I have met some incredible Montreal women! Each one defines what it means to live on their own terms. They had the courage to follow their dreams, leaving what is comfortable for much more. The journey albeit not an easy one proves to be a worthwhile one. These women have taken the time to ask how do I want to show up in the world? The answer is for you.
With the spirit of "A Mama Bear" originally born from the desire to showcase how women empower women here are some ladies who inspire me to be true to myself. Desiree has been instrumental in my personal growth journey helping me connect with others. My recent "Just Because" photo shoot with Sherina was transformative. We both love the idea of celebrating the simple things in life. Tania, is more than a massage therapist, her healing hands have helped me both physically and emotionally.
This is merely an introduction. I invite you to follow these ladies on their social media platforms or visit their website (click the icon) to learn about their work. I promise that following them on Instagram will not disappoint.
Thank you for being on this journey.
Desiree Ruiz, is the co-founder of Les Lilas Society - a story sharing platform for real people to talk about real things. Over the last three years, they have designed events and workshops that spark authentic connection and conversations, and have gathered thousands of women, men and teens.
When asked what legacy do you want to leave behind? She responds;
"I want my daughter, and the next seven generations to come, to remember me as someone that always made them feel special by listening to whatever wild things they had to say, and by encouraging them to do the simple things that sparked joy in life".
I’m a forever learner and a huge fan and believer in spiritual healing. Here are a few of my favorite healers that have had an impact on my life:
@stellar_yoga (Menstral Cycle Educator)
@nanademelo (EFT Tapping)
@gravityrose_ (Feminine Empowerment)
Flora Ciccarelli is local jewellery designer. When asked how she got her start. "I started in the jewellery business after I had my second child. I attended a jewellery making class with my sister for fun during my pregnancy and instantly fell in love with the process".
I asked what cause(s) are you passionate about?
Social causes have become an integral part of my small business. I am a child of Italian immigrants, so I am touched by the plight of new immigrants trying to build their lives here. More specifically, I am incredibly inspired by the strength, resilience and intelligence of women who keep their families together while dealing with new realities, displacement etc. Through the jewellery platform we have had campaigns with Dress for Success and Afrique au Féminin, organizations that support and empower women by helping them re-enter the work force and help provide food baskets to families in need.
I love partaking in our city’s rich culinary culture - my favorite spots:
The Guillaume bakery in Mile End (carb-filled treats)
Alimentari Sud in St. Lambert (best affogato)
Arthur’s Nosh Bar in St. Henri (brunch)
Sherina Shantelle, is a lifestyle and couple's photographer obsessed with bringing people's vision to life and capturing images that truly feel like them. "I started shooting back in 2012 and went full time in May 2019. Over on youtube and my personal blog I talk about all things: Faith, Life and Entrepreneurship".
If you had a social cause or message what would it be? The core message of my business is to "Celebrate The Everyday". The idea is to not just celebrate milestones but the journey itself. I created my 'Just Because' package for people that resonate with that message and want to celebrate where they are at right now. As much as I have an entrepreneurial mind, I say all the time that I have a 'non-profit' heart. I'm a proud supporter of Compassion Canada and A21 which aids in hollistically releasing children from cycles of poverty and fighting against human trafficking.
I have so many local favourites, so I will simply share my newest favourite. The 2B Loft Studio is a great studio space located in Montreal that feels like getaway! The owners are great and they've truly done an amazing job with the space.
StaceyAnn Clayton is the owner of a Montreal wedding and event planning company She says, "I started in this industry through a friend after spending many hot summer days drinking mojitos and repurposing old furniture making cute decorations".
When asked how do you empower other women?
"Women empowerment is so important today because of the stereotype that was pre set for us that we are in competition. I try my best to encourage women by showing and sharing my experiences openly so that other women who may be feeling the same way don't feel alone".
Four years ago StaceyAnn I lost a baby to Trisomy, 13 and is passionate about any form of Trisomy advocacy. One day she would like to be part of an non-profit organization. Currently she is part of some online support groups but would like to do more. She is a mama bear to three beautiful children and I wants them to remember that love conquers all.
Tamara Duliepre (known as Mama Oracle), started practicing reiki on herself and her close circle. In 2015 she started practicing it in the Carribean and when she came back to Montreal in 2017, she officially started her practice/business. She currently, practices 4 different types of energy healing and eventually would love to incorporate even more.
What legacy would you like to pass onto your children?
"The legacy I want to pass onto my children is full healing, a life free of ancestral and generational traumas, a life full of love, where they are free to express who they are as beings, and encouraged to pursue their soul’s purpose without being pressured to fit in a specific box".
How do you empower other women?
"I empower women by holding space for them to realign with themselves, and by offering them the tools they need to break the chains that keep them imprisoned, so that they reach healing and holistic health".
Tania Caissie is the owner of Zencas, a massage therapy clinic. Stress is the main reason I have devoted these past 10 years to helping people by using the tools I have acquired and keep on learning new ways to guide our clients to a more Zen mind, body and soul.
When asked what she is passionate about...
"Learning to let go and just be. Concentrate on the intention and not on the end results. The ‘’WHY’’ of your path/direction will always be the motivation you need to make any changes. We can reduce and sometimes eliminate most of our stress by remembering our ‘’WHY’’. When you feel strongly and passionate about anything, the journey even with little hiccups here and there will not stop you".
One of her favorite past times is paddle boarding. She would encourage you to give it a try either in Montreal or Boucherville at La Vague, a paddle board school.