Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Sound of Silence: Simon and Garfunkel

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Red Thread of Destiny is Calling

It is said that there is a red thread that connects to those whom we are destined to meet. Three years ago in September, SKY Magazine launched our first Red Issue - the red thread that connect our readers to businesses that I am proud to support.

The Red Issue is inspired by the season of fall, but it’s more than that. The Red Issue is inspired by the renewed energy that comes with the fall, after a long hot summer spent lounging at the beach.  It is inspired by the amazing people who have become part of the SKY family since I began publishing in 2012.

In the fall, we get back to work. Our children go back to school - today actually (yay).  We get back on track with our business plans, and we stock up our closets with layers of denim, leather, boots and jean.   I love breaking out the fringes, leather, denim and boots. We can still drive our convertibles during the season of fall, we just need more layers.

Today we are photographing the fall issue.  We can’t wait to see what happens next. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lynn Hirschberg's Screen Tests: Nicole Kidman - June 2012

I want to live a well discovered life.

Mad Max Star Charlize Theron Talks About Shaving Her Head

I want to fight harder to help my organization in South Africa to stop aids, because [my son] deserves that.

“Girls becoming women in our society has become so compartmentalized . . . I wish more women talked about it when I was in my 20’s  . . . we’re cut flowers and we wilt after a time . . . it’s just not the case.”

Jane Fonda Talks About Being a Fashion Icon

Jane Fonda talks about becoming an actress, and being a fashion icon, Katherine Hepburn and living in her father’s shadow.

“I became actor by default . . . he told me I was talented. I guess I was waiting for someone to tell me I had talent. The moment I heard those words, that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

“What do you want this to say about you?  This is your container. How do you want that to represent you in the world.  . . . how do you want to see yourself in the world  . . . it took me a long time with the need to present myself.”

“I think it’s kind of neat that I am in my 70’s before someone says I am great on the red carpet and a fashion icon.  . . . Moi?  I have learned to fake it.  Fooled them again.”

Monday, May 11, 2015

Fame, Fashion Shows and Runways

Fashion shows are about designers. The measure of a good event is whether it raises the designer’s profile.  While the designer’s show is on the runway, I want to see his or her brand. A program is nice, for reference, so that I know the lineup and how to contact the designer.

The runway show is something that I have come to appreciate as a great story telling opportunity for the designer. The runway walks up to the photographer’s pit. The model pauses for photos, and then turns to walk back.

I look for the designer’s point of view and vision.  For some seven to 10 minutes, the designer hopes that we remember his or her name, and want to see more and buy the collection to sell.  That is the goal of a fashion show. To be seen, and to be purchased.

The runway show is therefore a performance and an opportunity to communicate the brand and the vision. The runway itself should in my opinion be nothing more than a blank canvas (I prefer white) against which the designer’s vision comes to life both in design and brand.

I attended the Saturday evening show at Saskatchewan Fashion Week on a paid ticket.  I watched the other two nights via Livestream. I also followed the social media feeds. Throughout the entire show, a brief introduction of the designer was given by the emcee and then the models walked out.  There was no logo or brand identification for the designer on the runway, only the SFW logo.

This leaves the viewer in these various channels to wonder whose design was walking the runway.  I feel that this is a lost opportunity for the designers. Fashion shows are about designers, not the event organizers or the event itself.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ode to Fashion Week

Saskatchewan Fashion Week is this week.  Good luck to the designers. May the buyers be with you. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A song, a life and a book of dreams

This ain’t a song for the broken-hearted / No silent prayer for the faith-departed/ I ain’t gonna be just a face in the crowd / You’re gonna hear my voice / When I shout it out loud.

It’s my life. 

This is the song that I have been singing since 1998, when I knew that I would have to be independent. That I would need to travel my own road. That I would need to be an entrepreneur.

At that time, I was at the beginning of my corporate career, having just graduated from the University of Regina School of Journalism program with a degree and a major in English, and a degree in Journalism and Communications.  As I sat there on the stage at convocation, I began to think about goals. What would I strive for when all I could think about up to that time was my degree?  What grand vision would take me off my chair and into my life?

As I walked across the stage to accept my degree, I set a goal to make $50,000 a year in five years time.  I had to be practical.  I could not afford the grand vision of writing a book someday, or becoming a great journalist, covering wars in the Middle East. I had children to raise, a mortgage to pay and dance lessons, dentists and tuition to pay for.

I started working for the local newspaper on the weekends covering community events, fires and things that go bump in the night.  From Monday to Friday, I worked as a communications officer at a federal crown corporation, working for the one woman who I regarded highly as a good human being. I worked there for six years, and learned about how to write and publish award winning annual reports and corporate plans, how to develop and market a vision, craft strategies and communicate them in such a way that people would engage.  I became aware of the power of one - the idea that if a company could inspire loyalty, anything would be possible.

Blue skies, nothing but blue skies.

I was asked to share a vision at a corporate ‘blue sky’ session, which I did, wearing black leather pants and Bon Jovi’s “It’s my Life” blasting, while the words flashed on the screen.

"Each person is the CEO of his or her own life. 
CEO means Creative, Optimistic, Energetic.
Don’t hold me back: Never say no to an idea. Ask how it can grow.
The power to lead comes from vision.  Yours. Mine. Ours. Vision is two ways. 
Vision is not necessarily for the sighted, or the promoted. 
Vision keeps you going when everything else tells your to stop.
Inspirare. Breathe in and live. Oxygen deprivation does strange things to the human body. 
Heart rates go haywire, brain function decreases, blood thickens, and intestines shut down."

I found my way ahead that day, and they didn’t fire me, but I never thought they would. I was not afraid. I was excited about the possibility of discovering this place that I could see so clearly.

The Power of One. 

Being so close to the planning process and the vision that created it, I realized that if people could see what I saw, they would find purpose in their work, and the company and community would benefit.  And so I made it my personal vision to bring the vision to the people who do the work.  I remember my boss sitting down with me asking me what I wanted for my career. I told her, I would like a job like yours (she was the Vice President of Communications) but I want to be good at it, so it will take a while.

Leaving that job was like leaving home.  In fact, I cried when I resigned.  But I knew if I wanted to continue growing and learning, I had to take a chance, joining the credit union system as the manager of corporate planning.  When I interviewed for that position, I asked them if there were any changes on the horizon that would be particularly important to know about. They both said, "no, business as usual.”

The Belly of the Great Whale. 

That wasn’t exactly true. In fact, quite the opposite. (I am writing this smiling).  The credit union system across the country has been undergoing changes in order to be competitive and there were significant strategies afoot to facilitate the transformation of the system.  One of those strategies was to implement a joint venture that would provide operational support to multiple entities, and thereby allow the economies of scale necessary to fund expansions.  In layperson’s terms, this means to reduce overhead costs by streamlining services and processes.

I was part of the joint venture, responsible for leading the business planning function of multiple entities.  It was exhausting and overwhelming most days, as we struggled to make the changes we needed to reduce costs so that we could basically keep our jobs.  I worked long hours, and became exhausted. In 2006, I knew that the current state was not sustainable, and so I made changes. I created my own strategy to change what ever was necessary to find balance.  In that year, I gave myself permission to say no and time to reflect on my part in helping to create this crazy existence.  I changed whatever didn’t feel good, from the food that I was eating to the people that I was spending time with, to my tendency to say yes all the time.

Deciding that enough was enough, and that it was time for a change, I took a job as a director of business planning and risk management for a provincial crown corporation where I worked for three years, where I learned the true measure of leadership, the importance of good intentions and purposeful visions, and the importance of living in one’s own values in all the parts of life.

It’s my life.

On my date of emancipation, I decided that life was too short to spend time in other people’s visions and plans - that it was time to starting living my own vision and making my own plans. I started my first company, Lynear Thinking Strategy & Communications Ltd. to offer my 20 years of strategic planning and communications expertise to the private sector.

I learned that the language of the corporate world was nothing like the language of my new world, that in this new world, visions and intentions are not words in a plan, but lived.  I learned in this world that good companies are those that are led by leaders who are able to inspire with integrity and honesty, that doing good things is the true measure of worthiness.

In working with entrepreneurs, I discovered a gap in their ability to share their stories in such a way that others would be inspired to seek them out.  And so I went back to my roots - to my love of journalism and writing - to create a magazine that would bring the stories of these great entrepreneurs to light, so that others could read them and know them as well as by inspired by them.

SKY: a book of dreams. 

Quite serendipitously, SKY Magazine found me.  One of my clients called me to tell me he had seen SKY for sale on Kijiji, which was quite curious, because I never shared my vision with him.  I contacted the publisher, and did some research about the magazine in the market place, and found that I could think of nothing else, but the possibility of what I could create under the SKY.  And so, I invested my retirement savings and bought my book of dreams, SKY Magazine.

SKY is my story and the stories of people like me who chose to walk their own path as leaders.  Watch for the next issue of SKY Magazine to read about the great entrepreneurs who inspire me every day of my life.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Glen Campbell - I'm Not Gonna Miss You

Glenn Campbell’s song, “I am not gonna miss you” to his family, as he drifts away into Alzheimer’s Disease.  #Oscars2015 #GlennCampbell #AlszheimersDisease

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Max Mara | Spring Summer 2015 Full Fashion Show | Exclusive

Ralph Lauren | Spring Summer 2015 Full Fashion Show | Exclusive

Calvin Klein | Spring Summer 2015 Full Fashion Show | Exclusive

Vera Wang | Spring Summer 2015 Full Fashion Show | Exclusive

Diane Von Furstenberg | Spring Summer 2015 Full Fashion Show | Exclusive

Michael Kors | Spring Summer 2015 Full Fashion Show | Exclusive

Alexander Wang | Spring Summer 2015 Full Fashion Show | Exclusive

Monday, February 16, 2015

How to create a label in the fashion industry - when you’re not married to a rock star.


March 18, 2015

Vancouver Fashion Week

Vancouver designer, Sara Armstrong, is holding an Indiegogo campaign to fund her FW 2015 collection show at Vancouver Fashion Week on Wednesday, March 18th, 2015, as well as a trunk show/pop-up shop at Vancouver’s premiere pop-up production venue @thisopenspace to follow on Thursday, March 19th, 2015.

Now at 43% of her goal, please consider contributing and being part of bringing a Canadian label to life. Contributions of all sizes are welcome.

Being seen on the runway is an important part of the making of a label.  It is the place to be seen by international media as well as buyers.  For emerging designers like Armstrong, the hope is to attract both media and buyers.  The runway collection must be an experience that tells the story of the designer’s vision.  Building an experience requires funding and fundraising.

On Wednesday March 18, 2015, it will all come together in what is to be a resounding and impactful Fall/Winter 2015 season for the Sara Armstrong design team, but they need your help as an investor.  

For the first time, Sara Armstrong is offering her signature designs as perks for contributions. Sara is calling upon her community to help spread the word, support, and propel her brand forward for the FW 2015 season, and beyond.

Contributions may be made, and shareable link may be found at http://igg.me/at/sararmstrong

The Business of Fashion and Label Making 

Sara Armstrong is a Saskatchewan born designer who comes from a middle class home where entrepreneurship was a way of life.  Yes, she is my daughter, and she has the support of our family.  But creating a label in the fashion industry is not about family. It is about manifesting from within, and building a sustainable business model that attracts media, buyers and investors. 

What I learned from my daughter about how to create a label in the fashion industry - when you're not married to a rock star. 

Phase 1: Being Irrepressible.  

  • At three years of age, she refuses to attend play school unless she has a pair of purple suede desert boots.  
  • At four years of age, she convinces me to buy the dress I cannot afford because it’s the prettiest in the store.
  • At five years of age she insists on specific ballet attire of soft pinks and matching leg warmers.  
  • At six years of age, she makes her first artistic statement, refusing to read in school, and instead insists on drawing her assignments.
  • At 16, her paintings appear in a public gallery where she sells her first paintings.

Phase 2: Educate Oneself.  

  • At 21 she graduates from University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Intermedia. She leaves the prairies to become a fashion designer in Vancouver.
  • At 22, she graduates from Blanche Macdonald in Vancouver, where she was honoured with an award for innovation. Her design was chosen to represent the Blanche Macdonald year-end runway show. 

Phase 3:  Risk a Vision. 

  • Her first label, “Head the Free” make its debut in her home city of Regina, on the runway of Saskatchewan Fashion Week.
  • “A specialist in outward thinking, Sara Armstrong, Vancouver based installation artist and designer works within a sustainable focus. Supporting a holistic approach in design, medium, and reason.”  
  • At 24, she returns to Saskatchewan Fashion Week with her self titled minimalist collection.  She decides after the show to challenge her vision and ability in order to grow her label.
  • Sara Armstrong, sets her sights on taking her vision to the runway of Vancouver Fashion Week, to be seen with designers from all over the world. 
  • At 25, Sara Armstrong creates presents her self-labelled Fall Winter 2014  on the runway of Vancouver Fashion Week, a show that integrates a minimalist approach to design, video, and music.
  • At 26, her Spring Summer 2015 collection appears on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week, where she becomes known as an internationally-acclaimed, interdisciplinary artist who practices in both fashion and industrial design.  Her catwalk is featured online at  Vogue UKGlamour UK and Elle Italia.

Phase 4: Grow, when Shrinking is not Possible.

Crowd funding models are being used to help raise money for entrepreneurs in the fashion industry.  Creating a runway-ready collection requires financial resources.  But like most talented entrepreneurs working to build a name and a brand that will capture the attention of buyers, the media and the public,  financial resources are required. 

Contributions may be made, and shareable link may be found at http://igg.me/at/sararmstrong

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fashion. I hope you grow up.

I don’t think it’s a secret. I love fashion.  My love for fashion goes beyond what might be considered ordinary.  I am a collector of all things beautiful, even if they are not practical.  My 12 x 12 foot closet is filled with pieces that each have a purpose, from sequins and 6 inch Louboutins to my black studded denim jacket, ripped Levis and Steve Madden Navajo thigh high boots.  And still, I am not satisfied.  I am not a collector of clothes. I am a collector of soul inspiring fashion that expresses “who I am” on a given day.  

It’s fashion week season and I follow them dutifully and vicariously.  I may not love everything I see, but I can appreciate the artist’s imagination. I love fashion that speaks to my soul. That says  - hey, this is who I am. Deal with it.  I love fashion that speaks to me, and says, “I am yours, take me.”

Sadly, that doesn’t happen as often as I would like.  I can appreciate how difficult it must be to tap in to the psyche of women and men all over the world and create something that is soulful, artistic and beautiful.  

Here’s the thing. As a woman who is not 20, I love seeing women of experience on the runway. Women who are  . . . like me.  Women who are fierce and confident.   And let’s face it. That’s just smart, because women of a certain age are the market place.  

I am a woman of a certain age. I am a grandmother.  I do not wear elastic pants, kitten sweaters and sensible shoes.  In fact, quite the opposite, and I practice yoga and exercise 8 hours a week for the privilege of wearing high heels every day and clothes that fit.  

I would love to see a runway show that actually knows who I am, because I am your customer. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

A One Woman Publishing Show: The Entrepreneur’s Experience

Lynn Armstrong is an entrepreneur running a niche magazine about entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.  She produces SKY Magazine under her company SKY Publishers Ltd.

A professional writer with 20 years of experience in the corporate realm as a corporate planner and strategist, Lynn ventured into the entrepreneurial world first with the creation of Lynear Thinking Strategy and Communications Ltd., a practice that helps private sector companies, cooperatives and non-profits with planning, strategy and communications.

"In 2012, I was looking for a way to tell the stories of entrepreneurs in a way that would help them achieve their business goals.  I was researching various magazine models and SKY happen to literally fall from the sky. One of my clients called me one day and said he had seen SKY Magazine for sale on Kijiji. I called the number and the rest is history. I bought SKY Magazine in October 2012 and put out my first issue December 2012.”

"I am a one woman show.  I am the publisher, editor, writer, advertising executive, book keeper, distribution manager, digital editor and online manager."

"Each quarter, I produce the magazine with the help of two other entrepreneurs, Greg Huszar, photographer, and Amber Moon, designer.  I am very proud of what we have accomplished.  My competitors, by comparison, have multiple sales staff, writers, at least one editor and a quite likely financial backers.  Did I mention I am my own financial backer? The revenue from each issue is used to pay for the production, printing and distribution of the magazine."

"Being an entrepreneur is really about running a right sized business and knowing what you are willing to put at risk.  An entrepreneur needs to know how to use his or her resources in the best way possible. When I bring business owners into SKY, I am working with them to ensure their budget is best utilized on the page."

This labour of love, of visions of skies, flamingos and ducks.

This labour of love, of visions of sky, flamingos and ducks. 

I’ve got to take a little time / A little time to think things over. / Better read between the linesIn case I need it when I am older. / This mountain I must climbeels like a world upon my shoulder / Through the clouds I see light shine / It keeps me warm as life grows colder . . . 
From “I want to know what love is”, Foreigner 

Photo by Scott Goodwill / Location: Bodhi Tree Yoga, Regina, Sask.
January 2015.  The new year. A second chance.  A time of vision and intention, of clarifying the path ahead, of culling those things that no longer work, and making space for new things. 

I set out on this path three years ago with the intention to do what I love, and to love what I do, to live and work with and for purpose, and to live in freedom.  Change is in the air for SKY, as it must be for all things. Today I am thinking about the journey so far, what I have learned and what the future looks like from this vantage point of experience. 

My Intentions 

I would publish stories that are read world-wide about interesting and inspiring people who live and work in their passion. I would be an instigator of personal freedom.  I would inspire people to accept and live in their own vision, and be inspirational to others to do the same.  I would publish the book that changes the way we look at work. I would inspire a revolution of living in colour. I would paint the sky all the colours of possibility.  - Lynn Larson Armstrong

I would publish stories that are read world-wide about interesting and inspiring people who live and work in their passion.

I purchased SKY Magazine from the founding editor October 2012 to fulfill this intention. Since then I have created 10 quarterly issues from December 2012 to December 2014.  I have evolved the model from a 100% paid advertising model to an 80-20 mix of advertising and editorial.  I have expanded the magazine from print to the digital world and it is available  on line world wide through www.issuu.com/myskymag and www.myskymag.com. I created a social media system comprised of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. SKY is alive and well, and its voice is growing.  We have an affiliation with Metro Living Zine in Vancouver, through a shared love of fashion, business, intelligent content and intelligent women working together as entrepreneurs.   

I would be an instigator of personal freedom.

SKY Magazine is about entrepreneurs living and working in their own vision.  Since becoming the publisher, each issue has been fully comprised of content about entrepreneurs and their businesses.  

I also became a yoga teacher in 2013. I teach with the intention of helping my students find freedom in their practice, through their body and mind.

I would inspire people to accept and live in their own vision, and be inspirational to others to do the same

In each issue, I have sponsored community based initiatives by providing space, photography, writing, print and distribution at 50% to 100% of the rate card.  Over the past issues, I have supported Heroe’s Makeover (Mother of all Makeovers), Saskatchewan Fashion Week, Vancouver Fashion Week, Moustache Bash, Swervin Mini Indy Laps for life, Water Can, Children’s Wish Foundation, George Reed Foundation and Just Walk It Off, a cancer fundraiser.

In July 2013, I published the Karma Issue, which told the story of the cancer survivors who participated in Just Walk It Off, including Dionne Warner, eight time cancer survivor, Leah Barnard, Jodean Howie and Nicki Bayfield-Ash.  I dedicated eight out 16 pages to the story.  National Crane Services Ltd. provided a $1000 sponsorship to help tell the story of these women. SKY Publishers Ltd. and Lynear Thinking, both my own companies, absorbed the cost of the story.  This changed the way I look at the SKY Magazine, its philosophy and purpose.  From this point on, I would no longer be satisfied with producing a 100% advertorial product.  

In the fall of 2014, SKY’s cover took on an editorial purpose.  The cover story, “The Traveller’s Spirit" featured Fallon Huffman, an entrepreneur who owns Queen V Fashion House, which includes an online store and real time retail boutique in Regina, offering unique brands that inspire those who seek refuge from mundanity.  Fallon has been nominated for a Women of Distinction Award and Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur award, and she is an inspiration and a strong voice for young women interested in entrepreneurship.

The winter 2014 issue focused on the giving, and those who give of themselves. Through sponsorship I shared the stories of The Moustache Bash, a fundraiser for the Regina Prostate Assessment Centre, Dr. Roberta McKay and Mr. Elmer Brenner whose giving goes beyond the measure of money but to giving of themselves during the process, Heroe’s Makeover, featuring Becky Panter, founder of Saskatchewan Angel Dresses, and Desiiree Rattray, 2013 recipient of the Makeover, who went to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital in memory of her baby, “Iron Will” who passed away shortly after we published her story in the 2013 Summer SKY.  

I would publish the book that changes 
the way we look at work. 

After two years of writing, I published “How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond: Painting the SKY”, which outlines my entrepreneurial journey.  On December 16, 2014, the book was launched on the online bookstore at Friesen Press

Told through a metaphorical language of ducks and flamingos, poetry, business and yoga, How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond is a journey that begins with the wind to Nirvana, into the Belly of the Great Whale, through the Rain of Nails, and to the other side of entrepreneurial freedom. This is a flamingo's guide to flying with valuable insight for business leaders and those looking to change the colour of the sky in their world.

Lynn Larson Armstrong offers a unique perspective as a corporate planner and communicator in the boardrooms of large corporations over 20 years in the telling of this tale of two feathers. Lynn is an entrepreneur, living well in Regina in her own vision, and helping others live in theirs as Publisher of SKY Magazine, and owner of Lynear Thinking Strategy & Communications Ltd. Lynn is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor, and a board member for non profits in her community. Her mantra is do good things, and good things happen.

Buy it here.  

I would inspire a revolution of living in colour. 

I  would paint the sky all the colours of possibility. 

It’s time to fly.

2015’s editorial direction for SKY Magazine will continue to cast a light on the entrepreneur’s experience.  As a niche magazine serving a niche market of entrepreneurs in various industries, SKY will continue to stand out as the magazine in which to be seen and read.  
Each issue will be themed to reflect the changing seasons, and our standard will be nothing short of intelligent, honest and beautiful content, from cover to cover. 

Our intention is to grow the size of the magazine and refine the rate sheet in order to provide a bigger bang for those who participate in the creation of the magazine each quarter. 

The Editorial Calendar is being created right now. If you have an idea for a story or if you would like to book your space for 2015, contact the Publisher.

The marketing program for the book, How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond,  will be implemented in 2015 with details to follow.  Book two is already under way, with a launch date of 2016. 

See you in the air.