On March 28th, we took over The Broadview Hotel and had our official launch party – a sold-out event in support of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. The classic exposed brick and warmly lit chandeliers set the stage for what was an elegant evening with financial confidence on everyone’s mind. Prosecco flowed into crystal-clear champagne flutes and exquisite blush and lavender macarons (inspired by our Stnce colour palette!) made their rounds. We were ready to open the conversation.
On this landmark night, our ambassadors shared their personal finance journeys in a way that invigorated the full house, bringing light to discussions around money and self-care. With Michele Romanow (Dragons’ Den) as our Spotlight Speaker, a discussion with Rubina Ahmed-Haq (Always Save Money) and Kristen Wood (The Ten Spot), and appearances by Jessica Moorhouse (Mo’ Money) and Desirae Odjick (Half Banked), there was no shortage of advice and inspiration on establishing and achieving personal finance goals.
The candid and refreshing discussions of the night were fuelled by the opening remarks of Stnce founder, Kim Kukulowicz (Senior Vice President, Marketing & Residential Sales), who had this to say about finance and confidence:
“Early on in the development of this initiative, we realized financial literacy isn’t the thing that’s holding women back, it’s confidence. Many aren’t assured in their abilities, skills, and knowledge to take ownership of their personal finances. Stepping out of their comfort zone isn’t something that comes easily nor is it overtly supported in the digital landscape. We need to be better at being comfortable being uncomfortable.
For me, it feels very similar to public speaking. I used to absolutely avoid it. . . I just did not have the confidence. One day, my best friend asked me if I could speak on her behalf. She wasn’t confident to get up and speak frankly, and of course neither was I, but I didn’t want to let her down. So, I took a deep breath, got up, and spoke to what I thought was a crowd of 50. It turned out to be 600. After that, I became more and more comfortable getting up on stage. And that’s what changed everything.”
Her story kicked off a candid panel discussion on financial insecurities to help break the taboo of women talking about money. From first jobs and entrepreneurship hurdles, to the learning curve of retirement planning, the open dialogue was an added spark in a night already rich in positive energy.
When Michele Romanow took the stage as our Spotlight Speaker to share her experiences on her path to success, fellow Stnce supporters found themselves in awe of her impressive resume, while relating to the challenges she’d faced along the way. As an engineer and successful entrepreneur who had started three companies before her 28th birthday, it was only fitting that Michele would take on the role of a “Dragon” on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den. While her first three companies were unable to withstand the financial crisis, her industry knowledge and subsequent successes are a testament to her commitment, and an inspiration for anyone with a dream.
Following the captivating personal stories, the crowd migrated to the rooftop bar where, with cocktails in hand, a meet and greet and networking session capped off a stirring night against the glittering Toronto skyline.
We’d like to thank all of our ambassadors for making our first event such a success! This is only the beginning for Stnce and we’re proud to build an appetite for finance, together. If you missed this one, take a deep breath and go to your happy place – we’ve got more events in the works. In the meantime, check out our photo gallery and highlight video.
Our commitment to encouraging women to invest in themselves on a personal and professional level doesn’t stop here —whether it’s becoming more money-conscious, increasing financial knowledge or growing more confident, we’re here to stay.
Stay tuned for new Stnce collaborations, partnerships and events to come. Join Stnce, sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media to be the first to know how we’re making financial ownership approachable.