The Art of Planning

“I’ve never felt like I’ve had to acknowledge ‘I’m a woman and I’m going to be treated differently.’ I think when you change your thought process on approaching different things that are going on in the world, or just approaching everyday life, you don’t let things hinder you or set any type of barriers for yourself. We all need to change our mindset in that direction and it will eventually turn into a world without boundaries when it comes to gender. In my perfect world, people aren’t looking at the areas of life that are holding them back they’re just happy and grateful to be alive. They’re just present in the moment and not letting other things dictate how they’re experiencing life.”

“Failing to plan, is planning to fail…” Agree, disagree or indifferent? she.lace agrees wholeheartedly and we’ve experienced the pestering “what if” and “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve” when we’ve failed to plan effectively and didn’t like the results. We’ll go as far as to suggest that failing to plan is like committing a robbery on yourself. You’re truly robbing yourself of the opportunity to be your best possible self. Now, if a plan goes awry due to something unexpected there’s only so much you can do about that. BUT, that’s part of the “Art of Planning”…preparing for the unexpected. Here’s the thing though, you can’t realistically prepare for the unexpected. What you can try to prepare is your mind, body and spirit to take on anything that comes your way. How? Plan to follow your heart’s desires after having an internal conversation with your brain’s logic. Love and strategy, and then leave the rest to luck.   

You have to be good to be lucky, and lucky to be good. How much does the Art of Planning factor into a statement like that? As far as she.lace is concerned, in this context luck is in large part the result of planning…allow us to explain. We recently heard someone describe “luck” as the moment  when “opportunity meets preparation”. In other words, opportunity was described as being indiscriminate with who it presents itself to or when it decides to show up. BUT, only those who have prepared for opportunity’s “arrival” will be able to take advantage of it. Seems like a simple enough concept, but ask yourself: are you ready to be lucky? she.lace loves to be lucky and we make sure we live by the mantra of the 5Ps: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Perhaps that’s why we reached out to the event planner extraordinaire @blynnn_.Art, sneakers, empowerment…she does it all, and the events she plans are a perfect representation of these things. But it’s more than just her ability to plan, organize and orchestrate wonderful events. It’s her ability to execute a plan even when she faces setbacks.

Now, as much as we prepared for this interview we must admit…the eloquent and insightful responses we got was sheer luck. Then again, our model is a master of the Art of Planning. Enjoy!

We know you as Brittany Lynn but you also go as Brittany Lynn Martin, Lynn being your middle name. So, let’s put all three together…Who’s Brittany Lynn Martin?

Brittany Lynn: Brittany Lynn Martin is a very a passionate, caring, hardworking woman who likes to empower other women through her work. And [she] expresses herself through work and through different events, and just putting her all into everything that she does while being grateful and humble. She’s forever learning throughout the process, forever learning.

You mentioned your work, can you expand a little bit about that?

Brittany Lynn: So, Events By B.Lynn–which is Events By Brittany Lynn–is an event planning and wedding planning company. We do events…everything from weddings, to art shows, to pop-up shops, to activations anything that really speaks to us as a brand. For example, fashion shows and anything more on the creative side of Toronto.

Sidenote: Speaking of creative side of things…she.lace had to harp on this concept with B.Lynn to find out more about her logo. We believe Brittany Lynn has a very distinct and carefully thought out logo that speaks to both her, on an individual level, and the brand message she curates. As opposed to a “simple” conventional letter B, the logo displays an exaggerated “B” which takes the shape of a heart. Talk about putting your heart into your work. Take a listen to how serendipity and fate played a role in designing this logo.

Talk about affirmation, beautiful 💖!

So, why event planning.

Brittany Lynn: So, I went to school for Fashion and at a young age, in high school, I started volunteering doing fashion shows. And I fell in love with fashion shows, but Toronto’s fashion scene is always changing and it’s hard to find a place where they’re consistently engaging in fashion events. So I remember consistently going to the magazine section in Shoppers Drug Mart, and places like that, for inspiration. One day, I remember looking down and there was a wedding magazine and at that time–You know you come out of University or College and you’re trying to find a job and it’s not necessarily what you want it to be–I was kind of in a crossroads, and I was doing visual merchandising. And, I thought to myself “what about weddings?” It puts everything that’s ‘me’ together because there’s a lot of love, design and events behind weddings. After I saw that, a couple months later I took a course at Humber College to get some educational background and the rest is pretty much history.

The rest isn’t history…it’s history IN THE MAKING and you’ve said your “vows” with event planning! You mentioned that you love to empower, what empowers you?

Brittany Lynn: Honestly, I would say art and anything creative empowers me. Also, hearing people’s stories. When I meet with people for events whether it’s a wedding, or a different art pop-up, or any event…it’s really empowering to hear the story behind what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. It just makes me feel proud and happy to be able to be a part of that, and just being a part of different things that are happening in [Toronto] that really empowers me. I’ve also found a lot of empowerment in the people around me, whether it’s business, personal or professional. Just hearing their stories and just being moved by what they’re doing with their lives, and what motivates them. And, the City of Toronto empowers me too.

That’s what empowers she.lace, and your story is very empowering. Speaking of empowering, what did you think of the location of the shoot? What did it do for you?

Brittany Lynn: As soon as I walked to the front window–because I did visual merchandising, so window displays are a big thing to me–I thought “My goodness, this is amazing! The perfect place to shoot.” I walked in and I was instantly gravitating towards the different pop art and bright colours and I just felt inspired. In moments like that I kind of get lost in my own world, and I’m getting inspired for future events. That place would be the perfect space for any up and coming artist, or even just in general to just combine art culture with Toronto and things like that. I just felt inspired! It was a great place to not only be inspired but to relax…there are seats and tables which is different because a lot of art galleries in Toronto don’t have that. You usually just walk in and look at the art so it’s not as cozy. So it was a comfortable place to create.

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Comic Art by Sandra Chevrier

During the photo shoot she.lace actually observed Brittany Lynn in one of her self-described moments of being “lost in inspiration”. She was certainly in deep thought while looking at a particular painting. Listen to Brittany explain what she was mulling over as she got caught in her thoughts.

Interesting to say the least! We’re glad Brittany mentioned that the “climate” of the world as it currently stands is one that is making it explicitly clear how vital a role women must play in order for progress to be realized. So we had to ask…In Brittany Lynn’s utopian world, with a heart symbol for a ‘B’, what does women’s empowerment look like?

With that being said, she.lace is going to acknowledge that there’s something “different” about you. Not better or worse, just different. Often times, we find ourselves dumbfounded by how a series of events can be connected together. We would love for you to share why art galleries hold a special place to you…

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Brittany Lynn: Art galleries have always held a special therapeutic place for me. I felt like at anytime I could just go and gravitate towards an art gallery as a form of therapy. And, I would often find myself in those spaces and I started to realize it’s something I’ve been doing from a young age. Recently, I found myself–after a crazy event season in 2016–super exhausted but super excited to see one of my best friends who had been working out of town and was visiting. We were heading to an art gallery for Breast Cancer Awareness. So, we had been there for about 30 minutes and she was telling me a story about a friend of hers she had met along her journey who had been diagnosed with cancer and was now in remission. And I just remember getting super hot–I was enjoying myself because there’s art, music, socializing–and I just got really flush and I ended up having three seizures back-to-back-to-back that later turned out to be a cyst on the right side of my brain.

Wow! Let’s take a moment to allow that to sink in. In a solitary moment Brittany Lynn went from euphoria to an emergency. Thankfully, she made it through this terrifying experience…and was back to her Art of Planning in no time. Listen up!

she.lace knows you certainly got back to work because the beginning of our working relationship was an event for MARTK’D that you had invited us to. And we were so humbled to be honorary judges. It was an Event By B.Lynn so of course it was great…and from there we decided to reach out to you and ask you to model. Why did you say yes?

Brittany Lynn: Because I really believe in what you’re doing! When I was researching different people and movements in [Toronto] that really spoke to the MARTK’D brand–I got to work in partnership with the MARTK’D team, which is an art on sneaker competition–giving an opportunity for artists to interact with sneaker culture.

I’ve had the opportunity to make a lot of social connections and when I came across she.lace, when doing research for attendees and judges for the event, I thought you were the perfect fit. We had really strong male presence, but for me it’s always important that there’s a strong female presence. And when I saw the blog, there was more than just photos there was substance and you had a voice. I also saw the CBC feature and I thought “This is a perfect connection.” It bridges the gap because not only is it women’s empowerment…it’s art, it’s sneaker culture, it’s Toronto, it’s very present and very now… I really enjoy working with you, going back and forth, because you’re very positive and easy to work with. It’s been great!

Well, thanks for the cosign [Brittany laughs]

Brittany Lynn: Always!

Sidenote: Just a humble brag for your viewing pleasure ⬇️

Speaking of sneakers, and all the other pillars that she.lace is about, Brittany Lynn certainly satisfies that criterion. You know we had to ask B.Lynn a.k.a. “Lady in Red” about the origin of her love for sneakers.

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Just like our slogan states: it’s more than just sneakers. Is it too corny to say “she gets it from her Mama”?? Too late, we just did 😂.. And with the outfits she be rocking, Brittany Lynn certainly exemplifies how professional meets function.

What’s next for Events By B.Lynn?

Brittany Lynn: I think it’s taking me some time to find myself as well as my brand along the way, and I feel like right now it’s all starting to come together. I’ve been able to be involved with some really amazing projects that have inspired me on another level. And all the things that have happened in my life as well, there are different ways for me to use my brand to express myself. I really want to be able to incorporate my love for art and give back to the Toronto community. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and see a lot of art galleries and meet artists around the world. But, I feel like one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that it’s really important to build home first. And so I think it’s time that I help through doing different events with different artists. Through my journey, my battle with health obstacles, I’ve realized how important it is to educate people when it comes to wellness. Whether it’s mental health, or brain health–which is a big thing for me because there’s lots of people who have gone through what I’ve gone through they just aren’t aware of it–I want to educate people through events, and using my events to be a form of therapy. When you come to an event it should be a sensory experience. I want my events to translate that and have people walk away feeling it was a great overall experience: great food, great music, great artists, great time. Going forward, I’m just going to continue to build on what I believe in, what I’m passionate about and what moves me.

Of course, we had to ask what the she.lace 5 year Anniversary celebration orchestrated by Events By B.Lynn would look like. Let’s just say, be prepared to be inspired…take a listen.

4.5 years to go 😉

she.lace thought long and hard about where we should have a photoshoot for an event planner who’s heart bleeds art. We were in agreeance about one mandatory element: art. And then we had an idea 💡… let’s just say we were struck by a moment of brilliance.

an·nex
verb
: to attach, append, or add, especially to something larger or more important.

🤔 Would it be proper use of the word to state that the locations she.lace chooses are annexed to women’s empowerment? Fortunately, that’s not the point of us providing the definition above. All we’re trying to do is explain the meaning behind the name of the Toronto neighbourhood where STRUCK Contemporary is located. Although it’s safe to say that this art gallery has the potential to annex the art community and creatives in the city. No doubt about it!

Talk about an inviting place! If she.lace was to think about a personification for STRUCK it would be: warm, cozy, engaging, unique and stimulating all in one. If the walls could talk…the stories they would tell. Well, these stories would be as colourful and rich as the paintings that adorn them. STRUCK describes itself as: a contemporary art gallery in Toronto with a focus on pop art….STRUCK features the works of established contemporary masters like Warhol, Murakami and Rauschenberg alongside exciting new works by local and international up-and-coming artists.”

It’s so much more than just a contemporary pop art gallery, it’s a creative space that has an inspiring energy. If there’s one thing that STRUCK has successfully struck down…visitors don’t feel any level of intimidating “snarly prestige” that some might associate with the idea of an art gallery. From the thought provoking exhibitions, to the impressive list of artists (with a particular interest in up and coming artists), to educational workshops…this creative sanctuary has STRUCK a positive chord with us.

Sidenote: As a matter of fact, on the day we conducted our photoshoot there was an informal workshop taking place in the back studio. What kind of workshop you ask? The cutest kind imaginable… there were two little girls doing an arts and crafts project.

“A perfect world where there’s no need for the category of ‘women’s empowerment’ because all that matters is empowerment, period….no sub-categories.”

STRUCK knows a thing or two about breaking barriers, so something tells us you’ll be hearing about an Events By B.Lynn and STRUCK Contemporary collaboration in the near future. The mission is to facilitate the opportunity for people to engage with contemporary art in a very relaxing environment. Well, mission accomplished…but don’t take our word for it. Plan a trip to The Annex neighbourhood of Toronto at 365 Dupont Street, in between Bathurst Street and Spadina Avenue. Be prepared to encounter a unique space with a powerful aesthetic that invites creativity to display its greatness.  

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“What [she.lace] does is show that women can feel great in their sneakers, it’s a movement.That’s why I chose those shoes, because those shoes signified a moment when I felt like I was transitioning into this really empowered and powerful person in my life.”

You know that feeling when a carefully thought out plan comes to fruition in every way you envisioned? Well, the answer should be a resounding “no”. Let’s be honest, there’s usually some kind of kink or wrinkle in the execution of a plan. But that’s the beauty of the Art of Planning… it doesn’t require or demand perfection, not in the least. If the “Art of Planning” had a physical location (perhaps an Annex 😉) it would be at the intersection of Love Avenue and Strategy Road…Of course, “Unexpected Boulevard” would be the next street up. And this is a location where Brittany Lynn has become very familiar and comfortable with. BRAIN SURGERY!! Three weeks later she was back doing what she loved…talk about art imitating life. How many of us can say within a year we’ve gone from experiencing one of the most productive periods in a our budding careers, to brain surgery? We feel we can say unequivocally… not many. With that being said, that’s not to suggest we all haven’t experienced “highs and lows” in a short time span… or had to endure traumatic hardships. Regardless of what form or shape it takes, these experiences are inevitable. So, what’s the best way to prepare for something you know is going to happen but you don’t know how or when? The Art of Planning! That’s how Brittany Lynn was able to battle through her challenging times and persevere. When you put your heart into planning to follow your desires and aspirations the results can be a beautiful masterpiece in the making. And, if you’re really “lucky” perhaps the same place/thing that caused trauma can become your triumph. That’s what we call coming full circle, art in motion.

 

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