What Is Ridiculously Happy

In this first official episode of Ridiculously Happy Pplcast, we give you a deeper look into who we are, where we came from, and how we came to be where we are.

Nikki Yeo, Business Administration Specialist

Meet Nikki

Nikki is a full-time stay-at-home mom, wife, and co-owner of The AVA Solution, which provides administrative support to business owners (like Sophia). She was on maternity leave with her first daughter when the pandemic hit and the company she was working for, unfortunately, closed up shop. Coming off of maternity leave, she went on a few job interviews. The constant barrage of comments and questions about who would care for her daughter while working full-time left her feeling completely miserable. So she took a close look at her skills and decided to launch The AVA Solution with her sister.

With The AVA Solution, Nikki has dedicated her career to making the lives of business owners easier and less stressful. She handles the daily tasks that pile up and get in the way of business owners being able to scale their businesses and focus on all of the tasks that they actually need to. And now that she has two little girls, she is grateful for the flexibility, being able to work full-time, care for her kiddos, and work with people that she actually likes.

Sophia Lemon, Photographer

Meet Sophia

Sophia works full-time photographing ridiculously happy people all over Ontario. She was first drawn to photography when she was building websites in high school. Her projects needed some photos, and she was too stubborn to use someone else’s. So she got a camera and the rest is, as they say, “history.”

She went to Fanshawe College for photography but figured she couldn’t make a full-time living with it. And so she went on to Western University where she studied Media, Information, and Technoculture. While there, she launched her photography business, and dove into photographing weddings and families. When she came home from school, she immediately started working at a local, family-owned business as their first marketing professional. After 6 months of rebranding and overhauling their digital and print advertising, the president came to her. He told her that she had done enough marketing. It was now time for her to start answering phones.

Not long after, she had a conversation with a teacher from her college. He asked, “Why can’t you do photography full-time?” Sophia had no good answer. And so, she decided, it was time to go out on her own.

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Ridiculously Happy

Ridiculously Happy People isn’t just a tagline for Sophia’s business. Though it did start out that way. She slapped it on a logo and started taking it to trade shows where people started commenting on how much they loved it. And 13 years into the business, it makes more sense today than it did when she first started using it.

When Sophia was in college, her teachers taught her class, “Use photos of your best-looking clients in your portfolio. People will see them and think, ‘I want to look like those people, so I’m going to work with her…'” That didn’t sit well with Sophia. Being photographed can be such a personal and uncomfortable experience for so many people. Instead, she thought, if people didn’t see themselves in photos, they would immediately feel self-conscious.

While other photographers, especially wedding photographers, focus heavily on presenting themselves as photographing the luxurious, picture-perfect, and elegant, Sophia recognizes that family life is filled with ups and downs. Especially for the people she works with: the people who hate having their photo taken. And they might feel that way because they believe they are not photogenic or because their family drives them nuts and they’re afraid the whole thing won’t go well.

Whatever the case may be, life is not perfect. It is messy, stressful, scary, and sad. But we can be genuinely happy through it all.

Ridiculously Happy is inclusive. It’s not just about heritage, sexual orientation, gender identity, and body shape. It includes your self-esteem and that of your family. Your financial status; your age; your cognitive and physical differences. It is about being self-aware, accepting that no one is perfect and that you don’t have to be to feel happy. It is about consciously deciding to be yourself and enjoy the happy stuff through all the ridiculousness.

Listen to or watch this episode for the perfect example of what it means to be Ridiculously Happy, courtesy of Sophia’s wonderful clients, Sarah and Douglas. And subscribe to the show to go on this ridiculous journey with us.

Submit Your Ridiculously Happy Moment

We’ll be closing each episode of the show with our Ridiculously Happy Moments. And we would love to include yours, as well! Join the Facebook Community and follow Sophia on Instagram where you’ll see our requests for Ridiculously Happy Moments.

Even better, tap here to record your Ridiculously Happy Moment, and we’ll play it on the show!

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What Is Ridiculously Happy