Elegant Magazine’s June issue ft. Banglez

Check out Banglez collab with Photographer Upma Dhanda featured in Elegant Magazine’s bridal-styled editorial in June’s issue!
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Necklace: Nisa
Tikka: Zena
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Earrings: Varnika
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Necklaces: (right) Nisa, (Left top) Kai, (Left bottom) Additri
Nose ring: Sameera
Tikka: Zena
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Earrings: Harshani
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Necklaces: (Top) Kai, (Bottom) Additri
Nose ring: Sameera
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Check out our stunning pieces from this spread on www.banglez.com!

White Magic

“A new take on classic henna is mesmerizing with an intoxicating blend of innocence and an in-your-face jump from tradition.” 

-Zardozi Magazine

 

photography TARA NOELLE art direction, styling & white henna SARAH HUSSAIN

creative assistant CHAILEEN KIM jewelry BANGLEZ

accessory designer SHIRLEY LIANG muse CHAR SAN PEDRO

hair & makeup DANIELLE SCHLEESE wardrobe BREEYN MCCARNEY initimates IRINA SHAD

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Top Necklace + earrings: Benzine, Middle Necklace: Aaliyah, Bottom Necklace: Vidal.

BreathofHennaCherryBeach2017-07-11-5807Bangles: Bordeaux – Clear, Top Necklace: Sarah, Bottom Necklace: Vidal.

BreathofHennaCherryBeach2017-07-11-5753Bangles: Bordeaux – Clear, Headpiece: Azea, Necklace: Sarah.

BreathofHennaCherryBeach2017-07-11-5686Headpiece: Azea, Top Necklace: Sarah. Bottom Necklace: Vidal.

BreathofHennaCherryBeach2017-07-11-5488Bangles: Bordeaux – Clear.

 

Come check out our unique pieces from this spread on www.banglez.com!

The day of Banglez SS17 Wine Event🍷

Inspired by the essence of wine country and the story that we discovered there, we created a delicate new collection made with precious gemstones like turquoise, agate and opal stones.

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View the rest of the collection here!

On Friday, August 25th we invited Banglez friends, family & clients to our first ever Wine Tasting Party to experience our newest WineTour SS17 Collection like never before!

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Guests got the opportunity to get their very own personal shopping assistant to help pick out jewelry, including the first personal viewing and claim to purchasing from the wine collection. During the private tasting, they also got 15% off all jewelry (excluding bangles & gift cards) and were able to use the $25 they paid for the ticket towards a purchase or save it for a later time! AMAZING deal or what?!?!

To us, our clients are like family. Having said that, to be able to share our love for wine, food, and jewelry in our lovely showroom (2387 Trafalgar Rd in Oakville) was such a fulfilling experience, and rewarding knowing we executed it to our guests liking! We want more than to be a just a retail store, we want our brand Banglez to be an experience. Whether you’re learning about jewelry, designing your own pieces, bonding with our staff, collaborating with other small business owners, pushing creative barriers, hosting fun events, etc.. We strive every day to grow and be unique in our own way and this wine tasting was just our way of giving back and celebrating our clients while growing our brand! To think they say you can’t mix business and pleasure haha not true!

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The event was hosted by guests Lisa Leonetti Inacio and Chef Renaldo Decembrini, who carefully selected their favourite wines and paired them with gourmet bites to delight the guest’s palettes.

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Get to know them a little bit about them…

Meet Lisa Leonetti Inacio!

If one thing has always been true, it’s Lisa’s love of wine. While working on Bay St. for the past 20 years, her passion and enthusiasm for wine have been fuelled by extensive travel in Canada and Internationally to broaden and deepen her knowledge of fine wine. In 2013, Lisa took the plunge and began to study wine more seriously when she completed various wine education courses at Toronto’s George Brown’s college.

Currently enrolled in the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers program, Lisa has finished top of her class in all modules to date and completed her certification in September. In July 2017, she completed Level 1 at the Court of Master Sommeliers.

As she enjoys sharing her passion for wine with wine lovers and consumers alike, Lisa is the owner of the recently established Vedi! Vini! Vino!, a wine consulting and education company that aims to make wine fun. Professional services include wine-focused experiences and tastings to clients, corporate and private, as well as wine list management.

Meet Chef Renaldo Decembrini!

Tracing his roots to Tuscany, Italy, Renaldo Decembrini started cooking at a very young age under the love and guidance of his grandmother, Nonna Maria. Since that time, Chef Renaldo has developed a passion and expertise for sourcing the best in local and seasonal foods while showcasing the essence of each ingredient in his creations.

Renaldo started his career in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he was the Executive Chef in notable kitchens across the Province. Chef Renaldo was also instrumental in the launch and operation of two new restaurants, TASTE Resto-Lounge and Vinoteca.

Chef Renaldo moved to Toronto in July of 2015. Over the past two years, Renaldo has been exploring the diverse Toronto food scene and is currently working on opening his first restaurant.

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Hosts left to right: Lisa Leonetti Inacio, Renaldo Decembrini, Malinda & Hardip Chohan

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Testimonials:

One of guest upon being interviewed had this to say:

“When I first heard about this event my first thought was that we would be walking through a vineyard wearing fancy jewelry. Then I came back to reality and thought it was a get-together with other jewelry lovers at the store. That got me excited because I LOVE the store!! I love supporting local brands. Malinda is a sweetheart and I wanted to also support her business.

I think the tickets were reasonably priced considering the food was very fancy and we all received a discount on the merchandise in the store. The ticket included food, drinks and 15% off our purchase.

I attended with my fashion enthusiast friend, whom I drag everywhere and we both loved it! She loves wine, fine food, and jewelry, which made our experience enjoyable. It was a great experience.

The hosts were knowledgeable and friendly. The guests were nice as well and the overall atmosphere was positive. I am very likely to attend future events hosted by Banglez! I am also, very likely to recommend Banglez products/service/events to a friend and/or colleague.

I think creating a collection based on the elements/theme of wine was a very creative approach! That was one of the reasons why I wanted to attend, it was a different compared to other events we’ve attended.

From a designer perspective, the most important part of an experience like this is to be around other like-minded, supportive and positive people. Since it was a small event, we were able to talk to others, the host(s), network with other guests, check out the jewelry, get familiar with the store and get creative.”

-Navjot Chohan

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“This event was well organized and informative. The food was so delicious, especially when paired with the perfect wines to match. The wine connoisseur was very educated on her history of wines and the wines presented. I typically am not a wine drinker as I find certain wines to have a high level of sulfites in their aftertaste. The wines presented were not limited to Niagara Wines, and this was greatly appreciated. I purchased all of the wines afterward and used for a party. It was a total hit! It was great to shop at Banglez after the event as they had a beautiful setup, and jewelry to browse through. I was then able to use the $25.00 I paid for my ticket – towards my purchase. I would definitely attend again!”

– Puja Suri-Lof

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Watch out for more events hosted by Banglez on our Instagram, Facebook & Subscribe to our email list for the latest news!

Sincerely,

Mahak Gupta & Malinda Chohan

 

Photography: Carlos Pinto

Creative Direction, Location & Jewelry: @banglez_jewelry

 

Banglez Wine Tour SS17🍷

A moment for the self…

My heart had waited along the shores of my dreams. Woven with seaweed and illuminating strings of pearls, it sang a sweet desire. Uncontrollably savouring every moment that lay there glistening towards me, I began to write. An inner calling that till today, danced along my ears. Reminding me of the beauty in uncertainty. Pleasurable, sporadic moments, unplanned such as the taste of the wine he poured for me that one afternoon. My name is Desiree, most of my friends know me as Desire. Yes, it was real. He was real. And she was present. As these beads roll down my collar bone and into my palms, I hesitate to unhook the lock pressed tightly against my nape. The scent of rainfall and Chardonnay surrounding and smothering my mirror of an engulfing haze. As my memories became saturated with colour, a portal of time appeared. I entered into a haven of grapevines…

Today: August 15th

The sun’s rays emit an uncertain warmth that lifted the golden-brown hair along my knuckles. My mother never would let me wax them and so I never did. It was just last year when my friends and I were discussing how important it is to care for yourself. But how does this relate to one’s natural hairs? Though, my knuckles aren’t adorned with anything except for my late grandmother’s pearl inlay ring.

Life, a whirl wind of emotion with an outlook on the world which I did not have.
The scent of lavender filled the air as we drove up to the vineyards. I wanted to get back to the city. I wasn’t healthy enough for this lifestyle. My kaleidoscope world involved late night bars and a nine-five work ethic. Once I arrived home, I would wear my spectacles while socializing in the corner of a warehouse. I enjoyed one on one socials and wore the same jewelry every day to work; my watch.

Why was everyone so happy? What was so uplifting about commercial vineyards? The margarita pizza was twenty-four dollars!

I wished that my thoughts were as clear as this beautiful sky. With its clarity so surreal. The turquoise washes resonated with my sea-green pressed stones. I always knew they’d come to benefit me one day. I was told that they have healing powers so why not, for luck and all. I always knew of an adventure, but I never thought it would come so soon. Thanks to my dearest friend Amen, who decided to stop by the patio for some wine tasting. This wasn’t my area of expertise. I definitely discouraged myself in partaking in any outdoor activities. I wasn’t ready for a nonchalant lifestyle.

We walked through these majestic glass mahogany doors that looked as if they had never been touched. The cobble stones that gently pushed against one other, transitioned into a decadent marble. As the sun’s rays, intimately glazed each brick that molded its ways into its own pocket I went to the bathroom which looked like an entirely different country.

“Desiree, can you smell that?” said Amen
“I only smell the lavender, mixed with a musky scent of sex and rich wine.” – I replied
“No, but…who is that?!” – exclaimed Amen.

My fingers tried to clench the glass and as I did it fell in slow motion towards the ground. I ran out into the field, gasping for air. I couldn’t see him, was he actually here? I don’t even know him! How do I make you embrace the tactile nature of this moment? I can’t even explain it to myself. The last position I ever imagined myself in was a feeling of oneness and that with myself. Possession took over me.

Ok, so now you’re thinking, this is far too dramatic. It’s all based off an international film that went really sour in the end. You’re right! That’s exactly how I felt but this was a nominee for an accolade. A desirable state that most of us never see in our lifetime.

I found myself floating above the vineyards. There was no sign of a clear path. You couldn’t cut over or under the bushes because you would ruin the rooting of the grapevines. Pacing myself through these fields I had a moment to appreciate the serene beauty. I pulled off my heels and ran, finding loose grape vines on the ground. As if they were intentionally for me. He was toying with me. My lips pursed towards the light, I had never been so content; so full of life.

Today, I value time and friendship; a great love that baskets all wonders of life. We should take time out to discover ourselves in our limelight. If it is discomforting, it is because you are unknown to the graceful, magnificent version of yourself. As women we hold back from saying what we wish due to fear of hurting one that we love; our significant others, family member or friends. They will forget, but we hold onto these tribulations of a heavier caffeinated session. What I mean to say is that my longing is now fulfilled because I found my true self. The scent of lavender and grapevines have provided me with a moment to unleash my smile into a light that I never knew existed. I encapsulated my personality with my doubts. I not only agitated when approaching others but myself. Doubting the person that you share everything with may and will always drown your ambitions to grow as a couple.

I couldn’t hold my breath. The scent of pinewood and eucalyptus had me entrenched with desire as I walked up the rolling hills. It was nearly sunset and I still hadn’t seen him. My longing was overwhelming. My soul had disowned my past and renewed its vows with this new sensitivity. My senses were enhanced. I was more than just Desiree, I was gratified.

He never came, I am now married to my best friend and if he was to ever appear I knew that he would come in the form of love.

Art Director, Stylist, and Writer: Sarah Hussain, Breath of Henna. http://www.breathofhenna.com. @breathofhenna

 

Longing a desirable piece, adorn yourself in Banglez newest collection and take a tour on this beautiful journey…August 25th, 2017.

 

Ph: @krushitvanzara

MUAH: @cassandracampbellbeauty

Styling & Story by: @breathofhenna

Muse: @thenujaa

Wardrobe: breeynmccarney @chandanfashion and @zara

Creative Direction: @banglez_jewelry

Location: @twosisters_vineyards
and @ravinevineyard

HEY Poppy Lane!✨

We are beyond excited to share our collab with Poppy Lane Toronto!

Poppy Lane like Banglez is a south Asian inspired brand with a western flair, so our collab was not only bound to happen but almost like a match made in heaven. Kimye take note, Poplez is here!

We spoke to Preeti at Poppy Lane and she gave us an insight on their vision going in: “We focused on creating a romantic, contemporary, fresh, and ethereal vibe for our SS17 pieces, focusing mainly on the finer details of each piece. We played with delicate and dainty hues, fabrics and silhouettes this season to embrace a refined and graceful femininity. With Banglez unique pieces being a seamless match, playing on soft colours and beads, we knew it was something different that you don’t see often in South Asian jewelry and that’s what made it stand out!”

Both businesses rely on their online store front to bring fashionistas around the world the latest in trendy south Asian wear. More shoppers have started to rely upon and become comfortable with purchasing goods online and trusting brands to deliver on their promise of quality.

Banglez has always kept their lines of communication open for customers to reach out for custom orders and questions. We want you to be happy with what you are getting and absolutely sure that you will love it as much as we love our merchandise. We go through a lengthy and precise vetting process with vendors and merchants to make sure our quality and style is nothing less than amazing. If we wouldn’t wear it, we won’t sell it.

We’ve been asked many times when we’ll be getting a product back in stock or why we only carry one/a couple of each piece except for bangles. That question is actually quite simple! We want each of our client’s jewelry to be exclusive so they can feel like the queens they are. It simply not acceptable that you wear our jewelry to an event and have to share compliments! Yasss ladies take in all the love for yourselves 😉

Have a look at the magic that happened behind the scenes!

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Check it all out on www.banglez.comwww.poppylane.ca!

 

’till next time,

Mahak Gupta

Banglez Bloggeress

Banglez on Global tv!📺

Check out our feature on Global news’ the morning show featuring Meera from Fusia media.

Watch as she talks about South Asian wedding trends for 2017 with Banglez jewelry because Banglez not only keeps up but sets trends!

Check out the entire video on Globalnews.ca!

South Asian wedding trends you can include in your wardrobe

Add a splash of color and flair to your wardrobe with these South Asian inspired trends!

#globalnews #globaltv #banglezjewelry #southasianwedding #banglez #fusiamedia #jewelry #indianbride #torontojewelry #indianjewelry #trendy #2017trends

You will Remember me…🎭

My family first settled in Montreal, so myself and my siblings were born there. Our crew of Indian – Montrealers was small at the time and our parents bonded over spicy food and exciting new possibilities. The ‘kids’ were all close in age and saw each other all the time so we did what most South Asian do – we called each other cousin. After we moved to TO the distance didn’t change anything so when Amanda was in this play I was so excited to go check it out.

I always love walking down the streets of downtown Montreal. There’s so much history in every old building or brick wall! The theater was perfect, cozy yet grand. I knew the show was sold out every night and that it had been getting pretty big acclaim. It was originally written as “Tu te souviendras de moi” by French author François Archambault.

The show is about the daily struggles of a professor named Edouard, whose intellectual pride deteriorates as his Alzheimer’s progresses. We had a chance to sit down with Amanda, who played Bérénice in the show. Check out our exclusive!

When did you first know you wanted to become an actor?

As long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be an actor but I really couldn’t tell you when I first knew.

What do you enjoy most about acting?

Living all these different lives for a short time. I’ve always wanted to do everything but I don’t think I was interested in any one particular thing enough to do it for an extended period of time. Like I wanted to be a doctor for a while and then I realized, I really just want to play one.

Besides acting, what other training have you had (voice, dance, stage combat, etc.)?

Well, theater school is fairly all encompassing – you do voice, period dance, stage combat, mask, etc. I still do acting workshops every now and then. I teach improv and I think sometimes, I may get more out of it than the participants do. I played a lot of sports growing up and I didn’t know it then, but that was pretty great acting training.

What do you think about the story of the show you are playing a part in?

I love that it transcends. Young, old, male, female, English, French – it doesn’t matter. I’ve spoken to people from all different walks of life who have been moved by this story and that speaks to what an incredible writer François Archambault is.

It’s incredibly multi-layered, timely, and it deals with a tough subject with a lot of humor. There are two things that send families reeling – money and health. For this play, it’s health that throws everyone off-kilter, and they’re all just trying to find or regain their footing. Watching them do so can be pretty heartbreaking but it can also be really funny.

What’s your role in this show?

I play Bérénice, who is a young, cellphone-obsessed teenager charged with babysitting Edouard, a renowned history professor in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

What sort of person is going to love the character you are playing?

I’m not sure. Millennials will definitely relate to her. She is, in a lot of ways, a product of her environment. But like most people, she isn’t what she appears to be. So if people are initially put off by her candor, I think it’s that same rawness that they may warm up to later on.

How is this character like you? Different?

She’s sarcastic and loves cutoff jeans and big sweaters. So do I.

She’s outspoken. She’s obsessed with her phone and social media. She dropped out of school. I talk to no one, I put up a Facebook profile picture a month ago, and I never missed a class.

What do you love and hate about this character?

Oh, I love everything about her and I hate nothing. Not my job to judge her, it’s my job to justify her. I’ll leave the rest to the audience.

Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

Ellen Page would rock it. Quebec politics play a significant part of the story so I gotta keep it Canadian.

What’s your favourite part of the show?

That’s hard; I really loved doing the show every night. Audience reactions were always interesting. We get a sense of where this play lands for people and it’s always different.

Besides yourself, which actor in this production is going to blow people away?

Jean Marchand! He can make you laugh and cry in the same breath. I will certainly miss sharing the stage with him.

If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?

Well, I wouldn’t be able to pull off any of the other characters. Call me in 10 years, maybe I’ll have a different answer. Right now, I love Bérénice too much to let her go.

What makes a good scene partner?

A good scene is like a good tennis match – you don’t want to drop that ball. A good scene partner matches you, hit for hit, keeps you on your toes, and has your back. You’re always on the same team, even if you’re on opposite sides of the net.

Who do you look up to (as an actor/director/etc.) and why?

Meryl Streep. That’s obvious, I know but it’s just the truth. She’s the perfect combination of tremendous talent and impeccable work ethic. You don’t see that too often. And I’ll throw Michael Shannon in there for variety. I’ll watch anything he’s in.

Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

I’m an aspiring actor, I need advice! But if you want me to sound smart…um, don’t get rid of your weirdness – it’s probably what’s going to get you the part. And play the love. I got that advice and it was pretty damn good.

Can you tell me a fun fact about yourself that people may not know about you?

I consider it a fun fact that if I can’t wear jeans, I’m not coming to whatever event you’re having. But I have been told that does not qualify. So, I can juggle!

Thank you Amanda, for taking the time to answer our questions and we hope you the best of luck in your path to success as an actor!

What did I think of the show? Well…

 

I found myself engaged pretty much right away! I’m a fan of live theater so I do get a bit excited but Hardip isn’t necessarily the theater-going type… although he loves experiencing arts and culture so he’s open to trying these things. I looked over at him maybe 10 minutes into it and I could see that he was very into the show, then I noticed some of my other cousins and other people around me – everyone was very captivated.

The main character definitely grabbed your attention, as this was part of his personality. He was a professor, an intellect of sorts and he definitely loved to be the center of attention. Right away I was thrown into the emotions of his family that was dealing with his progressing Alzheimer’s. It upsetting to see how the family deals with the inconvenience of the situation, yet you can empathize with them as you realize what they must be going through within their own struggles.

Amanda’s character – Bérénice enters with a young carefree attitude. You immediately think what could her and the main character possibly have in common?? There were many jokes – a lot of Quebec political mockery and comic relief throughout the story and I thought it helped the crowd feel the daily reality of their story instead of only feeling the sadness. I loved watching the contrast between them and the difference of opinion because the best part was that I agreed with both of them in a way. There was an interesting reference with social media and other modern day millennial habits that struck a cord for all of us.

It was interesting to see how his Alzheimer’s was affecting her and how she became more empathetic. Her approach with him was unexpected and then began to feel so natural. It was a truly touching story that left me thinking about life, generations, and our unique minds.

Thanks for reading about our experience with “You will remember me…”!

Sincerely,

Malinda Chohan

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Editor: Mahak Gupta

Happy Anniversary Banglez!🥂

Has it already been a year!?! Last year, right around this time Banglez had the pleasure of holding the grand opening of our their new store location at 2387 Trafalgar Rd in Oakville

Both Malinda and Hardip proudly brought their 9-year-old baby/company to a storefront location!

With a promise of commitment to high quality, stunning pieces, and expert service… and of course at sensible prices! They are pleased to have set out on this fulfilling journey.

As an artistic person since childhood with an educational background in Graphic Design, Malinda had discovered new ways to create ‘works of art’. She began to take her makeup artistry hobby seriously and did that professionally for over 10 years. All the while dabbling in jewelry design, and exploring her Indian roots, she began to import stunning jewelry from Bombay and other parts of India. Her design background enabled her to work with manufacturers to make new unique pieces. Hardip Chohan, Malinda’s husband, and business partner learned key skills in jewelry design and has grown into a gifted jewelry maker. With the combined talents of these 2, there’s no wonder why now 11 years strong, Banglez is one of the most trusted names within the South Asian Fashion community.

The dream that began in the basement of their home has blossomed into a trendy South Asian jewelry boutique in Oakville. The couple behind the scenes continue to explore new and innovative ways to combine traditional South Asian jewelry with Western influences. As soon as you walk into the store you can feel that concept!

‘We have a passion for all things ART!’ is how they describe themselves. “Banglez isn’t just a retail store, it’s our creative expression. We give our clients individual attention so that we can consult with them and offer our expertise. In some cases, we customize existing pieces of our unique jewelry, other times we work to design a completely new piece of jewelry with the client’s taste in mind.”

Since their humble beginnings in 2006, Banglez is proud to have helped shape the boutique experience for South Asian brides and their families. “It’s our mission to create an atmosphere for our clients that liberates their creativity in an open, friendly and artistic environment. We feel that fashion, accessories, and jewelry are often used to convey our individuality and for that reason, we are honoured when we’re invited into that personal experience.”

At the opening there was a ‘Paint by Numbers’ theme, guest coloured our personalized illustration and participated in a colouring contest (paint emoji). We had gorgeous pieces by Mani Jassal, Painting by Babbu the Painter and an amazing team that brought it all together! The store was packed with friends and clients that were new and old. We were thrilled to have them drop in for cocktails, music, hors d’oeuvres, swag bags and to get acquainted!

A throwback tribute to an awesome team!

–   Narbir Gosal of brownricephotography.ca

–   ChicEvents by Sonia

–   Ryan of AlleyEntertainment

–   Prism Media Lab

–   Twirls Cupcakery

A special thanks to Iman of kamaent, Sundip Chohan, and Mahak Gupta as well!

Click here to view a video of the magic that took place that day!

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Sincerely,

Malinda Chohan

Find us on:

Instagram         Facebook          Pinterest         Twitter          Banglez.com

#throwback

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International Women’s Day💪🌸

Today took the courage of an army, an army of heroic women who become forces of nature to made great strides for change, for the present of women today. Let’s take a moment to reflect on our progress towards gender equality and to honour the contributions women have made and are making around the world every day.

Most importantly, today is a celebration of respect, admiration and love towards women around the world for their social, economic, cultural and political achievements. 

I am truly inspired by like-minded, strong women. Hearing their stories gives me strength and I’m eager to use our brand’s collections to display that strength!

A lot has been achieved, but much more remains to be done in the fight for gender equality. It’s time to change people views and actions, to recognize that the gender stereotypes and sexism we see and face every day are not okay. 

My mother always told me that I could only be wronged as long as I didn’t do something about it. I realized that only when I started to act rather than analyze, things started to change. That is why we feel it is so important to confront sexism and discrimination that allow gender inequality to exist.

For International Women’s Day, we have teamed up with Alicia from 100 faces to do just that. Alicia is such an incredibly talented woman and I’m thrilled to work with her on this exciting project. She has helped me choose 6 women from diverse backgrounds that inspire greatness to be featured on our website and social media.The illustrations she created were used to adorn a beautiful earring from our new collection. Banglez was proud to showcase these women with a specific pair of earrings and equally thrilled to name the earrings after them!

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“I used to feel awkward labeling myself an actor or an artist, maybe because of the reverence I held artists in, or maybe because I just didn’t feel like I’d earned that title yet… But now, thanks to time, struggle, triumph, there’s no title I wear more proudly. Art is love, humanity, and freedom expressed. Life without art would be empty. Art with artists is impossible. And now, perhaps more than ever, artists are helping to move our society forward. I wake up so proud to be even the smallest part of this unbelievable community who make their life’s work to “celebrate living”. Because there really is so much to celebrate.” – Helen, Actor, and Author from Toronto/New York

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“The thought of anything bad happening to my mom makes me anxious. I worry that maybe she didn’t drive home safely from work…maybe she forgot to lock the front door – lots of irrational thoughts. I jokingly (not so jokingly) refer this as onset adult separation anxiety. She’s become aware of my anxiety (who wouldn’t after getting ‘you good?’ texts at 4 am). So when I text her now, she usually sends me something short and reassuring. Most recent one: no need for worries. All good here. You’ve still got me and my persistent prayers.” – Bridget, graphic & web designer, born in Uganda, grew up in Switzerland and now resides in Toronto.

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When May divorced an irresponsible ex-husband and ran her own business in a suburb near Shanghai, people always rumoured about her private life. Past age 30, a woman in China expires in the eyes of her peers. Rather than treated with due respect, single mothers are commonly frowned upon. Fortunately for May, she came from a wealthy family, who supported her passion for conceptual art. She made the decision to move back to Vancouver, finally severing ties with a society which never granted her belonging. People in China neither understood her nor her art. Unlike most of Vancouver’s Chinese upper class, May never felt the need to show off her designer goods nor to buy into the ever-popular luxury lifestyle. Similarly, she didn’t share the other women’s obsessions with everlasting youth and shied away from widespread self-beautification techniques. She’s sought ways to establish her own business in a manner suitable for her son and her talent in fine art. At all times she has remained a humble and caring friend. It is this from which her beauty derives. “During the years I lived in China, people didn’t pay much attention to my talent or ability but rather gossiped about my private life, my marriage, and my age. I chose not to go with that flow. I’ve never regretted having my son, he’s the best thing that happened to me and I don’t need another man to support me because I’m strong myself.” – May, single mother/business owner from China now lives in Vancouver.

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“When you march to the beat of your own drum and live in your truth, it makes others uncomfortable because they’re not living in theirs. People will always try to dim your light when they’re not shining in their own.” -Justina, Bartender/Musician from Brooklyn, New York

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“I can give you a little run down on my background related to Toronto. My ethnic background is half Lebanese and half British. I am originally from the West Coast (Kelowna/Vancouver) and I moved here around six years ago to U of T. I don’t find I’ve really stuck to one “group” or “type” of people here and I actually find people in Toronto generally more approachable than people from Vancouver. But I know what you mean in terms of the different bubbles around Toronto. There are definitely so many different types of people here bubbled into different categories. When I was in middle school I dealt with a lot of bullying. I was picked on because of the way I looked. I didn’t have a lot of friends in my middle school and also didn’t feel like the kids who were there had the same ambitions as I did. For those reasons, I went away to a boarding school and became part of a community that was so kind and accepting towards everyone. Throughout high school, I started to gain confidence and become more comfortable in my own skin. Nowadays, none of the bullying I face ever fazes me and I know that I am a much stronger person because of it. I’m not someone who has always had it easy and I think that it is important for anyone who has dealt with being picked on or teased to know that things do get better so long as you remain strong and believe in yourself.” – Ciara, Lebanese blogger/ marketing and communication profession from Toronto

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“I am a sensitive person. I feel really hard and feel easily. There’s this quote that I think about that best describes me. ‘It’s both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply’. I think that’s the story of my life. The work I do, the life I live is centered around that. I feel guilty a lot…for not being supportive enough. I feel guilty when I lash out or get upset at someone. I think a lot; think about what I should have said or could have done. Sometimes I get so sad and I don’t even know why. There’s this from the huge injustices of the world to wondering about the slightest change in attitude of a loved one, I feel it all. It gets exhausting I must admit; but at the same time, I feel good feelings deeply, too. My friends mean the world to me. I don’t know who I would be without them. They contribute to my growth every day. They make me laugh and know me. It’s nice to feel known.” – Hanan, Somali-Canadian/model/counselor/grad student from Toronto

What did you think?! Absolutely beautiful! Through purposeful collaborations like these, we can help women move forward and unleash their limitless potential. We’d like to sincerely thank these ladies for lending us their strength, story… and face! 

In honour of these women and International Women’s Day, we will be donating 10% from each of these earrings sold to an organization called The Rexdale Women’s Centre. The Rexdale Women’s Centre is an “independent, not-for-profit, voluntary agency that serves high-need women and their families residing in the Greater Toronto Area.” 

We can do little things every day, that remind the world of who we are and who we can be. This fight isn’t about being superior but equal, reminded by our great Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau when asked why it was so important for him to have a gender-balanced cabinet, he simply stated, “because it’s 2015” to make people realized that it’s time we accelerate gender parity.

We are so excited to launch this collection for international Women’s week and we hope you like it!

#BeBoldForChange #EqualityMatters #StrongWomen #MayWeKnowThem #MayWeBeThem #MayWeRaiseThem #PurpleRibbon #Feminism

Sincerely, 

Malinda Chohan & Mahak Gupta

 

“I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men.” -Emma Watson