International Women’s Day is just around the corner, and I have the privilege of working with so many incredible women entrepreneurs that I thought it was the perfect time to celebrate their impressive achievements!
You may have seen their products and services showcased at Vancouver’s Healthy Family Expo, but you may not know the amazing BC businesswomen who created and developed their companies to the the level of success they are enjoying today. Are you ready to be inspired?
Melanie Levenberg is the Founder & CEO of PL3Y Inc. - the world’s leading provider of pre-packaged kids fitness, dance and yoga programs. which are taught in schools and communities worldwide to help kids get active and boost mental health. PL3Y Inc. provides opportunities for passionate local entrepreneurs to launch their own business as the exclusive providers of their award-winning in-school workshops and after-school, extra-curricular recreation programs for children and families.
Melanie has recently been named as one of the 26 Canadian finalists for Mompreneur Awards!
Justine Levenberg’s mission is to introduce children to sports and physical activity at an early age in a non-competitive, positive environment, inspiring them to live a healthy active life. She does this as the owner of Sportball Vancouver, which boasts over 10,000 families served in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland each year! Sportball offers multi-sport as well as sport-specific programs, after-school programs, summer camps, parent and tot programs, birthday parties, and special events. Justine was also recently named as a finalist for the Canadian Mompreneur Awards!
Mother and PhD Denise Gassner is the Founder of There’s a Monster in My Closet Inc. - a one-stop-shop for all things sleep related. The research. The strategies. The products! MIMC is designed to deconstruct and demystify the science of sleep to give you the knowledge and the tools so your entire household can rest easier. There is no magic solution that will get your little one to lie down on their own, close their eyes, and fall swiftly into dreamland. But like all behaviours, sleep is a habit that can be molded. In recognizing our own behaviours as being intricately connected with those of our child’s, we may begin to uncover a smoother parent-child sleep relationship.
Cathline James is a woman on a mission. As the Founder and CEO of Wise Bites Collections Inc., Cathline believes that manufacturers and retailers have a role in making healthy food options readily accessible. She had a passion was there to see if she could make healthier snacks with increased protein, fibre, and minerals, while at the same time reducing sugar, fat and sodium. Wise Bites line of non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free nut-free, and Kosher cookies, muffins and cookie bars are also free from the top 11 allergens.They have won the Top 10 Innovative products at Grocery Show Case West in 2013 and BC Processors award for ‘Rising Star’ in the industry in 2016.
Tara Bosch is the CEO & Founder of SmartSweets, a candy that helps you #KickSugar! The Non-GMO, gluten -free, nut-free, carrageenan-free treats have no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners or colours. They also have a ton of plant-based fibre, and some of their recipes are vegan! SmartSweets have, and their Founder Tara have been awarded as BC Business' Entrepreneur of the Year, KPMG Future Leaders 2019, Inc. Magazine's Rising Stars, winner of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs Pitch for the Purse, Growth & Expansion award from BMO Celebrating Women, BC Business Top 30 Under 30 2017, and more!
As the President of FreeYumm Foods Ltd., Sarah Clarke's business was born when she discovered her young son's health issues stemmed from a long list of food sensitivities. This inspired her to create a line of bars, cookies, and bites that are free of the top 9 allergens including dairy, eggs, nuts, gluten, soy, fish, sesame and more! All of the yummy ingredients the do include are certified non-GMO and kosher, while many of their products are also vegan. They were named the Best New Product of the Year by the BC Food Processors Association's in 2015.
Scarlet Kux-Kardos is the Founder and Designer of Zapped Outfitters, a line of high visibility reflective street-wear clothing disguised as rad everyday essentials for school aged kids. Using a custom-made durable reflective fabric, kids can play hard AND be seen. Their stylish, uni-sex lineup of high visibility kids clothing includes a ball cap, jacket, backpack, slip-on sneakers and fleece-lined high top shoes, illuminating your kids from head-to-toe while still blending in as active urban gear. Scarlet's goal is to add more light and lightness to the world, in small and big ways.
Sarah Wall is the Owner of GnuSante Creations Inc., a line of nutritional drinks that were created for the express purpose of delivering honest, comprehensive and nutritional benefits. Kids can enjoy Gnubees - a healthy drink with no processed sugars, artificial or genetically modified ingredients, but five grams of fibre, seven grams of protein and 15 per cent of recommended daily amounts of 26 vitamins and minerals in each 296 ml pouch. Adults aren't left out either; GnuFUEL is a Cold brew coffee with 10g protein and 5g fibre. Cheers!
Katy Cadman is a North Vancouver mom of 3 who sure means business when it comes to building community and connection through music. Not only is she a dedicated high school music teacher with a Masters in Education and a talented member of Sweet Scarlet, a self-directed, all-female, a cappella ensemble from Vancouver - she's also the founder and artistic director of MomChoir. This choir made up of 60+ North Shore moms meets every week to connect, sing, perform and build a sense of community. They won the People's Choice Award at Yuel Duel 2018 and recently performed their popular It Takes A Village concert for a second time - a show where parenthood, post-partum and pre-partum are shared through music & story-telling.
Angela Santoro is the Co-Founder of Healthy Family Media, a creative marketing agency for conscious businesses. They connect parents, businesses, and influencers focused on healthy eating, wellness and sustainability through the Healthy Family Expo annual consumer trade show, Healthy Family Living online magazine, and strategic marketing services. Angela and her team leave no rock unturned when brainstorming the best way to make a business shine.
Kay Protheroe is the Co-Founder of Vancouver's Healthy Family Expo; Canada's largest food and health event for families! It brings together 200+ exhibitors and over 15,000 attendees for a weekend of healthy food sampling & endless family fun! Now in its 7th year, the Expo started in a small ballroom in North Vancouver, growing to take over the entire Vancouver Convention Centre East - under the sails. She is passionate about producing a top quality event that nurtures close interactions between families & organizations that are committed to creating a better future for our children.
Heather is a Toronto born mama of two whose parenting journey has taken her family coast to coast across Canada. When she’s not whipping up recipes for the Healthy Family Living website or sharing the latest fun Vancouver events on HFL’s Facebook page, she’s a freelance writer that has recently been published in an anthology entitled BIG, as well as in the Huffington Post, as she and her hubby of 13 years attempt to keep up with their two spirited girls and 3 fur babies!