In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8, we are shining a spotlight on four cool, fearless, and muse-worthy women. When they are not busy with their 9-to-5 jobs, they can be found fashion blogging, raising a family, and/or being all-around #girlbosses. Now that’s what we call being a role model.

Laura Derksen is a designer, business owner, and mom of 2. To say that she is a superhero is an understatement. Today she shares with us her personal motto, favourite failure, and style inspiration.1. What habits or skills are most important to living a successful life?
Laura Derksen: Making a habit of setting goals for the year, as well as smaller goals for each day, week and month, is very important. Goal-setting gives you a vision of what you want to achieve and is an excellent tool for creating “balance” in your life.

2. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?
LD: In the early years of my company’s operations I outsourced marketing to a business that failed to follow through, and I lost a lot of money. Quickly after this happened I realized that the marketing role was one I enjoyed, and many successful campaigns ensued. From that failure I learned which roles within the company I should handle personally, and which to hire out.3. Who is your style inspiration for your workwear attire?
LD: There are so many amazing, talented women that I’m inspired by! Julia Engel is a gorgeous, smart woman. I am not only inspired by her amazing style, but also by her grace and accomplishments.

4. What advice would you give to a smart, driven individual about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
LD: Always be kind and humble, showing compassion in all that you do. Don’t be afraid to fail. It is through our failures that we learn and grow.5. How do you define success?
LD: Success is reaching a place of contentment in your journey towards achieving your goals. For me, the knowledge that the work I’m doing is inspiring and helping others is a measure of success.

6. Do you have your own personal motto that you live by, or a motivational quote that inspires you?
LD: Make everybody feel like a somebody.

Shop Laura’s look: blazer, skirt, slingback heels.