Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Keisha Pinto: Canadian Small Business Woman of the Month of April


Keisha Pinto, Owner/Event Planner-Stylist-Coordinator of Ki-Events, a full-service event planning boutique specializing in lifestyle events.  Since the launch of her business in September 2014, Keisha has been building her network and business by connecting with the most influential, established and game changing individuals in Toronto. Keisha keeps on top of the trends to plan, style and coordinate breath-taking signature looks that wow her client’s expectations every time!   Keisha Plans and styles each one of her events from conception to execution without missing any of the fine details.  Growing up Keisha has always been a very coordinated person, with a keen eye for details…”everything had to match”.  Her passion for event planning ignited once she entered into the corporate field in 2001. She became more involved in the planning and execution of the social and networking events for her organization, which really sparked her interest even more. To educate herself in becoming a certified Event Planner, Keisha enrolled part-time at George Brown College in Toronto where she completed the Event Meeting and Management Program. During the course of the program, Keisha received extensive training, teachings and gained experience from some of Toronto’s best special events, meeting and conference planners.  Keisha’s passion for event planning is evident in every event she creates.  


You can find and view her work at www.kievents.ca  You can also find Ki-Events on the following social media handles:

Instagram: kievents

Twitter: @_ki_events

Facebook: KeishaPinto kievents.

Pinterest: kievents


Our ! & A with Keisha

 *What inspires you?
I love what I do!  My passion for Event Planning inspires me..it is that simple!  Every event is different and brings a different type of inspiration, my passion for loving what I do is evident in every event I create.

*As a small business owner, what achievements make you most proud?
As a small business owner, the achievements that makes me the most proud is that I am able to balance life, being a mother , supportive partner and small business owner while holding down a 9-5, this makes me the most proud, knowing that with all that life throws at you I am still standing  and standing strong.  As we all know life can get crazy and they are days when you want to throw in the towel…and then you are reminded of your whys and the passion that you have for loving what you do.

 *What advice would you give to other aspiring small business owners?
My advice to aspiring small business owners is to know yourself and know your worth.  Do not ever sell yourself short for anyone.  One of the worst things an aspiring business owner can do is compromise themselves and don’t  stand up for what they believe in.

*What new things can we look forward to from your business in the upcoming year?
2015 Ki-Events will be expanding the business and brand…not only by supporting other businesses and events, but we are offering new services and products, aside from planning-coordinating  & styling of events.  We are now offering products such paper flowers, which is trending this year, customize Sweet Tables/Candy Buffet packages.  Ki-Events is also going be adding a new extension to the brand “Ki-Notes” offering writing of sponsorship request letters, vendor request, events/wedding itineraries,  programs/agendas, bios, resumes and social media postings. Most importantly Ki-Events has collaborated with two other amazingly  talented wedding/event planners in Toronto Cassandra Scully, owner of Creative Elegance and Antoinette Dumuje, Owner of Heavenz Decor Inc. together we are CAKEvents, an organization formed to give back to the community, youths and brides on a budget, one event at a time. Look out for us!


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Is it still a man’s world?


I watched Get on Up, the movie based on James Brown’s a few months ago.  As I watched him sing This is a Man’s World it made me wonder if this is still the truth, especially after recently celebrating International Women’s Day.  Of course, the song continues that the world would be nothing without a woman or a girl, but it still begs the question, are men still the one’s in control?

I think we are seeing a shift that may change the way James Brown would see the world today if he were still alive.  While we still aren’t seeing enough women in the boardrooms of the corporate world, I see a lot more of us deciding to leave the corporate culture altogether and do their own thing.  I’m not going to quote statistics here, but I’m pretty sure that the numbers of women starting their own businesses are on the rise.

When I go to networking events, I see more and more women out there promoting businesses that they are passionate about.  Whether they are doing direct sales or starting a business from the ground up, more and more women are realizing that the usual 9-5 isn’t going to give them the lifestyle that they want.  We all want more freedom, more time to do the things that are important to us, while earning an income that allows us to do it comfortably.

While many still consider becoming an entrepreneur to be a risky endeavor, it is also one of the most gratifying.  What is so great about the abundance of women entering the world of entrepreneurship is that you don’t have to look very hard to find support and encouragement along the way.  There are a lot of women out there who are trying to change the way we do business.  No one is denying the importance of being mindful of your bottom line at all times, but there is more to business than making a profit.  It’s about fostering long-term relationships and coming from a place of service rather than focusing solely on the sale.

I’m curious to see where the next 10 years will take us.  Will the number of female entrepreneurs continue to increase, or will we see a plateau?  Personally, I believe that as more women become entrepreneurs and achieve success, they will inspire more of us to do the same.  I think it’s up to us as existing business owners to support and encourage those who are considering entering the world of entrepreneurship.

I believe the most important thing is to be honest about the journey.  Don’t sugar coat it and paint this idealistic view of what it means to leave your full-time job and do your own thing.  This isn’t to scare anyone off, but to give them a realistic view of what’s in store.  The saying that it takes 10 years to become an overnight success isn’t an overused cliché, but the truth!

It might still be a man’s world today, but I don’t think that it will stay that way for long.  Women are taking control of their lives and their futures.  We no longer want to be bound by the limitations of a typical corporate job.  We want more, and we want to do it on our own terms.  Scary? Definitely!  Worth taking the risk? Absolutely!

Sandra Dawes is a certified life coach specializing in helping women who feel unfulfilled with their 9-5 follow their dreams and pursue their passions. She holds an Honours BA, an MBA as well as a certificate in Dispute Resolution.She has completed her first book,Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve!

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Personal Business Planning

Tamara 14 (1)

When you hear the term ‘Business Plan’, you may immediately picture the intense moment of pitching an idea to an investor, hoping to secure some funding for your growing business. In this moment, the investors are going to want to see all of your numbers; sales, equity offer, profit margins etc. All of which would be in a professionally presented ‘Business Plan’. What I am introducing here is a different kind of business planning that is created for you, by you. A Personal Business Plan.

Why, (you may be wondering) do you need a ‘Personal’ Business plan? I propose that writing a vision for your business beyond a mission statement (as well as creating a system to work though strategies for growth), will help keep you aligned to your ‘big’ picture of your business and it’s potential future. Whether you will need partners in the future – planning your business with a personal approach can help you reach those goals by laying a foundation that is specifically aligned to your skills, abilities and personal preferences in business (Note: this isn’t the plan that you would share with the bank. This one is just for you).

A ‘Personal Business Plan’ (from my perspective) still dives into the nuts and bolts of business. Covering all of the basics from defining your customer avatar to building a brand to planning a promotion. The difference is that the plans you make relate to who you are as a person and what you want for your future. Here is what I mean:

Within ‘Personal Business Plans’, I encourage you to ask yourself questions that only you can answer; instead of thinking about what someone else may think is ‘right’. These questions will help you identify the lifestyle and purpose around your business, which will inevitably increase personal satisfaction and intrinsic motivation in the long run. Using ‘Defining Customer Avatar’ as an example. Instead of just asking: ‘Who has the most money to spend in this category?’ (Which I still think you need to ask), I suggest thinking about how you personally relate and whom you want to work with. For example: If part of your life experience has included raising children in a rural community with no access to recreation programs – you would probably understand that particular population on a level that cannot be identified on paper. Lifestyle wise, if you are in a season of your life where you want to be traveling, this is where you would ask yourself ‘Will my ideal client/avatar be interested in attending VIP event across the country?’ .If they aren’t – are you willing to sacrifice that need of yours? Or do you need too? Only you know.

Asking questions is part of the process; the other aspect of Personal Business Planning is to reference your future vision with daily choices. When you craft your plans in a way that includes your ultimate goals it can steer you in a direction that you are going to be happy with in the long run. An investor may not know that you see yourself living in on a beach in Hawaii or helping to raise your grandchildren in how ever many years.

Personal Business Planning is a strategy that I have seen many successful female entrepreneurs embrace and I encourage you to try it out and see if it can guide you to the next stage of your growing business.

Tamara is the owner and designer at ‘Your Pretty Pages’ where she provides templates, planners, guides and resources for creative entrepreneurs to get and stay organized. To support your successful personal business planning, Tamara has just released two savings bundles of templates in her shop found here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/yourprettypages

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