Upscale lifestyle expert Tania Semper talks dreams, determination, and entrepreneurship
Nadia Helal | Fulcrum Contributor
Photos provided by Tania Semper
She is a self-proclaimed “luxury lifestyle expert” and the creative mind behind eFashionista. In the few short years since she came up with the concept, Tania Semper has created a business that connects and empowers women through themed, upscale events. Semper, 31, shared some insight on the importance of having dreams and determination, and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
The Fulcrum: What exactly is the concept behind eFashionista?
Semper: It is basically a guide for all the fashionistas out there looking for unique upscale shops, products, and services in their city. This includes all sorts of things ranging from boutiques, nail bars, hair salons, eyelash extensions, cupcake shops, and so on. Women are exposed to unforgettable experiences and like-minded individuals, allowing them to connect through these products and services directly within our dreamy whimsical platforms.
When did you first realize you were so into fashion?
I would say more luxury living than fashion. It was around my mid-20s when the idea to make a living out of it started to take force.
Since this is a school paper, I have to ask, what is your educational background?
I went to college in Montreal, and then did three professional certificates in fashion marketing, public relations, and entrepreneurship. I’m all about continuing education!
Your website states that you strive to bring the worlds of Gossip Girl and Sex and the City to life. Are your services affordable to the average student?
Yes, because the whole point of the service is for women to try out services that they wouldn’t have the chance to experience normally. As students, it’s obviously not something they may use every week, but more a reason for them to pamper themselves on special occasions. Also, many of the products and services are very affordable and accessible to students. My hope is to instill a desire in youth that may splurge in these services perhaps at a later age when they can afford to.
Describe one of your themed events.
“Baking in High Heels” is one that’s going on now. The space we use transforms into a dreamy world of high-heel floras, chocolate heels, and whimsical cakes and sweets, while fashionistas wear heels and raspberry-coloured, frilly designer aprons, and attempt a baking session. One can say it’s basically a baking session with high heels, but it’s all the little things that go into the event that make it what it really is.
Will this event be coming to Ottawa any time soon?
Yes, it’s definitely in the plans. The next city on the tour is Montreal, but my goal is to do the event in each metropolitan city, with Ottawa being slated for early next year.
How do you keep up with all the demands of being an entrepreneur?
Good time management and knowing my priorities. I’m good at balancing work with family and friends. Because I love what I do, even when I’m out there socializing and meeting people, I’m actually enjoying myself even though I’m working.
Describe a difficult situation that may arise in your line of work.
A negative experience that can happen is when there is no contract in place. One tends to get overexcited about the potential account and may neglect to get papers signed. It has happened to me that such clients took advantage of that situation and I ended up losing a lot of money.
Any likes or dislikes about being an entrepreneur?
I definitely like being an entrepreneur since you have the freedom to make your own decisions and be in control. It’s hard at first, not having a stable income, with little financial consistency from week to week, which obviously gets better over time. But I hope to inspire students to take the entrepreneurial route, and I’m always there to provide guidance by answering all written inquiries. I recall growing up and often getting no responses to my inquiries, which was very frustrating.
What are your long-term plans for eFashionista?
Taking eFashionista to the next level! I’ll be hosting a series of themed events across Canada. I don’t particularly like looking too far ahead; I am constantly reinventing myself, striving to become a better business owner. I like going with the flow. I guess that’s what being a Pisces is all about! I also share a huge love and passion for animal welfare and will eventually be able to focus on raising awareness on certain issues very soon. A non-profit is in the works.
What is the best advice you ever got?
Don’t lose track of your goal, regardless of the obstacles. If you’re ready to make sacrifices and reach for the stars, entrepreneurship is the way. Keep in mind that some doors won’t open and others will shut in your face, but realize that these are blessings in disguise, and move on.
What is the best advice you could give to students?
While you’re in school, try as many different subjects as possible. Explore things out of your comfort zone. The more you try, the more skills you’ll develop, and you never know when those skills may become useful to you in the future.