Stephanie from Mezari on
International Women's Day
How long have you been in business?
I've been in business for just over 1 year!
What was the trigger that made your start your business?
Curiosity. I wanted to see what was possible. It was something I really wanted for many years, but for some reason didn't think I could execute my idea, or I was afraid I would be isolated. I started as a fine artist, but with a strong interest in home decor and the decorative arts. For a few years I showed my work in galleries, but really felt I wanted my work to be more accessible to the public, to show up in simple and practical ways. At one point I finally realized, wait a minute-am I so different from other people? Why can other people do this? Why not me? It came down to making the decision, sticking with it and showing up every single day.
Progress. When I can start to see my efforts gaining traction, when I see a little momentum or when I have a feeling that I'm reaching a goal, no matter how small, it's actually hard to stop working. Also my workspace is a really nice place to go to every day- it's a whimsical studio boutique in the plateau, on Duluth, and it's one of my favourite streets in the city of Montreal. I love the feeling of community in this area.
Does it have to be just one sentence? Haha maybe that is the sentence... I love so many things it often feels impossible to choose just one....What defines/characterises you as a woman?
Depth. I think that on the surface I can portray one thing; I may appear delicate. But I also know how to build with wood, how to plumb a sink, how to paddle a canoe, how to dress myself in a way that's expressive, how to cook, how to choose the right red lipstick, how to walk in high heels, how to gut a fish... I am many things rolled into one.
Who is your role model/inspiration, and why?
William Morris. His work continues to inspire me daily, his passion for well made hand crafted items is still relevant today and the trail he blazed for surface design is incredible. I love this quote from him:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
It really resonates with me, I say it to myself all the time when I'm trying to reduce clutter, or just to prioritize my day.
I also really have to say that Marie Forleo is a huge role model for me. I love the spirit she brings to her business, the way she serves her audience and customers, and I would recommend her online course B-School to anyone who wants to start a business.
What does international Women’s Day mean to you?
It's a really wonderful initiative. I realized even in writing this how often I find courage and strength from talking to or reading about other women in business or just in day to day life. Just this last Friday I bought the book In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney, the founder of Design Sponge. It's full of stories of women in creative fields, and I felt so good reading their stories, the things they sacrificed for their businesses, the way they've shaped their families and their lives. It makes me feel like I'm not alone. I'm so happy that International Women's Day exists, so we can all share our stories and encourage one another. I hope I can do the same for other women.