Lattes with Laura (MSC's Business Development Manager!)

 Laura Parker, our Business Development Manager in Sydney, Australia (November, 2017) 

Laura Parker, our Business Development Manager in Sydney, Australia (November, 2017) 

How did I get here? That’s a question that can’t be adequately answered without a proper sit down and a cup of coffee, one that’s actually ½ vanilla almond milk (yea, I’m one of those people who like coffee with their creamer #ohwell). ;) So, imagine instead that we have chai lattes in hand, and are walking downtown Manhattan on the way to our lovely My Social Canvas office.

I suppose I could take you back to the beginning… Possibly not the VERY beginning, because that would be 26 years of details that just don’t need to be rehashed! Rather, I’ll take you back to the beginning of what is now known as my career.

During my time in undergrad, I worked for a socially conscious women’s boutique that lit the fire within me for making a social impact through the fashion industry. As a little gal, fashion had always intrigued and somewhat consumed me in the best way, but it wasn’t until my junior year of college that I realized I, Laura Parker (a southern girl from small-town USA), could represent a greater good while also beautifying it materialistically in the process. Some would call that a life altering revelation, and that’s exactly what it was. It was also during this time that I was engaged in a mentorship/leadership program, in which I was focused on mentoring college and high school women. To this day, that experience was one of the most fulfilling ventures I’ve ever embarked on! This season of life was one of the most rewarding, and was full of a series of moments that directed me towards, what I believe is, exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Following my college graduation, I quickly continued to get my Masters in Fashion Marketing in New York City at LIM College. I landed an internship at the kind of company I moved to NYC for – one focused on human rights, women’s empowerment, and broadscale social impact. This internship then led to a job, at which I became the Director of Sales and Marketing. During this time, I learned what it was truly like to start and run a business. I came on as the first, and only, female employee within a male dominated/founded company and was given the equal opportunity to flourish. I then realized that the world we live in, one which suggests women are underpaid and undervalued, could truly be reformed. I can proudly say that hires thereafter were predominately female with a ratio of 3:1.

At the end of 2017, I made the decision to transfer out of my role as Director and Sales and Marketing to pursue a career more solely focused on the empowerment of women. In January of 2018, I received an Instagram message (#DMforthewin) from Lisa Mayer, the lovely CEO and founder of My Social Canvas, regarding an opportunity to work on a project with her company. Through many conversations, which revealed our united hearts and visions for women in education, we decided to join forces in mission to empower women across the world to design the lives they love.

I can personally say that as MSC’s Business Development Manager, I’m truly designing this life into one I abundantly love. While combining my passions of mentorship, marketing, sales and account/relationship management, I have to opportunity to live out our company mantra for myself… and that, that’s a pretty special feeling. Although it looks like we’re out of time for now, if you’re reading this, I hope you know that you too can design the life you love…. and I’ll be right here waiting to do it alongside you!

(PS – Is your chai latte done yet? Because mine totally isn’t! Why not keep in the loop with what’s happening in your life so we can have a latte more conversations here.)

Xx, Laura

 

 

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Hey beautiful, you're invited to join our Feed Your Beauty Club.

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In partnership with our inspiring DESIGN THE LIFE YOU LOVE Role Model and Advisory Board Member Haile Thomas (motivational speaker, teen health advocate, and Founder of HAPPY Organization) we have recently re-launched our Feed Your Beauty Campaign to inspire women and girls of all ages to make positive lifestyle choices when it comes to health and wellness. 

Our Founder and CEO Lisa has also been working with Haile on a top secret project for this exciting Feed Your Beauty re-launch. We can't wait to share the details with you this summer!

In the meantime, we invite you to get involved. We're asking you to join the movement by sharing the campaign with your best girlfriends, your sisters, your moms, your roommates, co-workers...or any women and girls in your life that you think could benefit from this message. Sign up here to find out how you can be part of our Feed Your Beauty Club of women and girls that are confident and beautiful inside and out. We promise- you won't regret it, ladies!

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Meet Michelle Luis, from ELLE Magazine (Design the Life You Love mentor)

 Michelle with a group of My Social Canvas campus reps at our 2016 Design the Life You Love Job Shadow Day. Michelle brought the girls to Elle for a tour and a Q&A on how to design the career they love!

Michelle with a group of My Social Canvas campus reps at our 2016 Design the Life You Love Job Shadow Day. Michelle brought the girls to Elle for a tour and a Q&A on how to design the career they love!

Michelle Luis is one of our Design the Life You Love role models! Michelle works at ELLE Magazine as the Ad Services and Operations Manager. We love how Michelle manages to pursue her dreams while investing in and supporting the dreams of others, and she’s already accomplished so much at just 30 years old! Over the last few years, Michelle has become one of our most inspiring supporters. On several occasions, she hosted our campus community at Elle for our Design the Life You Love job shadow days, giving the students behind the scenes tours of the office as well as career advice and guidance to help them design the career they love! Michelle also participated in our Design the Life You Love Leadership Summit last fall and our #DesignHackathon where we invited fashion students and computer science students to design iPhone cases that will help girls learn how to code. What a rockstar she is, we are so thankful for her support!

Keep reading to hear more about the people that inspire her, how she heard about MSC, and her favorite dance party song!

1. What’s something you do to design a life you love every day?

I keep in touch with people, like friends from different points of my life and plan outings with them as often as possible. I understand that people are busy, but it is important to stop and “smell the roses,” you know? I love finding the time to hang out with my friends and family. From grabbing a coffee, wandering Bloomingdale’s on a Saturday morning, or trying out a new restaurant. Sharing moments and interacting with others is what makes me the happiest and makes me realize that life is a beautiful journey that goes by way too fast! You have to savor every moment.

2. We know you love to give back (and one non-profit you support is Charity: Water). Why are you passionate about supporting their work?

I LOVE Charity: Water. I cannot stop talking about it – that’s how Lisa and I actually met. I am passionate about nonprofit and volunteer work because I feel like I want and need to give back. Charity: Water’s mission is a simple one – to provide clean water to those who don’t have access to it. I love to share their mission to anyone who will listen, it’s a reachable goal if we donate and all of our proceeds go to their water projects. I volunteer through Catholic Charities in NYC as well, their Feed the Homeless Run is such a great way to give back and realize how fortunate one really is. I consider myself a conscious consumer, I love when I purchase products that help others in need. In addition to My Social Canvas and your Design for Her Edu collection of tees and products that support education for girls, I am also a huge fan of TOMS. I also love to rock my LOKAI bracelets every day! 

3. What’s your favorite part about working at Elle Magazine?

I have been at ELLE Magazine for 3 and a half years and my favorite part of the job is the team! Everyone here is hard-working and respectful. I know this is cheesy to say, but I think I found my place. I feel appreciated here and that is what I sought out for in the workplace. The ELLE Tribe, as we like to call ourselves, is made up of smart, motivated and fun people – who wouldn’t want to work with and for people like that? Besides, the brand is amazing and resonates with me.

4. What made you want to host our My Social Canvas Job Shadow Day?

This answer is a blend of my answers from the above questions. I met Lisa while volunteering with Charity: Water, and we got to a lovely conversation about what we do and how we love the brand’s mission as well as our belief in giving back. She explained what My Social Canvas was about and I immediately thought about hosting some of the girls. “Why not?” is the first thing that pops into my head when a new opportunity pops up in my life. I figured that the girls who were part of My Social Canvas were going to inspire me and I hoped to do the same to them. It was a quiet Summer Friday afternoon in the office, but the questions were spot on and I was very proud to show them the Hearst Tower and the ELLE offices. Growing up has its perks, but I told them to enjoy every moment of high school and college because it goes by way too fast.

5. Favorite inspirational quote?

This is such a good question, I have a whole notes section on my phone dedicated to inspirational quotes. The most recent quote that I love is “Who decides what a meaningful life is?” I think this quote asks a very important question and can be answered in so many ways, depending on the person. Another phenomenal mantra of mine is: "Play with the world!"

6. How do you recharge?

I love to travel and try new things. When I buy a plane ticket to somewhere new, something happens to my mood – I can’t help it, I get so excited and happy! When I am away from my every day, I can’t help but feel relaxed and appreciative of the moment as well as my amazing life. I think having a great life takes work: it’s not easy, but it’s so worth it! Travel brings me this sense of freedom that I love to embrace and have fun with while I am out on adventures with my family, friends, and even on my own!

7. MSC is a big fan of the #OfficeDanceParty. What’s your favorite dance party song?

Too long of a list! My current obsession is Danza Kudoru – I absolutely love this song and it just makes me so happy. I will never forget when I played it constantly on my most recent trip to Brazil! This song brings the biggest smile to my face, and I immediately want to dance and sing (anyone who knows me, knows I shouldn’t sing with the voice I have).

8. Who do you consider your role model?

100% my mom, or as I like to call her, my "mommadukes Bels"– is that even a question? She is the ultimate woman—a fantastic role model! She is so funny and doesn’t even know it. She is so strong and has an unbelievable work ethic. She and my dad taught my brother and me the importance of family and that lesson is one that I will carry with me my whole life. She has always has given me solid advice and still loves me when I don’t take it, but as I get older, I do follow it and appreciate it so much because she really only wants the best life for me. She is my biggest supporter and I am her biggest fan—it works out for both of us. Her cheesy texts, emails, and Facebook messages keep me going. Okay, I need to stop, or I can write a whole essay on how amazing she is and how everyone who knows her and has her in their life is better off for it!

9. Could you share a project that you have been involved in at Elle that has made you most proud?

I get excited about working on our big annual issues – March & September! The whole team has this revived energy when these two issues come up. It is crazy to be part of such big projects! It really is “all hands on deck” type of feeling in the office. Everyone is working so hard, so fast! Hitting our goal in these big issues takes a village and when it’s all said and done, it feels really GOOD!

Michelle has been a huge inspiration, and we loved getting to hear from her. Thanks, Michelle, you are such a positive and fun influence on all of us here at MSC!

 

Haile (our Feed Your Beauty partner) is a CNN Heroes Young Wonder!

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We are so proud to announce that our Feed Your Beauty partner Haile Thomas has been selected as a CNN Heroes Young Wonder for 2017! Haile is a true inspiration and change maker. At just 17, Haile has already shown us and the My Social Canvas campus community that you're never too young to dream big and design the life and career you love. Hear her story on CNN on December 15th at 10 ppm EST. 

To read about our collaboration with Haile, visit our Feed Your Beauty page to hear about our work inspiring women and girls of all ages to eat healthy and make positive lifestyle choices. 

Also, don't forget to check out Haile's non-profit HAPPY! 

 

INTRODUCING: The Confidence is Beautiful Collection by Elizabeth French

 This is Elizabeth French, the designer behind MSC's Confidence is Beautiful design created for The Female Quotient! 

This is Elizabeth French, the designer behind MSC's Confidence is Beautiful design created for The Female Quotient! 

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My Social Canvas recently launched a new design "Confidence is Beautiful" for The Female Quotient. The design was created by MSC College Designer Elizabeth French, a student at Chapman University!

Elizabeth is incredibly talented in all areas of art, photography, and design. When asked about her work at MSC and her inspiration for the design, Elizabeth told us,

“My design was created to reflect boldness and elegance, while still having a touch of chic.  I love MSC because they have given me the opportunity to design with purpose and to work on projects that I believe in. I got involved with MSC by being a campus rep at Chapman University, and also from a close friend who has worked on many MSC projects.”

MSC believes that when you are confident in yourself and follow your passions wholeheartedly, you are the most beautiful version of yourself! We have already seen some incredible women sporting the tees and spreading the message. 

The Confidence is Beautiful collection is being sold through The Female Quotient, a company founded by Shelley Zalis in 2013. 

The Female Quotient (TFQ) STORY:

TFQ went from a moment to a movement. The Girls’ Lounge was born after founder Shelley Zalis experienced the power of the pack in 2013. Zalis invited some girlfriends to join her at the male-dominated Consumer Electronics Show, and told them to invite their friends.

About 50 women ended up walking the floor together. It was a “heartbeat moment” where the minority felt like the majority.

What started as an informal female gathering has turned into a movement that emphasizes collaboration and mentorship to activate real change.

In addition to the Girls’ Lounge, The Female Quotient also offers research and strategy solutions for forward-thinking corporations to give companies and leaders the tools they need to design the culture they want.

TFQ's mission is to advance gender equality in the workplace. When you put women in any equation, the equation gets better.

Learn more about TFQ's CEO Shelley Zalis!
 
Shelley Zalis is one of the most well-known thought leaders for advancing equality in the workplace. As the first female chief executive ranked in the research industry’s top 25, she changed the game, brought emotion and passion to the boardroom and has devoted herself to becoming a mentor and friend to women and leaders in her industry.

Today, through the Female Quotient, Zalis is sharing her mentorship and amplifying her message of equality to business women and entrepreneurs across many industries and levels.

She is a sought-after speaker, talking at prominent events such as The Wrap’s Power Women Breakfast. Zalis authors a Forbes column that provides inspiration and advice for women in middle management (“the messy middle”) who are looking to rise up into leadership positions.

 

From the Desk of Elle, a MSC Campus Rep

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Hello beautiful ladies! 

My name is Elle Coffman. I'm a senior in high school from Ohio and the creator of ELLE BRAND. This is a feminine and chic clothing line that supports women and girls to design a life they love! My mom and I have a store front in our small town called Rust Decor filled with her repurposed furniture and my clothing line. When I created this line, I wanted to provide clothing that was affordable, good quality, and fashionable for my community. Not only that, but I was praying for an opportunity to give back to something that I loved. Right away, My Social Canvas (MSC) came to my mind. 

I have been a campus rep for MSC for 5 years and have had a lot of opportunities and positive experiences. I have been able to get involved in design campaigns that educate girls like me, inspirational social media campaigns to raise awareness for the cause, and I had the pleasure of meeting MSC's Founder Lisa Mayer in New York!

I love everything that MSC stands for and the opportunities we provide for girls to see how to be an amazing business woman first hand. This company has inspired me to help motivate the women in my community everyday.  I am so excited to carry a line of My Social Canvas t-shirts and the new Design the Life You Love subscription box filled with inspirational goodies along with my own line. I can't wait to see the impact they have on my customers! Also, 10% of my proceeds from ELLE BRAND will be donated to MSC's non-profit Design the Life You Love and will be used to help provide scholarships for girls across the country.

I truly believe My Social Canvas and Design the Life You Love will help change the world, but they can't do it without you! Join the MSC campus community and be part of the movement! 

xo,

ELLE

MSC Campus Rep & creator of ELLE BRAND

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