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Cupcakes Are Better With Best Friends
Written by Liberty Craig   
Cupcakes co-founders Heather White and Lori Joyce dish out their recipe for success, the upcoming launch of Betterwith, and the icing on the cake: being forty.

Heather and Lori in pink satin dresses

“Friends aren’t friends until they’ve started a business together,” states Cupcakes co-founder Lori Joyce. “It’s the ultimate test.”

“In the beginning we drove each other crazy,” agrees partner Heather White. “My mother had to intervene.”

To call these two “sisterly” would be giving most sisters too much credit. Lori and Heather finish each other’s sentences. They hash out business ideas in momentary asides while maintaining two other simultaneous conversations. They support, question, tease and ratify one another in a constant stream of discussion, interwoven with witticism and warmth.

Their story is familiar to many Vancouverites, thanks in large part to their Gemini award-winning reality TV show, The Cupcake Girls. As best friends growing up in Victoria, they had future plans of starting a business together. When they reconnected in New York many years later, they rekindled the entrepreneur flame. After the life-changing events of 9/11 and an “ah-ha” moment in a New York bakery, the duo decided it was time.

That first paradigmatic shop, branded with the iconic pink cupcake logo, opened in 2002 on busy Denman Street in Vancouver’s bustling downtown west end. On day one, inventory was sold out by 3 pm. Subsequent days saw customers lined up out the door and down the block. And then the franchisees came calling. And then reality television.

Fast forward to today: 13 years, ten Cupcakes retail locations, two marriages, three children, three seasons of the show, and one new business venture later. These gals have been busy, and show no signs of slowing any time soon.

A Different Kind of Business Plan

Heather wearing a black sweater with white polka dots

Lori: We didn’t have a business plan, we had no business experience, and we didn’t have money. But we were best friends and we knew our values. We knew our work ethic. Eighty percent of businesses fail within the first year. If there’s a partnership going into the business, the chances are even higher. Our game plan was to go into this knowing we were going to see it to the end.

Heather: We were really young, and we come from a generation that believes you work hard to get ahead. We agreed that for the first five years there’d be no kids and no marriages, and we worked a lot of six or seven-day weeks.

No Piece of Cake

L: We were the original cupcake concept, and there were a lot of copycats. People were constantly coming in, taking photos. Of course, if you have a good idea, people are going to copy it.

H: Everyone thought our idea looked so great and so easy… but when something looks easy, it’s usually the hardest thing to duplicate.

L: You can go through the effort of copying an idea, but you can’t copy the people behind the idea. You don’t know their vision; you don’t know how hard they’re working.

The Cupcake Evolution

Lori wearing blue pants and white sweater

H: I could visualize how the cupcake would become something on its own, its own entity. Once Martha Stewart graced one of her magazine covers with a tier of wedding cupcakes, everyone began doing cupcakes for their weddings.

L: It was a cupcake evolution.

H: We grew out of our first location at 1,100 square feet and had to open our Broadway location, which is 2,000 square feet, just to house the growth of our wedding business. We have been blessed since day one with all the publicity we’ve gained from our story. People wanted to come in and see how two girls who knew nothing about the business and had no plan, were able to create such a phenomenon.

Getting Personal on Reality TV

L: I have such positive memories of The Cupcake Girls because I got pregnant in season one. I credit the show for helping me, because it completely took my mind off IVF. Then, when we were filming season three, I found out I was three months pregnant – when I had a nine-month-old baby at home. I tell people who are doing IVF to find a new hobby that is completely engrossing. I feel very lucky that I did in vitro on the show because I feel like I was able to help other women.

H: A lot of women reached out to you.

L: Tons. There were some really sad stories. You know, women really connect with each other, and because of Heather and my relationship, so many women could relate to the show. In season two, Heather got pregnant and got engaged. We delivered on content! The timing of our personal lives was great for the show.

The Reality of a Hit TV Show

H: We went into the show naively thinking it was going to be a fun little reality show that the locals would watch.

L: It was like a giant, international commercial for us. It sold to 96 countries. We had no idea that would happen! It gave us so much exposure, and when we wanted to expand and franchise it meant we already had recognition in new markets. The only problem was that we needed to get back into the business.

H: We really took three and a half years off our lives and stepped into the role of reality TV personalities. At the end of the third season, we realized we no longer had time for it. We wanted to grow our brand and it was the right time to focus on our company.

Birth of a New Venture

Heather and Lori wearing faux fur jackets with jewel brooches in waffle cones

L: After the show, we opened new Cupcakes locations. Then it was time to do the obvious: ice cream. Even back in our Denman days, people always came into the shop to ask if we sold ice cream. And what goes better with cake than ice cream? Plus, a lot of dads come in with their wives and kids but just hang out in the background. They don’t want to eat pink cupcakes, but they’ll eat ice cream! So it was also to increase the male traffic.

H: Are you kidding… it’s also because you love ice cream.

L: I love ice cream! We’re doing a new ice cream brand, which is still in development. It’s called Betterwith. Cupcakes are better with ice cream. Everything is better with ice cream. Betterwith. It will have only egg as a stabilizer and no preservatives whatsoever, without compromising on taste or texture. We want it to taste fresh and whole, just like our cupcakes, with that richness of flavour you get when it’s homemade. We’re starting classic: the best chocolate, creamy caramel, strawberry ice cream that tastes like a bowl of fresh strawberries.

H: All our retail locations will eventually have Betterwith ice cream, and it’s also going into grocery store distribution right away. It will be in Whole Foods and the bigger natural markets for spring 2016.

Buttercreams and Callanetics

H: There was a point when we were having two or three cupcakes a day, because we were testing and sampling our product. I have always been a workout junkie. Exercise is my meditation. It’s my balance.

L: I really understand the value of working out and what it does to me, on a whole level. I get it now.

H: Every week, I sit down on Sunday and book my workouts for the entire week. I work out six days a week, 7am, Kondi Studio. Lacey Kondi has created one of the best exercise regimens in the city. It’s the perfect blend of Callanetics, TRX, HIIT and Pilates. The classes are tough and will get you into the shape you want.

L: I’m wearing pre-pregnancy clothes because of her! Also I live on the North Shore and I love doing the Grouse Grind early in the morning.

Work It, Baby

H: Both of us had babies on Friday and were back at work on Monday.

L: No, that’s not true. I came back on a Tuesday. It was a long weekend.

H: Our parents and in-laws were very involved. Having my mom to break up my days really helped my mental state, helped balance work and new motherhood.

L: I don’t feel guilty about saying this: I was so excited to go back to work right away. And then I was excited to come home and be a mom. I had girlfriends who were home with their babies, and it seemed so isolating. I felt lucky to go back to work.

Balancing Exhaustion

H: Still, it was overwhelming. There were so many days when neither of us had had any sleep.

L: That’s why I can’t watch season three of the show. I was just so tired. It took years to get back to feeling like myself. I think 2013 was the year of ugly Lori.

H: I never thought that! Maybe unhappy Lori.

L: It’s a slippery slope! You’re overwhelmed, you’re exhausted, you’re letting yourself go, not working out. That was the best thing about being in a partnership. Heather was harsh! She was like, seriously, we need to get you to the gym…

H: … only because it clears your mind and gives you balance…

L: … and get you a haircut, and buy you some new jeans. Some hot jeans. It worked, actually.

Fabulous at forty

L: I love being in business in my forties.

H: I just love being in my forties. You just don’t care what people think. I’ve come into my own.

L: It’s fabulous. There’s this level of maturity – I don’t know if it’s maturity because we’re both young at heart. Is it confidence?

H: I just feel whole. I’m happy with who I am. Life is good.

For more information about Cupcakes, visit

De-Cluttering your Wardrobe for Fall
Written by Kim Appelt   

Kim sitting on floor in an organised closet

There is nothing worse than not being able to find your clothes in your closet when you’re getting dressed.

A clean, well-organized wardrobe—instead of a confusing, jumbled mess of clothes and accessories—means you’ll be able to find what you need and pick out outfits on busy mornings. The task of de-cluttering your wardrobe can be very overwhelming.

If you can, hiring a stylist with a fresh eye can really cut down on the time it takes you to re-vamp your closet. If that is not a realistic option for you, here are a few tips to get you on the right track.

Step #1: Get Rid Of Your Old Clothes.

It might not be easy, but tossing out or donating old clothes is the key to making room in your closet for your latest finds!! The rule of thumb I use for my clients is, if you haven’t worn it in the last year, it’s out. If it is two sizes too big or small, forget it… get rid of it. It’s time to buy new clothes. Also is it stained or pilling? If it is…it’s not classy to be walking around like that. Dump it or donate it. Another question to ask yourself…would I buy this now?

Step #2: Call The Experts

organised closet shelves

If you’re interested in hiring professional help to organize your closet, it can be more affordable than you think. Call in help with building a custom closet and/or a personal stylist. A custom closet is a luxury that many of us can afford as there are many different price points and it can make a world of difference. Call a few closet companies to get quotes because a few proper shelves and hanging space can make a huge difference for you. If you want to do it yourself, many stores have all of their space organizing displays out right now for fall. Grab some new hangers -I like the slim line ones that are covered in velvet so clothes don’t slip-and invest in a few clear bins. Remember, if you can’t see it, you won’t wear it.

Step #3: Start Organizing

Anyone who has ever worked with me knows the drill. The way I do a closet clean is that everything comes out of the closet and goes onto the bed. Then we put the pieces back one-by-one on new hangers.


If you have the space to hang all your tops, hang them all. You’ll wear more of your tops if you can see them. I colour group them. I do from dark to light and short-sleeved to long-sleeved.


Fold the very heavy sweaters so they don’t lose shape on the hanger. Colour-code your sweaters and also by weight, and use cubbies if you can. If you want to get really into it, use a sweater folding board to make perfect folds. You can find folding boards at HomeSense and Home Outfitters.


I personally organize my clients’ jeans by colour, and fold them. However, hanging jeans by the hem can also be a great solution. It is really your preference and also based on what space you have available. Again, group them by colour and style if you can. For example, I have all of my skinny jeans hanging together from light to dark. Next I have the boyfriend jeans, light to dark…you get the idea.


Hang these. It’s best to spend some money on good hangers that leave less of a mark. You can also fold the sides of the skirt and clip them there. Again, hang by length from short to long and group according to colour. That way, if you are looking for a short white skirt, for example, you just flip through your short white skirt section and find the best one for that top instead of trying to go through all the skirts and getting distracted.


I prefer to hang dresses by colour, season and length in that order. So if you have a bunch of red dresses, I start with the ones in season and hang accordingly and put the longer ones at the end of the line. This is also a personal choice. I usually start with strapless and move to long-sleeved.

Never leave your dresses, or any other clothes, in dry cleaning or plastic garment bags. The chemicals from dry cleaning attack the fibres of your clothing and cause damage.


I like to line purses up on the top of the closet or anywhere you can see them. It’s hard to change bags if you can’t see them. I also have a row of hooks on one wall of my closet and my 3 or 4 main purses hang there for easy swapping.

Scarves folded in piles by colour and material works best, and it makes it easy to pull one out without ruining the organization of the rest.

As for hats, I like to have them on display so that you can grab them quickly.


I like to organize shoes by colour and style. Hide your flip flops, they don’t need a display…you will always find those.


Most of the time lingerie is in a drawer all jumbled up. If you can, try to separate into two different drawers for tops and bottoms. For a luxe touch, it’s nice to line these drawers and add little scent sachets. You can find these at any lingerie boutique.


I love a built-in drawer in the closet or dresser to keep things neat and uncluttered. If you don’t have that option, hanging necklaces and earrings is a great way to see what you have.

Hope this guide helps you get ready for an amazing fall and winter season! Happy Cleaning!

Dîner en Blanc
Written by Shannon Mann   

park with lots of people dressed in whiteDîner en Blanc: a fantasy evening of outdoor dinner and drinks at a secret location revealed only hours before, and a strict, elegant dress code for guests of all white - no exceptions. Mix this event with an exclusive invitation-only guest list, and you have one of the most anticipated events of the summer. The Social Concierge bought the third annual Dîner en Blanc to the City of Vancouver. This traditionally Parisian event has been shared in cities across the world, and Vancouver this year did not disappoint. Guests arrived at David Lam Park in Yaletown with chairs and tables, chic picnic baskets, and, of course, dressed in their summer whites - ready to mix and mingle and break bread under the stars. We dressed in all white and arranged to arrive to this event in an all-white Rolls Royce Phantom, courtesy of Royalty Chauffers. This was, after all, an exclusive event. This year, Dîner en Blanc Vancouver had a waiting list of over 35,000 hopefuls, but sold tickets to only 3,500 lucky participants!

two men dressed in white suits with huge white balls with 'love' written on the balls

The champagne and conversation were flowing as we looked across the park at some of Vancouver’s most beautiful people enjoying each other’s company over food and wine, and white being my favourite colour to wear, it was a beautiful sight to behold! The appetizers by David Hawksworth were wonderful, and paired with beautiful wines and champagne. Entertainment was outstanding. There were performances by Vancouver Opera, French-speaking stilt walkers, and acrobats.  At twilight, some guests lit flying paper lanterns that added beautiful points of light to Vancouver’s already stunning skyline. And of course, there was the lighting of the sparklers - that was a beautiful sight. It was an evening to remember! A warm, heartfelt thank you to Hosts Jordan Kallman and Tyson Villeneuve and their entire team for putting together this gem of an event for our city.

Crystal Carson Style Guide
Written by Crystal Carson   

model wearing a hooded wool jacket

Oversized Hooded Wool Jacket / Stella McCartney / Holt Renfrew / $2,475
Studded Pearl Earrings (Black Gold & Silver, Black Natural
Diamonds & Tahitian Pearls) / Starting at $1800
Studded Pearl Ring (Black Gold & Silver, Black Natural Diamonds, Tahitian Pearl) / starting at $900

woman wearing black wool coat

Black Wool Coat / Lanvin / Holt Renfrew / $3,740
Birks Bee Chic Earrings / / $1,695
Birks Bee Chic Long Ring / / $1,695
Serafino Pearl Ring / / Starting at $4,200

woman wearing cobalt blue coat

Cobalt Blue Coat / Altuzarra / Holt Renfrew / $3,115
Honeycomb Earrings (Yellow Gold, Diamonds, Natural Precious Gems, Natural Baroque Pearls) / $6,300

woman wearing long black jacket

Black Jacket with Paint Splatter detail / Donna Karen / Holt Renfrew /$4,595
Tassel Pearl Pendant (Yellow Gold, Natural Diamonds & Tahitian Pearl / / Starting at $2,100
Eckseracitrine Ring / / $6,170

PHOTOGRAPHER: JUSTIN ARANHA Producer & Stylist: Crystal Carson WWW.CRYSTALCARSONSTYLE.COM TWITTER & INSTAGRAM: @CARSONCRYSTAL Model: Josey @ key model management Make-Up & Hair Artist: Sophie Hsin for MAC Cosmetics for Plutino Group Stylist Assistant: Marie Powell Location: Garden Suite of Shangri-La Toronto

Women in Business
Written by Fresh Vancouver   

Julia Chung
The Personal CFO

A certified financial planner, chartered underwriter, family enterprise advisor, and published business columnist, Julia takes a holistic approach to personal finance with a focus on the big picture. “I create strategies for my clients and coach them through long-term decisions rather than just telling them what to buy,” she says. Julia’s approach is to separate advice from products, acting as a project manager and advocate, ensuring that her clients understand their goals and guiding them towards achievement. With well over 15 years in the industry, Julia’s expertise and approach is unique. “My mission is to make the improbable a reality, and help my clients fulfill their dreams.”


photo of Julia

Erin Whalen
The Marketing Writer

Erin founded Made You Look Online as part of her mission to make the world a better place. Her company helps progressive entrepreneurs, artists, and business owners get their message out in a way that engages people on a deeper level and inspires them to act. “There are so many amazing people and companies that are working to improve people’s lives and help us live in greater alignment with each other and the planet,” Erin says. “It’s an honour to help them share their message with a larger audience.” Her clients include Jack Canfield, best-selling author of Chicken Soup for the Soul and The Success Principles. This October, Erin is launching WORDPLAY, an online course for people who want to take the "ugh" out of writing for their business – and do a better job of attracting the people who are most likely to love what they offer.

photo of Erin

Cheryl Janot & Ashley Levet
The Bookkeepers

Cheryl started Prestige Bookkeeping and Income Tax Services in 1989 and welcomed her daughter Ashley Levett aboard two years ago. The team is an all-inclusivevservice and offers training in Quickbooks software, payroll services, GST remittances, personal and corporate tax returns, financial statements and investments, as well as handling situations that may arise with Revenue Canada. “We are here to help our clients get organized in their business and personal affairs while making them feel relaxed in order to build and maintain a happy and long relationship,” says Cheryl.

Cheryl Janot: (604) 764-1376(604) 764-1376 Ashley Levett:  (604) 551-2412(604) 551-2412

photo of Cheryl and Ashley

Kristal Barrett-Stuart
The Queen of Sparkle

When Kristal noticed a lack of inspirational groups for young girls, she decided to do something about it by founding The Sparkle Project B.C., an initiative to help young girls find their passion. Through two-hour workshops, merchandise with a message, a music video, a blog and a supportive community, Kristal aims to teach goal-setting and self-esteem-building techniques to girls between the ages of 8 and 17. A handbook entitled Sparkle will accompany the launch this fall and feature local success stories from Victoria Duffield, Erin Cebula, Jillian Harris, Fiona Forbes, Dawn Chubai, Tamara Taggart and more. The proceeds will fund bursaries for young women who need financial assistance in pursuing their dreams and goals.

photo of Kristal

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