Tuesday, 18 July 2017

#GirlBoss Guide | Robin Fitzsimions


Robin is the founder and designer of Fitzy; a modern leather goods company! My favourite thing about what Robin does is that she hand makes everything in Toronto.


Where are you from? And where do you currently reside?
I grew up in London Ontario, but have been living in Toronto for the past 10 years. 

What did you study in school? Did you ever see it leading to what you are doing today?

I went to OCAD University here in Toronto and majored in Sculpture/Installation art. I never pictured myself running a business. I always thought I’d go to graduate school, and then teach.



Why did you decide to start Fitzy?

I was looking for a way to bring some spontaneity back to my artistic practice, so I decided to take on a 365 project. Every day for a whole year I would make something, be it a painting, a piece of jewellery, a photograph etc. and post it online. At a certain point in the project I got really into making leather accessories and at the urging of my friends, I decided to open up an Etsy shop. The business has since snowballed from there.



What was your dream job growing up?
When I was a little kid I always wanted to be a teacher. It wasn’t something I actively pursued past elementary school, but now it’s actually part of what I do at Fitzy. I love to teach my leather workshops, and I have a series of online ones as well.

Where are your favourite places to shop?
Does Instagram count? :P I generally like to buy directly from independent artists and designers, so I’ll usually purchase from their website, or in person at craft shows. Hoi Bo is one of my favourite local designers who also has a store front. 

How would you define the word success?
Success is such a tricky thing when you’re running a small business. It’s a really hard road, way harder than I could have ever imagined, though I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I try to always measure my success, not by where I am compared to everyone else, but by how far I’ve come. There’s always going to be someone better than you, and someone worse, so what really matters is how much you’ve grown.

What do you see yourself doing in the next five years?
I hope that I’m still doing this, but better.

Have you ever had a mentor who has given you advice that you would like to share?
Arounna of the amazing brand Bookhou told me a few years ago not to be too precious with my products. If something isn’t working, even if it’s a product that I love, it’s time to move on. That advice has allowed me to be adaptable, and not afraid to reinvent old products. The products that I’m making today are pretty different from what I started with, and that’s ok. You’ve got to go with what works.

What advice would you like to give to today’s women?
Done is better than perfect.

What is a fact about you that would surprise others?
I know how to brew my own beer.

Where can everyone find you:
Store - www.fitzy.ca
Twitter - @fitzydesign
Instagram - @fitzydesign
Facebook - @fitzydesign
Pinterest - @fitzyleather

Let me know if you've heard of Fitzy in the comments below!

Kisses

xx,

Lisa

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Saturday, 8 July 2017

#GirlBoss Guide | Christie Lohr


Christie Lohr is a successful entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in the fashion industry!

Where are you from? 
Port Hardy, BC. A small town with a population of about 4,000 on the Northern tip of Vancouver Island.

And where do you currently reside? 
Vancouver, BC.

What did you study in school?
Fashion Marketing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Did you ever see it leading to what you are doing today? 
I thought I wanted to be a Buyer! Which I did have the chance to try when I worked for Le Chateau. When I worked there, they offered me a paid internship at the Montreal Head Office. During this time, I took a break from managing a flagship store in Vancouver and tried the internship for five months. Everything I did leading up to launching Style Nine to Five led me to where I am today. You need the experiences to build your confidence, expertise, and credibility in an industry. You also need to figure out what you really want to do and try your hands at different things.

What jobs did you have before you started Style Nine to Five?
Prior to launching Style Nine to Five, I had the opportunity to work as a store manager, menswear buyer, recruiter, and held various internships at a showroom, FASHION magazine and at MTV Canada, which was actually my very first internship. 


Why did you decide to start Style Nine to Five and your other job sites?
I saw an opportunity and need for it! It was during my job as a recruiter for Le Chateau that I had that Aha! moment. I was trying to fill a typically easy and sought-after job, a visual display merchandiser, but since it was located in Calgary, it wasn't easy to find a qualified candidate. I'd post this job on general job websites and take out newspaper ads but still couldn't finding anyone. This is when I thought, "Where are all the fashionistas in Calgary?! There has to be someone who loves fashion out there who is perfect for the job." This is when a light bulb went on in my head and I thought, let me fix this! Style Nine to Five was created a few months later.

What was your dream job growing up?
To be a buyer.

Where are your favourite places to shop?
I like to support local and the brands that I can build relationships with. At the moment, my favourite places are local Vancouver boutiques and labels like Gentle Fawn, 8th and Main, Still Life or Barefoot Contessa. Another go-to is Topshop - they have amazing jeans (all mine are from there).

How would you define the word success?
Being able to positively impact someone else.

What do you see yourself doing in the next five years?
Continuing to expand and build the brand! But, it’s also my dream to find the time to write a book.



Have you ever had a mentor who has given you advice that you would like to share?
I've had mentors yes, but I don't recall any advice that stands out! I do remember one of them telling me to get out of Le Chateau because they saw so much potential in me bigger than what I was doing at the time. What I take from that is change is good and it's how you grow. Sometimes we get too comfortable in our jobs and are afraid to make a change. Something I read that has always stayed with me is this piece of advice, “You can only do what you can with what you have." Sometimes we think, ahh if only I could do this, or how did that person get to do that?

How do you stay up to date on current trends?
Social Media!

What is a fact about you that would surprise others? 
I can draw, play guitar and piano. I also love toast with nothing on it...not even butter!



What advice would you like to give to today’s women? 
Don't waste energy looking to see what others are doing. This will dilute your own authentic vision.

Where can everyone find you:

Let me know if you've looked at the current jobs Christie has up on Style Nine to Five in the comments below!

Kisses

xx,

Lisa

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