photo by Ishmil Waterman
Bianca Harris, beautiful both in and out is a force to be reckoned with. It is not often that you meet people who are so immediately transparent, and in being so, have you unexpectedly dropping all your walls. That is what happened when I sat down with her a few weeks ago to talk about the creation of WIPP – we talked about a LOT.
Today’s Creating The Life is about this extraordinary woman who with WIPP is inspiring passion and purpose in women. Read our interview below:
- Did you go to College, University or the School of Hard Knocks?I went to Seneca College and then to the Yorkville School of Makeup for one year. I actually went to to Seneca to make my mom happy. Yorkville School of Makeup was really the only time I ever really liked going to school.
- Where did you grow up and where do you live now?I grew up in Toronto, and live in the city now.
- What is WIPP and how did it start?It actually started with taking a course at landmark- we had to come up with a project. I had no idea we even had to come up with something, I was so confused. I was talking to one of the coaches, and I wanted to leave and she asked me, “well, what is important to you?” What ended up coming out of that conversation was me remembering having jobs I hated and how they affected my entire life. I wanted to do something I loved.
So with all this information, I decided I would create a project with a focus on women, empowering women. They asked for specifics, and it gave me a guideline, which also taught me that you can’t really do anything successfully without a system in place. I was really resistant and quit doing the event about 7 times. I convinced myself that I didn’t care about it anymore because all of my insecurities came up. All your insecurities come up when you start doing something that you don’t normally do. I overcame this though with support- the people around me didn’t let me give up.
- Tell us a little about your career paths. How did you turn your passions into the company you have now?I started working at Mac Makeup for 4 years- it was longer than I expected, but when you start an artistic career, it’s not easy. I didn’t want to be in a retail environment. I quit my job and it gave me a push. Fast-forward to now, I work free lance as a make-up artist and I work constantly. I’m very much an ideas person, and I like to accomplish a lot and I’m always asking what’s next. I then started WIPP. I’m putting all my energy into it. I get home from work and continue working because I really want to build and create this brand – I love it and I believe in it so I give it my all.
- What are some challenges of being business owner in such a competitive field?
With WIPP, leading a team is extremely difficult. You want to keep people happy to work for you but you also have to lay down the law sometimes. Especially because this is a start up, i’m trying to get grants and still need the help and you need to have people on your team who support you. Getting sh*t done is very important, having my name on the line is difficult but I also have a lot of women helping me and this is just as much about them so the balance can be difficult.
- What inspires you?I’m inspired by Art, I love seeing things come to life. I’m a big ideas person, I love coming up with something and producing it and seeing it happen and coming up with something else. I love the process of it. Also music and fashion for sure. Music is a big one for me, the feeling you get and the memories you get back, so many ideas come out of it. I am inspired by a lot.
- What are you most proud of?I am proud of evolving- I think that is something I put a lot of importance into- I can’t stay the same and I am proud am evolving.
- What advice would you give to someone who is interested in following their dreams and taking the leap to starting a small business of their own?Do it. Stop making excuses- they are all excuses. If you want to do it, do it. what is it that you’re waiting for? I don’t have advice, I have that question back- what are you waiting for? That’s all I can say to others; do it.I think athletes get it – they don’t make excuses. They do what they have to do in order to get what they want. I think people need to start realizing that life isn’t about work- you’re put here to make a difference and be in love. We have to change the way we think and have these conversations about putting ourselves in situations with people who are stronger and smarter than us and be willing to see things from a different perspective.
- What are some of your favourite things about WIPP?Podcasts are so much fun and being able to have a passion and being able to make it your work is one of my favourite things. Working with so many different women and working with others is also really cool. You are never going to do it on your own so you can’t be afraid to ask for help – If I didn’t have help I wouldn’t be able to do it or be where I am now.
- Totally but not so totally unrelated – what are your hopes for the future of the WIPP brand?I want it to be International, I want it to be huge and authentic and Im picky with who I put on and I want to keep it real. I want to turn it into an entire brand- merch, podcasts – I want it to grow and have it be international.
Thank you Bianca for this interview- you are a doll and a true inspiration!