Archive for May, 2008

A San Francisco Treat

Posted in The Great Launch with tags , , , , , , , on May 30, 2008 by loadedbow

I have recently returned from a business trip to San Francisco and loved every minute of it.  The city is full of kind people and great shopping, and is dotted with trolly cars and house-clad hills.  This place has been host to bohemians, a port to fantastic ships, and is the birthplace of both Rice-a-Roni and delicous sourdough.

 Zoë Pawlak – About the time we took to find

The reason for my two day trip was for to begin a comission for a client of Chloe Warner, who is quickly becoming one of the most saught after designers in San Fran.  Chloe’s office is perfectly perched on a hill overlooking a valley of homes, and as we muse over mico-climates Chloe reveals her excitment for painting and tells me of how she aquired a beautiful piece that is now the feature of her dinning area.  Her home-based office is a fun mix of all things designy and comfortable and enviously hip.  Chloe is smart and professional and everything you would want in a designer.  I find her funny and excitable which makes this project even more appealing than the visits to her city that I get to indulge in as part of the gig. 

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Marita Wieser Interview

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , , , , on May 28, 2008 by loadedbow


After interviewing Lauren Hanna, I sat down with to speak with Marita Wieser.  Featuring two business women who have made their way in yoga seemed an appropriate way to kick off BENDED BOW (especially when read Marita’s description of the yoga pose, bow, below!).  These two women’s lives exemplify the process of transformation through determination and the work of love.  They both love yoga, and are enthusiastic and passionate about their students.  Both ladies have come from difficult places to get where they now are.  Their stories that will make you want to dance, to celebrate where you are,  and to take action to get yourself to the place where you have long longed to be.

To know her now, the women Marita describes as her younger self age seems fictional.  “I was in a rush to get life done.  I was married at 19 and became obsessed with working with my husband on his family business,” Marita says.  She grew their Alberta bakery business from $500,000 in annual sales to $5 million by the time she left.  After working so hard at something she really wasn’t passionate about, Marita began to meet people who were living in a way she had never seen or experienced.  “I was then 27 and they were loving, optimistic, not obsessed with work, and compassionate.  They always were helping one another.  This was totally new for me since all I had experienced was the European model of work and family and family work.  There was no love for life outside of that”.  The people she met made Marita question the way she was living. 

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Smart Cookies Interview

Posted in The Great Launch with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2008 by loadedbow

The Smart Cookies

If you have not yet heard of this amazing group of women, please let me introduce you! Andrea Baxter, Katie Dunsworth, Robyn Gunn, Sandra Hanna and Angela Self are the Smart Cookies. Consider these numbers:

$45,000. The debt they collectively paid off.
$42,000. The savings they collectively accrued.
$140,000. The collective increase in their salaries.

Impressive, indeed. Mind blowing when you consider that they did all of this in less than 2 years. In 2006, these ladies came together to form a money group and take control of their finances. Their personal achievements are clearly admirable, but the Smart Cookies have taken their club a step further to create their own thriving company.

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Andrea and Robyn to discuss the Smart Cookies business.

Loaded Bow:  Smart Cookies had a very public debut with your appearance on Oprah! This was not the beginning of Smart Cookies as a business though. What would you consider your launch? How did you transition from a personal money group to a formal business?

Smart Cookies: Well, I’m not sure that we ever had an official launch! We incorporated last summer, but we had made the decision to treat Smart Cookies as a business right from the beginning. We were always brainstorming how we could bring in revenue for the group and actually turn it into a viable business. There was a point at which we were talking about starting to walk dogs to make money for Smart Cookies!

We also talked about being on Oprah – joking, but serious – right from the start. We would say things like, “Oh, when we’re on Oprah, we must remember to tell her this…”!

Katie secretly submitted our story to Oprah. Her background is in PR and so she really excels at clearly and persuasively outlining the main points. Katie described how we had been inspired by an Oprah episode called America’s Debt Diet in 2006, and the results that we achieved from coming together as a group after that.

Three of us were working at the same company, and when Katie mentioned that Oprah’s producers had called, we just assumed that they had wanted to talk about our employer! We were so excited when we found out that they were actually calling about Smart Cookies!

Smart Cookies on Oprah

Smart Cookies on Oprah

LB: How did that experience affect your business?

SC: Things moved so quickly after that! Jean Chatzky, an Oprah financial contributor, was on the show that day and she invited us to speak on her Oprah XFM radio show. Afterwards, she suggested that we write a book and that she would put us in touch with her literary agent, who has worked on some major projects including the South Beach Diet publications and the Shopoholics series. We weren’t sure if she was serious. But sure enough, she connected us!

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Lauren Hanna’s Story

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , , , on May 25, 2008 by loadedbow

Beauty from the inside out

By Lauren Hanna

In a single moment everything I once knew disappeared…a dramatic change from the outside in, so that I could begin to live my life from the inside out.

It was a quiet night. I was 17 years old. My friends and I deliberated over our plans and finally settled on watching a movie. I parked my car outside my friend Jason’s house and started across the street. That’s when it happened. I was hit head-on by a car going 90km per hour. The driver was drunk; he didn’t see me standing there. It’s hard to believe he saw anything that night. He took off after he hit me.

I was hit more on my left side, but my head went through the windshield of the car, my belt buckle left an imprint in the license plate and I was propelled 20 feet in the air (higher than the streetlight). I landed two blocks down the street from where I was hit. I didn’t see him coming. I actually don’t remember seeing the car at all, which is hard to believe since I was walking under a streetlight and had all of my friends with me. My friends were in shock. I was unconscious in a pile of blood in the middle of the road. For that moment, everything stopped. It was as if God hit the pause button on the VCR.

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Lauren Hanna and Live Yoga

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , , , on May 23, 2008 by loadedbow

If ever you meet Lauren Hanna, you will know that she’s a big soul whose story has defined where she is and her great love for life.  Lauren practices gratitude and yoga and is the owner of Live Yoga in White Rock, British Columbia.  teaching locals how to use their outward bodies to make inward transformations has been Lauren’s path for the past 2 ½ years.  She fell in love with yoga after an accident that left her depressed and reliant upon medication.  Taking yoga from a healing hobby to owning a studio has been brought about by much support. 

Pray Behind Back

Her mom took her to and funded her first yoga classes and her first teacher Dan encouraged her to take her teacher training at It’s Yoga, in San Francisco.  While working for LuluLemon, Lauren was able to have her yoga funded by her employer and at this time her home practice really flourished too.  Lauren went on to work for Lotus Wear, but it was teaching that really called to her.  After realizing she could make a living at teaching, Lauren asked Dan if they should become business partners and move out of his in-home studio to a public space where people could find and pursue their practice of yoga. 

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Bended Bow: Taking the road less travelled

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , on May 23, 2008 by loadedbow

It is said that if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re not going to get there. While we at LOADED BOW are big supporters of planning, we also recognize that many have found herself following an unexpected path. This journey can be frustrating, and at times terrifying. But at the end of the road, reflecting back she might find many exciting memories of experiences that reaped rewards and joy. Sometimes she has arrived at this point after fighting to survive, but in other instances it is simply a matter of serendipity.

In BENDED BOW, we will look at the choices women have made, and the role fate played, to take them down the road less traveled. These women will share their amazing stories of how their futures were shaped when they weren’t sure what was around the bend.

zoë+gen of LOADED BOW

YWiB’s Book List

Posted in Resources with tags , on May 19, 2008 by loadedbow

Photo by Sarah Taylor of Design Dig

Paulina Lipska and Norma-Jean Thomson of Young Women in Business were kind enough to share their top picks for Biz books.  Here are the classics that won them over:

What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business: Opening Up the Heavily Guarded Alpha Male Playbook by Christopher Flett

Rule for Revolutionaries by Guy Kawasaki

Made to Stick by Dan Heath and Chip Heath

Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, Bruce M. Patton, and William L. Ury

The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Good to Great & Built to Last by Jim Collins

The Big Moo by Seth Godin

Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish

Blink & The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner