An interview with Taylor Hui | Founder of BeaYOUtiful Foundation
Meet Taylor Hui, founder and vice president of the BeaYOUtiful Foundation, a local charity that works with young girls between the ages of 8 – 14. BeaYOUtiful provides programs and events that inspire confidence-building and positive body image through mentorship.
A social entrepreneur, philanthropist, model, and actress, Taylor founded BeaYOUtiful at the age of 17 to inspire young girls to learn the importance of self-love. After completing a degree in communications, Taylor also founded The Roster Clothing Co., a clothing brand that helps support the work of BeaYOUtiful.
Today we’re talking with Taylor about her journey, what it’s like to be a female entrepreneur, and what she looks for in a fashion brand.
You're an inspiration to us as a female social entrepreneur and founder of a registered non-profit. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey since founding BeaYOUtiful?
The BeaYOUtiful Foundation started as a passion project when I was 17. Growing up, I recognized that many of the young women around me struggled with their self-esteem and self-worth. I was a victim of cyber bullying when I was 13, and by the age of 16 I had three friends with eating disorders. These events really shaped my outlook on the importance of loving yourself and helped me realize that everyone’s journey to embracing their inner beauty is different.
Recognizing a need for self-esteem classes for my peers, I developed a six-week program for girls ages 10 to 13 to feel empowered, respected, and loved. The success from that first program changed my life, and I knew it was my purpose. The once-small community program experienced its share of hurdles, but I am so proud of where we are today.
Two years ago, the BeaYOUtiful Foundation officially became a registered Canadian Charity. It has worked with over 2,025 girls across Canada between the ages of 8 to 14.
Women often face challenges or barriers to succeeding in entrepreneurship. How can we empower those who identify as female to find rewarding careers, especially in traditionally male-dominated fields? Do you have any advice for women who are starting down a similar career path?
When I reflect back on the start of my entrepreneurship journey, I’m always in awe of the power of community. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and passion of so many other women who saw the importance of BeaYOUtiful’s mission.
If you have a dream or goal, there’s a good chance that someone else in the world believes in it too. Whether you find an empowering mentor who can take you under their wing or a network of women who have similar passions, I firmly believe that a community exists for us all and can help guide us toward success.
When you are venturing down a new career path, don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek help. Let go of ego and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Most importantly, be curious and remain that way! Even at the peak of your career, there is always more to learn.
Are there any women who have been a significant inspiration to you along the way?
My mom is my greatest inspiration. Her energy is infectious, and she always championed my wildest dreams. Most importantly, she raised me to know my self-worth. For that I will always be grateful.
In addition to the work you do for BeaYOUTiful, you’re also a model, actress, and owner of a clothing brand. What does a typical day in your life look like?
A day in the life of Taylor never looks the same. My life has always been a bit chaotic, unexpected, and often exhausting, but I can’t imagine it any other way. My brother and I grew up helping the family business when I wasn’t at school or sports, so I’m used to working long (but fulfilling) hours.
My weekly routine is simply balancing my various job titles. If I book a modelling job for Monday, I know that on Tuesday I need to focus on BeaYOUtiful. If I launch a new collection for my clothing line in the spring, I make sure I am allocating evenings to BeaYOUtiful meetings for those months ahead.
I don’t have much down time, but this fast pace is what I crave. I love the adrenaline rush that comes with my work because it never feels like work. It’s pure passion.
Some professionals gravitate toward having a capsule wardrobe of essential pieces that can be mixed and matched with ease. Capsule wardrobes are also often considered a more sustainable option since they encourage less consumption. What are your thoughts on capsule wardrobes?
I love capsule wardrobes because they emphasize including pieces that are versatile and made with intention. Considering both fabric and colour, I try to find items that can easily transition through the seasons and can be paired with items I already own.
When you find a brand that takes quality seriously, you know that the pieces will last you years rather than months. Those are the items to invest in.
As a model, you’ve had the opportunity to try on a variety of garments and styles. What do you personally look for in a clothing brand?
As a Bachelor of Communications graduate, I’ve learned to pay close attention to a clothing brand’s marketing. I ask, what are they trying to communicate? What does this brand stand for?
My work with BeaYOUtiful inspires me to look for clothing brands that are body-positive and hire diverse models. I adore brands that are inclusive and celebrate women of all shapes and sizes.
I started The Roster Clothing Co. to fund BeaYOUtiful programs, so I also try to support brands that have a similar charitable structure. Purchasing from brands that give back to their community is a win-win for both the customer and the business.
And in the clothing itself, I look for high quality construction and ethical production practices. Now more than ever I’m trying to shop local and seek out brands that champion sustainable and ethical practices.
What does sustainability mean to you?
To me, sustainability means contributing to the health and wellness of the world. That includes the wellbeing of any living organism or natural resource. It is a privilege to be able to access Earth’s gifts, and we often take that for granted.
We all have a role to play in sustainability. I’m encouraged to see people realizing that their individual contributions to sustainability can make a difference in the future of our planet.
We’re honoured to have you as a customer and model of Narvan. Can you tell us what your pieces from Narvan mean to you?
My pieces from Narvan represent elegance, confidence, and female leadership. I love knowing that when I wear Narvan, I am supporting a local female entrepreneur who cares deeply about the wellbeing of her community.
My favourite piece from Narvan is the Arya Pant. It’s a beautifully designed piece that boosts my confidence and helps me feel at my best, whether I’m wearing them at a BeaYOUtiful workshop or going out for dinner with my family.