FASHION x TikTok International Women’s Day Panel


Including how to carve out time for yourself when you run your own business and how to find community on TikTok.

Ever wonder what it takes to be an entrepreneur *and* thrive on a rapidly growing platform like TikTok? On March 4, FASHION sat down (virtually, of course) with a panel of inspiring Canadian TikTok creators and entrepreneurs to discuss just that.

In honour of International Women’s Day, host Jennifer Berry, FASHION’s digital director, asked these Canadian small business owners about what it means to be a woman entrepreneur in 2021, how the pandemic has changed things for each of them, how they approach content creation on TikTok and how they’ve found — and fostered — community on the platform.

“Pivot” was no doubt the word of the evening, with all of the panelists talking about the changes they made to their business strategies, work habits, and work-life balance during the pandemic. One such pandemic pivot for many of these Canadian entrepreneurs was to explore new ways of reaching their communities — like on TikTok. “With TikTok, I started it off as an experiment because I thought it was something just for kids,” said Eden Hagos, the founder of BLACK FOODIE, with a laugh. “But then I ended up reaching hundreds of thousands of people and telling cool stories around my cultural foods and that’s what really woke me up to this platform.”

The pursuit of work-life balance during these unprecedented times was a broad topic of discussion, with many of the panelists offering helpful insight into how they manage their super-packed schedules. “I always tell people that I’m straight-up winging it all the time,” said Suna Saleh, cofounder of Lala Hijabs. “But at the same time I feel like it’s organized chaos. For us, we have two kids, we home school them. On top of that, we have our business. On top of that, we do YouTube, we do TikTok full time. I feel like now we’ve solidified a schedule of how we do things and every single thing has its own time, so I really live by our calendar,” Saleh explained. That means even scheduling things like snack breaks.

“And then whatever I’m not able to do, I outsource,” Saleh added. Knowing when to relinquish control and delegate tasks was a learning echoed by many of the Canadian entrepreneurs, as was leaning on your family and friends. “It comes down to the support system that you have and trusting the support system,” said Anastassia Boguslavskay, cofounder of Lunata Beauty, of managing being a busy business owner and parent.

So how do these busy entrepreneurs-slash-content creators stand out on TikTok? “My biggest tip is catch them in the first three seconds of your video,” stated Saleh, whose line of custom hijabs was born after a video she and her husband posted went viral on TikTok. Liz Bertorelli, owner of Passionfruit, agreed with Saleh’s advice of “catching them in the first three” and stressed the importance of keeping your content real. “Authenticity goes such a long way,” said Bertorelli.

“Being relatable is also so important,” added Monica Abramov, cofounder of Lunata Beauty, “because the more you relate to a video, the more you’ll share it. So, obviously that will increase your chances of going viral.”

For more amazing insight, watch the full #SheEarnedIt: A Conversation Presented by FASHION x TikTok video below and check fashionmagazine.com regularly for more exciting career content and conversations!





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