(Photo: Kyrsten Galang)
Introducing the 'Bare Form' campaign, in support of International Women's Month ❤️✊🏽.
Starting on International Women's Day, spanning over the next 6 consecutive weeks, I will be spotlighting each of these inspiring female creatives & entrepreneurs. Every Friday, a different woman's portrait will go live here, as well as on Cadette's IG page, alongside a short video clip on IGTV where she will share the 'bare truth' about a challenge she has faced along her journey.
My main goal with this series is to highlight the importance of being open and honest about real experiences that we all go through whilst working toward a dream or goal. By sharing these stories, we connect with, support, and motivate one another, discovering how much we all truly have in common. I hope you find inspiration in each of these amazing ladies’ stories of lessons learned and how they stay empowered to keep pushing forward.
10% of all Female Form & Petite Form Necklace sales between March 8 to April 19 will be donated to Sistering — a multi-service agency for at-risk, socially isolated women in Toronto who are homeless or precariously housed.
Taylor Reynolds is a Toronto-based photographer and designer.
I've been a longtime fan of Taylor, continuously in awe of her signature modern, refreshing and 'it' aesthetic that she infuses into all of her photography and design work. But interestingly, something that many don't know about Taylor is that she actually went to school for Radio & Television. Along the way, she discovered her love for Photography & Design, and chose to pursue them, independently. She has been completely self-taught in both of these fields.
With her untraditional start in the industry, she's had moments of feeling inadequate, and has even experienced 'imposter syndrome' (which I myself, and am sure many others, can totally relate to).
How does Taylor stay empowered?
By having the opportunity to hear the stories of other creatives and individuals in the industry on how they got started – it's allowed her to discover that it's quite rare to hear that someone's path has been a completely 'straight line,' and in fact, we can all find comfort in knowing that everyone's path is truly unique and different. And that's the beauty of each of our individual journeys.
Connect with Taylor:
Yaz Butcher is the Visual Editor for Refinery29 Canada & co-founder of GXXRLS.
I must thank this social media era for the special introductions it has given me to some of the most incredible, creative women that I've been able to admire from afar. This was the very case for the one & only Yaz Butcher – her refreshingly honest, edgy, and all aesthetically beautiful design work made me an instant fangirl. Plus, she's the co-founder of GXXRLS, a creative agency that advocates for women through community and collaboration.
When brainstorming on the Bare Form campaign, Yaz came to mind, straightaway. It was SO amazing to finally connect in real life on this special spotlight.
Yaz shared that a challenge that she's faced along her journey was trusting herself and knowing her worth. This was especially true during her two years as a freelance designer, where she struggled with how to justly charge clients for her work. This is a difficulty that she can still sometimes go through.
How does Yaz stay empowered?
'By being more confident in who I am and the work that I'm producing.'
Yaz explains that after grinding as a designer for 10 years to-date now, she has now finally surpassed her initial struggles and confidently recognizes who she is, her unique talent and worth. After hearing Yaz discuss her lessons learned, I couldn't help but be reminded of my own challenge with this subject. Self-doubt can be an all-consuming hurdle, preventing one from growing and moving forward. But as Yaz reiterates, which I whole-heartedly agree with: just know and trust yourself. Acknowledge every ounce of passion, effort, and love, that you put into the work you create. It's real, it's valid, and it's worth a lot.
Yaz ended with encouraging last words for others on a similar path:
'Trust yourself and continue on your path towards knowing your worth. It may be a struggle, but you'll get there.'
Meghan Yuri Young is a freelance writer, correspondent for Breakfast Television Toronto, and founder of The Sad Collective.
I recall being in complete awe the first time I met Meghan a few years back. I remember thinking how rare & exciting it was to come across someone so kind, radiant, and purely talented in more ways than I can count.
Having followed Meghan's content & story-telling for some time now, I'm confident in saying that the way she shares her journey and thoughts with her followers every single day, truly speaks to her generosity, huge heart, and as I said, talent. Amidst her growth within the media industry for 10+ years, Meghan did come across challenges along the way – including a struggle with identifying herself as a writer (when she truly was and is). At the time, she felt like she still had to do and experience more in order to justify herself as one.
She tackled this hurdle by recognizing how important it was for her to just own it. And as soon as she established and found her confidence as a writer, she was able to take on more – no longer held back by any doubt.
Fast forward 8 years into her career, another challenge Meghan came across as a freelance writer & entrepreneur is something most of us creatives can relate to – the overwhelm of ideas that we yearn to bring to fruition. Meghan realized that the ideas that end up doing the best are the ones that are executed through collaboration and leveraging the network around her.
Meghan ended with a great piece of advice:
'It's really important to not take on too much for yourself – have that self care. But also, don't be afraid to reach out and ask others for help. After all, two brains are better than one, ten brains are better than five; the more you collaborate and use your network, the more magical things will happen.'
Connect with Meghan:
Melody Hansen is an artist based in California (by way of Toronto).
Having spent years being a *big* fan of Melody & her work, I definitely had a [pinch me] moment once we finally got to meet this past December at an event.
I couldn’t be more grateful to have gotten to know Melody more over several coffee dates these past few months — and after each one, it’s become more & more clear: she is a fearless woman, artist & friend that I will always be inspired by.
Melody kindly shared one of the challenges she’s faced along her path as an artist and freelance creative: the struggle with prioritizing the countless tasks and ideas we have battling for our focus and attention.
"I often feel like everything is moving at a thousand miles per hour. But, I'm learning to just focus on what's important in the moment, and trusting that I will get to the next task, later on."
Melody's calm & collected rationale was a much-needed reminder for me that there's no need to complicate the situation – we are only human. Only one person. And there is only so much we can do in a day before jeopardizing our mental health. So as Melody says, just *trust*. Trust, but of course, hold yourself accountable, as well, to each thing on your to-do list. And ensure you give each one the slow & steady time and attention that it deserves.
Hani is a Toronto-based visual artist.
I first connected with the amazing Hani at Artscape Daniels Launchpad, where she had her work on display — including sneakers, clothing & accessories that all act as canvases for her emotionally-driven paintings.
It really is the way Hani paints her feelings & thoughts onto various objects, transforming them in the process, that has really captivated & inspired me.
She generously opened up about something that she, and so many of us face each & every day — anxiety & self-doubt, especially in this social media era where it has become easy to constantly compare ourselves to others.
Hani approaches her art practice of painting or drawing as a therapeutic process: '...like facing your demons, in a way,' Hani explained. I couldn't help but truly relate to this, as she reminded me that self-doubt by way of jealousy and comparison is so detrimental, and so many of us encounter it. As Hani says, we need to do our best to cut off the noise and use any fears or anxieties we have as fuel to simply continue creating. And never lose sight of that key focus.
Connect with Hani: