Mentor Night in Toronto July 15th 2012.
On Monday I was very fortunate as to meet this four women, who through their lives have experienced many things, such as rejection, eating disorders, stress, and finally success. It took them a few tries to get to the place that they are today, but they persevered and are now very happy with their lives. I am very glad that they accepted the invitation to talk with us about their experiences, it is a brave thing to do, and I applaud them for their courage.
The first wonderful lady to speak was Melani Chong:
Melani Chong has been in fashion and beauty for over 15 years, a Canadian Ford Model and a mom of two children. Melani has now developed a personalized skin care line called Soya Boutique. These organic products are a natural skin care collection, and useful for the whole family!
Melani was always an athlete in school, she loved sports, but she also had the same feelings for shopping and makeup. When an injury hurt her chances of playing sports as a career at age 17, her dad starting telling her about a Ford Super Model Search, and Melani was surprised. She laughed, because she never imagined herself doing something like that, she was a sporty girl! One day, Melani’s dad asked her if she wanted to go to the mall, and she was surprised by that too, but she went along with it. She should have seen it coming, because before she knew it, her dad was saying: “Oh look Melani, is that the Ford Super Model Contest?!”
She decided to go check it out, and she thought the process would be long and complicated. She was taken aback when all she was asked of was a quick snapshot! Melani was not expecting anything to happen after this, but sure enough 2 weeks later she received a phone call telling her that they want her!
After that, Melani had many meetings, interviews, and photo shoots, and ended up signing with Ford! One day it clicked in her mind, she was working with some of the best, she was the face of MAC. But something kept telling Melani that she could do much more. She started her modelling career, and she also tried hairstyling, and being a makeup artist. Melani had a lot of great opportunities, she learned her challenges, and her strengths. She worked as a stylist, makeup artist, and still wasn’t quite satisfied.
When Melani was pregnant with her 1st son, she realized that she would not be able to model after this. Which is how she came to create Soya Boutique. One of Melani’s favourite sayings is, “Passion leads to drive, Drive leads to core Actions“.
Katrina Hadden is a health and wellness specialist, size 12 model, life coach, motivational speaker and the author of the best-selling self-help book, Making It In High Heels.
Known for her positive energy and contagious smile, she helps her clients get better focused to achieve their goals and dreams . Katrina Hadden Life Coaching for Athletes has been a life coach for over eight years, specializing in Stress Management, Personal Development, Work-Life Balance and Health and Wellness.
Katrina was always the ‘Tall Girl’ growing up, and she was frequently called harsh names. She tried to ignore them, but it was so hard. “Why?” She would often ask herself. Katrina mostly kept her mind off things by playing sports. She was a competitive basketball player, and a great shooter. Her dream, was making the WMBA. Katrina trained hard, like all athletes do, but unfortunately Katrina was injured and she could no longer pursue her dream.
Katrina realized that she needed to create a new dream for herself. That’s where modeling came in. The problem was, Katrina was a size 12, and she didn’t fall into a category. She knew that if she tried to lose weight, it could turn into an eating disorder. So she took a leap of faith, and moved from Ottawa from Toronto! Katrina also changed agencies. She was now with Ben Barrie, an agency that looked at different; different heights, shapes, nationalities etc.
From their, Katrina had opportunities for commercials, tv and more. 2 years ago, Katrina was given a size 12 gown by a designer, and was asked to wear it in Fashion Week, to represent a different type of figure. When Katrina walked out onto the stage; the crowd started clapping loudly!
A quote that Katrina favours is: “Don’t Quit” – Jill Wolf
Alexandra has just published her second motivational book, Breaking Through My Limits: An Olympian Uncovered.
To be an Olympian; this was Alexandra’s childhood dream. Gymnastics was her life; and by 2003 she was trained, and ready at age 15. Alexandra had never experienced defeat, and she told us that she was very cocky! So when she went to the qualifying event for the Olympics, she wasn’t hoping to get in; she was expecting it. Unfortunately, Alexandra missed qualifying by .1 . This sent Alexandra into a state.
Alexandra started to realizes that winning isn’t everything, it’s about the journey to get there. She told us to thank the people in our lives.
“You have your whole life to fall, and pick yourself up again”
Dr. Natalie Archer is a dynamic Toronto dentist who began her dental career in 2001.
She has managed to have a career and a family while building a career as a hospital dentist. Natalie is passionate about giving back and delivering results to her community; she is dedicated to helping her profession. First and foremost, she simply loves being a dentist and it shows!
Natalie started by telling us that she loved the MTC-W mission statement; Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful. Natalie wants us to keep our opportunities open, and that education is the biggest thing at our age. You can never take away your education. Natalie told us to build our ‘webs’, because we never know where we might catch the fly! The key to success is hard planning, Natalie said, and I couldn’t agree more!