Meet The Six!
Meet the five ladies of The Six.
Steff Ivory Conover (Ivory) is Toronto based "quintuple threat" artist. A graduate of Randolph College for the Performing Arts she leads a storied career as a singer, actor, dancer, model and advocate. Ivory has graced stages across North America, into the UK and the Caribbean, appeared in print media across the continent, as well as appearing on numerous national and international TV Networks and radio stations. A staunch believer in body positivity, Ivory spreads the "body love gospel" through her myriad art forms. Since being crowned Miss Canada Plus 2007, Ivory has continued her activism as a Plus Sized Entertainer and advocate for over 10 years, pushing for change with her intersectional feminism, body positivity, queer advocacy and outspoken message of love at all costs. A staunch believer in health at any size, Ivory is an avid yogi, horseback rider, skier, target shooter and outdoor enthusiast.
A founding member of the Succulent Six, Canada's team of Curvy Super SHEroes, Canadian Confidence, a collective of plus sized bloggers, models, artists and and activists fighting to reclaim their right to feel beautiful at any size, and Les Femmes Fatales, Canada's premiere burlesque troupe for Women of Colour, you can follow her antics on Instagram and Twitter @pureivorydotca and online at www.pureivory.ca
Ashley is a professional plus model signed to Dulcedo Management in Toronto and Montreal; she models regularly on The Shopping Channel for a number of size inclusive brands, including Artisan Fashion by Robin Barre, and Bellina Fashions, has modeled for other inclusive and diverse brands, such as Knixwear, LaParka, and on runway for Canadian designer Lesley Hampton, Additionelle and Penningtons.
The lack of representation of diverse bodies in fashion and advertising, and the opportunity to positively affect the self-image of younger generations is what drives Ashley to continue breaking down body boundaries.
Ashley strongly believes in the power of positive energy and thought, connectedness with Self, the universe, and others. She believes in the importance of remaining present, doing what you love and makes you feel good, and in being gentle with yourself throughout your journey - including shedding the weight of others’ opinions to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life. She dabbles in amateur photography (of all different bodies!), is a trained yoga teacher and reiki practitioner, works with healing crystals, and creates crystal healing jewellery.
Ashley is dedicated to sharing her life lessons and tools through her work as a plus model and body positivity advocate with the Succulent Six, as well as in everyday life, in every connection. Her mission is to take back what is inherently ours – our thoughts and beliefs- to push for self-love, and to help create a brilliant, inclusive world that accepts and celebrates ALL BODIES, in all their beautiful diversity.
One of Toronto’s most popular burlesque performers, Belle Jumelles is a fierce, fabulous femme who instantly commands the room. She's a talented singer, emcee, burlesque performer and teacher - imparting her confidence and self-love to students and audiences alike.
She’s the producer of one of Toronto’s best queer dance parties - Butch Femme Salon, a member of the Succulent Six and Les Femmes Fatales. She has performed all over Canada and the U.S. including several Burlesque and Pride Festivals. She headlined the Fierce Queer International Burlesque Festival twice, and was chosen as a Feature Performer for the 10th Anniversary of the Toronto Burlesque Festival.
Image By: Ruthless Photography - ruth_less_images (on instagram)
Annika Reid is a proud Mother, Autism Advocate, Public Speaker, and Fashion Enthusiast with a huge zest for life and all things beautiful.
In 2008 Reid Jump Started her Career in Fashion by taking a leap of faith and launched her clothing line "Candi Apple Couture." Her goal was to create couture inspired items for "unapologetic" Fashionista.
Today she is the Creative Director of the online community
Thestylishreid.com. Reid’s mission is still the same with her current brand, which is to create an interactive online retail community and resource hub that inspires and encourages people worldwide to live life fearlessly, and to embrace their curves with unapologetic style!
Reid is also a proud Autism Mom, and is currently developing a
non-profit organization to support individuals and families living
with developmental exceptionalities. "Aniyah’s Haven" set to launch Summer 2018 and will act as a support network and holistic respite care service.
As a Mother, former NCAA Basketball player, basketball coach and plus size model Rachel Marcus has a giant image yet a poised, laid back, fun-loving demeanor.
Growing up in Toronto, it was clear that Rachel's natural athletic ability, lengthy frame and developed skill level would lead her South of the border. In receipt of dozens of scholarship offers Rachel headed to Philadelphia to pursue an athletic scholarship at Temple University. While pursuing her dreams of college level basketball, Rachel suffered a broken leg, an injury that would take more than one year to heal. But that injury and 2 subsequent injuries to her femur and knee did not defeat her spirit. "Rachel did not get to play out her college career the way she and I had planned. A host of injuries helped to diminish her college career. But even through all of that, she fought to continue to play the sport she loved. I respect Rachel more than anyone can even begin to imagine. Even when I was ready to throw in the towel and tell her that basketball was putting too much damage on her body, she insisted on continuing to pursue her love for the game." The resonating kind words provided by former WNBA player, US women's Olympic basketball coach and former captain and Rachel's former college coach Dawn Staley.
Leaving University in the US and returning to Canada was a difficult time for her. Going from finding herself in the best shape of your life and being instructed on how to do so to having to self motivate to keep fit and healthy became her reality.
She continued an active lifestyle of playing basketball, volleyball and going to the gym 4-5 days per week. Rachel also began to pursue a plus size modeling career in 2009 and that's where she met and befriended Ahsley Sharman, another plus model. Having modeled for designers such as Pheline, Candi Apple Couture owned and designed by the Succulent Six's very own Annika Reid, Monif C., Lane and Bryant to name a few, Rachel began to own her now slightly bigger, stronger body. That all came to a halt when in 2011, Rachel gave birth to a son by the name of Marcus. Motherhood was a joy for Rachel, but having become a single Mother and having gained almost 70lbs during her pregnancy, she was determined to get back into pre-baby shape, but her body and life had other ideas.
Life threw a series of events in her direction, but much like her basketball career she refused to give up. She began focusing her attention to the sport she loves so dearly and began coaching basketball at the high school level. Her attention was then suddenly moved towards focusing on helping develop the skills of children under 6 including her son Marcus. Allowing her to spend quality time with her little one, teaching him life skills that apply on and off of the basketball court gave her the ability to regain her focus and drive.
Fast forward to 2016, the year that began a new venture of self love for Rachel Marcus. Collaborating with a couple of old friends and a new face, she was asked to bring her creative to brainstorm ideas for a body positive campaign. The product would become a "Stop the food fight" campaign for International No Diet Day and would include the likes of Ashley Sharman, Annika Reid, Ivory Conover, Belle Jumelles and Julia Peg.
The project would go viral and develop the start of The Succulent Six.
Rachel's outlook on life and sense of self have really taken shape since becoming a part of the body positive movement. "Being a part of the Sucxulent Six, has allowed me an opportunity to empower women looking to take back their right to love themselves at any point in life and at any given moment in their self identity. Having lived a life of such amazing heights and also enduring great struggle, I realize that it was my fight to want more internally that has kept me swimming laps rather than struggling to stay afloat. Life is never easy for anyone and if it is, you're not doing it right. We have one shot at making this life the most fruitful experience and letting nothing and no one take away from your self appreciation is your biggest recipe for success. Maintaining a healthy balance in all facets, be it mental, physical or spiritual and the journey to maintaining that balance is a powerful key in creating your most resiliant and beautiful self".