About

Purpose

Welcome to As We Are!

As We Are is a style website for people who are facing health challenges with courage and style. It combines peer mentorship and storytelling to support individuals experiencing symptoms and side effects of diseases, disabilities, chronic pain, and other sources of discomfort. This is a space where comfort meets style, where functional fashion thrives, and where courage shines.

The big question we are addressing is: How might we alleviate our shared pain by exchanging our unique style strategies, owning our personal stories, and finding creative ways to build our self-confidence?

Our core values are:

Community: As We Are is a celebration of our talents, our passions, our abilities, and our potential. We are sparking conversations and sharing stories that transform our obstacles into unique opportunities to learn and grow. We connect with local organizations and businesses that share our vision.

Creativity: This is a platform to move together from problems to possibilities. We exchange our innovative ideas and personal style strategies that bring positive, sustainable solutions to our daily challenges. We celebrate our small wins, big successes, and special moments in between.

Confidence: We see clothing and style as an outlet for self-expression, a way to build healthy self-esteem, and foster positive self-image. We are taking an active role in managing our diseases, disabilities, pain, and discomfort. We hope to create a supportive, compassionate, positive space where community members inspire and encourage one another.

Health obstacles can feel overwhelming. While focus is often placed on living a vibrant life “when you are feeling better,” this is a space to celebrate and embrace who we are, as we are, in this moment. It’s a space to recognize our long-winded journeys, our good days and bad days, and our hearts full of gratitude. We seek to feature stories and styles that are relatable, that make us smile, and that remind our readers that they are not alone in their challenges.

 

Meet the Founder

Zoya is exploring social innovation, community, and creativity with a grateful heart. Within the last two years, she has completed social innovation and entrepreneurship fellowships with RADIUS SFU and The Next Big Thing Foundation. Through her personal experiences of living with Lupus (SLE) and fibromyalgia, Zoya recognized that focus is often placed on living a vibrant life “when you are feeling  better.” In response, she created As We Are to foster a positive community that encourages people to celebrate and embrace who they are, as they are, in this moment.  Zoya is a three-time TEDx speaker, the recipient of the 2015 SFU Terry Fox Gold Medal and Prize, and the recipient of the 2016 YWCA Metro-Vancouver Young Woman of Distinction Award.