We constantly find ourselves in awe of all the talented and creative women who surround us. Some we’re lucky enough to call our friends, others are work acquaintances, and the rest are strangers we creep on social media on the regular. There is a common denominator here: these women are captivating visual storytellers whose Instagram accounts inspire us, intrigue us and make us smile.

From cinematographers to tattoo artists, garment engineers and communications managers, we’ve rounded up a group of women who will be taking over our @shedoesthecity Instagram account every Tuesday for the next two months, and allowing us a peek behind the curtain and into their fascinating lives starting TODAY! Be sure to follow along.


Feb 16: Maya Bankovic, Film/Television Director of Photography

Maya Bankovic is a Toronto-based cinematographer. She has spent the last ten years working in the documentary and narrative drama genres, working her way up from short films to features. She most recently finished production on the dramatic feature film BELOW HER MOUTH, which was produced by Melissa Coghlan and Robert Lantos at Serendipity Point Films and which broke new ground in the Canadian film industry by employing the talents of a 100% female film crew.

What does a typical day look like for you? I work on a contract to contract basis so a typical day can range from sitting around on my laptop cruising Twitter to see what’s new, to having meetings with directors I’ll be working with in the near future, as well as watching movies and, on my best days, shooting movies. When I’m in production the days start early by taking my dog out for a quick walk before (or while) guzzling coffee and heading to set to spend the day making lighting and camera choices. Shoot days are typically twelve hours. Oftentimes I’m also travelling to shoot, in which case a lot of the same happens, minus the dog walk. I also do my own camera operating, so the night ends with taking it as easy as possible in order to do it all over again the next day.

What can we expect from you on #TakeoverTuesday? This week I’ll be working with my old friend and close collaborator, director Chelsea McMullan, and her partner, Doug Nayler, on the first episode of a web series they’re launching soon. We’re going to be tearing it up in a minivan shooting a musical number in all of Hamilton, Ontario’s hottest hot spots, so stay tuned!


Feb 23: Luisa Pariselli-Green, Tattoo Artist at Dreamworx Ink Body Art Studios

Luisa Pariselli is a Toronto-based tattoo artist, painter, baseball enthusiast and lover of women. Her life revolves around her passion for tattooing and art. She tattoos full time at Dreamworx Ink in Vaughan, Ontario. She is a newlywed to @Staceygreenliving and the proud mum to their 7-year-old boy. Anything involving all or one of the above makes her day awesome.

What does a typical day look like for you? Typical day for me is trying to get as much sleep as I can. Savouring coffee. Prepping to ink someone’s body. Spending time with my wife and child and surrounding myself with the best people I can. My mind is almost always running on art time or sports time… so most convos are around paintings, design and well…tattoos.

What can we expect from you on #Takeover Tuesday? I will pretty much walk you through all of the above. It will blend photos of my personal life, my love of art and my love of the great people I get to surround myself with daily.


March 1: Biying Miao, Co-founder of Hot Pop Factory

Biying is the co-founder of Hot Pop Factory, the first design and small-run manufacturing firm in Toronto specializing in 3D printing and laser cutting and CNC machining. In 2012, Biying launched Hot Pop Factory with partner Matt Compeau, bootstrapping the business on a Makerbot 3D printer, which was used to create Canada’s premier 3D printed jewelry line. Currently, she is responsible for the company’s creative vision, sales and marketing operations.

What does a typical day look like for you? I always start off the day with a bike ride to work. Sometimes I go the long way to take in more of the city and get inspired. On these colder days, I take the streetcar. Once I get to Hot Pop, I head right into our daily team pop-wow where all our staff, including the partners, talk about our individual goals and ongoing project progress.

I am often developing client prototypes and samples of our 3D printed and laser cut projects, which range from consumer products, art pieces, wearable fashion, to one-of-a-kind marketing experiences.

When our studio closes, I get to catch up on emails and get planning for the next day. To cap it all off, I snuggle up with a Podcast or Netflix before going to sleep.

What can we expect from you on #TakeoverTuesday? You’ll be tagging along with me as I start the day at our Queen and Spadina studio, getting a behind-the-scenes look at some of our latest projects in progress and meeting my awesomely talented team. Then you will get a peak of my Craft Ontario presentation for the local craft and art community about the exciting intersection where machine-making meets hand-craft.


March 8: Lisa Costantini, Co-owner of Za Pizzeria

Lisa brings years of culinary and resto business experience to Za Pizzeria, having learned the ways of the kitchen from her father and grandfather who own and operate 80+ restaurants in Venezuela. A year ago, Lisa took the plunge and opened up her very own Za Pizzeria, along with her husband, who has previously worked at Queen Margherita and Pizzeria Libretto. Bringing their complimentary skill sets together, this duo offers a friendly fast food dining experience unlike any other where guests can expect top-notch gourmet pizza and superior customer service.

What does a typical day look like for you? Well, no matter how hard I try, no day is ever the same or ever goes as planned, which is something I love. Typically my day goes like this: head into Za for 8:30 a.m. I answer emails, set the pizzeria up for service and get a prep list started for our employees. We open at 11 a.m., so between 11 a.m. and when my husband/business partner arrives I take on the pizza-making duties. My husband usually gets in between noon and 2 p.m. to takeover managing duties, we’ll quickly touch base for what’s in store for the day and then I head out. If business allows it, I head home to continue checking off our neverending to-do list of what I call the “officey things,” and take care of our two adorable dogs; however, this never happens as smoothly as it sounds. Often, I stay at Za till 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. helping make pizzas, head home in a rush to walk the dogs, and stay up till midnight working. Oh the glamour life of an entrepreneur – I love every stressful minute of it!

What can we expect from you on #TakeoverTuesday? Definitely a lot of pizza and a lot of flour. A lot of laughter with my employees. Walking my two huge and adorable dogs. And a large glass of wine next to my laptop.


March 15: Caitlin Coull, Communications Manager at AGO

Caitlin (Cait) Coull is the secret weapon behind some of Toronto’s hottest cultural initiatives. She is the pro bono founding Communication Director of Against the Grain Theatre (AtG), a daring young start-up that has been called “the city’s most inventive company” (Toronto Life).  By day she leads the communications department of the Art Gallery of Ontario, where she is responsible for publicity, corporate communications and issues management. Recently nominated for a Notable Award in the Arts and Entertainment category, Caitlin regularly donates her expertise to charity events and initiatives and is devoted to helping the many artists in her life achieve the public profile they deserve.

What does a typical day look like for you? Working on the business side of the arts guarantees that each day is different from the last. There’s a constant stream of new projects, people and issues, and although I crave a slower moment from time to time, I love it. In some ways my typical workday at the AGO is like any office job: packed to the brim with meetings, conference calls, events and to-do lists. But when you layer in the context (meetings with inspiring artists and colleagues, conference calls with some of the most innovative galleries in the world, opening events for amazing exhibitions and to-do lists that include things like “draft Steve Martin’s itinerary”) it all seems pretty unique – and I’m very lucky to do what I do.

Evenings are wild cards. To keep my sanity intact, I’m a devotee of after-work gym classes (especially the ones that look like embarrassing 80s workouts, requiring a lot of jumping and flailing.) But most nights I’m meeting up with friends and colleagues over cocktails, going to performances and industry events, or working on my other “job”: Against the Grain Theatre. Although it’s my hobby and I perform the work pro bono, AtG keeps me on my toes in the hours away from the office.

What can we expect from you on #TakeoverTuesday? You can expect to see my insane cavewoman hair in the morning, gratuitous coffee shots and enough post-it notes to warrant an intervention. Just kidding (mostly.) I’m imagining some cool behind-the-scenes stuff at the AGO, in addition to a glimpse into some of the quirkier aspects of my daily routine. And I promise I won’t use #blessed.


March 22: Dara Vandor, Visual Artist

Dara Vandor is an artist working with felt-tip pen on canvas. She received a BA from McGill in Art History. Her work is held in public and private collections in North America and Europe, and has been exhibited in London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Montreal. She has been featured by Harper’s Bazaar, The Telegraph, Interior Hong Kong, Square Mile, The Handbook, Sharp and Ask Men.

What does a typical day look like for you? I’m very much a creature of habit. I like routine and calm, and typically do the same thing at the same time every day. I wake up early(ish), and aim to spend 8 hours working (or attempting to do so!). Days end with an hour of pilates and bed by 11(ish).

What can we expect from you on #TakeoverTuesday? A look behind the scenes in my studio and a peek into how I make my work…


March 29: Cat Essaimbre and Kelly Henderson, Garment Engineers/Co-owners of Pigeons & Thread

What does a typical day look like for you? We don’t really have “typical” days, because our projects range so vast and we are always working on different projects…but we like it that way!

The following activities occur daily (10a.m.-LATE): man snuggles. kitten snuggles. bike ride. coffee. breakfast. daily task list. choose a playlist. choose a podcast. drafting. cutting. grading. sewing. pressing. meetings. fittings. fabric deliveries. emails. phone calls. life chats.

*break-free days* dinner. dates. drinks. friends.


We work about 6 days a week, 10 to 12 hours a day. They say it’s like that for the first 5 years right?! (Fingers crossed.) We have done our fair share of no-sleep/high-stress days over the first 2 years, and our 2016 goal is to abolish intense stress and gain sleep! So far, so good.

What can we expect from you on #TakeoverTuesday? We are gonna show everyone how Pigeons & Thread is takin’ over the world one stitch at a time. We want to give the @shedoesthecity followers the inside scoop on the true reality of fashion, all the while keeping it fun, fresh, and #madeincanada. Fashion is not all glitz ’n’ glam; it’s hard work, long hours, and many yards of fabric.