People Doing Cool Shit: Catherine Bell
This year, we’re going to start regularly profiling our customers. Yes — you! You’re all up to incredible work, and we want to support our SophieGrace community by sharing what you’re doing and why.
First up is Catherine Bell, founder of The Awakened Company and best-selling author of a business book by the same name. Bell is a serial entrepreneur (she previously co-founded BlueEra) and also serves as an expert panelist with the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of The Corporation and an advisor with IMPACT Society.
As if that weren’t enough, she’s also behind The Awakened Project, providing funding to women entrepreneurs. Bell partnered with artist Shakti on a jewelry line, with 50% of profits going towards Momentum’s Micro Loans for Businesses program (learn lots more about that program — including how SophieGrace is also involved — here).
We chatted with Bell about her work, her values, and her favourite SophieGrace piece. This interview had been edited for length and clarity.
Why did you become an entrepreneur?
I really believe that business needs to be done in a new way: in a more feminine way, in a way that puts culture first, culture over profits, in a way that brings humanity back into organizations. And so I felt that the best way to do that was to start my own organizations.
What does The Awakened Company do?
We help organizations to ignite the fire within, and we do that via playfulness, passion, and purposefulness. We do strategy with soul, we do culture creation, and we host Enneagram workshops.
What drives you to support other women entrepreneurs, through The Awakened Project?
Basically it’s about turning my anger with male patriarchy into love. I was so angry about how women are treated in organizations. Often in boardrooms, I'd be the only woman, and I really wanted it to be different. I grew up with sisters, I love working with women. I wondered, what can I do, how can I take this anger and morph it into love and morph it into support for other females? It's been great to work with Shakti, and I love working with Momentum, because they help funnel the funds to women getting out of poverty. They're awesome.
You sound pretty busy... what does work life balance look like for you?
Things aren't always in balance. For me, it's about when we think of our lives, how do we create a masterpiece of music, with different notes at different times? So, for example, my sons are getting ready to leave for university probably next year. I could easily be an empty nester and then I'll have a ton more time. I really see it as more like a piece of music, and finding how we can just be present in the moments that we're here.
What drew you to SophieGrace and do you have a favourite piece?
I've known Emma since high school and I've always loved her style. I have a number of SophieGrace pieces; I’ll wear them on my YouTube channel, I wear them a lot for my webinars, and now on a lot of Zoom calls. What I love about them is they're classically elegant, and yet they're super sexy on; they seem to fit all my curves. I find them very practical. I don't have to worry when I put the black Ashley dress on; I can wear it anywhere. The Ashley dress is a favourite, and I’ll often wear it with the Emma vest/dress over it.
We have to ask, what was Emma’s high school style?
I would always admire her black leather mini skirts. She’s always had this je ne sais quoi when it came to her fashion sense, always admirable. She’s definitely always had a flair.