Style, Connection, and Confidence
Jaycika & Sarah
The IWMS Mentorship Program offers a short eight-week mentorship experience, bringing together members of the community, and artists and makers who are engaged in entrepreneurial activities. IWMS is proud to partner with the CWB Business Incubator for Women Entrepreneurs program, supported by DIVERSEcity and funded by Canadian Western Bank, to support women to courageously move their creative and entrepreneurial pursuits forward in new directions.
CWB Business Incubator for Women Entrepreneurs, a 20-week program, develops the entrepreneurial skills of women with creative skills and ideas, building peer networks among women entrepreneurs. To further build these peer networks, DIVERSEcity’s CWB Business Incubator for Women Entrepreneurs created a business community called Infinity Womenpreneurs, a website and collective where participants of the program showcase and promote their products. These programs create a network of support for women entrepreneurs to grow and develop their businesses, and to participate in mentorships to expand connections and confidence.
The IWMS Mentorship Program matched Jaycika Gill and Sarah Murray in the first round of our mentorship program in the summer of 2021. Both Jaycika and Sarah have great passion for fashion and business. We spoke to a participant of these three programs, Jaycika, and her IWMS mentor, Sarah, to hear a bit about their experiences working with each other as mentor and mentee.
Jaycika Gill, originally from New Delhi, India, moved to British Columbia, and in 2020, established her studio and business, Soufflé Studio, where she creates handcrafted jewelry out of polymer clay. She calls Soufflé Studio "a passion and a dream that has turned into reality." Jaycika was matched with her mentor, Sarah Murray, the program coordinator for Fashion, Jewellery, and Counselling Skills programs at Vancouver Community College, and founder of Flash&Soul, a fashion business community.
Jaycika reflected on participating in the CWB Business Incubator for Women Entrepreneurs program, describing how important and meaningful it was for her to meet these fellow artists and to have opportunities to support and encourage each other. They could connect, encourage, and inspire each other as they developed their own business ideas. Jaycika looks back on her time spent with Sarah as a time where she built even more self-confidence. They spent time together exploring Jaycika's ideas and Sarah's suggestions, and with a focus on further developing Jaycika’s vision for Soufflé Studio. With the understanding of the challenges of being a solopreneur where a designer is focused on making, selling, and launching products, it can be hard to activate all the other things like clarifying and tuning into that vision, and yet it's a crucial part of the process, and so the pair focused on Jaycika's vision for Soufflé Studio. Sarah describes herself as a supporter of local fashion and true to this, her parting words at the end of our interview were, “Check out Soufflé Studio,” and we encourage you to do just that.
We thank Jaycika Gill and Sarah Murray for participating in the IWMS Mentorship Program, and for giving and sharing of themselves in this unique experience.
You can find Jaycika Gill and Sarah Murray in the following social media spaces.