Tag Archives: friends

Inspiration: Why SmartBrideBoutique.com is a True Labour of Love

Andrea Lown (left) and Leah Andrew (right) from SmartBrideBoutique.com

I had the privilege of working with some remarkable women this summer who have shown me what it means to truly love your job. Andrea Lown and Leah Andrew from SmartBrideBoutique.com found their inspiration for starting their business while each planning the wedding of their dreams. They soon realized that it’s tough to find the ultimate wedding dress on a tight budget.

They knew that there had to be a better way to find a beautiful wedding gown for less and so they turned to the Internet to look for deals. However, what they found was that the shopping experience on sites like Kijiji and Craigslist is not conducive to easily browsing postings and searching for specific designers and sizes.

So, they decided to develop a way to make it easier for budget-savvy brides to shop online while also dreaming up a concept that was good for the environment. They ended up building an easy to use online platform that helps brides-to-be to save up to 50% on their wedding dress while helping recent brides to recoup some of the costs from their wedding by recycling their wedding dress, decor, accessories and more.

What I find so inspiring about watching Andrea and Leah work together is not only their great and often hilarious rapport with each other, but also their tireless efforts to make their company a success. What is also incredibly refreshing to see is that both the idea for their business and their willpower to succeed are born out of the same motivation – love. If it weren’t for love, they wouldn’t have had weddings and discovered a business opportunity. In addition, if they didn’t love what they do on a daily basis then they wouldn’t be so determined to grow their business.

Having worked with Andrea Lown in the past, I know that she is not one to settle for less than the best. After her honeymoon, she too was looking for a new job and realized that if the right one wasn’t out there, then she’d just have to go out and create it for herself.

These ladies have no idea how much they’ve inspired me. A Facebook “like” button on their site does not express how much I have enjoyed watching their online business grow and thrive. Facebook, please develop a “love” button!

Read more about Andrea and Leah’s business here: http://t.co/AUO841M

Watch Andrea and Leah talk about how to stretch your wedding budget:

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Don’t be Afraid to Make a Turkey of Yourself

Photo of me in a turkey costume - 2nd from right

Second Harvest "Turkey Run" at the Toronto Scotiabank Marathon

I’ve been told that one of the secrets to successful networking is to show that you are vulnerable.  If you don’t let people know that you need their help and ask for it, you’ll never get anywhere.  I recently made the brave decision to become a freelancer. So, I’ve spent the past few weeks contacting people that I’ve previously worked with to find out how I can help them with their business and/or find out if they know anyone else who I might want to speak with? My goal is to talk to anyone who will listen and who might want to give me some advice.

So far, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of people who have offered to help by either sitting down to talk over coffee or by introducing me to someone else who might be a great contact.  People truly do want to help you if you give them the chance.  As a result, I have met some very interesting and inspiring people and I feel extremely grateful to all of them.

I used to shy away from networking because I was afraid of making a fool of myself but now my mantra is “always be networking”.  What do you have to lose? You just never know who you might meet and everyone has a great story to tell.  You might even make some new friends along the way. I figure, if I can dress up in a turkey costume and run 5K in front of thousands of people, I can definitely call someone up and ask them to go for coffee and chat.  This week, I am staying open to all possibilities!