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It’s all a juggling act

JMSB’s Commerce Games helped alum Tanya Saba learn to balance a career in marketing plus her own makeup business
March 29, 2018
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By Ursula Leonowicz

Tanya Saba, BComm (marketing) 06, is no stranger to juggling. As the business-to-business marketing manager for the Cirque du Soleil and founder, owner and makeup artist at Tanya Sa, her own business, she knows what it’s like to manage multiple roles and projects, in different fields, on a daily basis.

She credits much of her ability to multitask to her time at the John Molson School of Business (JMSB) and the undergraduate case competition it hosts, the Commerce Games.

Tanya Saba Tanya Saba is the business-to-business marketing manager for the Cirque du Soleil and founder, owner and makeup artist for her own makeup business, Tanya Sa.

“The university taught me how to focus and execute tasks one at a time, which helps me to not get overwhelmed,” explains Saba. “They really helped me learn how to think on my feet and make sound decisions without necessarily having all the time I would like to analyze every situation for as long as I’d like to.”

She points out that Mark Haber, BComm 71, marketing lecturer and Commerce Games advisor, had a big impact on her professional life. “He definitely coached me in becoming a better presenter, public speaker, business person and all-around professional,” she says.

Saba also credits Harold Simkpins, BA 67, MBA 78, senior marketing lecturer and academic director of JMSB’s Marketing Co-op Program. “He really supported me in finding internships throughout my time at school,” she says.

Complete experience

Saba describes her time at Concordia as a “complete experience that was more like a lifestyle than just an education.” As a student in the JMSB’s Marketing Co-op Program, she completed four internship. She was also involved in CASA Cares, a non-profit program run by the Commerce and Administration Student Association that raises money for charities across the city and encourages students to get involved in their communities.

“I was also a Stingers football cheerleader for about 24 hours — before realizing I had too much on my plate,” Saba admits.

Tanya Saba applying making for her own business. Tanya Saba is seen here applying makeup for her own business. She learned to take on multiple projects at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business, where she was a Co-op student and competed in undergraduate case competitions.

As the business-to-business marketing manager for the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil, Saba handles corporate and VIP sales for both its shows at in Montreal and abroad.

“I was always interested in the Cirque and it has a special place in my heart because I was a figure skater. I have a whole artistic side that I wouldn’t be able to explore if I worked somewhere like a bank,” she says. “To be able to tie in the marketing and business with the whole creative side of it, for me, is the best of both worlds.”

Saba started figure skating when she was nine years old and skated competitively for years, before joining Disney on Ice and touring with them through Europe and Central America.

“Skating brings you a lot of discipline; it gives you inner and outer strength, and a lot of focus,” says Saba. “It’s great for objective setting as well because it’s all about peaking at the right time.”

Her own business, Tanya Sa, provides a variety of at-home beauty and makeup services for weddings, proms, fashion shows and more. Saba came up with the idea after having a difficult time finding a makeup artist for her own wedding.

“There was a gap in terms of what I was looking for and what was available,” she says. “Not everyone wants to go to a big beauty institution; a lot of people are looking for more personalized, on-location services.”

Lip collection - Little Luxuries for your Lips Tanya Sa’s lipstick line is called Little Luxuries for your Lips.

Tanya Sa, which was an exhibitor at the Let’s Get Married / Marions-Nous salon in Montreal in January, also carries its own line of paraben-free, hypo-allergenic lipsticks called Little Luxuries for Your Lips and that are made in Toronto.

“All the colours in the line were named after cities I’ve been to,” she explains. “So Rouge in Rome, Berry Barcelona and Lady London.”

Not enough juggling? Saba also volunteers for the Look Good Feel Better organization, which gives free makeup and beauty workshops to women with cancer.

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