The theme of this year’s IWD is “Break The Bias” — seeking a world free of stereotypes and discrimination where difference is valued and celebrated to create a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
We were fortunate enough to talk with women from Toronto and Vancouver, discussing their careers, achievements, and upbringings while focusing on their artistry and individuality. They welcomed us into their homes, studios, and workspaces to get a feel about who they are, what they do, and why International Women’s Day is important to them.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?
My name is Edi and I am the owner and designer of Cuchara Jewelry.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
I truly love to celebrate women and our talents daily. Our entire team is women and we feature a different woman in our “In Studio” series as well as our “Studio Sound” series. This day in particular, however, I think of my mom and how hard she’s worked, and through example has instilled empowerment and confidence in me. The level of what women are able to achieve physically and mentally through motherhood, leadership, [and their] multitasking abilities — to be honest, I don’t know how there aren’t more female Prime Ministers and Presidents.
In your experience, what skills have been essential to succeed in your field?
Perseverance, networking, kindness, and curiosity. These are skills I find most successful business owners possess, and so they are things I try to exhibit in my own business. I know I’m not the most talented and skillful jewelry designer out there, but my perseverance and dedication has got me through some questionable times. I see people starting businesses often, and if it doesn’t blow up in 1-2 years it fizzles out. If you find something you love to do, keep at it, grow your network, be kind to the people who support you (and even the ones who don’t), and keep asking questions and trying new things.
How can we encourage more women to pursue entrepreneurial roles/creative careers?
I think the hardest thing is finding what it is you love to do. Once you determine that — for me it was through travel — I really think you just gotta start. I didn’t have any knowledge in launching a small business, managing finances, etc. (I’m still learning!), but there are so many resources out there that help a lot. I think building a community of like-minded, career-driven people is super important.
Which women inspired you growing up and why?
As mentioned previously: my mom. I don’t know a more hardworking woman. Also, Serena and Venus Williams. I love tennis and grew up watching it and playing it with my sister. When the Williams sisters emerged on tour with their confidence and talent while looking cool AF, I was in awe. Am I also allowed to say Sailor Moon? I was obsessed.
Do you have a favourite moment from Nike’s longstanding history of empowering women?
What comes to mind is when Naomi Osaka defeated Coco Gauff in the 2019 US Open and the chat she gave her after the match. Since then, I’ve been loving the Naomi for Nike campaigns.