The 2017 Lisa B In 613 Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway Contest! (Blog post #4)

24059096_535724950136505_8245467114308348196_n.jpgWith the holidays around the corner, I wanted to share with you my top FIVE local finds for gift giving here in Ottawa. There will be one lucky winner announced FRIDAY DECEMBER 22nd who will take home the following prizes from these local businesses:

A Redblacks Bracelet from Lady Touchdown
A magnetic bottle opener from MattWood.Customs
A prize pack and accent nail sheets from LisaBella Jams
A pair of custom socks from Itty Bitty Creationz
A pet neckerchief from Bandoodles Ottawa

Want to enter? There are only just a few easy steps:

  1. Follow and like @Lisa.BIn613 on Instagram and Facebook.
  2. Follow @LadyTouchdown | @Mattwood.customs | @Lisabellajams | @ittybittycreationz | and @bandoodlesott on Instagram only. (I’ll be checking)
  3. Tag two friends in the comments of the Instagram post who you think would love this list!
  4. Winner announced Friday, December 22nd.
  5. Entries to contest are via Instagram only.
  6. Winner will be notified via DM. Open to residents of Canada only. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram. By entering, you acknowledge and agree to all of the above. GOOD LUCK!


  1. Lady Touchdown

Women have been fans of the CFL since its inception, yet nothing has ever been offered that’s uniquely feminine. With nine different themes inspired by CFL team colours and proudly handmade in Canada, these bracelets are the sweetest arm candy in the league! The beads for each bracelet are carefully selected to channel the power of the minerals and crystals that have come together in nature, to create each unique stone.

Do you like the look of the Redblacks bracelet pictured on entrepreneur Suzy below? The Ancient Romans believed the black onyx would bestow courage in battle upon its wearer. Red magnesite, known as the “stone of the heart”, has the unique power of channeling the passion and love you have for your team. These bracelets turn your arm into a party as they can be layered or paired with other wraps or accessories! (Bracelets are $40)

  1. MattWood.Customs

Call me bias, but my man makes pretty amazing creations from repurposed pallet wood! From coffee tables, to wine racks, to sport team signs, @MattWood.Customs can pretty well do it all. If you are looking for a one of a kind custom made gift, my recommendations are the wine racks, magnet bottle openers and sport team signs! (Prices range from $40-$120).

  1. LisaBella Jamberry Nails

I never thought I would be into nail stickers, or doing my own manicures, but Jamberry makes it SO EASY. For the manicure lovers in your lives, I must introduce you to my Jamberry consultant/friend, and name twin, Lisa! (aka LisaBellaJams on Instagram). I bought my first Jamberry Basic Bundle this summer, and have now branched out into the TruShine Gel series. I know the term stickers can sound a little juvenile, but don’t be alarmed! They are really nice and can be subtle, or stylish! My recommendation for anyone looking to try Jamberry would be to get the Basic Bundle ($74+) or the TruShine Essentials bundle ($90+). Lisa is so helpful and can also provide you with the best deal, or recommendation to make it more special for whoever you’re shopping for. Below are some of my favorite manicures from Jamberry.

  1. Itty Bitty Creations

Itty Bitty Creationz specialises in making custom designs to capture special moments for families. Clothing is 100% cotton and it is available in multiple sizes. From those hilarious customised socks you see everywhere on Instagram, to shadow boxes and children’s clothes, these personalised custom gifts are super creative and sweet! Prices vary.


  1. Krista Norris Collection

Krista Norris Collection is a Canadian accessory company focused on creating unique and timeless pieces for city girls with classic style. With a foundation of authentic, quality fabric, their line is designed for Canadian weathers, in style that can be appreciated internationally. If you’re that person that’s always cold, or loves a big cozy sweater, then toss your usual cozies to the side! These scarves are beyond stylish and comfortable and I am in LOVE with my Zirka Black Wingtip scarf. When I first got mine I was really impressed with the quality of the fabric and how warm it was. Made with 22% cotton, 45% Acrylic, 24% Polyester, 8% Wool, the Krista Norris collection makes for WONDERFUL gifts, and the packaging was just as sweet. Highly recommend! (Prices range from $58-$120)


*This item is not a part of the giveaway, but use promo code Gifts20 for 20% off your online purchase at

  1. BONUS-Bandoodles Pet Neckerchiefs

Bandoodles pet neckerchiefs are made with love by local Ottawa entrepreneur Kate and her grandmother. Looking for a way to pass time together, these ladies started their own small business making local Ottawa pets look their best in holiday themed neckerchiefs. From Halloween, Canada Day to everyday looks, Bandoodles has the most adorable double sided patterns for your furry friends. (Prices range from $6-12). Photo below is my little guy Bauer (aka @OurBoyBauer on Instagram)

opvt 067

Be sure to enter the Giveaway Contest by following the instructions above! There are so many great local entrepreneurs that could have made this list, so I would love to hear about your favourite local Ottawa business. Comment below!

Happy Holidays everyone!


Blog #2 I hosted a panel at the inaugural LinkedIn Ottawa Meet-Up!

On Tuesday November 21st 2017, the inaugural Linkedin Ottawa Meet Up “The Future of Entrepreneurship” took place at the Westin Hotel. I was lucky enough to be chosen to moderate the panel on Personal Branding with a former colleague and friend Michaela Alexis, and new friends Manu Goswami, John Fleischauer.

With the COO of Shopify (Harley Finkelstein) & Co-founder of DAVIDsTEA (David Segal) headlining the evening with a fireside chat, the night was sure to please with insightful advice, and comedic banter between these two. Tickets to the event sold out in one day.

LinkedIn MeetUp (4 of 54).jpg

The fireside chat with Harley and David touched on mentorship and coaches. David spoke to the stigma of how people don’t often like to admit they see coaches. “Its stupid entrepreneurial bravado crap, and I totally disagree with it. I see a coach once a week” said Harley. “I see a coach once every two weeks” admitted David. “It has been incredibly helpful to both of us.”

David spoke to the impact of hustle. “The hustle is super important, you need all these hacks to get off the ground and if you don’t know how to transition in running an actual organisation you fall down quickly. You see a lot of companies start off hot and sort of fizzle out and I think this is the reason why.”

LinkedIn MeetUp (3 of 54)

After some audience Q&A’s with Harley and David, I leapt to the stage to moderate the panel on Personal Branding with Michaela Alexis, Manu Goswami, John Fleischauer. What I really enjoyed most about their answers was that they all spoke from their personal experiences and with the best intentions to support every user within the room.


Lastly, Nika Moeini moderated the panel on Social Entrepreneurship with Marlene Floyd, Katie Miller and Craig Ryan. Katie of the Impact Hub shared a quote that really resonated with the audience. “No matter the type of business you are starting, you are going to have a social impact. It’s about deciding what type of impact you will have”. Every business has the opportunity and power to be more social.

After the speakers and panels concluded, the evening continued with ample networking opportunities and beyond delicious food catered by the Westin Ottawa. (I was a huge fan of the Food Truck style poutine as per some mid-event tweets evidently portrayed.)

Major kudos goes to new colleagues and friends Scott Berty and Joel Hansen for making this dream a reality. I was extremely proud and grateful in being a part of the organisation of this inaugural event.

LinkedIn MeetUp (46 of 54)

Pictured here left to right: Nika, Me, Scott, Michaela and Joel.

I’d be interested to know if this would be an ongoing series many Ottawans would enjoy attending on a more regular basis? Also, what would be a suggestion for the next theme? Reply below, or tweet me @lisabin613 !


Facebook post:
Click here to learn what COO of Shopify Harley Finklestien totally disagrees with when it comes to Entrepreneurs. #LIOttawa #Ottawa #myOttawa
*add link
*add photo/thumbnail

Do you want to attend more @LinkedIn Ottawa Meet Ups? Read the blog, and let us know!
*add link to blog post
*add photo/thumbnail



Becoming a Social Media Influencer, now a University Course!

Blog Post #1 Assignment- Lisa Barker

Heading: Becoming a Social Media Influencer, now a University Course!

For my first blog post, I’ve decided to write a reaction, collection of thoughts and reflection on the article published on The article is titled “Social Media Influencing Is Now A Legit Thing You Can Study At College” which was heard though (h/t) Mashable. In light of Sophia Amoruso  (the New York Times Best Selling Author of the book #GIRLBOSS, and owner of Nasty Gal Vintage) guest speaking at Algonquin College, I felt reviewing a piece from her website would be timely, given her event at the Algonquin Commons Theatre on November 14. 

I roll my eyes at the term “Social Media Influencer” when written in someone’s Instagram bio, or even listed on their resume. It makes me question, are we that easily influenced now in today’s society? What an egotistical thing to call yourself!

Image result for eye roll

In actuality, it’s more like calling yourself a brand manager, not of any company, but of yourself! The fact that now it’s being taught in a post-secondary setting is, in my opinion, innovative! I am sure it will turn some heads, and roll some eyes, like it did for me, but I’ve given it some perspective.

As per the line in the article, “In China, top earners, referred to as Wang Hong, can make up to $46 million a year.“ In my opinion, that revolutionary. As the times change, and technology advances, I think consumers are more inclined to make a purchase based on an endorsement, or promotional code given from someone they idolize. Wang Hong is another way to make a living, and it’s an avenue that this post-secondary institution has incorporated as a necessary skill within this associate degree.

In relation to this course, perhaps this is something Ontario Colleges could adapt into a curriculum in the near future. Ties with the School of Business, Culinary Programs and with Entrepreneurship would be impressive strides to keep current with this growing area. Student Chefs could learn how to show off their plates, or student entrepreneurs can hit the ground running with an impressive profile and social media presence.

Image result for instagram plate

I’d be interested to know from you, the reader, would a course in Social Media Influencing, or re-named to “Personal Branding” interest or be of value to you?

Thanks for reading!


Facebook Post:

Do you roll your eyes at today’s self proclaimed “Social Media Influencers”? You may be missing out on millions of dollars! Click the blog to read more.
*insert URL* *add photo*
Image result for eye roll

Self proclaimed Social Media Influencers making millions.  #MarketingToday #SocialMedia #OttawaNews #WangHong
*insert URL* *add photo*
Image result for making millions