Getting Fashionable with Vicky Milner
As the president of CAFA, the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards, Vicky Milner knows a thing or two about Canadian culture, creativity and cool-factor. In fact, this distinguished entrepreneur and avid philanthropist is a pro in many fields with an extensive CV that includes expertise in fashion retail, entertainment, non-profit management and more.
Vicky is also a brand expert (clients include big names like Universal Music Group and the Herbie Fund) so we knew she’d be perfect for concluding our exclusive Female Founders series. Read on for some of her expert advice…
TS - What do you love most about Canada?
VM - I love our diversity and how we embrace each other’s differences. Canada is an open-minded country and knows that through acceptance we become more united.
TS - What advice would you give to women starting their own businesses?
VM - I would say stay focused on your own goals. There will be many people around that will give you advice but you have to believe in yourself and what you are setting out to do. Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is saying and doing, stay on your own path.
TS - What’s the biggest challenge in creating a Canadian brand?
VM - It’s really “selling” your vision to people. I don’t think this is particular to a Canadian brand but more for anyone starting out. Getting people to believe in you and what you are trying to accomplish and then also getting them to be as excited as you are about it.
TS - What’s the biggest joy in creating a Canadian brand?
VM - I would say it is knowing that you are contributing to the growth, awareness and economic development of our great country. It is wonderful to know that I am not only about creative jobs/services but also shining a spotlight on an industry that is filled with talent and deserves international attention.
TS - What's the most Canadian thing you’ve ever done?
VM - Spending time up north in Muskoka in the summer. I can’t get enough of the beauty and tranquility there!
TS - Favourite Canadian musician, writer, actor and designer?
VM - I can’t pick just one of each! Celine Dion, Micheal Buble and Leonard Cohen; Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling; and Lucian Matis and Greta Constantine.
TS - When you travel, what do you miss most about Canada?
VM - The people. Not everyone around the world is as friendly and open as Canadians.
TS - Preferred Canadian city and why?
VM - Toronto. It’s a great city with so much to offer: amazing restaurants; theatre; music; arts; and beautiful scenery. It’s also a great place to raise a family.
TS - Describe Canada in five words.
VM - Beautiful, strong, loving, smart, accepting.
TS - What’s the biggest misconception people have about Canadians?
VM - That we are sheltered and not as worldly as other countries. It’s amazing to me some people still think it’s just igloos and maple syrup over here.