Alexa Suter, 29

Founder, Studio Media; Founder, Huha

Life Story: When Langley-born Alexa Suter was 13, she discovered her love of storytelling. Scrawling in journals, spinning short stories and crafting poems throughout her teens led her to pursue an English degree at Kwantlen Polytechnic University–and to leave school during her third year to write and travel solo in Europe. There she took a fashion journalism course, reported on London Fashion Week, moved to Budapest and presciently taught herself photography, social media and sewing.

“It all ties together in this need to create, and learning to turn that into a business with a profit is something I’ve been focused on in more recent years,” Suter says. Becoming an influencer before they really existed, she used her new social media savvy to help local businesses when she moved back to the Lower Mainland and founded Studio Media in 2016.

Bottom Line: Studio Media has almost tripled its revenue in the past three years, working with big brands like Jack Daniels, L’Oréal Professional and Westin Hotels & Resorts. The company, which has two full-time staff and a handful of contractors, plans to hire a third employee this year. Suter also launched Huha, a line of anti-bacteria, anti-odour underwear, on Kickstarter last October. She has since raised some $31,000 and sold more than 1,300 pairs of undies. With COVID-19 pushing up demand for “loungewear,” Huha has been approached for partnership by a large (secret!) wholesale platform.