A unique event that features Toronto’s most innovative and newsworthy entrepreneurs and influencers in an unforgettable fashion show for charity. City MOGULS showcases the achievements of Canadian entrepreneurs. By providing a platform for young, like-minded individuals they give back and get involved in Canadian charities. The annual event attracts young professionals from all different industries. Each year, Canadian entrepreneurs are nominated by the public and selected by producers, committee and advisory board. Those selected get to strut their stuff on the runway rocking Canadian brands. They are the MOGULS. Among the notable personalities selected to be MOGULS for this year’s event are Joanna Griffiths (Knix), Allen Lau (Wattpad), Ilana Ben-Ari (Twenty-One Toys) and Taylor Frankel (Nudestix).
Founders Dani Kagan, Victoria Marshman and Monica Gold who is also the Sponsorship Director, have taken time out of their busy schedule to discuss about the event and what inspired them to start City MOGULS.
BWR: Can you give us a little bit of a background story about yourselves?
Dani & Victoria & Monica: All three of us grew up dancing in the competitive dance world. We spent countless hours in the studio training from as early as 5 years old. It taught us a lot of discipline, motivation, creativity, time management and spurred our love for the arts. As we grew older, although dance and choreography were a big part of each of our lives, we began our careers. Working for many types of event, marketing, non-profit and fashion brands. As long-time friends, we decided to go off on our own to create this brand to connect young people and celebrate entrepreneurship through the best way we knew how: showcasing the arts and giving back.
BWR: What was the inspiration behind the founding of City MOGULS?
Dani & Victoria & Monica: City MOGULS was inspired by an event that we always wanted to attend, but that did not exist in Toronto. With our love of the arts, as well as our passion for entrepreneurship, we wanted to fuse those worlds together to create something inspiring. Fashion, dance, and music has been so prevalent and meaningful to our lives, that we wanted to incorporate it into our core values. We saw so many innovative entrepreneurs starting companies that were fresh and forward thinking. We wanted to celebrate these entrepreneurs and change-makers in a creative way… by making them strut their stuff on a runway wearing Canadian fashion.
A big part of our mission since inception was giving back. Each year proceeds from our event are donated to a Canadian cause. We wanted to help inspire our peers to give back through the work of all the MOGULS we honour each year. Unlike any other organization that gives awards to young people for their success, our MOGULS selected each year are all philanthropic, always making time and effort to give back.
BWR: What can you tell us about your partnership? How would you describe working together?
Dani & Victoria & Monica:Our partnership works because each of us has a domain of strength. We trust each other to handle those areas. Moreover, we find our super power as a team to be our ability to communicate with each other through simple and more difficult conversations. We do this to ensure we are all always on the same page with where our heads are at as we move forward. Not every day is the same, and not every company can remain the same. So, we grow and change together. In times of doubt, we dance together, and remember what it’s all about!
BWR: What would you say is the most challenging part of your job?
Dani & Victoria & Monica: The most challenging part of our jobs is juggling the various aspects of what is involved in City MOGULS. Not just the runway show, which is our biggest piece as of now, but navigating our other events. Like Talk the Walk, coordinating sponsors and our committee, designers, creating new content and educational pieces for our community, engaging our MOGULS, the list goes on! Luckily through the years we have developed systems for this. But it’s still a juggling act. However, we are always up for a good challenge!
BWR: In your own words, how would you describe a MOGUL? What aspects / characteristics do they possess?
Dani & Victoria & Monica:A MOGUL is an entrepreneur who is making an impact. They are starting companies or brands or creating products, which is positively changing the way we do business. A MOGUL is an inspiring leader for their team and community and who makes time to give back. All of our MOGULS are philanthropic. Whether it’s through their business as a social enterprise, or a part of their mission to give back to local charities, it’s an integral part of what they do. Our MOGULS inspire us because they are the leaders of today and tomorrow.
BWR: What criterias do you use when it comes to choosing your MOGULS?
Dani & Victoria & Monica:There are 5 main criteria points during the selection process of our MOGULS. Each MOGUL must be in business for a minimum of 5 years to show the company’s growth and success. MOGULS must hold leadership qualities and an influential position in their industry and community. Additionally, MOGULS must be affiliated with a cause: whether their business is a social enterprise or part of their mission is to give back to specific charities, this piece is a must. Finally, all of our MOGULS must be doing something innovative and forward-thinking.
BWR: Who are some of the past MOGULS?
Dani & Victoria & Monica: Michele Romanow of Dragons Den and Founder of Clearbanc. Michael Hyatt Founder of BlueCat. Lexi Miles Founder of Waxon. Shae Invidiata, Founder of Free-Them. All of our past MOGULS can be found on our website: www.citymoguls.com/the-moguls.
BWR: You have a lot of big names this year. Who are some of the MOGULS being celebrated this year?
Dani & Victoria & Monica:We are very excited to have 2019 MOGULS like Joanna Griffiths, founder of Knix, and Allen Lau, founder of Wattpad, as well as Ilana Ben-Ari, founder of Twenty-One Toys, and Taylor Frankel of Nudestix, to name a few!
BWR: In the past, City MOGULS has raised over $50K for charities. How does is make you feel to have made such a huge impact?
Dani & Victoria & Monica: We’re very proud of the impact we’ve made thus far. However, our goals keep getting bigger. We believe that there is still so much we can do to raise awareness and make real change in our community through this platform and to shine a light on incredible entrepreneurs in our city.
What does the future of City MOGULS look like? What are some of the upcoming projects you have planned?
Dani & Victoria & Monica: City MOGULS exists to connect people on their journeys, to feed them with knowledge to navigate the seas of their own careers or entrepreneurial paths and to find a way to continue to give back in the process. We want to build a community and continue to give them high quality knowledge and experiences. We are excited to bring back our MOGUL Media series where we interview our MOGUL Alumni. Additionally, we’re hoping to take our runway show to new Canadian cities!