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QP APRIL 2023 FASHION and lifestyle MAGAZINE




Hi there, Welcome to our APRIL 2023 issue!





We are excited to share with you our new issue with the stunning model LAKEN ROMINE on the cover, as the result of a collaboration with sports entertainment legend, PAUL HEYMAN.

Also included are our interviews with IZZA, the Los Angeles-native artist with such an uplifting message in her lyrics, STEPHANIE ROOKE, Director of the Australian fashion brand BONITA COLLECTIVE, and JENNIFER CARTER, who shares with us her experiences with a plant-based lifestyle.

Our most sincere gratitude to all the professionals who have participated in this issue.

Much obliged!

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12-27 | 27-39| 40-49| 50-59 | 60-65 | 66-71 | 72-80 | 82-89 |
Sunset Blvd, Suite


model: LAKEN ROMINE @lakenromine


mua: MICHELLE V. @beautybymichellev

digital director: AJ ABBAS @theajuniverse

exectuive producer: PAUL HEYMAN @paulheyman

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PHOTOGRAPHER: MICHAEL BLANK @michaelblankphotography

MODEL: DONNA FELDMAN @donnafeldman

fashion stylist: ANGELIQUE SALZMANN @whitemonkeystyle

hair stylist: COCO ALEXANDER @cocoalexanderlive


produced by STRAW HAT PRODUCTIONS @strawhat_productions

Strapless Bustier Top BALENCIAGA Gold Gloves STYLIST´S OWN Collette Earrings JENNIFER BEHR QP 13

Strapless Bustier Top BALENCIAGA

Barely There High Waist Brief SKIMS

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Strapless Bustier Top BALENCIAGA Gold Gloves STYLIST´S OWN Collette Earrings JENNIFER BEHR
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Strapless Bustier Top BALENCIAGA

Barely There High Waist Brief SKIMS Rockstud Ankle Strap Pump with Tonal Studs 100 mm VALENTINO

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Leather Dickey Jacket VERONICA BEARD Belted Pant ZARA Triangle Bikini ARK SWIMWEAR
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Gold Strap Heels ZARA
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Marissa Swimsuit NORMA KAMALI
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Dress ZARA QP 25
Black Satin Balconette Bra DOLCE & GABBANA Gold Cut
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Laken Romine is the talk of Hollywood, as the North Carolina-born fashionista has become the most sought-after beauty in Tinseltown without one major film role to her credit. “It’s amazing to watch Laken’s team field all these offers,” noted photographer Elm Diaz, who collaborated with Laken for this exclusive #HustleBootyTempTats #supermodel photoshoot at a $25,000,000 USD estate in Scottsdale, Arizona. “The most powerful star makers in the world all know that Laken Romine is the fastest rising star in the entire modeling world today!”

model: LAKEN ROMINE @lakenromine


mua: MICHELLE V. @beautybymichellev

digital director: AJ ABBAS @theajuniverse

exectuive producer: PAUL HEYMAN @paulheyman

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Indeed, Laken’s career has skyrocketed since she was personally chosen by sports entertainment legend (and modeling industry disruptor) Paul Heyman to lead the #HustleBootyTempTats “anti-influencer influencer brand” into 2023 and, as Heyman himself put it, “completely change the way people think of and view supermodels moving forward”

H While Laken was born in North Carolina, she was raised in Tennessee and relocated to California with her family at the age of 12. She headed back to the South for higher education, as she attended college to become an archeologist, studying both anthropology and history at the University of Alabama. Always a multi-tasker, the entrepreneurial beauty pivoted into a career in sales, marketing and public relations. Working in hospitality, healthcare and non-profits, Laken was able to learn many real-life skills as well as becoming a highly respected selfmade businesswoman.

As Laken made her mark in the business world, she started modeling on the side, and her career in front of the camera just exploded. “In July, 2021, I decided I wanted to forge my own path. I wanted to bring my spirit, experience and tenacity fulltime to the modeling world,” Laken exclaimed. “Stepping into this new frontier has given me confidence, freedom and the ability to navigate my life in a way that is an authentic reflection of so many of the values I hold. I love being able to work with and learn from so many diverse and brilliant individuals day after day.” As soon as Laken’s schedule became devoted exclusively to modeling, the industry came calling. Whether modeling, creating content, acting or spokes modeling, Laken has already done campaigns with such top brands as Oscar de la Renta, Pucci, Lorca Cosmetics, L'Space Swim, Mane Addicts, Honey Birdette, Oliver Tolentino, Adriana Papell and Arunashi Jewelry.

Never one to slow down, Laken is also launching her own line of wearable art. The brand, entitled L.A.K.E.N. is in the final planning stages of its launch and distribution. “There is no doubt in my mind that Laken Romine is going to be the number one supermodel on the face of the entire planet,” Heyman himself told us. “If Victoria’s Secret was still doing the Angels concept, Laken would be their first round draft pick!”

“Instead,” Heyman said with a sly grin on his face, “we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to associate our brand with her rising star. Victoria’s Secret’s misstep was a great blessing for the #HustleBootyTempTats supermodel brand!”

The #HustleBootyTempTats brand has taken over every analytic and metric in the supermodel world since Victoria’s Secret shifted from “the impossible beauty standard” of the Angels to an “allinclusive” presentation, and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition stopped seeking the world’s most beautiful women for their annual issue. “It was the one-two punch that completely changed the supermodel game,” noted industry veteran Jeffrey Leventhal. “And Paul Heyman was right there to swoop in and steal everyone’s attention with the most amazing roster of supermodels on the planet!”

Heyman recruited award-winning independent film actress Laura Petersen; the world’s most beautiful athlete (and mom of four), paddleboarding champion Jala Sue; globallytrending fitness gurus Whitney Johns and Ali Lee; breathtaking bikini models Gloria Vitalina, Borbala Kreutz and Daniella Chavez; Playboy Playmate of the Year Kari Nautique; and the hottest new sex symbol in the movie world, Summer Soderstrom.

With the roster in place, Heyman started putting together “dream team” collaborations, matching his supermodels with the best photographers in the world. “Heyman’s not coming to join the

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I love being able to work with and learn from so many diverse brilliant individuals”
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supermodel party,” Leventhal exclusively told QP Magazine. “He’s coming to take the whole damn party over!”

And so, Heyman jumped at the opportunity to announce Laken Romine as a #HustleBootyTempTats supermodel. “Laken is a key component to our short term and long

term goals,” Heyman excitedly told us. “Laken Romine is going to be the biggest supermodel in the world!”

Laken Romine was photographed exclusively for QP Magazine in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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“Heyman’s not coming to join the supermodel party. He’s coming to take the whole damn party over!. ”
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We’re biased at QP as Australia is known for some of the best fashion brands in the world. From the golden boy Christoper Esber, to closet staples by St Agni, all the way to one of the oldest luxury fashion companies in Australia, Oroton. ‘Joy, Color & Splendor’ is their company motto however it’s those very 3 pillars which radiate with brilliance through Stephanie Rooke, BONITA COLLECTIVE´s Director.

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Interview by QP STAFF WRITER
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Before we delve into the brilliant and bright world of Bonita Collective can you tell us how the name came about and what it means?

Of course! I’m sure many of our friends in California would be familiar that the literal meaning is ‘pretty girl’ in Spanish. My partner Kristian came up with it originally and we love it because it’s catchy and captures the fun, feminine and universal appeal of the brand. However, I think it’s our tagline “Joy + Colour + Splendour” that sums us up best. It’s the design criteria by which we measure every piece we create and the principles we apply through every touchpoint of the business. With our Spanish inspired name, Indian manufacturing team and other crucial partners in the US & UK, we’ve certainly got global stars in our eyes; yet we’ll always remain Aussies at heart and spirit, which I think gives Bonita a naturally warm and inclusive glow. Much like Australia, Los Angeles is not considered a fashion capital, what do you think it takes to make it in this industry and what’s been your biggest lesson you’ve learnt in the journey of making a name for yourself so far?

I think it’s our secret weapon not hailing from a fashion capital, less rules, less politics, less distraction! I think this lack of shackling has enabled Bonita Collective to truly shine. We’re not a slave to trends and we’re not fast fashion; we are creating beautiful things, thoughtfully made, that make people happy. This rogue wildflower approach is at the essence of our business.

In terms of lessons learned… I’ll need you to clear your diary for a week and contact my therapist to get through all of them. In terms of the ones that have stuck:

1) You’re going to hear ‘No’ a lot and that’s ok. And ironically, you need to start saying ‘No’ more yourself.

2) Good business conduct is just as important (if not more) than a good product / idea. Stick to your commitments, pay invoices on time, look

after your people, and give back where you can. It comes back to you in spades.

3) Female founders are a hot topic right now, and not to take away from your shine, but rumor has it your Mom might be one of Australia’s hardest grafters as well as a bit of a celebrity. Would you say that your success to date is influenced by what she’s taught you and if so, what was her key to making magic happen?

My mum is a glorious human being!! She has taught me the importance of high standards, generosity, and joie de vivre since the minute I drew my first breath. She was doing the female founder thing long before it was hot and has been a glamorous, walking rainbow every step of the way. There is no doubt the imprint of my mother’s spirit has propelled me to aim high; she recently underwent treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer, and she never wavered in her positivity; everyday was met with a smile, a ridiculously over the top headscarf, huge earrings, and bright lipstick. I have two little girls of my own and I truly hope I’ve created a similar world of love, colour and joy for them.

Los Angeles seems like a natural next step for Bonita Collective, you’re bright and colorful and we’re here to celebrate that. What made you choose our fine city as a place for Bonita to start laying roots?

We’ve always had out sights set on the US and Los Angeles felt like the natural place to start, given the similarity between it and our hometown Brisbane. We too live in a warm climate and geography overwhelming with natural beauty, so we share a kindred lifestyle and environment. There is also a distinctly close relationship between Australia and LA, being just over the pond and all (!). I was recently in attendance at the G’day USA event in January and it was heartwarming to see the mutual admiration shared between the two countries. We’re like each other’s favorite cousins. I think LA has a lovely synergy with the fun-loving spirit of Bonita and I’m fizzing with excitement to build the brand over there.

You’re just about to launch your latest line called “Happy Hour” which is filled with fun,

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“We´re not a slave to trends and we´re not fast fashion; we are creating beautiful things”

flirty and frankly fantastic designs. What was the inspiration behind this collection and how many “Happy Hours” did it involve with the team?

Happy Hour came to me while living in the UK last year (we took our kids there for a 12-month stint to give them a taste of their halfBritish roots!). I really became appreciative of a good G&T, particularly in the Summertime, and I came to love the ritual of signing off the daylight hours with a delicious G&T or a Spritz. It sounds a bit boozhoundy I know (!!), but it’s more about stopping and enjoying the moment in this otherwise frantic world. We’ve created some beautiful fresh and zesty prints in more casual and easier-to-wear styles as well as some cocktail dresses that personally speak to my inner peacock.

There is a lot of focus on the power of Barbiecore, this can be referenced as a love of Barbie, pink or simply being a powerful woman. What do you think it takes to release a women’s inner Barbiecore in today’s world and what are the three things you have to do each day to connect to your Barbiecore.

There are a lot of hard things in this world, but for me, connecting to my Barbiecore is not one of them. Three things I do to tap into her are:

1) Always wear lipstick. I kind of have too to avoid looking like a swamp beast, but that aside, I always feel brighter with colour on my face.

2) Look the part. Even on days I work from home, I still wear Bonita head to toe, and I still blowdry my bangs and put the lips on. I really feel like you’ve got to walk the walk to be authentic in business, so when I’m in work mode (which is a LOT!) I try to embody it as wholly as possible.

3) Smile. It’s amazing how different the energy can be when you look people in the eye, greet them with a warm smile and show genuine interest.

We hate to use this reference but … growing up, Neighbours and Home Away were big for people outside of Australia. Was there anything in either of these iconic soaps which were used as inspiration when creating your collections, we noticed there wasn’t a “Susan” or “Madge” dress anywhere! If you had to use a current soap in Australia for this purpose which one would it be and who would be the style beacons featuring within it?

Well, we can’t really go past Neighbours without hailing the unofficial Queen of Oz, Kylie Minogue. Whether it’s conscious or not, there is undoubtedly a nod to Kylie in every one of our creations because we share a hardcore dedication to glamour and sequins. It would be a DREAM to get Kylie in Bonita Collective, just putting that out into the universe.

OK you convinced us, we accept your invitation to come to Australia, where is the fashion mecca you are taking us to and what will we expect on a day out? We want to know where we’re lunching, brunching, shopping, and club hopping ….

Let me tell you right now, Brisbane is one of Australia’s best-kept secrets (from an international perspective anyway. I think our Southern mates are catching on!). Not only do we have the most spectacular sunshine and weather, but you’d also be hard-pressed finding more beautiful beaches, wildlife, hinterland and outback. Whilst we pride ourselves on a laid-back attitude, Brisbane is buzzing with creative energy and a booming restaurant/ bar scene, so I couldn’t be happier to live here! Here are some of my favourite haunts:

- Brunch: Poolside at the Calile Hotel, at Hellenika Restaurant.

- Shopping: James Street, with my favourite stores being Samantha Ogilvie, Venroy, By Baby Jewellery and Zimmermann.

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“There is undoubtedly a nod to Kylie (Minogue) in every one of our creations because we share a hardcore dedication to glamour and sequins”
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- Lunch: Anywhere at Howard Smith Wharves (beautiful views of the Story Bridge, Brisbane River and CBD) or Rick Shores on the Gold Coast for a beachside Rose and delicious ‘Bug Roll’.

- Dinner: SK Steak & Oyster on James St or Sushi Room at The Calile.

- Drinking: A spicy Marg at Los or a Pet Nat wine at Niky.

- Exercising: Atora for a HIIT hit or Assembly by Aiko for yoga.

You are not just a businesswoman, you wear the hat of a daughter, wife and mother. The reality right now is that there really isn’t a work-life balance, do you feel like you have managed to achieve this and even if you haven’t what life tips can you share to trying to get closer to that balance?

I wouldn’t say I have balance anywhere close to being nailed; I’m generally an enthusiastic hot mess across all categories of life, but the one thing I try to do is not hate on any of it. I have four (beautiful!!) children, so things can get overwhelming very quickly as a working mother. But I also feel so immensely privileged to be in this position and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So on the days (most) where I am neck deep in spreadsheets and sequins, whilst also trying to do homework and cook dinner, I remind myself how lucky I am to have this buzzy, chaotic, love-filled world around me. In terms of switching off, I wish I could say something profound, but with such a lack of time during the day, the one thing I do often which keeps me sane is laugh. I laugh a lot. Perhaps too much and inappropriately; but a good sense of humour is key to keeping things light.

When you came to Los Angeles where did you go and what did you love the most? Not to toot our own horns but our food is outrageously good ….

Your food is SO good. I ate really well the entire time I was there, but my favourite / stand out was

a Sunday lunch at Nobu in Malibu. Absolutely bloody delicious.

What does a day in the life of Stephanie look like from when you wake up to when you finally get back to bed …..

My day typically starts somewhere in the realm of 5 – 5:30am when my littlest buddy Reggie wakes up for the day. He demands a dawn peanut butter sandwich (as you do) and I’m straight into a coffee. Typically there will be a lot of correspondence overnight from our factories, so I’ll review and respond to that, do a general scour of my phone and then move into making breakfast and school lunches for my other little babes. Then it’s the madness of getting myself ready while getting 4 other little people ready and dropping them all at school, so I basically go to work for a break. Everyday is different at Bonita HQ, which I love. My favourite days are creative days; I’m most excited when I’m briefing Kristian and the team on a new collection or reviewing designs, but I equally get a kick from the business side of things; I love the big picture planning, budget setting, range planning and working with our marketing and fulfillment partners. As I mentioned previously, we’re working with a lot of teams on many different time zones, so while our Brisbane-based crew work face-toface, we’re often on zoom calls at all weird and wonderful times. On the rare occasion, I try to take an hour here and there for a Pilates or Yoga class, but not nearly as often as I’d like. The reality is there is not enough hours in the day when you’re running a growing business, but hopefully down the track, Bonita team Pilates classes might be a thing! Late afternoon I collect my children, we go home for another round of organized chaos with homework / dinner / bath and once they are all tucked up, I tie up any loose ends from the day and then have a good old scroll of apps such as Pinterest, Vogue Runway etc to keep my creative juices flowing. I am partial to a good TV series, but I like to save that for weekends where I can stay up and binge (with a G&T, obviously). What a party girl!!

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A good sense of humour is key to keeping things light”

Finally, what is your favorite part of your job?

It fills me with so joy that people come to Bonita to find something for a happy event – a birthday, wedding, party, holiday. I take it as such a complement that people associate our brand with celebration. We recently had our first Bonita Bride, which also really made me proud. Knowing that we play even just a small part in people’s happiest memories and celebrations is a real honour and a joyful inspiration. I also love the creative process and watching a collection come to life from the original kernel of thought to up in lights on the runway.

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“I love the creative process and watching a collection come to life from the original kernel of thought to up in lights on the runway ”
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PHOTOGRAPHER/producer: JASON KONRAD @jasonkonradproductions

MODEL: VIRGINIA STABLUM @virginia.stablum


AGENt: PAOLO BUONFANTE @paolobuonfante

wardrobe stylist: PALMIRA DEL VECCHIO @palmiradelvecchio

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Total Look
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We had the pleasure to chat with pop singer, songwriter and producer, the Los Angeles native IZZA, about her career as a young musician, as well as her ability to transmit positive energy through her lyrics, while encouraging self-love.


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ou have so many amazing things happening for you this year, what has been a highlight moment for you in 2022?

Releasing my debut EP I Say This With Love was the highlight of my 2022! I can’t believe I’m already releasing my second EP this summer, but releasing music and connecting with people over my songs is so fulfilling.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have always loved music. I love California and living in Los Angeles has played a significant role in who I am today as an artist and a person. California is in my blood and I feel like being around music and the entertainment industry my whole life has allowed me to see the ins and outs as well as further solidify my passion for performing and songwriting.

What inspired you to pursue a career in music, and how did you get started?

I knew I always wanted to be an entertainer. Growing up, I took dance classes, played piano, and loved singing. There was no greater feeling of happiness I had than when I listened to music. It wasn’t until I was 13 that I discovered songwriting and I instantly knew I wanted to pursue music as a career.

Who are your biggest musical influences, and how do they inform your sound and style?

I grew up listening to late 2000s pop artists like Gwen Stefani and Fergie and loved how they worked with hip-hop driven producers like Pharrell Williams and will.i.am. That is an era of music I will always go back to and want to emulate in a 2023 way. I think the combination of upbeat pop dance music and strong and confident hiphop inspired cadences and lyricism is the recipe for my sound.

Can you walk us through your creative process? How do you go about writing and recording new music?

I feel like most of the time when I write music it happens so fast I don’t even realize I just wrote a song. Whenever I write a song, it usually takes me less than twenty minutes to write. I really get in the zone when I have an idea and I just write whatever comes most natural to me. Sometimes I’ll be lying in bed at night and get a song idea, so then I’ll get up and go to my computer and start

producing a song on Logic in my pajamas. Then, I’ll plan a day to record vocals and finish up the rest of the song with my producer.

What do you consider to be your greatest musical accomplishment so far?

Playing 320 Festival was really important to me because it was my first public performance as an artist. I am also very passionate about mental health and I am always looking for ways on how to be involved in mental health-related events and spread awareness. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or releases that you're excited about?

I’m releasing a new song on March 24th called Galaxy! It’s the second single off my upcoming EP I’m releasing this summer.

How do you balance your artistic vision with the expectations and demands of the music industry?

I always put my artistic vision first because if I’m not putting out the work that is most authentic to myself, then there is no point in being an artist for me. I’m a musician because I want to be able to create the art I want to create.

How do you approach live performances, and what do you hope to convey to your audience through your shows?

I want performances to be highenergy and get people to dance. My songs are meant to uplift people and get them to celebrate being their most authentic selves.

Can you speak of any challenges or obstacles you've faced in your career, and how you overcame them?

Getting people to believe in your vision and artistry is a challenge when you are establishing yourself as an artist. However, I think by staying true to myself and my art, I have been able to overcome feelings of doubt because I have a greater purpose of inspiring others to be themselves through my songs.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are just starting out in the industry?

My advice would be to not listen to other people because as long as you love your music and focus on becoming the best version of yourself, that’s all that matters.

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“I want performances to be high-energy and get people to dance”
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My songs are meant to uplift people and get them to celebrate being their most authentic selves
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MODEL: YANA TARASENKO @tarasenko.yana

fashion stylist: ANNA RUIZ @annaruiz.mia

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MAKEUP artist: MINA ABRAMOVIC @abramovicm

HAIR stylist: CHRIS MARTIN @bychrismartin

HAIR EXTENsIONS: LASHA DOUGLASS @hairextensionsbylasha

Interview by QP STAFF WRITER
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what led you to live a plantbased lifestyle?

It’s become something we all need to be doing now. We can’t ignore the obvious reasons why and it’s not enough to just want to make life changes, it’s critical that we do. Many things influenced me in a positive way and led me to adopt a plant-based lifestyle. The obvious environmental, animal, and health reasons motivated me towards wanting to put more effort into my lifestyle choices. It’s been a progressive journey ever since childhood for me. The more I ventured into it, the faster I progressed toward becoming fully plant-based. I would say that the most significant turning point was in my diet because it was the change, I needed to take my health to a new level. I was severely struggling in silence for years. My personal research led me to a food sensitivity test. The test revealed that I had a high food sensitivity to eggs and gluten. First, I stopped eating eggs and gluten and switched to eating only whole unprocessed foods. I realized how beautiful real whole food could be. I was forever in love. I no longer had issues from food reactions. I knew if I was eating whole foods then it didn't contain eggs or gluten. I almost immediately noticed my energy, sleep, skin, and overall health improve dramatically. As a result of changing my diet, all my previous unsolved health problems vanished. I was able to cure myself with the beautiful medicine of healthy food. I’ve stuck to it, and I’ve never looked or felt better in my whole life! I’ve found something I love, and it works for me! Can you describe what being plant-based is for you?

My plant-based lifestyle philosophy is very fluid. I continue to learn new things and adapt each time I do. When I visualize what being plantbased would look like if it was a picture, I would describe it as beautiful, bright, colorful, clean, and fresh! If I were to describe it as an emotion, it would be deeply rooted, intentional and wholesome. It’s a part of my life that I’m mindful of daily. It started with just one flower and now my plant-based life is a beautiful garden. I live by the 80/20 rule. This is 80% of the time I am healthy and strictly plant-based and 20% of the time I allow myself to enjoy life and live in the moment. It’s about doing as much as I can when

I can. For me, 80/20 is completely realistic and sustainable. I am always focused on being plantbased or vegan, as much as I can, but sometimes I want to try a bite of a cookie!

What advice would you give to someone who’s hesitant to change to a fully plantbased diet?

Go for it! I think it’s a lot easier than people think. Any goal that is going to better your life is worth working for. Doing it for the health benefits alone is going to be a positive life choice. Change is challenging but necessary to grow into a better version of ourselves. Like all new things, give it a fair try and see for yourself. I’d encourage them to start where they can, by doing what they can. Enjoy the process of going back to the roots of how our bodies were intended to be nourished, with clean and whole, unprocessed ingredients. If you need to go slow at first, try one day a week to eventually every day. Any new habit takes time to adjust to. Seek out friends, family, or people like myself who have a wellestablished plant-based lifestyle. I offer coaching and an online 14-day clean eating detox. A great way to start your new eating habits is with a certified wellness coach. It makes a difference in your success to have that expert support along the way. Investing in your health while you are healthy is so much better than waiting too long and then trying to undo the damage. Just stick with it, and in no time, you will notice an improvement in your energy, and your whole body will feel fantastic. Please do some research, and after that, enjoy the journey.

What made you want to share your lifestyle with others through social media?

I love sharing the tools people need to live their healthiest life. When you find something that works and it´s life-changing, you want to tell the world. I love that I can help others, and provide encouragement and support. Especially as a mom, sharing life hacks, tips, and systems that work, is what we love; we need it! I’m a busy mom and I know it’s not always easy to find healthy meals for our family, plus have time to take care of my own personal well-being. One thing with a plant-based diet is that you still get to eat a lot of food, but it’s clean and healthy. I know so many people who are struggling with health and weight issues. This is not a diet or a fad but

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“I was able to cure myself with the beautiful medicine of healthy food”

rather a sustainable lifestyle. This is wonderful for anyone struggling with weight changes and the yo-yo up and down. As a lifestyle, it also includes mental health habits, regular exercise, lots of water, and sleep.

Do you raise your children to also be plantbased? If so, have you found any difficulties in doing so?

Great question. As parents, we are responsible for teaching our children how to eat and care for their health. We are their example of what taking care of ourselves and being healthy is. I think Whole Food Plant-Based eating has many benefits for my son’s overall health. Recent studies have shown that processed meat is as harmful as smoking cigarettes, and meat products contain hormones and drugs given to animals that affect children’s hormones and bodies. As a mother, I feel like this is something all parents would want to pay close attention to and should be discussed together more often. I think it’s great because it’s allowed my oldest son to branch out and broaden his exposure to various foods that a lot most kids wouldn’t try, like lentils and veggie burgers. He absolutely loves lentils. I do cook all plant-based at home, and when he goes to birthday parties, I know he has cheese pizza and cake with dairy and eggs. That’s why I say he’s more flexitarian. Many adults I know are disconnected from the origins of their food. One thing I really love about the Plant-Based lifestyle is it’s about finding what works for you and your family and building on that. Unlike many other diets that can be strict, this has the flexibility to create what feels best for each individual. Overall that flex area is what makes it so sustainable for our family and the kids. The reality is that right now our world isn’t 100% plant-based, vegan, and cruelty-free yet. We can however feel good about making better choices as often as we can and be proud of our personal efforts to be a positive impact.

like to get the food out of any plastic right away. I clean my produce and place it into nice glass containers. Placing it all front and center for anyone to snack on. I like to have to produce out and noticeably because when it gets put in the drawers, I feel like it gets lost or forgotten. Eating clean and healthy requires it to be simple sometimes. We eat a lot more when it’s cleaned, cut and ready to grab and go. I have a lot of favorite plant-based products, thankfully the options are continuing to grow. OM mushrooms because they have a complete line of outstanding products, with many on-the-go options. Goli gummies are gummy supplements I use daily. A newer product called Pulp Culture has hard-pressed juice now, and it’s healthy. Bramble puppy food for our fur baby. Our family uses Oatley Oat milk, Enjoy Life chocolate chips, and Purely Elizabeth gluten-free products. I personally love to snack on a good vegan veggie and cheese board. It’s my go-to when I have company over for drinks and appetizers. I love making them and adding beautiful edible flowers. For anyone who is looking to explore plant-based foods and the lifestyle, you can check out my social media. You can always reach out via social media or email with any questions on recipes, health or transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle. I’m here to help.

How do you think focusing on working out and eating healthy has affected your overall mental health?


are some of your favorite plant-based products or snacks?

A I love whole foods: fresh grapefruit, steamed greens, banana with almond butter, and energy balls. My fridge is stocked with raw fruits and vegetables. I set it up using glass containers. I

To achieve optimal physical and mental health, I know my day-to-day habits and choices make all the difference. Exercise is a natural stress relief for me. It’s the best way to unplug and burn off any anxieties I have. Yoga helps me stay grounded while calming my mind and opening me to a clearer perspective on life. Then there's the obvious: working out makes me look and feel better in my clothes, which boosts my selfesteem. I put in the work and get to enjoy the perks. Food does the same thing. If I eat anything unhealthy, then I feel tired, bloated, and sluggish. When I eat clean, healthy food, my skin glows, I sleep better, I feel amazing, and my entire body functions at its highest level. I recently did a social media post that shared the foods

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that are most beneficial to our mental health. On the top of the charts were beautiful dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, legumes, lion’s main mushrooms, and vegan omegas. If you want to boost serotonin eat foods like tomatoes, bananas, kiwi, pineapple, plantains, and plums. One thing is for sure, eating healthy and exercising work best when done together. It’s a lifestyle with so many overall benefits. Once you’re doing it, you’ll never go back because you will notice the improvements. Everyone wants to look and feel their best. When you find a way to do that, it’s almost a magic recipe for life!

What do you do on days you aren’t feeling motivated to work out?

I had a baby this year and during my pregnancy, I was very motivated and had lots of energy however postpartum I’ve struggled more. My sleep is broken up, so during the day, I feel tired. My body went through major surgery and has been healing. Many things post-baby have contributed to a shift in my workout routine. I was feeling unmotivated and not getting into regular exercise classes. I’ve had to work extra hard to make sure I didn’t let that slip too far. My best advice is to keep up the healthy habit even if it’s reduced a little. Don’t completely quit or shelf it because then it’s harder to get back into it. Other helpful things I do are put on music, listen to a motivational speaker, and just go, and get started, even if it’s a twenty-minute walk. Most of the time, once I get going, I feel like continuing. Accomplishing something is always better than nothing at all. It helps me to visualize my workout time like I’m adding it to my wellness piggy bank. I want to keep adding to it. Then I can look back after six months or a year and have accomplished something. I like setting goals like that for myself and having positive personal accomplishments. It all adds up over a year!

With so much going on in your life, from being a mom to business projects and more, what do you do to make sure you aren’t too stressed?

I work out and focus on staying positive. I make sure I’m eating clean and drinking my green juice

every day. That is my stress medicine. If I can escape to a spa that would also be a wonderful place to unwind. I have a life coach who works with me, motivates me, gives feedback, and keeps me on track with my goals. I think having mentors and coaches is important for me. Whatever area I want to improve or manage better I seek out an expert in that field to support my growth and guide me through any major challenges. Having someone with a toolbox of proven methods speeds things up and takes a lot of the stress out of it for my life.

Do you have any advice for other moms who have a busy schedule?

I wish I had a simple solution for all the busy moms. I'm still trying to figure out how to strike a balance. I have three core pillars that I follow. Delegate, Momentum, and Routine. When I have these three working then life flows more smoothly. If you can, start to delegate tasks and work to other people so you have more time. I feel like I could use a few more hours in the day, so delegating helps with that. I've discovered that it's critical to keep working on things. Continuing to chip away at projects and making progress forward is essential for me. I’m a creature of habit. I like routines, schedules, and planning as much as possible, without it everything falls apart. I try to plan and schedule ahead as much as possible. It helps me enjoy the moment and I can relax a bit more knowing I have my day organized.

What’s it like being a female entrepreneur? Honestly, sometimes it can be hard to put yourself out there. When you’re an entrepreneur a lot of things are on your plate. It’s different when you don’t have a boss telling you to get things done by a certain date. You are the boss of your business and you must have self-discipline, work hard, and keep yourself motivated. As a mother and entrepreneur, it can be a lot at times. Sometimes it’s even a bit lonely if you don’t have a core group of others who understand the day-to-day journey. I love that I have learned so much because of the multiple roles and responsibilities being an entrepreneur has. For me, it’s what I’ve

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When you’re an entrepeneur a lot of things are on your plate. ”

always wanted in my life. I knew I wanted to be a mother and have flexibility in my schedule. I love that I can work from my phone or laptop, take holidays, sneak away from work, and volunteer at school. It’s the best!

You’ve done several charity events over the years. Please share with us some causes you are passionate about.

I’ve had my fair share of involvement with various charities. Everything from Special Olympics to animal adoption and rescue foundations. Two incredible events really stand out in my mind. In 2019 a small group of us collaborated with the Glenbow Art Museum of Calgary to bring the Dior Exhibition to the museum. The exhibition included 40 garments rich in fashion history. I remember on opening day the spectators were dressed up from head to toe and lined up all the way outside the building. It was a lot of fun and incredible to be part of the team that made it all happen.

In Canada, I was involved with Fashion Forward, an organization that partners with Home Front. Fashion Forward hosts an annual charity fashion show which raises funding for Home Front programs and services. The cause is close to my heart and the entire event has always been a favorite of mine over the years.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Always be ready to pivot when unexpected

things arise. The plan can be flexible with the goal staying the same. Investing in my own personal growth, development, and life values sooner. Hire expert coaches early in life and be sure to have excellent mentors to keep me focused and on track with my goals.

What’s next for you?

My plate is full right now with a baby and work. I’ll be writing for the magazine. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be part of such an incredible publication. I’m working on building out my wellness business. With that, I will be doing more coaching, events, and seminars.

We opened a bikini store in San Diego this year and will be re-branding and launching a new collection that we collaborated on with Fashion Runway All-Star Viktor Luna. Everything I’m working on is connected to one major value I have: to create a better world for the next generation and leave this plant better than I found it. I want to be part of the solution. Everything from building more awareness around plant-based lifestyle and supporting people to start on that journey to creating a fashion brand that is a more sustainable ethical option for women. Each project and company I’m working on has a foundation around healthier habits and making conscious lifestyle choices.

Always be ready to pivot when unexpected things arise.”
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PHOTOGRAPHER: VICTOR DEL TORO @boysdontplaywithbarbies

MODEL: POLINA MALINOVSKAYA @polinamalinovskaya



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QP APRIL 2023 FASHION and lifestyle MAGAZINE
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