“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” - Joseph Chilton Pearce
Everyone has a role model who encourages them to be better, work hard, and love even harder. I am lucky enough to work alongside mine. I would like to introduce you to the award-winning Creative Director and Founder of KAT & GIO co. since 2017, Stella Mazza.
Since the young age of twenty years old, Stella has been busy creating, designing, and inspiring. She started her first company in 1984 called Stella’s Bridal. In addition to owning a successful bridal boutique, she became the co-owner of Mazza Concessions and founded KaTonGiovi Crystal Collection.
Aside from her successful business ventures, her greatest life accomplishments have been becoming a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. After marrying Mick in 1983, their family grew. She is a mother to three beautiful children; Katrina, Tony, and Giovanna, and is a grandmother to her first grandchild, Sofia.
Although thankful for all of these beautiful life experiences, things have not always been easy for Stella. In November 2003, Stella was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. She embarked on one of the most life-altering and mind-altering years of her life with various surgeries, radiation, and other treatments. This journey taught her that being strong does not mean keeping it together at all times and that it is okay to fall apart. It is human to feel down sometimes, especially when you are facing such hardship and uncertainty – but she learned to sit with the challenge, learn, grow, and overcome.
During this period of her life, Stella got reacquainted with herself. Previous to this, she had a purpose, but it was much bigger than what she originally thought.
Fast forward to being in remission and continuing work in her multiple businesses and family life, Stella began to live a life for others in a much more substantial way. In 2005, Stella and her son Tony collaborated and composed “Normality to Normality” – an acoustic instrumental piece that expressed the rollercoaster of emotions during her battle with cancer. This piece was presented at the Guardian Angel Benefit and in 2008, at the World Conference on Breast Cancer (WCBC.) She also inspired her oldest daughter, Katrina to obtain a committee position for youth advocacy for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Her youngest daughter, Giovanna, also inspired Stella. After watching her daughter dancing around in a princess ball gown that Stella had bought for her, she had a vision. Imagine how many little girls would love to have a moment of pure bliss like this but cannot because instead, they are stuck at the hospital in their hospital gowns, fighting for their lives, day after day. In October 2005, Stella began ‘Princess for a Day.’
“The idea of creating an event for these young girls to experience a transformation into a princess, especially those living through a difficult time, was my top priority for the year. After conveying my desire to execute Princess for a Day to director of Children’s Wish, Maria Toscano, and receiving her approval, the inaugural took place on October 9, 2005. Today, Princess for a Day continues to be a highlight of the year for my family and for many little girls.” - Stella Mazza
100% of the proceeds from the event support programs and initiatives set forth and carried out by Mazza Daydreamer Kids on behalf of Children Charities throughout the province of Manitoba.
Other notable actions include being on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (2004), Layman Representative, Provincial Oncology Drug Program – steering committee for Cancer Care Manitoba to review current chemotherapy regimens used within the province (2005), “Young and Wiser” Planning committee for CancerCare Manitoba (2005-2007), as well as a board member for the World Conference on Breast Cancer Foundation (2007). In addition to this, Stella was nominated for the YMCA-YWCA 2010 Women of Distinction Award and started Stella’s Cup for the Cure.
This post would become a novel if I continued to list off all of Stella’s awards, accomplishments, and experiences. As I have mentioned before, Stella is an inspiration, not only to me but also to everyone that she connects with. She is a pioneer and continues to live with great purpose every single day.