Since this is International Women’s Week, I’d like to recognize the awesome projects that some of my female friends are working on. I feel incredibly lucky to have the friends I do. Some are adventurous, others are creative, and some are real go-getters. It’s encouraging to see what these girls are doing with their lives since all are making the world a more interesting, fun place in their own way.
1. LYON by Lauren Malyon
I met Lauren when I was seventeen and she was sixteen. We played together in a quintet at the Young Artist Performance Academy at the RCM in Toronto for a year and became good friends. Lauren, a fantastic violinist and piano teacher, was also a singer-songwriter, which made her seriously cool in my eyes. Her music, which has a lusciously smooth and relaxing electronic vibe, has just gotten better over the ten years we’ve known each other. She plays shows regularly at the Mod Club and other venues in Toronto. Check out her new EP on SoundCloud and her Facebook page at LYON music.
2. FrancoJam by Geraldine Avignon
Geraldine and I lived together as housemates for a year during university in Toronto. She’s a lively, vivacious French woman originally from Provence but now a resident of Paris. An avid traveller who’s lived all over the globe, she decided to start a business that could be a focal point for her interests. It’s called FrancoJam and is a brilliant concept — the perfect resource for travellers to France who want to meet up with other travellers and locals for French-English language conversation in Paris, cultural activities, and longer trips into the countryside. I especially love the idea of the conversation encounters: you go to a Parisian bar for an evening and sit across from someone at a table, speaking half the time in English and half the time in French so both people benefit equally from the experience. Check out her website FrancoJam or Facebook page and keep it in mind for the next time you’re heading to France to make the most of your experience.
3. AMORF by Nicole Stephenson
I met Nicole when my friend Christine decided to marry Nicole’s brother! She’s a hilarious, energetic young woman who recently returned to Canada after several years of living in Argentina. She’s also a world traveller, having worked on cruise ships that have taken her everywhere imaginable. AMORF is a business inspired by the “meAMORFosis” of old to new. She makes wonderful creations out of recycled, vintage, and reclaimed goods of all kinds. You name it, she’s got it — hand-decorated shoes, stationery, bowls shaped from old vinyl records, stools covered with old coffee bags, etc. Her Facebook page for AMORF has lots of cool photos of the kinds of things she makes out of her home in Owen Sound, Ontario.
4. Catherine Thomas Photography
Catherine moved to my town about two years ago and decided to start up a photography business. She did a beautiful maternity photo shoot for me and my family, a few weeks before I gave birth to L. at the end of 2011 and has done some family Christmas pictures, too. I think it’s great that yet another young female has joined the entrepreneurial force in the area and I’m secretly envious of her ability to do so, though she’s in for a lot of extra work with the arrival of her first baby in a few short weeks! Check out her website here.
5. “Pizza On Earth” by Sarah Jane Johnson
I know I’ve blogged before about my little sister’s fantastic wood-fired pizza company that opens up in Dorset, ON, in the summertime, but I’m so proud of her that I can’t stop talking about it! Sarah Jane’s pizza is seriously the best I’ve ever had — and believe me, I’ve eaten a lot of pizza. Even the margarita that I had in Naples, capital of pizza, doesn’t compare to her divine crust and perfect combination of toppings. No wonder people drive from all over Muskoka and wait in ridiculously long lineups for her product. Here’s her website, if you’re ever in the area between the May long weekend and Labour Day. (Hey, while I’m speaking of family, I should probably direct you also to my talented mother’s art website — yet another example of admirable female entrepreneurship!)
I know I have many more wonderfully talented female friends out there, so sorry if I’ve missed you this time round! All this talk of creative endeavours is making me itchy to start a business myself. Oh well, I’ll content myself with writing for now because I truly do love it and there are limits placed on my freedom to work with two little pipsqueaks underfoot all the time 🙂