BiaSHEara: Vendor Spotlight: M & Z Event Management!


Hello everyone! Today's blog post is exciting as I get to feature two amazing Event Planners! Maryam and Zuhur of M & Z Event Management. I am featuring them as part of the BiaSHEara series which focuses on highlighting the work of women who are of East African heritage and who are entrepreneurs serving the Greater Toronto Area. However please note that the BiaSHEara blog series also features "womenpreneurs" from all different backgrounds as well (as you will have noticed if you have read past blog posts).

I first heard of the M & Z Event Management team when they contacted me about shooting a wedding for one of their clients at the beginning of this year (See that wedding HERE!). They showed up to my client meeting along with the bride and asked all the right questions about the way I shoot weddings. This was key as it ensured that we were all on the same page. On the wedding day they were very professional and took their jobs seriously. Amongst the many services they provided, I was most impressed with the fact that they made sure to take the time to communicate the agenda to the photographer during the course of events (I know it sounds like that should be a given, but I have seen my fair share of "planners" and "coordinators" who just don't think this is important for some reason) this included making sure the bride's entrance was smooth which allowed me to do the videography and photography at the same time all by myself (something I rarely ever do due to the logistics of it all).

M and Z Event Management also assisted me in planning and successfully executing a "Styled Wedding Shoot" earlier this year. With their help we were able to put together a great styled shoot with one of the most dedicated teams. Stay tuned for some exciting news on that styled shoot!

If you are looking for planners for your event, bridal shower or wedding then get in touch with them at the following e-mail: or you can also visit their instagram page HERE.

Above: Zuhur of M & Z Event Management.

Above: Maryam of M & Z Event Management


Bia-SHE-ara: Anique Jordan

Hello! Today I am sharing another instalment of the Bia-SHE-ara portrait series. Today's feature is on Anique Jordan who is a Toronto based artist. Anique's work has been featured on many platforms including the Art Gallery of Ontario. These portraits of Anique were taken back in the summer hence the sunny skies (much different from the cold windy weather we are having here in Toronto at the moment).

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am an artist that is still trying to understand what it means to be an artist. I am a community organizer. I am a daughter, sister and niece.

How did you become an entrepreneur?

I was always an entrepreneur by nature but entrepreneurship is what brought me to art because of an obsession in understanding how we survive and all the different ways we can survive. 

What are your ultimate career aspirations or dream project?

I want to work with little black girls in Scarborough to create a massive intervention into the city scape.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the little people inside of us because I think they remind us of our humanity and why survival is important.

Tell us about the work  that you are currently doing and the work that you had going on at the Art Gallery Of Ontario in the summer?

Currently I am the director of the Whippersnapper Gallery. It is a gallery for emerging artists. It provides them with resources and development opportunities to create public programming that starts conversations.

Over the summer I was invited by the Art Gallery of Ontario to take part in an exhibition about one of the Group of Seven members; The Canadian painter Lawren Harris. While Lawren Harris was famous for his paintings of snow capped mountains and blue skies I chose to explore his paintings of a once complex and culturally diverse neighbourhood called The Ward. My contribution to the exhibition consisted of two photo based pieces and one live performance. 

What are some of the challenges that you have faced as an entrepreneur and artist?

The hustle is real! I never lose the hustle but it is definitely a real thing!

How have you dealt with those challenges?

I find my Island. As the RZA (of Wu-Tang Clan) would say I find my island and sometimes a little isolation can jumpstart and give you the space to think it through and reaffirm your direction and purpose.

If you can leave the readers of this blog with one inspirational message what would you say?

There is a drum shop in Kensington Market run by Saikou Saho and he once said these very compelling words; " Step in the Shadow of those who came before you. They will help to shield the sun


l would like to thank Anique for making the time to be a part of this blog series and I hope you will check out and support her work at

BiaSHEara is a group founded by Christina Muia and Karimah Gheddai that works on promoting women in Business.

Bia-SHE-ara: Alicia West of #JustAceIt!

Welcome to another installment of Bia-SHE-ara. Please note this is the blog version not the upcoming documentary/program a team of us are working on and of which I have some exciting news about! We got funding from ARTREACH to carry out the program! YAY! Alhamdulilah and MashAllah (this means Thank God). But that is a story for another time.

 So back to this Bia-SHE-ara post; I am featuring Alicia West of Just Ace it! I met Alicia at an event called Branded where I was a consultant in producing press kits. Alicia is also the one who introduced me to her friend and event designer, Brittany Lynn Martin whom I featured in my last blog post. This particular shoot took place at Underpass Park which I have to say is really a gem of a location! Alicia chose it as she is a huge basketball fan and loved the fact that they had basketball courts on the site.

Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Alicia but most people call me "Ace". I am the host of Kiss My Ace and content creator from Toronto but I currently reside in New York. As a content creator I work mainly in the digital space creating graphics, images and videos for social media and my blog

What are your career aspirations?

My current career goals (they are always evolving) is to be a radio personality in a top 10 market. I love, love, love radio! I want to be able to bring my digital knowledge and help integrate this new medium with the traditional. I also want to grow my brand and have #justaceit the go to spot for lifestyle content pertaining to wellness, travel, food and empowerment. Through my brand I also hope to curate dope events and panels by collaborating with some of my favorite brands. 

What are some of the entreprenuerial activities you are involved in? 

I currently own and operate a digital platform called #justaceit that documents and shares experiences through fitness, travel and my favorite - food! We are on the pulse of the culture and continually providing information that will help you #justaceit in life.  We are devoted to creating a tangible movement that encourages like-minded people to live a healthy, adventurous, and very social life.

We like to say it’s not just a blog, it’s a lifestyle.

What inspires you?

Life! I love to travel. Going new places, seeing new people really helps with my creative juices. I also love to be around other like minded women. Recently I spent a month with 23 young women between the ages of 18-26 who are all trying to work in the entertainment fields. As much as they told me I inspired them, they really have helped spark something new within me. I really believe surrounding yourself with positive likeminded people and being well travelled are the keys to success! 

That brings me to the end of this blogpost! Please do make sure to check out the #Justaceit website (CLICK HERE) and stay inspired! If you would like to book me for a portrait session then please use the contact form on my website or CLICK HERE!


BiaSHEara is a group founded by Christina Muia and Karimah Gheddai that works on promoting women in Business.

Bia-SHE-ara: Brittany Lynn (Event Designer) @ ByBlynn

Hey Everyone! Today's blog post is on a wonderful styled shoot designed by Event Designer Brittany Lynn who has started up her own Event Design business called ByBlynn Events (See her website HERE). The theme of the shoot was surrounding Women in Entrepreneurship hence I decided to blog this shoot under "biaSHEara" which is my feature on women entrepreneurs in the G.T.A. The colours of the styled shoot were a delightful kaleidoscope!!!. I hope you all get inspired by the decor and the inspirational entrepreneurs!

I should also mention that Brittany also designed the tablescape for a Victorian inspired styled shoot that I did the videography for (stay tuned for that which I will publish at a later date). One thing I have to say from working with Brittany is that this womanpreneur really does her research in order to execute her designs and I truly mean it. So if you are looking to work with a designer who has a superb creative vision then get in touch with her!  


Below are the wonderful womenpreneurs who took part in this shoot. Please visit their websites and support their work!

Brittany Lynn Martin: Owner and Event Designer Extroirdinairre at ByBlynn Events

Cleo Ellis: Founder @Cleo Ellis Communications

Julian Cohen: Web Developer (she created the website of Events ByBlynn) and founder @

Missy Mandani: Founder and Desert Connoisseur @

Adjoa Athuahene: Founder of the Brand Development Agency @ Twelve and Co.

Lina Ibrahim: Founder @ Wisdom Sharing (a company dedicated to improving the lives of seniors)

Pass the Cookie: Cake Design and Bakery

Entrepreneuers from left to right: Adjoa Athuahene, Missy Mandani, Cleo Ellis, Lina Ibrahim, Julian Cohen and Brittany Lynn

Karimah Gheddai Photography Events by Brittany Lynn Party Decor Toronto Cake Scarborough Brampton Ontario

Well I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Please do visit the website's of all the entrepreneurs and show them your support!

BiaSHEara is a group founded by Christina Muia and Karimah Gheddai that works on promoting women in Business.

Bia-SHE-ara: Shanna Kay (life coach)

Hi Everyone! It's been a while but its also been busy busy busy. I am back with another installment of my photography profile series on rising entrepreneurs in the City of Toronto! Formerly known as "The Ascending" I am now changing the name of this series to "bia-SHE-ara". The word "biashara" in the Swahili language means business and so the spin here is the switching to bia-SHE-ara to emphasize women in business. This is also the name of the documentary I am currently working on that is following the stories of East African Women in the G.T.A that are business owners. The bia-SHE-ara series on my blog however will focus on women entrepreneurs in the G.T.A of various backgrounds. I have to give full credit of this name to my friend and co-documentary producer Christina Muia who came up with this brilliant title during a documentary brainstorming session.

So here goes the profile:

Portrait Location: High Park, Toronto Canada

Shanna is an aspiring life coach who is based in the G.T.A. I met Shanna during a networking event last year. Speaking with Shanna during our portrait session it was evident that she was passionate about bringing out the best in others and encouraging them to be their best selves. I am sure she is going to be a great life coach!

If you would like to have me take your portraits Get in touch HERE!

DEAL ALERT!!!: For the month of June I am currently offering mini portrait sessions for only $130 (that is quite a steal!) *Please note this offer is only for the month of June and terms and conditions apply*

What you Get: 45 minute portrait session at a location in Toronto, 20 fully edited images delivered to you digitally via dropbox (additional images (or USB) will incur an additional fee based on number of images desired by client), Up to two outfit changes permitted. 

BiaSHEara is a group founded by Christina Muia and Karimah Gheddai that works on promoting women in Business.