March 8, 2016

Tight Club Lady Love

"Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them. And it will change your life." - Amy Poehler.

EFF YES, AMY POEHLER! We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Every class we are surrounded by Tight Babes whose energy is contagious. The level of talent and general bad assery that comes through The Field House is beyond humbling. In honour of International Women's Day, we wanted to send some #tcladylove to a few girl bosses who are killing it in their chosen fields.

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Keighty Gallagher

Personal Trainer/Founder of Tight Club Athletics

Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today

It all boils down to believing in what you're doing and staying consistent in all aspects of your delivery. Tight Club started as a small group of service industry kids meeting up once a week to get our sweat on.

Rain or shine I showed up at Andy Livingston field; sometimes no one showed up, sometimes 20 people did. Fast forward four years through a tremendous amount of community support, a few key collaborations, a successful Indiegogo campaign, and we opened The Field House - just a block away from the field that started it all.

Do you have a female role model? Who inspires you?

There's too many to count. I'm constantly surrounded by lady bosses, but one in particular is one of the most driven and dedicated babes I've ever met. Kezia Nathe throws down harder than most in class; her photography is absolutely stunning and her dedication to self care and progression is inspiring.

What advice would you give to your younger self or younger women in general?

Life is a game – learn how to play it.

How have you dealt with obstacles that have come up along the way?

With honesty, clarity, and transparency.

What are you most proud of?

I'm most proud of my Tight Team; four months ago it was just me running the show. The environment I've been able to create with my team of trainers, instructors, front desk staff, and media team is like family now. We're all here to support one another and it all feels so right.

Favourite way to relieve stress?

I learned this term from a dear client of mine, "Procrasterbating."

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Maggie Boyd

Artist, Maggie Boyd Ceramics

Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today

By meandering in and out of art schools, and studios, and assisting positions, and apprenticeships where I learned the technical skills that allow me to make the work I make now. I would also be 1/80th of the human I am without the encouragement, inspiration, and creative force of the community I exist in.

Do you have a female role model? Who inspires you?

I pretty much can't walk down the street without running into a female I admire. Locally, I think always of Macey Budgell (Budgie's) and Michelle Pezel (Antisocial) who were the first women that I knew in Vancouver to just blast through the ol' glass ceiling and become their own bosses.

Evidently, most of the heroes I have identify as women. Here's a free-jazz blast of amazing people off the top of my head whom I admire deeply: Betty Woodman, Martha Graham, Judith Butler, Elena Ferrante, Eve Libertine, Jean Rhys, Anne Carson, Amy Goodman, Virginia Woolf, my grandma, Martha Rosler, Ana Mendieta, Lucie Rie, Yoko, Nicki Minaj, Agnes Varda, Flo-Jo, Kate Bush, Wendy Davis. I could do this all day long.

What advice would you give to your younger self or younger women in general?

I would tell young me to not overthink it. I would also tell young me to follow through and to be here now, man. I also tell old me that stuff, so I think that it seems to have some pertinent staying power.

How have you dealt with obstacles that have come up along the way?

With honesty, clarity, and transparency.

What are you most proud of?

 

💪🏽💪🏽I'm starting a new gym where you lift fifty pound boxes of clay, wedge reclaim, and drink protein shakes of coffee and croissants. Membership just requires you to ask people if they "even lift bro?". Watch out @tightclub!💪🏽💪🏽

A photo posted by @maggieboydceramics on Aug 23, 2015 at 10:59am PDT


Favourite way to relieve stress?

I feel like I should say exercise but I think it'd be more honest to say getting it on. Second place – drawing.

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Casey Schumacher


Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today:

The years spent studying fashion design in San Francisco were the craziest of my life: I busted my ass in school, worked four jobs, and absorbed everything like a sponge. There were times I didn't sleep for days, up all night correcting patterns and sewing, while my roommate mounted my sketches on foam core. Having to choose between spending money on dinner versus a 1/4 yard of beautiful fabric for a project was tough, but I was so determined and inspired... I was finally in my element.

I jumped at the chance to work at The North Face, where I could apply my fashion skills to outdoor gear. I grew up snowboarding, camping, and hiking in and around Lake Tahoe, so being able to design into that active lifestyle with amazing athletes and an insanely creative team made those years so fun and pivotal.

Being able to grow with creative teams, work with my hands, travel the world, solve new problems, innovate, and tap into different parts of the fashion world have super rewarding.

Do you have a female role model? Who inspires you?

I have many role models, and they're very diverse but my mother is a great source of inspiration. Often we're like oil and water, but she promoted so much creativity and open-mindedness in our home. She let me shape my own ideas and tastes from a young age, put paints in my hands, introduced me to Bowie and the Beatles, and supported me in whatever sport or hobby I wanted to try.

My mom's an amazing creative talent, super resourceful, and constantly researching/educating herself. The fact that she was raising five crazy kids by the time she was my age blows my mind.

What advice would you give to your younger self or younger women in general?

Take chances – the scariest things you do will give you the most rewarding results. Trust and exercise your strengths, even if it's outside your role or scope of work. Don't compromise your values: really think about who you want to work for and what that environment looks like.
How have you dealt with obstacles that have come up along the way?

I've learned that taking responsibility, asking for help, and being vulnerable creates trust and brings more humanity to tough situations. I've also realized that perspective is key: choosing to approach obstacles optimistically isn't always the easiest, but it's definitely the most progressive.

What are you most proud of?

I'm really proud of the design teams I've built throughout the years. My aim each day is to empower, protect, and inspire them. Through the inevitable chaos that ensues on a design floor, and changing tides in the business, I feel overwhelmed with appreciation for their positivity, patience, intelligence, creativity, and humor.

Favourite way to relieve stress?

Plug into a good playlist and RUN. Some red wine afterwards doesn't hurt.

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Beth Richards

Founder/Creative Director of Beth Richards

Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today

I worked really hard but had a lot of help and a touch of luck. I def agree with the 10,000 hour rule but it also takes a village...

Do you have a female role model? Who inspires you?

Probably my mother first and foremost. As corny as it sounds, Oprah is pretty bad ass in her own way. As for inspiration, I think creating change and making an interesting product that has a unique voice is what keeps me motivated as well as all of my devoted customers.

What advice would you give to your younger self or younger women in general?

Hmm, I would probably try to be softer and gentler with others.

How have you dealt with obstacles that have come up along the way?

The only way I know how, dust off, hold your head up, and move on. All challenges or setbacks are learning experiences and are powerful moments.

What are you most proud of?

I try not to get too far ahead of myself, but I'm pretty proud of making it this far. Our first cover was pretty epic. I think being able to do what I love on a daily basis feels amazing and I certainly try not to take it for granted.

Favourite way to relieve stress?

This is the part I’m supposed to say work out, but the joie de vivre takes its spot 100%! Eating great food, drinking, and dancing with friends is my therapy.

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Christina Magdalena Culver

Founder & Salad Sister, Culver City Salads

Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today

Totally by accident; I am the resident chef to my group of friends. When I decided to take a leap from my 9-5 job to pursue nail artistry (my background is in fashion... I still dabble) but was struggling financially, two friends suggested I start making them lunch. This quickly spread from my friends to their co-workers and before I knew what hit me I had a brand, a website, and was working out of a commercial kitchen. The food truck followed soon after.

Do you have a female role model? Who inspires you?

My role models are my mum and 98 year old grandmother. Mum is fitter than most people I know, popped out 6 kids, and although she turns 60 this year, you would have never guessed it. She skis at least 80 days a season, water skis until everyone else has hung up their life jackets, and basically just rules at life. Granny gave birth to 9 kids between the ages of 32-42. She still lives independently, slays at card games, drinks most of her grandchildren under the table and is a no nonsense kind of lady.

The ladies that inspire me the most are my girlfriends. I am super lucky to be surrounded by some super-hot lady boss babes - many of them just happen to be included in this blog post. I feel like this city is a hotbed of inspiring babes that all support each other and help each other accomplish big goals. We are pretty lucky!

What advice would you give to your younger self or younger women in general?

Excuses are boring! Figure out what it is that drives you, what makes you happiest and chase it. It won't always be easy; it will often be devastatingly hard, but don't give up. Be open to change and evolution. Keep on going and ask for help when you need it! It will all be worth it, I promise.

How have you dealt with obstacles that have come up along the way?

With deep breathing mostly, then solving the problem. I often joke that I am a professional problem solver, but it really isn't a joke. With all the moving parts of a business and the added moving parts of a 1984 post truck turned food truck... you have to be constantly thinking on your feet. Solving problems before they've even occurred; it's never boring!

What are you most proud of?

That's a really tough one. It's been almost 3 years with the truck and about 5 years slanging salads all together. I'm proud that I've stuck with it this long. Normally after about 4 years I get bored... so this is a pretty big deal for me. I'm also super proud that I get to call my little sister my business partner. Most people can't imagine working with their siblings. I can't imagine it any other way!

Favourite way to relieve stress?

Cooking with really good music... maybe a glass of wine. Preferably for friends or family with no time limitations. I also love getting out into nature, Bowen to be specific. Lying on the beach with a book tends to do it for me.

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Tricia Cummings

Philanthropic Consultant

Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today

I was hired out of university to work for a billion dollar asset private family foundation (not my family’s) who made grants to charities all over North America and was part of that team for many years in Calgary before moving to Vancouver. After the move I was the Executive Director of The Minerva Foundation for BC Women who offer grants to charities and programming for women before I left to work on a capital campaign to fund the build of BCIT’s Aerospace Campus (it’s beautiful, check it out next time you’re going to YVR’s south terminal or Seattle).

Following that, I joined a national public foundation and helped philanthropists across Canada streamline their philanthropy, basically taking the work out of it for them so their focus could be on making strategic and timely grants to the charities they felt most passionate about.

All of these experiences throughout my career have helped shape and deliver me to the place where I am today, focusing on my greatest passions that align with my values in a sweet little workspace in Gastown.

Do you have a female role model? Who inspires you?

I find inspiration and uncover role models on the daily in people’s actions. Each of the women I know are inspiring to me for one reason or another and I feel indebted to so many women who have worked tirelessly to achieve advancements. To name one woman who is always top of mind, Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks put aside fear to fight for what was right and just and blazed incredible trails. Who runs the world?! As the meme adage goes, I’m inspired by those who try to be the person their dog thinks they are.

What advice would you give to your younger self or younger women in general?

  • Learn a second language, hell, learn a third language
  • Learn about the differences between extroverts and introverts and how to access the incredible strengths of those opposite you, they are invaluable when you take the time to understand them!
  • Look up and talk to people
  • Use your phone as a phone
  • Ask questions and then listen, you'll learn great things and hear wonderful stories
  • The best advice that my 24 year old self received: you don't have to know everything


How have you dealt with obstacles that have come up along the way?

Head on. They are going to come at you no matter what you do so head them off early and directly before they creep into your bedtime thoughts.

What are you most proud of?

Identifying my ego and getting it out of the way to be much more accessible. Don’t get me wrong, she’s still there but I recognize her now, I can name her and tell her to get lost so that she doesn’t get in the way of being able to access opportunities. Read: you don’t have to know everything!

Favourite way to relieve stress?

Since worry and stress don’t add a single hour to your life but rather take them away, I don’t like to give them any room in my schedule. When they do creep in I:

  • Make sure to leave earlier next time so I’m on time!
  • Dog hugs, tight sweats, tennis, bike rides, and SUP in the hood this summer – how great is it we can paddle board in our city’s backyard?!
  • Time with my girls


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Sonia Chhinji

Co-Founder at Woodlot

Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today

Hard work, curiosity, and perseverance.

Do you have a female role model? Who inspires you?

I'm inspired by a lot of the women in my family who moved to Canada and through hard work have built something special here for themselves and their families.

What advice would you give to your younger self or younger women in general?

Stay active, enjoy today, and be kinder to yourself.

How have you dealt with obstacles that have come up along the way?

I chat with my mentors, go for a power walk, and normally like to deal with them right away. I highly dislike having things on my mind.

What are you most proud of?

I never admit this, but I'm proud of myself for starting a company and keeping myself challenged. Curiosity is key.

Favourite way to relieve stress?

I love jumping on my bike and ripping through the city.

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Casey Burgess

Interior Designer/Principal at Ply Studios Architecture Inc.

Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today

I grew up in Calgary and studied architecture/interior design there. With several years of professional experience under my belt, my now husband and business partner and I took a trip around the world that would land us in Hong Kong at the end.

I spent three years there working on hotel and restaurant projects and exploring Southeast Asia. The intense pace of working and living in Hong Kong really pushed me to take the plunge to start our own architectural/interior design practice.

Do you have a female role model? Who inspires you?

Not any one person specifically. I admire the unique qualities and strengths of all women in my life. I'm very inspired by other entrepreneurial women and their path to achieve success and overcome obstacles.

What advice would you give to your younger self or younger women in general?

Find mentors, talk to people, ask more questions, be curious, and work hard.

How have you dealt with obstacles that have come up along the way?

Followed my instincts, worked hard, and looked forward. For me, having an outlet to relieve stress is so important – being active, travelling, spending time with friends and family.

What are you most proud of?

Most recently, I'm most proud of the people we are getting to work with; entrepreneurs with so much passion and vision.

Favourite way to relieve stress?

Tight Club!! Specifically ball slams and chilling with everyone before/after class

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Marie-Noelle Legere

Owner/Designer, Fix That Bike

Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today

I got where I am today by always pushing myself. I’ve had two careers in my life so far (on top of owning a small business) and don’t plan on ever stopping my education. So I believe that by never being satisfied with what I’ve accomplished, I’ve been able to do more.

As far as FTB is concerned, it really came about from mixing my interest in biking and my background in fashion design. We were also really just creating what we wished was available in the current market.

Do you have a female role model? Who inspires you?

I'm struggling with this question. I take inspiration from a lot of different sources. I try to find other people that are passionate about what they do (usually art related) and take from them. On a more personal level, the people I keep the closest are the ones that inspire me the most; my husband, my best friend, my sister, they really shape what I do (whether I like it or not!).

What advice would you give to your younger self or younger women in general?

To myself: don't pick a career path based on what sounds more fun. I really wish I would have had someone sit me down and talk about my career path and choices.

To young women: Make mistakes, change your mind but once you commit to something, never go back. Be mindful and respectful of others, always fess up if you’ve done something wrong. Get a cat, they’re great!

How have you dealt with obstacles that have come up along the way?

Really the only way I’ve found to deal with obstacles is to learn from them and try to never repeat them again. That, I have learned, is easier being said than done. We've had quite a few hurdles in the few years we've been in business but that only makes the rewards better.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of seeing our product out in public. When I see people wearing my cycling caps and are stoked about it, that's cool.

Favourite way to relieve stress?

My ultimate stress reliever would be downhiling. Basically going as fast as I can down a sketchy hill on my bike and doing everything in my power not to crash or hit a tree. I can guarantee you that I'm not thinking about anything else.

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Kat Holmes

Designer/Director of Concept, Lululemon

Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today:

Hard work, focus and knowing where I wanted to be. I grew up in a small village in the middle of nowhere, my closest town for fashion was a bus and train ride away, but somehow I always knew I wanted to work for Paul Smith. In the age of dial up internet I used to spend my lunch hour at school waiting for his website to load to find out more about him and what he was creating; I found his quizzical nature incredibly inspiring.

I was either very clever or just lucky, but I managed to work for the three brands I had been inspired by at university, Liberty of London, Anya Hindmarch, and Paul Smith. It also meant I was moving to London, via a short stint in Nottingham. I was with Paul Smith for almost 10 years before I moved to Canada, and I am forever grateful to my Paul Smith family for the lessons learned and the fun had. I came to Canada, in part to be closer to family because my brother lives in Portland. Aritzia, brought me here, where I worked in Women’s wear, and now I’m back in Menswear at Lululemon.

Do you have a female role model? Who inspires you?

Being a bit of a tomboy, my brother was my role model, and Paul Smith was who really inspired and affected my career path. I have to look to my girlfriends, however, as inspiration and role models because they all are incredible women.

Mariel is my girl crush and is perhaps the most thoughtful, intelligent, and caring person I know who inspires me with her determination, generosity and humanity every day. She is the girl boss.

What advice would you give to your younger self or younger women in general?

Take chances.

How have you dealt with obstacles that have come up along the way?

Logically and I ring my brother and dad for advice. Unless it’s my love life, then there is no logic button.

What are you most proud of?

Overcoming adversity. When I was diagnosed with arthritis 15 years ago, I pretty much thought an active life wasn’t a plan for me. Proved that disease wrong!

Favourite way to relieve stress?

Tight Club keeps me sane, followed by drinks with the crew!

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Malania Dela Cruz

Publicist/Agency Director, Dela Cruz PR

Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today

After working in television broadcasting as a producer, I decided to head out on my own and create a business where I could work with people and brands that I felt passionate about. A couple of my friends in the fashion industry were looking for someone to help with their PR which allowed me to start my business working with people I enjoy and respect.

With a lot of hard work and perseverance, the PR agency has now cultivated a solid roster of some of the best fashion and lifestyle brands that we get to share with media across Canada. This year we celebrated 7 years of business!

Do you have a female role model? Who inspires you?

I'm grateful to have a plethora of powerful female friends that crush it in their chosen fields and inspire me on a daily basis; my mom has also been a huge inspiration from an early age. She raised two small children on her own while going to school, working a job to put food on the table, and eventually became a partner in an IT company –  a leadership position that spanned over two decades. She taught me about the importance of being an independent woman and that hard work and dedication does pay off!

What advice would you give to your younger self or younger women in general?

Don't let the fear of making mistakes hold you back from pursuing an idea or opportunity. The reality is that you are going to make mistakes and the sooner you accept that, the faster you'll be on the path to discovery and exploration.

How have you dealt with obstacles that have come up along the way?

When obstacles come up, whether personally or professionally, it is my practice to stay focused on the positives instead of the negatives. And yes, that is sometimes easier said than done. I have definitely shed tears in moments of frustration. However, I find it's easier to create solutions when I view obstacles in a more positive light. While they may seem inconvenient and uncomfortable, obstacles are necessary hurdles to growth!

What are you most proud of?

I'm most proud of the community of professionals that has formed around me over the last decade. From those who have mentored me early in my career that now have grown into valuable friendships, to interns who worked their way up in my company and eventually moved on to create their own amazing place in the industry; I feel fortunate to be able to contribute in a positive ways in this little eco-system.

Favourite way to relieve stress?

Tight Club class with Keighty (obviously) or getting sweaty on the dance floor!

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