Transformational Speaker | Business Strategist | Coach
My name is Mutiat Olaniyan. Professionally, I have my Masters Degree in Economics and Accounting, as well as a Post-Graduate Diploma in Fashion Design and Techniques. I founded and currently run a modest fashion brand called May9 here in Canada amidst a couple other engagements I do. I am a Widow with 4 kids and my journey through Widowhood has made me discover some other inherent gifts in me. I became widowed about 2 months after arriving in Canada and precisely 9 days after landing in Toronto. I had to navigate through being an immigrant as well as a “new widow” and I can say that those struggles strengthened me and helped reshape my life presently. I run a small NGO for widows and I also socially connect with widows via my writings on social media platforms like Telegram and Facebook which I created. I love meeting people, I love impacting in my own little way, I am a firm believer that our blood and breath are only for our temporary use, hence maximizing our life to impact is of paramount importance to me. I have been privileged to be a recipient of a couple of awards such as the “Top Black 100 women to watch in Canada 2020” by CIBWE, Black Designers Award 2021, Student Entrepreneur of the year award (GBC college) amongst others. I have also participated in a couple of fashion shows like the Vancouver Fashion Week, African Fashion Show, and also volunteered and participated in several other engagements.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
Some of my biggest challenges were:
1. Navigating life as a single parent and immigrant in Canada. Adjusting to life here and making new friends.
2. Starting up a business here was also a huge challenge as it was so different from what I was used to in my home country Nigeria.
3. Adjusting to the Canadian culture, some of the seemingly little but huge things such as the weather, the food, filing taxes, parenting, etc.
Your advice to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally? My advice will be: 1. To never STOP!, Keep moving. Life comes in different phases and some challenges come as blessings in disguise. You can pause, reassess yourself but never stop. 2. Never compare yourself to others. Let the challenge be against you. 3. Get yourself a good mentor if you find one. 4. Never be afraid of failing. However, fail fast, learn from your mistakes and move on. 5. Keep exploring! We can do more than we think. Trust your instincts and don’t stop working hard. 6. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. Never try to fit in! There’s your tribe somewhere, you just haven’t discovered them yet. Social Media Handles