contents | FALL 2009
18 06 TARTOOFUL
Dex Texier interviews Cathy Church, owner of Tartooful, a store that keeps giving.
Mandy Wong shuttles up with the “youngsters” from Rocket Kick. You might want to buckle up for this ride.
18 MARLEY COFFEE
15 DRESS FOR SUCCESS 22 REALITY CHECK 23 IN THE KNOW
Paulo Vallejo instructs on how to dress for important business events.
Alison Mclaughlin investigates British Columbia’s fashion industry.
Find out why Nathan Tippe’s view on the economy is the good news you have been waiting for. Also Karen Watts instructs new entrepreneurs on which faulty assumptions
Stir it Up!!! Rohan Marley and Shane Whittle from Marley Coffee sit down with Reach Magazine for their first cover story.
Sitting on top of the world. REACH Magazine gets some construction tips from the NWI boys.
26 CAROL’S COSTUME CORNER Laurie Sluchinski, owner of Carol’s Costume Corner shows Melissa Welsh what it takes to run a business that lies on the edge of one’s imagination.
Leanne McElroy gives us an inside look into her world of design. Find out why this fashion entrepreneur is one of the most sought after in Western Canada.
sex with strangers . dipt . marianna scarola . surya
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Dammy Ogunseitan
Editors Note It has been almost a year since we started Reach Magazine, and
we’ve had our ups and down. We are a small business – just like the
will testify to the fact that when the low periods come, it seems like
Senior correspondent Managing editor
it’ll never end. Lucky for us, we were able to complete this issue,
Chief photographer Creative director
Marlayna Pincott, Jessie Love, Jo Fleming & Serena McKean BEST FACE FORWARD (BFF)
Chris Harrison crossfit lions www.crossfitlions.com
This group of freelance makeup artists will take any fresh canvas and turn it into a work of art, one that might guarantee you put your best face forward. Working the photo shoot, fashion show, wedding, grad, and stagette circuit, these makeup artisans are the best in town. The BFF group works out of the BLO blow dry bar inside the Four Seasons Hotel. Call 604 685 5404 to make an appointment. Training Olympians to the elderly, Crossfit will get you moving. Used by police academies and military special operations units, the Crossfit program also caters to any mountain bike rider, skier, or housewife who wants to improve their strength and body conditioning. The Crossfit difference means results fast. Swing by Unit B, 969 West 1st St. North Vancouver, BC
Editorial intern Mandy Wong
Editors Graham Gillis Alvin Bajwa
Young women in business (ywib) www.ywib.ca
Kunal Gupta IMPACT www.impact.org
Sandra Garcia middle child marketing www.middlechildmarketing.com
British Columbia Inovation Council (BCIC) www.bcic.ca
Round up your cables, this guy will take them and make them brand new. Since 2008, Sly Goose Productions has been servicing customers by taking old or malfunctioning cables and repairing them. But the wirework doesn’t stop there. Need a cable that’s 7’ and 5” exactly, Darren Glowacki can do that. Are you a high-flying career woman? Want to find a new way to network that doesn’t include a Sex and the City party or tupperware event. Hit up this non-profit and participate in the Beyond Pink conference taking place this November for extraordinary speakers, a Women in Business trade show, an All-Men’s Panel Lunch, a celebratory Gala dinner and a Silent Auction. Dedicated to helping young entrepreneurs achieve their full potential, Kunal Gupta founded Impact in 2004. What started as a project for first-year University of Waterloo Software Engineering student, is now Canada’s largest non-profit, student-run organization. With three words in mind - ambition, passion, determination - the Impact Entrepreneurial Group has developed both local and national programs that reach over 10,000 young people every year. With headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, the group recently expanded to create its first satellite office in Vancouver. Growing up as the proverbial middle child, Sandra Garcia learnt early on how to express herself through creative ways in order for her voice to be heard. Now she has taken that experience out of the nuclear family and has used it to create Middle Child Marketing, a PR and E-marketing firm that strives to get businesses results fast. Catering to the entertainment, event, fashion and beauty industries, MCM makes one promise. Small company, big results.
The British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC) is the lead organization charged with driving the commercialization of innovation in British Columbia. With this mandate, the BCIC has made its duty to work with and promote entrepreneurs in the science and technology industry. The BCIC since its formation, has continued to implement grass root policies and events for secondary, and post-secondary institutions so as to accelerate the growth of education for science and technology entrepreneurs.
which means we can focus on the next one with renewed hope. It was difficult to secure advertising for this issue; a major setback we experienced while preparing this magazine. However, we decided to keep on working, and as you can see from the entrepreneurs featured in this issue, we are determined to keep getting better. Giving up is not an option The great thing about this issue is that we featured entrepreneurs from different industries. As a business lifestyle magazine, we strive
INTELLIGENT DESIGN & MY BUSINESS Darren Glowacki sly goose productions www.theslygoose.com
entrepreneurs we feature – with huge ambitions. Most entrepreneurs
Nathan Tippe Karen Watts Alison Mclaughlin Paulo Vallejo
STAFF WRITERS Dex Texier Melissa Welsh Mandy Wong Editors Dex Texier Melissa Welsh
FASHION & RED CARPET CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jenno Chand Rabia Aftab
to show that there is a distinct lifestyle in every business industry. Our aim is not to insist that up and coming entrepreneurs should make the same decisions our featured entrepreneurs made, nor is it our duty, or intention to idolize these individuals, however what we do aim to achieve is to show that there are individuals out there doing it their own way. As we come to the end of our first full year, I am filled with great optimism that Reach Magazine will continue to grow. Without dreams, reality is taken for granted. With that said I would like to thank the entire Reach Magazine team - especially Mike “Master Splinter” Chatwin they continue to produce magic. I also want to thank our contributors, and most of all you, our readers/supporters.
See you Soon.
ART & DESIGN
CREATIVE DIRECTOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER
More information learn more about us twitter
Mike Chatwin Jelyssa Madrid Paragon Ideas Group
HOW TO CONTACT US email@example.com
At REACH we are constantly looking for new ideas and people to contribute not only to our magazine, but to our website. Our doors are always open to bloggers, photographers, writers and anyone else that has a bright idea. Find us online at www.reachmag.ca
Tartooful: an object that is both beautiful and functional. Well designed, and of lasting value. My love for Tartooful started when I walked past the store on my way to a meeting. I stopped, peeked through its windows, and continued on to my meeting. Returning to my car, I was drawn back to this store. The definition of Tartooful is one that you will not find in the dictionary; however, every product and art piece found in this little store/art gallery embodies the meaning of the word. Known for her love for art and functionality, Cathy Church is the owner and founder of Tartooful. Born on the North Shore, Cathy lived all across Europe when she was younger, finally coming back to Canada to complete her curatorial studies at UBC. After meeting her family, I sat down with this full time mom/entrepreneur to find out what the deal was about Tartooful. Reach: What was your inspiration behind the name Tartooful, and how did you start your company? CC: “Tartooful is a word that has always been used in our family; it meant something that was just right. Something
that was aesthetically pleasing, and/or absolutely delicious. For example, the pair of jeans that are on sale, fit perfectly, and don’t shrink. I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur; coupled with the fact that I had always wanted to open my own store, and art gallery, everything fell into place late 2006. I put together a host of products that I thought were Tartooful, and it worked. Reach: Most of the products you sell in Tartooful have different functions. It seems like the designers focus on the functionality of these products – this functionality is also represented in the type of art you sell. Explain this addiction you have with functionality.
CC: (laughs) If an object is priced so high that you have to make sacrifices just to own it, then that object is not functional. It is also important for that object to keep giving. Products sold in Tartooful keep giving, and I do not have to make sacrifices to own it. It’s the same with art. If I spend $10,000 on a painting, it would have a negative impact on my life. The art that is hanging on these walls are beautiful, insightful and will stand the test of time. If a product gives you personal joy, then it is functional.
Reach: Tell us about the relationship between Tartooful and the artists you represent.
CC: Firstly, I’ve always believed that it is important to own art that makes sense. Not enough galleries [in Vancouver] let people like us collect art if we want. We decided to work with independent artists and help those that find it difficult to get into the market. From the buyer’s perspective, it is amazing to hang original art in the kid’s room. Reach: Tell us how you dealt with the recession, and give us an insight into the ups and downs you have faced so far.
CC: I cannot say that problems with the economy hit me as hard as it did other businesses. However, Tartooful has grown more slowly because of the economy. Continued dedication is what matters, and we are dedicated to Tartooful – the art, the products and our consumers. Ups: the reaction we have received from our art shows has been amazing. For instance, the recent show featuring art pieces from Catherine Lizac was completely sold out. We also had buyers from all over the world, which was a
first. Downs: we had an extremely high staff turnover. Now that we found Cristie Baird, we don’t have that problem anymore. It’s important to have individuals who believe in your vision to help steady the ship when things get a little difficult. Reach: Where do you get most of your products?
CC: Most of our products are brought in from all around the world – Scandinavia, Finland in particular. They have amazing designs that are culturally and socially attentive. For instance, a designer like Alto designs for the people. His creations are organic, and that speaks to humans. I also make sure that local artists and designers such as Molo are represented in Tartooful. Reach: What’s Next?
CC: New artists, new products, new location, a trip to Hong Kong for inspiration is due, and most of all, enjoying this entrepreneurial experience. After the interview, Cathy gave me a tour of Tartooful, taking me to every product and explaining the functionality behind their beautiful designs. It was at that moment that I knew I had found one of Vancouver’s best-kept secrets.
YOU CAN FIND TARTOOFUL @ 3183 EDGEMONT BLVD. NORTH VANCOUVER - WWW.TARTOOFUL.COM IN THE PHOTO: CATHY CHURCH WITH HER PARTNER GREG BEAUDIN GREG IS THE PIONEER OF FLOORBALL IN CANADA (WWW.MODERNHOCKEY.COM) WRITTEN BY DEX TEXIER PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE CHATWIN
Fashion trends have long followed the course of social changes. After the French Revolution, no French citizen wanted to appear to be an aristocrat. The rigid laced corsets that were designed to accentuate a woman’s figure were abandoned in favour of dresses that hung more naturally versus those that pressed tight against the torso. In the early twentieth century, the women’s rights movement, among other factors, motivated the popularity of a skirt that rose above floor-level to reveal a woman’s ankle. And now, the rise of environmental concerns in recent years has led to the increased appeal of eco-friendly lifestyles. More people have an interest to curb the hazardous effect mankind has on the environment. Elroy Apparel aims to capitalize on this increasingly astute niche market with classically designed clothing made from completely organic fabrics. Elroy Apparel is the brainchild of Leanne McElroy. McElroy’s interest in fashion was sparked at an early age. Using her mother’s sewing machine, she would re-create fashion pieces from old copies of Vogue magazine. In high school, she showed such proficiency in her sewing class that she practically taught the course. Her classmates showed greater interest in McElroy’s techniques than the teacher’s curriculum. Despite her talent and passion, McElroy never considered designing to be “more than just a hobby.” So it took a great deal of initiative to enrol in the Helen Lefeaux School of Fashion in Gastown after high school. McElroy credits the school with opening her creative floodgates. There, she was awarded the Designer of the Year award among other accolades from her peers and instructors. After graduation, McElroy travelled the globe for adventure and influence, meanwhile experimenting with fashions from local boutiques in Europe and Asia.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE CHATWIN STYLED BY WENDY COOK
WRITTEN BY RABIA AFTAB
Being a long-time vegetarian, McElroy always intended to
completely biodegradable and free of pesticides.
will fall in love with. The “hottest thing in fashion right now
implement a vegan philosophy in to her designing. Before,
McElroy cites Oscar De La Renta, Narcisco Rodriguez,
is classic pieces added to the basic wardrobe. It create a
organic material was only used for lounge and yoga
John Galliano and Alexander McQueen as the fashion
statement while staying timeless.”
wear and there was nothing available for major wardrobe
influences for Elroy Apparel. Although she is impressed by
McElroy’s goal is to one day open an Elroy Apparel retail
pieces. McElroy desired “foundation pieces” for her own
couture and ready to wear the designs of Calvin Klein and
outlet. Currently, sales are conducted via the clothing
wardrobe but the market offered such little selection.
Vivienne Westwood, she does not include the influence
line’s web site at www.elroyapparel.com. Her advice
It was five years after her initial research into organic
of popular fashion designers in her pieces. Her greatest
to those with designing dreams is to ensure one has a
fabric did it become more popular and readily available.
influence comes from traveling the world and garnering
strong support network before getting in to the business.
Organically grown cotton fabric is unique in that it is grown
insight from casual activities like “people watching” for
Without the help of family and friends and the kindness of
free of cancer-causing pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
street style in Tokyo and London. Believing fashion, at
those already in the field, McElroy concedes she would
Like food crops, cotton crops are also exposed to heavy-
its core, to be timeless, McElroy feels that just “Following
not have gotten far. But, without a doubt, she points out
duty chemical insecticides to prevent fungus, rotting, and
trends is silly to a certain extent.” Her designs focus on
that the most necessary trait for success in fashion design
disease, as well as to increase longevity. Organic fabric
a classically tailored and minimalist look, “Not something
is passion. The challenges are so numerous and so
is grown in soil and water that is not contaminated and
that will be popular for just the moment” but something
distressing that if one does not love and enjoy it, “You will
in fact, the water used remains drinkable. Thus, these
that can carry forward for many seasons. McElroy is quick
burn out. The fashion industry is two days of glamour. The
powerful pollutants do not come in contact with our skin.
to add that this makes complete sense in the current
rest of the time is hard, challenging work.”
Organic fabric is also more advantageous than cotton
economic situation, where people are willing to cut back
for other reasons. For example, organic bamboo cloth
on excesses. She sees it as a challenge and designs
is significantly stronger than cotton, in addition to being
practical, timeless wardrobe essentials that her customers
IT’S NOT ABOUT THE SUIT
Dressing for Today’s Business Environment
In today’s tight economy, first impressions are critical in how you get your next job or your next customer. Companies are not only looking for just personality, but more importantly, someone who can represent them well internally and externally. As you are your own brand, wearing the wrong outfit to a meeting can project the wrong message to a potential business partner or employer and could undermine your progress. Here are some guidelines on how to dress for success for your next big business meeting. The Power Suit. There is no other article of clothing that more conveys confidence than a perfectly tailored suit. For men and women, wearing a suit enthuses an image of strength, intelligence and social aptness. Depending on who you are meeting, you have to be careful on the type of suit you wear. Solid colored suits (black or navy) are always a safe bet. Be careful when picking pinstripes as they can be too overbearing. The Dress Shirt. Like your suit blazer, your shirt has to fit nicely on your body. Do not come into your meeting with your shirt even slightly untucked. This makes you look sloppy and unprepared. Make sure your shirt is nicely pressed. In terms of colors, stick to more conservative tones like whites, blues, and grays. “Should I wear a french cuff shirt?” That depends on the role. If you are applying for a CEO job, a french-cuffed shirt with subtle cuff links looks very impressive. If not, then stick to a regular barrel cuff. For women, a french-cuffed shirt under a fitted blazer looks very strong and dominant. This is a great look when you are applying for a leadership role in a company. Accessories. Bags, portfolios, briefcases are a necessity in today’s business world. Although computers are getting smaller and smaller, we still carry a lot of stuff. If you are going to be wearing a power suit to a meeting, make sure your bag of choice goes with what you are wearing. For the guys, don’t bring a backpack or duffle to match your Hugo Boss suit. Find a nice leather folio or briefcase to complement your look. For the ladies, pick a hand or shoulder bag that best suits your outfit. And do not fill it up with too much stuff. The basic rule being, keep your whole look simple and streamlined. Shoes. Keep them clean. If you are going to a business function, the most important thing is to make sure that your shoes are clean and spotless. If you need a new sole or heel, get them done before your meeting. Polish your shoes before you head out or carry one of those instant shine buffs with you. For the men, a dress shoe is a must for business meetings. Your suit is only as good as your shoes. For the ladies, go easy on your heels. There’s no need to show up at meeting with 6 inch stilettos. Stick with 2-3 inch heels for business events. If you are looking to get a pop of color in your office wardrobe, stick with warmer tones of red or purple.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE CHATWIN STYLED BY WENDY COOK MAKEUP BY NEGAR HOOSHMAND HAIR BY LAURIN VALENTINE PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT AMI SANYAL ALLAN INTERNATIONAL MODELS
Elroy Apparel is available at Dream, Halfmoon, Ingenue, Mooncruise Gallery, Nouvelle Nouvelle, Planet Claire. Riot, Shop Cocoon, Twigg and Hottie and Velvet Room Boutique www.elroyapparel.com Mindan Jewelry is available at Dream Designs, Dream Apparel, Twigg and Hottie, Forsya Boutique and Gallery www.mindans.com Gucci sunglasses available at www.clearycontacts.ca Shoes, hoisery, socks and blue sequined mini skirt stylist own
Hair and Makeup. You’re going to a business function not the club. So ladies, keep your makeup to a minimum. Foundation, a bit of eyeliner, and subtle shade of lipstick is more than enough. For hair, pick a hair style that best frames your face. As this is one of the first things that people see, make sure it fits you. For the men, keep your hair neat and tidy. Keep facial hair to a minimum. If you do have a beard or a mustache, make sure its nicely trimmed. Make yourself look like someone people can trust. After all, you are after a job or their business. Dressing for success doesn’t mean wearing fancy labels or thousand dollar suits. It’s about picking the right pieces and more importantly projecting the right image. Employers and customers make judgments base on what you wear. They can either perceive you as someone they can trust and rely on or the exact opposite. This can be the determining factor as to whether they would want to work with you or not. To be successful, stick with the basics: Keep it simple. Stay neat. Exude confidence! WRITTEN & STYLED BY PAULO VALLEJO PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE CHATWIN HAIR & MAKE UP BY SHAYLA FRASER MODELS CODY AND DIANDRA / LEXINGTON MODELS
WRITTEN BY MANDY WONG PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE CHATWIN
How do Brian Wong and Lucas Lemanowicz make me feel? O-l-d (and I’m only 21). Brian and Lucas seem like ordinary students with their youthful faces as we chat it up in studentpacked Pendulum restaurant at University of British Columbia. It is quite surprising to find that their resumes are already light years ahead compared to other individuals their age. Brian Wong, just 18 years old, is the CEO of AER Marketing and Followformation. He graduated at 17, from the Sauder School of Business and founded AER Marketing company while working as an intern for 1-800-Got-Junk. Brian has also spoken at many conferences including the Internet Marketing Conference just held at the Vancouver Four Seasons Hotel. He was also recently invited to host a panel at 140tc; a Twitter Conference in Los Angeles where he will meet Biz Stone, Guy Kawasaki, Tony Hawk, Tony Robbins, and many more. Lucas, who just turned 20, is a 2nd year student pursuing Management Information Systems and Computer Science degrees at UBC; but he also works behind the scenes at AER Marketing as the Chief Technological Officer. They met while Brian was still attending the Sauder school of Business. Their ying/ yang relationship was apparent to me as I noticed Brian was a bundle of energy while Lucas was more mellow. When asked about their work relationship, Lucas stated, “Brian is the visionary. I am more of the grounder.” With this harmonic balance, they have successfully created AER Marketing and Followformation. AER Marketing is a full service web marketing company based in Vancouver. Their products are based on two principles: design and functionality. Brian and Lucas have also developed Followformation. This Twitter application was created in June 2009, allowing Twitter users to easily follow other users who share the same interests. Brian came up with the idea at 4 am and called Lucas. Although the product just came out a few months ago, they have already caught the attention of the social media world. Mashable, a leading source for social media and technology news, wrote about Followformation just hours after its launch. This highlights one of the most surprising moments of their career. They have also been featured by TechVibes, the Georgia Strait, Fastcompany.com, and more. “Social media was an illusive area that a lot of companies had no idea about . We kind of just stumbled into it.” Even though they have just entered the industry, they have a profound insight into the future of social media. “You used to see web sites targeting the mass audience, that doesn’t happen anymore, they are making it about the individual. You will also continue to see mobile development making everything more compact. The mobile wave will go on for a long time.” Brian keeps the company youthful by maintaining a team of current and recent graduated students. When asked if they faced any challenges due to their young ages, Brian and Lucas commented, “We didn’t really feel any challenges when it came to that. It’s more of a benefit. It’s weird when you have someone much older consulting you about technology. It’s not unusual to see young people within social media. We grew up with it”. Although there are many marketing companies out there, they differentiate themselves with one smart tactic, “We embrace feedback. With Followformation, we wanted to know what people liked or disliked about it. Many companies may argue with their opinions, but we actually listen. We used these comments to make something even better or create something new.” Their strategy seems to work well as they manage to keep themselves busy with new projects. Their latest product Twist will be launched soon. Created from the feedback of Followformation users, Twist enables users to select other users they follow and share their list with others. They are also building up their new company Rocketkick, which is a social media application and social media strategy development company that focuses on the “fringe” – creating tangible applications that work with data streams and social media to solve business problems. If you want to succeed like Brian and Lucas it is worthwhile to consider their advice. “We are always trying to follow something. Why not experiment? Do everything. Don’t hesitate at any opportunity and you have every reason to go crazy. Take chances. Make mistakes.” It may seem like a fairy tale for Brian and Lucas – but it is their reality. It’s not an easy road to success as Brian added, “you do have to work hard for what you want”. Brian contributes most of his waking hours to work as he practices a polyphasic sleep schedule (taking multiple naps a day instead of sleeping straight for 8 hours). After a long day of classes, Lucas dedicates his nights to working various work projects and homework. For now, you will still see Brian working full time during this “gold rush” period. For Lucas, he continues to focus his energy towards school and developing applications. Amazed at what they have accomplished already, I just had to ask them what’s in store for them in the future. They just shrugged their shoulders, smiled and said “Who knows?”
“I don’t drink coffee.”
The room is silent in slight apprehension. This shocking statement coming from the man who just announced the beginning of a new organic coffee company. It’s only a moment later when Rohan Marley, son of late reggae music icon and revolutionist Bob Marley, adds with a slow smirk, “I drink Marley Coffee.” He sits relaxed, slightly slumped in his chair in the dressing room of the small photography studio. His longtime friend and Chief Executive Officer for Marley Coffee Shane Whittle beside him. With that contagious smile and the occasional hair toss of dreads, the father-son resemblance is striking. He speaks slowly in that all-too familiar Jamaican accent, that makes any listener add a mental ‘ya man’ in addition to an attentive head nod. Rohan Marley is no stranger to the word celebrity. He comes from a family whose name is still internationally linked to hit music with brothers Ziggy, Stephen, Damian, Ky-Mani and Julian all in the entertainment business. But now Rohan is taking the Marley name back to its roots, way back to Jamaica, a legend full-circle. This past May, Rohan along with partner Whittle announced the launch of Marley Coffee, a gourmet organic coffee consisting of five different blends with beans sourced internationally from Central and South America, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Ethiopia. The brand stays true to the ITAL and Rastafarianism movement that the Marley offspring grew up with, aligning itself with the philosophy of all that is pure, true and vital. A past football player for the Ottawa Rough Riders, and owner of a clothing line Tuff Gong Clothing, Rohan can relate to the label sportsman or entrepreneur. But a coffee connoisseur? “I didn’t drink coffee,” said Rohan, dressed in jeans and a white and navy checkered button-up shirt. “But what I do know about coffee is that it is the second most sought after commodity outside of oil. So in my mind I’m like, ‘wait a minute, I just discovered black gold.’”
In 1999, Rohan bought a piece of farmland in Chepstowe, Portland Jamaica - fifty-two acres that sit atop the Jamaican Blue Mountains, a region that is prized as the
best in the world to grow coffee. In the U.S. a pound of blue mountain coffee beans sells for close to $50 per pound, in Canada the price doubles to $100. In 2006, Rohan and Whittle’s idea for a coffee company originated. “We were on our first plane ride out there a week later,” Whittle said. Currently, Marley Coffee’s five blends are comprised solely from beans that they have sourced from some of the finest coffee regions in the world. Blends that Rohan and Whittle boast have chocolaty, fruity notes, all with a smooth finish. The names for each blend were inspired by songs from the late Bob Marley. As Rohan goes through the list he stops to sing just one word, ‘Jammin’ after mentioning the brand’s strongest dark roast blend Jammin Java. “And then from Jammin, my father wrote this song in the early ‘60s because of the violence in the ghetto. So he told the ghetto people ‘you know listen man, simmer down’ so since its decaf you know it keeps you cool,” Rohan said smiling. “We call that one Simmer Down.” The brand’s five blends also include one purely comprised from Ethiopian beans, a tribute to the birthplace of coffee Rohan says. When Marley Coffee first introduced its coffee venture, critics stated that Marley Coffee was trying to sell their farm’s coffee beans as Blue Mountain coffee without certification, while Marley Coffee stated that they hope to sell their Blue Mountain coffee from their private reserve in the future. Marley Coffee is currently in the process of getting its Jamaican Coffee Industry Board (CIB) license approvals in order to add their own organic Blue Mountain coffee beans to the list. “Blue Mountain is one of the most sought after coffees in the world obviously, and the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica (CIB) holds very high standards and procedures for licence approvals, because it is their second biggest export of the country next to sugarcane,” Whittle said.
WRITTEN BY MELISSA WELSH PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE CHATWIN PRODUCED BY DEX TEXIER
“We’ve applied for our licensing and its taking a little longer than normal but we have always been working with them hand-in-hand.” The Marley Coffee company will be the first organic blue mountain coffee, once volumes are high enough to sell after getting certification. After buying the land, Rohan was adamant that it be made over to become organic, a process that took just over five years to completely eradicate any existing chemicals. No herbicides or pesticides have been used since. The focus is to create a sustainable farm, one that maximizes what already exists on the property. Today, the farm employs eight regular farmers, with the number increasing to 15 during harvest time in August to October/November. Rohan’s face lights up when talking about two specific farmers who oversee the land. When Rohan first bought the land, the previous owners told him not to hire a man whose name was Renort Walters aka Painta, they called him a thief. “I said, ‘Painta why are they calling you a thief?’ “He said ‘mister Marley, when we were hungry we would take a coconut from the tree.’
“I said, ‘you see every coconut tree on my land, every mango tree, every banana tree, you see the banana there, you take them and eat them, don’t let them waste because if the food waste, then you have a problem with me.’” Charles Willis, aka Mr. Willis, is also among the eight farmers on the Marley Coffee property, working the land for 10 years. Mr. Willis is 82 years old. “He’s not young, but no other man is as strong as Mr. Willis,” Rohan said. “The man is a lion.” Marley Coffee doubled the salary for their farmers from $6,000 per year to now $12,000 per year. Mr. Willis can now afford to send his six children to school. Chepstowe, Portland Jamaica is an area where rural poverty is apparent. Shanty shacks house families, and often the lack of running water or adequate food are common problems. “We came to uplift the community, not come to take away but to build and build,” Rohan said. Rohan and Whittle are both committed to continue building the Marley Coffee foundation; a foundation that has provided a soccer academy for young individuals in rural poverty-stricken communities in Jamaica.
“My father was a soccer fanatic and I think he left some of that in me,” Rohan said. Being an avid soccer player isn’t the only correlation of the father-son relationship. Bob Marley grew up in Nine Mile, in St. Ann Jamaica, and was from a family of farmers. Returning to the farmland is something he always wanted to do, but an untimely death at the age of 36 years old, robbed him of the chance. Rohan recounts a story his grandmother told him about his father as a child. “He would have to go way out in nine mile you know and dig yam [Cassava]. My father would dig the yam and then put the yam on his back and walk the yam back so they can eat you know,” Rohan said. It was his family’s history of farming that first got him inspired to come back to the earth and fulfill his father’s dream. “You know cause I don’t sing you know, I try to at times alone (chuckles) but I can dance a little.” Getting into the coffee business has proved an ambitious entrepreneurial process for both Rohan and Whittle. Like most business start-ups, Marley Coffee has had its fair
of ups and downs. While some of the initial struggles are over including researching the market, coming up with their own specific coffee recipes, and getting the various certifications, the struggle now lies with meeting demand and staying competitive. “I think the challenge of the business is that we are already a global brand, we already have awareness worldwide. Now how do we cope with that in a way that we are still growing our business and not getting too big too fast,” Whittle said. “Our farm is a boutique farm in the coffee world, other farms may be a thousand or ten thousand acres. You know, countries produce coffee.” Rohan and Whittle have also received flack for marrying the name Marley to the brand. A choice that may lead some to think their coffee company is just another exploitation of a famous name. But given the ten years it has taken this far to get their beans on shelves, a true observer would conclude that Marley Coffee is not just a get rich quick endeavor. “My name is on there for a reason, because we stand behind it,” Rohan said. “My name is Rohan Marley. Why reinvent the wheel?”
Marley Coffee is currently sold throughout western Canada at 80 different locations, including stores like Gourmet Wearhouse London Drugs and Marketplace IGA. To find out more information on the company or to buy online visit www.marleycoffee.com.
Onwards and Upwards By Nathan Tippe
The recession has affected our world in countless ways. From what we eat, to the cars we buy, to the way we think, it has shifted the paradigm of many. But a recession is much more than its basic economic effects. The economic effects are self-explanatory - they surround us every day. A recession is also a mental state that can eliminate possibilities if interpreted poorly, or open a world of opportunity if interpreted correctly.
BC Fashion - The Weeks Ahead BY ALISON MCLAUGHLIN
I spoke to a friend a few months back whose fridge had broken.
“I can’t buy a fridge in this economy,” was his immediate response.
To quote prominent a Vancouver model, “Let there be peace and justice, and let’s move on.” Moving on from the events of September 29th—which saw police and news cameras swarm the BC Fashion Week stage at the Chinese Cultural Centre—is the best idea, and I’ve already met many members of the community who share the sentiment. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’re all talking to each other, nor am I confident that new ideas about the concept of a fashion week in Vancouver are enough to make it happen.
BC Fashion Week fell flat for a myriad of reasons, but the undeniable flaw is that it failed to provide support to what is essentially a community of neophyte entrepreneurs. Past the glamour and the drama of fashion are individuals who are in the critical first years of fledgling business ventures in a notoriously exploitive industry. Designer Nicole Bridger, herself a product of BC Fashion Week’s Generation Next program, elected out of showing this season, citing lack of return on the $4,000-plus investment.
“Buyers don’t attend this event, the press doesn’t show up, and it’s too expensive.” Preferring to exhibit her line at trade shows, she doesn’t mind such costs given that the trips usually bring in new clients. “I keep my line simple because that’s what sells. In Vancouver we need to be realistic about who we are. We can’t compete with Toronto or New York—nor should we try.”
Let’s face it: the idea of style in this city will always hold the stigma of yoga pants—it’s time to embrace the logic behind that and create an event that gives local talent a boost to the next level. This is Vancouver, not Milano. Things can only get better, but whoever decides to pick up the pieces first has the burden of convincing an already fragmented industry that positive change can come about. You only need look at the rosters of both BCFW and Vancouver Fashion Week to get a sense of how this city’s design community really feels. “Openness and clarity are vital to turning around perception,” stresses Alyn Edwards, vice president of Peak Communicators Public Relations.
Comprehensive business and communications plans are central components of effective PR strategy. “Outline your key messages,” he adds. “Appoint a spokesperson and be ready for the criticism, but take the high road. Focus on holding an event that sets a new standard.” A common post-BCFW lament is over the lack of subsidization from “The Government”, but the solution is not to call upon the feds or society to stand up and contribute support. Help is available from these areas and more—but only after an organization has established its infrastructure and proven its merit.
Randy Kaardal, a senior with Hunter Litigation Chambers as well as deputy chair of the Vancouver International Wine Festival, trustee of the BC Sport Hall of Fame and Museum and member of the Vancouver Playhouse Board of Governors, weighed in on some issues the next Fashion Week committee ought to be cognizant of; namely, the organizing of the organization. It is the task of every board of directors to govern in the best interest of the “society” without regard to personal interest.
This is achieved through the creation of regulations that are subject to parliamentary procedure. “For any arts board, you need a good mix of hard business types and industry representatives,” says Kaardal. “The needs of an Operational Board vary, but you need to have people around who understand the books.” Must-have members include an accountant to manage the budget and ensure proper reporting and a lawyer who understands intellectual property and to mind that the society functions with due diligence. Other key people to think about are those who can fundraise effectively and those who are well-known in the business community. “Continual donation is essential to any long-running organization,” says Kaardal. “The business community is willing, but they need to know that their support will be meaningful.”
This means that, rather than a one-off donation to pay for posters, many organizations prefer to deal with events that have established a separate foundation that manages the financial aspect. This way, long-term support is guaranteed by feeding off accrued interest. For an organization that hopes to access the kind of funding needed to establish a legacy of support (meaning year after year) it needs to inspire confidence in serious investors. The main issue that led to the downfall of BC Fashion Week was its failure to secure adequate funding. As a result, there wasn’t enough in the kitty to take care of the basic requirements. This was apparent when the production company removed the staging and lighting. Even the $10 non-profit license renewal fee had been neglected since 2006.
“Before I embark on any project, I make sure that all my money is in the door and that all suppliers have agreements in place,” says legendary Vancouver party planner Raj Taneja, president of SSID Inc. and founder of Urban Mixer. Successful events adhere to a strict production schedule and require between three and six months of pre-party planning. “First I pre-negotiate a venue,” says Taneja, “then I go to my sponsors and pitch the idea.” Securing financial sponsorship is essential to every event plan and when done correctly, corporate sponsorship can be easily had.
“It’s important to demonstrate how partnering their brand with my event is beneficial. For the relationship to work, it needs to make sense,” adds Taneja, who also recommends booking media 12 weeks in advance and getting a head start on the promotional campaign. “In this town, you need to start promoting two months beforehand—otherwise, no one’s going to show up!” Shirley Calla, coordinator of the Fashion Design and Technical Faculty at Kwantlen PolyTechnic University, has been cautious when encouraging her students to participate in locally-run fashion events. Before getting involved, a designer must be assured of an event’s credibility to safeguard the integrity of their brand. Sponsors that are available to support, both financially and aesthetically, find the lack of sincerity in these events disconcerting— Kwantlen included. “We did have some involvement with Fashion Week years ago, but we lost confidence in the organizing,” says Calla. “It would take at least two years of effective event planning for us to consider attaching our name again.”
So, does Vancouver need a fashion week? After some consideration, Calla offers, “[We need] a well-run one that appeals to a targeted audience and serves to elevate and promote the talent that’s here. The designers deserve it.”
His food was rotting, yet he refused to make a purchase given the economic state. His interpretation of the recession is extreme, not unheard of but illustrates an unhealthy mental state.
Faulty Assumptions of New Entrepreneurs By KAREN SOUTHALL WATTS
Business ownership is a very alluring concept. The current economy has made even the corporate types consider multiple streams of income, and retirement alternatives. As a professional who has been training and coaching entrepreneurs for over a decade, I know that this new found interest comes with some of the same old faulty assumptions that get entrepreneurs in trouble. “I’m going to have more time for my family and friends.” The truth is most new entrepreneurs work extremely long hours during the startup phase. The payoff for all this time and hard work is some flexibility in scheduling. Unfortunately, your family and friends may have the same assumption as far as time is concerned. Many entrepreneurs find they are asked to run errands or entertain surprise visits because they don’t have a “real job.” Therefore, implementing a time management system is essential. You will also have to explain to your friends and family your office hours, and when you can be available to them. Time off and vacations will require a lot more planning. Unless you can afford to close up shop while you take a break (and most of us can’t) you will have to create a plan for keeping the business going during your time off.
“My product or service is so unique, it practically sells itself.” No matter what you are selling you have competition for customer/client dollars. People can select your competitors or simply choose not to spend. You must connect with your target market with a properly formulated marketing plan. Poor marketing is a major weakness for both new and established entrepreneurs. Business owners must have an understanding of their product or service (is it an essential?, a time or money saver, a “goodie” or an indulgence) and how it fulfills customer need. You must know who your potential customers are and where they get their pre-purchase information. A clever idea or unusual product is not a substitute for this knowledge. Even the most experienced entrepreneurs find themselves in a marketing slump from time to time. This is one of the most crucial areas for continuing education and improvement. “Creating a website is going to generate lots of passive income; I’ll make money in my sleep.” Having an internet presence is essential for most modern businesses. However, just putting up a website is not going to guarantee you a stream of income. An effective website should be tested for usability, and optimized for search engine accessibility. Website copy should be written with a focus on your customers and clients. It must explain how you solve a key problem or fulfill an important need. Websites that are simply expanded resumes or devices to stroke your ego are not going to generate income. Beware of companies that promise to create passive income with a website without a business plan, a specific product or any knowledge of how the internet works. These groups are the modern equivalent of snake oil salesmen. Starting your own business can be an exciting and challenging endeavor. You can increase your chances of success by learning from the mistakes and accomplishments of other entrepreneurs. Don’t allow faulty assumptions to keep you from doing the research and work you need for profit and prosperity.
About the author Karen Southall Watts has been teaching
business and coaching entrepreneurs and managers since 1999. Karen specializes in working with new business owners, emerging managers, and leaders. She is a faculty adjunct in business at Bellingham Technical College.
Similar examples include entrepreneurs that desist from moving forward with a new venture because they feel they will not succeed in a recession. Despite being ready to launch, the team holds back because they foresee immediate failure.
The truth is that a downturn is an absolutely brilliant opportunity for entrepreneurs. American composer, Frank Zappa once said, “Art is making something out of nothing and selling it,” which I firmly believe holds true for entrepreneurs, especially in a recession. It is a state of scarcity and entrepreneurs have the ability to make something incredible out of it. The time for innovation and new ideas is never as potent and those that do not recognize the possibilities will fail. Large companies generally experience record low sales and sloughs of layoffs during the recessionary periods. As demand changes and the market forces fluctuate, they are slow to respond and adapt. The world saw this in the recent past in areas, including Wall Street and the automobile industry. Entrepreneurial ventures, on the other hand, have the unique capability to expand into these dry markets. They can adapt to the changed market at a much quicker rate than slow, established companies. Entrepreneurs are persistent, and while the amount of available capital in a recession is not large, the conditions are strongly weighed in their favor. From product production to marketing strategies, everything is more dynamic. Most importantly, entrepreneurs are innovative. Beyond finding creative solutions to problems that arise as a result of a recession, entrepreneurs can proactively innovate and target these problem areas in entirely different ways. Start-ups even possess the capacity to cater directly to needs created in the current economy! None of the above will occur, however, if the recessionary mindset is applied. The end-of-the-world syndrome is incredibly contagious and can cause apprehension. Entrepreneurs must recognize the recession, but must do so with a positive mindset so as to reap all the possible benefits of a generally unfortunate situation.
At the same time, a positive mental state within the team must occur. External success is feasible without internal cohesion; however, it will be neither consistent, nor sustainable. Regardless of the corporate culture, team members are always skeptical about the future during a recession. At the very foundation, the security of their jobs is barely guaranteed, much less the benefits or potential for growth.
It is again the leader’s duty to channel the recessionary energy into positive and forward thinking, and in a start-up this is an easier process. The feeling of ownership and belonging is typically higher in that of new ventures, and the team will buy in almost immediately. A mentor of mine signs his emails with “Onwards and upwards.” He is forward thinking, and while he consults the past and acknowledges the present, he is constantly looking for ways to create progress and momentum. While the moment may be dreary, the future is looking brighter and the team should fully believe this. Again, it is not about ignoring the recession; rather, it is about embracing the opportunities the recession provides.
If the recession is handled correctly, entrepreneurs are the winners. Entrepreneurs can take advantage of the recession and adapt to the market forces. They can cater towards specific niches only present in a downturn. They can create motivation within their team unlike in any large company. These adaptations should occur, and when the right leadership is in place, they do occur. But it goes deeper than that. It is the entrepreneur’s responsibility to stimulate the economy in a recession. Entrepreneurs can make the difference in the world, bringing about significant change in a stagnant environment and creating lasting change to move the economy “Onwards and upwards”.
WRITTEN BY DEX TEXIER PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE CHATWIN
Enrique and Derrick seem like ordinary laid-back guys. But as we spoke about the contracting and construction industry on the 62nd floor of the newly built Shangri-La building in Metro Vancouver, I could tell that I was in the presence of seasoned veterans. Enrique Ponce De Leon and Derrick Taylor are co-founders of North West Integrity Contracting. While Enrique grew up watching his dad work as an architect, Derrick has always had a passion for constructing things ever since he can remember. They met while working on their own independent sub-contracting companies, and formed a partnership. “We basically complement each other, I take care of the business side of the company, scheduling jobs with clients, enforcing contracts, and so on, while Derrick revels as the onsite technician,” Enrique said. “All structural how to’s go through him.”
NWI Contracting specializes in high-end renovations, building new houses, flipping houses, and other contracting jobs. With more than 15 employees under their leadership, it is apparent that the boys
from NWI Contracting have paid their dues. As I take a private tour around the most expensive three-bedroom penthouse in Vancouver, both men instruct me about the history of their business, the state of the contracting industry, and what the future holds for them. “We wanted to incorporate ‘North West’ in the name because of the geographical location of the business and where we grew up, but we also want to be known in the international realm,” Derrick notes. “Integrity, we feel is the most important aspect of our business, because contractors do not have the best possible reputation,” Enrique added. Given the amount of home building or contracting TV-shows that the western world is now subjected to, TV channels like HGTV or Holmes on Holmes are quick to instruct the ordinary person on how to save money, and on how the contractors they hire should do the job. Nevertheless, Enrique notes that, “The problem with this is, these shows pick the worst-case scenarios, and put so much fear into people, that every homeowner believes that they are going to get screwed by contractors.”
As much as these shows are created to help the average person, the shows along with other variables create what Enrique and Derrick call a bad situation. Every situation can be considered bad when you do not get the determined result. However, when bad actions are taken from the beginning, contracting issues become harder to solve, giving contractors a bad reputation. Derrick and Enrique point out that, “Home owners may decide to take a cheaper route, thus creating more problems for themselves. If a project costs $50,000, they believe crooked contractors who tell them they can do the job for $10,000. As a contractor our duty is to tell home owners how it is, and it’s the homeowners job to do their due diligence in financial terms and selecting contractors,” Enrique laments. Stepping onto the patio, it was obvious that the owner of this condo and its contractors had spared no expense for luxury and comfort. Apparently, from their first paint job to
1st Harbor Green, 2nd Harbor Green, the Shaw Tower, the 62nd floor of the Shangri-La, and countless other important jobs, NWI Contracting take their jobs very seriously. Although, there are a lot of contracting companies which base their work on trust and integrity, it is clear that the owner of this deluxe condo trusted Derrick and Enrique. No wonder the name of their business has the word ‘Integrity’ in it, and it definitely shows.
attribute their success to hard work, dedication, integrity and removing negativity from their work philosophy. This makes complete sense, as contractors of the most coveted residential space in the downtown core. They really are on top of the world.
It may seem all well and good. However, every entrepreneur has their ups and downs, and NWI Contracting is no exception. The recent economic downturn was not only a direct cause of the housing industry, but it affected every business that called that particular industry home. “Times got hard, but when times get tough, you get tougher,” Enrique quips. Apart from the economy, Enrique and Derrick told me stories about difficult jobs that they managed to complete successfully. In the end, Enrique Ponce De Leon and Derrick Taylor
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE CHATWIN ART DIRECTION, PROPS & MAKEUP BY MARILYS BLANDIN WRITTEN BY MELISSA WELSH
What if you could time travel or transform into other identities through the means of opulent textiles, outlandish wigs, or makeup that leaves the special effects on last year’s the Curious Case of Benjamin Button movie wanting. What if all you needed was a costume? A thespian since birth, Laurie Sluchinski’s average day is not like the regular 9 to five gig that most people have to endure. Her day is filled with endless opportunities to escape the mundane humdrum 24-hour reality and lapse into a world where zombies live, nurses really are sexy, and Disney characters achieve a technicolor beyond the fuzzy TV screen. All with a zip, tug and a pull. Nicknamed the “Costume Lady” by even her next-door neighbors (which suggests that this isn’t just a day job), Laurie has been the owner of Carol’s Costume Corner located at 152 2nd St. East in North Vancouver for the last five years. Since her term as boss-lady, Carol’s has become the largest costume store in the lower mainland and has received acclaim with Vancouver and western Canada’s entrepreneurial elites. We’re sitting in the J.J. Bean on Commercial St., the hubbub of coffee chatter unable to compete with Laurie’s vivacious and almost dracula-esque laugh. And though she isn’t dressed in costume - an irregularity she says - her voluminous, short and curly hair foreshadows a certain kind of spunk.
“You have to be a little bit of a freak to live in the world of costumes, and be proud to wave your freak flag,” Laurie said, only waiting a second before unleashing that signature chuckle. “The wonderful thing about costumes is by trying on different looks you can transform your mood, your attitude, your soul and your silhouette. I think there is a huge power in being able to play certain roles for short periods of time without going into the world of theatre, or being an actor, just being fun.” Dressing up in costumes from a young age - when even then her inventory out-beat her playmates’ with two large tickle trunks - Laurie first got a degree in women’s studies and dabbled in the fashion world before falling into the rabbit-hole of costumes. Playing Marie-Anoinette from time to time, or a ‘20s flapper girl (both strong rebellious females), Laurie embodies the role of entrepreneur fulltime, a character she says she’s been playing since the age of six. “I’ve been an entrepreneur since birth, since my first lemonade stand.” After only a year of acting as manager for Carol’s, the real Carol retired and lent the title of owner/fantastical entrepreneur over to Laurie. Since then, interest in Carol’s has soared, partly due to its participation in some of Vancouver’s most prized events such as the Pride Parade.
Partnering up with A Loving Spoonful, and Oasis Lounge on Davie St., Carol’s Costume put together a rainbow diner float for this past year’s parade, decked out with choreographed dancers, a live band, grease monkeys carrying banners and a cadillac full of pin-up girls. “It was a combination of more is more, a buffet of 1950’s hotness,” Laurie said. “One of the best days of my life.” At four-thirty in the morning Laurie woke up to decorate the float the day of her parade, and by seven she was sitting in the makeup chair getting dolled up as Ms. Lucille Ball. A couple hours later the parade started. “The parade itself takes about an hour, but it feels like 10 minutes,” Laurie said. It wasn’t until four the next morning when she finally crawled into bed. This past year, Carol’s also participated in the launch of the latest Harry Potter book release, dressing up as characters from the book for an event put on by Indigo and a couple other independent local book stores in North Vancouver. It was when the children at the event starting asking for autographs that Laurie said she felt as if she wanted to cry. “There are so many ways to be apart of the community, but definitely the magic that happens with being in costume when you are apart of the community is
amazing. It feels so good to be inspiring,” Laurie said. When Laurie first became owner of Carol’s Costume Corner, one main objective was to change the store into more of a retail outlet versus a rental shop. At the time, the store was 85 per cent rental. It took a couple years to build up the capital to make the switch, but Carol’s is now 60 per cent costumes for purchase and 40 per cent for rent. It was a calculated business risk Laurie said, but one that she doesn’t regret making. And who would secondguess the judgement of someone who has been a finalist two years running for young entrepreneur of the year for the North Shore’s chamber of commerce. But Laurie is quick to pass on any praise onto her staff. “As an entrepreneur you are only as good as your team,” Laurie said. “I have an amazing team that is behind me, that believes in the vision.” That vision embodies one statement, “Carol’s cares.” Walking into Carol’s Costume Corner, one will walk an actual yellow brick road up to the 2nd floor where they will be greeted by two very sexy French court dresses.
Glancing around the room, one might be overwhelmed by the beautiful ornate costumes of Edwardian or Victorian era and then doubled-over in laughter by some of the most ludicrous - need a costume for two, how about a pair of giant boobs? With the Halloween festivities quickly approaching, Laurie is doing everything she can to gear up for the craziest time of year for a costume professional. Big themes this year will surely include the infamous Michael Jackson’s zombie persona, Startrek, and Britneyinspired circus performers. Last year, the trend was Heath Ledger’s adaptation to the sexy nurse costume. But even with the various annual trends, the classic cop, nurse, fireman, and captain costumes will never go out of style Laurie says noting that all of the above are in constant demand.
“It’s putting our money where our mouth is, supporting local businesses and the local economy,” Laurie said. So whether you are looking for a costume to ring in the Halloween Hallows eve, going to a theme party or just looking for another way to spend a Friday night, walk the yellow brick road and enter the fantasyland of Carol’s Costume Corner. “For most people, it’s like being a kid in a candy store.” Yum. To find out more information on renting or purchasing the thousands of costumes from Carol’s visit www.carolscostumecorner.com
Many of Carol’s costumes have been made in-store by the old designer studio, making for unique and quality made outfits. The studio has since been closed down. Carol’s also sells costumes that are sourced largely from Canadian distributors, another reason why Laurie has made our list of extraordinary entrepreneurs.
hip hop fashion store?
DIPT: The biggest challenge to opening up any business is having the right vision and the financial backing. When I opened Dipt, I had begun to see that there was a huge market developing with the commercialization of Hip Hop and the related clothing brands that were popping up so my vision was to keep my roots but offer the hip hop influenced fashion to the general public in a boutique setting.
REACH: Got any advice for the kids out there today who want to start their own business? DIPT: One of the most important things is to have an extensive business plan. Do a lot of research on your business, competition, sales projections and costs etc. Other than that have the right people around you, be confident in your plan and execute it in the most efficient way possible.
3. At Reach Magazine we meet a number of individuals that posses the skill and motivation entrepreneurs personify; Marianna Scarola is one of those individuals, and as a make up and hair stylist she stands apart. Scarola has worked in numerous cities, and we can see why she is in demand by top photographers, magazines, TV shows, and movies. Reach sat down with Marianna to find out what she is all about. Her contagious smile set the tone of the interview… Enjoy!! By Dex Texier. REACH: So let our readers know who Marianna Scarola is?
MS: I am a small town girl from Halifax trying to make it in this big tough industry. I’m a little fish in a very big pond. (Laughs) 1. Sex with Strangers is a five-member electro band based in Vancouver. With band member names such as Magnus Magnum, Dallas Archangel, and Hatch Benedict, SwS take enormous pride in their Robot Rock, themed electro music. Reach sat down with the head honcho Hatch Benedict to find out what the buzz around SwS was all about. REACH: What is the inspiration behind SwS Robot Rock theme?
HB: For this particular album (third album), we basically came up with this entity called Persuader who commands killer Robots that go after humans that dance. REACH: It seems like this album is like a storyboard? It reads, sounds like a novel or movie.
HB: It does. It’ll be challenging to listen to, however every track speaks to this future world, and the events that take place around the Persuader. Every album we have recorded is centered on the Robot Rock thing. REACH: Why would it be a challenging record to decipher?
HB: Our version of Robot Rock can be defined as advanced pop, which is very accessible, however we like to make it a little bit challenging. It works with the storyboard theme, which makes the album very insightful. REACH: What’s Next?
HB: We just shot our first music video for this album. Its amazing to see how far we have come because we have been very independent. Now we are at the point where we can make things happen.
2. A Q&A with creator Jeff Martini and REACH’s Mandy Wong. REACH: How did you come up with the name DIPT?
DIPT: Well the word ‘dipped’ refers to being well-dressed so I just personalized the spelling. I wanted to have a name that was unique and timeless. People will always want to be dipped!
REACH: What is it like with DIPT being so famous and attracting big names such as Method Man, and Master P?
DIPT: Master P was my first paying customer at Dipt. He was doing a guest appearance on Dark Angel with Jessica Alba and happened to walk right by when I opened my doors. He ended up buying a bunch of stuff that he wore on the show and I ended up doing a lot of wardrobe for the show. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of hip hop artists and actors, like Method Man, Nas, Fat Joe, Ludacris, G-Unit, Mos Def, Russell Simmons, Vivica A Fox, Robin Williams. The list goes on. REACH: Why did you go into fashion?
DIPT: When I finished university I began importing and distributing a brand out of the states that was affiliated with Mike D from the Beastie Boys’ X-Large brand called X-New. I got the rights to that in Canada and designed my first collection which I sold to stores across the country. One of the stores I was selling to was Vancouver’s first true hip hop shop called F.W.U.H in North Vancouver. When the owner moved it downtown to Beatty St. I became a co-owner and that was the start. Dipt opened in 2000. I combined all the things I loved and created a career for myself.
REACH: What is the one of the biggest challenges with opening up a
REACH: What inspired you to become a make up and hair stylist?
MS: My first love for make up artistry came through Kevin Aucoin. He was a self-thought make up artists. I got his first book when I was about 17, and the images moved me. He saw the skin as a canvas, instead of just any other face, and that inspired me. Taking this inspiration, I fell in love with magazines, TV shows, and movies. The behind the scenes work, where you go from your vision to the final product. My dad has also been a driving force in my life. REACH: Give us your thoughts about the fashion industry here in Vancouver Canada?
MS: Vancouver’s fashion industry is one that is small and growing. Its not very comparable to other cities, however there is a lot of amazing talent here. Vancouver has a long way to go, if its fashion industry is to grow. The migration of talent to other cities will always be a problem if steady growth of the fashion industry doesn’t happen. REACH: What sets you apart from other make up and hair stylists
MS: I believe my drive, my talent, life experiences, talent, and flexibility sets me apart. I’m willing to adjust and compromise, where other artists find it hard to do. I’ve also worked in different cities, which allows me to deal with different situations that are experienced on the job. REACH: What advice would you give individuals who would like to do what you do?
MS: (Laughs) My first thought would be to tell them NOT to take the plunge. However it is important that one should have a long term plan to help deal with the highs and the lows of this industry. For instance, when I moved to Vancouver, it took me two years of hard work and dedication to get the results I desired. Sometimes its also has to do with
who you know, which is just the way it is.
REACH: How do you deal with the highs and the lows?
MS: Highs, this might sound cheesy but when I’m excited, I put on cheesy top 40 pop music and blast it in car. As for the lows, I turn to family and friends. It’s important to have some type of support system around you. REACH: Shout Outs!!
MS: Ohh I’d love to thank They Rep, Gina and the girls, have been amazing. Shout outs also has to go out to all the photographers, stylists, and other makeup artists that has helped me through the way. You know who you are. I couldn’t have done all this without you all. And of course Reach Magazine. 4. Surya’s sound is one that is refreshing, urban and spiritual. As a singer/ song writer and producer, she understands the importance of creativity. After recently working with Wyclef, Surya sits down with Reach to give the scoop on what she is all about. By Jenno Chand. REACH: Describe who is Surya?
S: Surya is a vessel for music and healing energy and the meeting of many worlds. REACH: Enlighten our readers about your genres.
S: Imagine a genre where you mix Sanskrit and Tibetan chants with western urban music. I also produce pop/electronic urban sounds. I’m also a singer/songwriter which I back up with the guitar and/or piano. REACH: Where do you get your inspiration for making your music?
S: When I sit down to make music it just flows out of me. I don’t know where it comes from; it’s just there. REACH: How does it feel to sing/song write and also produce your own music?
S: I started producing my own music because I couldn’t find a producer who understood what I was doing, and also because I figured it was probably the smartest move to be mostly self-reliant as an artist. Producing suits my personality too. One of my intentions with learning to produce was to be able to produce other artists, specifically young female artists. I think women can inspire other women in a really positive way, so I wanted to be able to create a safe space for young women to be able to work and create and thrive.
REACH: Wyclef recently had a Twitter ‘More Bottles’ Remix contest where he handpicked 20 contestants and you were the only Canadian artist. You finished top 10 and went to New York to record your version of the song. Tell us about the experience. S: It was a great experience, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity. Wyclef is such a talented musician, not to mention incredibly funny. I learned a lot about being prepared and what it really takes to be on that level of success. Something I learnt from him was that show business is indeed a business and we need to treat it as such. REACH: What’s Next?
S: I want to create a sound that is definitively Surya and then be able to fuse that sound with artists from all genres and walks of life. I’d love to write some epic songs that last for years and years like Bob Dylan.
1. SEX WITH STRANGERS (myspace.com/sexwithstrangers) 2. JEFF MARTIN / DIPT (getdipt.com) 3. Makeup and Hair Stylist MARIANNA SCAROLA at THEY Representation (THEYrep.com) 4. SURYA (myspace.com/suryasound)