As a group of women working towards common goals for STYLE Canada‘s brand and business, we understand the value of peer support in the workplace. So, after our last Supper Club at Soho House, we decided to bring like-minded women in business together and feature them in an ongoing series: #LeadingLadies. Here’s hoping that we’ll see you at our next Supper Club. Keep your eyes peeled on our events page for more details.
Nancy Meyah – Blogger, Educator, And Beauty Connoisseur
SC: What led you to pursue your career?
NM: When I was 21 or 22-years-old, I read a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. In the book, Gretchen spoke about how on the outside, she looked like she had the perfect life; a husband and two beautiful children. To society she had it all – what woman wouldn’t want kids and be married? But, she soon realized that she never got the chance to follow her dreams and live her life.
Somewhere along the way, we are taught to be content with the role of a wife and mother. The stand she took really pushed her down the path of creating her own form of happiness. That really inspired me. After reading the book, I was inspired to create my own path and form my own happiness. I started The Selfish Column as a stand to take back the word selfish. It’s healthy to have boundaries and enjoy your own company, and its ok to be a woman and also follow your dream career path without feeling less of a mother, wife, friend or daughter.
SC: What has your career path looked like?
NM: My career in the digital world hasn’t been easy, and sometimes I ask myself: am I doing enough? Am I putting everything I can into it? Am I still authentic to what I wanted to be? It has its challenges as well as its rewards. When I started this, I knew it wasn’t going to be an overnight success, especially if you want to be authentic to your journey. The real truth is, it’s a labor of love that requires sacrifices, support, time, and dedication.
SC: What is The Selfish Column?
NM: The Selfish Column is a place where you can celebrate you without apologizing. A place to take the word ‘selfish’ back without feeling guilt. I want visitors of The Selfish Column to leave knowing that they can change their lives and celebrate and root for themselves just as much as we look for others to root for us. As a woman, it’s important to share that we are not one-dimensional. The stigma that a woman has to be either attractive or intelligent, but can’t be both needs to stop. We can kick ass in the board room and still apply that red lipstick without missing a beat.
SC: How does it aim to help women acknowledge and detach from the stigma surrounding the ‘survival tools’ you talk about? For example: Shoppers’ beauty products versus Armani foundation.
NM: In regards to showcasing my love for Shoppers beauty products versus high end, brand name products such as Armani, it’s important for the everyday woman who is working a nine to five, paying bills, saving money, and building a budget to know that the drugstore has quality products that fit the budget.
As a society, we tend to look at labels as a form of status. As someone that talks about being the everyday girl, I have to be honest about the things I buy and use on a daily basis. There are more women looking for better ways to save money and get ahead in life without missing out on quality. The ‘surviving adulting’ tool on the website was created for all those adjusting to adulthood, and I share tips on how to navigate through it. Topics range from how to save money, make meals when living on your own, and how to kill it in your first interview.
If I’m being honest, I would love to see more drug stores cover deeper ranges of foundation for Black Canadian woman. I often go for brand names out of necessity and would love to be able to share affordable colour ranges with young women in school, starting their careers.
SC: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?
NM: The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to have patience. Don’t take it personal when those close to you don’t show you support right away.
SC: What obstacles have you overcome to get to where you are today?
NM: Being financially stable enough to have the time to dedicate to my craft has been difficult.
SC: What’s your biggest strength?
NM: My passion for learning.
SC: What’s your biggest weakness?
NM: The fear of reaching out and asking for support.
SC: How would your friends describe you?
NM: I think funny and caring.
SC: How would your colleagues describe you?
NM: Passionate, fair, and hard working.
SC: If you have one goal for The Selfish Column and one goal for yourself, what are they?
NM: This is a tough question, because I believe I have so many goals for The Selfish column. But the long-term goal is to one day write a self-help book, where all aspects of being a woman are addressed and empowered.
My goal for myself is to leave this world knowing that I put back into it as much as took from it.
SC: What are some personal career/The Selfish Column milestones you’re proud of?
NM: The first time I attended an event and saw The Selfish Column written on the invitation list really gave me proud.
SC: What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
NM: I would tell that girl to pipe down and enjoy the ride. Stop being in a rush and work on your patience. Take that writing course you’ve been talking about.
SC: From one Black female entrepreneur and thought leader to another, what message would you like to send them at this time? Whether it be of hopefulness of what’s to come, support on how to get through these trivial and emotional trying times, or encouragement to keep pushing to make your presence known and voice heard?
NM: This is a really good question. The first thing I would say is that there is room for all of us. Start that blog, write that book, open that YouTube account. Whatever it is you want to do, there is room and your voice matters.
I used to feel that the beauty world was saturated, or the blogging world was taken over, but the truth is that there’s always room for difference voices. Creativity doesn’t have a quota.
It is not easy to be a black woman in many industries, let alone in digital content creating. It is important to stay true to who you are, take a break when its needed, but whatever you do, never stop fighting for your voice and the voice of others watching you.