Krystle Ng-A-Mann is a Toronto-based corporate lawyer, foodie, wanderluster at heart and the content creator behind Dine & Fash. She loves to share her food and drink recipes, where to dine and what to do in Toronto, tips for other creators, and travel inspiration through all her adventures. Following an ectopic pregnancy 2 years ago, she’s also been sharing her fertility journey, in an effort to normalize the conversation around infertility and IVF in Canada. We fell in love with Krystle IRL when she was our Muse earlier this year. She was gracious enough to share some of her time and wisdom with us this week.
As a gay couple we've gone through infertility and failed rounds of IVF - all with surrogates. It feels really out of our control. How do you deal with the grief and are there any supports beyond compartmentalizing and "staying busy"?
First, I’m sorry to hear about your failed rounds of IVF. I’m wishing you all the best of luck on your journey and I hope you get the outcome you’re hoping for. Although my story is different than yours, I can definitely identify with the process feeling out of your control. Sadly, even if you try really hard and do all the right things, fertility is still unpredictable and a lot of it is left to luck. This can make people going through it feel like they’re powerless or stripped of their agency. There are definitely supports I can recommend. Fresh Insight offers both group and individual therapy that is specifically geared towards fertility. I did a 5-week virtual group program and it was excellent. The group is called “Walking Through Grief With Hope”, so I think you might find it very relevant to your journey. The group was intimate and I felt like I got a lot of tools to assist me with the process, as well as support from the other group members. A couple Instagram accounts you might want to check out are: @becoln_ and @allieandsam. Kieran from @becoln_ had a long journey with baby loss and infertility before going down the surrogate path and I think her story will resonate with you. She also offers resources on her website. Allie & Sam are a lgbtq2s+ couple who recently had twins via IVF and have shared their entire journey with their community.
What should I ask before signing a brand partnership? Especially when I'm just starting out/ new to paid partnerships
You’ll want to ask questions during your initial discussion with the brand or PR agency that will help you determine what to charge. For example:
- What deliverables are they looking for?
- Do they want exclusivity? This means they would want you to refrain from working with/posting about a competitor within a certain period of time. If that’s the case, you will want to charge for the loss of opportunity.
- Do they want any usage rights? If so, where will your content be used and for how long?
- Do they want to whitelist or amplify your content after it’s been posted? Where will it be amplified and for how long?
- What is the timing of the campaign?
- Do they want other people to appear in the content (e.g. your partner, children)?
Once you’ve agreed on a price based on all the factors above, you then need to ensure it’s formalized in a written agreement. A contract is always subject to negotiation if when it arrives, there are unfair contract terms or things you don’t feel comfortable with. For example, a contract should not purport to own your content. You also want to make sure the payment terms are fair, the usage rights are correctly captured etc.
How do I support my friends dealing with infertility? I feel like I don't have the right words and I don't live close by.
You don’t have to feel like you have the ‘right’ things to say. Sometimes a short text message or phone call to let them know that you are thinking about them and here to support can go a long way. If in doubt, you can ask them what they need from you. Some may want to open up to you and just have you listen. Some may want a shoulder to cry on. Some may or may not want advice. Some may want you to cheer them up by sending funny TikTok videos. Day 1 Fertility has amazing resources. Emily has a marketplace with gifts that are appropriate for people at all stages of their fertility journey. She has a weekly podcast which has addressed a range of fertility topics which can help you to understand what the journey is like. She also shares tips on her Instagram account about how you can provide support to friends and loved ones going through infertility.