Meet Kyla and Jody, the two women behind the fabulous brand of I Like Her Style Vancouver. A unique duo who has 32 years of friendship behind them plus a new company. How new? Well, they launched their first edition of the magazine last month in Blenz Coffee stores and boutiques across the lower mainland. Congratulations are truly in order here as they dreamed up the idea of a magazine in the summer of 2016 and now have seen it come to fruition. In the marketing world, to see a brand grow and materialize in just over a year is quick and no easy feat. How did they do it? Read below on their outlook on their strong partnership and how they've been authentically connecting with business women of the like in Vancouver. These trail blazing women are ones to watch as they make their mark with a brand that inspires and fosters honest relationships.
1. At what point did you both realize “We’re going to launch a magazine!”?
Probably when the delivery truck showed up with 8,000 copies to our door! Lol. The journey has seemed somewhat surreal and there have been a series of moments fine-tuning the plan. Initially, we began talking and dreaming about business ideas over high tea at Fort Langley’s ‘The Little White House’, while celebrating Jody’s birthday together on May 22, 2016. It didn’t take long for the little ‘what if’s’ to turn into ‘how-to’s’… and the business strategy was born over the summer.
2. Before launch, did you ever have moments along the lines of “OMG, what are we doing?!” or, what were the ups and downs as you moved to the finish line?
There have certainly been ebbs and flows and highs and lows…but we believe that they are all part of the journey and what will make our story interesting in the end! We think that the biggest ‘OMG’ comes when we stop to look at how different our lives look today, from where we each were one year ago. Jody was a corporate leader with Guess? Canada living in Calgary, and Kyla (who is self-employed) had taken two years off at home after having her youngest daughter.
The funny thing is, leading up to the launch of our first issue, the ‘OMG’S tended to come more from others responding to our lofty goals and plans. People asked us if were scared, nervous…crazy! Lol. Maybe we are just the latter. But we saw our final vision all along and are happy to have turned those OMG’ers into believers!
3. Starting a business in the print industry is no easy feat! How would you like to make your mark in print?
We don’t think of ourselves as a brand in print. Print is just one of our 4 media platforms (online, social media, YouTube Video, and of course, print.) The concept is really just that: we are multi-tiered. We provide our clients and partners the opportunity to reach a variety of readers with different styles and preferences. Sure, most of our target audience is now finding inspiration digitally, and we are so excited about the possibilities that publishing digitally offers us. The digital side allows us to be creative and post information up-to-the-minute. Video allows us to share our authentic personalities and welcome followers into our friendship. Video advertisers are able to share more depth behind their companies with this platform, too. With all of that said, no matter what your media choice, putting a beautiful, glossy magazine into the hands of our local readers is like literally giving them a gift. Flipping through tangible pages, curling up with a hot tea and the magazine, being able to savour and save the issue is a simple pleasure that will never be lost. It’s been a joy to see the faces of people light up as they are handed their very own copy.
4. You both seem to work really well together, growing up as close friends and now as business partners. Do you have any advice for those who’d like to launch a company as a partnership?
We are unique. It’s definitely not something that we’d recommend to everyone. We consider ourselves to be family or more like sisters. Much of this is due to the sheer length of our friendship. We have 32 years together under our belts, which is a testament to how much we value our friendship and each other. And that’s just it. Ultimately, you have to value the friendship more than you value the business. We know that no matter what comes across the business path, we would never turn our backs on one another. If you’re out there considering a business partnership with a friend, ask yourself, “are you willing to choose this friendship over the business 100% of the time?”
5. You’ve spent a lot of time molding and shaping the brand of your magazine into a beautiful piece. How is it now shaping you both as business women?
Because this is a passion-fueled business and project, we’ve ultimately tried to create a brand where we can enjoy every aspect of the business. We both genuinely enjoy ALL OF IT. But, we are now beginning to be more realistic that we can’t have our hands on absolutely everything. We are exploring ways of being more efficient and have had to say the dreaded ‘no’ word to some of the things that we wish we could do.
On another note, we feel like the magazine has made us more aware of our surroundings here in the Lower Mainland. We are intrigued by the locally-operated businesses and the inspirational events offered here. We are now so much more engaged with the women around us. We have both always been interested in hearing women’s stories… and we are so excited to now have a platform to share with them.
6. You speak to many entrepreneurs who are always trying to balance their personal and work lives. It can be tough! How do you both find balance between social media sharing, work, family and teaching?
For us, we are fortunate that our business includes our passions, hobbies and friendship. Generally, we’re able to check three boxes off each day for balancing those elements! But are we every truly balanced? Nah.
If you want to have balance, get a 9 to 5 job where you’re not expected to be ‘on the clock’ after hours. If you want flexibility, become an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur allows you the flexibility to plan your days and your hours, but just know that your days will never really be in balance. You’ll have days that are energized and fun, and other days that are stressful. You’ll have days where you can take that extra vacation time, and others where you pay for the fact that you took an extra day of vacation!
Overall, you just need to make sure that your own needs are being met, and for that we tend to simply book days for certain things. We have days for family and days for various work tasks. There never seems to be one day where we go to bed feeling satisfied and balanced in all areas, but overall if you feel good about your life … you're on the right track.