I’m Average and I Want to See It By Hailey Stone


“Knowing my body could accomplish a 5k made me feel better than if my body fit conventional beauty standards.”

Self-esteem is a complex topic, because there are so many influencing factors.   For my generation, Generation Z (1999-present), Social Media has been a huge influence on  education and self-esteem. I remember in grade 2, my classmates were on Facebook trying to get as many friends as possible.  The need for validation began early on.   I was late to the Social Media wave and got my first  account – Instagram – at the end of 2013.  Instagram is a particularly wonderful yet harmful platform for young people. The things I most often see are the luxurious, enhanced, unattainable, and unrealistic. What I don’t often see are those of us who are Average!  I’d say I’m pretty Average. I’m a student, who exercises 0-5 times a week, but also enjoys a dessert a day. I want to see more of that because it can be damaging to the average person if they don’t see representation of the average. Before I had established a critical viewing eye and developed my own self worth I would look at these seemingly perfect Social Media influencers and wonder why I didn’t look like that when I did my makeup like them or didn’t get the same result when I did the same exercise routine. The reason I didn’t attain what they did was because I’m Average; I don’t use Photoshop, get cosmetic enhancements, or have a lot of money to live lavishly. It’s not to say any of these things are objectively negative.  However when these influencers lie about using any type of enhancement it creates a false reality. I think this is negative. Why? Because I used to compare myself to these perfect people and feel bad about myself, until I realized they were altered realities.   For example notice the Photoshopped changes in beauty influencer, James Charles; in one image he is shown in full makeup. But in the image on the right,  you can see the indistinct changes made that gives him a flawless look.   Because the Photoshop is so subtle, people who aren’t aware of his use of editing his image, may think that he really looks unattainably flawless.  Thankfully,  James is one of the honest influencers out there who is very public about his use of Photoshop.  He advises his audience they can achieve flawless looks with editing tools!

Another example of this was a Tweet exchange that went viral where an Average person wanted to look like Gina Shkeda, a beauty vlogger. Gina however responded saying she had enhancements and that she doesn’t even naturally look that perfect.  She credits the modern beauty tools. This type of honesty on Social Media is what I’m looking for.  People can be as enhanced as they want as long as they don’t claim to be 100% natural.

Now that I critically view images and videos, keeping in mind the likely use of enhancement, I feel much more comfortable in my own skin because I know I’m pretty good for being Pretty Average. However, becoming comfortable in my own body took time. It started when I took up running with my mom. Knowing my body could accomplish a 5k made me feel better than if my body fit conventional beauty standards.

Being strong and healthy lasts longer than a beauty standard that will change in the next 5 years. Another thing that contributed to finding my own self worth, especially in terms of going without makeup, was going away to University. I know this situation isn’t as accessible as taking up running, but for me moving away to school and not having the time or energy to wear makeup all the time made me embrace my natural face for all that it is. For those who are in the process of developing a strong sense of self worth I would recommend finding something that can make you feel accomplished. For example, if you are struggling with body image, try to find an activity that makes you appreciate the function of your body, such as running, dance, or sports. Using your body and thanking it for accomplishing a physical goal is better for your self worth than trying to attain a body type that your body may never be able to achieve.

Honesty and accurate representation of the Average person I what I’m looking for on Social Media, but until that happens I’m going to keep on working on loving my natural, Pretty Average self and you should do the same.

Spring Fashion Forecast 2015 – Workwear to Weekend #2

Spring Fashion Forecast 2015 Marsal pantsuit #3

Get your Fashion Game On – Groovy Baby!

SFF 9-5 Girls 70's homage as inspiration for trends #12

We’re all pretty thankful the hair has not come back in style…nor the makeup. The clothes have a different spin, but the fun loving florals, fringe & maxi skirts have made their reappearance in 70’s fashion. One of the most popular Spring trends for 2015

If you have been noticing Denim in all manner of styles, that would be part of the trending everyman ‘blues’. Dark denim jeans are often paired with a lighter denim shirt. Add a denim shirtdress to your wardrobe and you’ll be comfy & on trend!

SFF chuky black sandal #9Jonathan-Saunders-Spring-2015

What could be more comfortable than the return of the chunky heel & platform shoes. A must have for the season!

When you & your girlfriends join us at SIP Wine Bar for our interactive Fashion networking nite, Carmine has agreed to let us decorate with  a disco ball & 70’s music. Nostalgia, oh yeah!!


If any of you gals would like to model the outfits, generously provided by Sense Of Independence & Poor Little Rich Girl, please contact me so we can make arrangements. As some of you may already know, part of my manifesto is to use Real women as models. Just like the Dove Beauty Campaign! So don’t be shy 🙂

Finally, compare the images of the three ladies, Lily, Dolly & Jane (remember?) with the ones below.  Both feminine & fun. We have come a long way with style, a more self conscious effort to individualize our look.

I welcome your input for this event! If there is something you wish to add, let me know. It’s all of you who make the party!

More tips of Spring Fashion 2015 to come.  Don’t miss your chance to get in on the early bird discount .



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Spring Fashion Forecast 2015 – Work Wear to Weekend

Sex and the City 2

This weekend we turned the clocks forward! And that means longer evenings, thoughts of shedding layers and new Spring fashion. Ahhh, a breath of fresh air!

Imagine yourself sipping wine in your new spring outfit just like the Sex in The City girls pictured here.

We might have to tweak their outfits a little, but the hint of a new season is in their bright colors.

The story of Spring 2015 is varied, from 70’s styling to the must have trench, to over sized pants & tops paired with chunky shoes

Our Abbey Road homage features a confident business woman wearing a pantsuit in Pantone’s color of the year, Marsala.  You can’t walk into a women’s clothing store now without seeing bright shades of yellow or chartreuse, pictured here in wedge boots.  Love the pop of color

Spring Fashion Forecast 2015 #2

With the season upon us, before we know it we will be jonesing for switching over our wardrobes to lighter brighter outfits.  I invite you to join me and my new Social Media partner, Meghan Wels, to come out to our third Fashion Nite of networking, pizza & wine a Sip Wine Bar & Authentic Neapolitan Pizza  ( 2 Broadway Avenue, Toronto) Vince & Carmen have generously agreed to have us host our Spring Fashion Forecast Work Wear to Weekend

Details are in the works as we speak.  Please do save the date of April 14, 2015, from 7:00PM – 9:00PM.  Tickets will be available on Eventbrite.  Stay tuned for updates!

Wrap Yourself In Style last November, was a huge success. Ladies were treated to an interactive Fashion workshop complimented by participating boutiques in the Yonge Eglinton area, Lamania & Poor Little Rich Girl.

Poor Little Rich Girl & owner Sara Puppi (2094 Yonge Street Toronto) will return for the second time to share a hands on experience of their Spring fashion line. If you visit PLRG you will see:

A perfect mix of party dresses, trendy casual pieces and funky accessories at a wide range of price points creates the ultimate fashion playground. And while there’s much to choose from, dresses are our specialty. An ever growing roster of designers ensures that there is adress for every occasion – whether it’s for girls’ night out or a milestone event.”

Our new participating sponsor is also in the neighborhood.  Sense Of Independence,   (511 Eglinton Ave W Toronto) owners & sisters Naomi & Michelle Shamash describe their boutique:

As for labels in the store, we carry a mix of Canadian and U.S. designers. While the store has a casual vibe with a focus on everyday wearable items, we also offer a great selection of dressier items which are perfect for a night out.”

I can’t wait to celebrate an evening of Wine & fashion with all of you fashionistas.  More to come. Stay warm!

pantonecoloroftheyear5 #5 blogpost

Personal Branding – You Can Brand You!

Personal Branding DIY: Learn From 8 Women You Know

  • Personal BrandEight women.
  • Eight personal branding strategies.
  • Eight ways for you to be inspired.

Learn something from each woman, then go ahead and do it yourself.

[This is the third article in a series about personal branding. Read the other articles here: The Beginner’s Guide To Personal Branding and Why Personal Branding Is Crucial for Your Small Business Success].

Copy and paste your personal brand

The women in this article show you that personal branding stems out of strong will, hard work, goal focus, the ability to stay in sight as well as the ability to not being stopped by criticism.

A common attribute is that they havecreated strong personal brands for themelves, many of them out of nothing. And that leads us to the bottom line of this article: if they can do it – so can you.

Each lady has a different lesson to teach you. Feel free to copy and paste whatever you like into your own personal brand building. I’m sure they don’t mind.

Let’s DIY! (And remember: men can do it too!)

1. It’s possible to completely change how people perceive you

Michelle personal brandLearnt from: Michelle Obama

Frequently known as an “angry black woman“, Michelle Obama did some serious rebranding when moving into the White House. Now she’s the First Mom, caring not only about her own but for all American families, and act as a role model for healthy eating.

DIY: It takes effort and perseverance to change an image that’s been stuck in people’s minds for a long time. But along with well-designed branding strategies, it’s possible to highlight other traits and make them outshine less preferred characteristics.

2. Even when no-one’s willing to hire you, you can create a living and a reputation for yourself

JK personal brandingLearnt from: JK Rowling

Being an un-employed single mother, JK Rowling was living on welfare when she wrote the first Harry Potter book. Today, she’s the best selling author in UK in history and has established the Volant Charitable Trust, which combat poverty and social inequality.

DIY: Use your creativity when going through rough times. Hard work and inner strength conquer most difficulties. Believe in yourself when no-one else does.

3. Remain human when you’re on top

Oprah personal brandLearnt from: Oprah Winfrey 

Many people may have concerns about Oprah’s omnipresence influence in the world, but still, no-one seems to actually dislike her. Why? Oprah’s show is all about emotions, she shows that she genuinly cares about the things she discusses, and she’s been very open with her weight struggle. Despite her tremendous successes and wealth, she’s one of us. Women can relate to her problems and joys. Her warmth passes through the tv-screens into the living rooms of people all over the world.

DIY:  Being likeable is the key word in branding. Make people press the like-button for your personal brand, whether it’s online or away from the keyboard. Keep your promises, be nice to all who deserve it and don’t forget those who helped you in the past.

4. Live and breathe your personal brand

angelina personal brandLearnt from: Angelina Jolie

Besides from being one of the best paid actresses in the world, Angelina Jolie now promotes humanitarian causes, and is noted for her work with refugees as a Special Envoy and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations. Ms Jolie has been highly involved in charities serving children in the third world. For example she donated the profits for the image rights of photos of her newborns.

DIY: Incorporate what you do best into your everyday life. May it be ice-skating or chess, be known for being that man on ice or that brainy chess-lady. Don’t hide your talents. Put them out on display for everyone to see.

5. Don’t lose track of who you are, no matter which situation you find yourself in

martha personal brandLearnt from: Martha Stewart

While being the domestic godess in her own empire, Martha Stewart was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of an agency proceeding, and making false statements to federal investigators, and was sentenced to serve a five-month term in a federal prison. As expected, she didn’t fall into despair. Instead she continued to be her own efficient self and became an informal liaison between the administration and her fellow inmates. People Magazine wrote: “with the drive that would make her a billionaire, Stewart took her lemon of a sentence and made lemonade. Heck, she made a lemon soufflé.

DIY: Don’t be a chameleon, don’t blend in too much. Stand out and stick to your values, even in environments where conformity is common. Focus on your goals, not on others opinions.

6. Jump at the right opportunity of branding yourself

victoria personal brandingLearnt from: Victoria Beckham

In 2007 when Gucci took her on, Victoria Beckham topped the worst dressed lists. The unconfirmed story says Gucci’s act stemmed out of pure self-preservation since mrs Beckham had begun to be the threat that could destroy their brand: she was seen and associated with their clothes, and what Victoria wore was instantly rejected by Gucci’s regular customers. Gucci concluded they couldn’t stop Victoria’s obsession with their clothes (she paid for them herself) so they decided to try to change her from within. They sponsored her outfits and gave her a complete make-over. They even supported her own fashion brand, and made her into the fashionista she’s considered today.

DIY: You’ll never know what the future holds for you, but you can prepare yourself to jump when the opportunity arrives. Just as Victoria Beckham jumped on the Gucci train, so can you when something good comes your way. The most important thing is to keep your eyes open, so you don’t miss it. Get rid of self-doubt and second thoughts. The road to success is trying!

7. Set your priorities straight and be open about what they are

marissa's personal brandLearnt from: Marissa Mayer

The same day Yahoo! announced her as their new CEO, Marissa Mayer revealed that she was pregnant. When the baby was born, she went on a historically short maternity leave of two weeks, but she claims her priorities now are “God, family and Yahoo! – in that order”.

DIY: Not only do you need to clarify your priorities for yourself, you also need to clarify them for people around you. It gives people an idea of ​​where you stand and what kind of person you are.

8. Always re-invent your personal brand

madonna personal brandLearnt from: Madonna

Known for re-inventing both her music and image for every new tour, Madonna says she’s her own experiment, her own work of art. She expresses her personality through multiple styles, yet pursuing the same professional standard.

DIY: A person evolves and develops over time, (just look at the characters in your favorite book or soap opera), and so should your personal brand as well. Just like Madonna, it’s possible to change direction or style, but still remain true to your inner persona. Re-invent yourself regularly to make sure your brand is fresh enough to be seen and considered, but keep-on going with the same goal in sight.

Impressed yet?

Do you want to learn more about these strong women and their personal brands (including one stunning bonus lady)? Head over to Personal Branding 2.0: Up-Level Yourself to dig deeper into the personal branding soil.

Shoe Fix – NineWest Giving Back


What does your Brand stand for?  It’s important in today’s market to give good CX (Customer Experience). How wil you give back?

Nine West will feature original programming on YouTube, as well as its own website (www.channelnine.com) http://youtu.be/L3ESOtyDWvYto build a community around the brand.

“We want to rewrite the rules of fashion marketing so it’s not just about a shoe, it’s about a conversation. We want Nine West to be a place you want to shop because you love shoes, not a place to shop when you need shoes,” said Richard Dickson, president and chief executive of the Jones Group’s Branded Businesses.

Toastmasters = Presentation Skills

“The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.George Jessel

Anything you do a lot of you get better at.  I strongly encourage you to find opportunities to work on Presentation Skills.  The power of your brand will improve.

toastmasters Mar2013blog

http://wcbtoasmasters.toastmastersclubs.org/     http://www.meetup.com/WCBToastmasters/