Happy, excited and content are just some of the words Chantal used to describe her experience as being part of MSH District. “For the first time in my life,” she says, “I am not afraid to get up in the morning because I know I am going to work on something I genuinely enjoy doing.”
For quite some time, this entrepreneur in residence at MSH District had been struggling to find a career that amalgamated everything she wanted in life: a chance to be creative, to make a difference, and to do work she cares about.
Fashion has been a big influence in Chantal’s life. Growing up, she was influenced by her mother who worked in the industry. For over a decade, Chantal has been nursing the dream of becoming a fashion designer. But she did not know where to start. Having worked as a customer service assistant for a large part of her professional life, this aspiring fashion designer constantly felt like a round peg in a square hole.
The feeling, Chantal confesses, of knowing that you are some place where you do not belong, was terrifying!
It dawned on Chantal that she had to create her own opportunity. But even that was not enough. Where do you look for resources? Where do you start? She would begin, and then stop as soon as she faced a roadblock. Without a mentor the path ahead looked uncertain.
But then something happened. In early 2015, Chantal was laid off.
“It changed everything,” she says. “I finally started seriously considering the idea that I could start something on my own.”
She started researching and talking to other entrepreneurs, one of whom encouraged her to find out more about MSH District. The entrepreneur in question here told her that if she had gone through MSH herself, her entrepreneurial journey would have had lesser hurdles and would have taken her considerably shorter time to accomplish things she has accomplished now.
Armed with this knowledge, and the will to change her life, Chantal joined her first ever hackathon, organized by MSH District, and the rest is history.
Chantal is currently working on her first startup, a couture lingerie line for women of colour. She is a part of the MSH District Accelerated Program and is excited to be able to work with people with similar mindsets. People who have the same goal but are all doing different things. “MSH gives us direction on what we want to achieve and how we can achieve it best,” she says.
The power of collaboration is deeply ingrained in MSH’s philosophy. In Chantal’s words, “The energy that you get off of each other here is just incredible, making this whole experience invaluable.” She points to her struggles and how she has managed to overcome them with the help of world class mentors and community, as indicators of how fundamental it has been in her own journey.
When asked where she is now and how things have changed, Chantal solemnly adds that,“MSH really helped me to dig into my ‘why.’ I mean, I suppose I always knew why I wanted to be an entrepreneur. But MSH has helped me find and refine that purpose. I am not afraid to get up in the morning anymore.”
Like Chantal's story and want to create one of your own? If you are someone who would like to make sh*t happen, join us at our Hack-A-Thon happening Novemeber 13 - 15! Details HERE