that can be sent to your favourite person. All her works exude her original vision and so does her company’s name. “The idea of the olive branch [a symbol of peace] really stuck out to me, also because I love how they look and I love drawing them - it was a perfect fit!” Thus, from the abstract idea of peace came both the company’s original vision and its name. It was the beginning of Chan’s entrepreneurial journey.

OLIVE BRANCH & CO. By Brittany Davis

Chan’s business became a more concrete plan after she went walking around downtown Montreal and happened upon an Etsy booth. “I ended up talking to one of the sellers [at the booth],” Chan writes, “and she really encouraged [me] to start an Etsy shop and gave me some free listings, so I thought, why not?” This was the beginning of Chan’s relationship with Etsy, although, she does note that she had loved the company for a while beforehand: “I love what Etsy stands for in terms of its love for the handmade, and the idea that you’re buying not from a big corporation but from independent artisans and individuals. I don’t think I really saw anything else as any other option.” Etsy has since allowed Chan to expand her business. “I’ve really appreciated the way Etsy has connected me with so many customers and opportunities, including getting to send my work to people in places like Australia, Singapore, and the U.K., and getting to sell at Etsy fairs here in Montreal.” Etsy took her local business and made it global. Currently, Chan offers a variety of products in her online shop. She takes customized requests, from tattoo designs to various types of cards, and she also has staple items such as wedding party cards that sprang from a number of requests for them. Some of her products can also come from things she would want to use herself. “I have had a couple of weddings coming up this summer, so I thought I’d just design a bunch of cards celebrating love simply because I knew I wanted to give some away,” she tells me. The majority of her clientele is made up of brides or newlyweds. How these items go from design to end product is truly fascinating and obviously very different from the mass-made products that we see so often around us. Chan has a base “arsenal of materials,” as she calls it, that includes “paper, ink and nibs” which she gets from the Paper and Ink Arts store in the U.S., as there are few stores that carry such items in Montreal, according to Chan. She tells me of all the different types of papers she uses for her works. “I like using Rhodia Pad paper for digital work, Strathmore bristol cardstock for custom written work, and any coldpress watercolour paper for painting.” She also uses various colours of ink for her work “including black, white, gold, navy blue, and walnut that I like to use the most, but my favourite is probably classic black.” These different colours create a wide variety of beautiful cards. Her nibs also vary in kind. The nibs are “the removable pointed parts that I stick into my holder to write with.” They go on the top of the fountain pen holder. “I like to use Nikko G and Zebra G nibs.” A lot of her tools are foreign to the majority of non-calligraphers or non-fountain pen users, but it is all important and interesting to Chan. “I totally understand -


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- that for non-calligraphers this sounds like a lot of jargon, but I really do love talking about tools and what people use.” Despite being ‘jargon-esque’ to some of us (like me), these tools allow Chan to create her unique and diverse pieces. With these materials in hand (or near hand), Chan creates her work. With customs items, Chan will consult with her client: “They tell me what they’re looking for, and some of them might send me some pictures of similar things or a Pinterest board.” Then Chan will sometimes draft the items with pencil. From there, “I start inking them up with pointed pen or painting them with watercolour, depending on what the order is.” Sometimes a computer is needed to help with the design. “I will then digitize the design if need be, scanning it into the computer and doing some clean ups on Adobe Photoshop! If it’s a product that I’ve come up with, I’ll do a similar thing, but will often show my design drafts to my husband, who has been a great support and sounding board, and we’ll often talk through some of the designs together, which helps me refine my drafts to create something.” Through this multi-step process, a product is born. Chan greatly enjoys the creative aspect of her work. Her business could not function without her discipline and business sense: “I’m actually surprised by how much I have enjoyed creating this business! I never really saw myself as an entrepreneur, so when I stand back and think about it, it’s somewhat shocking to me that I’m even doing this.” Although she finds the managerial aspect more challenging that the creative ones, she notes that it has been a great experience anyway as “it feels like and adventure, creating this business, because I’ve never done anything like this at all before.” She plans out her days in her big Moleskine planner, using such organizational habits to keep herself focused as she works and develops her business. Chan’s business successes are wrapped up in events that bring peace to others. “[Success] can look like new opportunities and new avenues to share my work, or even coming up with new products that further reflect the vision of Olive Branch and co.” Chan has great aspirations for Olive Branch and co. She hopes to expand what she and her business do or create. “I’d love to teach some calligraphy classes to pass on the love for calligraphy and lettering at some point.” In addition to adding this educational aspect to her business, she also hopes to expand the products that she sells. “I’d also love to do more cards and eventually try and get into wholesale with them, and there are so many different products I want to try, including and not limited to more prints, bookplates, stamps, notepads... it goes on and on!”

Her enthusiasm for her craft is what makes her work so interesting. Chan is also eager to develop her craft more. “Calligraphy has such a long and deep history, and I’d really love to learn how to do more traditional styles”, says Chan. She is eager to change and evolve her business so that she can learn, create, and uplift others. Her art speaks truth to her and motivates her to keep going. Her “love for the art and the desire to create” is what makes Olive Branch and co. successful. Her favourite projects and some special moments in her work exemplify moments of success for Chan. She describes some of these moments, such as “the first time someone emailed me to do a styled shoot, or when people entrust me with very special projects like being part of their proposal or honouring a colleague, or the first craft fair I did.” She tells me that she loves to do work for friends or loved ones. Yet, one of her most memorable moments, was when she did a project for a man from New Zealand: “He had written a poem for his girlfriend and asked me to write it out, as he was going to roll it in a scroll and give it to his girl as part of his proposal! It was such a meaningful project because it had so much heart in it, and I felt like it was a collaboration with him, since he had written this poem himself. After he proposed, he sent me a picture of the two of them with the piece, letting me know that she had said yes! It was so incredibly thoughtful. I was so honoured to be part of that special moment.” Moments like these, when Chan can directly see how her work affects people is evidence of her business’s grand success and the power of peace.

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THE LOCAL KINGDOM Courtney Hinz: teacher by day crafter by night Courtney Hinz, a creator and artist, has many inspirations behind her work. One of her major inspirations is Rifle Paper Co., a company that creates anything from cards to bags, whose work has influenced many of her own designs and the work of Emily Henderson, a home stylist and author. “I think her whole feel of design is one that I really have internalized and comes across in my work,” Hinz tells me via email. While these two artists have inspired her creations, Corrie Ten Boom, a woman who helped Jews escape the Holocaust during World War II, is a feminist role model for Hinz. “I so admired the strength, courage, and determination she demonstrated throughout her life and hope that I can develop even half her old-fashioned good sense, solid character, and wisdom throughout mine,” Hinz reflects. The level of courage and wisdom Ten Boom exhibited may be hard to match today, however, such qualities inspire future generations, and people like Hinz, to be courageous in their own ways. This example of courage could be one of many that inspired Hinz to take a leap of faith and start her business, The Local Kingdom, a company that creates hand-painted mugs and tea sets. Hinz started by “making the mugs as wedding gifts for friends a few years ago,” and she began to enjoy this mug-project and found herself making more and more. For her, the business is “a nice side project” since she is a teacher by day. The business allows Hinz to express herself and do something other than work. For Hinz, the business is fun, interesting and a means to express creativity that may otherwise be left underused. Hinz admits that her business’s name did not come from a profound name-picking ceremony involving doves and long sessions reading the poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge. “Alas, my process was far less romantic and far more pragmatic than I wish it was” she tells me, “basically, I sat down and thought about who my ideal target market was and what I wanted to communicate to them with my name. For me it was young to middle-aged, urban females that I wanted to reach, and I wanted to present my business as a personalized, very non-corporate, ‘made-by-a-real-person-who-could-be-yourneighbour’ operation. The word “local” seemed to communicate all this and I started building names around it.” After long brainstorming sessions and looking at the names of other Etsy shops, Hinz was able to settle on “The Local Kingdom.” In the beginning, she created her own website in order to sell her wares, but since making this site, she has decided that it was a mistake, “still to this day [I] have not made a single sale on my own website, plus, it was much more of a hassle to set up and has barely any of the super helpful sell tools that Etsy has.” Using Etsy has provided Hinz with an easier way to work on and advertise her company: “I cannot say enough good about Etsy, It’s really nice having a middle-man to take care of transactions, collect and communicate your shop views and sales stats, advertise, and just take care of all that commerce stuff.” Hinz also goes on to highlight the importance of the community of people that Etsy creates, “Having your business as part of this established world of independent sellers will get you far more exposure and business than going at it on your own... at least initially.”

By Brittany Davis

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As much as the e-commerce side of her business is helpful and wonderful for Hinz, she still enjoys selling her goods at craft fairs and in coffee shops. “For me, the most obvious benefit is not having to ship my products. I’m sure you can imagine that shipping heavy porcelain and glass isn’t the cheapest or the safest thing and you would be right, it’s not.” Hinz does note, however, that there are other costs associated with craft fairs, “generally craft fairs will charge for the table, so I’ve found it helpful to ask around to see if the fair is well-attended and what the market there is like to determine if I think I make my money back.” Selling her goods at coffee shops has also been good for Hinz’s business, “as they often won’t take commission and are just glad to feature local artists.” But she does have certain protocols that she recommends: “Make sure to make an inventory list for yourself and them and sort out things such as charging taxes or if they’ll accept credit card payments on your behalf … and what happens if your items are broken or stolen from the shop.” These precautions ensure that the coffee shop will be a successful space for one’s flourishing business. Although Hinz is happy with her business, it does not come without it’s fair share of challenges: “To be honest, there are and always will be days when I really don’t want to do it and am just filling orders.” Most of the time, however, Hinz is able to stay on course through her determination, “It takes a lot of courage to make that initial investment, time-wise and financially, that is required to get a business off the ground and once I made that initial leap, I felt like there was no going back.” Hinz found that self-discipline became a helpful tool in keeping her on track with her business. “Sometimes, setting up your own schedule and calling in some help from a friend or family member to keep you accountable helps. For me, I kind of looked at what absolutely had to be done and gave myself a break on the rest.” Self-Discipline and prioritizing one’s work kept Hinz’s business afloat when unexpected and important problems needed to be dealt with. Hinz’s focus and discipline are what made her successful despite the challenges associated with running a business. The motivation behind Hinz’s business, why she started it and why she continues to do it even during tough times, is because of her love for creativity. Some of Hinz’s work is done based on requests from customers, which Hinz enjoys receiving. “Collaborating with customers is a lot of fun for me and has produced some of my favourite work,” she writes. Her other designs come from other inspirations: “it’s designs I see in other things such as stationary, interior design, or just broader trends. In general though, I just have a particular love for very pretty things and really study them whenever and wherever I come across them to try and figure out what exactly it is that so draws me to the item. Then I try to incorporate or recreate that in

my work.” She also targets the young urban female crowd similar to blogger types of the “Oh Joy!, Cup of Jo, A Beautiful Mess” variety. “Having these bloggers in mind was helpful as it gave me a more concrete reference point to consider when making decisions about logo, name, and general presentation of my [business]. For instance, when making my banner I could go through a few pages of Oh Joy! and then make myself a few different prototypes and think, ‘Which one would attract Joy Cho’s eye?’” Her target market, however, has changed since she first began her work and now her most common customers come from the bridal market. She states that her “most popular products by far have been my bride and bridesmaid tea cups and saucers” and that “this has slightly altered how I market my items. I now search out Etsy forums specifically aimed at brides and make sure that my items are included and visible in these communities.” As Hinz’s audience morphs and evolves, so do the products that she offers. Sometimes the process of creating a specific piece, however, starts with a clear idea and sometimes not: “I generally have an idea in mind for an item before starting it, but occasionally I just have a bunch of mixed paint left over from finishing an order that I don’t want to waste and kind of let it go wild on a mug to see what happens. Other times I just have a vague idea and will kind of trial-and-error my way to a final product.” Her work is always delicately made and beautifully painted. Mugs plastered with words and phrases such as “you’re my person” and “hope” are bound to cheer up anyone during their morning cup of coffee or tea. Hinz was able to tell me of some of the items she has loved over the years despite being able to pick favourites: “I made a butter dish a while ago that I was proud of and sold out faster than anything I’d made before. I also have a mug called, ‘Hello Day!’ that’s quite a bit louder and more colourful than anything I’ve made before, so that was quite fun.” Continuing on her journey to create more and more new things, Hinz also hopes to move into other design pieces: “My next project though is to make a foray into sewing aprons and more home-decor items, so I’m excited for that.” Hinz’s work is always lovely and beautiful and her future creations will surely follow suit.

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By Alexandra Almeida

How has the experience of running She’s Novel been? Running She’s Novel has been an incredible journey. I launched on January 31st, 2015, knowing immediately that I wanted to treat She’s Novel as a business rather than just a blog. I dug into monetization right away and released my first ebook in March. Honestly, it was a disaster. I ended up rewriting and relaunching it in June, but the original book was still a great learning experience. As I continued to monetize, I faced many joys and challenges. I messed up all the time, worked incredibly long days, and learned what it meant to truly engage with my readership. I cried a lot, too. Sometimes it was out of sheer frustration (or worse...humiliation), and sometimes it was because I had finally achieved something I’d worked so hard for. By some miracle, She’s Novel grew and thrived. I was able to quit my crappy day job at the end of June, and by the time New Year’s Eve rolled around, She’s Novel had reached an incredible milestone: 5,000 subscribed community members. Needless to say, I am still overjoyed by all that happened in the last year. It was a lot of work, but despite all the hardships I faced along the way, 2015 was by far the happiest and most fulfilling year of my life. Where did the ideWhere did the idea for She’s Novel Come from? he’s Novel come from? I decided to pursue She’s Novel in November of 2014 after working through the worst period of my life. A year prior, I had decided to drop out of college. I’d always loathed the red tape and deindividualization that came with traditional schooling, so when I decided to take a chance on my impractical dream of becoming an author, I knew I wanted to resurrect my love of DIY learning and make it happen on my own. I spent nearly nine months researching, analyzing, and writing fiction while working at a local coffee shop to pay the bills. Despite my determination, I struggled to complete the first draft of my manuscript. My day job had also turned into a living nightmare, and I lost out on a large portion of my savings due to an unfortunate financial situation. It took me another two months to realize that I was experiencing situational depression, and this terrified me. But after a lot of soul searching and a few long conversations, I realized that my depression stemmed from a lack of purpose. I’d taken a chance on my dreams, and I felt like I was failing.

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What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an online entrepreneur?

The best way for me to get out of that situation was to start working for myself. So after a lot of deliberation and planning, I decided to combine my loves of writing and business to begin freelancing as a creative coach. This manifested itself with the creation of She’s Novel. It was a hard business to build, but having a sense of purpose and an engaged readership did wonders to pull me out of that period of situational depression. It lent me a new brand of confidence I didn’t know existed and set me up for one of the happiest periods of my life. As with any business, there are many successes as well as speed bumps along the way. When problems arise, how do you deal with them? I’m a huge believer in the power of a plan. In all I do, I set long-term goals and break them down into actionable steps I can take to achieve them. Employing this technique has helped me circumvent hundreds of problems, but I’m certainly not 100 percent immune. When problems do arise, the first thing I do is identify if the issue can be resolved immediately or if it will take time. If there’s an immediate answer, I knock it out right away and move on. But if the issue is something that’s going to take time to fix--such as when I realized my first ebook was crap and decided to rewrite it--I go back to what I know best: making a plan. On occasion, I do experience problems that are simply out of my control. A scathing email, a tech glitch with one of my service providers, a power outage...in these cases, I tend to get emotional. Whether that be anger, sadness or disappointment, a good long talk with my incredibly supportive mom is always the perfect balm.

Niche down. There’s this pervasive philosophy among new entrepreneurs that you must reach as many people as possible to grow your business. I’ve been guilty of this mindset too, and I can attest to that fact that it’s one of the most detrimental beliefs you can apply to your business. In nearly every case, there are already a thousand businesses like your own dominating the market. The worst way to stand out from that crowd is to be generic. If you want to thrive, you need to niche down - to get specific by gearing your business toward a very particular group of people. This is how you grow a base of followers that can genuinely enjoy every fresh piece of content you create. What has been your greatest accomplishment to-date on She’s Novel? Oh, this is such a tough question. 2015 was a year of discovery for me. I spent time getting to know my audience and generally just figuring out how to run a profitable online business. But if I had to pick one thing, I’d say I’m most proud of the growth I’ve achieved in building the She’s Novel community. My goal was to grow the community to 2,500 subscribers by January 31st, 2016, the anniversary of my launch date. But somehow, it’s thrived to become a community of over 6,000 writers worldwide. I wish I could take more credit for making that happen, but while I employed several tactics to attract new readers, my incredible readers themselves were the ones that really grew the community. They did so much to share the site with their friends and family members, and I know that made all the difference. You are currently working on two novels! That’s amazing; especially with all the other projects you are working on as well as your blog. Can you tell us a bit about your novels? Yes! The first book in the series I mentioned earlier is called The Dark Between. It’s a multiple point-of-view medieval fantasy novel written for the adult age market. The series as a whole follows seven different young people as they become swept up in politically- and religiously-charged societies that threaten to tear them apart. You can find the blurb for the first book here: http://www.kristenakieffer.com/dark-between/. My second workin-progress is a young adult paranormal urban fantasy called Dreamworld, which tells the story of a young girl who discovers her dreams are a portal to the spirit world. Her long-lost father is trying to destroy the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead, and only she can stop him. You can find more info about this novel here: http://www.kristenakieffer.com/dreamworld/. Both novels are currently in the editing stage, so stay tuned. In both cases, the books should be available in physical and digital format.

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By Alexandra Almeida

Do you have any tips for time management? How do you allocate your time between your blog, eBooks, and creating e-courses? Ah, time management. I’ll admit that this is still a work in progress for me. Perhaps it’s an artist thing, but I tend not to follow a specific schedule, instead choosing to work according to my energy levels. Fortunately, my energy levels seem to follow a pattern, so that does help me get work done. On a typical day, I’ll relax in the morning, work on She’s Novel during the afternoon and early evening hours, and write fiction late at night. I also prefer to work each day of the week rather than following a strict Monday-through-Friday, nine-to-five style work week. This allows me the freedom to work during my peaks instead trudging through my day and ending up with sub-par content. What can we all look forward to seeing from you in the future? So many goals! Like I mentioned earlier, I’m a huge fan of planning. I firmly believe your dreams don’t come true by sitting around and waiting for them to happen. You have to take intentional action to achieve them, and the best way to do that is to make a game plan for success. My game plan for 2016 involves a lot of new content for my business. I’m not so stuck on my plan that it might not change throughout the year. But as of right now, She’s Novel is going to gain the Self-Editing Success ecourse (currently in creation), a two-hour Scrivener workshop, a blog series on author branding, two free courses on building an author website using Wordpress and Squarespace, and a 60-day guide to writing a first draft. My personal goals include completing developmental edits for both of my manuscripts, as well as a line edit for The Dark Between. I would also like to read 40 novels. As Stephen King once said, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” It’s definitely going to be a crazy (read: incredibly insane) year, but I’m shooting for girlboss status here so I have no plans of slowing down anytime soon. To find out more about Kristen, visit her website shesnovel.com to access her content archives, digital and physical resources, and to sign up through e-mail to become a member of the She’s Novel community.

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1. Why do you think it is important to bring clothing manufacturing back to the United States? There are a multitude of reasons that I feel it’s important. As recently as 20 years ago, the U.S. was responsible for 50% of its own apparel manufacturing; that number has dropped to a mere 2% in 2015. Outsourcing to marginalized and less fortunate countries has not only encouraged unethical manufacturing practices, but has also stripped the U.S. based industry of numerous jobs. By re-shoring garment industry jobs we encourage economic growth on a local level, have a better ability to monitor working conditions for garment workers, foster U.S. business growth, and have the ability to pass this trade onto the next generation. 2. How did you come up with the idea for your business? There were a few factors that gave me the push to develop Good Clothing Company. In addition to my inability to locate reasonable and sustainable minimums for my own label, GreenLinebyK, I was disheartened by the number of local factories that had closed their doors. There is a HUGE need for production by local independent designers. They just can’t afford outrageous minimums. I wanted to develop a business that catered to the emerging designer and local businesses all while serving larger national accounts. We provide pattern making, pattern grading, CMT (this is basically cutting and sewing garments), sample making, consulting, and apparel production. 3. Why do you believe it is important to support emerging designers in the industry? Emerging designers are ‘small business.’ Our economy is built around small business. 4. What does small-run production mean for your company and how does it help with your commitment to sustainability? Small-run production means attainable production - the ability to produce garments in a way that is financially viable. It also means the ability to gauge customer response and move forward with larger production for garments that are selling. This minimizes unneeded and over-production. We practice minimal waste in our cutting methods and recycling of textile waste. 5. You also mention that your company is attainable production. What does that mean to your company? By offering low minimums, we make it financially possible for many designers to create their designs - production therefore becomes attainable.

GOOD CLOTHING COMPANY

By Brittany Davis

An ethical, sustainable and small batch production for independent designers founded by Kathryn Hilderbrand. 6. How do you ensure that designers can afford this type of production during a time when many clothing companies seem to outsource their manufacturing to countries abroad due to cheaper production costs? Although outsourcing might be less expensive per piece, the overall cost is much greater. We offer minimums that are extremely low - 10 per size/style. Our pricing for all pattern making and sample development is also in line with other providers in the industry. 7. You also say that your company is ethical from “seed to sewn” - How do you ensure that the raw materials for production are produced in an ethical way? Although we don’t manufacture any of the materials that we use, when assisting our clients with sourcing we always encourage sourcing from our certified U.S.-based suppliers who deal in organics and sustainable fibres. All of our manufacturing is done in house. Our workers are all paid above the living wage, and we have made a commitment to production that is sustainable in its nature. 8. What designers have you partnered with so far? Alchemy Detroit, La Fille Colette, Everything Enamour, ASK Fashion, Brohaun, Put on Christ, Fisherman’s Daughter, Hodge Podge, Yoga International, Innerglow Yoga, The New Blak, Nguyen Ko, Advah Designs, Rue Cassis, Valentina Oppezzo and more. We also have a number of designers on a waiting list. 9. Do you hope to expand your company, and if so, how? I do hope to expand. Please excuse my play on words, but I intend to expand organically. There is a real need for ethical and sustainable production. 10. What advice would you give to other aspiring young women who want to create their own businesses in the fashion world? Define your business, set your goals, work hard, and always remain true to yourself.

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a gift for a gift. By Sunanna Bhasin

Girls all around the world experiencing puberty may be in for a somewhat unpleasant surprise including what feels like never-ending cramps, bloating, intense cravings, and mood swings. However, the Her.Box (read: Her Period Box) founding trio Cindy Lee, Jenny Cui and Emilie Chan believe that menstruation doesn’t have to be all that bad. They created a box to make the period a more enjoyable experience, by packing it with items such as facials, a pad pouch, emergency sanitary items, cranberries, dark chocolate, granola, and three teas. Currently the box is only available in Ontario, but after speaking with the three founders of Her.Box, they hope to expand the business – perhaps other provinces will benefit from their unorthodox idea in the future. To add a personal touch, Her.Box also offer additional trinkets like hand-crafted bracelets and photo slide collectibles. The gift for the gift if you will. What inspired you to pursue this idea ? It really started as a random idea that we came up with last summer. We decided to make it a reality because, well, why not? Ideas don’t amount to anything unless you take action. Tell us about how your team works?  We’ve really had to stick together, despite differences in opinion—without each other, this would not have been possible. In the beginning, we worked on everything together. Overtime, each of us became more specialized in certain aspects of Her. Box. Nevertheless, we still share all of our failures and successes, and always support each other. What’s the purpose of this box?  The three of us wanted to create something that would help everyone who has to endure periods every single month. The box is meant to brighten every aspect of the period host, whether it be their mood or their body. More importantly, we want Her.Box to pry open this taboo topic and conversation, and for it to start new or difficult conversations with others. Would you have any advice to share with young entrepreneurs who are thinking of investing in a start-up? Don’t ignore what others have to say, because sometimes it takes someone from the outside to help you realize certain things. Believing in the idea, taking action, and persevering is key. Reading about tips and tricks is good, but actually trying it out is better. website : www.herperiodbox.com

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independently produced Our world churns with ready-made products, disposable pleasures, and one-click-away luxuries. Everything worthwhile is relatively cheap, and we like it that way. It is comfortable. Safe. Seemingly reliable. As a teenager in high school, one of my favourite things to do was go shopping at the mall. Nothing was quite as exciting as entering a store and beginning my hunt for the cutest, most stylish clothes I could find. At the end of the spree, I would ruffle through my haul and feel satisfied; most people would agree – shopping makes us feel good. And there should be no shame in feeling good. However, we should truly consider the clothes we are buying. It is necessary to ask ourselves: where was this made? Who made this? What were their working conditions? I had the pleasure of chatting with Maureen Dunn, the founder of Mata Traders, about her brand, and sustainable fashion. Mata Traders is a design-driven, fair trade brand working to end global poverty and inspire consumers to change the fashion industry! Their fair trade philosophy entails combatting child labour, fighting gender inequality, empowering women in India and Nepal, and making an indelible impact on global poverty. MAUREEN I grew up in Naperville, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. When I was in college, I made two best friends– Jonit and Michelle – who lived across from me in my dorm. These were very important connections, because today they are my business partners. Our fourth partner, Scott, is also someone we went to college with. I studied radio and TV film at Northwestern University. It’s a lot different from what I’m doing today, but I really loved documentaries. I directed and worked on a couple documentaries about the exploration of cultures and people. In that sense, it’s similar to [my business] because Mata Traders was born out of a love for travel and exploring different cultures. After graduating college, Jonit, Michelle, and I saved up our money and went on an aroundthe-world trip. We were in our mid-twenties – our parents kinda thought we were crazy, but they didn’t have a say because we raised our own money and lived on a very tight budget for about 10 months. That’s when we went to India for the first time. ME Perusing the website, I can see that India was definitely something of a catalyst for your company. MAUREEN Actually, that is where a majority of the products

MAUREEN & the MATA TRADERS

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CR8

By Evra Ali

are made. We work with one producer in Nepal, and several in India! I fell in love with India – I loved shopping and all of the amazing, vibrant colours. After our trip, I went back [to India] to start a business. I did it on my own for a couple years, selling at markets around Chicago. Then I would go to India for 2-3 months and just travel around and buy things. I started questioning – why is this so cheap? Who made it? I wasn’t getting answers from the people I was buying from, so I sought out fair trade organisations to make my products. Within a year, I transitioned. Buying things in the market that have no regulation are some of the worst things you can buy. At that point, I also saw a lack in the market for fashionable fair trade clothing. I saw an opportunity to bring that. India is known for their craft traditions and textiles – I thought this was a great direction for me to go in! Initially, I started selling a lot of home decor because I love textiles – everything from antique bedsheets to pillowcases. I noticed that people will spend a lot of time figuring out if they can afford a $30 pillowcase or an $80 bedsheet, but they will have no problem spending that type of money on a necklace or a dress. I realized that I could get better margins and mark-ups on products women would want to wear, instead of home décor. ME Have you ever found yourself facing adversities, obstacles, or difficulties in your art because of your gender, or do you find the opposite? MAUREEN A lot of the people who are politically active and socially involved in fair trade are women. I place myself in a very female-centric environment because I work primarily with women in India and Nepal. The majority of the people that work at Mata Traders are women, too. Although we do have a couple of men who work with us – it’s nice to get that energy in there. As a woman in film school, I will tell you that it [was primarily men] who were directing the films and who had the ambition to be the directors. There were some women doing it too, but I never felt totally comfortable in that sphere until I made my own movie after getting a small grant . . .


Maybe it was a gender construct, but I didn’t feel confident in that heavily dominated male-sphere. I had to figure it out on my own. I feel that way towards business, too – I am a self-starter. I am driven to be independent. The freedom of running a business and having the spirit to make decisions independently was attractive to me. ME : Why do you think it is necessary to empower women? Why is that important to you? MAUREEN : It’s funny, because there are two parts to Mata Traders that are [notably] meaningful. One part is working with the women who produce our items; building relationships and seeing them evolve and change overtime – it’s total empowerment. One of our organisations is based in a slum area of Mumbai where women have traveled from other parts of India with their families to find work; they live in tarp-like settlements. They come and start learning how to sew. If they excel, they move to the sewing machine. If they good at the machine, they might start coordinating their groups and dictating prices, or they can move up to ordering fabric. They may also take computer classes. Many women learn to read [and in turn] become more central in their communities because they feel empowered by their work. By earning their own money, they can spend it on educating their children. You definitely see women becoming louder, fiercer and more confident. We have cooperatives that are in remote desert areas in India with more traditional scenes. [Mata Traders provides] new opportunities for [otherwise unemployed] women to work outside of the family and in the cooperative. Another part I love is my team. We have a very creative, inspiring group of young women. I love giving women the opportunity to be creative and collaborative, as well as providing a comfortable sphere to design and learn about marketing and merchandising. We also offer a robust internship program. I love it because it makes sense to me. ME : This is my belief – people would gravitate towards ethically responsible, fair trade brands if they were more accessible in the mainstream and less difficult to afford. For example, American Apparel claims to be sweatshop free and their clothes have great quality. Their prices, however, are quite costly. This draws a liaison between affordability and ethical sustainability. What hopes or concerns do you have for fair trade in the mainstream?

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MAUREEN : I think about price all the time. Nobody should be buying $14.99 dresses – that is just not sustainable. If you understood how that dress was made and how it negatively impacted people – the whole supply chain, not just the stitching, but the cotton and the dyes – you would see that a false understanding has been created. Fast fashion has created a [toxic] mindset. People purchase eight or sixteen dresses a year instead of two – they go on hauls – the whole philosophy of the haul! In the fashion world, we all look at the same trend forecast. The thing is that the fast fashion companies can pump that stuff out so fast that they can get trends to market much quicker than anyone else can. This [ordeal] is attractive to young buyers who don’t have much money but are on top of the trends. This whole philosophy is very unsustainable. To me, this is something that needs to stop. Forever 21, for example, is heaped with people’s blood and sweat and tears on the racks – it’s loaded! ME : Yes! I know exactly what you mean. MAUREEN : That philosophy has created a hunger – an idea that this is what clothes cost, when it doesn’t cost that unless people are exploited. I often think about [the price point] with Mata Traders. Typically, a dress will be on retail for $82 or $85. For some people that is an expensive purchase. For some, Mata Traders could be a luxury purchase. They might [decide that they want] to buy something special and they’re passionate about how it’s made. Still, there are so many brands that are made in sweatshops [but retail for] $88. They are marked up because their brands identify within a certain niche. Pricing does not always indicate value. The only way to change this is to understand the impact about how something is made. Have you seen The True Cost? ME :Yes, I have. That documentary completely flipped everything for me. MAUREEN : That’s what really does it, right? I went to Target the next day and I saw jeans for my son that were $11.99. I thought, “Oh, he needs jeans”. Everyone gets disconnected. Even me – who has a fair trade company – still goes to Target and thinks, “This dress is cute and it’s $21. I’m going to get it”. Watching [The True Cost] and seeing all the components [of fast fashion] forced me to connect the dots and say, “No. I am not going to buy that anymore.” ME : It’s a vicious cycle. I wasn’t even aware of the term or meaning behind fast fashion before I saw the film. It made me interested in the background noise. MAUREEN : For me, it made me especially interested in the supply chain. We have a core value [at Mata Traders] for the women who make the garments. [My colleagues and I] felt motivated to consider the supply chain more. The stitching is one thing and the fabric is another thing.

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ME : Have you heard of Rita Mae Brown? MAUREEN : I don’t think so. Who is that? ME : She is an American writer. She has a quote that goes, “I believe you are your work. Don’t trade the stuff of your life, time, for nothin’ more than dollars. That’s a rotten bargain.” She is saying that finding meaning in your work is of utmost importance in defining success. Do you agree? MAUREEN : Totally. That is to say, I read a quote once, “Go slowly towards the things you truly love”. I believe that if you truly enjoy doing something, you will do a good job at it. If you don’t enjoy doing it, you’re not in the right place. I feel like that every day. I feel lucky to go to work and do what I do. It is definitely not about the money. ME : That is liberating to hear. I have one final question: What is your sentence? MAUREEN : Hm. I don’t know if I have a sentence. The other day, I saw a quote on Facebook that goes “Some people need inspiration, and other people just get to work”. I think that is how I am; I don’t spend time thinking about what my sentence is, I just do it. If I have a plan, I make it happen. That’s the thing – if you have an idea, you should go for it! I started my own business. It was just me, and then I slowly grew it. I understood my risks and I made mistakes. I don’t even have a business degree; I just learned. If you have a dream, don’t wait around to find someone you can work for. Do it yourself if you really want to do it.

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independently produced

LEAN IN Sheryl Sandberg book reflection vv Sandberg’s book is a coaching manual for woman climbing the corporate ladder, but never reaching the top. She sees this as an institutionalized issue because “women face harder choices between personal success and personal development”. But sees the root of this systemic sexism is that women set themselves back from accomplishing the most within their careers because of a few notions given to us by society. These include, constantly underestimating ourselves, not believing in our own success, that accomplishments come at a cost, and we don’t really make our partners, partners with responsibilities at home. Sandberg’s advice, women just need to be more assertive. Sandberg does address the institutionalized issues that leave women with more problems in the workplace than men, but never really gives a solution. She acknowledges that professional ambition is expected of men but is optional – or worse, sometimes even a negative – for women. Because aggressive and hard-changing women violate unwritten rules about acceptable social conduct. Which comes from, in her opinion, the fact that from the moment we are born, boys and girls are treated differently. From a very early age, boys are encouraged to take charge and offer their opinions but when girls do, they are called “bossy” or “pushy”. But Sandberg does not offer any ways to change this problem, except to start raising boys and girls the same way, and to push for equality. “I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy; to be told instead she has executive leadership skills” is her solution. What Sandberg then does is take this systematic issue and places the effects on women alone. This systematic sexism causes women to constantly underestimate ourselves, feel fraudulent when we are praised for our accomplishments, become more likeable by being less aggressive, and less professionally ambitious due to the cost on our personal lives. She offers that this should not be the case, and women, should in effect, act more like men to get to the places men have gotten. By being more aggressive, assertive with our accomplishments, negotiating, going for the promotion, having a partner who takes over responsibility at home so that our personal lives do get in the way. This adherence to the systemic dichotomy, and challenging it by simply taking over the role men have, seems like a solution only few can truly afford. Forget about the millions of single mother’s, or members of the LGBTQ community. Sandberg admits that focusing on women’s own problems seems paradoxical, stating” I know that some believe that by focusing on what women can do to change themselves – pressing them to lean in – it seems like I am letting our institutions off the hook. Or even worse, they accuse me of blaming the victim”. But she never offers an alternative. Instead the message continues, “More women, more voice, more equality”. I must admit, the message was quite persuasive however, and I would recommend that any woman completing a business degree read Lean In. It did give valuable advice on how to “make it” in today’s business culture. But ultimately, I think the message here is that women, no matter what age, ability or field, should never give up on their dreams, no matter what roadblocks or challenges arise. That you can make it, no matter what you are told and that you can do it by yourself. And should being a stay-at-home mom be your dream, well, go for it!

By Kat Kalenteridis

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O U G with gendered parental leave

If you’ve ever been curious about parental leave laws in Canada, you would have done a quick Google search. What you may or may not be surprised about, however, is the stark disparity between the number of paternity and maternity leave-related results. The search results happen to be greatly skewed towards the latter. In fact, not only does maternity leave seem to be the most expected form of parental leave as indicated by a basic Google search, but pregnancy leave also appears to be more prevalent than paternity leave. The notion that women are more likely and almost expected to request parental leave around a certain age needs to be challenged because it hurts both men and women who are planning to have a child. While paternity leave is an option for men who need to take time off work to care for a newborn child, it is still not as widely accepted. It is because this disparity between maternity and paternity leave exists that there is extra pressure for women to take time off work and for men to remain working even when child-related responsibilities arise. Interestingly, the language used on Ontario’s Ministry of Labour website with regards to parental leave is heavily gendered. There is a clear binary present: an individual either requires maternity/pregnancy leave or parental leave. There is no mention of paternity leave on the page, which raises the question – if we are going to use gendered terms like maternity and pregnancy, which clearly apply solely to women, then we had better use the term ‘paternity leave’ to eradicate bias. Assuming that females will undoubtedly take maternity leave at some point in their career can be dangerous because employers could potentially take part in gender-biased hiring to avoid losing an employee for a long period of time. However, if language was altered just slightly to accommodate males and females in a way that gives both sexes equal opportunity to take time off to rear a child, there would be no second guessing hiring a woman of prime child-bearing age, biologically speaking. There would also be less stigma facing a man who chooses to help in caring for his newborn in the workplace. It is not only that women are disadvantaged by gendered parental leave in the sense that they may fear hiring bias, but they are also disadvantaged in the sense that choosing not to take leave from work when pregnant or immediately after having a child could garner negativity from colleagues. The way to combat this inherent sexism, perpetuated by language, would be to alter the language itself because at the end of the day, a parent is a parent and a person’s gender is irrelevant. If we are going to give men and women equal employment opportunities as we should, then we should also give them equal parental leave opportunities.

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By Sunanna Bhasin

MARCH 2016

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I am a strong believer in documentation. Whether it is the best cup of coffee you have ever had at the cutest café to the on-point outfit you bought to celebrate your big 21st birthday. You never know when Nicholas Spark’s The Vow will become real life and you will forget everything that you cherished even in the simplest form. With today’s technology, documentation can be as simple as pulling out your phone and snapping a picture. But where does that picture go once it has been captured? Does it sit lost among the sea of selfies you don’t dare to share? Or does it fill the pages of social media to show everyone the pieces of your life? And if you so choose to challenge the digital world, which media is your poison? Today’s world gives us multiple opportunities to show off our lives, from Facebook to Twitter to Youtube. But only one form of social media does photos justice, Instagram. Not only am I strong believer in documentation, but I also like to think of my Instagram as a Vision Board. When you put out good vibes into the world, you shall receive good vibes. What better vibes are there than the various beautiful ways of displaying your life? A new trend that is floating around in the Instagram world is called a theme. A theme basically examines how your Instagram posts look together as a set. This is a how to article focuses on giving tips on how to make a theme. Things to think about when posting on Instagram: Photos: Before posting a photo, you must think to yourself is this photo good enough quality to be sharing? Maybe that drunken photo you took in the backseat of the cab that is super blurry doesn’t belong on your feed. Choose photos wisely to begin with, so it does not become a problem later on. The better quality of the photo, the better the feed becomes. Cropping: You want to make sure you crop all of your photos the same way. You don’t want some squares here, some rectangles there, and white boards all the way over there. No, choose one. Keep it simple, keep it concise, and keep it the same. Collages: Collages can be super cute, especially when showing off all the cute pictures of you and your bestie on her birthday, but they also can throw off a theme so easily. You do not want a ton of single pictures and then one collage because it will throw everything off. Instead choose one or the other. Filter: Similar to cropping, keep them the same. I personally don’t use filters, but I do bump up the highlights and brightness on my images. When I do so, I make sure everything is the same. So choose your favourite filter and stick with it.

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INSTAGRA By Camelia McLeod

VSCOcam: Download this app. VSCOcam is an editing app that allows you to fix up your pictures right from your phone. The best part about it is that it saves the images in a similar way to Instagram, three photos in a row. This gives you the added bonus of picturing your feed before posting. Subjects: By now you should be starting to get the hang of things. Choose something that you like but doesn’t restrict you too much to keep your theme on topic. It can be anything from flowers to cute outfits to cups of coffee. I know this one takes some self-control, but it makes everything clean in the end. Colour: This is my favourite thing on Instagram, and I just think it looks so crisp. As well, if your discipline for subjects is a bit weak, this is a great way to hide it. Pick a colour and keep it strong throughout your whole feed. This means having a little bit of that colour in every image in order to make it flow and have presence. My current theme has some shade of white in every image. Discipline: This is a word that comes up a lot when talking about Instagram themes, but it is important. To have a theme you must choose a photo wisely. Although you may love that photo, you must first think to yourself, does this fit my theme? If it doesn’t, maybe that photo could be one to share on Facebook instead of Instagram. Revision: It is never too late to go back and edit your feed. Maybe at the time you posted the photo you thought it looked great among the rest, but now looking back, its brightness may be off from the others or it’s a bit blurry. Remember to critically revise your feed every now and then to make sure it stays fresh.


AMMING

Before you get started, another positive aspect of Instagram is that you have the worldwide access to everyone else’s themes. Here are some that I definitely recommend checking out for inspiration: Lexie Lombard (@lexielombard) whose Instagram theme has the perfect pop of red in every image to create strong connections through images of different subjects. Wing (@canarygrey) displays her photography worker all over Instagram. She uses minimal scenes with strong contrast and bold whites. Baddie Winkle (@baddiewinkle) has a feed full of technicolour patterns and colours that make this feed exciting to look at and youthful despite her age. Maria Marie (@cestmaria) who uses pastels and pops of bright colour through simple background in order to make a bunch of different colours cohesive. As well, check out her more recent emphasis on patterns. Kelli Murray (@kelli_murray) is an illustrator and mother who uses her Instagram to show off her beautiful kids, amazing art, and fabulous outfits. She is another Instagramer who uses a strong white to tie everything together. Michelle Phan (@michellephan) has an amazing colour theme that meets her Instagram goals. Scroll down her feed and watch her images transform into the rainbow. Stella Maria Baer (@stellamariabaer) is an artist who displays her work on Instagram. She keeps her feed consistent with a sandy orange colour that would please any viewer’s eyes, but also by showing her artwork themed around planets and moons. My personal theme is still a work in progress, but if you want to check it out it’s @cameliamcleod.

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YOUTUBE LUV By Sunanna Bhasin, Krushangi Patel & Fatima Yousufi

YouTube has become a powerful tool for making voices heard, creative expression, advocacy, and of course, the entertainment business. What many do not necessarily realize, however, is just how many young girls and women have made it as entrepreneurs by using YouTube as a platform. Young, bright individuals have established businesses and followed their dreams by dedicating a bulk of their time to creating powerful content for the Google-owned social media site. Not all these talented individuals had money or full-time jobs on their minds when they started out – they had messages they wanted to send to the world and skills they wanted to share. It turns out that for the following females, their hard work, commitment, and passion pushed them to discover their entrepreneurial talents while remaining true to themselves. Anna Akana: artist, comedian, girl-next-door. Akana has risen to fame through her YouTube channel, which she created in an effort to fills others’ lives with laughter. This famous YouTuber has become a role model for many young people after she took to the popular social media platform in 2007 following the suicide of her 14-year old sister. Akana’s resilience in the face of such adversity teaches viewers that devastation does not have to be permanent, and that comedy and art can heal the deepest of wounds. Her videos range from stand-up comedy, to role playing, to short film. She has also been featured in films like Ant-Man and Kids vs. Monsters. Her motive was never to make a career out of her social media presence, but with 1 million subscribers, this YouTuber has reached fame and beyond. She inspires viewers with her down-to-earth, humorous attitude, reaching out to viewers on a personal level with humility. With no fear of judgement, she shares her mistakes and her lessons. She is open about her weaknesses but never puts herself down. Her positive outlook on life is contagious, and we hope you catch a case of optimism when watching Anna Akana online. CharlisCraftKitchen: two sisters, Charli and Ashlee, who love to bake. They began making baking videos at 6, and 3. Now 8 and 5, these Australian sisters are making $127, 000 monthly from their YouTube channel! With the help of their parents, they created their channel in 2012 to share their passion for baking and to keep themselves entertained. With 500,000 subscribers and 50 million views worldwide, the sisters are a prime example of how the internet is providing a platform for cultivating youth talent.

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HYMONLINE.COM Michelle Phan: a girl who followed her passion. She is now one of the highest-earning YouTubers. This 28 year-old Vietnamese-American began publishing YouTube videos in 2007 and was among the first to create make-up tutorials. She used YouTube to turn her dreams into reality by connecting with millions of viewers through her sophisticated make-up tutorials. But before she became a highly sought-after make-up guru, Michelle began working as a waitress at an early age in order to keep her family together after her Dad left. Michelle’s YouTube video earnings supplemented her mother’s income and after 4 years, Google offered her $1 million to make more videos! From there, Michelle’s YouTube career took to the moon as she became a spokesperson for Lancôme and created her own make-up line, Em. With over 8 million subscribers and 1 billion video views, Michelle has become a popular spokesperson and successful business women. She is the co-founder of Ipsy, a beauty networking site and founder of FAWN, a lifestyle network for women. Making Forbes 30 under 30 for Art and Style 2015, Michelle inspires millions of girls to follow their passion and become confident women. Lilly Singh: Most famously known as Superwoman, Lilly is a real life hero to many of her viewers. After starting her channel in 2010 to deal with her depression, she has accumulated over 7.6 million subscribers and is ranked 8th on Forbes list of World Highest Paid Youtube Stars. Aside from her witty and relatable jokes in videos like “Types of Kids at School” or “How Girls Get Ready” that captured everyone’s attention; Lilly is a triple threat with rapping and acting in her repertoire as well. She even released her own movie “A Trip To Unicorn Island” that documented her world tour when it stopped in places like India, Hong Kong, Canada, and more! Just to show that she’s not slowing down any time soon, People placed her on their “Ones to Watch” list. Grace Helbig: Actress, author, comedian. Grace is one of the original youtubers. With her first video dating back to 2006, she has grown to be one of the 30 Most Influential People on the Internet according to Time magazine. Despite losing her popular DailyGrace channel that helped her rise to fame, Grace managed to rebuild herself and her audience, accumulating to just over 2 million subscribers currently in 2016. Through her girl next door personality and struggle with her own social anxiety, Grace manages to connect with people through her sarcastic and witty jokes about topics like attempting to fit into typical standard adult life. Grace has co-produced and starred in her own movie, published a book and even hosted her own TV show on E!. Nothing comes in Grace’s way, and she’s proving that no matter what, you can always succeed through being true to yourself and working hard. Colleen Evans: A beautiful singer, yet more famously known for her train wreck singing persona, Miranda Sings. Despite being a trained vocalist from Azusa Pacific Univeristy, Colleen gained popularity online by pretending to be a girl named Miranda who thinks she can sing but cannot. After her first video in 2008, Colleen has accumulated nearly 6 million subscribers by being Miranda. Miranda grew popular in anti-bullying inspirations, as she is known to say, “Haters back off” and having strong faith in herself. Despite starting as a joke, Colleen has managed to not only make people laugh but feel inspired. Colleen has published her own book, appeared on various TV shows and will soon release her own Netflix TV series based off Miranda Sings.

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edit0r’s thanks A big thank you to our contributors, writers, artists, editors and FIERCE team in general for your support in making this issue. And a special thanks to you [the reader] as well for taking the time to read / click through this issue.

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The #Ms.Chief Issue