roleModel of the Week: Sonia Zarbatany
Sonia Zarbatany: Mother, Wife, Owner of Fashion Powerhouses Vince Camuto & Zarby International, Motivational Speaker, Life Coach, Entrepreneur, Mentor and so much more...
It was not easy to track this SuperWoman down for an interview, but when I finally did, I realized it was well worth the wait. Sonia's can do attitude and positive vibes are contagious. She is the kind of woman that every person wants at their party, in their yoga class, at their brain-storming session, and in their corner. Sonia is the ultimate GirlBoss and supports other women and their dreams making her the ideal roleModel of the week. Read the interview below and be inspired!
Obviously, you are more than a Business Woman. If asked your job title, what would you say and how would you describe yourself?
If I were to describe myself in the manner above, then I would say that I am the co-owner of Zarby International, Executive VP of Sanctuary and Vince Camuto in Canada, as well as a business and success mentor, coach and speaker.
But I am also a mother, step mother, wife, daughter, best friend, champion of all the people in my life and all the people who follow me and take inspiration from me.
What I do (on paper) has so much to do with who I am outside of the business world. I look at my daughter and want her to feel strong and empowered and I have the tools to bring her up that way. I’m a daughter who was raised with love and the confidence to pursue my dreams and achieve my goals. I am a friend and champion of women who want to achieve their dreams but don’t know how to start or even what those dreams are - and am lucky enough through all of my experience to be able to provide a road map for all of them to find that happiness, confidence and satisfaction.
Instagram:@soniazarbatany Hometown: Montreal, Canada
You are such a beautiful & inspiring woman; tell us about your journey to becoming the Owner of powerhouse Vince Camuto?
Thank you so much for the compliment!
I grew up in the fashion industry. From a very young age, my father owned Guess Jeans in Canada. I took on little jobs around the office. From one job to the next, I learned my way through the business. I always loved fashion, but it felt as though I hadn’t chosen it, that it had chosen me. I needed to discover what I was passionate about, what kind of career I wanted to pursue and accomplish that on my own.
I struck out on my own after my last exam in University and moved to LA. It wasn’t long before I realized that I wanted to make a difference and help people. I discovered my true passion and gift was to help and inspire people to achieve their greatest potential. I became a life coach and keynote speaker across the US and worked at it for years. I absolutely loved it.
However, I had another love which was fashion and my family and friends in Montreal. So I thought to myself, why not merge both? Why not move back to Montreal, get back in the fashion industry, this industry that is so fast paced, ever-changing and that I love, be surrounded by my family and friends and keep my passion for speaking and coaching from Canada. And that is exactly what i did.
Our company Zarby International distributed the “It Brands” of fashion from XOXO , Kathy Van Zeeland to so many more. Today we distribute Vince Camuto and Sanctuary Clothing in Canada - two brands that I absolutely love! The team we have both in Canada and our U.S. partners, the growth of the business and the always evolving style of the collections all combine to make me happy to come to work every day and stay hungry for more.
Have you always led a healthy and active lifestyle? If not, what made you change. Was there a defining moment?
When I was in Cegep I absolutely loved working out so I decided I wanted to get certified and become a personal trainer while going to school. So my mornings would start at 5:30am with my first personal training client and would end late in the night after my afternoons at school. I loved every part of working out, every new trend, every nutrition program and every new fitness craze I had to be in the know.
Around that time I had a terrible water skiing accident which left me bedridden for months. I had to stop competing in horseback riding, stop training in basketball and just stop every physical activity i had. This was so devastating to me - especially mentally. But sometimes your body just tells you it’s time to take a break, to stop and you have no choice but to listen - and when we can do that we can begin to understand and appreciate just how amazing our bodies are, what they can do and how fast they heal. Our bodies are incredible. Strong and resilient, just as we are. it just takes the proper appreciation and nurturing of both (body and mind).
Today, fitness is part of my everyday life and routine. Every week when I book hotels I also book my workouts accordingly. I try the newest studios when I am abroad and I make sure I hit the gym five to six times a week when I am home. It’s a part of me, of my sanity and it gives me so much energy to keep going and take on more. Fitness is in itself something transcendental in that it brings me joy and calm and allows me to clear my head and be prepared for anything that might come my way.
How do you balance being a Business Woman and being a Super-Mom?
I get asked this question every day of my life and...
I believe that women today are all absolute super-heroes! We are asked to work full time, run businesses, take care of the kids, be amazing wives, maintain a social life, keep fit - and all that while looking beautiful and in heels ;-)
Well I am here to tell you that this concept of “having it all” is impossible and something has to give! When I am at the office I am not with my kids, when I drop my daughter off at school my entire office is already working away. You cannot be that super-hero all day every day! For me, what gives, is sleep. The good thing is I have always functioned on very little sleep.
I believe the real key to balancing my non-stop life is scheduling. If it is not in my calendar it does not exist. My husband and friends get calendar requests for date nights, lunches or playdates. My entire week is planned by Sunday from travel to meetings to kid pick-ups and drop-offs, workouts, charity events and activities.
Balance is an everyday struggle - a balancing act that doesn’t always go off without a hitch! We have to remember that we aren’t perfect nor should we expect ourselves to be. So many women are so hard on themselves. I wish I could snap my fingers and convey to them that we are all amazing and wonderful creatures who are pretty damn super. Some days we are queens of the world in productivity at home and at work and other days we fall short of others - but most importantly - our own expectations. The key is to move through the chaos, not to take yourself too seriously and to do your best.. and trust that your best is enough.
What is your workout routine, do you go to the gym?
My workout routine changed a bit since I became pregnant. I am now 5 months pregnant so I don’t push myself as hard as I usually do, I train with my heart rate monitor and keep an eye on my intensity.
I workout 5-6 days a week. Mondays are my crazy day at the office so I love to take that day off and rest. The rest of week, I do high intensity metabolic circuit training at @apcgym. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are mix of circuit training, high intensity cardio and short interval training with @jonchaimberg. I also love to incorporate strength training and weightlifting into my routine so Fridays and some Tuesdays are dedicated to working out with a trainer at @Victoriaparkmtl with @pumpfitnessmtl or with @jonchaimberg @apcgym.
Workouts aren’t just something we do at the gym or in a class - so don’t despair if you happen to hate the gym! There are so many fun options to stay fit. For instance I absolutely love a great dance party! So what better way than to join my girl @drea_wheeler for a fun dance party while i sweat it out on a spin bike at @victoriaparkmtl. While I am all about high intensity - the harder the training sessions the better in my opinion - my favorite workout of the week is my Tuesday 9pm Yoga class at my house with 4 of my girlfriends and our husbands taught by my girl @mtlyogagirl. I put the kids to bed, light a fire and bathe the room in candlelight and just relax, let our heads down and just flow to a relaxing state of Namaste!
What motivates you?
My family! I am motivated by the people around me: my kids, my husband, my family, my friends. But I am also largely motivated from within. There is an internal drive that energizes me every day; I’m a very passionate and positive person, so motivation just kind of goes hand in hand with who I am.
Do you have any upcoming projects you are working on that you would like to tell us about?
The most important project I am working on right is growing inside me and giving life truly puts everything in perspective. I thought I would be back in the office after 2 weeks of giving birth to my daughter but the second I met her I knew my priorities changed and she determined when I was ready to be back in the office (with her by my side at the office of course). I am so humbled and blessed that I have the opportunity to bring my kid to work, to make my own hours and to run my business and my kids the way that I want to - I know that most women can’t just bring their kids to work! So for my new little bun in the over I want to take the time to enjoy him and then he needs to get to work.. it’s just the family he is in.. sorry.. (lol)
As for work, keep growing, developing and building Sanctuary and Vince Camuto in a major way. We are also in the middle of negotiating two new international brands for Spring 2018 so look out for big announcements!! My speaking engagements are booked throughout the year from universities to corporations to women’s events. And I can’t wait to share with you the programs to go hand in hand with the speaking series so I can reach even more students, business people and women. What are your favorite foods to eat? If I could be fed sushi, ice cream, chocolate covered strawberries, acai bowls, almond butter and protein shakes all day every day I would be the happiest woman ever.
As a Business Woman, Mom and a Mentor, what advice do you have for young women just starting out in the fashion industry or on a new endeavor?
Be clear on your passion; learn everything there is to know about the field, the job and the brand or business you will be working for. Interning is key. You might have to work from the bottom up but the experience you will have is priceless. Get out there and hustle! Network by connecting with people in the fashion industry, follow them on social media platforms, and attend fashion events. People aren’t kidding when they say who you know is a huge part of the battle when you are climbing that ladder towards your goal. The right connections and mentors will be key for you. If you don't have the physical experience then be knowledgeable, be a trendsetter, and set yourself apart from the pack.