As a group of women working towards common goals for STYLE Canada‘s brand and business, we understand the value of peer support in the workplace. So, we decided to bring like-minded ladies in business together for dinner with Soho House Toronto last Fall to discuss how they got sh*t done while supporting one another. STYLE’s Supper Club at Soho House has now become a quarterly event for storytelling, networking, inspiring, and so much more.
Coming up to this month’s Supper Club, we decided to feature the women who make these events as beneficial and empowering as they are, and we’ll continue to feature them throughout the year. This is the first instalment of what we’re calling the #LeadingLadies series, and here’s hoping that we’ll see you at our next Supper Club. Keep your eyes peeled on our events page for more details.
Suzie Bali – Marketing Manager and Brand Founder
Industry: Business software
SC: What has your career path looked like?
SB: My first job out of university was working as a financial associate at RBC Wealth Management. I was there for three years, but always knew that it wasn’t the right career path for me. During my teenage years, I had always been into the arts but heard that creative jobs were almost impossible to get. I decided to stick to a ‘fallback’ career and then one day, I finally decided that I had to at least try to find a job that makes me feel fulfilled. I quit RBC on the spot. It was one of the most liberating feelings in the world. I got a job in marketing shortly thereafter and am so happy that I made the switch.
SC: Can you tell us about your side hustle?
SB: I recently started a jewelry line called Jomami Jewelry and each collection is based on a different travel destination, like my “Zama” collection inspired by the nature of Tulum. My aim was to create a platform for active and adventurous women who like to look good while climbing trees or hiking, for example. I had in mind snowboarders, surfers, and hikers, who wouldn’t care if they chipped a nail to climb a tree. I’m also passionate about making a difference in this world, so we donate five per cent of every purchase to two incredible causes: Plan International and the Environmental Defense Fund.
SC: How did you come up with the idea for your business and what made you pursue it?
SB: I realized that I had never seen a jewelry brand that spoke to me personally. I think the clothing industry has begun to cater to a wider range of audiences with things like Athleisure for sporty girls, but the jewelry industry hasn’t caught up. It’s not speaking to women who go on weekend hikes and like to play sports. I’ve always had a passion for jewelry and have been wanting to start something for a few years. I tried once before, but I got bogged down by all the administrative work needed to start the brand. I got very discouraged and quit midway through the process. The second time around, I made a promise to myself that I’d be doing it for fun. If I did anything, it was going to be because I enjoyed it. I could worry about the serious stuff later.
SC: What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
SB: Worry less about grades and more about connections. Fostering genuine friendships is also an important part of our well-being. As a student, I thought that if I got the best grades and checked all the boxes, I would come out of school a CEO. Little did I realize, success comes from creating a network of people who you support and who can support you on the road to achieving your dreams.
This interview has been edited and condensed by STYLE Canada.