Stanka Slana ~ What next level fierce looks like
We are only 3 short weeks into 2020 and I haven't put the champagne away just yet. You see many times I talk about celebrating daily and not just because a date on the calendar grants it to us. Life is all about celebrations and today I'm celebrating the woman in this blog feature.
It's funny because I'm constantly reminded of how small our world actually is. Someone always knows someone else who in turn knows you. Once called the 6 handshake rule, the idea that all people are six social connections away from one another has never been more true; especially with social media.
When I launched a new campaign to be featured in the JOLO Lifestyle Blog, I was immediately flooded with requests but it was Stanka Slana that stood out from the crowd and caught my eye. Not only is she incredibly beautiful, Stanka is fiercely passionate about helping others, wildly successful in business and equally passionate about it all.
Understanding the importance of collaborations and expanded visibility, Stanka reached out. In discussion, I learned that our paths have crossed in the past and that she and I know a few of the same people. Our 6 degrees of separation quickly shrunk to 3 degrees when I learned that she knew my husband from childhood and was good friends with our old neighbours.
Stanka has an aura that I was immediately drawn to and when I learned that she was a Taurus, I knew why we instantly clicked. According to astrobix.com a companionship between a Taurus and a Pisces, in general, leads to a good, healthy relationship. Taurus and Pisces are two signs apart in the Zodiac, and therefore communicate with and understand each other well.
But, beauty and compatibility does not even touch the surface of this incredible woman. Stanka can read & write English just as well as Croatian and she also understands Italian.
She's extremely proud of her old school values, as far as respect for family and friends. And, for all my male readers, she's open to online dating (even though she think it sucks). Online dating has it's challenges but Stanka feels that after the initial texting phase, she really enjoys talking on the phone to get to know that person better. She loves to travel, especially to Europe, it's her favourite.
I talk a lot about Boss Babes, Boss Queens, Fempreneurs or whatever you wan to call a woman in business these days but, Stanka is one of my favourite entrepreneurs. Not only does she own and operate her own beauty spa, she also dedicates her time to taking care of her elderly parents. She loves that at the age of 84 and 85, her parents still enjoy the comfort of their own home. Her dad worries about not having a garden if they go to a nursing home. I mean, how sweet is that? I had the pleasure of interviewing Stanka and I'm excited to continue a friendship with this amazing woman. Of course, the first question I asked her was purposely meant to get her out of her comfort zone.
Tell me something about yourself that not everyone knows:
It is a real internal struggle to want to give your business 100% as it requires to grow and to be their for my staff and be the best for my clients yet at the same time have to be there daily for my parents to make sure they are eating, taking their medicine and taking care of their home inside and out and my home and my business…however through the Grace of God and sheer FAITH I manage to take care of my parents, have a successful business, a beautiful home & maintain long time friendships now I just have to find the magic trick of finding a soulmate and I am complete.
What was your life like before becoming the owner/operator at Aroma Waxing Clinic?
I have always had a very strong work ethic and mainly held positions as an office manager.
Being an entrepreneur looks different for everyone and often, the structure of our day becomes unique to how we need to operate or businesses daily. It's one of the main reasons I ask this next question so often. What does your typical day look like?
Mine is much more simple. Although it may not feel inspiring to others, it's truthful and that's important to me.
6:00am is when my day technically starts even though I hit the snooze button but not before I turn my phone on; just in case my staff calls in sick or an emergency has happened. About 2 years ago, I pledged to turn my ringer off so that I couldn't hear texts, emails or receive phone calls after 9:30 in the evening. Being mindful of self care with getting proper rest for peace of mind is important to me. I also started that practice so I could get another 30 minutes of shut eye.
6:30am is my second wake up call and even if I don’t get up right away, my 2 kitties start meowing as it is their feeding time. literally stumbling out of bed, I walk downstairs to make a coffee and feed my fur babies (which the 2 follow me everywhere). I check my messages to make sure no one is calling in sick. The rule at work for all my esthetician's and front desk staff is to call me at least 3 hours prior to a shift starting so I have ample time to move schedules around or be there myself first thing. Part of my routine is to Google traffic so I can find the fastest route to work. It generally takes me 1.5 hours, regardless in the morning. I shower, get my hair & makeup on and enjoy the company of my as my amazing fur babies as they watch me.
By 7:30am I'm usually out the door; which is really not that early for most people.
I arrive at work around 9am and hustle to make sure everything is set up and organized for the day. If I'm not in a staff meeting, I'm usually working on inventory, social media, responding to any and all client concerns or questions. My customers are important to me. I value their loyalty to me and my business so I always call people directly. Direct and personal communication is important to my me, my business and my brand. My customer's all appreciate dealing with me as the owner.
By 2pm I attempt to leave Toronto to get to Hamilton before heavy traffic to take care of my parents. Making sure they take their medication, ensuring they eat, getting them groceries, doing their laundry, cleaning their house and maintaining the outside is pretty much a daily routine for me. I'm an only child so it's pretty much a full time job in itself; especially in summer when my Dad tells me how to garden and how to cut his grass in a perfect angle. My parents don't want me to hire help for the grass cutting or snow removal because apparently I am capable of doing it all. I would never push them to a nursing home as I respect their wishes to remain in their home surrounded with all the things they love and their comforts.
I get home around 5pm and jump straight into paperwork and bills for my business. When my parents and my business duties are all done, I clean & maintain my own home. Most days I try to fit in a workout, yoga or a walk. I love walking along North Shore Blvd in Aldershot; planning my next stage of life and scouting the area for my new home along north shore.
Wow! I think people should refer to you as Super Woman. I mean, I talk about being a #BossQueen all the time but woman, you take this title (and hastag) to a whole new level. I applaud your dedication to your career but I especially value your commitment to your parents. I have to ask though, what do you do for fun on your down time? Do you even have any downtime? There's plenty of time to relax in the evening. Around 9:00pm I like to soak in a bath, catch up on some reading or binge watch some shows on Netflix. It's a fine balance as I do love my sleep as well as enjoy the downtime. In the winter I hunker down a bit but, I really enjoy travelling and winter sports... especially apres ski (wink, wink). In the summer I like to play golf, go hiking, water sports and yes I do have my fishing licence and a rod. It's definitely picture worthy.
I am a very spiritual (not religious) person and throughout the day I do speak many affirmations and positive mantras. I also have a vision board. I spend about 2.5 hours a day in my car commuting so I like to use this time to connect with my friends by way of phone calls not text. That, and I jam out in my car with great tunes or listen to inspirational ted talks.
On November 24, 2019, you spent the entire morning preparing lunch for the homeless at St. Michael & All Angels in Toronto. In fact, you are always donating your time and resources to charity. It's one of the top things I absolutely adore about you...well that, and the fact that you tend to your aging parents daily. More on that in a bit but first, tell me about your favourite charity:
Yes. One of my greatest joys is to be able to participate in giving back to communities. I love to spend time with all walks of life and to let everyone know they matter and that they are important and that we care. I often participate in feeding the homeless for breakfasts and lunches and to help provide them with daily necessities. One of my favourite things to do is volunteering at Sick kids at McMaster with the beautiful & inspirational children that enjoy the time that you spend with them playing games or reading. They inspire me to live my life to the fullest as sick as they are they always have a smile and kind words and truly appreciate the time you spend with them. I really enjoyed the neonatal ward as well cuddling with babies and of course spending time with the parents that have devoted their lives in the hospital while their children heal. This is probably the most heartbreaking thing but so rewarding as well.
Often, in blogs similar to this one, we tend to glaze over the meaning of entrepreneurship, when in fact, being your own boss is extremely difficult and stressful. What advice were you given when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
Always believe in yourself and put all your passion and strengths into your business. Don’t judge yourself and your abilities on others opinions and evaluations…at the end of the day, I can look myself in the mirror and know that I am a great person with great values.
Who was that advice from?
My best friend Mary that gave me the opportunity to join her in this business venture.
Most people think that growth comes from entrepreneurship. I happen to think that personal growth derives from a multitude of experiences and motivation. What motivates you?
I'm very passionate about what I do, I love my business and offering a great service to
all my clients. There is no greater feeling then when I am working the front desk and I see repeat clients that have been with me from day one and they refer their family & friends to my spa. Toronto can be is a very difficult city to operate a business in. There is a particular clientele to cater to. To have such a strong following and loyal clients is the greatest compliment to me and my business. It is so amazing that when clients run into their friends at my location and I overhear them say that they think my business is the best wax bar in the city…its like running into your best friend at Fortino's.
I have developed such a great relationship with my clientele that they not only stay loyal to my business but they refer all their friends and family. That in itself is very motivating. It's always so amazing that when I am out in Toronto that people recognize me and Mary and always come up to us and say we love you guys..you are the best in the city!
You have a 4.9/5 rating on your business Facebook Page for
Aroma Waxing Clinic congratulations! You offer a variety of services at competitive prices. A la carte services include waxing/sugaring, laser treatments and spray tanning but you can also chose a package which offers greater discounts. Personally, I'm a huge fan of spray tans and generally prefer a spray over a conventional tanning bed. Your regular prices are amazing but the deal you have on right now is incredible! Check out the current deals here.
Of all the services you provide, what service is the most popular?
The Brazilian Wax. We have perfected a very quick, professional and painless method of hair removal in a very delicate area in under 10 minutes…and its not about timing so much but its about providing a very personal and intimate service to our client in a very efficient and perfect manner.
I know when I left the corporate world to pursue my passion as an Author, I gave myself the gift of impact. Being self employed as an Author and Blogger allows me a platform to make an impact. I chose to focus on gratitude, empowerment and positivity. In fact, I'm always hastagging #GratitudeIsMyAttitude all over my social feeds. I feel we need more of that in the forefront of our lives. Being able to use my creative skills to enhance other peoples lives is one of my favorite parts of entrepreneurship. What's your favourite part about being self employed?
I love the independence of being my own boss, being located midtown Toronto I have the opportunity to meet so many different people and it is my greatest reward to have helped expand a strong and well recognized brand.
With all great things comes difficulty. I talk about moving past obstacles and overcoming objections all the time on my social Vivolog Page. Jumping through hoops and over hurdles can be draining as an Boss Queen. It's a blessing to have spa's like yours to dive into some self care to help recharge our passion and drive. What would you say is the hardest part about being self employed?
Knowing that the success or failure of your business is solely on you. I never leave the spa and not think about how we can be better and do better.
Success is measured in so many ways by many different people. What does success look like to you and how do you measure it?
Success to me is watching my business grow monthly and yearly and know that we are providing a very much wanted and needed service to our clients that continue to come back to us year after year.
Some business experts say there are 5 stages to business growth including existence, survival, success, take off and resource maturity. Being six and a half years into your business, I would definitely say you are in the resource take off stage. What project(s) are you working on right now?
WE are always working on how to give our clients more and we often learn from our competition so we are currently looking for new products to offer our clients in house AND very exciting news is that we are expanding our brand into an amazing area Jan 2020….another #bossbabe is joining our team.
Skimming through the photo section on your Facebook Business Page, I couldn’t help but notice you are a big supporter of your city. Pictures of the Toronto Raptors, Hamilton Tiger Cats, Toronto Maple Leafs, Humboldt Broncos, Toronto FC, TIFF and Pride Toronto are always making a picture appearance. Tell me more about your pride for the city you live and work in.
I'm a Hamilton girl through and through! I love the city I was born and raised in and I am so proud to be a Hamiltonian. It is my dream to one day open shop in my home town of Hamilton and or Burlington where I currently reside, however, I feel very blessed and full of pride that my business has thrived in the great city of Toronto. We set up shop in the beautiful and well known area of Yonge & EG…aka Yonge & Eligible….the city of Toronto is always booming. There is so much action and great things to do! I love to support our sports team such as The Toronto Maple Leafs, The Raptors, The Toronto Argos and TFC. We are very fortunate that many of the players on these teams do trust our abilities and are long time clients. And, of course, the great yearly events we provide like Toronto Pride Festival and Caribana; we are such a diverse and multicultural city and I celebrate all that we have to offer.
When thinking of the future of your company, a mission statement is often an important navigational tool. In life, a motto or mission statement can be just as important for guidance. What is your life motto or mission statement?
Work hard, play harder.
Okay, I'm going to switch flow a little here and talk criticism. Many people cringe at this word because it hold negative connotation. I don't accept or ignore criticism. In fact, I use criticism as a method of growth...as long as it's constructive. Today's social media criticism rides on a fine line of hateful comments, jealousy and bullying tactics. How do you handle criticism?
With a grain of salt, I appreciate criticism personally and it helps me become a better person overall.
I wholeheartedly believe in a mentor system especially in business. Having these relationships can further develop personal and professional growth. Who are your top 2 mentors and why?
Mary -my best friend of 35 years and my parents as they instilled very strong values and work ethics and strong morals and values.
When I was interviewed by Glambitious Magazine in 2017, (read the full article here), they asked me a question that's always stuck with me and now, I like to ask the same question to the people I interview. Tell me about a professional challenge and how did you overcome it?
In Toronto, the beauty industry is very tough market to stay visible in and to stay on top of. When I first opened my location there were a couple smaller wax bars near me however within the first 2 years at least 5 of my top competitors surrounded me and my location. It was at first very worrisome and stressful however I took a look at my business model and the quality of service that we provide and we most certainly provide a top notch service with highly qualified estheticians. Our pricing is affordable and continues to be the most reasonable in the city. Our spa itself is very clean which is a huge factor in this industry. Our atmosphere is bright and spacious and offers a very warm and friendly vibe. I also researched what our competition offers and learned some things from them and then did it even better and bigger with my business. A little competition surrounding you is always great as it keeps you on your toes and always pushes you to strive to be better.
I'm a big believer in manifesting our wants and desires for the purpose of a greater good. It's a process of bringing reality to what we envision. It starts with a wish and turns into a process of understanding your hearts desire. If you were guaranteed 1 wish to come true, what would it be and why?
If I were guaranteed one wish to come true it would be that more people would take bullying more seriously and that we could somehow resonate with not only young kids and teens but also some ADULTS these days as to the harmful effects of bullying. Not only does bullying impact your self esteem and direction in life, but it has long lasting emotional scars that stay with you forever. I speak from personal experience. As a young child, I was always bullied for my name being so different, my height (as I was usually taller than most kids), as well as my culture (Slovenian), and other odd things. Thankfully my parents always encouraged me to be a strong person and to believe in myself. Thankfully there was no social media back then. However, those damaging words still creep into my mind at times but I've learned to always believe in myself, my worth, what I bring to the world and who I am as a human. No one is perfect and we all have flaws and shortcomings. If I had a larger platform I would encourage young kids, teens, adults to always LOVE YOURSELF, YOU DO MATTER AND THAT YOU ARE PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE....AND TO ALWAYS BE KIND!
There is a line from a 2011 period drama film written and directed by Tate Taylor and adapted from Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel of the same name called "The Help" and it goes like this: "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." We have the power, every single day, to shape their character, to help them become the adults that we hope that they will be.It brings a tear to my eyes as its so very important that children and adults alike feel loved and worthy.
I've seen this movie and yes, that part is powerful! I love this movie too. Click here to see that exact part.
Just for fun and to keep it light, who is your celebrity crush?
Oh, that silver fox is fine! How can all the George Clooney look alike's reach you in the online dating world? Just kidding...maybe! I've been out of the dating world for almost 2 decades now but I remember some pretty funny moments. One of my pet peeves with dating was personal space. You know, like not bursting into someone's comfort bubble and expecting that to be okay. In life, I feel like we all have our own set of pet peeves and when those are infringed upon, it strikes a nerve. What's your biggest pet peeve?
I think its such an easy gesture to let people in ahead of you on the road and I really appreciate when someone does that so I automatically raise my hand to say thank you and when people don’t do that I just feel it is so rude. Also, I always hold the door for others behind me and or exiting and I just find it so rude not to say thank you. I believe that the words please and thank you are just a given.
Best friends are amazing. They offer unsolicited advice when we need it the most, even if we think we don't. The best friend bond is special and important. There's a comfort in knowing you have access to an honest opinion whenever you need it. There always there to give you fresh perspective. They're loyal and they also double as an excellent sounding board when you need one. My best friend is my sister and every once in a while I ask her what she thinks is annoying about me. Although brutally honest, I use this verbiage as a method of self improvement. I mean, if my best friend thinks something is annoying, others probably do too. What would your best friend say is your most annoying habit?
I over analyze things and I dwell on things.
You must have played this game before because that came out really fast! Let's see if the answer to this question does too. What would you like people to remember about you?
I am always so humbled and so happy to hear when someone has told me that they always remembered me from my smile and my funny loud laugh & kindness. It is my hope that people would always remember me as a fun loving,compassionate , kind, thoughtful, generous person that is very dedicated and loyal & loving to her family and friends and that they admire my hardworking, ambitious dedication and passion for my business and my community. Along with an admiration for all the volunteer and charity work that I have partaken in throughout my life. I would also love to be remembered for the woman that seized the day and enjoyed my life to the fullest and that I was rich in travel & adventure and always surrounded myself with great friends, family and lived a meaningful life that touched the lives of many people & for how much I adored and loved my fur babies...and animals overall.
I always say gratitude is my superpower. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
To read peoples minds to know exactly what they are thinking.
Oh girl, I'm not sure I'd really want that superpower. It just takes a few clicks on any celebrity's social platform to know exactly what people are thinking. The gossip train is packed but somehow, people find room to squeeze their comments in. How do you shut gossip down?
I don’t engage in it.
That's probably the best method but, I have to admit, sometimes I cant't pull myself away. I mean, have you experienced the mixed bag of comments in some of these reality TV show feeds? Hidden among the social media badgering comments and gossip, there's a few empowering messages and compliments too. If everyone put their efforts into empowering one another instead of gossiping, we would have a more engaging world striving to make it a better place for all of us to live. Empowering one another is as easy as offering a compliment to someone. What's the best compliment you've ever received?
My laugh makes other people laugh and someone recently told me that I inspire them to be a better person.
See, now that's empowerment a it's finest. Now, when someone tells you that you look like a celebrity, it's usually meant to be a compliment. They're basically telling you that you look like someone, who in their opinion, is beautiful. I don't know about you but I get told I look like Michelle Pfeiffer, Kate Moss and Kim ZolciaK Biermann all the time. Who do you get told you look like?
Katherine Heigl, Phoebe Buffay from Friends and Stacy Keibler.
I can see the resemblance and why people would say that. Just in case my readers are wondering where you fall in this picture collage, Stanka is the second photo in.
What is the best life lesson you've learned to date?
That life is full of surprises! There are no guarantees in love, business, or life in general. Always stay humble as one minute you can be on top of the world and the next things can come crashing down. My story is filled with broken pieces, terrible choices and ugly truths. Its also filled with a major comeback, peace in my soul and a grace that saved my life ~Author unknown
As much as I'm enjoying this interview, I need to wrap it up so I'll end with this question; What advice would you give someone going into business for themselves?
Don’t overthink it, Failure is not an option!!!
If you truly have a passion for what you are doing and a love for success and the ability to make people happy you will succeed.
Thank you for sharing so much of yourself today with me and my readers. I know I'll get a bunch of DM's asking about you. How can others reach & follow you on social media?
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