Meet Rob Shirkey: Hopeful Climate Advocate

Rob Shirkey

Business:  Executive Director at Our Horizon 


What is at the heart of your business?

Engaging governments to pass legislation that requires climate change & air pollution warnings for gas pumps. The concept helps to close the ‘experiential gap’ between our use of fossil fuels and their impacts to create greater social impetus to address climate change.

The “heart” of the initiative includes transparency, disclosure, honesty, bravery in confronting challenge, growth through discomfort, etc. There’s a James Baldwin quote that I have on our homepage that I think rings true: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” That’s what I’m trying to make us collectively do through this advocacy. You can learn more at www.ourhorizon.org.

 

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

I’m writing a book about my organization’s advocacy and my personal journey in the environmental sector. I worked out of Shecosystem for a week last fall and found it was a great workspace for quiet writing. I also like how the opening and closing circles provide bookends for the workday and how the 9-6 operating hours create a time constraint that results in a more focused workday. It’s an ideal place for writing and I’m grateful to be here for the next few months.

 

What does thriving look like for you?

I’m not sure but I think hope might be a requisite element; it’s hard to thrive without it. Climate advocacy and government engagement can be pretty discouraging at times and it’s easy to become burnt out. Lately, I’ve been trying to ask myself “What makes me feel hopeful?” and consciously dial into that. A hopeful Rob is usually a more thriving Rob.

 

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:

Fun tip: I have lockbox with a timer on it at home that I put my phone in during the evening, just before bed (thekitchensafe.com). I’ve even drilled a hole through it so I can still charge it at night. It’s a simple way of limiting access to what can otherwise be an addictive waste of time and it makes it easier to focus on activities that add value to my quality of life. Let me know if you have any Qs about this gizmo! 🙂

 

Anything else we should know about you?

Recovering lawyer. Puppy aficionado. Once rode my bicycle across Canada!


 

CONNECT WITH ROB!

Website: ourhorizon.com

LinkedIn: Robert Shirkey

 

First Generation Feminist

By Marla Raymundo

 

Growing up as first generation Canadian, I was always encouraged to pursue a professional career as either a nurse, doctor, lawyer or accountant. I had this linear perception of “success” and thought that it only came from careers related to science, law or business. These jobs provided financial stability, which I was under the impression was the key to happiness and satisfaction. Despite my lack of interest in anything related to math or science, I came into University assuming I would spend four years pursuing my undergraduate degree in Psychology.

University granted me the freedom to choose my courses and create my own timetable without the usual bias or guidance from my parents. I would have never predicted that I would switch majors entirely from science to a major in Women and Gender studies after taking the intro course as an elective in my first year. To my surprise, “feminism transformed the way I viewed the world and the systems which existed to oppress myself and the others around me.” I had been desensitized to the inequities that occured on a daily basis and despite being socialized to comply, I became intrigued with the idea of questioning the institutions which drove society. This new awareness allowed me to critique and analyze my actions in a new way.

I’m now in my final year at U of T which has led me to Shecosystem as part of a 6 month co-op program, embedding myself in a feminist organization to have a hands-on experience with a business that values inclusiveness, visibility and empowerment in the local community.  

My time at Shecosystem has allowed me to observe and bask in an environment where feminism thrives and is put into practice daily. Shecosystem stays true to their values and my Fridays consist of being surrounded by motivating, inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs who genuinely enjoy the work they do.

It wasn’t until Emily asked me to take part in the Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum where I came to the realization of how feminism can truly pilot social change. In the classroom we are taught that the concept of feminism is not fixed and is constantly evolving to current issues, and this was certainly true at the EFF.

The conference introduced a new concept of feminism I was unfamiliar with. Crafted and defined by Dr. Barbara Orser and Catherine Elliot, the authors of Feminine Capital: Unlocking the Power of Women Entrepreneurs, the term Entrepreneurial Feminism can be described as enacting feminist values within venture creation and entrepreneurship policy. Prior to the conference, I was unaware of the power differentials embedded within the heteronormative system of entrepreneurship. I had always assumed that gender equality through ethical capitalism was the norm.

Entrepreneurial Feminism is a new movement, a new way to do business, and ensures equity-based outcomes for females, trans, queer, women and women-identified entrepreneurs alike.

The workshops and performances held throughout the day by entrepreneurs from across North America demonstrated how entrepreneurial feminism can produce “success” through passion and wellness. One of the speakers, Rania Younes, co-founder of WelcomeHomeTo, held a workshop on how the current settlement system fails newcomers, with many having difficulty adjusting and seeking employment upon arrival to Canada. Those frustrations have since resulted in the creation of The Newcomer Kitchen in Toronto, which is a non-profit organization that invites Syrian refugee women into a space where they mingle, cook and sell cultural foods. The kitchen encourages integration through socialization and interactions with customers and members of the community. Despite the barriers that the Syrian refugee women face, the kitchen became a way for the women to cope with homesickness while generating an income to support their families.

Success can be achieved through feminist business models, self-regulation, non-hierarchical leadership roles, collaboration and operational practices deterring from the heteronormative model.

Entrepreneurial Feminism and feminist capital contribute to a new movement which changes the way entrepreneurs run their businesses. My experience at the Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum has since shaped and altered my personal definition of success. It was inspiring being surrounded by such a diverse groups of entrepreneurs who despite challenging the patriarchal system are able to thrive, making themselves visible and paving their own way in the competitive market!

Now I spend my days dreaming away and cultivating entrepreneurial ideas as I approach graduation and the dreaded “real world.” I’ve come to the realization that I can no longer hide behind my student status and the safety of the routine I became too comfortable and familiar with.

Shecosystem and Entrepreneurial feminism give me the hope that I can thrive creating my own path!

 

READ MORE

Entrepreneurial Innovation and Full Moon Illumination | March at Shecosystem

March is born in fullness, a round moon mirroring the sunbeams of springtime. Pregnant with promise, hiding nothing of herself, she illuminates the path to rebirth. It has been a long winter gathering our strength underground, and we are ready to spring into action.

 

Here are a few of the things that are sparking hope in me this March…


International Women’s Day is next week, and we’ll be marking it on March 8 with WombSpace: an afternoon of learning, healing and community.

 

We’ve chosen to host our event during the day, so that you can spend your evening at one of the many panels, screenings, and celebrations happening around town. Join us from 2-6PM for a talking circle, reiki from Daily Magic, readings from Uplifting Tarot, and a talk on menstrual wellness from Amanda Laird – all in support of our neighbour Sistering. Check out our other top picks for IWD here.


There is a greater momentum than ever before around women’s entrepreneurship in Canada.

This week’s federal budget promised an extra $100 million over five years to women’s organizations through the Ministry for the Status of Women (now an official Department of the Government of Canada), plus  $1.4 billion of financing opportunities for women-led ventures through the Business Development Bank of Canada.  It also takes steps to promote equal sharing of parental responsibilities, close the wage gap, support women in the trades, and address gender-based violence.

 

The gender lens was applied to spending decisions, and the government aims to stay accountable through Canada’s Gender Results Framework: a tool to measure how these budget items translate into a more equitable society. With this year’s budget, Canada is making  “a conscious effort to understand how decisions affect different people differently, with a view to allocating government resources more equitably and efficiently.”


In other promising news, a couple of weeks ago a report came out from BMO and Carleton University looking at women entrepreneurs and Canada’s innovation landscape.

 

The narrow definition of innovation is something that has bothered me since I started working with women entrepreneurs. Most of Shecosystem’s members – and a full 90% of women entrepreneurs (TD Economics, 2015) – are running businesses in the service sector. With most resources going toward supporting high growth businesses innovating in science and tech, women are being left out of the innovation agenda.

 

We know this already.  Last June, at the SheEO/City of Toronto Women’s Entrepreneurship Forum (coming up again next Friday!), I listened in one session as one woman after another spoke up about how incubators, funding opportunities, and training programs are not speaking to them or addressing their needs as micro-businesses in the service sector. This report spells out recommendations for governments, financial institutions and women entrepreneurs themselves to address challenges – from access to capital, grants, incubators and networks, to ageism, sexual harassment, and gaps in training and mentoring.

 

There is promise in this report loudly declaring that we need to broaden the way we define innovation to be more inclusive of women’s innovations. The report quotes the OECD’s definition: “[a]n innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organizational method in business practices, workplace organization or external relations.”  

It also notes that, “because women’s motivation in starting a business is often to better integrate their professional and personal lives, women tend also to innovate in the management of their businesses…they implement more informal, more participative and more horizontal organizations based on teamwork.”

Finally, the report celebrates the fact that women led ventures tend to be “vision-led,” creating social innovation that can benefit their communities.

 

I asked women in our community to own the ways their businesses are innovating. Here are a few of their responses:

“The initiative I’m working on, Disaster Pet Locator is completely directed at social good in three areas: Mental Health, Animal Welfare, Disaster Relief and all using technology and human resources.” (Julia Moreno Perri)

“I developed a framework to help companies understand how to engage their employees and sustain engagement over the long-term. I published a book based on it…I don’t think consultants get much credit for the new ideas and processes we develop for our clients.” (Corina Walsh)

“We are mitigating the risks involved in delegating to offshore virtual assistants while ensuring that we are not using the people on our team, but to the contrary, creates sustainable opportunities that mean wins for everyone.” (Katrina McKay)


In the spirit of promoting women’s innovation, we launched a new blog this week: CREATRIX.


CREATRIX highlights the people in our coworking community who are giving life to new ideas and new businesses. Check out our first post featuring Sulafa Silim, founder of Dawa Apothecary. Sulafa roots equity throughout her work, creating safe and accessible wellness spaces where women of colour can  “have conversations about the real challenges they’re experiencing. Talking about anti-black oppression, or shadism within people of colour. Talking about perceptions of each other. We’re having those hard hitting conversations.”

 


 

May tonight’s full moon in Virgo shine a light on where you need to focus your energy this Spring, which seeds to water…as @mysticmamma writes “Virgo is the healer within, reminding us to embody our Spirit so we can bring about forth real change in our lives for the benefit of all. Her medicine is love in service, and her practical magic helps us streamline our directive so we can focus on how best to be in service of our collective healing.”??

Spend some time journalling, meditating, or doing any other practice that helps you tune into your intuition to fuel your innovative force! ???

I hope to see you at our WombSpace gathering on International Women’s Day or at one of our other events this March. Check out our whole calendar here.

Sending you full moon love,

Emily Rose

 


Emily Rose Antflick is Shecosystem’s founder and Chief Community Cultivator. Her work stems from a feminine paradigm that values collaboration, emotional authenticity, and work-life integration.

With an M.A. in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Emily spent a decade teaching and creating transformative educational journeys for youth before turning her attention to helping women like herself get unstuck and cultivate heart-centred communities that empower them to heal and whole themselves and the world.

Emily is the Community Leader of G Day for Girls Toronto. She is a certified Permaculture Designer, Dance Our Way Home facilitator, and Rite of Passage Guide.

Top Picks for International Women’s Day 2018 in Toronto

Global women’s activism is taking centre stage this year, fuelled by women’s anger, passion, and vision. Women are speaking up in unprecedented numbers against issues ranging from gender violence to missing and murdered indigenous women to the wage gap and inequity in childcare support. We are joining in community online and in person to support, witness and heal each other, our planet, and the wounds of our ancestors.

 

Here in Toronto you can literally spend every day and evening over the next couple of weeks learning, celebrating, and supporting an array of women’s causes.

 

We’re hosting our own event on the afternoon of IWD inspired by Shecosystem’s commitment to honouring our inner work and gathering in sisterhood. We believe that self-care is a form of resistance to the patriarchal culture that we live and work in. On this day of international action and awareness, we’ll look to each other for solidarity, nurture, inspiration and support.

 

Gloria Steinem said, “Gather in circles. Instead of looking up, look at each other,” and that is exactly what we’re doing on March 8 from 2-6PM.

 

We believe that self-care is a form of resistance to the patriarchal culture that we live and work in. Join our circle for an afternoon of collective healing in support of SISTERING featuring:

The Magic of Menstruation with Amanda Laird

Tarot Readings with Kayla Subica of Uplitfiting Tarot

Reiki with Tasha Jade Banate of Daily Magic  

Decorate a Pussy Cupcake!

Write a letter of action or gratitude to someone who is making a change to improve outcomes for women and girls

Join a safe and supportive talking circle

 

Here are some of our other picks for IWD2018 in Toronto….

 

March 3 | IWD March + Justice for Tina Fontaine

 

This year’s theme is LIBERATION – Honouring our sisters, Celebrating Our Victories, Strengthening Our Resistance…On Indigenous Land. Speakers include Lee Maracle. Rally at 11AM at OISE and march to City Hall, to meet with the Justice for Tina Fontaine march.

 

March 6 | Menstruation’s Moment: Why period politics matter now more than ever

 

Grab a Bloody Caesar and bask in the energy and expertise of women at the forefront of the menstrual movement. Jennifer Weiss-Wolf – author of Periods Gone Public, the book Gloria Steinem says is “the beginning of liberation for us all” – is joined by entrepreneurs, activists and international development leaders. These vibrant, vocal visionaries are coming together in challenging and real dialogue about smashing shame, period policy, values-based business, shedding taboos, and bringing down barriers that prevent people with periods from accessing menstrual supplies.

Come explore the role that the menstrual movement must play at this turning point for intersectional feminism. Proceeds support Mother Nature Partnership.

 

March 8 | Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation: Breakfast with BMO and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce

 

At this breakfast event, panelists will speak to the implications for business and the Canadian economy resulting from gender differences in approaches to innovation. They will also deliberate the different roles that industry and various levels of government can play to create a robust ecosystem for women business owners.

 

March 8 | “A Better Man” Screening and Panel in support of The Redwood

 

This film documents a personal experiment for Attiya Khan and her abusive ex-partner – a step towards understanding and accountability. By getting closer to the truth of what survivors experience, and why men choose to use violence, we can help to stop the abuse.

 

March 9 | Women’s Entrepreneurship Forum

 

Presented by SheEO and the City of Toronto, this event is aimed at early stage women-led ventures in Toronto who have an idea, have started a venture, are growing a venture or are contemplating starting a venture. Featuring panel discussions, breakout sessions, and SheEO’s signature Radical Generosity experience.

 

See you on March 8! Sign up for WombSpace: Collective Healing on IWD here!

 

Creatrix: Sulafa Silim

I meet with Sulafa Silim in the jungle room against the backdrop of a lush, imaginary rainforest I can only dream of exploring. Sulafa has been hunkered down in this space for almost five hours without moving, filling her role as Project Manager for a Digital and Social agency based in BC. She chomps at an apple, “I think I forgot to eat lunch!” she declares. Like most women here, describing Sulafa as hardworking is an understatement.  

We get to talking about self-care and the importance of listening to your body, a conversation I find common in this beautiful space. Caring for the self, and others is at the core of Sulafa’s other gig as Founder of DAWA Apothecary. With DAWA (derived from the Swahili word for medicine) Sulafa runs health and wellness events and workshops for women of colour in Toronto and abroad.

These workshops are centred around the idea that we have 3 ways of engaging: conversation, moments (moving, doing something, dance etc), and connections (creating community). Read my interview with Sulafa below.

By Annisha Lashand

 

What identities do you inhabit?

 

I identify as a Black, Arab African woman

 

What is your work in the world?

 

My work has brought me into the forefront of my life’s purpose in bringing women of colour to be noticed and being valued as worthy of love, care and understanding. This work has really allowed me to unpack how I identify, how I can build on this journey and be aware of my own feelings, ambitions and needs – again making myself aware that I am worthy of love, care and understanding.

 

Tell us about the “WHY” that drives your business.

 

DAWA is 5 months old, but has been in utero for 5 years. The story started in the UK where I used to live with a roommate, both of us working in the field of outreach with young people and teaching resilience. Living in a big city you start to realize there are not a lot of spaces for women of colour to unpack the things they were going through.

Part of it was body inclusivity was lacking, we all straddle different identities there, for me it was a conscious decision to bring forth some of the intersections we exist in. Not as simple as race and gender, there’s also cultural ties.  That kind of venn diagram is something that makes up a lot of women of colour’s experiences. I would say race is something you experience on the street, but in the household it’s culture. When it comes to holding space for these things in community, it was a question of access, but access is not only whether you can afford to do it, but also do you feel welcome?

Whether you’ve experienced being the “other”, or the “token”, a lot of these self-care, healing spaces replicate those experiences even though they are supposed to be a space that is healing me. It eliminates the ability to be honest and vulnerable and have real conversations.

 

DAWA was originally going to be a brick and mortar space, but has evolved into more of a community. It’s a safe space where people can have conversations about the real challenges they’re experiencing. Talking about anti-black oppression, or shadism within people of colour. Talking about perceptions of each other. We’re having those hard hitting conversations.

 

What does being a feminist entrepreneur mean to you?

Being a feminist means that I root equity throughout my work – it means that I center empathy and access to building capacity within women. It means that I am committed to improving my peers’ lives but also being a conduit to the conversation about women of colour in the context of feminism

 

Tell us about a collaboration, connection or experience Shecosystem has facilitated for you…

 

Shecosystem has allowed me to feel sisterhood in a new way – it has opened relationships and support that I haven’t expected from women/identifying who are on similar journeys.

 

What is the one tool you can’t live without?

Meetingbird! Allows me to auto creates meeting invites from emails.

 

Celebrating Black History Month this month, what is meaningful to you that you’d want to share about being a black, female entrepreneur or black woman in wellness?

 

Being a black women entrepreneur working in wellness is important to me because it is focused on improving access and opportunities and showcasing that we have dynamic stories and needs. We are not a monolith.

DAWA Apothecary has a calendar full of events and workshops leading right up to the summer, if you’re curious check them out here.

 


 

CREATRIX is a blog from Shecosystem highlighting the people in our coworking community who are giving life to new ideas and innovative businesses. We are the authors of our own identity. Each of us draws from deep, generative wellsprings of inspiration, and we have wisdom to share.

ANNISHA LASHAND

Freelance Writer | Editor | Social Media Manager | Brand Strategist Website Builder | Inbound Marketer | Digital Guru
ANNISHA LASHAND

Freelance Writer | Editor | Social Media Manager | Brand Strategist Website Builder | Inbound Marketer | Digital Guru

 

Taking time for All-oneness

It’s Monday and I’m home with cramps, watching the rain fall, listening to my body, and working with ease and flow. I just got off the phone with Lindsay, one of the members of our Coven, whose sunshine is lighting up the space on this grey day, and I’m feeling grateful and happy to be able to settle in here for a quiet, solo workday with no meetings or events.

That’s how I’m feeling now, at noon.

Rewind a few hours to me lying in bed at 7AM and it’s an entirely different picture: there’s the desire to surrender to the physical pain and crankiness and spend the day alone, but I’m fighting it. The deeply internalized patriarchal world of work forces my energy outward. I’ve dressed myself in an identity as the cultivator of a communal space that undermines my need for solitude and I’m resisting.

I’m telling myself: you’re weak, you’re not cut out for running a business! You’re letting people down and taking advantage!  It’s Monday – take an advil, get your ass in gear and start the week strong!

But then, scrolling in bed, procrastinating, spiralling into this inner conflict, I read an excerpt by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes that our Shecosister Clare Kenty shared:

“Long ago the word alone was treated as two words, all one. To be all one, meant to be wholly one, to be in oneness, either essentially or temporarily. That is precisely the goal of solitude, to be all one. It is the cure for the frazzled state so common to modern women…Much of modern woman’s premenstrual crankiness is not just a physical syndrome but it equally attributable to her being thwarted in her need to take enough time away to revivify and renew herself. (read more on Mystic Mama)

 
I know that I need a lot of aloneness in order to access the all-oneness but still I resist it. On Saturday night I gave a Pecha Kucha talk at a Toronto Design Offsite festival event featuring coworking spaces from across the city. The format, 20 slides x 20 seconds each, meant that I had to zero in on something. I chose to talk about why we need to bring a feminine balance into the world of entrepreneurship and how Shecosystem is doing it. And today, I’m trying to practise what I preach.

Here’s one of my slides (which had way too much text for 20 seconds but whatever – it’s a  quick snapshot of a big idea and I’ll be writing more about it!). Please note that these qualities can be decoupled from gender and we’re going for balance, not binaries. This is for everyone, not just women:

 

 

We are living in an entrepreneurial culture that elevates and institutionalizes masculine qualities and devalues the feminine. Shecosystem is creating a space where we can reframe our relationship with our work to include healing and wholing alongside income and output. It’s time to value tending to our inner gardens as much as we value being outwardly active in our businesses.

For me, it’s time to end the inner battle and surrender to today’s aloneness so that when I face the world, I am more ‘all-one’ than I was when I retreated.

Have a wonderful week, and know that even when you are alone, we are all-one in this community. I know it.

xo

Emily Rose


Emily Rose Antflick is Shecosystem’s founder and Chief Community Cultivator. Her work stems from a feminine paradigm that values collaboration, emotional authenticity, and work-life integration.

With an M.A. in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Emily spent a decade teaching and creating transformative educational journeys for youth before turning her attention to helping women like herself get unstuck and cultivate heart-centred communities that empower them to heal and whole themselves and the world. She founded Shecosystem to hold space for a feminine entrepreneurial paradigm to emerge.

Emily is the Community Leader of G Day for Girls Toronto. She is a certified Permaculture Designer, Dance Our Way Home facilitator, and Rite of Passage Guide.

Meet Rae Bellefountaine: Turning Bright Ideas into Brilliant Realities

Rae Bellefountaine

BusinessValkyrie Design


 

What is at the heart of your business?

My business has two hearts, like a timelord! First, I offer design and branding service for businesses that are creative, progressive or spiritual. I’m pro small business and anti big business and I like to work with people who think outside the box. Secondly, I want to start a non profit that makes building a business more accessible to autistic and neurodivergent individuals by creating support groups, networks, programs and events that help give them the ability to turn their bright ideas into brilliant realities. Right now it’s just a Facebook group but I want it to be so much more!

 

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

What does thriving look like to you?

Having the freedom to travel and be financially independent, and to be able to fund my non profit and creative projects. I don’t want to be rich but I do want to have the option to be location independent and I don’t have that as a person on disability support. (We can have a whole conversation on that sometime, if you are ever up for it!)

 

 

Shecosystem’s core values are openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Absolutely all of them resonate with me.

 

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

Looking for support, friendship, collaboration, feedback and advice. Doing this alone was stressful, depressing and isolating. I can offer much of the same, especially when it comes to branding, graphics and websites. I also love to give hugs!

 

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life: 

Walking everywhere when possible! In the summer I want to be able to walk from home to work everyday.

 

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Don’t do it alone, even if you are solopreneur. Establishing an understanding support network and finding mentorship and guidance is crucial for the well being of anyone trying to pave their own way in the world.

 

Anything else we should know about you?
I’m awkward but friendly! My face defaults in a way that looks like I’m frowning but don’t let that fool you. I’m very approachable and love to make friends!

 

CONNECT WITH RAE!

Website: Valkyrie Design

Twitter: ValDesignHQ

LinkedIn: Rae Bellefountaine

Making magic with The Coven

Shecosystem thrives on diversity and interdependence, and we live these values in the way Shecosystem is managed. Last fall we welcomed seven women on board as part of our Energy Exchange program – otherwise known as The Coven – to help make Shecosystem’s voice, vision, and vibe a truly co-creative offering
The Coven members are making Shecosystem their home base for the next few months, using their professional expertise to further Shecosystem’s mission and foster a comfortable, productive and welcoming space for our community.  

 

We’re gathering around the cauldron and making some magic…meet the West End Witches who are part of this year’s Shecosystem Coven!


 

 Erin Conway is a freelance producer, community builder and philanthropist. Until recently she spent 9 years as the General Manager of The Second City Training Centre, the largest school of improvisation and sketch comedy in the country.  Erin is also the Executive Director of The Big City Improv Festival in Toronto.

Erin is Shecosystem’s Program Coordinator and oversees the Coven. She also hosts our monthly Improv for Entrepreneurs workshops, bringing in the city’s best improvisors to teach us how to say “Yes, and…” in business. She is empowered by seeing women pushing themselves out of their comfort zones at Shecosystem and inspiring change.


 

 Leyla Razeghi is a consultant, trainer and speaker who has worked with both Fortune 500 companies and small businesses. She helps conscious businesses build plans for sustainable growth that are grounded in strong foundations – check her out at Leyla Razeghi Business Strategist

With her years of expertise, she helps out with Marketing and Business Development, helping us build a financially sustainable business while keeping our pricing accessible. She loves that Shecosystem allows her to be productive while having a true work-life balance and having meaningful conversations.

 


 

Annisha Lashand is an accomplished writer, brand builder and content strategist for startups in tech, travel and lifestyle. Annisha’s words can also be found on Electrify Mag, LiveFAST Mag, Toronto Life, The Culture Trip, Darling Magazine and more – check her out here! Like a house cat, you’ll usually find her in the sunniest spot in the room. 

 Annisha acts as the Coven’s Social Media Coordinator, creating  beautiful content that helps us tell the story of Shecosystem and our members.

 


 

 Tasha Jade Banate is one of our three Directors of First Impressions, bringing her friendly healing vibes to the space with creative Opening and Closing Circles and BS-free card readings.

She and Annie work together on our monthly Red Tent women’s circles, and she’s got some exciting event plans coming up for 2018! 

When she’s not helping out as part of the Coven, Tasha is a Professional Noise Witch at Daily Magic, specializing in energy work and sound healing. She works with clients through holistically-minded music lessons and mentorship to awaken the magic within.  Her favourite thing about the Coven is getting to meet the empowering and inspiring women in our community!

 


 

 Lindsay Johnson is another one of our Directors of First Impressions, and she’s got a helpful connection for literally everyone who walks through the door! She is the Radical Connector: an entrepreneur and networking coach has spent 20 years in marketing, sales, and leadership  development roles as well as facilitating professional and personal development workshops.

Lindsay coordinates our monthly Potluck & Perspectives event and hosts several of her own groups here on the regular, including her Use Your Words Content Collective meetup.

She has trained teams, coached individuals, developed sales and training systems and travelled all over North America to work with hundreds of people of all levels.

 


 

 Annie Matan is the Founder and Spiritual Leader of Matanot Lev (Gifts of the Heart), Jewish community in Downtown Toronto. Annie specializes in creating and facilitating meaningful Jewish experiences for people of all backgrounds for life spiral transitions, in workshops and in Shabbat and holiday unservices. 

She is one of our Directors of First Impressions, and her Opening and Closing circles – often involving soulful chanting, candles, and deep intention – are always an uplifting, sacred break in the midst of a mundane workday.  

Her favourite thing about Shecosystem is that she feels free to show up as her whole self in community with others who show up fully too – with our joys, our grief, our complications, our yearnings and our goofiness! Annie says, “This is the sisterhood and community model I have longed for and until now didn’t believe could really exist!”


 

Marla Raymundo is an intern at Shecosystem, as part of a University of Toronto co-op placement. When she’s not here, she’s studying Women and Gender studies, Diaspora and Transnational studies and Sociology at U of T.

Her favourite thing about Shecosystem and being a part of the Shecoven is being in a space which allows the feminine to thrive as well as being around positive, empowering and motivational women who pave their own way to success!

 


Meet Julia Petrisor: Awakening Change through Hypnosis

Julia Petrisor

Business: Hypnotist at BeLoved Minds Hypnosis


What is at the heart of your business?

Waking people up and helping them change through hypnosis

 

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

I greatly value being in circle with women, and I am also a big proponent of wellness. The way Shecosystem is set up seemed like a natural fit. I also found that working on my own for the past few years as a freelance writer and editor left me a bit lonesome at times for real live community interaction.

 

What does thriving look like to you?

To me, thriving is when I am living in balance, giving more of myself and participating as deeply and fully in the human experience as possible.

 

Shecosystem’s core values are openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Hard to pick just one! I’d say openness is quite key; I’m a fan of inclusion and breaking down barriers to separation.

 

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

Positive energy and being clean and tidy are probably my best offerings! I’m also passionate about money and always open for frank conversations about money and how it affects our lives. I’m also hoping to pass on the power of hypnosis to people and offer illumination and education there.

 

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life: 

Interestingly, I was once a pro at my self-care and had a solid and steady yoga and meditation practice. Once I began working remotely and freelancing, self-care went out the window. Now, it’s returning, and it involves self-hypnosis, a jade egg practice, and, more importantly, listening to the rhythms of my body so that I design every day to attune to my energy that day. I also always have several projects on the go, so instead of losing productive time if I stall on one thing, I can just move to another project for a while.

 

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Face the fear and do it anyways! I’ve been terrified for months. 

 

Anything else we should know about you?
I’m a lot of fun and I’m always up for a good conversation!

 

CONNECT WITH JULIA!

Website:www.juliapetrisor.com


Meet Violeta Cobo: A healthy body in a healthy mind

Violeta Cobo

BusinessCommercial Manager at HealthTech IUNE


What is at the heart of your business?

Cervical Cancer Prevention Made Easy

 

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

The level of empathy you can receive from a community of hard working women like me who face and overcome work challenges everyday in a world where women are still proving themselves equal to or wonderful male peers.

 

What does thriving look like to you?

Many things look thriving in my life. Singing on stage is thriving.

 

Shecosystem’s core values are openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Openness, Community, Collaboration and Wellness

 

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

Support, company and human contact.

 

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life: 

I try to exercise almost every day of the week. Men sana in corpore sano- A healthy body in a healthy mind!

 

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Do not overwork and don’t take all failures personally.

 

Anything else we should know about you?
I love to cook, sing and making people laugh.

 

CONNECT WITH VIOLETA!

Email: violeta@iunehpv.com

Website: https://www.iunetest.com/

LinkedIn: Violeta Cobo

Youtube: IUNE