Boss of the Month: Yolanda Fernandes Ly

It’s time to celebrate another boss of the month and Bowo would like to feature Yolanda Fernandes Ly this October!

Yolanda is the owner, artist and creative director of two creative small businesses – YFL Art & Home Decor and YFL ART illustrations.⁠

YFL Art & Home Decor is her primary business, where she creates unique, functional art and homeware to enhance your space.⁠

As a mom of three, she strives to create gorgeous pieces for busy homes that are functional, safe, durable and beautiful.⁠

She ensures each and every single piece created reflects the passion and skill that she has spent years developing and perfecting.⁠

Through my years, I struggled with mental health, chronic illness and child loss. My creative journey and business has been a catalyst to self healing.

Yolanda Fernandes Ly

We sat down with Yolanda to ask her some questions, her story is one of strength and self-healing!

Tell us about your career journey 

I immigrated to Canada in my teens, spending my formative years in Dubai, and Asia. I always had a distinct interest in the arts and nurtured my love by attending Sheridan College & Seneca College for the Arts.
But as life happens, priorities shifted, pushing my passion for art to a side project, as I dealt with life’s many adventures.
For the next decade I worked within the medical & orthodontic fields. And I was able to keep my creative side by supporting the organization’s graphic design and marketing needs.
Through my years, I struggled with mental health, chronic illness and child loss. The loss spiraled me into severe depression and diving back into painting was the only thing that kept me afloat.  And then, in 2016, I made the decision to focus on my passion, living a creative life. 
My creative journey and business has been a catalyst to self healing.

If you have any advice to offer your younger self what would it be?

To believe in yourself, because you can achieve great things. And all the lows that seemed impossible at the time, all happened for a reason. Believe & trust that the universe has big plans for you. Put aside your constant doubts and worries and focus on the hard work.

How did you navigate staying motivated during the pandemic?

It was incredibly hard to stay motivated with having 3 kids at home virtual schooling and barely any time to reset my focus on my business. Most of business is customer facing from being at live events, and retail locations around Canada. With all of it cancelled and closed, I stayed motivated by changing my focus to e-commerce. Learning, growing and developing my online shop and investing in online advertising, a digital team and courses to grow my business. 

What does your daily routine look like?

My mornings centre around getting my 3 kids up, dressed, lunches packed, and off to school. Then it’s all work from 8:30am to 2pm, before having to pick my kids up from school. I batch my work week to stay organized. Creative days and administrative days. But often, being a mom and entrepreneur means a lot of unpredictability, so I roll with it and hope for the best. 

To follow her journey visit @yolanda.fernandes.ly or @yfl.art.illustrations on Instagram!

We admire stories of strength & courage! If you, or someone you know wants to be our next boss of the month, send us a DM on instagram: @bowocreative.

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