Previously known as KANIA, Stacey is the Founder and CEO of Stacey Martin Lifestyle, a Canadian luxe loungewear company that pushes the boundaries of fashion by combining comfort, sustainability and style in a way that inspires confidence and reinvents the look of luxury. Stacey started her fashion company in 2003 and will be launching her rebrand Stacey Martin Lifestyle this Fall.
What achievement or contribution are you most proud of?
The achievement I am most proud of is having my son. I had a difficult pregnancy and a difficult delivery; recovering from that time reminds me that anyone can overcome any adversity you have in life with time and patience.
And now, watching my son grow is the greatest gift. He reminds me every day to keep learning and striving, and if I fall, get back up and try again!
What’s one thing you can attribute to your success?
One thing I can attribute to my success is the foundation taught to me by my mother. Even to this day, she always encourages me to go for my dreams and never give up.
She instilled in me that nothing is impossible and there are no limits to what I can achieve. With hard work, dedication and perseverance, I can achieve almost anything.
What is the most surprising fact about you?
The most surprising fact about me is that I never went to fashion or business school. I started my career as a professional performing artist right out of high school.
I attribute my entrepreneurial skills to my years spent dancing On Broadway, in films, television and movies. Dancing taught me precision, how to digest disappointments and grow thick skin. I learnt to be adaptable and pivot, all the necessary traits to run a successful business.
Who is your inspiration?
I do not have one particular person that inspires me. Inspiration to me can come in all forms. Right now, love inspires my soul. I want to make women feel loved and encourage them to fall in love with themselves and feel incredible in their skin. Love inspires me to design clothing that can make them feel that way.
How do you celebrate your success?
I celebrate my successes often, even small wins, by mostly just acknowledging how far I’ve come. A small celebration is a glass of wine and a snuggle on the couch with my husband and son! But, a big celebration, travel! I love to travel! I can’t wait to travel again!
What would be a good theme song for your life?
I am of Caribbean descent; there is a soca song called Brave! That’s my jam! Lol! Being brave and having courage in the unknown is half the battle! So when I hear the song Brave it gives me the power to do the impossible.
What advice would you give to other women who are starting out in their career journey?
My advice to other women would be to know it’s not going to be easy. You have to want it as much as you want to breathe and at the same time know everything you need is within you. If you can envision it, you can achieve it.
What is the one thing you knew before you started your career?
One thing I wish I knew was the compound effect. I am naturally an all-or-nothing person, but in business, the compound effect is necessary. If you lay one brick at a time slowly and steadily over time, you will see the empire you built!
How do you find balance?
I find balance by trying not to balance. It’s not for everyone, but this is where my all-or-nothing personality truly works! Whatever I am working on whether, my business, my family, fitness etc., I strive to give 100% of my attention, not 50%. So, for example, instead of trying to play with my son and get work done at the same time. I strive to dedicate time to give 100% attention to each individually.
What are you most afraid of?
I’m most afraid of losing the ones I love. I am a lover; I call myself love, I love deeply. So the thought of losing the ones I love is terrifying.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
Living life and having fun! I am a huge advocate for living while I’m alive! Doing something memorable like travelling, partying, playing, exploring, anything to experience life... I’m in!!
Which Superhero would you be?
Catwoman! Mainly because I love her outfit! Lol!
What has been the biggest learning experience of your life?
I gained many significant learning experiences throughout my life, but there are 2 that I find very important. One is to learn to trust and love the process. Through every obstacle and struggle, there is always a lesson. We have to be patient, open and observant enough to listen and learn.
The second is to go there! As a fashion designer, founder and CEO of Stacey Martin Lifestyle Inc., people often ask me, "How did you get to where you are today?" My answer is I had to go there. If you want to do something great, you have to put in 110% and go there. You can’t go halfway, you can’t dip your toes in, you need to go there wholeheartedly, entirely. I learnt this through experience and made it the tagline and mantra for my company …
To that place you’ve always wanted to go,
To that place that only you know.
Remember where you wore me.