FOUNDER & CEO
In the summer between grades 9 and 10 I got boobs, and let me tell you, I loved them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as crazy about the hips & thighs that came along with them. At some point between dance classes, soccer practices, hanging out with friends and navigating life as a teenager I very innocently decided to start eating “healthier” in hopes that my hips would disappear. What I couldn’t have predicted when I skipped that first meal was that less than a year later my 5’11” frame would weigh only 89lbs, my internal organs would be shutting down and worst of all my poor parents and sisters would be scared for my life.
I’m not exactly sure when my “healthier” diet took a turn for the worse but I know I never expected it to get so out of hand. Slowly over time my weight dropped and my mind became increasingly consumed by food, calories and a stringent list of what I could and could not eat. Once I reached a certain weight my mind was no longer functioning properly and the eating disorder began to take a much stronger hold over my life. I cut out red meat, couldn’t fathom eating fats, ate minimal carbs and my mind was a running tally of calories that I couldn’t turn off. It was exhausting. I had successfully lost my hips but in the process I had completely lost myself and I was miserable.
Unlike many people who struggle from an eating disorder I didn’t see myself as being fat. I knew I was sick and desperately wanted to escape the person I had become but at the same time I felt intense anxiety surrounding food. It was so strong that I just couldn’t bring myself to eat as much as my body required me to.
After a few unsuccessful months in an outpatient program at BC’s Women’s Hospital I entered their inpatient program. My recovery took time and was one of the scariest things I have gone through but it also took me through a long process of self-discovery that has made me a more empathetic, caring and open person today. People often say that you never recover from an eating disorder. I agree but not in the sense that you are forever bound by counting calories and a number on the scale. You never go back to being the person you once were. You come out more self-aware, with more tools to help you manage the ups and downs of life and with a greater understanding of what is important to you.
Despite the strides I’ve made, sometimes today’s world can make it tough for a girl to really love herself. Modern day technology allows society to create images of women who aren’t even real through photo editing and enhancements. Social media platforms allow us to put forth our best side to the world, which is fine until we all start comparing ourselves to the perceived perfection we see on Facebook. Naturally we compare ourselves to these false realities, feel less about ourselves and then proceed to spend billions of dollars a year collectively on materialistic items in an attempt to make ourselves feel better. I know first hand that trying to find confidence and happiness through external beauty is a surefire way to end up very very unhappy.
From my experience the most beautiful people in life are the ones who are authentic, raw and exposed. I started this website to help women feel more confident in their beauty so that we can move on with our lives and start using our brilliant minds and caring hearts for more important things.
FOUNDER, RESEARCHER, FACILITATOR
FREE TO BE
In my early 20s I discovered Jean Kilbourne’s documentary of “Killing us Softly.” My worldview was profoundly changed as I realized how significantly advertising and media images influence us, and I was hungry to devour more information. Learning that the media narrowly represented women was only the first part of my discovery. I have since come to realize that women need to go beyond learning about such representations to seeing what real women can look like.
If girls don’t see women in a wide variety of realistic, meaningful roles and professions in media they will be limited in believing what they can accomplish.
Through my Masters of Counselling I have been researching the representation of women in the media and how it impacts the attitudes, beliefs, behaviours and emotions of men and women, girls and boys viewers.
More to Her was created out of an academic and personal passion to educate myself, and others about the limiting messages we receive from the media. It was also, just as importantly, created as a place to point to solutions and connect with others. Free To Be is any girl or woman, anywhere.
There is more to us than our bodies. Our souls are full of emotions, thoughts, ambitions, humor, love, heartbreak, spirituality and much more. We believe the world will become a better place when both men and women are valued for their intrinsic worth.
Briana grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and moved to Los Angeles, California in 2012 to further pursue her career in the entertainment business. She now specializes in casting, production, and media content. Though Briana wears many different hats and is often referred to as a “workaholic” like many in the hustle-bustle L.A. atmosphere, she is very passionate about helping others reach their goals, living the dream, and ultimately learning how to make a positive difference in the world.
By joining the RAW team, Briana is thankful for the opportunity to help spread the word about such an important conversation that has often been a huge part of her life. For her, RAW has been an inspirational model to learn through since living in L.A. — hearing about other successful women (and men!) who are also constantly battling the struggle of perfection, but still believe in the sheer beauty of imperfection and genuine character.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift; the purpose of life is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso
FOUNDER AND LEAD DESIGNER, DESIGN SPECTACLE
Britt grew up in a family of four girls with a single mom, instilling a sense of the strength of women at a very early age. Her sisters have a myriad of talents and Britt always identified as the artistic one, which became more and more cemented on her career path to graphic design. Running her own graphic design business has been a dream and a passion realized.
Britt met Erin Treloar in 2009 and her respect and admiration for the RAW Founder have grown with every year. When Erin started RAW Beauty Talks, Britt jumped at the chance to not only help out a friend, but to champion a cause she believes in strongly. There are a lot of negative stories women tell themselves; Britt believes that by shifting the dialogue in a positive direction, RAW can set a standard of confidence for future generations of girls.
Design Spectacle is proud to support RAW Beauty Talks with design and web development services. Projects like these spur on passion for the job and provide lasting fulfillment.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, SB PROJECTS
Penni Thow is the Senior Vice President of SB Projects, a company at the intersection of music, film, television, technology, culture and social good. In her current role, Thow oversees operations and strategic growth across all verticals of the company.
In 2013, Thow joined SB Projects as Head of Social Impact and now oversees the integration of philanthropic initiatives for the company. After leading Justin Bieber’s wildly successful #GiveBackPhilippines campaign, raising over $1 million for typhoon relief, Thow began the transition into her current role as SVP.
Thow sits as an advisor to The Creative Studio, a next generation content creation company; Four Peaks Media Group, a full service production company specializing in storytelling for networks, brands, publishers and non-profit organizations; and The Buried Life, a project which encourages people to achieve their dreams and help other people.
Prior to joining SB Projects, Thow was a talent agent at Play Management, a top full-service agency in Canada, where she launched The Buried Life on MTV as well as the New York Times best seller, “What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?”.
Thow is an avid supporter and active board member of RAW Beauty Talks, Motionball in support of The Special Olympics Canada, First Descents, Pencils of Promise, Anti Recidivism Collation, and Comfort The Children International – among others.
Thow attended British Columbia Institute of Technology where she studied Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Thow currently resides in Los Angeles.
Twitter : @PenniThow
FOUNDER OF BRIX MEDIA CO.
Jennifer Maloney is an entrepreneur and the founder of Brix Media. She was an award-winning journalist before transitioning into public relations where she focuses on helping organizations that have social impact such as the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, ClearlyContacts.ca, the Chopra Center, BroadbandTV, and World Housing to name a few. Jennifer has a passion for building community. She is both an ambassador and the director of public relations for YELL, the Young Entrepreneurs Leadership Launchpad. When she’s not creating or finessing a campaign you can find her practicing her dancer’s pose or chasing her Doberman at the off-leash park. You can connect with her on Google+ and Twitter.
SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER, BRIX MEDIA CO.
Nadia Gillies is a senior account manager at Brix Media Co., a boutique agency in Vancouver. After completing a BA in English, Nadia was introduced to public relations while working in a brand design and development position. Before joining the Brix team, Nadia started her career with a Vancouver-based firm where she discovered a passion for creating new forms of engagement for brands. She gained experience working with clients across a variety of industries including: social enterprise, technology, food & beverage, real estate and fashion and now heads up the lifestyle division on the Brix team. Nadia endeavours to bring authenticity to everything she does. She has a knack for developing creative copy and innovative campaigns that will leave an impact.
CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NEXT BIG THING FOUNDATION
Meredith is a serial entrepreneur, rule breaker, connector & creative. Passionate about four-legged friends, founder psychology & family, her ethos is “amore, spare, integritas”.
Meredith started out with a successful career in the film industry, then founded three brand management and business strategy agencies in the fast-paced fashion industry, opening showrooms across the US & Canada, all before the age of 27. Seven years later, Meredith had made LA her second home and earned platinum frequent flyer status working with clients around the world including H&M, Saks and Urban Outfitters, sat front row at New York Fashion Week, dressed the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker & Julia Roberts and garnered editorial in the NY Times, InStyle & Vogue.
Meredith is the Creator of women’s speaker series, Founders Collective, a dedicated tech startup mentor, founding Advisory Board member to RAW Beauty Talks, and seed investor to multiple women-founded businesses. Meredith’s work has been recognized by CTV, BC Business, The Vancouver Sun, CBC, the Globe & Mail and Woman of Worth Awards among others. With deep global experience leading trends & scaling brands rapidly from zero to millions of dollars in revenue, she’s built her career on spreading ideas and knowing “The Next Big Thing” when she sees it.
PHOTOGRAPHERS & FILMMAKERS
Click on a logo below to link to the photographer or filmmaker’s website: