By: Marilyn Wilson

Shine 2016 – an extravaganza of fashion, music and dance – will be hitting the stage at the Commodore Ballroom on September 10th . This wonderful evening is made possible by hundreds of individuals who are rallying together for mental health. Communities helping communities!

Every single person and every single business involved is volunteering their time and services. Because of their generosity, Shine! will be able to donate 100% of every dollar raised through ticket sales and donations directly to the evenings recipients – Canadian Mental Health Association and The Lions Gate Hospital HOpe Centre.

As a thank-you, we will be highlighting some of the wonderful people and businesses who are working hard to make this evening the best it can be. Today’s interview is with Siobahn D’Souza of Shiverzdesigns, one of 12 designers participating in Shine!

Please share about your journey to becoming a designer – how did you choose this career, training or self-taught, when did you launch your brand?

I was forced to reevaluate my life at a young again. To make a decision most people shouldn’t have to make. My whole life changed course after I got really sick when I was 25. I was in the service industry working my way toward own my own restaurant. This was my plan. I worked a lot. I mean a LOT. Then one day all that changed. I was admitted into the hospital and released with no clue what was wrong. I had a high fever of 104 and just kept getting weaker and weaker. Finally VGH admitted me and after 2 unsuccessful weeks of trying to diagnose me I became non responsive. Luckily the head of the Lupus society was on the floor that day and told doctors I had full blown Lupus and less than 6 hours to live.

Through many different treatments including Plasma foresees, 1000mg pulse treatments of steroids and chemotherapy, I luckily came back around. Losing my hair was hard. but losing the use of my limbs was worse. Due to the massive amount of steroids that the doctors gave me I lost both my Hip and shoulder joints. Steroids don’t promote proper blood flow to the joints and in turn vascular necrosis happens. With me being so young, a few experimental surgeries were done. They removed my fibula and bone grafted it to my hip. However it was a long recover and unsuccessful. So over a 10 year period of pain and waiting, I have received bilateral replacements on both my hips and shoulders.

During this time “I thought of my future” and had RRSP and such. I was not offered any help from the government. It is a backward system we live in and you learn fast when you need help. So I had to figure something out. I used my creative abilities to start Shiverz Designs. I had always loved making jewelry and I started incorporating hair accessories. I was in VALT’s (Vancouver Alternative Fashion Week’s) first event showcasing my jewelry and hair accessories. After being inspired by the other designers, I showcased my first full outfit on the runway the next year at VALT and the journey has just continued from there. I don’t think I chose design, I think it chose me. It has helped me realize we shouldn’t work to live, but live to work!!!!

Describe your brand/collection? Who is your customer? What would you most like readers to know?

I just really enjoy making things. My customer would be the person who wants to stand out from the rest, a carefree spirit who just wants to have fun in life. I try to make things that evoke happiness and to decorate my clients in a way that shares their personality uniquely. The collection I have created for Shine is all about Colorful Darkness…It is about finding happiness and colour when life presents darkness. I am not concerned about branding and money as much as I should be. I just love creating art.

What do you love most about working in the world of design? What is hardest?

I love the opportunity to work with other like-minded individuals, to share ideas and concepts and make them a reality. I love the final product of hard work. Seeing designs you have crated live on stage and in magazines is super cool too!!! I guess the hardest is making a living doing what I love most.

Can your share an interesting story from your time working in this field?

I can’t think of a interesting story, but I can be thankful for many interesting opportunities and of the amazing group of people I have met along the way. I have met some of nicest and influential people who have inspired me to be a better designer and person.

Please share how you heard about Shine 2016 and why you feel it’s important to participate in this fundraiser for Canadian Mental Health Association and The LionsGate Hospital HOpe Centre.

I had heard about Dean and his wonderful charity work throughout the years from friends and social media. I have always admired his hard work for great causes and was immediately drawn to this event because of what it stands for – #NOSTIGMA. Everyone is fighting a battle no matter how big or small. We should all work together and help out each other. Try to fill life with Happiness.

What part of the Shine 2016 show will you be involved with? Can you give us a titillating hint as to what we expect so see from you on the runway?

I am one of the designers for Shine! Shiverz designs. I created a collection filled with laces, rhinestones, claws, holograms, flowers, spikes and sparkles! This is definitely a collection to entertain the eyes.


For more information on Siobhan D’Souza and Shiverz Designs, please visit their website atwww.shiverzdesigns.com.

Shine 2016 is going to be a do-not-miss amazing showcase of fashion, music and dance, all in support of The Canadian Mental Health Association and The Lions Gate Hospital HOpe Centre.

Don’t Miss Out! Pick up your tickets today at shinenostigma.eventbrite.ca