Frances Hui was featured on the cover of the Premier Issue of Modern Working Woman Magazine, with an accompanying article which was a photo shoot and an interview she did for the launch of the publication last year.
Read her interview to learn more about Frances and her way of thinking and living, especially where it pertains to how she builds relationships with others and does business.
Cover page, Interview: pages 8-13
Published in August 2015
Hair by Stylist Jihannah Hwang
Makeup by Katie Elwood
Dress by Designer Shelley Klassen of Blushing Boutique
Jewellery by Designer Kari Staten of Zuka Artful Accessories
Photography by Linsey Hulls, assisted by Jihan Amer
Locations courtesy of Cabana Lounge and Olympian Brent Hayden's inaugural photo exhibition on its Opening Night
Cover Girl & Interview for Modern Working Woman Magazine - ISSUE #1 -
TO HER SUCCESS
Randi Winter’s motto is “Let your passions be your guide”. She is a modern working
woman having gone from educator to selling sporting goods, then to being a travel specialist
in inspired pursuits and a freelance writer in many genres. Into the daily mix goes mentoring,
community volunteering on a local, national and international level and a passion for family and
friends, travel, fashion and doing good. Her granddaughter says she has a party on her head.
Linsey Hulls is a behind the scenes fashion, branding, social media,
event and retreat photographer. Linsey is the sole proprietor of Linsey Hulls Photography.
Suzanne Petryshyn, M.A., C. Med is a chartered mediator, negotiator,
professional speaker and author. Suzanne is the owner of Brain Jacks providing mediation
training and negotiation training to accredited professionals.
Susan Friesen, the owner of E-Vision Media, is a web development specialist, social
media advisor, and marketing consultant helping entrepreneurs successfully grow their
Maura Desimoneis the owner and creative juice at ZenDezignz, an independent
design studio located in the gloriously beautiful Pacific Northwest. Inspired by life, love and
the pursuit of happiness Maura has spent the last 25 years launching Inc. 500 companies,
presidential campaigns and international organizations with her strategic branding designs
and customized marketing materials.
Helen Siwakis an eco-entrepreneur and driving force behind ecoluxury
lifestyle magazine THECloset YVR and ecoluxury lifestyle boutique of the same name at
360 Carrall Street in Gastown. She is also a luxury/lifestyle contributor to Retail-Insider and
VancityBuzz. Tw/IG: @THEClosetYVR
A Lifestyle Boutique
Featuring Celebrity Bloggers and Skye’s Online Boutique
MODERN WORKING WOMAN
BEHIND EVERY SUCCESSFUL WOMAN
IS A TRIBE OF OTHER SUCCESSFUL
WOMEN WHO HAVE HER BACK
INSIDE THE MAGAZINE
Say NoIncrease The Power Of
How You Spend Your Time
The Secret To Frances Hui’s Success - Founder Of FHS Events
Marilyn R. Wilson
Life Outside The Box Celebrates Real People: Real Lives
Confessions Of An Eco-Friendly Fashionista
Bring Your Brand To Life
Written By Linsey Hulls
Why Paying Attention To Website Branding Is
Critical To Your Business Success
Written By Susan Friesen
How To Successfully Develop A Brand For
Written By Suzanne Petryshyn, M.A., C.Med.
Top 10 Tools For Building Your Best Business
Written By Maura Desimone
How Negative Thoughts Fuel Social Anxiety
Learning To Meditate
Learn To Say No: Increase The Power Of How You
Spend Your Time
Regaining Self-Esteem After A Setback
Vancouver Fashion Week Opening Night
Photos By Linsey Hull Photography
Vancouver Fashion Week Designers
Photos By Kuna Photography Group
ON THE COVER
Francis Hui, page 8
Linsey Hull Photography
FROM THE EDITOR
Modern Working Woman is a business magazine for
women entrepreneurs. Editorial content includes
features on success stories, business, and lifestyle
strategies for today’s entrepreneurial woman.
Our mission is to provide women entrepreneurs
with a valuable resource to aid them in their
business and everyday lives.
As a woman entrepreneur myself, I saw a need for a
resource that provides empowering and educational
content to inspire female entrepreneurs to move their
businesses ahead. I put my years of organizational,
communicative, and entrepreneurial talent to work
to start Modern Working Woman magazine.
MWW encourages and supports women
entrepreneurship, achievements, and success in
business by sharing stories of inspiration, motivation,
EMPOWERING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
THROUGH INSPIRATION, MOTIVATION, AND EDUCATION.
Available in Softcover and
IN THE U.S.
Barnes and Noble
Frances Hui loves the entrepreneurial way of thinking and living, and enjoys partaking in and
promoting a luxurious lifestyle. Seen as one of Vancouver’s “Go-To” people in areas as diverse
as social and business networking, fashion and beauty and nightlife as well as real estate,
technology and start-ups, Frances has been featured in numerous print media publications,
special reports on television, and fashion/lifestyle blogs. With over 25 years combined as a
Social Influencer, Connector, Tastemaker, Sales Leader and Marketing & Special Promotions
Frances has garnered quite a following in Vancouver by sharing local events and recommending
the best people, places and things that the city has to offer. She believes in giving back to
the community and donates her time and expertise by helping with the fundraising efforts of
charitable gala events, in addition to mentoring aspiring young entrepreneurs.
What ignited the spark in you to start FHS Events?
I have always been friendly and outgoing, the leader
in organizing my friends for social activities and
connecting everyone together. Also, I’m a very curious
person and a sponge for knowledge. I love to meet
new people all the time as you can learn from each
person you meet, good or bad. I like to encourage
others to participate in different activities and meet
new people as I believe that it will make you a better
person and more successful, whatever you do.
One day in 2003, I was asked to take over a private
social club as its host and to run its invitation-only
events. It was a natural fit for my talents, ability,
personality and style. I did well with it.
THE SECRET TO
SuccessFounder of FHS Events
I love to meet new people all the time as you can
learn from each person you meet, good or bad.
I like to encourage others to participate in different
activities and meet new people as I believe that it
will make you a better person and more successful,
whatever you do.
Eventually in 2006, it morphed into what is now
known as FHS Events, a private social club turned
event planning and management company, with
select media relations, special promotions, marketing
and sales, and branding services.
FHS Events strives to connect like-minded people at
the most beautiful venues in town, showcasing the
best products and services for your lifestyle, and for
those who enjoy the finer things in life and appreciate
interesting and intelligent conversations.
How do you find people to bring to your events
who truly care about the organizations you
represent the way you do?
It really starts with knowing yourself and being honest
and direct with others about who you are and what
you’re all about. When you are clear about your
values and principles as well as your desires and goals,
then those things will be reflected in your behaviours
and actions and everything you do; by how you
interact with others and how you carry out your
activities will determine and either repel those who
have different interests and lifestyles as you or attract
those who want to live and do similar things as you.
You can further find the “right” people for your
projects and ventures via word-of-mouth referrals and
social media marketing, which has been mostly how
my contacts and clients/customers have found me.
I have also received extensive and ongoing media
coverage in the past 10 years, which has significantly
helped to build my image, brand and following as well
as my credibility.
By how you interact with others
and how you carry out your
activities will determine and
either repel those who have
different interests and lifestyles
as you or attract those who
want to live and do similar
things as you.
What are the most crucial things you have done to
grow your business?
I have always spent most of my time doing mainly
three types of activities throughout my adult life:
1. In solitude, thinking and reading lots in order to
continuously learn more and advance myself in all
areas of my life. I predominantly read non-fiction
self-help type, positive thinking, sales and relationship
building articles and books. This helps me to under-
stand more and more as I go about my business.
2. Setting goals, making plans and strategizing about
how to execute my vision step-by-step. This
becomes clear once you know who you are and
what you want to accomplish. Once I am committed
to my vision of myself and for my business, I will
find a way to make all the things necessary happen
so that I can eventually achieve success.
3. Constantly socializing and connecting with
others who may be and preferably are like-
minded people. Success doesn’t happen by itself.
Great success requires teamwork and/or lots
of support from others. Long-term relationship
building has always been one of my passions and
strengths. What I love about always meeting new
people and chatting with friends is that there is
always something to learn from other people’s
experiences and examples, whether good or bad.
It’s more efficient and practical sometimes to learn
from others’ mistakes or failures and successes,
than to find out the hard way yourself.
How do you distinguish yourself from your
I believe that to stand out, anytime and anywhere,
regardless of what you are doing and what industry
you are in or what type of business you have, it will
be mostly based on the highest standard of customer
service. I always strive to build excellent and strong
relationships with everyone involved with my
business, including staff and suppliers as well as
partners and clients/customers. Every relationship is
important, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle which make
up the whole picture.
I start all my relationships as friendships first, if it is
appropriate, as it is the best way to build a strong
foundation to further grow the relationships as time
goes on. Mutual trust and respect are very important
for any relationship. I work very hard to ensure that
anyone who deals with me feels comfortable to be
themselves, and also honest and direct in expressing
what their “needs” and “wants” may be. Then, I will do
whatever I can and may be necessary, within reason
and in alignment with my goals, to fulfill their request
or wish to the best of my abilities and resources.
What have been some of your failures, and what
have you learned from them?
I am often easily distracted at times as I’m interested
in many subjects and types of activities in addition
to different kinds of people. Unfortunately, it’s not
possible to do everything and spend time or energy
on everyone who wants to do things with you.
Sometimes you end up being mediocre at a bunch of
things instead of really being excellent at a few things
or even just one thing. Also, sometimes people feel
neglected or overlooked, which is not good for your
personal life or business in the long-term.
Lately, I’ve really become more aware of this and have
been saying “No” more often. As I love helping others,
since it’s my nature, I’ve found it very challenging at
times to decline invitations to attend events and/
or decline requests to become involved in certain
projects. A part of me feels like I’m letting others
down, but I’ve come to the distinct realization that
I always strive to build excellent and strong relationships with everyone
involved with my business, including staff and suppliers as well as partners
and clients/customers. Every relationship is important, like pieces of a
jigsaw puzzle which make up the whole picture.
I’m not really responsible for anyone other than
myself first. I’m not obligated to help anyone unless
I owe them something or we have a predetermined
agreement. Sometimes I was just doing too many
things at the same time and then feeling overwhelmed.
I’ve learned that I need to help myself more first in
certain situations and to take care of myself better
so that I can become stronger and more successful,
which will then allow me the opportunity and luxury
to help others more in the future. I would have more
to give to others, under those circumstances, which
would be more effective.
What motivates you?
I only do things that I believe in and am passionate
about so I love everything that I do, while having
fun and helping others at the same time if I am able
to, which motivates me to no end. If I make money,
impress others, become more popular, get media
coverage and impact people in a positive way as I do
what I do, then those are all bonuses and it answers
the calling that I believe is what is meant for my life.
What has been your most satisfying moment in
Being recognized and praised as being the best at
everything that I do by various prominent industry and
community leaders in Vancouver, where I’ve lived all
my life and where I do most of my business currently.
In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
What three pieces of advice would you give to
women who want to become entrepreneurs?
1. Master your emotions so that you are able to be
the master in any situation you find yourself in,
both personal and professional. Never make any
decisions when you are being emotional as it will
usually be the wrong one.
I’ve learned to compartmentalize and focus on
the situation at hand, staying focused on problem
solving, analyzing and thinking things through
logically and rationally before making a fairly
calculated and strategic decision on what action to
take next, if there are issues to resolve or obstacles
to overcome. This will help you to feel more in control
and empowered, which gives you more confidence
in leading your business and/or your team.
2. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. If you
are comfortable wherever you’re at in your life and
however your business is progressing, that means
that you are not learning anything new and thereby
not growing either. In order to achieve more success,
personal and professional growth is necessary.
Change is inevitable and change is usually good. If
you are not constantly learning and growing, then
you are stagnating and possibly going backwards,
which would be a setback.
3. Never burn any bridges unless you have to or can
afford to. Stay “neutral” and on good terms with
everyone and anyone, if at all possible. You never
know about people and what they know or who
In order to achieve more
success, personal and
professional growth is
Change is inevitable and
change is usually good.
If you are not constantly
learning and growing, then
you are stagnating and
possibly going backwards,
which would be a setback.
You don’t know that you may need certain people
to help you in the future, or that you could learn
some valuable lessons from them. Success can
only be achieved with the help of others working
together with you. You can’t do everything by
yourself or alone even sometimes.
What would you say are the top three skills needed
to be a successful entrepreneur?
1. Having a strong sense of self with a very healthy
and high level of self-esteem and confidence, while
remaining sincere, down-to-earth and humble.
2. Having a very positive and optimistic outlook
on life, people and situations. Strive to be about
“win-win” in all situations, both personally and
professionally. Have an attitude of gratitude for
whatever you have.
3. Being honest and having integrity with a strong
work ethic – doing everything to the best of
your ability and resources. Paying your dues and
consistently working hard and smart.
What isyourfavorite aspect ofbeing an entrepreneur?
I very much enjoy the freedom to do whatever I feel
like doing and with whomever I want to do it with, as
well as to make my own schedule, but always with
certain goals in mind.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a
I spend more time working and connecting with
others than most people. I don’t really socialize that
much just for pleasure, although my work is very
social and fun, as I’m always focused on advancing my
business and the end goals in mind.
Who doyou admire the most in the world ofbusiness?
Oprah Winfrey is my most favourite business and
community leader in the world. She grew up with so
many disadvantages, as some people may say, and bad
things that happened to her in her childhood and early
adult life, yet overcame all of those obstacles and has
become as popular and successful as anyone could ever
hope to be and possibly achieve in life. Completely
self-made and an amazing role model, she is just such
an inspiration, teacher and supporter to so many.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 10
years? 20 years?
I see myself speaking publicly about various topics
to do with life and business, having already written
several books, conducting workshops or seminars to
share my knowledge and experiences with aspiring
entrepreneurs, mentoring young entrepreneurs,
hosting my own talk show, selling my own line of
products and services, happily married and
I very much enjoy the freedom to
do whatever I feel like doing and
with whomever I want to do it
with, as well as to make my own
schedule, but always with certain
goals in mind.
Marilyn R. Wilson will insist that Life Outside the Box
isn’t really a perfect fit in any of the “regular” book
categories – yet inspiration and motivation run deep
within each life story. Wilson gives an authentic voice to
each person she interviews, and artfully shares the story
of what makes that life unique and what grounds them.
This is her first book of a series called
Real People: Real Lives. Life Outside the
Box gifts readers with ten in-depth stories
curated from the most intriguing messages
of inspiration and validation to live a life
without limits led by our own intuition.
It encourages everyone to embrace their
own unique purpose and let success be
defined by internal rather than external
sources. “There is no right path to follow,
there is no correct way to live – we are all
extraordinary in our own way.”
Life Outside the Box
By Randi Winter
A Modern Working Woman Reinvented
Marilyn’s own journey is also evident through these
10 unique individuals on their way to become
celebrities, designers, photographers, artists in every
genre - and philanthropists.
It is a privilege to see how her style and philosophy
of life has evolved in her life and career choices-truly
making her a modern working woman.
She is a master of listening, storytelling, mentoring
and celebrating the goodness of people and the
eternal promise of possibility. She has a way of
celebrating the unique potential of everyone she
meets and is a connector on individual, local and
global levels; part of her psychology training.
As most Modern Working Women, she has always
been a devoted volunteer. Her skills were honed
being a parent volunteer with a wicked sense of fun,
which included walking into class with the family’s pet
garter snake hiding in her shirt and slowly reaching in
and introducing him to the young students.
Reinventing is Key
Others look for sofas on Craigslist, but Marilyn
found her true calling there, not once, but twice.
Opportunity knocked and her first interview changed
her life forever. “I had goose-bumps by the end. When
I walked outside I swear everything was brighter.
Here I could scratch that ‘people itch’ without dealing
with a well of negativity and offer something positive
in return - press. It’s the interview I live for.”
Wilson says interviewing has offered her a journey
of privilege. “Every time I hear a new story, I am
changed. It has also brought the chance to mentor, to
have a positive influence and to help create a sense
of community. To others I can only say, when you find
your passion embrace it.”
Giving is as important as Receiving
One of the most important fundamental beliefs that
ties Wilson to the subjects of her interviews is a
commitment to giving back, often anonymously.
Her book sales allow organizations to raise money.
This sense of giving back and gratitude is an
important thread that runs through each story in
the book as well.
Each of the ten profiles are equally fascinating and
diverse. Here are a few teasers about a few role
models for a Modern Working Woman.
Caroline MacGilivray lives and breathes to
promote Beauty Night which has given over 50,000
women a sense of self-worth and empowerment. It
does not limit her other passions as a talk show host
and producer, speaker, writer, yoga instructor and
medical qi gong therapist.
Pamela Masik is a sculptor and artist/performance
artist. She has always used her talent and passion
for the purpose of healing and opening dialogue.
She created The Forgotten to give voice to the missing
women of the Downtown East Side. She recruited
women off the streets for an eight-week “journey
of discovery to find their inner voice through artistic
expression” and set up a gallery show to sell their
work. “Art for Heart” now has an art therapist and
rewardingly, participants now mentor others.
“Every time I hear a new story, I am changed.
It has also brought the chance to mentor, to have a positive
influence and to help create a sense of community. To others
I can only say, when you find your passion embrace it.”
Learn more about Marilyn
by visiting her website
by following her on Twitter
Life Outside the Box
in softcover and kindle is now available
IN THE U.S.
Barnes and Noble
Katherine Soucie has achieved the most difficult
designation of zero waste artist who shows and
teaches globally. “I believe in giving back. I want
to help create it; to inspire other designers to
think about what they’re doing in their practices.”
She takes negative (waste) and adds hand created
applications with a deep concern for humanity
and social responsibility.
Julie Salisbury of Influence Publishing, gave up
her life as she knew it to follow her heart and travel
the world by boat, then reinvent herself as a bridge
for people like Wilson, who have inspirational
and motivational stories to tell, yet lack the
commercial and marketing experience of how to
succeed - ensuring the stories often the hardest
to tell get the biggest voice.
Patricia Fieldwalker hand-makes and designs
luxurious silk lingerie. Here too, being a Modern
Working Woman does not preclude an active
philanthropic side. She brings toys to dogs in
the SPCA every month. Other projects support
Japanese families after the tsunami, support A Loving
Spoonful—that provides free meals to people with
HIV/AIDS, and educates girls in China. She has the
will and finds the way.
Ruthie Davis is a luxury shoe designer who under-
stands her Modern Working Woman responsibility
includes being an influencer to affect real change as
a role model and mentor to young girls. Her label is
synonymous with charitable efforts - including vegan
shoes to fund organizations that find homes for
animals in shelters.
Lisa-Marie Mazzuco is a photographer of classical
musicians who is the perfect example of stepping
back from a successful career in the fashion and
beauty industry with her husband, then reinventing
herself as a photographer working with classical
musicians. She was reenergized, finding success
after taking time raising her young son.
For each one of us, as a Modern Working
Woman, when one door closes there is always
another ready to open. If we can dream it,
we can achieve it.
By Randi Winter of
Randi Winter’s motto is
“Let your passions be your
guide.” She is a Modern
Working Woman having
gone from educator to
selling sporting goods,
then to being a travel specialist in inspired pursuits and
a freelance writer in many genres. Into the daily mix
goes mentoring, community volunteering on a local,
national and international level and a passion for family
and friends, travel, fashion and doing good. Her
granddaughter says she has a party on her head.
Twitter @randiwinter and @passionatetrvl
y life is simple and full of passion.
I love my husband, my three rescues,
my vintage clothing collection and my
refrigerator. My husband because he is
so incredibly kind, gentle and truly lets me be myself.
He loves me at my best and definitely at my worst!
The three rescues from Greece do keep us from
having the freedom to wander aimlessly about the
world but we cannot even imagine a day without
their furry faces and warm bodies. For years I have
purchased unique pieces of mostly vintage clothing
that will never fit me and I suppose I never want
them to. The thought of splitting a zipper, snagging
Confessions of an
the delicate fabric or losing a button would be gut-
wrenching. Lastly, my refrigerator. Oh how I love to
eat! Name a fruit or vegetable – I probably have a bin
full of them right now. I eat when happy, sad, bored,
melancholy, nervous and/or stressed. This is why my
diet is plant-based, augmented with a bevy of sauces
and a multipack of smoked tofu!
I make my living in the fashion industry but do not
follow fashion or trends. Most of my days are spent
on the computer in leggings, a concert t-shirt and
a pair of fuzzy socks. Other days are spent thrift
shopping in comfortable stretch denims, a chunky
By Helen Siwak
Value Village. (6 bags donated = 30% off your next visit).
We then set a day and time to meet for the next step.
Next I pack my measuring tape, calculator and
notepad and jump transit to the thrift store,
consignment store or designer re-seller boutique.
Which one depends greatly on the client’s
requirements and the pre-discussed budget. Over
the next two hours I pull garments that will suit my
client, and then we meet (at a pre-arranged time)
and head to the change room. Together we build a
wardrobe, add footwear, handbags, accent jewellery
and maybe a scarf or two. The client is free then to
purchase whatever they wish to take home with them
followed by lots of hugs and fist pumps as we head
out the doors into the sunset. Well, maybe it is not
that dramatic but guiding someone into a comfortable
wardrobe that fits properly, is lifestyle suitable and
stylish, is very gratifying.
Being an eco-friendly shopper is easy on the wallet
and so easy on the conscience. Vancouver is a very
charitable city and it is not hard to find garments
of amazing quality in an assortment of styles, many
nearly new or with the original price tags still on them.
In the upcoming issues I will be sharing eco-friendly
lifestyle tips, how to prepare quick plant-based meals,
styling tricks on how to maximize your wardrobe while
minimizing your spending and perhaps some cute pet
pictures. Thank you for reading my first article and
look forward to making many new friends, who like
myself, are amazing modern working women.
sweater and knee boots. My business for years has
been buying and selling luxury clothing, hosting
seasonal pop-up stores, styling clients and currently
readying for the launch of our ecoluxury lifestyle
boutique - THECloset YVR. Through this re-selling
business, and a love of thrifting that goes back to
high school, I have developed a personal and unique
‘ecostyling’ service that differs greatly from the norm.
We have this impression that only wealthy women
hire ‘stylists’. A chic fashionista who they pay to
help them chose, purchase and wear clothing that
emulates the latest styles. Sometimes this takes
weeks and not only do you pay for the time to consult
and time shop, the client must also pay for the
clothing and accessories. Basic packages usually start
at $250 and can go as high as your wallet will allow.
As an Ecostylist, my clients come in all shapes and
sizes because I offer an affordable reality based
service. My clients usually have hit a point where
they know they need a change. There can be many
catalysts as to why but that does not really matter.
What matters is that they want to be comfortable
in their clothes, do not want to be lied to or bullied
by sales clerks, and are desperately in need of a
functional wardrobe that is affordable and easy
to care for.
My service is a two part process. First, I meet with
the client, learn about their lifestyle, the lifestyle they
wish they had, or one they are about to embark upon.
I take measurements from head to toe and then it is
time to head to the closet.
We start with the closet clean. Imagine how cathartic
it is to take all those droopy sweatshirts, mom jeans,
too tight tank tops, boho sandals and uncomfortable
dress pants and stuff them into bags for donation to
Helen Siwak is an eco-
entrepreneur and driving
force behind ecoluxury
THECloset YVR and
ecoluxury lifestyle boutique
of the same name at 360
Carrall Street in Gastown.
She is also a luxury/lifestyle
contributor to Retail-Insider and VancityBuzz.
Vancouver is a very charitable city
and it is not hard to find garments
of amazing quality in an assortment
of styles, many nearly new or with
the original price tags still on them.
a new look.
Let us know what you think,
share your feedback
on social media with
Modern Working Woman encourages
and supports women entrepreneurship,
achievements, and success in business
by sharing stories of inspiration,
motivation, and education.
In today’s digital world, it’s more important than ever to
establish a personal connection with your clients and
customers. After all, when they can easily buy products
and services from businesses anywhere in the world,
what’s going to make them want to choose you?
The answer is simple: they have to like and trust you.
But cultivating affection and trust is almost impossible
if customers don’t have a genuine sense of who you are.
That’s why authentic branding photos are so important:
they showcase your personality and make it easy for
people to know the real you.
Bring your brand to life
with photos that build trust and show how awesome you are
By Linsey Hulls – Branding Photographer
Here are 6 tips on how to make sure
your branding photos create a
personal connection between you
and your customers:
1.Just say “no” to stock photos
Nothing screams “fake!” more than stock photos.
It’s obvious to everyone that the people in the
photos aren’t your real employees or customers—
so how can they do a good job of showcasing your
5. Offer an experience
There are photos that simply show images of people
and things—then there are photos that offer an
experience that goes beyond the two-dimensional.
Go for real, behind the scenes shots that give
people a strong sense of what it’s like to do
business with you. If they can feel it, they’ll want
to make it happen.
6. Make it memorable
Photos are a great way to put a personal face on
your business. But if you want to stand out from the
competition, you have to offer something authentic
and go beyond the typical business photo.
This is where working with a professional branding
photographer can make a huge difference. A good
branding photographer knows how to capture images
with artistic flair that enhances the realism and
beauty of the shot instead of making it seem posed
and artificial on the one hand or amateurish
on the other.
Why professional photos are
a smart investment
The more quality photos you have to
represent your business, the better.
Consider all the different ways you can
• On social media sites (according to
KISSmetrics, Facebook posts with photos
get 53% more likes, 104% more comments,
and 84% more clickthroughs!)
• In your blog posts
• In articles you post on other websites
• In slideshows and presentations
• In ebooks
• For SEO – by keyword optimizing your
images you increase their chances of
appearing in Google Image searches, which
can be a great additional source of traffic
• In your offline marketing materials
Personality-driven branding images help you build
credibility, engage your clients, and encourage them
to like and trust you. They bring your brand to life by
showcasing your personality and showing the world
how amazing you are.
Don’t settle for using stock photos and boring
headshots—make sure your images do the best
possible job of showing the real you. Your customers
will love it and so will you when you see the jump in
customer engagement and sales!
For more information
or to book a branding
photoshoot go to
Have you ever visited a website
and immediately got turned off?
Maybe it was the loud, garish fonts…
or that the site looked like some-
thing a 10 year old put together…
or the in-your-face BUY FROM
ME message yelling at you…
Even if you aren’t sure why you
were turned off, you probably
immediately left, right?
I would imagine you wouldn’t want
the same thing happening to your
website, would you?
Why Paying Attention
to Website Branding
is Critical to Your Business Success
By Susan Friesen
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs
don’t understand how a website
visitor can make an immediate
impression about you and your
business that will greatly determine
if they will ever do business
In as quickly as 50 milliseconds,
they will determine:
• How professional you are
• How dependable you are
• How trustworthy you are
• The level of quality you or your
The good news is because
first impressions are about
94% design related, you have
complete control in ensuring
your website visitors have
This is excruciatingly important
since a good 90% of potential
clients will visit your website
before contacting you.
And if you think that your
informative text will win over your
potential leads, think again.
1. Having a website
design that reflects your
Your website is your virtual
“storefront” and the primary place
people go to check you out.
This means it’s imperative to
have a professionally designed
site that will directly appeal to
your target market.
When a person lands on your
page, it has to feel like it is
significant and professionally
put together. It needs to have a
sensory impact to give them the
instant impression you or your
product will be of value.
Anything less and you’re risking
giving the impression that you’re
cheap and only interested in
making money instead of being
successful at solving similar
problems to theirs.
Consequently, your website design
(and all marketing materials) must
careful consideration when
choosing colours, fonts, images
and other design elements that
should be in harmony with
your overall brand.
2. Designing a professional
This is not the time to design
your own logo unless you have
a strong background in graphic
design. Do yourself and your
business a favour and have your
logo designed by a professional
so that it properly represents your
Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision
Media, an “all in one” full service boutique
web development and digital marketing firm
of over 16 years that specializes in creating
professional websites and brand identities for
entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.
Try to avoid using cheap services
like Fiverr. Yes, you will get a graphic
designer (hopefully) to design your
logo BUT what you’re missing is the
research and analysis that should
happen first. A brand analysis will
determine your target market, how
you want to be positioned, what
impression you want to give, and
your logo “personality”.
You must understand what
encompasses your ideal target
market before your logo is
designed. This is so that your logo
will appeal to THEM, and not
necessarily you (unless you are
your own target market, which
often is the case but not always).
3. Using properly written copy
“Copy” means your website text
and is critical to the success of
your primary marketing piece --
don’t be fooled into thinking it’s
just a place for people to learn
more about you and your services.
Your website needs to be written
in a way that will draw your ideal
client in, share with them that
you know and understand their
problem, and convince them that
you are the perfect person to help.
Using compelling headlines,
leading stories, flowing short
paragraphs, strategically placed
bullet points and other similar
copywriting elements will greatly
increase the chances of you
getting more leads that can turn
In contrast, using dry facts and
stats, lists of your services, and
emotionless blocks of paragraphs
are sure to turn off your visitor.
People make decisions based on
emotion, not facts.
The next time you go web surfing,
pay attention to your visceral
response to the sites you visit. Are
you turned off? Why? Or are you
immediately drawn in, excitedly
wanting to find out more?
Now put that same attention
into your own website. Ask a
trusted advisor or website
consultant to do a thorough
review and proceed to make
the necessary changes to make
your website successful at
achieving your business goals.
To your success,
Here are 3 critical things you need to know about website branding that will help to
prevent sending your potential clients over to your competitors:
How to Successfully Develop
a Brand for Your Business
By Suzanne Petryshyn, M.A., C.Med
usiness branding involves more than
your logo, website and marketing
strategies. Although these are very
important elements of your brand, they
are not the only items that you need to take into
consideration when developing your brand for
Branding is all about conditioning your target
audience to associate a certain response with
your company. To start thinking about what this
means, take a moment to reflect on Tim Hortons.
When you think about Tim Hortons, what are
some things that come to mind? Do the same
for Starbucks and make a list of each company’s
brand from your perspective.
With Tim Hortons, people associate coffee, hockey,
family, soup, comfort foods, nostalgia, community,
affordability, connectedness and Canada.
The language used is universal for this brand
and we all know what a double double is.
For Starbucks, people associate elitism, lattes,
expensive drinks, status, global, and so on.
The language used is universal for this brand
as well and we all know what a “skinny, extra
foam, double shot, grande” means. Or, at least
a version of that word combination.
When developing a brand, it is important to spend
the time to think about what the language will
mean for your customers. Language is at the core
meaning of any culture and the examples of Tim
Hortons and Starbucks is meant to illustrate this
fact. Your brand is your message, your promise
and the actions that you will take to meet your
customers needs through your business activities.
is a chartered
and author. Suzanne
is the owner of Brain
mediation training and
negotiation training to
Answer the “why’s” of your customers.
Show your audience your company’s purpose,
its values, its reason for existence, and what it
wants to achieve. This core activity will guide your
business branding strategy, especially if you get
lost or distracted with information overload.
Keep it simple and consistent.
Remember that what you are striving for is some-
thing that will make your brand hard to forget,
hard to misspell, and even hard to mispronounce.
Apply this meaning consistently in all of your
activities. For example, don’t put or introduce
initials instead of the whole name if you don’t
intend to use them consistently. Create your
hashtag and use it. Trust is built through consistency.
Your audience will always knows it’s you, and what
to expect, each time they see the consistent
messages with consistent meanings.
Protect your brand.
It might seem too early for a warning, but if you
don’t protect your brand at the earliest time,
then in a snap, all your business branding efforts
will just go to waste. When you are branding,
you can order copyright certificates for your
written works. Although this will change, you
can still order them under your business name
to protect your brand messages. For those
businesses that may franchise or expand later
on, you can also apply for a trademark when
the time is right and all of your advisors suggest
that this is the best decision for you and your
Top 10 Tools
For Building Your Best Business
By Maura Desimone
Having a successful business is a constant process of conceptualizing, building, improvising,
evaluating and improving. It’s important to notice in the list below, each item is building on
the next. Take a minute to read through and see how your business measures up:
In order to officially be ‘in business’
you must have a license. It gives your
business credibility. Depending on
what your profession is, you may also
need additional licensing that helps
regulate your industry.
You must have an official business line
for potential customers and business
people to contact you. Cell phones are
affordable, convenient, and a tax write
off when used for business.
3.BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT +
You can’t open a business bank account
until you have a tax ID number from your
business license. You must keep try to
keep your business and personal finances
separate and have some sort of accounting
system to keep things running smoothly.
This includes the
of your business.
You must develop
the purpose, mission and focus of your
business as well as set goals, develop a
system and establish a process.
This is the personality of your
business - the ‘look & feel’. In its
complete form, branding includes
a logo design (the look) and an
attitude (the feel). Too often
businesses neglect the importance
of branding. Having a thoughtfully
developed brand makes it easier to
sell your products and services.
Maura Desimone is the owner
and creative juice at ZenDezignz,
an independent design studio
located in the gloriously beautiful
Pacific Northwest. Inspired by life,
love and the pursuit of happiness
Maura has spent the last 25 years
launching Inc. 500 companies,
presidential campaigns and
international organizations with her
strategic branding designs and customized
If you’re missing anything from
the list, just make a commitment
to yourself to do it. Put it on your
calendar and schedule around it.
Just take one thing, figure it out
and implement it. Creating a
successful business is about
building—step by step. Like our
friend Lao Tzu says, “The journey
of a thousand miles begins with
one step.” It’s never too late!
Over 90% of people are
researching your product
or service before they
contact you. You must
have a website. It can be
as simple as one page site or as complex
as a 50+-page site. If you can’t afford more
than one page, then don’t.6.
This is your primary marketing
tool. It is even more important
than your website. How
is someone supposed to
remember your website
address and phone number?
Get it all printed on a card and
hand them out like candy.
From free to paid services, this is a
great tool for growing your business.
It keeps you ‘top of mind’ and gives
you opportunities to connect with
your potential market.
People connect more easily with you
if they can see what you look like. For people
who don’t already know and love you, it’s a
very effective tool for establishing trust.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter,
Pinterest, Google+, YouTube:
These are FREE advertising
channels for your business.
They’re incredible for increasing
your reach and with MILLIONS
of people online you’ll soon
realize that you may be already
connected with many of them.
Many people suffer from something called
social anxiety. This is the feeling of being out
of control and nervous and even afraid of
being in social situations. There are different
levels of anxiety. Some people are so anxious
that they cannot force themselves to get
into a social situation in public without
being medicated, and even then, they find
it awkward and difficult. Some people even
have panic attacks.
Several social situations can trigger negative
thoughts that can swirl around your head,
making you more and more anxious about
the social situation that may be coming up.
You might even completely talk yourself
out of attending, which can then lead to
worse problems and even eventually lead
to agoraphobia where your fear of social
situations becomes so pronounced you can’t
even leave the house.
How Negative Thoughts
Fuel Social Anxiety
Negative Thought Triggers
Situations that can trigger negative
• meeting new people
• potential criticism
• being the center of attention
• other people observing you
• speaking in public
• group interactions
• meeting authority figures
• not knowing what to say
• feeling unsure about what to wear
• looking into other people’s eyes
• talking on the phone
The above might seem over the top if you do not suffer from
social anxiety yourself, but the list can go on and on if you do.
People with social anxiety start going over potential scenarios
in their head the moment they realize they are going to have
a social situation. They start turning each situation into a
People with social
anxiety start going over
potential scenarios in
their head the moment
they realize they are
going to have a social
situation. They start
turning each situation
into a negative event.
How Thoughts turn into Social Anxiety
When they meet a new person they imagine messing up the
person’s name, forgetting their own name,
or having bad breath. They imagine saying something
“wrong” and being the butt of a joke or subject to criticism
due to being “wrong”. They feel nervous even in the case of
getting an award because people are looking
at them and making them the center of attention. They start
thinking that they did not deserve the award and that they
are a fraud and shouldn’t go collect or accept the award after
Then it just may go downhill from there. They can’t stop
spinning every possible scenario into a bad thing until
their heart is beating out of their chest, they can’t breathe
properly and finally they may have a full-fledged panic
attack. Due to this possible scenario or outcome, they
end up bringing part of what they thought to be true into
reality, thereby becoming the center of attention due to the
panic attack and then being potentially judged as “weird” or
As you can see, thoughts have a lot of power even though
they’re just thoughts and not even reality. The realization
of pervasive negative thinking leads to increased social
anxiety and tends to make matters worse. It is only whenyou
are able to also realize how turning your thoughts around
to positive thoughts will you be able to make your social
Turning the Negatives into Positive
The minute you notice that you are obsessing about any
future event, it’s time to get out of your own head and do
something different. Practice deep breathing, and read some
positive quotes. If your stress is because you’re not sure of
what to wear, find a good friend to help you pick something
out. If you’re worried about bad breath, take some mints
with you. If you are scared that you will say someone’s name
wrong, practice the names of those whom you know will be
There are always ways in which you can turn all negatives
into positives but the most important thing is to realize that
no one is perfect, and due to that, no one expects you to be
perfect. Most people have some of the same worries that
you do, but they may have learned to not dwell or obsess
As you can see, thoughts have
a lot of power even though
they’re just thoughts and not
even reality. The realization
of pervasive negative thinking
leads to increased social
anxiety and tends to make
matters worse. It is only when
you are able to also realize
how turning your thoughts
around to positive thoughts
will you be able to make your
social anxiety less.
With most of us living fast-paced
lifestyles; trying to balance work,
family and our social lives take a
toll on our mental and physical
wellbeing. Learning to meditate
can bring a sense of calm and inner
happiness to our lives and help
to promote feelings of peace and
tranquility that often times get lost
when we are busy trying to juggle
everything which we may need to
accomplish on a daily basis.
Even if you’re not interested in the
metaphysical implications of meditation,
it has undeniable health benefits.
It incorporates many relaxation techniques
that can help you erase the negative
feelings that come with the stress of
leading a hectic lifestyle.
You don’t have to have any special tools
or your own private meditation garden.
You can meditate anywhere you feel
comfortable. You can meditate sitting,
standing or lying down, in a chair or on
the floor. Learning how to meditate isn’t
People who don’t practice meditation
often misunderstand it. Very often,
you’ll hear it referred to as mystical or
transcendental, which makes them feel
wary about trying it. In fact, it’s simply a
practiced skill that can help bring clarity to
a cluttered mind.
Without going too deep into what meditation is,
or isn’t, let’s focus on one of the many things a daily
meditation can do for you.
Meditation is often seen in yoga classes and is
widely practiced by a variety of cultures, countries
and religious groups. I only mention this so you can
understand that the art of meditation is perfectly
safe and commonly practiced by millions of people
around the world.
Some of the more documented benefits of meditation
include less anxiety, irritability, moodiness and
decreased depression. It can help improve your
learning abilities, memory and unlock creativity.
It can also slow down the aging process increase
feelings of vitality and rejuvenation. Not to mention
it can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and
produce higher blood oxygen levels.
There are many types of meditation, but the easiest
form to learn is, “breath awareness meditation.”
Compared to many other meditation techniques,
this will enable you to experience the benefits of
meditation in much less time.
Here’s a simple technique that will give you results
in minutes. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and
tense up your whole body. Sigh deeply, then breathe
deeply through your nose and release the tension
from every muscle. Just feel each part relaxing,
watching for parts that may hold onto tension,
like a tight jaw.
If you still have tension somewhere, tense up that
part again, then let it relax. It may also help to repeat
silently “relax” as the tension drains. This will train
your body and mind to recognize relaxation.
Later you may be able to relax more easily just
by repeating “relax” a few times.
Breathe through your nose. This is important
because it brings in more oxygen by involving
your diaphragm. You can test this. Breathe with
your mouth and you’ll notice that your breathing is
Then breath through your nose and you’ll notice
that your abdomen extends more. Air is being drawn
deeper into your lungs.
Allow your breathing to fall into a comfortable
pattern, and pay attention to it. Pay attention to
your breath as it passes in and out of your nose.
Your mind may wander endlessly, but all you have to
do is continually bring attention back to your breath.
If your mind is still too busy, try naming the
distractions as a way of setting them aside.
For example, say in your mind, “itchy leg,” “worried
about work,” or “anger,” and then immediately
return attention to your breathing. Use any way
you can to identify and set aside distractions.
That’s it. Continue this for five or ten minutes,
or around a hundred breaths. Afterwards, open
your eyes and sit there for a few seconds. You’ll feel
relaxed, and your mind will feel refreshed. You’ll also
be better prepared for any challenges that come
Meditation has so many rewards, and through daily
practice, you can learn to release the unlimited
potential of your mind and body.
Some of the more documented
benefits of meditation include
less anxiety, irritability,
moodiness and decreased
depression. It can help improve
your learning abilities,
memory and unlock creativity.
It can also slow down the
aging process, increasing
feelings of vitality and
rejuvenation. Not to mention
that it can also reduce stress,
lower blood pressure, and
produce higher blood oxygen
• You’ll reduce your stress
One of the worst things about
overscheduling your time is the
stress that it will cause. Learning
to say no will automatically
reduce your stress, even if the
first few times you say no will
be a little stressful. The freedom
you experience will soon over-
shadow the fear of saying no.
• You’ll be perceived as
No one person can do
everything. If you already have
something scheduled and
can’t do something, it is to
be expected of a professional
person. You don’t even have to
provide a reason; just say that
your calendar is full.
• You’ll improve at tasks
you reallytowant to do
If you’re not spending time
doing stuff you hate doing,
you’ll get to spend more time
doing things you want to do.
That means you’ll get more
practice and become better at
the things you already like doing.
One of the very best ways to manage your time is to learn to say no. Saying no is a great way
to control how you spend your time and take your power back. Most of us don’t know how to
say no because our parents taught us very well not to say no. Many two-year-olds love saying
no, but they are quickly taught that the word no is very unacceptable. However, it’s time to take
back the power of no and earn more time in your day for doing what you really want to do.
LEARN TO SAY NO:
Increase the Power of How You Spend Your Time
• You won’t bite off more than you
People who say yes to everything tend to do most
things half way. They don’t mean to, but they get too
much on their plate and end up not being able to do
the tasks they agreed to do to the best of their ability.
If you say no, you can avoid this embarrassment.
• Pause, breathe deeply, check your calendar
In order to say no without a problem, when someone
asks you to do something, even if it’s something you
know immediately that you do want to do, make it a
practice to take a pause, take a breath, and check your
calendar. The act of calendar checking can give you
time to give some thought to whether or not you
want to say yes or no.
Saying no can truly give you back enough time
to create the life that you really want to live.
If you’re feeling hurried and overwhelmed, take
the time to practice saying no. By saying no,
you’ll take control of your schedule and feel like
you go t more time in your day.
• You get to spend time doing what you
want to do
No one wants to spend time doing things they dislike
doing, but they tend to say yes due to the lessons
their mom taught them. If you really want to spend
more time writing or helping your clients solve their
problems, say no to doing things you don’t want to do
and recommend someone else.
Even really good people lose respect for those who
act like doormats. You probably don’t want to appear
as a doormat; you’re just trying to be helpful. But even
nice people will take advantage of those who say yes
all the time. That’s whyyou’ll notice it’s always the
same three people doing all the work in any group.
The yes people.
• Saying no gives you the opportunity to
This may sound counter-intuitive but it’s true. If you
learn to say no to things that don’t advance your
business or life in any measurable way, you’ll have
more time to say yes to things that do.
after a Setback
A setback in your self-esteem can be an almost debilitating blow. Job losses, break-ups, and fights
with your best friend, or gaining five pounds after losing twenty, can all set you back. The list of
potential setbacks in your self-esteem is endless. No matter what event or bad day has thrown
you back, however, you can make a comeback. You can regain your self-esteem.
Consider the Positives
When you’ve put your ordeal into perspective,
consider also the positives of the situation. Look at
yourself in the mirror and tell yourself all your favorite
things about yourself - your bright and beautiful eyes,
your amazing smile, and your fun sense of humor.
Start thinking about everything good you have,
both inside and outside.
KnowYou Are Worthy
Remember that no matter what happens in life,
no matter what mistakes you might have made or
what setbacks have held you down, that you are
worthy. You are worthy of the love and respect of
the most important person in your life - you.
To prove your love, do something to treat yourself.
Get your hair done, go for a run, or buy a new outfit.
Take a course or do something that makes you feel
good that is not addictive or dangerous.
A blow to your self-esteem can be crippling if you let
it. The strongest weapon in your arsenal, however,
is yourself. You can overcome this hurdle, but you
must first believe in yourself.
Self-esteem is your inner sense of self-worth and
self-respect. Sometimes, in the wake of a setback,
it can feel difficult to acknowledge or truly feel that
you are worthy of even your own respect. This drop
in self-esteem can lead to bigger problems and really
diminish your quality of life as a whole.
Consider a Different Perspective
Sometimes the best course of action to come back
from a setback like this is to look outside yourself.
Consider your entire ordeal from a different perspective.
It may help you shine some light on the issue at hand,
and help you overcome your loss of confidence.
Here are some perspectives you can try:
• Walk in someone else’s shoes
Everybody makes mistakes, and there are no
exceptions to that rule. No one is perfect, but
that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worthy of
love and respect. To put this in perspective,
try seeing your situation from an outsider’s
point of view. If someone else, especially
someone you love, had gone through the
same ordeal or made the same mistakes,
would you want them to wrestle with low
self-esteem? If the person that you are
picturing is worthy of self-respect, then so
• Setback or step up?
If your setback comes in the form of a life
event such as a break-up or job loss, try
considering the event as a step forward
instead of a setback. Whatever happens, you
are always moving forward with your life. This
event is just another stepping stone to what
will surely be a bright future.
• Understand your place in the world
Another perspective to consider is your
overall place in the world. Sometimes
remembering how many people there are
on this planet, and how inexplicably big the
universe is, can make your ordeal feel so
Try seeing your situation
from an outsider’s point
of view. If someone else,
especially someone you love,
had gone through the same
ordeal or made the same
mistakes, would you want
them to wrestle with low
self-esteem? If the person that
you are picturing is worthy of
self-respect, then so are you.
VFW Opening Gala featured
a fantastic night of emerging
and local designers.
Elizabeth Ball, Councillor - City of Vancouver
Holly Goldsmith-Jones and her beautiful mom
Jenneil Peters with Skye Natasha Lintott
Media Personality Jessica Luxe, Fashion Blogger
Samantha Sito, Fashion Blogger (R) and friends
Maneli Nourbakhsh and friend Lauren McLeod Sue Randhawa, Owner of the Optical Boutique
Ashleigh McIvor DeMerit and
Jenneil Peters and
TheCloset YVR and
Vancouver Fashion Week
VFW Opening Gala featured a fantastic night
of emerging and local designers.
Photographs by Kuna Photography Group
Yong Kyun Shin
GrandiAtelier Rosey Couture
MUSE is a modern woman’s t-shirt line.
THE LINE TARGETS STRONG, POWERFUL AND EMPOWERED WOMEN.
THE COLLECTION FEATURES FASHION-FORWARD DESIGNS
AND LUXURY FABRICS.