Welcome to the Changemaker’s Market presented by BlueShore Financial, a digital community of over 200 movers and makers who have generously donated their goods and services to benefit the BC Women’s Health Foundation.
Each and every item or service has been generously donated by a BC business owned by cis women, trans folks, non-binary folks, and those across the gender spectrum. You can bid on items, with all proceeds benefiting the BC Women’s Health Foundation and our mission of healthy women everywhere, capable of anything.
We asked our Changemakers a few questions, including Shaina Azad (she/her), Founder and CEO of SUVA Beauty. Shaina’s inspiration comes from the vibrance and creativity of the Fiji islands. She grew up in the villages of Fiji and would often visit Suva, the capital city. SUVA Beauty aims to excite and spark good-spirit in every artist or creator, which makes her support of the Changemaker’s Market a perfect match.
Tell me a favourite series or movie that you watched during the pandemic?
One of my favorite shows is Parks and Recreation. I’ve watched it from beginning to end over a dozen times. Leslie Knope played by Amy Poehler is my favorite character. I like to think of myself as a Leslie Knope. She’s so optimistic and never gets discouraged. She’s constantly battling with her town, but she always springs back from defeat. Her domination is hilarious and inspiring.
Have you started any new hobbies?
I’ve started a new business during the pandemic and hope to launch it this summer!
Why did you choose to donate to the Changemaker’s Market?
The question is, why wouldn’t you support this initiative? Being a woman, entrepreneur, mother and wife is a lot. It’s important that we women understand how important our role is in society. We ARE society’s Changemakers and most valuable assets. Without women, everything would truly fall apart. It’s vital we take care of ourselves first so that we can continue to empower younger generations and lead with a healthy mind and body.
Why does women’s health matter to you?
If I don’t take care of my health, I’d be less effective. All women are extremely powerful beings, so if we take the time to ensure our mental and physical health are in check, we can literally take over the world. This is why I champion women everyday. Together we’re unstoppable.
The theme for International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge. How will you #ChooseToChallenge the inequities that exist in women’s health?
First, to continue my partnership with BC Women’s Health Foundation by supporting and spreading awareness. And secondly, to continue mentoring young women. By guiding and mentoring young women, we can empower them with the confidence and education and show them how to command the space they deserve.
Nearly four in ten women report their mental health has worsened since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago. How do you cope with stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Reminding yourself that it is temporary, keeping yourself busy with new projects and most importantly adjusting your perspective to be optimistic.
What inspires you most about giving back to your community?
Women inspire me! I have spent a lot of my life working with women and children. When I lived in Egypt I had the opportunity to work with refugee women coming in from Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea. They all had so much fire in them to make a difference and somehow support their families. We held workshops on how they could identify their strengths and create business opportunities. Many of them went on to create clothing, handbags, crafts and artwork. Within a few months they were running small businesses at the local markets.
What or who is a local shop founded by a woman that you admire?
Manjit Minhas is a true inspiration. She’s a powerhouse entrepreneur who has built a massive global empire. She also takes social responsibility very seriously. I admire her confidence and grit!
And lastly, one word to describe your legacy?
Bid, connect, create change. Every purchase made at the Changemakers Market is a declaration of your dedication to women’s health and equity in the healthcare system. Go you.
Whether you bid on the Changemaker’s Market from March 14-21, or donate directly — you’re championing change for all women across BC.