C’est la vie

I learned to step out in faith, in fear and in failure. But I did it.

On Tuesday, I found out that I didn’t make Top 10 for Pitch for Purse.  I was anxiously waiting all morning.  I was so confident I was a sure-in.  I even picked out a dress from my closet to wear to the final awards gala. (No joke. I’m an image consultant after all! And if you’re curious, I was gonna wear my emerald green dress with a soft chiffon cowl neck detail.  Classy, understated but absolutely stand out.)  So was I…

Disappointed?  Yes.

Shocked? More yes.

Utter disbelief?  Ah YES.

There must be a mistake.  I thought.  I mean I know that’s not possible, but I killed at my pitch video and there is no one who has gone through my training could be as awesome as I was.  For those who know me…you know how intense I am.  It wouldn’t surprise you then, that I replied to the organizer of the program to ask if I could get some feedback on my application.  What’s done is done.  But being me; relentless, a bit stubborn and crazy  – I needed to know why I didn’t make it and what I could improve on.

It’s all about the process. That’s the most important part.

The organizer was lovely and gave me the time of day.  I was told that Viemère made the shortlist.  Everyone in the office LOVED my video.  Her exact words were, “Damn, that was awesome.”  <insert sigh of relief here> But what it came down to, was the stage of my business.  It was too early.  It was all timing and there was nothing else I could have done better.  I was encouraged to try again next year.  So was she just giving me the standard rejection speech? I proceeded to check out the list of winners to see for myself.

Turns out, I was up against companies like MyMayu that have made it to Dragon’s Den and Skoah, the multi-franchise spa where I’ve gone to get facials.  Oh I see.

After an evening of ‘red’ & several bowls of popcorn later. I’ve moved on.  And of course, my EiR had to say, “and, I’d hope it was fun, and you learned something? … ;-0”

Yes I did.  Thank you for the reminder.

And the funny thing is, this morning my son’s daycare teacher said to me in reference to his learning, “It’s all about the process.  That’s the most important part.”  And it’s a lesson not only to my 3 year old but to me as well.  I learned to step out in faith, in fear and in failure.  But I did it.  I hope this serves to motivate you and others who want to follow their dreams and reach their goals!

Now go check out my killer pitch video & tell me what you think!  Good luck to the top companies 🙂

Best shoe picks for rain or snow

Be prepared for the puddles, dirty pumpkin patches and everything in between.

I was fortunate enough to be really pregnant in the summer. So I got away with flip flops almost all the time.  When you can’t see your toes at some point, shoelaces and zippers is like tempting not to topple over a game of Jenga.

So what’s an expectant mama to do in this rainy Vancouver weather?

Waterproof shoes!

You might need to sit down for this one (like literally to put them on I mean).  I’m planning ahead for you but during mat leave, you’re gonna be trekking outside regardless of the weather.  So you need to be prepared for the puddles, dirty pumpkin patches and everything in between.  Thankfully, if you get them now while your feet are a bit swollen (get them a ½ size bigger since rubber doesn’t stretch), it’ll still fit afterwards.

Check out my Top 3 picks:

  1. Sperry Top-sider Walker Spray

WALKER SPRAY

I just bought these and ADORE THEM.  Even when it’s not raining I still wear them (don’t judge me!).  They are so comfy 🙂 And as much as I like the ‘every celebrity wears the competing brand’ – I prefer looking a bit different.  It’s even got a thin fleece lining for extra warmth. Love the lace design on these!

2. Ugg Haylie

UGG Haylie

If your feet are super uncomfortable and just the thought of forcing them into anything makes you cringe…then this is your answer!  Freedom for your ankles, cute as pie – slip these loafers on/off very easily.  Walk your doggy in them.  And later, stroller your baby in style.

Cougar Women's Vienna-S

This is for my East Coast mamas who have to deal with snow too (well, Whistler for us anyway!)  The fluffy insides cushion those cankles and I can’t help but rave about the versatility of it.  Wear it rugged if you want.  But with leggings and a slouchy sweater?  Perfect dose of dressiness in a colour that goes with everything.

So what do you think? Love ’em or hate ’em?  Comment below.

You just gotta go for it

Sometimes in life you just gotta go for it.  A few weeks ago I found out about Pitch for Purse.  A business competition organized by FWE.  The goal was to help women entrepreneur access capital to grow their business.  The winner would get $25K CASH MONEY.  My first thought was, “Ah there’s no way I’m gonna win.”  But then I mentally slapped myself.  Why not??  I kicked butt when I was in Grade 6 and won in Speech Arts! Not to mention I have had the privilege of being on TV (see the younger perkier pre-baby me) and was trained constantly in my tech start up program to pitch!

So after I finally got a name down for the business – I applied and practiced my pitch.  But this one was a bit different.  30 seconds only.  AND it had to include:

  • Your name
  • Name of business
  • What you do
  • How much money you’re asking for
  • What you’re going to do with the money

Now that’s quite a bit of info.  For only 30 seconds! So the challenge was to keep it short & sweet.  But powerful and MEMORABLE.  This is a competition for women entrepreneurs all across Canada.  I have no idea how many people I’m up against.  But I needed to stand out from the rest.  Make top 10.  Then pitch live to get into Top 3.  I will then be questioned by a panel of judges (kinda like Dragon’s Den??!) and be voted by an audience .  During this process I will have the opportunity to be mentored by a leader in the community.  How awesome would this be? I really have nothing to lose.

Maybe just face.  Well, and ego for sure.

Ah the hell with it.  I’ve already been secretly practicing my thank you speech in my head. Do I cry?  Try not to cry?  I wonder how many minutes I’m allowed? 🙂

I find out if I make Top 10 today!  I’m kinda freakin’ out.  Hear it first on Twitter & Facebook.  I’ll be posting the actual video submission here.  Wish me luck!

P.S. I promise there will be more fashion posts coming :*

Meet Viemère, Born Oct 27th at 8pm…

introduction-annoucement

Viemère (meaning Life Mother in French) is fierce & ready to go! Founder Joyce Lau is thrilled & excited to share her vision of an online one-stop shop for stylish maternity clothes.

This day wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the support I’ve received along the way.  Although this is nothing more than a blog and a mere logo for a website to come…so much work has gone into this.

If it wasn’t for the Momsperts WhatsApp message …

For Angie’s referral to New Ventures BC…

My EiR Joseph for challenging me to think BIG…

My mentor Shannon for redefining wealth for me…

The 80 women (who some I have never met) gave me their time & insight…

My peeps in TO who jumped on a FB post to lend a hand…

My close friends & family who quietly doubted but stood by…

For every contact/referral & life lesson I’ve been given…

My husband for believing in me (and paying the bills and daycare!)…

And last but not least to Holstyn who made this real.  I thank God for everything but especially for you (PS I didn’t use your name.  Here’s why)

I’ve listened as best I could and I hope Viemère turns out to be more than you ever expected.  Moms: I’ve compiled all the topics you want to read about…stay tuned 🙂 Stick with me as I grow this baby…it’s a bit scary. But I secretly love it. Yet I’m nervous. Who knows what’s gonna happen next??!! Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey.  CONNECT with me!! As the saying goes… “It takes a village to raise a child…”

Avoid this maternity shopping mistake

I’m gonna help you save money.  And major frustration.  Not to mention prime real estate in your closet.  And it’s this. Avoid the biggest mistake first time moms make when they’re buying maternity clothes.

“I will just buy extra large non-maternity clothes. That way, I can wear it again after I have the baby.” 

Wrong.

Why?

3 reasons:

  • Baggy saggy pits
  • Impractical post baby plans
  • Unpredictable sizing

Let me explain.

Baggy saggy pits

Regular size clothing isn’t meant to accommodate a growing belly.  It can conceal but the proportions/cutting if you go up a size, will just end up having excess fabric everywhere. So if it can fit your belly, it’ll be saggy in your pits.  I don’t know about you – but if you’re already feeling kinda gross, I wouldn’t want to look gross too.

Impractical post baby plans

I am a big believer in maximizing your wardrobe. But to buy clothes that you plan to wear after a major life changing event doesn’t make any sense.  Hate to break it to you…but those things you use to do?  Yah.  You’ll likely not going to be doing them anymore.  Occasionally yes.  But that also means that you’ll only be wearing those clothes occasionally too.  Not to mention breastfeeding.  Those girls need to be accessed.  On demand. All the time. So anything that barricades them is a no go.

Unpredictable sizing

After you have your little one, some women just bounce right back.  Some women never do.  I personally gained the most weight post baby (I was freaking starving ALL THE TIME from breastfeeding).  So to buy clothes that you think you’ll fit after the baby is unrealistic.  There are some tricks to this though.  We’ll be showing you how, as we talk what to shop in the next few posts! Got questions? Comment below 🙂

 

What’s in a name?

This company wasn’t always called Viemère.  It was actually called Holstyn & Co.  I had named it after my son’s middle name.  If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t truly understand the horror of maternity clothes.  But something stopped me in my tracks.

During my initial pitch in front a panel at New Ventures BC acceleration program – one of the directors told me something odd.  He said when he first heard the name, he thought of Holstein cows.  And commented that it might be sensitive with nursing moms and being reminded of cows.  We all laughed and I brushed it off.

Shortly after, I announced to all my supporters that I finished my start up accelerator and was gonna go for it.  And I heard the same thing again.

Something didn’t sit right with me.

As an entrepreneur – my gut is always my first and final OK.  If there ain’t no peace in my heart, I will not move forward.  There’s something I know I need to deal with.

So I pondered for a weekend.  I asked myself…if I knew a portion of pregnant women didn’t want to be associated with whales…would I go and name my company “Blue Whale Co.” knowingly?? Even if it had a story behind it?  The answer was no.

I openly started talking to a few trusted confidants.  Some said “The hell with it. Name it whatever you want.” But one lunch with a friend nudged me to do a bit of research. She mentioned a podcast called “How to Name your Company” by Gimlet Media.  It was like a ‘still small voice’ that told me to ‘wait’ before I move forward.

So another week went by.  I would spend days (like FULL DAYS) sitting and googling different languages, meanings, etc.  The hardest part was everything was taken under the sun. Domain names were not available or would cost me $40K.  Don’t believe me?  Play here.

I was down to 3:

Kaylan, Ensemble, Ambrosia, (which btw were all taken)

Nope this is not working.  I decided to hire someone.

This was the best money I’ve ever spent.  Daisy asked a few questions about what I liked, what my company was about and came up with a list in 4 days.  No hits for the first list. We did 2 revisions, and was so close to choosing:

Zuzelo (inspired by su cielo, sky in Spanish) and Lucori (she made it up).

It was SO close.  I leaned more towards Zuzelo cause it was fun.  It set me apart from the cheesy baby bump names or mall stores.  But it was too close to Zulily. Lucori sounded too jewelry store.  I ended up scrapping it.  It’s now 3 weeks in. I have a 6 month plan and I’m pissin’ my pants cause I just lost a month on a NAME!  My mentor would kill me if he found out!  I waited another 4 days for round 3.  I anxiously checked my email for her list of names.  Sadly nothing jumped out at me.  I slept that night wondering if I should submit a revision again or tell her to stop because we’ve come to a road block.  Relentless and foolishly persistent, the next day, I decided to start all over again.  I pulled out all the names and played this game all over again.

name-notebook

Vienoor

Vie meaning life.

Noor meaning sparkle.

This word caught my eye.  I really liked vie because it meant a lot…new life (baby), new life (mom’s new life).  Wait.  Mom’s new life?  What about mother in different languages?  Viema is taken.  Viemother sounds lame.

And it happened.

Like when you try on that wedding dress.  And you know.  It’s the one.

Cross referenced domain availability.

And I could hear the “hallelujah!”

It’s available!!

$2.99?!

Done.

It was as if the name was there all along and I didn’t see it.  So simple, flows so nicely.  Feminine. But not sickly girly.  Not in your face pregnancy.

Asked my heart. √

OMG.  I have a name.

OMV.  Oh My Vie for a blog? That’s freakin’ brilliant.

And that’s how it all happened.