#OFchangemakers

#OFchangemakers

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

 

This year, in celebration of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting and recognizing women who are driving business, art and culture forward. We sat down with four OFchangemakers to hear what female empowerment means to them.

#OFchangemakers

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

 

This year, in celebration of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting and recognizing women who are driving business, art and culture forward. We sat down with four OFchangemakers to hear what female empowerment means to them.

GABY BAYONA  |  @gabybayona

FOUNDER OF OREMONY DESIGN CO. + STRANGER AGENCY

Gaby Bayona is a Vancouver-based entrepreneur. In 2013, she started her first company, Truvelle, which is a modern bridal brand. Since then, she has launched 3 other bridal dress brands (LaudaeHalseene, and Aesling), a bridal shop named Lovenote Bride with locations in Vancouver + Calgary, and a diversity focused modelling agency named Stranger Agency

Q: What does the word CHANGEMAKER mean to you? 

A: A changemaker is somebody who recognizes that things can (and should) be different, and advocates for those changes to be made. 

Q: What are you doing as a changemaker?  

A: I manufacture all of my wedding gowns in-house, and strive to change the perception of what a “factory” is. Our space is in a bright, airy warehouse in the middle of Vancouver and our production team is a diverse crew of all ages & backgrounds. It’s cool to make your own things. My idea of beauty has always been quite inclusive, which is reflected in Stranger Agency’s roster. I’m proud of the talent that I represent and what they stand for. I’ve had my share of instances where somebody doesn’t take me seriously, because I’m a young, minority, female business owner. I love doing good work and creating quantifiable results, which forces somebody to rethink what a business owner should look like. 

Q: Who inspires you, and how do you hope to inspire others?   

A: I love my community – they inspire and challenge me every day.  I hope that I inspire people to feel like they can do anything they put their mind to.  

Q: What’s the best business advice you’ve received?   

A: If you involve yourself too heavily in the day-to-day tasks of your business, you aren’t running a business – you’ve created a job for yourself.  

Q: Where does your passion/drive come from?  

A: When I started my first brand in 2013, I worked like crazy just to make ends meet. My childhood was quite unstable, which resulted in a deep understanding of the importance of self-sustaining yourself.  Now, I have a responsibility to my team: I have over 30 staff members, and around 50 models on my roster. I never want my actions to put somebody in a bad place, and will 100% hustle for the people around me.  

Q: What’s been the biggest surprise or highlight of your career to date? 

A: It really is still a highlight when I’m working at one of the bridal shops, and sell a dress to a bride. It’s crazy – they will only wear one wedding dress in their lifetime, there are so many great options out there, and they still choose one of the gowns my team and I create.  

Q: What advice would you give to young women just starting out in their career? 

A: You’ll never be ready – take the leap. 

TARA SALLOUM  |  @taraleighrose

CO-FOUNDER OF COUNTER CULTURE AGENCY

Tara is the co-founder and creative lead of Counter Culture Agency. After a few years working in the marketing and sponsorship industry, she started Counter Culture to shake up the industry, champion the creative community and create original programming for clients across Canada and the States. 

Q: Tell us a bit about what your day-to-day life looks like. 

A: No day is the same because we work in an ever-changing industry. One day, I can be on set at a photoshoot creative directing and the next, I can be in a boardroom pitching on business. 

Q: What does the word CHANGEMAKER mean to you?   

A: The word CHANGEMAKER to me means taking risks and taking the road less travelled.

Q: What are you doing as a changemaker?   

A: I’m trying to educate clients on how to innovate within the influencer space. I think there’s a lot of the same being done and I want Counter Culture to always have a different perspective. 

Q: Who inspires you, and how do you hope to inspire others?  

A: So many people inspire me, but in business, my dad inspires me most. He’s a great businessman and he’s also a fair leader. I have worked with him in the past and seeing how much respect he has for all employees at any level inspires me to be nice no matter the person. You never really know what people are going through, so it’s something that I try and remind myself of every day.  

Q: What’s the best business advice you’ve received?     

A: “If not now, when?”

Q: Where does your passion/drive come from?      

A: I want to be a part of the evolution of this industry, so my drive comes from the desire to educate and move the industry forward. I always wanted to work for myself as well, so the passion comes from wanting to spearhead a business.  

Q: What advice would you give to young women just starting out in their career?     

A: Surround yourself with people that compliment your skillset, which inherently makes you look inward and understand your own weaknesses. I always think if you’re in a room and you feel like you’re the smartest person, you’re in the wrong room. 

ADELE TETANGCO  |  @buddy_lembeck

CMO OF BRAND ASSEMBLY

Adele Tetangco is a fashion entrepreneur who has been working in the industry for over 16 years. Her passion for supporting independent and up-and-coming designers as well as stores led her to develop Garmentory. Adele has since moved on to new and exciting professional adventures. Most recently, joining forces with Brand Assembly in creating a new micro trade show named Reassembled Show. She also found time to co-create the ethical womenswear label Tigre et Tigre which launched February 2019.

Q: Tell us a bit about what your day-to-day life looks like. 

A: It’s never the same. Every day is always as crazy, never more, never less. If I were to summarize in 1 word, I’d say it looks: “rushed”. 

Q: What are you doing as a changemaker? 

A: I’m driven to do and pursue things that I’m passionate about. This has guided my everything and has led me to where I am now. If it’s impacted people or businesses along the way, then it’s a bonus. 

Q: Who inspires you?

A: I’m surrounded by many women who run their own businesses – women who are single, women who are mothers, women who work a 9-5 and have their side hustle. Whatever the case, the sky’s the limit and they never cease to get stuff done. They continue to inspire me on a daily basis. 

Q: Where does your passion/drive come from?  

A: When I started in fashion I worked with a smaller designer who worked with many smaller and independent businesses. Seeing the daily struggles that these types of fashion businesses dealt with ignited a fire in me. 

Q: What advice would you give to young women just starting out in their career? 

A: Be patient. Nothing happens overnight. 

SYDNEY OH  |  @ohsyd

SENIOR PR DIRECTOR AT IHPR + FOUNDER OF MILK AND CLAY

Sydney Oh is the Senior PR Director at IHPR, a boutique agency, where she oversees and handles press for clients in the fashion and lifestyle space. She grew up in the suburbs near Atlanta, studied journalism and speech communication at the University of Georgia and have since been in NY for over a decade. She also moonlights as a ceramic artist and has a small business called Milk and Clay. 

Q: What does the word CHANGEMAKER mean to you?  

A: Someone who is ever evolving and able to make waves, whether big or small, in their community.

Q: What are you doing as a CHANGEMAKER?  

A: As a publicist, I’m naturally behind the scenes but changing the conversation around fashion – my focus is less on trends and more on sustainability, thought leadership, addressing gender parity and female empowerment as I get to work with some incredible brands.  

Q: Who inspires you and how do you hope to inspire others?  

A: My mom, she’s been through a lot and is the most selfless and hardworking person I know. I get most inspired when I see people really living and loving life while working toward their goals.

Q: What’s the best business advice you’ve received?  

A: “Letting go will allow space for new.” This was shared by Urte Tylaite who runs my favorite shop Still House. It was in context of ceramics but it’s applicable to many aspects of life, and I’ve gained a deeper understanding over the years.   

Q: What about your career makes you feel the most fulfilled?      

A: I’m lucky I have a career I love. It’s challenging but has rewarding moments and every day is different. I get to meet a lot of people and through that can befriend some gems!  

Q: What advice would you give to young women just starting out in their career?     

A: Be curious, proactive and resourceful. Hold your shoulders back and know the sun will rise again when you’re feeling challenged. Confidently knowing your worth and asking for your needs will get you far, while entitlement and a bad attitude will not.

BE AN OFCHANGEMAKER

Net proceeds from the sale of our Women’s Day limited edition graphic tshirts will be donated to Catalyst — www.catalyst.org.

Before March 31, 2020, take a photo of yourself in one of our official Women’s Day Tshirts and hashtag #OFchangemakers and we will donate an additional $5.

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