We’re going from “how’re you holding up” to “who are you holding up”.
Welcome to the Changemaker’s Market, a digital community of 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 self-identified women. You can bid on items or buy them outright, with all proceeds benefiting the BC Women’s Health Foundation and our mission of healthy women everywhere, capable of anything.
A first-generation Chinese Canadian, Vivian McCormick followed the path of a professional career in law.
It wasn’t until she worked at Business Development Bank of Canada when she found her true calling — helping business owners get their projects off the ground. When McCormick made the decision to leave the job, little did she know she would soon be embarking on her own entrepreneurial journey with Flax Sleep, a natural linen bedding company.
What’s your Quarantine anthem?
Adore You – Harry Styles 🙂
One word to describe Flax Sleep’s legacy? Timeless
Sourdough starter, yay or nay?
YAY – this is actually how us Flax Sleep co-founders started to collaborate, by sharing sourdough starter and taking our first sourdough making class!
We’re obviously baking a lot right now, but our love of sourdough goes all the way back to 2016.
Why did you choose to donate to the Changemaker’s Market?
Supporting women in our community has been a pillar of Flax Sleep’s value system since the beginning.
We very intentionally chose our charity partner, Atira Women’s Resource Society, who cares for women and children fleeing domestic violence, for this reason.
Whether it is support for women entrepreneurs or vulnerable women in our community, we hold this extremely close to our hearts and it made contributing to the Changemaker’s Market a no brainer.
Why does women’s health matter to you?
Women are undeniably the backbone of our society, as caregivers, business people and overall leaders in the community.
Yet women’s health outcomes do not seem to be adequately examined or studied. I don’t think it needs to be prioritized over that of men, but as in many other areas, there should at least be parity.
Do you have a personal story that inspired you to support women’s health?
I am very fortunate to have recently had extremely positive pregnancy and childbirth experiences. Until being immersed in it myself, I admittedly had not considered that my access to high quality healthcare is not something that all women, even in our own province, have the benefit of.
It will be one of my personal priorities to help move the dial on this going forward.
What inspires you most about giving back to your community?
I’m consistently amazed at how small contributions to our community can create an incredible ripple effect when taken up by the women entrepreneurs, professionals, artists and caregivers just to name a few.
Everyone making contributions like this can create such a lasting impact far and wide.
What’s your unique mission with your products/services?
We’re constantly thrilled to bring linen home essentials to customers who are either experiencing the luxury of linen for the first time, or are linen converts who are just excited to have a Canadian company to purchase from.
What’s the first thing you’ll do post-social distancing?
Hug all of my family and close friends! I miss good hugs so much.
What or who is a local shop/service founded by a woman that you admire?
There are too many to possibly list, and that makes me so happy. But if I had to pick one, I would shout out to East Van Roasters, a bean-to-bar chocolate and coffee roaster that provides meaningful employment and job training to women living in the Downtown Eastside.
What is Lady Business? And how did it come to be?
Lady Business is essentially a community of like-minded womxn entrepreneurs who came together to level up their entrepreneurial skills. It started as purely a social thing – the first ever Lady Business get together was a dinner with mostly the group of women who had helped us at the inception of Flax Sleep with their advice and expertise (for free!).
It grew from there, with each subsequent social event growing in number until finally we realized we had something bigger on our hands. We decided to add to the social component with a one-day summit full of informative sessions run by the same women who were so generous with their time and advice when we were starting out.
In September 2019, we hosted over 80 womxn entrepreneurs at the stunning Permanent building. Topics ranged from co-founder relationships, to how to get a bank loan, to unlocking the mysteries of digital marketing. All of the sessions focused on providing our participants with actionable steps they could immediately take to level up their venture.
And how can our friends and supporters join your community?
As we determine what the next iteration of Lady Business looks like in a post-COVID world, the best way for people to join us is on Instagram (@ladybusinessyvr) and by signing up for our email list via our website.
What is one piece of advice that was given to you when you started your business journey with Flax, that you would want to give to others?
Talk to people and ask for help or advice!
Entrepreneurship can be lonely especially if you don’t have partners. Most likely someone has done exactly what you’re trying to learn how to do, and talking to someone you trust is usually better than sourcing the internet where information can be inaccurate.
If nothing else, talking to people about your business is the best kind of (free) promotion you can do when you’re starting out!
Bid, buy, 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 Changemakers Market from May 30 – June 6, or donate directly — you’re championing change for all women across BC.
BC Women’s Health Foundation is BC’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the full spectrum of women’s health. The information shared is intended to educate, inform, and point readers to credible sources. It is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of qualified healthcare professionals with any questions specific to your medical condition. For more information, visit HealthLinkBC.ca.