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Allegra Shaw    

Allegra Shaw

BY MEADOWLARK MONAGHAN

Note: This interview was conducted in early May.

BEFORE WE START, HOW ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW? HOW HAS YOUR QUARANTINE BEEN GOING?

Quarantine has been a lot of ups and downs. Overall though, i’m blessed and lucky to be able to be at home healthy + safe and able to continue to work. 

IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIFICALLY WORKING FOR YOU DURING QUARANTINE THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE?

Meditating - I’ve been meditating and reading a lot more and it has really been helping me stay calm and grounded.

OKAY LET'S GET BACK TO IT - TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR STORY.

I’m Allegra Shaw. I’m 27 and from Toronto. I put up my first YouTube video when I was 18. I was going through some really traumatic personal experiences and needed somewhere to connect and I found YouTube. I didn’t throw myself into it, I would put up videos months apart. I would say I started taking it seriously in 2015 and then in 2016 it became my full time job. In 2017, I started a community driven clothing company, Uncle Studios, with my business partner Shirin. I spend a lot of time working and growing that, because I’ve worked solo for so long it’s nice to have a team of people and a place to go and work around other creatives. Currently, I’m working on ways to pivot my brands during this time, create fun and positive content and provide my communities with an online escape from what is going on in the world. 

YOU HAVE HAD A SUBSTANTIAL ONLINE PRESENCE FOR A LONG TIME NOW. BETWEEN YOUTUBE AND INSTAGRAM, ARE THERE ANY DIFFERENCES IN HOW YOU INTERACT WITH EACH COMMUNITY?

I had to take a break from YouTube comments for a while because people can really have no filter or empathy on that platform. But I try to interact as much as possible on IG & YouTube, I try to answer questions because I really am making content for my audience and I want them to be involved. We have such a great community and I try to focus on that instead of the few negative comments I get. 

I REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR OPENNESS ABOUT YOUR ANXIETY WITH YOUR COMMUNITY. HOW IS YOUR ANXIETY NOWADAYS?

It started acting up again at the beginning of countries going into lockdown but I feel like at this point I have it under control. I’ve really been focusing on it and working through it. 

WHAT'S YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA LIKE WHEN IT'S THIS INGRAINED INTO YOUR CAREER? CAN SOCIAL MEDIA BE A STRESS RELIEF FOR YOU OR DOES IT ALWAYS FEEL LIKE WORK?

Personally, I’ve been loving Tik Tok during quarantine for some comedic relief, so yeah it can definitely be stress relieving. But, I’m definitely constantly brainstorming new content ideas when I'm on social media so it always feels like work a little bit. 

DO YOU THINK INFLUENCERS OR CONTENT CREATORS HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO ACKNOWLEDGE HOW SOCIAL MEDIA AFFECTS MENTAL HEALTH?

This one is tough. I think there’s a lot of pressure on influencers to be experts on every single subject when a lot just started posting because they were passionate about a topic. I think that if you have the tools and knowledge it’s great to share but not every influencer does.  Some may be struggling with mental health themselves and if it’s not something they’re comfortable sharing, that’s totally fine. 

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU'VE IMPLEMENTED THAT'S MADE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE IN SUPPORTING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?

Meditation. I used to be a very anxious and angry person and mediation genuinely changed my life. It’s something that I have incorporated into my daily routine and over the years have seen a huge difference in my mental health and overall attitude. 

I LOVE SEEING THAT YOU MEDITATE TO 432 HZ BECAUSE I DO AS WELL! HOW DID YOU GET STARTED MEDITATING AND WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE TOOLS TO HELP GET PEOPLE STARTED?

I was really going through it in 4th year. I had a lot of undealt with trauma, I was depressed, anxious and could barely function as a human. I needed a change and had read great things about meditating so I actually went to a class for my first time and then just slowly started incorporating it into my daily routine. In the beginning I used the app Headspace as well, they have a great 10 day free trial! I think apps & reading are the best ways to get into it. It’s also important to know that it’s a practice and you have to stick with it, you’re not going to wake up one day and see “results” it’s constantly just something you’re doing and incorporating into your life. 

WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL SELF CARE DAY CONSIST OF?

Wake up, coffee, read, meditate, workout, eat a nice meal, some sort of outdoor activity on a nice sunny day and then seeing my friends or family for dinner.

DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM TO OTHER FEMALE FOUNDERS/ENTREPRENEURS?

Fail quickly & don’t dwell on your mistakes. You’re going to make 100 mistakes, go through it quickly, move on and don’t make it again. 

SPEED ROUND

FAVORITE QUARANTINE ACTIVITY

Cooking & Watching Netflix

FAVORITE RECENT BOOK OR PODCAST

Currently reading Be Here Now by Ram Dass

WHO WOULD HEADLINE AT YOUR MUSIC FESTIVAL

The Strokes, Billie Eilish & Rufus Du Sol

WHAT IS THE LAST MEAL YOU COOKED AT HOME

I just made a Tuna Bagel, one of my favourite quarantine snacks

LAST THING YOU SAID YES TO

I said yes to going for a morning walk 

LAST THING YOU SAID NO TO

I said no to brand deal that didn’t make sense for me