Meet September’s ACE Brunch Speakers Across Canada

When we tell our stories it encourages others to step into their own and do the same.


Featuring women who are making waves in their community, life and career or business is what we live for. Each month we ask women across Canada to step into the limelight, lead with vulnerability and inspire our community with impactful tips that they can take back into their own lives. A catalyst for community and inspiration, The ACE Brunch (formerly Babes Who Brunch) is our signature event that brings all the elements together to form deep connections with the community around you. 

If you have been curious about our Brunch experience, we always guide our speakers to speak on one main topic in relation to their experiences. We’ve heard speakers share their rising stories on failure, body image, business struggles, imposter syndrome, building confidence, balancing grit and grace, overcoming hardships and everything in between. If you’ve been to our Brunch, you know the secret sauce is our speakers, and our community – you. No PowerPoints, no handouts, no notes, this is a platform of pure real talk within a supportive and uplifting environment. 

Who are the women taking the mic this month to share their stories? We’re shining the spotlight on them below. Join us in welcoming them to the mic this month: 



Cicely Blain

Cicely Belle Blain is a diversity and inclusion consultant, activist and writer; they are one of Vancouver’s fifty most influential people of 2018, as awarded by Vancouver Magazine, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter - Vancouver, one of CBC’s 150 Black Womxn Making Change in Canada and BC Business 30 Under 30 2019 and has served as a member of the Canadian Youth Delegation to the United Nations. Their work is informed by their professional and academic background at the University of British Columbia and their lived experience as a Black, queer artist, a community builder, an intersectional feminist and a Black liberation activist. Cicely Belle’s first book debuts in 2020 with VS Books & Arsenal Pulp Press.

Connect with Cicely in real-life at Brunch on September 21st here at Colony on Granville and on social here: @cicelyblainconsulting @cicelybelle_xo



Lauren Dary

Lauren Dary is the founder, designer and original sewist behind the fashion brand Gus Sloan. Having grown up fighting with her own body image, she struggled to find pieces that felt like they fit the way they should. Though she was always interested in fashion design, the dream got shelved when she began her career as a brand photographer in the Alberta market. Following an ‘aha’ moment at thirty, she finally took the plunge, giving herself 12 months to learn as much as she could about sewing and design, with the help of online classes, mentors and textbooks. Thirteen months after beginning this journey, Lauren launched Gus Sloan, immediately making a name for itself as one of Canada’s few ethically and sustainably-minded brands, grounded in confidence and self-love. Three of the most important things to Lauren as a designer are integrity and transparency, passion, and a will to design every piece with versatility, function, comfort and longevity- these are the things that make great garments. Gus Sloan's goal is to create clothes that make you feel empowered and confident in your everyday life. We deserve to feel good in our own skin and in what we wear!

Connect with Lauren in real-life at Brunch on September 21st here at Central Social Hall and on social here: @mrslaurendary @wearegussloan

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Lauryn Vaughn

With a career in fashion that has taken her to Paris and back, Lauryn Vaughn has an impeccable eye for detail and a passion for the transformative impact of premium apparel. She founded The Upside in 2015 after discovering a niche in the country’s e-commerce market for luxury resale fashion minus the prohibitive costs of U.S. shipping and duty. Under her leadership, The Upside has grown to be Canada’s largest online luxury consignment retailer, attracting 400-plus new members a month. With a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary, Lauryn is proud to combine her passion for style and business in running The Upside and lending her expertise to some of Canada’s top fashion influencers. Throughout her success, Lauryn remains dedicated to putting exceptional quality, authentically unique, and gently-loved apparel at her client’s fingertips so they can breathe new life into their wardrobes one piece at a time.

Connect with Lauryn in real-life at Brunch on September 21st here at Murietta’s and on social here: @lauryn_vaughn



Shana Robinson

Shana Robinson is an image consultant and brand visionary who helps female business owners increase their income and influence through showing them how to BE the brand, create a lasting first impression and share their authentic selves with their audience through brand photography. Shana’s 5+ years of business and branding experience, her ability to empower people with her honesty and truth, and her personal mission to free women from their pasts have enabled her to use her extensive expertise to style and brand female business owners in Canada, the United States and beyond. 

Connect with Shana in real-life at Brunch on September 21st here at The Met and on social here:


Find a list of all our upcoming events near you to keep on your radar here. Did you know ACE members benefit from 20% off all our events and experience in addition to receiving access to an online Member’s  Lounge full of resources & content? Find out more here