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I love Woman Crush Wednesdays because I have the ability to feature incredible women from all industries.  I cannot express how grateful I am to meet such strong, motivating and inspiring women making a difference in this world, loving what they do and being happy! It inspires me to continue along my path, to keep growing and to support other kick-ass female entrepreneurs because that’s what strong women do – we pull each other up in life and remind one another how amazing we are!

It is my pleasure to introduce this incredibly talented young woman Lauren Fernandez.  Lauren is the owner of Raw Beauty Bar located at Kipling and Bloor (3830 Bloor St W) in Etobicoke just 3 minutes from my wellness studio!  Yes this is super convenient for me! Those of you who know me well, know that I often have my nails painted (ahhh my love affair for nail polish is lifelong) so you can imagine how excited I was to find out about Raw Beauty Bar.

This beauty bar is a trendy and funky establishment with not only knowledgeable staff but really cool girls! You are made to feel welcome the moment you walk into their doors. The vibe here is great and will make any age group feel at home and pampered.

Lauren is a passionate woman who started off with an idea; a dream and has brought to life Raw Beauty Bar — a love she can now share with all of us.  Thank you Lauren! We all love it at Raw!

With time to spare while enjoying my manicure and pedicure, I created a list of questions for Lauren. Enjoy the read!

** For ALL of my amazing followers, use the code: RAWLISA10 to receive 10% off your first visit at Raw **

Q: What ignited the spark in you to start Raw Beauty Bar?

A: I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I used to knit these two-toned coloured ear warmers and at first, it was just for friends and myself. Then it became more than that. At the time it was during the holiday season so friends, friends of friends and even strangers that saw my facebook page started placing orders. I made over $1,000 in one month! Sales were just crazy! I even had my mom knitting at work so I could get all of the orders ready in time. The feeling of completing a project and having people love your product is so fulfilling. That feeling made me realize that I could not only create a successful product, but create a business in an industry that is so saturated in this world, and offer a one of a kind service just like my two-toned ear warmers. I know what you’re thinking, “One of a kind”? I say one of a kind because it’s not what you’re doing, it’s how you do it and the kind of service you’re providing. At Raw Beauty Bar, I’ve created a team that not only is certified in what they do but actually have that passion that some salons are lacking. When you get your nails or waxing done, you make physical contact with your esthetician. I really believe in positive energy and positive vibes and that’s what I like to promote here at Raw, not only to our clients but within our Raw Family as well. This has our clients leaving not only looking great but feeling amazing too! That idea, is what sparked Raw Beauty Bar.

Q: Tell us about Raw Beauty Bar

A: Raw Beauty Bar is an urban to suburban style nail salon that offers mani/ pedi’s, waxing, facials & massage. We encourage the natural growth of nails and we focus on retailing Canadian born retail products such as LoveFresh, Province Apothecary & Parkdale Butter.

Our staff, or as we call “The Raw Fam” are certified, passionate estheticians that love what they do. Right now, we have 9 estheticians who are super awesome and are different and creative in their own way. It’s funny, if you were to come into the shop, you would not expect us to all get along, but we do. Our different personalities are actually what makes us such an amazing team!

Q: What motivates you? 

What motivates me is the idea of being able to provide for my future beyond Raw Beauty Bar, such as buying my first home, my first car, my wedding or my children (God willing). What also motivates me is also the future for my girls at Raw, whether it’s to open their own salon one day, or to help me open other Raw locations. I just want the best for myself, my family, and my Raw family.

Q: How do you define success? 

A: To me, there are two different meanings of success. Feeling successful, and being successful. I definitely feel successful and blessed of what I’ve accomplished so far. But if you’re talking financial success, then I definitely still have a long way to go!

Q: Who has been your greatest inspiration?

A: My greatest inspirations would be my family. It’s hard to chose one inspiration because my mom, dad, sister have been my biggest support. My parents of course, raising me and inspiring me to be the best person I can be, and accomplish anything I want to do in life. My sister, for making me tough emotionally because I definitely think with my heart more than I do with my head. She’s helped me adjust in becoming the person I am today. I am definitely in my element, thanks to those three!

Q: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

A: The most satisfying moment I’ve experienced in business, would be the positive feed back from clients. Nothing is more rewarding than hearing clients tell me how they love their nails and that they feel amazing, or that one of my girls did an amazing job and how lovely they are!

Q: What three pieces of advice would you give to anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur? 

A:

1. Love what you do.

2. Do not compete with others, but compete within yourself to be the best you can be.

3. Stay Humble.

Q: What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time? 

A: If we’re being honest, I do not have any hobbies right now, all I do is work. And when I’m not working, I am at home with my dog Louie, watching Netflix and eating pizza. I love pizza.

Q: What makes you happy? 

A: A lot of things make me happy. I could go on and on but if I could sum it all up into one thing, it would be where I am in my life right now.  As a young entrepreneur, doing what I am most passionate about, making people look good and feel good and making a difference in peoples lives, emotionally and physically.  Being selfless and making a difference.  That’s what makes me happy.

Cooking a healthy breakfast for your kids can be tough especially when you want to add variety to their diet. I often struggle with breakfast ideas and what to make Savannah that is healthy, well-balanced, nutrient-dense and tasty!

I like these patties because they’re a quick, handheld meal or snack that your kids can eat on the go or even on the way to school. They contain protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates and will give your kids the energy to get through the day!

   

 

Savannah loves black beans and I wanted to create another fun way that she could enjoy them! I love serving these to her with a side of dairy-free yogurt for her to dip.  Most of the ingredients I keep on hand, so cooking up extra is easy and this way my hubby and I have something nutritious on hand to snack on throughout the next day.

If you’re a mom who is tired of feeding their child cereal and milk in the morning try something new and whip these patties up in less than 20 minutes and you can finally smile with the knowledge that your child is getting a healthy breakfast.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 15oz can of organic black beans, rinsed and rained

1/4 cup zucchini chopped

1/4 cup cilantro

1 garlic clove minced

2 Tablespoons ground flax seed

2 Tablespoons hemp hearts

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

1 egg

1 Tablespoon grass-fed butter

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients, except the butter, into a bowl and mix well
  2. Heat a large pan over low to medium heat with 1 tablespoon butter
  3. Place 1 tablespoon of black bean mixture into the pan. with a spatula, spread the mixture into a shape of a pancake
  4. Cook each side for approximately 2-3 minutes
  5. Cook the remaining mixture, using 1 Tablespoon of butter for each batch
  6. Cool and serve

There is something about warm baked apples topped with crunchy crumble that makes me drool.  It is one of my favourite winter desserts and when you see how simple it is to make it will quickly become yours too! I also love apple crumble because it is made with simple ingredients that you likely have in your kitchen.

I have taken the classic apple crumble recipe and swapped out the ‘not so healthy’ ingredients for more natural options.

By using brown rice flour in place of all purpose white flour, this winter dessert is gluten-free. I have substituted coconut oil for butter and naturally sweetened the dessert with maple syrup and coconut sugar.

Enjoy this warm, comforting and incredibly delicious Winter dessert! Serve with Coco whip for an extra treat!

Ingredients

5-6 Apples peeled and sliced thin

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons Coconut Sugar

2 tablespoons Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 cup Rolled Oats

3/4 cup Brown Rice Flour

1/2 cup Coconut Oil

Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a baking dish with coconut oil and set aside.
  3. Place the sliced apples into a medium bowl and mix in lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and maple syrup.
  4. To make the crumble, place the oats, coconut sugar, brown rice flour and coconut oil in a bowl. Using your fingers, mix the ingredients until crumbly. If it is too dry add more coconut oil.
  5. Sprinkle the crumble over the apple and place into the oven for 25-30 minutes.

 

Growing up with a British mother, jam (or ‘jelly’) was always a staple in our home and consumed at breakfast with traditional toasted English muffins or crumpets. The smell of freshly brewed English breakfast tea and toast is probably still one of my favourites and what would make this all complete is the JAM.

Store bought jams are processed and have a very high sugar content. Not ready to let go of my love for jam I decided to create a simple recipe that did not include pectin.  The main reason jams or jellies are so unhealthy is because of this one ingredient.  When using pectin, you must use a large amount of sugar (in most cases more sugar than fruit). The sugar is what reacts with the pectin to make it gel.  However, it often requires a sugar content of more than 55% or more!

Chia seeds when mixed with liquid create a gel-like consistency so it was a no-brainer to use this as a substitute for both pectin and gelatin.  Hope you enjoy my 3 ingredient Strawberry Chia seed Jam.  You can mix up the fruit each time for a change in flavour.

Enjoy x

Ingredients

3 cups Strawberries cut into small pieces

1/4 cup pure Maple Syrup

1/4 cup Chia Seeds

Pinch of salt

chia-jam-1Directions

  1. Place strawberries and maple syrup into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the chia seeds and pinch of salt and reduce heat. Continue to simmer and stir occasionally until the mixture becomes thick (approximately 20 minutes). Note:  If you like a thicker jam, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  3. Remove from heat and spoon into mason jars allowing to cool before placing in the fridge. Jam will remain fresh for 1-2 weeks (if it lasts this long!)chia-jam-3