Toronto woman finds her ‘passionate’ side

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Abby Albino is loving her brand new job as Director of Brand and Partnerships for Canada Basketball.

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But that doesn’t mean the Toronto native isn’t as passionate about her side hustle as the co-founder of Toronto-based store MAKEWAY, “North America’s first and only women’s sneaker boutique entirely run and funded by women.” “, and also the not-for-profit Rise Tribe, “a youth mentorship platform for Filipino Canadians.”

A recent survey by Simplii Financial, an online/mobile banking subsidiary of CIBC, found that post-pandemic up to nine in 10 women aged 18-34 want to pursue a side career.

“What’s appealing is that I get to work on things that I’m really passionate about,” said Albino, 38, who opened MAKEWAY at Stackt Market in Toronto, near Bathurst and Front Sts., with his partner Shelby Weaver at November 2020.

“I’m very lucky to have a career that I love and in basketball. But starting a side business allows me to do the things I want. Like I love sneakers and I love sneaker culture and streetwear culture and it allows me to make that hustle and bustle a reality,” she said.

“And then the same with these mentorships with Rise Tribe. I am very passionate about paving the way for the next generation and making sure there is representation in all careers for Filipino Canadians,” she added.

Abby Albino, Canada Basketball, Director of Brand and Partnerships, at her Toronto Makeway women’s sneaker shop, one of her side gigs. Photo by Elaine Fantasy

Albino isn’t so surprised to learn from Simplii Financial that 90% of young women want to do more than one job because, as she puts it, women “are very complex. And I feel like because we’re problem solvers, because we’re multi-faceted humans and can really juggle multiple things, that’s kind of who we are.

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Albino, born in Toronto to parents who immigrated here from the Philippines in the late 70s, says that like most Filipino Canadians, she was passionate about both basketball and sneakers.

His two dream jobs were working for the NBA or playing in the WNBA.

“Now I’ve taken those two things and made them into a gigantic career monster,” Albino said.

“So I feel very lucky and very grateful to be able to do this, especially because both of those industries, sports and sneaker culture, are pretty heavily male-dominated, so being a woman of color in those spaces is hard. all the more impactful to me and important to me.”

She said her parents taught her the importance of saving and the information on the Simplii Financial website helped her when she decided to start her own business.

As for the survey itself, it was the one in four who felt finances were a barrier to side hustle, which really resonated with her.

“It stuck with me, because one of the things that really made me think was the fact that I felt like I was unprepared,” Albino said.

“Like I could never be prepared enough. However, what we learned, and not stealing that from NIKE, but just doing it,” she said. “You just have to go. Because if you sit around and just say, “Well, I just need another $5,000, $10,000 more,” that means you’re never going to start.”

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