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, after our last Supper Club at Soho House, we decided to bring like-minded women in business together and feature them in an ongoing series: #LeadingLadies. Here’s hoping that we’ll see you at our next Supper Club. Keep your eyes peeled on our events page for more details.
Meredith Shaw – Radio and television host, style expert and model
SC: Tell us about yourself.
MS: Well, I guess the first thing you should know about me is that writing about myself gives me anxiety. I’ve written and rewritten this about seven times. I like people, a lot. I’m endlessly interested in everyone’s story – resilience and perseverance are two of my favourite qualities in others. I was born and raised in Toronto but my family roots are in the farm lands of Alberta.
Early on, my music career took me across Canada twice and I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to take in the vast beauty of our country. I believe in inclusivity, period. I believe style can be a way into who you are, a powerful tool that can bring us confidence instead of depleting it. I met the love of my life later than many of my friends met theirs, but he was worth the wait. I am obsessed with all things Ru Paul and Drag Race. If you put an avocado on anything I’ll eat it. My favourite colour is sparkle.
SC: Take us through your career path.
MS: I started off as a singer/songwriter. I had some success in Canada with a record deal and songs on the radio, and I even moved to Los Angeles at one point for an opportunity with a U.S. label. Needless to say, my Sheryl Crow dreams did not come true (but I did get to make a record at Willie Nelson‘s studio, which was pretty rad). However, I did fall in love with radio.
I loved going into radio stations as an artist. Radio people just seemed so awesome. I Googled ‘how to host a radio show’ and long story short, I got a job! Just goes to show, crazy things sometimes work. I now host Afternoon Drive on Chum 104.5 and iHeartRadio Canada. Through radio, I started in television for The Marilyn Denis Show, The Social, eTalk, Your Morning, and now my own show with Rodney Bowers , Double Your Dish on CTV Life Channel.
All along, I had been plus size modelling here in Canada and in the U.S., giving me a close look at the body positivity movement. I was all for it. I knew I wanted to do even more in that space, not just model the clothes but really speak to women about their body image, their self image, and perhaps even create my own line.
SC: What do you love about your industry?
MS: I love how it’s constantly changing, so I’m forced to constantly learn. It’s not an easy industry, but if you love it, that passion will lead you through the long hours and hard work. The people are the best and the experiences can’t be beat. From interviewing some of my music idols to the red carpet at the MMVAs, to onstage at the Scotiabank Arena for iHeartRadio Canada Jingle Ball – pinch me!
SC: What challenges exist in your position?
MS: You have to battle your nerves a lot of the time. What you do, you do in public and sometimes, that can be nerve wracking. The other main challenge is building in self-care, allowing yourself to say yes to the opportunities that come your way without getting run down, and staying inspired and open.
SC: What advice would you give 18-year-old you?
MS: I have so much love for that girl, but she didn’t have a lot of love for herself at that age. So what I would tell her is, get on your own team, girl. You are going to waste so much time worrying about things that ultimately don’t matter and you are going to be way too hard on yourself. Be grateful for the skin you’re in and let your differences shine through. They are your greatest asset.
SC: How do you hope to leave an impact on our world?
MS: I want people to feel good around me or feel better about themselves because of work that I create. I’d love for someone to see me doing my thing and be inspired to do theirs. Confidence is contagious. The world is a tough place, and we are living through a time that requires us to show up for what we believe in. I want to work hard to use my voice for good, for inclusion, for equality, and for joy.