The Jane-Finch community is a vibrant area filled with brilliant, talented, hardworking, selfless, and amazing women. The Women Who Inspire Me (WWIM) series gathers nominations from residents in the community who write a short paragraph on why another woman in Jane-Finch inspires them. From teachers, sisters, mothers, friends, business owners and more, the series captures the essence of their relationships in the environments they share.
The series initially began at our Girls Night Out event in March 2020. It continued to grow throughout 2020 as the Flaunt It team invited their community to nominate any womxn that inspires them, as we showcase them on our website.
Below, you will find the nominations of womxn from Jane-Finch, featured in the Let's Love More exhibit.
Saraya is a strong, resilient, compassionate and
whole-hearted loving woman. Saraya is one of the most
selfless, down to earth and beautiful woman that walks this earth. Saraya is also a proud Caribbean, (and to be even more specific) Dominican woman. Mrs. Saraya Elwin is a passionate educator and through the education system, a mother to many, including myself.
Saraya being the extremely loving, caring and amiable woman that she is, became a natural support to me, and one of the most important individuals in my life. Using her humorous personality, she was able to reach out and touch me in a very special way. We were able to
form and maintain a healthy and versatile relationship
that stems off of the respects we hold towards one
another. Mrs. Saraya Elwin is my Modda. My Modda Elwin.
Above all things, her main concern is always my best interest. Through ups, downs, trials and tribulations she continues to be present as a support and guidance. For this I am forever thankful and appreciative of her being in my life. She is able to develop a real love for her students as she holds genuine love and care for all people.
If I could become half the woman she is, it would be enough to take me anywhere. Thank you Ms. Saraya Elwin, for being an amazing mother, support, friend and human being. We need more of you.
I have been very lucky to witness Sally’s journey, who
went from being the little cousin who was unsure if she
was ready to get into the hair braiding industry to being
the young entrepreneur who has her weekly schedule fully booked in about less than a year. Like every creative artist, there is an immense amount of energy and focus that has to be applied and a huge learning curve when you transition from the thought of “One Day” into the execution mode of: “Day One”.
Sally was no exception. Seeing her constantly aiming to perfect her craft and having the opportunity to be
involved in her process has been more than inspirational. From the outside looking in, it is easy to assume that this was some kind of god-given talent that she was naturally equipped with and is destined for her to pursue.
What people didn’t get to see were the difficult obstacles and challenges it took to get to where she is right now:
hardships of staying at the studio for months and barely having a single client a week, constant innovation of braiding new and intricate designs on demand, criticisms from unhappy customers who were unsatisfied of her service, no-show clients, occasional late night calls where sleep is sacrificed to accommodate certain individuals, as well as the discipline to constantly advertise, post, engage, manage bookings, respond and update her work of art on social media.
As you can see, being passionate is only one little part of her job. The grit, the courage to be mentally strong in stressful situations and constantly being fearless to discover solutions at her age is why she has achieved, in my mind, that “slight edge” of a self-made starter. If she sees this, I genuinely want to tell her thank you and I couldn’t have been a prouder cousin.
Calina is someone that I will always genuinely admire.
Having her as a friend for the past 4-5 years has been
such a humbling experience. When Calina started her
lash business in 2017, I could not have been more excited for her. I received a text from her asking if I could be one of her models to test out her lash extensions on and I thought to myself, free lashes and it’s your close friend doing it? We’re supporting our local sister out here!
As time flew by, her business grew and so did Calina.
Watching Calina’s business flourish and succeed makes
me proud to be from the same hard-working community as her. Calina is extremely consistent with her work and is always looking for new ways to expand in her field. Also, she is based locally which is extremely beneficial for not only myself but other women in the community who want to have beautiful lash extensions for everyday wear.
The environment that she does her lashes in almost feels like home with the comfort, music and hospitality. I am extremely lucky to have her not only as my lash technician but as my friend. There are not enough words to describe the love I have for her work and she truly is one of the many women that inspire me today.
I nominate my beautiful sister Terrysa for Women Who
Inspire Me! Terrysa inspires me because I don't ever have to think twice of her! She is beyond special and inspiring! I try my best to be extremely thankful for everything she has done for me and I look up to her tremendously! I am truly blessed to have such an amazing, strong, brave and beautiful women like her in my life! I aim to cherish every moment I share with her.
She has inspired me in ways that are indescribable
because of how strong and resilient she is! She is not
afraid to struggle and she only lives to be positive,
caring, loving and BOLD. She has crafted such a beautiful way to allow me to express and be myself! She reminds me that it's ok to make mistakes but to learn from them and that as long as I open up and be my authentic self things will be okay.
By Ashley S.
"There are so many ways that you inspire me... You inspire to be a good person, you always took care of me, as if I was your own and I appreciate you so much. You are such an amazing mother and Rayna is so lucky to have you as her mom. I can't wait for her to experience and appreciate the love you give to people. You inspire me to go for what my heart wants and you teach me new ways to do things. You inspire me to think outside of the box and motivate me in ways that I don't
even realize at times. You are an amazing sister, mother, and woman. You inspire me to keep living life every day."
By Isabelle S.
I love Sky because she’s Sky. I’ve literally met no one like her before. Her love is unconditional and she has a genuine heart. When you need her she’ll always be there for you whether it's a shoulder to cry on, if you
need a helping hand or if you need someone to rant to.
I love Sky because she’s so unique. She doesn’t care to
be like others and fit in. She does what she wants, how
she wants to and she does it harder than anyone I know.
I love Sky because she’s strong. She’s literally indestructible. You know those blow up balloon things that you hit and they always come back up? That’s literally what she reminds me of because she ALWAYS bounces back anytime she gets knocked down.
I love her because she has the same humour as me. There’s never a day goes by with her and I don’t laugh until my stomach hurts, I’m doing that running jumping thing and there’s tears in my eyes. She’s motivated and
supported me through the roughest patches I’ve went
through and never once has she judged me. I love her
because she’s Sundara Sky Say and I wouldn’t have her
any other way.
We want to celebrate the womxn who inspire you on our platform! It can be your mom, sister, aunt, grandma, cousin, friend, co-worker, teacher, social worker, business owner, guardian, or any womxn that you want to showcase in our #WomenWhoInspireMe series (#WWIM).
Send us a short paragraph about why they inspire you. Please give us 1-3 business days to respond. Once we have received your nomination, we will email you back to request a photo of you two together and post you both on our Instagram for #WWIMWednesdays! 💖