September 25, 2017

The company that made menstrual cups mainstream

One of my favourite products is a little silicone thing invented in Kitchener, Ontario, that collects menstrual blood for up to 12 hours. (Go make your stank face somewhere else!) The DivaCup is revolutionary for anyone who has a period. For the 2017 PROFIT 500 edition that appeared in Maclean's, I got to speak with the founders, a mother-daughter duo, about how they transformed the DivaCup's hemp-wearing hippie vibe into a mainstream force that has sparked copycats all over the world. Read the story here.


September 5, 2017

How scientists preserved a 440-pound blue whale heart


In 2014, I read an article about a group of scientists from the Royal Ontario Museum who went to Newfoundland to salvage whatever was left of some blue whales that had washed up ashore. When I read that the carcass was going to be used for "further scientific research," I knew it had to be something cool. Turns out it was WAY cool: they were going to preserve the blue whale's massive heart! The nerds at Wired Magazine loved the idea and ran my story in the July print edition.

July 14, 2017

How this millennial woman bought a home on her own


There are exactly three people who never fail to blow my mind: Beyonce, David Blaine, and homeowners. The last one is because I live in Toronto and if you know anything about Toronto real estate, it costs at least two newborns to own property. So when I meet a homeowner, I get tingles in my hands and gush over how seemingly accomplished they are. Recently, I got to have real talk with a very cool, millennial woman from Detroit who bought a house all by herself! I suppressed the fact that she is two years younger than me and got to learn more about the whole process. Obviously, it's a lot of work, especially in her situation where she bought a fixer upper that needed major renovations. You can read the whole story here, part of a series by Chase on "The Evolution of Homebuying."

March 17, 2017

The best managed companies

The best kinds of companies to work for are the ones that truly care about its people. I know, I know. This lead gave you absolutely no new information because it's as common knowledge as not sneezing into people's faces. Still, there's no shortage of crappy bosses out there. I just finished reading a great explainer of the horrible management drama happening at Thinx. Yes, that period underwear company. That's why I asked a few good bosses about their secrets for not crashing and burning.

I wrote five company profiles for the 2017 Canada's Best Managed Companies package, which appeared in the print edition of Maclean's this month, and the online edition of Canadian Business. One company makes your hair look good, one sells asphalt, two work in construction, and one does software. The rest, if you wish, can be read here.

February 2, 2017

Call in the Squad


I love when entrepreneurs admit that a little tipple is how they get through the stress of running a business. I didn't even have to pry it out of Katelyn Bourgoin. She's just that honest and open about how she got to where she is now, which is launching her Halifax startup called Squads. The concept is pretty great: it matches kick-ass women entrepreneurs from all over the world who basically help each other dominate the world. Read my story over at LiisBeth.

January 5, 2017

Run for the Mexican border


When it comes to exporting, America has always been Canada's best friend. They're close, they're comforting, they're pretty cool sometimes. But when you see your best friend change so drastically for the worse, thanks to a megalomaniac of a leader, it's time to find a new bestie. Hi Mexico! As our other NAFTA partner, Canadian exporters ought to spend more time with the Mexican market what with their booming middle class and all. Here's my story for Canadian Business on why Mexico is one of the hottest spots for Canadian exporters right now.



November 29, 2016

Why millennials are more financially aware than you think


I did my people a solid and found some hard, indisputable stats that prove millennials are actually pretty good with their money (take that, Boomers!). Sure, we may quit our jobs every other month and complain about how there are no jobs out there, but millennials are so cognizant of how much money they have (or don't have) and know very well how that shapes their future. Overall, the numbers show we save better, budget better, and spend better than any other generation. Here's some colourful charts from Chase you can use to reassure your parents over the holidays.

October 17, 2016

The complicated art of capturing this photo



Taking photos of planes seems pretty easy. Taking photos of the moon is straightforward enough. Taking photos of planes against a moon? Now that's a ton of work. I picked the brain of Raul Roa, an L.A. photojournalist who has been shooting the moon in his spare time for the hell of it. I asked him a thousand questions about the complicated logistics of getting such a shot, something about tracking the plane's path and altitude relative to the moon's degree and elevation and your location on the ground and how long your lens is. It's mega complex. But the results are stellar. See for yourself over at Motherboard.


October 14, 2016

Doing work that matters

 Real Food for Real Kids
Pretty much every decent human being wants to make the world a better place. So wouldn't it be super dope if that's what our job descriptions were all about? Whether you drive a bus, restock lime slices behind the bar, teach people how to do a proper deadlift, we all deserve to feel like there's some altruism behind the work we get paid to do. For Canadian Business, I spoke to Real Food for Real Kids, a lunch catering company in Toronto, about how and why they constantly remind employees of the impact they're making in the world. They believe in doing so, they're building a happier, productive and more loyal staff.

September 27, 2016

5 ways to avoid paying airline fees

MoneySense airline fees

I hate flying sooo much. There's too many checkpoints. The seats are like prisons. Every surface feels like it's swimming with germs. So you can imagine the fury I feel when I'm asked if I want to pay extra money for basic things like a second bag, some flimsy headphones and even charging cables. In the September issue of MoneySense magazine, I share tips on how to keep your flight costs low and say no to the pesky extras.

September 26, 2016

Walking the cultural tightrope

Mai Nguyen



















This essay appeared in the August/September 2016 issue of cß║žuVNbridge magazine. Click here to read in Vietnamese. 

I am the prototype: a second-generation kid who resents the rules imposed by her immigrant parents, who can’t speak her mother tongue without faltering, who connects more with her Canadian values than Vietnamese. I am also a literal child, which means I was born to push my parents’ limits and disagree with them on almost everything.

I’ve disagreed with my parents on matters having to do with our different values. In most recent years, it’s been on my drinking even the littlest bit of champagne at a wedding; on moving to Toronto at 17 to chase after a highly unsecure journalism career; on travelling by myself to Southeast Asia just for fun; on dating boys that weren’t Vietnamese nor (gasp!) even Asian.

June 29, 2016

The essential rules of homebuying

If you read any article containing the words millennial and real estate, you'll know that I'll get to fly a dragon before I ever get to buy a house. Still, that didn't stop me from giving people advice on how to buy a house. In the third series of the Vox/Chase editorial partnership, I break down the five rules for homebuying (hint: get your financial shit together). I also wrote about how technology has changed homebuying, which subsequently lead me down a viewing spiral of super wicked 3D virtual tours of expensive-looking houses.

May 16, 2016

Brewed to perfection

I love a good origin story. Recently, I profiled the founder of the $22 million direct-selling company Steeped Tea and #1 female entrepreneur in Canada, Tonia Jahshan. Back in 2006, way before she earned these titles, she had the most amazing cup of Creme of Earl Grey tea at a Halifax bed and breakfast and thought: “I’m going to start a company! I’m going to have tea parties and sell tea leaves, and it’s going to be great!” It was clear from meeting her what made her such a successful entrepeneur: enthusiasm, grit, and a firm conviction that everything was going to work out.

May 6, 2016

This is Leon's?!

The president of Leon's asked me what I thought of Leon's. I said I thought of bulky brown recliners. Then I immediately felt bad for saying that. But luckily he knew most young'uns see the furniture retailer as a "grandma's store." For Canadian Business, here's what I learned about how they're trying to change their stuffy reputation and get millennials to not be so embarrassed when they walk in the store.

April 26, 2016

What kind of spender are you?

I'm super excited to share the first-ever quiz I've produce, in partnership with Vox and JPMorgan Chase. I picked the brains of several financial psychologists to give you a fairly accurate measure of the kind of spender you are. I know I know, it doesn't carry the same kind of soul discovery as the ones over on BuzzFeed that tell you "Which Flavour Of Lay's Chips Are You Based On Your Zodiac Sign?" But hey, maybe one day Chase will get on board.