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Chanele’s Check-In: May 2017

In May, I…

  • Had a public speaking gig at the City of Toronto to talk about personal branding and LinkedIn
  • Started the draft for my first physical book (!!) on personal branding
  • Landed some absolutely amazing sponsors for June’s ideate networking event
  • Started creating the ideate networking website (it’s almost done!)
  • Was featured in the I AM.MORE campaign

But I was also disappointed that…

  • I still didn’t keep up with my 2 blogposts a week – but I’m ok with that

Books I Read:

  • Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
  • The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha
  • Build Your Dream Network by J. Kelly Hoey

Changes: I decided that I’m going to transform the mission of Do Well Dress Well…more on that later.

In June, I’m looking forward to…

  • The next ideate networking event on June 10th! (If you’re in the Toronto area, get your ticket here)
  • Taking a much-needed vacation to visit my business bestie Jem Castor in Cayman Islands (woohoo!)
  • Working on adding and removing offerings from Do Well Dress Well
  • Reading more books!

I don’t know about you but I keep looking at the date and wondering how in the WORLD is it JUNE?! It feels like just the other day that I was sitting on my couch watching the New Year’s Eve countdown and wondering how 2017 would unfold.

Yet, here we are…it’s now the beginning of June and as we approach that half year mark, I’ve naturally been thinking about whether I’m happy with what I’ve been able to achieve so far. If you’ve been reading my check-ins from March and April, you would know that finding time for happy moments and battling stress are two things that I’ve been dealing with.

Since finishing The Little Book of Hygge last month, I’m happy to share that I actually committed to finding time for ‘hygge’ every single day and I actually feel a lot better internally. But over the past month as I spent more time relaxing under a blanket and going for walks, I started to think about why I never prioritized these things in the first place. Where was I spending my time?! I don’t watch that much TV, I don’t go out a lot so how is it that I can say I don’t have enough time for the things I truly enjoy? Then, the answer became clear…

Instagram.

Instagram makes me unhappy

Since starting Do Well Dress Well, I have spent a disgusting amount of time on Instagram or just thinking about Instagram. I say that I’ll scroll my feed for 5 minutes and then this turns into 1 hour…or even 2. I never thought about it much before but if you think about it, imagine what else I could have been doing with all of that time?

In May, I committed to spending a lot less time on Instagram. Every time I get the urge to scroll, I pick up a book and spend that time enriching my knowledge. In May, I read 3 books!! Prior to this, I was lucky if I read 1!

The thing is, maybe my feelings around Instagram would be different if the effort I put into the ridiculous app actually went somewhere. But truth is, I’m one of the unlucky ones on Instagram who literally has had no growth since the whole algorithm change. I’ve had the same amount of followers for about 3 months (despite an increase in likes and engagement) and it’s just not worth my effort anymore. Sure, I could pay for loop giveaways or Instagram ads (both of which I have tried) but I just can’t justify spending the money.

Interestingly, my monthly page views continue to increase each month and that really is the metric that I care about most. I own my blog but it’s impossible to “own” my Instagram account which means that I would much rather focus on building up my blog audience than my Instagram followers. I had this discussion on Twitter with a few blogger ladies last month and if Instagram shut down tomorrow, so many people would be lost! It’s important to remember that Instagram is just another marketing tool and it shouldn’t be our main focus.

With that being said, I’m human and as much as I’d like to ignore my stagnant Instagram account it does bother me. Actually, I read an article the other day that said Instagram is the most detrimental social media platform to our mental health. Isn’t that horrible? Instead of letting it continue to bother me, I’ve decided to focus on reading because truth is, I’m happiest when I’m reading.

Yet, I found that even though I brought some more happiness or “hygge” back into my life…I started to reflect some more and realized that there’s a few more changes I need to make…

The transition of Do Well Dress Well

Shortly after launching my blog in 2016, I decided to offer a number of different services. This never initially was my plan but I was asked by numerous people for help with their personal brands, LinkedIn and dressing for work and/or interviews. I thought it would be a great idea to formally offer services as it would allow me to help tons of women (which I love doing) and make a little extra income on the side. For months, I was super happy with this especially because I was able to gain clients without having to actively promote my services. Everything was great but notice that I say was and not is. Offering services is great but is also very difficult especially when balancing a 9-5 job. I’ve loved the women that I’ve had the opportunity to work with and humbled that they chose me to help develop their brands but it’s just not the way that I want to help people anymore.

So…in a nutshell, I will no longer be formally offering personal branding and wardrobe styling services, effective June 30, 2017.

Now, you may be reading this and thinking “Chanele, why would you do that? Is it really that hard? I thought you want to be an entrepreneur?”

Well, when making this decision, I did think about whether or not this makes me a “bad” entrepreneur. Many entrepreneurs offer services but you know that I don’t necessarily fit in with everybody else. I tried and it and it’s just not for me and if there’s one thing I took away from The Happiness Equation, it’s this mantra: do it for you.

I want that when I help people that it will impact them emotionally. I not only want to help people with their LinkedIn profiles and their wardrobes but their confidence as well. But, I also want that as I help people…the experience also helps me to better myself as a person. I don’t want my interactions with “clients” to just be “business transactions” because as you know, I’m not in this for the money. I’m in it for so much more.

Introducing: The Do Well Dress Well Academy

I’m excited to officially announce that I will be launching a mentorship program. This is something that has been on my mind for a long time and I realized that it’s time to make it a reality. I haven’t finalized all the details yet but I can tell you that it will be a 12 week program (4 groups a year) and I’ll accept about 5-6 women in each group.

It will be a mix of one-on-one coaching, group dinners (with special expert guests), Skype chats, day retreats, coffee meetups and more. As an academy mentee, you’ll get access to every single thing I can offer – my personal branding and style expertise, digital marketing expertise, my advice and experience as a homeowner and wife and so much more. Through this program, my mentees will become my sisters who I will guide closely throughout the program and even after its completion. My goal is to produce 28 remarkable women each year. I’m still working out the details and I’ll continue to share updates as I have them.

Other updates to Do Well Dress Well

  • You know my password protected Resource Library? I’m going to soon make it openly available so that you can easily access any resources that you choose.
  • Well-Read Bookshelf – I’ll be adding a virtual bookshelf to the site so you can see which books I highly recommend and what I’m currently reading at all times
  • More e-Books, physical books and courses – for those who may not be interested or in need of the mentorship program, I will be packaging up all the content that I typically would share in my services into books and courses that are affordable and easily accessible
  • Another secret project that I’ll announce soon  

I’m really excited, ladies. Like, really excited. This is the kinda stuff that literally sets my soul on fire. When I was young, I never thought that is the type of impact that I would be able to make (or even have the courage to do so) but as I’ve matured and found my confidence, all I want to do is share that with other women so that we can all be remarkable together. I know what it’s like to not know what you want to do and/or to feel unhappy with who you are (trust me, I’ve been there) but it is possible to overcome it. In fact, that’s exactly what I talked about in my interview with the lovely Huda Alvi, the beautiful mastermind behind the I AM MORE campaign. If you’re interested in learning more about me, my inspiration and the trials I went through, I encourage you to watch it.

At the end of the day, we all have a choice of how we want our lives to unfold. I decided that I don’t want my status on an app to define me and I want to spend more time learning and inspiring. I can only hope that my younger self would be proud.

These New LinkedIn Updates Will Up Your Networking Game

LinkedIn has been an important networking platform for years but over the past few months, they’ve made some significant updates to their user experience to help us taking our networking to the next level!

Here are 3 important updates you should know about:

Easily meet up with other members

Have you ever been out of town for a conference or meeting and wish you had the opportunity to connect with people in your network? Well, now you can! You have to opt-in for this feature in order to make your current location public but I can definitely see it proving itself useful for those who “never eat alone”. P.S. If you’ve never read the book, Never Eat Alone, it’s a must-read that will completely change the way you view networking.

Photo Filters

Bring your Instagram skills over to LinkedIn because you now have much more options to to edit your photo from cropping to a wide array of filters. Don’t forget – your photo is the first thing people look at when they land on your profile so you should always ensure it’s high-quality and the best reflection of you!

Message connections from anywhere on LinkedIn

Connecting with someone on Linkedin is easier than ever as you can now access the messaging tool from wherever you are. Found someone interesting you want to learn more about? You don’t even have to leave their profile to send them a message! Plus, Linkedin now provides message prompts to help you construct the perfect message. We’ve all been there – we want to send a short but intelligent sounding message but we have no idea what to say. Looks like Linkedin understood our pain and has pre-written messages that you can either use word-for-word or simply just use them as inspiration for what you would like to say.

If you haven’t been spending much time on LinkedIn lately, head over and check these features out. Happy networking!

Stylish and Successful: Kayla A. Greaves

I remember the first time I met Kayla like it was yesterday. I was 15 (I think?) and was finally able to start driving school. So, of course, this meant that before I could start the actual lessons I had to endure a few hours of classroom training. Take in mind – I was extremely introverted back then so spending my Saturday afternoon in a classroom full of strangers was not exactly my definition of a good time. I sat in the back and kept to myself just doing the bare minimum in terms of participation to make sure I passed. By the second day of lessons, Kayla had introduced herself to me and well, the rest is history.

Kayla A Greaves

Fast forward ten years and I’ve been able to watch her grow from my driving school friend, to my university friend (because of course, I convinced her to attend the same university as me and we even did the exact same program) to my successful friend who is now a Lifestyle Editor at Huffington Post Canada.
Since joining Huffington Post Canada she has taken charge of their social media presence and has brought them impressive growth. She has written pieces that cover a wide range of issues, most notably bringing much-needed awareness to the amazing things being done by people of colour in Canada. She has become a strong voice for diversity in newsrooms and to be honest, I’m so excited to see what she does next in her career.

Keep reading to learn more about Kayla!

Transitioning from post-secondary education to the “real world” is a difficult time for most of us. What was your experience and can you tell us a little bit about your journey after graduation?

Oh lord. Well, I graduated in 2014 from McMaster University with a degree in Communication Studies. I knew I wanted to be a writer full time, but it’s not so easy to find those types of job, especially in Canada where the media industry is so small. I freelanced for about two years, and I just got fed up with not being paid on time and feeling like I was working myself the bone or little to no reward. Also, I got burnt out in terms of ideas. So, I kind of gave up on that dream and though I’d settle and go for a career in PR. I went to PR school and realized, whoa, this is so not for me. I learned a lot there, thankfully and I’m able to still to apply it to my current position since the two fields are so closely intertwined. This sounds cliche, but I prayed on it and used my network to meet new people and somehow my prayers aligned with time and I landed a dream job at HuffPost. This also sounds cliche, but I believe so much in the power of visualization. I remember I told myself about a month before I started interviewing for my current position that I really wanted to write for HuffPost. I never imagined myself actually working, working there, that was beyond me at the time — I just wanted some bylines. But I guess God had other plans for me.

What skills do you think are imperative to you doing your job well?

People skills. You literally have to constantly interact with people in some form to be successful in this field. So if your people skills are lacking, this might be a toughy.

I’m so curious – what is a typical day like for you?

What is a typical day? Lol. Usually I get up around 6:30/7 am and doing a morning news scan to see what’s going on. I’ll send that over, get ready then head into the office. From there I could do any number of things from just writing all day, social media strategy, video production. Everyday it’s something different – which is one aspect that I love about the job.

“Don’t give up! Seriously, something will work. If you have the passion and drive, people will notice it.”

You’re extremely passionate about diversity and shedding light on issues that may otherwise go unnoticed. Where does this passion stem from and have you ever encountered a time when it was difficult to balance your role as a news editor and your identity as a woman of colour?

For me, it stems from not being able to have access to inclusive news as a child. For so long I struggled with self esteem because I never saw anyone who looked like me in the media. And I know for a fact that if I saw what we’re seeing now, things would have been different. So, it’s just responsible for me to be able to pay it forward. To let people of colour know that they’re not alone in their struggles. We live our lives differently, we look different, we eat different. And that doesn’t make us “weird,” it makes us unique and we should be proud of that. I don’t think there’s ever a time per se when it was “hard” because I have a very strong personality, I’m not afraid to take anyone on if I don’t agree with them. Respectfully of course, but I don’t dim my light to brighten someone else’s ignorance. The most challenging thing for me is trying to get people to realize that these issues are valid and important when we’re plagued with the same old, same old day after day.

On July 1st, Canada celebrates 150 years of independence. How do you feel about this milestone in relation to diversity in this country, especially in our newsrooms? Do you still think we have a long way to go?

Listen, Canada 150 is celebrating the slaughter of indigenous peoples. So you won’t find me jumping on my bed in excitement about it. I think, honestly, Canadian media is still so, so white. I’m lucky enough to work in a newsroom where there’s people from mostly every race. But that’s the exception. We definitely have a long way to go, but until then, we need to keep calling these publications out when they’re doing something wrong. For example, I saw a meme of Flare’s Instagram page that was so disappointing. It said “My days are like Rihanna’s song, just work work work and I don’t really understand the rest.” Or something to that effect. I’m sorry, but Caribbean dialect isn’t gibberish. Don’t reduce it to that, especially when it was colonial rule that created it. We have a rich history and I’m not one to sit around while other people try to minimize it to fit their worldview.

“For so long I struggled with self esteem because I never saw anyone who looked like me in the media. And I know for a fact that if I saw what we’re seeing now, things would have been different. So, it’s just responsible for me to be able to pay it forward.”

What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment thus far?

Going to bed by 9:00 pm. And also being able to connect with readers. To know that my work is making a difference in people’s lives. That’s my main goal.

What advice can you give to anyone looking to get into a similar role as you?

Don’t give up! Seriously, something will work. If you have the passion and drive, people will notice it.

What’s your go-to outfit?

Cute ripped jeans, a t-shirt and leather jacket (weather permitting)

How would you describe your personal style?

I would say chic and comfortable. I always aim to look cute, but I don’t have time or money to keep up with “trends.” So I stick to classic pieces that I know I can keep wearing for a long time.

What’s one item you think every woman should have in their closet?

A well fitted pair of jeans that make your butt look spectacular.

 

Follow Kayla on Twitter and Instagram!

Chanele’s Check-In: April 2017

In April…

  • I spoke at a conference on my signature topic “The Power of Dressing Well”
  • I celebrated my brother’s graduation from flight school
  • My grandparents from Barbados came to visit
  • I finalized the date for my next ideate networking event – June 10th!
  • I did a fun photoshoot with my favourite photographer, Gooseberry Studios

But also, I was disappointed that…

  • I still didn’t write as many blogposts as I wanted to… but I’m content with that!
  • I didn’t start writing my second e-Book… but I do have the topic finalized!

Book I Read: The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

Changes: No major changes in April although I would like to cut off a little more hair in May hehehe

In May, I’m looking forward to…

  • Planning the next ideate networking event (it’s going to be a good one!)
  • Seeing a friend I haven’t seen in a few months
  • Speaking on personal branding for a youth employment group
  • A long weekend! No big plans for it but 3 day weekends make me happy 🙂

Am I the only one wondering how April flew by so quickly?

As I sit here to reflect on the past month, April is pretty much a blur in my mind – except for a few key moments, of course.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’d know that my little brother graduated from flight school last month. My family and I flew over to Moncton, New Brunswick (on the East Coast of Canada) to attend his graduation ceremony and the 3 days we spent there were the happiest I had been in a long time.

I’m a big family person and nothing makes me happier than spending time with them especially my family in Barbados who I don’t get to see that often. I partially disconnected from social media so I could fully be present in the moment. Throughout this “mini-vacation”, many thoughts began to run through my mind:

“I wish I could be this relaxed all the time…”

“I’m just so happy and content right now. How could I just freeze this moment?”

On our last day we had a lot of time to kill before the airport so we headed over to Chapters (for non-Canadians, that’s our bookstore here in Canada). I don’t think it’s any coincidence that I stumbled upon “The Little Book of Hygge” as it was exactly what I needed to read in that moment.

Photographer: Gooseberry Studios

Hygge is the Danish word for a cozy atmosphere and experience; the art of creating intimacy or coziness of the soul. It is considered the Danish way to live well.

People in Denmark are considered some of the happiest people in the world because they are intentional about incorporating hygge into their everyday life. The Hygge manifesto includes 10 things: atmosphere, presence, pleasure, equality, gratitude, harmony, comfort, truce, togetherness and shelter.

As I read this manifesto, I immediately began to reflect on the trip and how the whole experience was hygge. So then the question became – “How do I incorporate hygge into my everyday life so I can be less stressed and more happy?”

There are so many moment that I consider hygge and I’ve been trying to incorporate at least one into my every day:

  • Curling up in my favourite blanket and watching Netflix
  • Snacking on buttery popcorn
  • Wearing my favourite cozy winter socks
  • Spending time with my family
  • Quality time with my husband
  • Sipping on a hot cup of Peppermint tea
  • Disconnecting from Instagram 
  • Spending weekends at home

Even writing those out, I couldn’t help but smile. I love all of those moments so much but to be honest with you, sometimes I feel guilty about wanting to take time for them. I am getting better at it though. If I come home and I’m just not feeling up to it, I’ll watch Netflix instead of writing blogposts. If you’re wondering why I only posted 1 new blogpost last week..I was curled up in my favourite blanket watching the movie Queen of Katwe. #NoShame

One of my challenges that I gave myself towards the end of April was to be more visible on Instagram stories. I never really used it because I felt as though I couldn’t be “real” on it. With me representing a brand focused so much on image, if I wasn’t dressed up, I didn’t feel comfortable being on video. Well, I’ve decided to ignore those things I self-imposed and just be myself. Doing this has made me feel really happy and content.

I’ve transitioned to a new stage in my life where I’m ignoring any self-imposed guilt and any pressures to fit within a particular standard and I’m pursuing my happiness unapologetically. You’ll see this over the coming months in my Instagram Stories, posts and my pictures. I’m happy, I’m relaxed and care-free and I hope through my journey that I’ll inspire you to do the same.

 

Why You Should Dress Up For A Phone Interview

When contacted by a company for a job opportunity, it’s likely that before you are invited for an in-person interview, you need to complete a phone interview.

Now this may seem pretty easy – you get to sit at home and simply talk on the phone without having to deal with the added stress surrounding an in-person meeting. You know what I mean – it seems much easier since you don’t have to worry about your body language and attire.

The thing is though – what you choose to wear can influence your performance during a phone interview.

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Four DIY Face Masks That Are Hiding In Your Kitchen Right Now

Green beauty is making a strong move onto the shelves and websites of your favourite stores. Hundreds of new green brands have emerged touting potions and lotions made with the golden seal of Mother Nature herself. However, having the freshest ingredients and the most exotic components in your daily beauty regimen comes at a price. We’ve discovered four simple, inexpensive and all-natural face masks that can help you be at peace with nature, as well as keep some money in your pockets. The great news is, you probably have these ingredients in your kitchen right now!

Take a look at the masks below and let us know how if you use any of them. Are you familiar with any of the masks below? What’s your take on the new wave of green beauty?

Mask #1: Honey & Lemon Normalizing Mask

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. honey (raw honey is best)

2 tsp lemon juice

¼ tsp lemon zest (optional)

Directions:

– Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl

– Apply to a freshly cleansed face and neck with a makeup brush

– Leave on for up to 15 minutes

– Rinse off with tepid water

– Follow with your moisturizer of choice

Benefits:

The acid in lemons helps to remove dead skin cells. It can also assist in clearing up acne, blackheads and discoloration. Honey is a natural antioxidant and is also antibacterial. It is also a great humectant, which means that it draws moisture to your skin.

 

Mask #2: Yogurt & Oat Balancing Pack

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Greek yogurt or plain yogurt (do not use sugar/fat-free)

1 tbsp. oats (unflavoured, no sugar added)

Directions:

– Lightly blend dry oats in a blender

– Mix yogurt and oats together in a small bowl

– Apply to a freshly clean face and neck with either a makeup brush or clean fingers

– Leave on for up to 15 minutes

– Gently massage your face in circular motions, be careful of the sensitive area around your eyes

– Leave on for another 5 minutes

– Rinse off with warm water

– Follow with your moisturizer of choice

Benefits:

Yogurt is high in zinc and helps to minimize blemishes and spots. It also is a natural moisturizer, making skin soft, firm and supple. Yogurt also contains lactic acid which helps dissolve dead skin cells and tighten pores. Oatmeal is very soothing for the skin. It is also a great exfoliant, gently sloughing off dead skin cells.

Mask #3: Tomato & Cucumber Moisture Mask

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed tomato juice

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed cucumber juice

Directions:

– Squeeze the juice out of ¼ a tomato and set 2 tbsp. of the juice into a small bowl

– Cut about 2 inches of cucumber; mash with a fork and take 2 tbsp. of the juice into the same bowl

– Mix juices well with a fork

– Apply to a freshly cleansed face and neck with a makeup brush

– Leave on for 30 minutes

– Rinse off with tepid water

– Follow with your moisturizer of choice

Benefits:

Cucumbers are made mostly of water and are packed with vitamin C. The extra boost of moisture helps to soothe and calm irritated skin. Tomatoes balance the pH of the skin. It also assists in keeping skin supple and reducing the appearance of pores.

 

Mask #4: Turmeric, Honey & Gram Flour Lightening Pack

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. gram/besan flour

¼ tbsp. turmeric

½ tbsp. honey

A small piece of well-ripe fruit (optional)

Directions:

– Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl

– Apply to a freshly cleansed face with a makeup brush

– Leave on till mask feels tacky to the touch (about 45 minutes)

– Rinse off well with warm water

– Follow with your moisturizer of choice

Benefits:

This is one of my personal favourite masks of all time! It visibly helps to unclog pores and reduces the appearance of scars. Gram flour helps to exfoliate dead skin cells as well as brighten the appearance of the skin. Turmeric is antibacterial and helps acne-prone skin. It also assists in lightening scars. Honey, a well-known moisturizer keeps skin soft. The added fruit helps to add trace vitamins to add a little kick to this mask!

All in all, green beauty looks like it’s here to stay. Though this is a positive move for the tight-fisted beauty industry, the price tag that can be attached to going green can be steep. Going green for beauty does not mean that one should break the bank for an eye cream! I hope that these masks can help alleviate some of your skin concerns, as well as add freshness to your everyday skin regimen with natural ingredients.

 

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: What’s the Difference?

What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open source blogging platform and CMS (content management system). As of 2016, WordPress powered close to 30% of the websites that are currently on the web. That’s A LOT of websites! WordPress started off as a blogging platform and has transformed over the years into a powerful website builder for websites like ours as well as networks like CNN, Playstation and The New York Times. However, did you know that there are two types of WordPress platforms that you can use for your business or blog?

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Stylish and Successful: Alyssa Bertram

I’ll never forget when I first saw an image from easy‘s advertising campaigns. I absolutely loved the transparency around a very real, natural occurrence – our menstrual periods. I’m sure most of us are guilty of refusing to go swimming because we’re on our period or feeling embarrassed by an accidental leak and easy. (pronounced easy period) brings this to the spotlight reminding us that there’s absolutely nothing to feel ashamed about.

I’m excited to introduce you to Alyssa Bertram, Founder of easy. and someone who I’ve been admiring online for several months. Her dedication to providing women with healthier and more environmentally-friendly menstrual products and ensuring girls in Kenya are supplied with menstrual pads is extremely inspiring.

Keep reading to learn more about Alyssa!

Photo Credit: Jodianne Beckford

Let’s say we just met at a networking event. How do you introduce yourself and what you do?

I’m Alyssa, I run a company called easy period, we deliver organic cotton menstrual hygiene products to women’s doors and donate on their behalf to delivering pads to girls in Kenya.

What does your morning routine look like? Do you have any tools or apps that help keep you on track?

In the morning I like to start my day by praying in my head about all of the things I’m grateful for that day. I then try to read something inspirational, right now I’m reading The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. I make a matcha tea and get started on my day!

For many of us, it’s very difficult to figure out what our passion is. We’re told to “find our passion” but yet it seems to be easier said than done. How were you able to find a career path that you’re so passionate about? What advice can you share?

For me, following my passion was less about going out and seeking something and more about removing the barriers to my passion. Meaning, I had always known what my passion was. I always knew that my favourite thing to do was to talk to other women about real topics, to have good discussions, to give advice. I allowed a career to take form around those things that truly light me up. Rather than going out and searching for something, I got back to basics about what I truly enjoyed and removed all of the excess.

Looking back at your career thus far, what’s one thing you’ve learned that has made a significant impact on you?

One thing I’ve learned is that no one is going to do it for you. I think sometimes we wait around for someone to come along and notice our talent. In my experience no one is going tor recognize any trait in you that you don’t first accept in yourself. When I began to own my power and accept that I was a natural business owner, that became my reality.

“For me, following my passion was less about going out and seeking something and more about removing the barriers to my passion.”

How important is your personal brand to your professional success? Any tips for someone who is trying to discover what their unique brand is?

In terms of easy’s brand, it’s built around transparency. I think people have a desire to see their truth reflected, that’s what we try to do. Rather than showing air brushed pictures and blue liquid being poured onto pads, we show real relatable situations with real women. For me authenticity always wins. In terms of a personal brand, I really just share my truth. I think that our vulnerable honesty will organically attract those people who are aligned with our message.

Photo Credit: Jodianne Beckford

Do you think that your appearance has played a role in your professional success? If so, how?

No. My appearance had nothing to do with establishing the business, finding a manufacturer, building a website and establishing a social media presence. Those things were built based on character. Many of the planning stages happened over email and over the phone. I don’t rely on physical appearance to do anything for me. I would much rather be recognized for the merit of the work I do and the potential impact I might have in others lives. 

“For me authenticity always wins.”

What are 3-5 items that you suggest every young professional woman have in their closet?

I think a crisp white dress shirt is professional and easy to wear, white brightens you up. A good blazer can make any outfit look smart. Some good black boots that can go with any outfit.

What is your go-to outfit?

My go to outfit lately is light wash high waisted “mom jeans” with a black leather belt and a black tee.

What are your tips for looking stylish yet professional at work and/or meetings?

Wear what you feel good in!

What’s your shoe of choice – flats or heels?

Both:) depending on the occasion.

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Chanele’s Check-In: March 2017

Before I started Do Well Dress Well, I used to spend a lot of time reading other people’s blogs. My favourite types of posts are always the open and honest ones that allow me to really get a sense of the person’s personality. I feel like we don’t get enough of this. Everything is so curated and edited that we rarely have the opportunity to really get insight into the person’s true feelings. Sure, I like a perfectly edited photo and well-researched blogpost just as much as anyone else but I’ve decided that I want to be a little more personal by sharing monthly check-ins. At the start of each new month, I will openly and honestly talk about everything from the previous month, my progress towards my goals for the year and any life changes. My hope is that this series will allow you to relate to me on a more personal level even if you’ve never met me in person. I’m more than happy to be your virtual friend 🙂

So, let’s get right into it!

In March…

  • I worked with 2 clients on my “Brand Well” package and pre-booked 2 clients for April (woohoo!)
  • I wrote my first mini-eBook about Interview Outfits (will be available for purchase tomorrow!)
  • I participated in the Micro-influencer Telesummit hosted by Kyshira Moffatt
  • I was quoted as a professional source in an article on Ladders HQ where I shared my go-to networking icebreaker
  • I received two speaking requests for April
  • I was asked to become a brand ambassador for my favourite store, Charming Charlie
  • I became an advisory committee member at Humber College to provide my expertise for the development of a new program

But also, I was disappointed that…

  • I didn’t get the website and social media profiles up for my networking event series like I wanted to
  • I wasn’t very physically active
  • The growth of my social media following has been really, really slow
  • I didn’t write many blog posts
  • I’m still not active on Pinterest

Book I read: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See (so good, I highly recommend!) 

Changes: I have a new haircut! – I share a photo of it at the end of the post 🙂

In April, I’m looking forward to:

  • Traveling to Moncton, New Brunswick for my brother’s graduation from flight college
  • Speaking to a social media class at Humber College about a campaign I completed last year at work and my career experiences
  • Sharing some great new spring goodies from Charming Charlie as a brand ambassador
  • Releasing my first e-Book for sale
  • Writing my second e-Book
  • Creating an event plan for my next networking event
  • Another tentative speaking opportunity
  • Being more content, more mindful and achieving more goals

March was a really good but tough month. Sounds strange that a month could be good but tough, right?

It’s interesting because all of the things that I was dealing with internally throughout March all started to make sense after this networking event I went to on the 28th. The theme of the event? The Secret Stress of Success. To be honest, I was so intrigued by the name because Stress and Success are two things that consume my life on a daily basis. In a nutshell, the speaker at this event shared that the more stressed we are usually correlates with how successful we are or how much closer we are getting to success. I honestly felt as though she was talking directly to me.

I have a very particular personality type in that when I’m working on something I’m passionate about it completely consumes me. It’s like I’m in this bubble where I’m no longer concerned with what’s going on around me or any other responsibilities. Sometimes this can be good as I’m just so focused on getting it done but this month I really realized how detrimental it can be. I can get really forgetful and unaware of my surroundings. My husband isn’t too impressed with me when this happens. He’s completely supportive of the work that I do, however, I can understand how it can be worrisome and somewhat annoying when I don’t pay attention to things. So, I’m working on this – how to be focused on my work while also being aware of what’s going on around me. Not only that – being aware of myself and making sure that I’m prioritizing self-care. I have this habit of prioritizing everyone and everything else except things for myself. This leads to me being extremely stressed out. I cried a few times this month (because that’s just my natural reaction to stress and success) but I realized that it’s not only because I’m stressed but this whole side-hustle thing is still so new to me. I never expected the growth that I have experienced and sometimes when things move so quickly, I don’t know how to deal with it. I know it seems weird that I get upset even though I had some good wins last month – I just have a weird relationship with success. I’m happy when I achieve my goals but success also scares me. 

But you know what, just when I was feeling extremely stressed out and finding it challenging to balance all of my responsibilities, I got two great opportunities right at the end of the month. If you’ve been following me for a while, you would know that I absolutely love the store Charming Charlie not only because they have the most amazing accessories, clothes, shoes, etc. but my brand values are very much aligned with theirs. I’m a frequent customer and I even held my 1 year anniversary party there. So imagine how I felt when I saw their name pop up in my inbox asking me to be a brand ambassador? I cried. Because it’s always in those moments where I’m so stressed and I start to question why I even started Do Well Dress Well to add more work to my life when the most amazing opportunities arise. I don’t have the biggest social media following but I’m passionate and it feels really good to be recognized for that. Although, I do not do what I do for any sort of recognition but this was a dream collaboration of mine and it came true.

Secondly, I received another guest speaking opportunity which means that by the end of April, I’ll have completed 4 guest speaking opportunities! My 2017 goal was at least 1 speaking opportunity for each quarter! I’m proud of myself for this because each time I speak I’ve found that I become so much better and way more confident. My husband and I have also decided that we are going to join Toastmasters together so that we can work on becoming even stronger public speakers. One day I want to do a TED talk so I need to work my way towards being able to do that!

And yes, I also started my role as an advisory committee member at Humber College! I’m really excited about this role and when I was asked to be a part of it, I said yes almost immediately. I’m really passionate about education and to be able to play a role in the creation of a new program is extremely humbling for me. We had our first meeting during the last week of March and I really enjoyed providing my insight and sharing my experiences from both my day job and as an entrepreneur.

So about my disappointments…

Finding balance is tough and it really bugs me when I have to push things off that I was determined to complete. At the same time, I can’t complain because the only reason I didn’t complete it is because my service offerings have really gained popularity! I really love working one-on-one with clients and I’m honoured that I get to help them. However, I’m really eager to get my Ideate Networking event series back up and running. I will be creating a separate website for it (I’ve already branded it with a great new logo!) and I’m aiming to have another event in June. I have decided on the theme and format so I just need to set aside some time to create my event plan and work on sponsorship.

I also mentioned that social media was a disappointment for me. I’ve found it very difficult to grow on social media, especially Instagram, thanks to the algorithm. Sometimes I’m really embarrassed by it because after all, my background is in social media, marketing and communications. But, I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter. Social media numbers are just that…numbers. I’m very thankful for the loyal readers and followers that I do have and I’d rather focus on them as opposed to building my following just to say that I have X number of followers.

Oh yeah…and I really need to find some form of physical activity. I’ve never really been a big fan of exercise (I know that sounds horrible) but it’s important that I become more healthy. I keep saying that I’ll find a class that I like but I just keep pushing it to the backburner. I need to stop doing that!

Overall, Q1 was challenging but extremely gratifying. I worked hard, I was stressed but the opportunities I received made it all worth it. I’m going into Q2 with a different mindset though in that I will not let the stress consume me. I will continue to work hard though while making sure that I spend more time taking care of myself. On March 31, I told my hairdresser that I wanted to cut off the side of my hair. You know what they say – a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life. Well, I plan to do just that – the only person that is standing in the way of the lifestyle that I want and the goals that I want to achieve is myself. I control my stress levels – not anyone else. Q2, I’m ready for ya!

P.S. Here’s a blurry phone photo of my new haircut – I’ll have a few quality ones soon 🙂