My name is Betenas Abebayehu or Betty (emphasis on the “tts” because that’s the way Africans say it. I’m an Ethio-Canadian young woman who’s a curator, creative director, an upcoming and still learning makeup artists as well as a spoken word poet.

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Photo by GH PHOTOGRAPHY

1. What is your business & why that field / service/ product?

ArtforHerSole YEG is a collective I started as a collaboration of art fashion and solidarity with Black Femmes and creating a safe space for coloured femmes.  However I decided to encompass the entirety of the artistic community by rebranding and presenting the collective as more of a platform showcasing the work of Black Femme creatives while also again presenting a safe space for other coloured femmes. Why not present a platform for all artistic coloured women you may ask? Well I feel as if the Black Woman’s struggle and pain identifies a bit differently and no one really discusses the inter-minority discrimination we face alongside dealing with the system on it’s own. Our storytelling maybe similar but it is unique and has its own different roots.

2. What inspired you to start your own business?

Starting my own business as a Black Femme in this society as well as in the art world allows room for teaching in my own way while also meshing with other artistic collectives who share some similarities. That way independence is established and my voice/story is not distorted by another’s vision. Don’t get me wrong I welcome all perspectives but the respect of my own vision is present when I have something to call my own where I can establish and control, authenticity, autonomy and transparency within my brand. Alongside that I feel like growing up I didn’t have many black women to look up to especially as someone who had always had a knack for social justice and art. I hope this platform can be a learning experience for the viewers and a means of inspiration to do what you are capable and love doing to the best of your abilities.

3. Do you have a go to quote / motto?

My motto is actually a quote from a dear friend of mine: “look into your inner child to reach success”.

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Art Credit: @indahbynatalie

4. What’s a personal goal of yours to accomplish?

I do wish to one day be in front of thousands of young melanin women where I can share my story and if I can’t reach to all of their hearts and ears I hope to at least change the life of one black girl who can recognize my work and tell herself “I can be like her”

5. Do you have a professional goal or set of goals for your business?

I am currently looking at building a website where I showcase the many melanin/coloured women I have interviewed and build I guess a sort of HUB for artistic/creative femmes who can in turn give advice to those who want to do the things they’re doing. Also it doesn’t stop there I hope to collaborate with the many different artistic collectives locally and eventually nationally and internationally to build this HUGE webbed network space. I’ve been currently working on side creative projects here and there and seeing how they mesh well with my collective.

6. Why do you love being an entrepreneur?

I think being an entrepreneur is in itself art. You are a creative with your ideals and projects and in your own way painting your story in your communities, audiences, relationships. It’s quite beautiful

7. Did you ever have a time where you wanted to give up? How did you overcome that feeling?

I tell you everyday is a battlefield of conversation with my own self. Every single day it’s a battle with my own self doubt and moments of downplaying my capabilities. It is never ending until I guess I stop breathing. I always feel like I could be doing more that I’m not doing enough and it’s so hard. My personal life sometimes conflicts with my creative mind and being an emotional and intuitive personal it’s just a struggle juggling it all and managing to stay sane. I’ve had breakdown..heck I still do lol but I always see other people making it and tell myself tomorrow will be better, tomorrow is a new beginning and as cliche as it sounds I’m here today telling this to you because of that mini pep talk.

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8. What’s your best boss babe moment?

I think my first Boss Babe moment was when I planned this artistic photoshoot for a whole three months and there was so many moments of frustration and panic putting this together. Because I created the shoot as floral themed the weather also had to be on my side. My friend Kelsey (also my photographer) was also a great help in this so shoutout to you girl. The day of my birthday (May 4th) was when it happened and let me tell you before the shoot it was a gong show. I was planning a birthday dinner and making sure my friends (models) got their makeup and props done on time and made sure my two friends who were helping with hair and makeup (shoutout to Ejiro and Thomas) got started on the girls I wasn’t working on and at the same time restaurants were a bother and some of the girls did not show for x y z reasons. then it happened. Everyone was prepped and ready and I started directing the shoot. I felt I was alive in that moment and that was where I need to be and well Lordt was it ever a success. Let me tell you being a creative director is not easy at all but damn I pulled through and still managed to book a bomb ass restaurant for the evening (shoutout to Joeys).

9. What platform do you find most success / interaction from? (IE. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook).

I feel Instagram is the way to go. Instagram is a growing platform and people are just now stepping away from Snapchat (Facebook has been history) and I think it’s a great and creative way to get your work out there

10. Work-life Balance: What you do you do to destress? What is your must-have moment of the day?

Lord listen sistas SLEEEEP is your best friend, your lover, your husband, and your family. Don’t be playing with that sleep. There’s nothing more that calms me than getting my full 8 hours not even music (although it does come as a close second).

11. What are you looking to learn from other YEGBOSSBABES in the community?

Other YEGBOSSBABES I want to hear more about you and your journey to where you are. And OF COURSE let’s sip some tea and collaborate. Let’s help each other and let’s build up that girl power.

Interested in being featured? Contact us at yegbossbabes@gmail.com

Tipsy Tuesday is brought to you by Monika Social – a presenter at our upcoming Marketing Workshop [SOLD OUT – WAIT LIST OPEN]. Thank you Monika for sharing your feedback so far on the new Instagram TV app! View this video below for quick tips and tricks she has found using this new app & ideas on how to get started and ideas for content you may want to share. We know Monika will be sharing more about Instagram TV on her platform and hopefully with us again soon on Tipsy Tuesday! We hope to hear from you about your Instagram TV experience so far on our social media platforms and on our NEW Facebook GROUP!

Our Facebook Group is accepting new members now! We are happy to have a place for fellow YEGBOSSBABES come together, learn about eachother and from one another, provide and receive support from one another and connect with fellow female entrepreneurs in the Edmonton area. Please our Facebook group as an opportunity to share your goals, struggles, ideas, collaboration requests, and more with other YEGBOSSBABES. Just watch the magic happen when you contribute to conversations with other YEGBOSSBABES, meet new connections across different industries or within your own! We encourage support, tip sharing, promoting, and #realtalk

Courtesy of Monika Social
Follow Monika Social on Instagram 

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Courtesy of Sara Jewell Photography

My name is Emilie and I am a portrait photographer based in Edmonton. I have been a photographer for 9 years now… wow time flies! I started as a wedding photographer but I am now only doing portraits, and especially women portraiture.

I have created this photo series called “The Truth in You” where I photograph women who want to celebrate themselves, despise what the society tells them to do or be and away from the beauty standards which are too restrictive. The society currently classifies women regarding their role (you are a mother, you are a wife, you are a daughter…) but women should not be defined by those roles only. You should be able to give yourself a photo session just because you want to celebrate YOU, without waiting to get married, become a mom or getting a promotion. Society teaches girls to be quiet, to follow the rules it has decided for them. Women are not allowed to be single, divorced, and with no kids without being judged EVERY DAY. And I don’t even start with the struggles the women of colour have to face, and also the LGBTQIA community. It takes every human to change the standards but we will get there one step at a time.

I started my own business 9 years ago when I quit my job as a corporate lawyer. As much as I loved my studies, I hated the job and could not see myself being a lawyer my entire life. So I had an opportunity to start my own business and I did it. I never looked back!

I must say being my own boss and having my own business has been eye opening for me. I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur (everyone in my family is a teacher) but I learned along the way, and I love being an entrepreneur now. I love meeting new people all the time, I love having a flexible schedule, I love being my own boss and making the decisions about my business. I am totally in charge of how I do my business and it has been life changing.

One of my professional goals is to open my own studio one day. To have my own space where I could work with other creatives. It’s a big goal for me because I have a very specific idea of what I want (design of the space, the size, the light, etc.) and it’s not something that I can just “rent”. I would need to think of every detail, design the space and maybe even build it myself… well hire someone to build what I want!

Being a small business owner is not always easy though. And I wanted to give up many times! I almost got a 9-5 job a few years ago when I moved to Edmonton and I had to start over here. Long short story about me: I was born and raised in Reunion Island, a French island located in the Indian Ocean nead Madagascar and I moved to Canada in 2011. I lived in Quebec for 5 years before moving to Edmonton in 2016. Nobody knew me in Edmonton and I had t start my photography business from zero. This is when I wanted to give up. But I did not and now my business is doing very well.

One of my mentors, Seth Godin, wrote this and it just sticks with me now: We fail when we give up too soon. Sometimes, well often, the moment we want to give up is actually the moment we need to push forward.

I remember the first time someone in Edmonton came to me at an event and asked me if I was Emilie Iggiotti, and I said yes, and they complimented me on my work and told me they love my work. That’s when I told myself: Okay this is good, people know who you are now, it’s getting there.

Also, because I use Instagram a lot, lots of people “know” me from this platform. Which is very cool! I found that Instagram completely changed the way we interact with each other. I feel like I have a community of people who know me and who I know even if we never really met in real life. And when we meet in real life, we feel like we know each other. It’s the same for my clients. They feel like they know me already and it creates a feeling of trust even before the photo session. And because I work a lot and I spend a lot of time on Instagram, my favourite thing to do when I am not working is going to a coffee shop with a book and just chill. But it’s very hard to do for me. My brain is always working and even when I am supposed to read and chill, I think of a million different ideas for a photo session or for my business. I found that boxing really helps me to disconnect. So I do that a lot!

I love the community of small business owners in Edmonton. We are all very supportive of each other. I try to attend lots of markets or special events and support local businesses. I try to also shop local as much as I can. I met a lot of amazing inspiring women in Edmonton. The way they conduct their business helps me being a better business person. I am always looking for inspiration from other businesses. So I would say I am just looking for that. And it’s a big thing for me. I don’t think we can have a business and not be inspired. We need inspiration every day… inspiration to keep going, to get better, to evolve, to improve our products, our services. Without inspiration, we are not going anywhere. So, cheers to being inspired by other YEGBOSSBABES!

Emilie Iggiotti

Introducing to you a brand new beauty salon that just opened up this month called MYX Beauty. The owners Hair By Shakera and Hair By Lauren Kyle are over the moon excited about this new venture they are creating for Hairstylists in YEG.

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Hello Ladies! My name is Lauren I am one of the owners of MYX Beauty. I’ve been doing hair for over 7 years. I started out in the Hair Industry at a very young age and got my red seal at the age of 19. I use to work at many high end salons around Edmonton but I learnt quickly that working for another company wasn’t my passion. Two years ago I opened up my first one chair salon that was located in a beauty house just off Whyte Ave. Shortly after opening my salon I reconnected with Shakera. We use to work with eachother at a past salon. Shakera and I always got along. Anytime Shakera was doing the extension install and I was doing the colour our clients would tell us we are the “dream team” haha it sounds so silly but it was true! We understood eachother like we were sisters growing up together for years! It always felt so natural. This moment on I knew Shakera and I would be the perfect match to create a successful business. This is when we started MYX Beauty.

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What is your professional goal for your business?

Our goal for MYX Beauty is to create a atmosphere for all stylists to own their own business. We help all our staff understand what it takes to own a business for example how much money you need to save for taxes & GST, What cashing out system / booking system you should use, how to advertise your business and the quickest most effective way to build a successful clientele. Most salons don’t want their staff to own their own business as their goal is for them to stay working under their salon. BUT MYX Beauty is a one of a kind salon. We consider our salon a support group for all independent stylists to have guidance for a successful future! We still have room for more stylist to join in the future so if you’re thinking about making that jump into owning your own business Keep MYX Beauty in your mind!

What Platform do you find most success from?

I feel like every company is different depending on their clientele they are trying to attract. Personally I found more success from Instagram but Shakera found more success from Facebook. I have a younger clientele as I specialize in Long Hair Balayage. Shakera has a older clientele because she specializes in Hair Replacement & Extensions. For some reason that’s just how social media is going these days!

Did you ever have times where you wanted to give up? How did you overcome that feeling?

Shakera and I had lots of moments where we felt that way. What’s amazing about having a business partner is the support. One day I’ll feel so overwhelmed that I just want to quit but then Shakera will bring me back up and give me that confidence that all this work will pay off one day… which eventually it did! If you’re stuck in that moment where you want to give up and don’t have the support like I did from my amazing business partner then that’s when you turn to a community like YEG BOSS BABES. Everyone on this page will give you that motivation to keep going! We are all here to help!

 

Interested in being featured? email us at yegbossbabes@gmail.com 

 

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How did you find out you have a passion for being a Hair Stylist?

I would say my passion in hair and make up began at a very young age! I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by hair and make up my entire life! When I was really young I would attend hair and nail conferences with my mom as she was a nail tech. My mom always let me do whatever I wanted to my hair, and which I totally regret some decisions, my creative juices were always flowing! My sister was also in the beauty industry, she was a make up artist. When I wasn’t being used as her guinea pig for makeup, I was sneaking into her bathroom to steal all the cool make up she owned. Needless to say, my mother didn’t raise tomboys, I was destined to be in the beauty industry!

When did you know that you wanted to become a salon owner instead of just being behind the chair?

Let’s just say I was never someone to take direction easily from others haha. My personality definitely conflicted with what the definition of being a good employee was! I’m loud, I love to crack jokes, I love coming up with new ideas, etc. I needed an outlet that I could just be myself and surround myself with people like me. When the decision was made to enter into the world of self-employment, I remember my dad saying to me, “I knew this day would come, I always knew you needed to be your own boss.”

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Why did you decided to expand your salon / how did you know it was the right time to expand?

I started Below Hair Studio in my basement with one of my best friends Danielle. We made it our mission to have the salon atmosphere that we always wanted. A fun, friendly, high end vibe that at the end of the day, just had a good time! All of our clients became more like family to us, and we decided we needed an assistant. I hired someone to help us with day to day duties that we were finding to be too much for us to do on our own. Before we knew it, our social media presence was making an uproar and we weren’t able to keep up with the amount of people that wanted to book with us. After 4 very fast years in the basement, the perfect store front location became available and my curiosity led me to look into it. I had always talked about expanding but never took it too seriously. When I went to look at the space, I had the same feeling im sure that a bride would get when she found the perfect wedding dress. Everything just felt right, nothing was rushed, it was time to expand. We knew we had outgrown the basement salon, we needed more people! We had become one of the most followed salon instagrams in Edmonton and we were in a 500 sqft basement! We made an unbelievably smooth transition to the bigger space and flash forward a year and a half later, we have 8 stylists on our amazing team and rent out a room to an awesome eyelash technician.

What makes you happy about being your own boss babe?

I would like to say that if you’re your own boss you can do whatever you want and take as much time off as you’d like, but it’s quite the contrary. My hours have grown longer, vacations have become fewer, and the hours behind the scenes that no one sees are the hardest. There is not a lot of glamour in being the boss, but the incredible feeling I get watching Below Hair Studio grow into what I always dreamed of is priceless. I’m happy that we’ve created a community of amazing stylists, developed so many new relationships with clients, and have a platform to share our passion the way we want it shared. Those are some of the many things that make me happy about being a boss babe.
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If you could go back and tell yourself one thing in your first year of business what would it be?

OMG where do I start?! I would say my biggest piece of advice I would give to myself would be to take the time to understand the actual BUSINESS side! Source deductions, gst remittances, budgeting… I didn’t want to believe there would be actual numbers to crunch in owning a business! Thankfully my mom,  Shelley, took care of all of that for me so I could put more focus into growing the business, but not everyone has a Shelley in their back pocket like I did! Learn about your business taxes, hold on to ALL of your receipts, know your inventory…they are a very important part of running a successful business. (But for real thank god for Shelley haha)
Find Below Hair Studio here
on Facebook
and on Instagram.

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Birthing a Business

Hey bossbabes!

I’m Kaitlyn Breederland, labour doula and co-founder of Heritage Birth Services, an Edmonton-based doula agency. I married young, and shortly after became a mom. Before having kids I worked with seniors in a long-term care facility, but I never really found a traditional career I was truly passionate about.

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After my first daughter was born, I started to think about becoming a labour doula. It all started so naturally, having become a mom before many of my friends, they came to me for support and encouragement during their first pregnancies and births. I became passionate about nurturing that relationship and found real joy in empowering them in the months and days leading up to their births. Then, a friend asked me to attend her birth as a support person. I knew it was time to embrace this calling and take doula training. So I did.

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Ever since, I have never doubted that I was created to do this. When I started out, I just knew that I wanted to be a doula. What I didn’t realize, at first, is that to practise my passion I also had to embrace being a business owner. I would have to do the “business stuff” first in order to be able to get to the part that I was super-passionate about.

Birth work is a heart-centred industry, so turning my passion into a profitable, sustainable career was easier said then done. I quickly realized, however, that if I wanted to do this (and do it well!) I had to treat it like a business. I had to give it my all, and I had to charge my worth. I can empower women through birth and postpartum till the cows come home, but the turning point for my business was when I firmly decided to empower myself. I decided to charge my worth and in so doing have turned my passion into a career.

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This does not mean there have not been times when I wanted to quit! Absolutely I have had moments when imposter syndrome has hit me like a ton of bricks, when my inner critic tells me “I can’t do this! I can’t be a boss and run my own business … are you kidding me?” But. Just like when a woman in labour looks at me in the eyes and says “Kaitlyn, I can’t do this” and I reply “It’s too late, you’re already doing it. You’re in it, and you’re doing amazing!” Just as I encourage women in that moment, I too have to encourage myself. Like a woman giving birth, I’m too far into it to just up and quit, so I do the only thing to do and just keep moving forward! And it’s been a beautiful, thrilling, eye-opening experience.

My goal and my dream now is not just to work with and empower women in birth, but also in business. Heritage Birth Services has blossomed in the past year to become a doula agency where women—labour doulas, postpartum doulas, childbirth educators, and lactation consultants—can come alongside us and work with mothers and mothers-to-be without ever doubting that their work is a viable career and that they deserve to earn a living doing it.

I’m not really in a place to give advice. This is all still so new. But one thing I know to be true is this: Value yourself and always charge your worth. And when you doubt yourself and your abilities doula yourself through it. Look in the mirror and tell yourself “I’m doing this, and I’m doing awesome!”

Well, there you have it. I’m Kaitlyn, a doula, turned accidental business owner, turned passionate entrepreneur, and now a #bossbabe!

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