Guest Blog: Style Coach Liz Parker on how to ReFRESH your Spring Wardrobe!

We’re excited to have the stylish, spirited and oh-so-fun Liz Parker with us tomorrow night for our ReFRESH YOUR WARDROBE event at our Queen Street store tomorrow night! 

Read on to get to know Liz a bit better and find out more about this fun event and the insight she’ll be sharing!
liz guest

I’m quite excited by the event coming up with Fresh Collective on Wednesday night.  What I love about fashion is it’s an instant, daily, obvious way to express yourself.  For some people, fashion is pure instinct and talent; for others, it takes a bit of work figuring out what works and their bodies types, and why.


Once you get the basics down – which is learning what fits your body – you can build from there.  Start with the basic in your wardrobe (little black dress, jeans, tops) and then build on that (experimenting with colour, prints, accessories, shoes).
I follow the fashion trends as a hobby and obsession.  I remember Estee Lauder’s perfume “Beautiful” featuring Pauliza Porizkova as a bride in the 90s, following the sexually charged “Obsession” ads by Calvin Klein, which were less acceptable in the wake of the then AIDS crisis of the late 80s.  I remember when cargo pants became the rage in the early 00s … because of the war in Iraq.  It became trendy to resemble the troops.  Fashion reflects both our times, as well as you, and where you’re at.
I’ll be chatting about some of the trends we can actually wear.

1)  Black and White (yay!  Don’t we all have a pair of black pants and a white top?).  It doesn’t have to be boring; I’ll show you how to add a pop of colour to freshen up your outfit.

1Black and white

2) Prints (don’t be afraid of prints.  I’ll wear them on my pants, but if that’s scary, then I’ll show you how to ease into this trend)
3) Flats and low heels (THANK GOD.  I hate high heels.) Please note: flats does not mean “baked potato” shoes.  You can be quite stylish in practical shoes.
4) What do I wear with jeans? I’m hearing that a lot of you come into the store asking this.  I’ll bring in a pair of jeans and show you how I wear ’em.  I love a fashion challenge, and helping any person of any body type find the right fit and feel really good about his or her outfit.

I look forward to seeing you there!
xo – LP

Meet Liz at Fresh Collective Queen St TOMORROW NIGHT for our ReFRESH Your Wardrobe Event. Click here to learn more and RSVP!

FC Ambassador Guest Blog: Getting Dainty at Fresh Collective

Last week we were happy to play host to a fabulous night of shopping and beauty with one of our FC Ambassadors – the lovely, Nicole Wilson aka Dainty Girl. She wrote a great blog post after the event. Check it out below, along with some great photos of all the fun!
Liz Parker Unedited Proofs

Last Tuesday I co-hosted a night of fashion and beauty with my friends at Fresh Collective and a whole lotta stylish guests! It was so lovely to connect with my readers and blogger friends over drinks, nibbles, manicures, makeup and of course…SHOPPING! I’ve been a Fresh Collective Ambassador for about six months and it was amazing to finally host an event with them!

Dainty Girl @ Fresh Collective

Fresh Collective has three locations in Toronto, all supporting local designers – many of whom reside in Toronto and frequently visit the store to interact with shoppers and provide style advice. We hosted last week’s event at the Queen Street West location and invitedDaLish Cosmetics and Bio Seaweed Gel to join us. Guest enjoyed complimentary gel manicures, makeup consultations and discount shopping on apparel and accessories. There were giveaways too! One lucky guest won a Premium Wardrobe Makeover session with a Fresh Collective style expert ($200 value) and another lucky guest won their choice of Bionic dress by Toronto-based designer Mark Foreman.

I had a great time chatting and taking photos with guests all evening – it was lovely to meet some of my readers and introduce them to other fabulous bloggers too! It’s always exciting to meet the people behind the blogs and Twitter handles, so it made me smile to bring some of my favourite people together!

Dainty Girl @ Fresh Collective

Left: w/ Erica GrenciVanessa Cesario and Deanne Castro 
Right: w/ Crystal GibsonCarcia & Telly CampbellAnum Khan and Victoria Simpson

Most importantly, everyone loved the fresh local fashion at Fresh Collective; playing dress up in the change rooms with the fabulous staff and taking unique pieces home at great prices. I went home with a pretty floral blouse by Monikova and a Very Berry manicure from Bio Seaweed Gel (which is still going strong). It brings me so much joy to shine light on the incredible fashion talent in Canada and Fresh Collective founder Laura-Jean Bernhardson is a true champion for all things local with her equally passionate and wonderful staff!

What to Wear Wednesday – Sweet Tooth!

What to Wear Wednesday - Sweet Tooth!

I was feeling a sweet tooth today. My mind drifted to the decadent delicious doughnuts created by our FC Ambassador Ashley Jacot De Boinod, owner of Glory Hole Doughnuts – a gourmet doughnut shop that opened its doors in Parkdale this summer to rave reviews!

I put together this simple and cozy fall outfit with that in mind. Black skinny Yoga Jeans are slim, classic and smart (with a great amount of stretch) and this bamboo jersey cowl teck top in a rich eggplant colour (compliments of Studio Fresh) floats gently over your curves (leaving just enough room if you can’t resist a second sweet)!

Frost your outfit with some sparkly gems from Sugar Rush (see what I did there?) and slide into some slouchy Miz Mooz boots to complete the look!

Now who’s hungry?
Click here to learn more about Glory Hole Doughnuts! 


Become a FC Ambassador!

Fresh Collective is here because of all the wonderful people who join us on our journey – designers, staff, fans and customers. It’s important to us to be part of the community, spreading joy and beauty through what we do in many ways.
We’re looking for a few good women to help spread the word about what’s fabulous at Fresh Collective. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to join the inner circle at Fresh Collective. You’ll get first glimpse at our clothing each season, get products to review, and you’ll be treated like a Fresh Collective VIP with photo shoots, product samples, invites to special events (ours and other people’s too!).

In return, we ask that you share the good word about what you have experienced through our FC Ambassador program. Rant and/or rave about the product we’ve provided you, share the experiences you’ve had with us on your social media channels (and ours) and help us spread the good word. Phew, being a social butterfly is hard work!

If you’re interested in being a 2013 FC Ambassador, click here and tell us why!
Also, meet our current FC Ambassadors here.


Laura-Jean Bernhardson featured on Coral TV

As you may have seen previously on the blog, FC Ambassador Shannon Lee Simmons hosts a great web series called “Money Awesomeness” on Coral TV. She recently took some time to come into our Queen St store and interview our fearless leader, Laura-Jean about the challenges of starting your own business.

On Shannon: Top – Desserts & Skirts, Skirt: Fresh Baked Goods, Necklace – Sugar Rush
On Laura-Jean: Dress – Mandala Design, Jewellery – Odd Bird
(Both women are wearing belts by Susana Erazo)

I Rush, You Rush, we all scream for Sugar Rush! – FC Ambassador Guest Blog – Liz Parker

As a Fresh Collective Ambassador, I was thrilled when I was invited to the Roncey store to select some Sugar Rush jewellery to add to my already absurd collection of baubles.  Sugar Rush is designed by Jessie Tucker-Lyzwa, a stand-out chick with purple hair, though in this pic it’s PINK!

When I arrived at the Roncey store, I was spinny with delight when I saw the Sugar Rush display:

Jewellery is the icing on the cake.  Once you’ve figured out the perfect outfit, jewellery is what puts a stamp on your style.  What I enjoy about an event where black dresses are aplenty is observing how people accessorize … and make each outfit their own.

Sugar Rush’s jewellery has a sense of movement… to me, it looks like the pieces were caught in the breeze.  Outdoor elements are included, like the shapes of leaves and feathers.

I was very drawn to the purple, as it’s one of my favourite colours – look at this beauty, with the funky earrings:

But they look so much better on the wonderful Veronica Doval Slater, a fellow FC Ambassador

And I’m delighted, as she was quietly coveting them.

I also ogled Sugar Rush in beautiful red …

…. and they brought out the ham in me:
 And THEN … I spotted this gorgeous GREEN combo.  I love green as much as I love purple, and it was the whimsical feather motif that grabbed me:

 And here it is on yours truly:

I love how jewellry makes you feel.  Polished, elegant, funky … whatever the look you’re going for, the perfect set of earrings, necklace, ring, or bracelet truly is the “Jewel in the Crown”.

I also attend a party in late September at the Roncesvalles location, celebrating Fresh Collective being powered by Bullfrog Power.  This company is a 100% green energy provider, which helps their clients set up clean, renewable energy solutions.  We Ambassadors received a lovely info kit about Bullfrog, and I included in this pic with my beautiful green Sugar Rush jewellery acquisition:
For more info about Jessie and Sugar Rush jewellery, follow them on Facebook here.

For more info about Bullfrog Power:

Thank you to Fresh Collective and Bullfrog for the GOOD TIMES! Green jewellery and green frogs – all good!


Liz Parker/LIZPR 

Starting a Business in style Part 2 – With FC Ambassador Shannon Lee Simmons!

The babely, stylish and oh-so-smart Shannon Lee Simmons has finished her 4 part series “So You Want to Start a Business” as part of her “Money Awesomeness” show on Coral TV. As usual she looks absolutely lovely in Fresh Collective goodies!

We’re proud to have the support of such a savvy gal! Enjoy the videos, take notes and stay tuned – rumor has it there may be a new Money Awesomeness video coming out soon featuring our fearless leader Laura-Jean herself!

(see parts 1 & 2 here)

Part 3:

Dress: Michelle Carey

Part 4:

Dress: Brenda Beddome

Starting a business in style – with FC Ambassador Shannon Lee Simmons!

Our FC Ambassador Shannon Lee Simmons is a force! She’s sassy, smart, and stylish! Her web series Money Awesomeness (through CoralTV) is a great source of financial tips and tricks!

She’s currently in the midst of a 4 part series dedicated to starting a business and wearing tons of Fresh Collective goodies along the way! Check out parts 1 and 2 here (we’ll be sure to post other parts as they go live)!

Part 1:

Top: Desserts & Skirts :: Necklace: Sugar Rush

Part 2:

Dress: Annie 50

Doesn’t Shannon look stunning? We’re proud to have her as an FC Ambassador!

Fresh Collective with the girlfriends – FC Ambassador Guest Blog – Veronica Slater

Another fabulous FC Ambassador Guest Blog from the wonderful Veronica Slater! Check her out online here:

Girlfriends.  What would I do without them?  About a week ago we planned a dream day together hoping none of the kids would get sick – they’re notorious for timing.  Anyhow, the Girlfriend’s Gods were with us and yesterday, we executed our plan… boy was it ever fun! First we exercised together (see proof!), then we had lunch, and just before heading to Fresh Collective on Roncesvalles for an afternoon of fun and shopping, we snapped a picture for you.  Meet my girlfriends: Christine and Lori.  I love them to death.
Here’s where the real fun began.  I took them shopping to Fresh Collective – my very first trip with friends as aFC ambassador.  Can you see me glowing?  ‘Cause I am!!!  Let’s have a look at the ‘before’ girlfriend picture.
On our shopping list (cause you always need a list!) we had identified a few basic fall ‘wants’ and a couple of ‘needs’. We also went over what works and doesn’t work so well with their body types and their best colours.  All important things to keep in mind while shopping.

Here’s Christine with a dress by Nude.  We loved the colour and fit on her.  The dress was easily accessorised with a gorgeous flower by Jennifer Morris from Blackjam and a black leather belt.  The Burgundy boots by Miz Mooz looked divine.
Here’s the same fabric in a different style, this dress is by Brenda Beddome.  Also flattering and comfortable.
Here’s Christine wearing our two favourite pieces and the ones she thought she would be wearing most: A dress by Bionic and a dress by Melow.  We all loved both of these looks on her!  They really are perfect pieces for a busy Mom of three, easily paired with leggings and flats, awesome with tights and Miz Mooz boots, chic with flashy accessories and heels. I guess this is what us Busy Bees with capital Bs look for: versatile stylish clothes that feel and look good – and can take consecutive washes too!  Gotta love real clothes for real women!  Christine also purchased beautiful casual grey boots by Miz Mooz to run around in style.


Now here’s Lori with our favourite picks.  A Brenda Beddome top beautifully adorned by a silk flower by Jennifer Morris – Blackjam with the best footless leggings in the world by Spanx and those sexy burgundy ankle boots by Miz Mooz.  I love this look.  As you can see behind her, the dress comes in different colours.  I think she’ll be getting a lot of use out of this piece.

Here are the same leggings and shoes with a different top by Brenda Beddome – clearly made for Lori.  It’s easy to see how this outfit will be taking her from the office, to an afternoon meeting, to a hot date with the hubby, to having a drink with friends – like I’m not going to include myself in such plans!!!  Doesn’t she look great?
We left the store with big smiles on our faces thinking of what a great day we had had and how important it is to make time to reconnect, catch-up and look after ourselves.  Busy Bees are not very good at that but we’re working on it!  As for the shopping, no matter what one ends-up buying, it’s the overall experience that remains with us and ultimately what keeps us coming back.  Joe and Roslyn, as always, you were fantastic at offering the best Fresh Collective experience!  I knew you would be -only the best for my girls.

What’s on YOUR list of ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ this season? Remember that the following clothes are available at Fresh Collective AND at the their new ONLINE SHOP, go have a peek!
xo – Veronica

Introducing… Veronica Slater – 2012 FC Ambassador :: @Veronica_VSp :: Veronica on Facebook

Life has taken me from my native Buenos Aires, to Montréal in la belle Province, to the wonderful place I now call home: The Roncesvalles Village, Toronto. Diversity is my language expressed variously in English, French and Spanish – sometimes consecutively, often in a curious and crazy ménange à trois. My three cultures shape and colour my life, so any given day will start with a cup of mate cocido, followed by a mid-morning café au lait, I’ll tape a radio broadcast en français, write a blog post in English, help my youngest daughter with her dictée, then have dinner à deux with my English-speaking husband. And it’s nada for me. Simply ‘Normal’, ironically being one of those words that remain identical in my three languages.
After spending a thoroughly fulfilling 10 years as an elementary French Immersion teacher while juggling the demands of three young children (now we have 4), I decided to follow my passion for finding ways to live and consume better. It was so much fun, I started writing a blog sharing my crazy – yet practical Latina way of coping with family life, finding joy in every day and some tips and tricks on everything from celebrating special occasions to tracking the latest trends and products to my vintage purse collection, and just about everything in between- including style. Before I knew it, I became a lifestyle contributor to the CBC radio show ‘Boréal Express’ and a regular contributor to the show ‘RelieF’ airing on TFO. To date, each of my professional appearances have had one thing in common: every single outfit I wore has not only been designed but made locally and available at Fresh Collective – and I’ve told the world! This makes me very proud, ‘living better’ is often synonym of supporting local talent and…Did I mention how good they make me look? Well, they do!

I think it’s fair to say the experience at FC has enriched my sense of style and my life in general by gaining many new dear friends among staff and designers. I have concluded that the absolute best part of wearing local fashion is the story behind each piece, and how I feel connected to it. Suddenly, I’m not just wearing a beautiful dress by The Blushing Maple, I’m wearing the product of hours of careful hand-picked knits and fabrics not so interesting on their own but gorgeous when sustainable fashion and designer Marnie Kramer brings them together. I also value the general experience I am left with when I leave any of the three stores, in particular the one closest to my heart, the Roncy location. I’ve never met a woman in my community that feels differently, a sure sign FC is quickly becoming a staple in our hood!

You’ve probably guessed by now that I am absolutely thrilled to be able to continue promoting FC, The Blushing Maple, and the many other designers part of this wonderful circle by continuing to wear, blog and brag (why, yes that too!) during the next few months as a Fresh Collective Ambassador.

Favourite Toronto Hang Out:
Anywhere along Roncesvalles Avenue

Torontonian You Admire:
I absolutely adore Frank Gehry, I dream of seeing the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (Basque Country and home to my ancestors) in Spain, and the dancing house in Prague is also on my bucket list.

Favourite Local Music:
What’s playing at The Local or Gate 403 this week?

Best Coffee in the City:
When I want to treat myself to a good coffee I go to LIT but my number one drink is Mate (pronounced maté), nothing beats the taste of home.

Anything else you’d like to share?:
Styling a daily outfit is something I love doing. It helps me think about the day ahead, visualize what I want to accomplish and feel good. I like knowing that no matter how preoccupied I might be, it’s not the first thing people see. Whether I’m looking for comfort, warmth on a cold day or the practicality needed to play with my kids at the park, I know how to create the perfect combo for myself – or anyone needing help!

Ambassador Mix Tape: