Meet up Wendy for a Denim DIY workshop at Topshop Queen Street, this Saturday March 11th from 4pm-6pm
Notable Life has updated our Notable Young Professional profile to get to know Canada’s Millennial leaders on a professional and personal level. Millennials have a different relationship with their careers than any generation before us, and we want to highlight what makes today’s young professionals unique. Our goal is to inspire the Notable community with inspiring stories about professional successes that bloomed in unpredictable ways.
Today’s Notable Young Professional is YouTube DIY Queen Wendy Liu, also known as @WithWendy.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Wendy and I teach the world how to sew through my Youtube channel, @withwendy! There are over a hundred sewing projects I have posted, from making jackets and sweaters, to assembling my own red carpet dress the same day as the event (terrifying and exhilarating).
Do you know where you got your drive from?
My viewers help me immensely to feel excited about my work. They frequently say hi to me when I’m out walking or at cafes, they send me photos of the things they have made following my tutorials, and they have so many encouraging comments on my work! Seeing that I really do make an impact in their lives surprises me every time and never gets old.
How do you stay self-motivated?
I see each project as a step in getting better and better, which helps me to get out of the mindset that everything needs to be perfect and instead really enjoy the process! The pursuit of perfection is noble, but once it paralyzes it has to be pushed out of the way. Everything I am doing now will only make me more experienced in the future, and that is very motivating to me.
What would you say is your preferred way to network?
I’ve started many professional friendships through mutually following and appreciating the work of others through social media, and eventually getting in touch because we’re both excited to chat! Those have felt very organic and even charming in their own way, but I can never discount how great it is to meet people face to face. I love a great conversation!
How would you describe your process for deepening relationships?
I like to know more about people than just what they have studied or where they work, but how their day is and what kinds of goals they have for the future. I have a close friend now who started as a co worker, but through figuring out ways to help each other reach our dreams we grew so much more dependent and appreciative of each other. I hate the thought of knowing people to use them as a “good connection”, those with whom you have trust and mutual care are the people that bring out the best work.
What are your preferred tools for keeping organized?
I’ve been so thankful for discovering bullet journalling this year, which has successfully merged my daily journalling, agenda, and project brainstorming all into one journal. I’m very visual and enjoy writing things out, so this has been a perfect fit for me. For everything involving teamwork, Google Drive handles all my logistics, contacts, and timelines. If there’s a way for me to streamline something into one quick step on a spreadsheet, I love making it happen. And of course, I cannot make it through an organized day without my iPhone.
What is your favourite way to market your product or services?
Youtube has been my primary platform for being discovered, as every time I post a video the spillover is observable in all my other platforms. I got on Youtube because I love making videos, so it is definitely my favourite way to market what I do! Video is such a powerful and digestible communication tool, allowing such a breadth of creativity and the power to say so much in a short time compared to one tweet or one photo post.
Who has been your mentor in helping you find success?
I actually find my greatest mentors are friends that don’t work in the same field as me. They provide encouragement and keep me grounded in what is important, which is so helpful when there are so many options available to grow a business. Filtering out what works best for my business and focusing on it helps me to get going instead of continually assessing the options. That is the type of mentorship that has helped me the most to reach where I am now.
What social issue does your organization raise funds and/or awareness for?
Because sewing tutorials inherently illuminate the real work in making a garment, it has been natural to talk about the ethics of our garment manufacturing landscape. Issues like fair wages, or the impact of fast fashion on our environment and consumer mentality are important to me because it’s largely invisible in the stores where we shop. We don’t see any of the steps leading up to being able to purchase clothing, and once we throw it out it disappears from sight again. In reality, the whole chain has so many underpaid working hands and extreme waste, which is further accelerated by our increasing appetite for new clothing.
How and where do you continue to learn?
Being one who teaches on Youtube, I am also constantly learning on Youtube. I watch some videos that are in the same genre as me, but I also enjoy observing narrative styles across multiple genres. You never know where inspiration will come from.
Next, we want to get to know you personally! We know that being a successful professional has lots to do with your personality and also your behaviours. We are excited to learn about what decisions you make to keep balanced and have fun.
Do you have a fitness ritual that you live by?
I am hardly a role model in this area, I just avoid over-eating and walk a ton. If I were ever to leave downtown Toronto the freedom to walk anywhere would be sorely missed.
How do you feed your soul?
It’s important for me to spend some time first thing every day to pray, journal, and read. There is only so much I can get done in a day, and seeing a bigger picture than me and my life helps me to have purpose and process my successes and struggles.
How would you describe the eating ritual that makes you feel most powerful?
I feel best when I’m able to whip up my own hearty salad, but lately I’ve had to exchange that luxury for the time I get back. I try to eat balanced, take in tons of water, and when I’m in need of an extra boost of motivation I grab my favourite: ketchup-flavoured potato chips.
Who is your favourite personality to follow on YouTube?
This is like trying to choose my favourite parent, impossible! There’s two that I always turn to: Jenn Im and Chriselle Lim. Two women who are working hard, trying new things, and make such enjoyable content. I have been following them since they started on Youtube.
What type of content do you find most compelling on Instagram?
I really love following people who work hard, but it doesn’t mask their genuine personality. It inspires me to persevere and stay honest in an environment that can be very over-constructed.
What is your favourite meal?
My parents’ Chinese cooking. It’s the most expensive cuisine in my life because it involves a flight across the country (but it’s worth it).
What is your favourite sport to watch?
Is the Academy Awards a sport? None of my friends would consider me a sport person, but the best time I’ve had at a live game was basketball. There are flames, dancers, flag-runners, t-shirt guns, noise meters, and free pizza all happening at once! And the actual basketball game of course. I also can’t help but feel the audience is much more diverse than other sports audiences, and as a Chinese person it somehow makes me feel more at home.
Where is your favourite place to unwind?
Out with my best friends, or at my home! I can throw on a bathrobe, do some skin treatment, and curl up with my fiance to talk or watch a movie. It’s the best treat to a long week.
Watch Wendy make her own red carpet dress in a day: