For the fourth consecutive year, on February 19th, at the Rialto Theatre, powerhouse duo Natasha Gargiulo and Maddy Kojakian (Maddy K) are hosting Hustle & Heart; an intimate speaker series highlighting trailblazing women throughout Canada.
These two make an inspiring duo, both being trailblazing women themselves. Maddy K is founder of Maddy K Events and producer of the Bridal Boudoir. She’s a genius event planner and business coach providing clients with the utmost attention. Natasha Gargiulo has been in the entertainment industry for years. She’s currently the Morning show host on Virgin Radio Montreal and a reporter on Entertainment Tonight Canada. Both of these women are hardworking moms who know what it means to hustle with a lot of heart.
“We still hustle with a lot of heart,” explains Natasha Gargiulo. “We feel that women who have this ambition and drive are the women who are successful,” she says.
This series helps women who have had successful in their lives talk about the realness and rawness of their careers and all the struggles they may have faced along the way. “It doesn’t matter if you make a lot of money, or any at all,” Gargiulo describes. “If you’re pursuing what you love and are happy while doing it, that makes you a successful woman.”
The event came to fruition a couple years ago when both Maddy and Natasha were coming back from a trip together. They had both gone through obstacles in their lives and thought about a way to help women find the same peace they had found on their trip. Low and behold the inspiration for Maddy K inspired retreats.
“We had a four-day experience retreat for women who could make time for themselves. What they felt was empowering and life changing during these retreats.” But as Gargiulo continues to explain, not everyone could get away for a retreat, so the duo needed a better alternative to get women together and inspire. Their solution: Hustle & Heart women’s night.
It’s one night where women can go out, have a glass of wine and talk. “It’s very intimate so women feel they can open up more and it really feels like you’re having a conversation with your girlfriends, Gargiulo describes.
This year the five women on the forefront are some of Canada’s realest hustlers.
Natasha Koifman, President of NKPR who is based out of Toronto with offices in New York City is the founder of a full-service public relations, artist management and digital agency. Through all this hustle and success, she’s managed to lend her time to philanthropic initiatives, helping empower women by building schools in Haiti.
Jamie Orchard, Senior anchor and the TV face of Montreal news has over 30 years experience in the male-dominated media industry. She’s managed to do a lot of philanthropic initiatives in Montreal while being a mom to two boys and working full time. She’s been there for some of the city’s biggest stories: the Dawson shooting and the ice storm just to name a few. She was named on of Montreal’s most remarkable women by the Board of Trade of Montreal.
Nannette de Gaspe Beaubien, founder and CEO of NNTT Beauté. She’s the Executive Chair of Biomod Concepts & Brand Founder. A well-educated woman in Bio tech who knows everything about the industry developed her own luxury cosmetic brand company. She’s been Vice Chair at T Investment Corporation, Strategic Advisor at Holt Renfrew and the board of the National Research Council of Canada.
Solange Tuyishime, born and raised in East Africa before escaping war and genocide at age 13. Since then, she’s dedicated her life to children and women in underprivileged communities. She won Miss Canada International in 2006, Miss Galaxy Canada in 2011 and Mrs. Canada in 2017. Solange is more than these beauty titles. She’s the founder of elevate women and sits on the board of Unicef Canada. She started her own foundation called the Nayla Legacy.
Last but not least, Jessica Harnois is the only female Québec sommelier renowned in the world. She worked for the best establishments in the world including Montreal, Chicago and Sydney. She was the only woman to manage over 750,000 wines in a typical male dominated industry. She became an author and created her own brand of wine and is the President of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers.
When asked what Hustle & Heart meant to these two, beautiful, inspiring women, their responses were what every woman wanted to hear: the hustle never stops, but it’s worth it.
For Maddy K , the hustle started way back when she was in university. “I was trying to hustle and try to manage school and work while being true to who I am. I started my business in 2003, but the hustle has changed so much throughout the years and it’s evolved,” Maddy explains.
“I don’t think the hustle ever stops but when I lose the connection between my heart and hustle, I realize that I may be reaching for things that are not true to who I am,” she describes. “I’ve always followed my heart, from being a student to an entrepreneur, to a small business owner, to being a wife and to being a mom. If my heart is happy than that’s success.”
For Natasha Gargiulo, the hustle also never stops. It’s ongoing. She explains this while doing laundry over the phone, and joking that this is as real as it gets. “There are so many different chapters to everyone’s life. I’m at a stage where you hustle again,” Natasha explains.
“Life changes whether you want it or not and adapting to new things means changing. You have to work hard in order to find your happiness and peace with whatever you do. The reason I keep going is because I absolutely love what I do and I don’t think I can envision myself stopping or quitting,” she says.
Hustle & Heart has been going on for four years and this idea was created so that women could have an arena to get together and support each other. “We didn’t jump on the bandwagon of helping and empowering women,” Gargiulo explains.
“We’re doing this because it’s in our hearts and we need to give back in a certain way. After every woman empowering event we’re tired, but receiving emails and messages of gratitude is the reason why we do it.”
“It’s very fulfilling,” Maddy says. “We won’t work on anything if it’s not from the heart. It’s not a huge money-making opportunity, but we do it because we love Montreal and the women that are collaborating with each other.”
If you want to be a part of the conversation and feel empowered by hustling women, grab your tickets for this upcoming event at the Rialto Theatre: http://theatrerialto.ca/en/event/hustle-heart-2019/
Follow Maddy K and Natasha Gargiulo on their journeys through Instagram for upcoming events and news on their hustling lives: @maddykatelier and @natasha_gargiulo
Stay tuned for information on their upcoming event I AM on May 25th 2019.