Girls Night

 Local businesses celebrate International Women’s Day with mini-glam photoshoot event  

TORONTO, ON. Feb. 18 — To celebrate International Women’s Day and the end of the pandemic, a few local female business owners are coming together to create "Girls’ Night Out”. The invite-only event is taking place at Gotstyle Clothing Store on Wednesday, March 9 in the Distillery District. It’s an opportunity for women to get out of their lounge wear, get glammed up and have their photos taken.

“We wanted to create something fun for women. Let’s face it —- it has been a rough two years for everyone. We are ready for life to get back to normal and we are all craving human interaction,” says Laura Jackson, a Toronto-based personal trainer. “For most of us, it has been awhile since we’ve had a ‘Girls' Night Out’.” 

Last year, Jackson pivoted her business and began running online fitness challenges. Her goal is to make health and fitness accessible to all women, despite their age, fitness level or income. To wrap up the end of her current 8-week challenge, Jackson has partnered with Gotstyle Clothing Store to create this unique event. Store owner, Melissa Austria, is providing the venue for ‘Girls' Night Out’ along with the grand prize: a brand new outfit and a personal styling session for one lucky winner. 

Although only one name will be drawn that night, the organizers are confident that every woman will walk away a winner. Each attendee will have an opportunity to celebrate themselves with a mini-glam photoshoot, shopping, swag bags, door prizes, style tips and refreshments. Hair and makeup will be provided by Wink & Wave Mobile Beauty Salon and photographs will be taken by Gillian Foster Photography. 

The challenges focus on health and fitness; however, Jackson says her ultimate goal is to encourage women to invest in themselves and make self-care a priority.  She believes the quickest way to feel good is through fitness, fashion and beauty. “It’s amazing what a workout, a new outfit and some lipstick can do for our self confidence," she says. 

To accomplish this, Jackson partners with small, local businesses that offer products and services geared toward women. By providing prizes as incentives, the participants are even more motivated to achieve their goals. “I realized there was a unique opportunity to align with other female entrepreneurs in Toronto; especially during the pandemic when business has been slow for many of us. By creating partnerships, we are able to support each other and tap into new networks. It’s a win-win,” says Jackson. 

She is ecstatic to partner with some amazing businesses for the upcoming event. Gotstyle offers the latest high quality fashion for women, along with complimentary styling services. Wink & Wave — Toronto’s first mobile beauty salon — brings self-care services to your door. Lastly, Gillian Foster of Gillian Foster Photography is a Toronto wedding and lifestyle photographer who is passionate about capturing bright, artistic and candid photos of her clients. 

In addition to supporting women and local businesses, the challenges also serve as an opportunity to give back to local charities. A portion of the proceeds from the 8-week challenge have been donated to Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter. There is no cost to attend “Girls Night Out”; however, guests will be encouraged to make a donation to the charity.