Beginning March 17th (Buy Women Owned Day), Sitti is elevating the stories of women-owned businesses through an ongoing blog series titled, “Own Your [Business] Story.”. Throughout the past year, we’ve recognized (and experienced first hand) the hurdles for small businesses to pivot and push forward through the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic challenges that have come with it. Through it all, these businesses have shown determination, grace, and resilience. In this series, we get up close and personal with some incredible women so you can hear more about their business stories: what (or who) inspired them to start their brand, what are the challenges they’ve met along their journey and what keeps them going.
Shahniza is the owner of SA Creative Agency, a women-owned business in Toronto, Canada that creates unique and effective branding experiences without breaking the bank. They also have their own in-house stationery and sticker line, which you can check out through their online shop! (We LOVE these beauties). We sat down virtually with Shahniza to learn more about SA Creative Agency and her business journey...
1 - Where are you based and what do you sell?
Toronto. We provide creative and branding experiences for our clients & have our own stationery and sticker line available on the online shop!
2 - What is your brand’s purpose/mission?
To create unique and effective branding experiences without breaking the bank!
3 - What makes your brand unique?
We love to think outside the box in everything we do & we ensure it's always being delivered with high-quality materials and the utmost attention to detail.
4 - How did the brand begin?
The stationery line started late 2019 & became a very fast and great success. From then we were able to fund and start the Creative Agency. My dream of being in the advertising space started when I was around 10 years old and I used to play the "Commercial Game" with my close friends! We used to pick random objects and create quick and effective commercials for them, and the best commercial would win! I then continued my passion and studied Advertising at OCAD University. I gained a great deal of experience from shops in Toronto while building my own book with freelancing clients and accounts I acquired over the years. It goes without saying, I am now living my dream life with my dream team, and doing what I love most. - Eternally thankful.
5 - Tell us a story that epitomizes your experience of being a woman-owned business/woman-identifying business owner.
Being a woman, and a woman of color at that, has its own challenges in the entrepreneurial space. However, the goal is always in mind, and that is to build up myself, the women on my team, and supporting women-owned businesses in my community. There have been instances where people were shocked or taken aback by my senior position at my own Agency; it usually sounds a bit like, "So it's YOUR company?!" But I've learned to take it as a compliment and I continue to work hard while maintaining my identity as a Muslim, Bangladeshi-Canadian woman.
6 - Can you please share a recent exciting success?
Recently we were able to dip our feet into some bigger brands and are slowly making our way into the corporate world as an Agency. We aren't allowed to disclose any names at this time, but more of a reason to stay tuned!
7 - How did your company celebrating International Women's Day (or Month)?
We celebrate women all year long.
8 - Who are your women role models?
My Mother, Aunt, Sisters, and Grandmother. The women who raised me to truly believe in myself and take on whatever brought me genuine happiness at all times are my role models. There is no one I respect or look up to more than these enigmas.
9 - What is the best advice you have for women-led small businesses/business owners?
Your goal shouldn't be to stand shoulder to shoulder to men, or even surpass the women who are in the same space as you. Your goal should be to be better than yourself yesterday. Track your progress, identify your successes, listen to your market, take advice, and stay humble in your experiences.
DISCOUNT ALERT! Use code “SITTI” for a special surprise discount on anything in the SA Creative online store!