Style Profile – Fab & 40+ Edition: Sheri Alcordo

Name: Sheri Lyn Nielsen- Birkhof-Alcordo

Occupation(s): My occupation is with being inspirational, reflective and creating caring learning communities that are engaging – AKA educator/full-time teacher (22 years with the TDSB), Work Shop Presenter, Mentor, Tutor, Program Developer, Super Mom, “Energizer Bunny” and Dream-Maker

Age: …is what you make it. Only my body is 46.5!

Lifestyle: Active, physical, creative, diverse and non-stop

 

Solid Red Aline Dress by LA label Eva Rose; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtArt

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

Continuous! If you were on my Facebook friends list you would see in my albums that my life is packed full of activities to maximize each day with experiences and impactful, memorable moments.

 

When at home, I prefer to be outside doing things with friends and family; enjoying nature or engaging in fun community events that unite my husband, my children and their friends. My albums could actually be made into a video slideshow to describe things for families to do around the GTA to have their summer planned out, LOL!

 

 

I am the school’s teacher-librarian, so my work includes library responsibilities; building an inclusive, equitable, shared community teaching and learning space and co-teaching with different grades K-5.

 

I also work as a prep teacher; when regular classroom teachers have their preparation time, I take over their classes and teach them. It’s a non-stop day collaborating and interacting with the school community, which involves the parents, staff, students, and community partners.

 

I usually run/co-run an extracurricular club at lunch or after school, such as “library helper time” (to help the kids build character, empowerment, and a sense of ownership over their own library learning commons), chess (for problem-solving and character development), Lego (fostering STEM-sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics) or floor hockey (for character development, self-regulation and breaking down gender stereotypes).

 

Solid Red Aline Dress by LA label Eva Rose; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtArt

 

After work I pick up my two daughters and sometimes we try to get to the gym. They’ll hit the kid’s Fitzone while I do some cardio with my workout buddy.

 

After that, it’s either making dinner or heading out to eat or ordering in for the family, doing a bit of school work, getting the kids ready for the next day and into bed. “Me time” is usually around midnight and  involves a few minutes of responding to e-mails, playing my favourite apps, “Panda Pop” or Euchre, reading a novel or some blind gossip entertainment while chilling on our front porch.

 

Flower Garden Dress in Bright Blue (also available in Yellow, Blue, and Ivory!) by LA label Eva Rose; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My family, friends and faith.

 

Building a safe, supportive community both for my family and friends and work communities – one that fosters empowerment, partnerships, empathy, communication and respect.

 

Reflection. Trying to grow and improve as an individual so that I can be the kind of person I’d encourage my own children and students to be.

 

Flower Garden Dress in Bright Blue (also available in Yellow, Blue, and Ivory!) by LA label Eva Rose; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

People knowing the real me.

 

Knowing me for me; that whatever I do in action is done with a pure heart and with utmost caring and intention. And for being a good mom and person.

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

I have always had my own sense of style. Growing up I only owned a few designer pieces and had to work with what I had. I have never felt the need to be with what’s trendy and I like my wardrobe to be versatile.

 

I enjoy different looks: from classy, professional and funky to athletic, playful and eclectic with pieces that are current or found at vintage stores (for something more unique). I have a variety of sides to my personality, often being described as “enigmatic,” so I think this plays out in my fashion sense at times.

 

Kitty Cat Halter Dress by LA label Eva Rose; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

At work, dressing professionally with semi-formal wear is something I do on occasion, but when teaching prep for Drama and Dance I am constantly moving around in different settings, so I usually have to dress more casually.

 

Being a very active person, I like to have an extensive wardrobe with different pieces for various purposes and functions. I have several black pieces in different styles to go with everything, but I love to wear bright colours – not to get attention, but because they make me feel energized and have an uplifting effect on people’s emotions!

 

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Having had a few children and changing sizes, I have to admit I’ve become more self-conscious about my expanded figure, so I do look for some styles and design that might best suit my “last decade” body, LOL!

 

This all in mind, my husband has been known to say, “How much clothing do you need?!” while looking at my 4 dressers, walk-in-closet, 15 bins of seasonal 4 coat racks! One day I might fit in those again!

 

Kitty Cat Halter Dress by LA label Eva Rose; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love that the designers are Canadian! The collections are fresh and unique and I love the mix of classic and contemporary animal print.

 

I love the way the materials are used together, and that there is a  multitude of colours to choose from!

 

There is a wide variety of pieces that can be combined in more casual or formal ways, which is a fantastic asset for day and night wear versatility. The clothing and accessories are also affordable and come in varied sizes. The fabrics used are high-quality and combined in original ways. While in the store, there were also a variety of different age groups shopping!

 

High Rise Ankle Jeans – 27″ Inseam – Black Light by Montreal label Yoga Jeans; T.O. Racerback Tank Top – Black w/White Skyline (also available in White w/Black Skyline) by Toronto designer Nadia Lloyd

 

I also like that the clothes were accessible to me; that there was a variety of styles for all of my purposes and moods (athletic wear, casual, professional, formal) all under one roof. I tried to show this in the outfits I selected.

 

As an award-winning teacher, you’ve spent two decades working at one of Toronto’s inner-city schools and helping children realize their potential as students and community members. Could you share with us some of your proudest achievements in this domain?

I am just thankful to have the opportunity every year to work with the school community: the staff, parents, and community partnerships to inspire one another and develop empowering experiences for the growth of all those involved, while working together to attain resources to support our programs. Learning is continuous.

 

More than a Wrap Dress in Black Crepe (also available in Navy Sahara Print and Coral Sahara Print) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!™; Laser cut necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

I am proud of the students that I have taught that have continued to implement strong values, think critically and advocate for social justice. These are the kids that have demonstrated character traits such as leadership and self-confidence to share their voice and demonstrate inclusivity.

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I work hard to advocate for equitable access to community resources and learning for all. Out of all the schools in Toronto, our wonderfully diverse school community is number 6 on the Learning Opportunities Index, despite the socio-economic challenges we face!

 

Over the years I have written to many people and businesses to appeal for support and assistance in providing better learning opportunities to our students. I have also partnered with classes and empowered students to have a voice in their own learning experiences.

 

More than a Wrap Dress in Black Crepe (also available in Navy Sahara Print and Coral Sahara Print) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!™; Laser cut necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

As a result, many empathetic, wonderfully generous individuals and local businesses have helped with financial support for out-of-school excursions and workshops; bussing our kids back and forth; new furniture for our library space; school sports uniforms with our new mascot; donations of curriculum-related literature; funding for technology in our school lab so classes can have one-hour of lab time per week; gardening equipment; environmental, art and science programs; special guest professionals related to curriculum so students can make connections to the real world skill applications with what they are learning in class.

 

I am constantly looking for new partnerships with those excited to provide opportunities for students that will enable them to explore, experiment, inquire, create, challenge, modify, learn and voice.

 

We are currently trying to appeal to donors for new Ipads, Chrome Books and printers to support student learning in classrooms with 21st century technology.

 

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We would also like to replace our 25-year-old school playground to promote healthy living and an active lifestyle.

 

I also appreciate the partnerships I have formed with community leaders who grew up in the school area. This way, they can play a role in showing students that they, too, can be leaders – both now and in the future.

 

This is also a way to demonstrate the importance of valuing others who have shown kindness and caring in their generosity and dedication, as well as a way to show the importance of teamwork in making things happen.

 

Solid Red Aline Dress by LA label Eva Rose; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtArt

 

Finally, it provides the students with relevant experiences to develop and apply initiative, perseverance and a voice to take action and see results.

 

Everything IS possible and preparing the students for becoming self-advocates with a stronger sense of self-confidence and self-worth should be co-joined with academics.

 

Solid Red Aline Dress by LA label Eva Rose; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtArt

 

Apart from teaching children, I also teach adults! I loved being a model classroom for beginning teachers through my focus on developing cultural relevance and inclusion.

 

It is a goal to work with them again at some point if the opportunity arises. I often mentor new teachers and students in the Faculty of Education program.

 

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I have also been a key note speaker and workshop presenter for York University, University of Toronto, Peel Board of Education, TDSB, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Frontier College and OAME, discussing a variety of topics which focus on cross curricular teaching, building an inclusive community, cultural relevance and community-based collaboration.

 

I love to be able to connect with other professionals and community members to share ways to grow professionally and continue to make learning fun for the students and teaching fun for teachers.

 

Flower Garden Dress in Bright Blue (also available in Yellow, Blue, and Ivory!) by LA label Eva Rose; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

I have also consulted and created engaging programs in the Arts and Literacy, specifically drama and story-telling, as well as acting for a popular children’s play centre, which is used for camps and monthly programming.

 

I am currently working on creating some educational short video clips on safety for kids using toys. From observing my own children and watching over kids on computers regularly, I’ve noticed that there seem to be many sites on the Internet using toys just to get viewers, with no real story purpose. I’m a newbie at this so my videos are a little basic, but made with the best of educational intentions, LOL!

 

My “business” name, which I use as an umbrella for all these various ventures, is “Engaging Learners”.

 

Kitty Cat Halter Dress by LA label Eva Rose; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

Most of us would probably experience major compassion fatigue doing the work you do – especially for as long as you have! What made you fall in love with this job so much?

When I was younger I worked with a few camps with children affected by mental health issues, living in poverty or experiencing unsafe home situation. Having grown up being bullied and feeling excluded, while also being withdrawn after my parents got divorced, I was always worried about conflict and expressing my voice.

 

Both situations made me feel empathy and compassion for those in my care. I didn’t want them to feel what I had to feel growing up. I wanted to create situations where youth would feel empowered to impact others and themselves in their learning and development of their shared learning and teaching spaces. 

 

I wanted them to have amazing and memorable experiences; to have a place to feel welcome, safe and cared about; to see what can and is possible and to learn how to ask for what you need to make things happen.

 

High Rise Ankle Jeans – 27″ Inseam – Black Light by Montreal label Yoga Jeans; T.O. Racerback Tank Top – Black w/White Skyline (also available in White w/Black Skyline) by Toronto designer Nadia Lloyd

 

As someone who experienced a difficult upbringing and now helps children facing similar (or even more difficult) circumstances, you seem so resilient hard-working, while clearly maintaining a strong bond with your husband and kids! Where do you find your energy and motivation?

 

Life is too short to be little. I am just very thankful to be as blessed as I have been. We have two wonderful daughters aged 11 and 7. In between them, we did experience the tragedy of having our son, Noah, stillborn.

 

It was hard for us. I threw myself into work, had some counselling, became Catholic and we continued supported one another. Being an “older” mom (it took too many years to finally find Mr. Right, but it finally happened!), it was frightening to try having another child, but seeing our oldest being lonely, we decided to go for it. Now our two daughters are best friends!

 

Our son is in our thoughts and prayers daily, but we try not to focus on the “what ifs” and focus on the “what ares”. Being thankful for each other, our children, and getting to interact with the youth under my care as a teacher, and with their parents and other staff, is what humbles, energizes and helps me make the most of our moments to the best of my ability.

 

High Rise Ankle Jeans – 27″ Inseam – Black Light by Montreal label Yoga Jeans; T.O. Racerback Tank Top – Black w/White Skyline (also available in White w/Black Skyline) by Toronto designer Nadia Lloyd

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I love to play floor/ball hockey and flag football!

 

I love photography and friends know that if we are out, I’ll be taking photos (usually they appreciate it after the fact, though not always during! LOL!).

 

I am third-generation Canadian, predominantly Japanese (mom), Danish, Irish, Scottish and French (Dad).

 

I recently developed severe allergies to dairy and yeast, which are two very difficult allergies to have. And I don’t like mushrooms!

 

More than a Wrap Dress in Black Crepe (also available in Navy Sahara Print and Coral Sahara Print) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!™; Laser cut necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

I am “Googleable” if you’re curious to see some of the past work I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of with former students (i.e., breaking down their community stereotypes and being active stewards).

 

I rarely have time for Twitter and Instagram, although I may try harder this coming year. I’m a Facebook user and have gone from scrapbooking (who has time for that now?!) to digital “scrap-albuming”, LOL!

Style Profile – Fab & 40+ Edition: Amanda Leigh Smith

Name: Amanda Leigh Smith

Occupation: Mother, Singer, ESL teacher, Nursing/Maternity boutique

Age: 46

 

Matilda Keyhole Shirt in Wine Flutter Print (also available in other prints and colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Convertible Kim Backback in Blue by Markham label Pixie Mood; High Rise Skinny 30″ Inseam – Marble – SWP1550 by Montreal label Yoga Jeans

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

Most mornings I roll out of bed at 5:30am and head straight to the kettle. I teach from home for a few hours. I’m mother to a 12-year-old so life tends go in whatever direction his takes him.

 

Tibouronia Tunic in Marsala (also available in Black) by Toronto label Jennifer Fukushima; Greta Work Tote in Black by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My son, my family, my boyfriend Tim.

 

Posey Dress in Paisley Print (also available in many other prints and colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Making a difference, either as a mother, performer or teacher. I would like to think I’ve changed things for the better or improved someone’s day.

 

Swing Dress in Floral Tie Dye (also available in Black) by Toronto label Masha Apparel (new at Fresh Collective!); Summer Legging in Black by Montreal label Cameleon

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

In many ways I’m still just learning to embrace my post-baby shape. I’ve never been one to follow trends.

 

 

If I find a style I feel confident in I’ll wear it year after year. In my 20s I spent a lot of time and energy trying to hide my shape.

 

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Now in my 40s, I’m beginning to embrace it. I think that’s a gift motherhood gives to you. You gain an appreciation for your body after it’s performed this miracle.

 

Trinidad Dress in Black and Grey (also available in Ivory and Grey) by Saint-Sévère label Rien Ne Se Perd

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love that the clothing is Canadian-made and has options that flatter curves. The staff know their stock well and will suggest something you may have missed the first time round.

 

Matilda Keyhole Shirt in Wine Flutter Print (also available in other prints and colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Convertible Kim Backback in Blue by Markham label Pixie Mood; High Rise Skinny 30″ Inseam – Marble – SWP1550 by Montreal label Yoga Jeans

 

What are your criteria for the perfect summer outfit?

 

Cool and comfortable. Flowy tops over skinny bottoms or floral dresses.

 

Tibouronia Tunic in Marsala (also available in Black) by Toronto label Jennifer Fukushima; Greta Work Tote in Black by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

Besides working at a maternity boutique, you’re also a singer and teacher! What is it like to have so much diversity in your professional life?

 

It has always been my philosophy to “do what you love.” When I was in my early 20s anything that wasn’t theatre was just a means to pay my rent.

 

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I feel very blessed to have found work in my 40s that fills my cup as much as theatre work does. Life never gets boring.

 

Posey Dress in Paisley Print (also available in many other prints and colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

How would you describe your relationship with music?

 

Singing is where I feel in touch with my authentic self. Singing with a group of people is therapy to me.

 

Swing Dress in Floral Tie Dye (also available in Black) by Toronto label Masha Apparel (new at Fresh Collective!); Summer Legging in Black by Montreal label Cameleon

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

Come and see One for the Pot, a British Farce playing at the Dunfield Theatre in Cambridge July 26-August 12 and Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend August 16-Sept 2nd.

 

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If you’re pregnant and looking for beautiful boutique styles like Fresh Collective’s (but need room for a growing belly) check out www.evymama.ca

 

Trinidad Dress in Black and Grey (also available in Ivory and Grey) by Saint-Sévère label Rien Ne Se Perd

Style Profile – Fab & 40+ Edition: Sheila Soares

Name: Sheila Soares
Occupation: Singer/Songwriter, former Elementary Teacher for 13 years in Toronto, currently also working in Administration for NewRoads Automotive Group
Age: Excited to be 50!
Lifestyle: Music Mom Sleep Repeat

 

Anie Flard Skirt by Quebec label MOOVment Design; Vivette Tee in Pink Deco Print (also available in other prints and designs!) by Toronto label Mandala

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

Besides my day job working for NewRoads and caring for my eleven year old son, I try to find time to practice singing each day – easier some days than others! Sunday nights are my writing nights as often as possible – this has yielded everything from complete songs in one night to a few sketches of possible future ideas. I call it the Sunday Night Write.

 

C’est Comme Ca Pullover by Toronto designer Yasmine Louis; Whale Leggings by Halifax label Poison Pear; Erica Ombre Crossbody Purse in Ocean (also available in Nude) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

My philosophy of life, though, is to strive for balance, so I also try to find time to take a de-stressing walk, socialize at a music event, or just relax with a nice Cab Sauv!

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My son always takes priority. Relationships of all kinds are next. This is vital. I need alone time balanced with social time. Being grateful for being here.

 

Lakeview Wrap Dress – Dark Denim by Toronto label FunkD; Raspberry Margaret Clutch & Crossbody Purse (also available in Tangerine) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

For being kind and caring. And funny. I’m often hilarious. Or I think I am. Mostly I’d like to be remembered for being me, flaws and all. And for the passion for the music.

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

The opportunity to take some time with an outfit or get dressed up is something I really enjoy when it presents itself. I’ve always loved clothes. I think I get that from my mom.

 

Budget often dictates a simple, classic look, but I will try to have something colourful or different to wear now and then just to keep it more interesting.

 

Posey Dress in Purple Bloom Print (also available in other colours and prints!) by Toronto label Mandala

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love that it’s Canadian, local, and caters to such a wide range of clientele. The clothes are creative without being impossible to wear. The staff are especially great! I will be coming back often!

 

You are a jazz vocalist and songwriter, but you used to work as a school (music) teacher! Could you tell us a bit about how you decided to make the transition and focus more on your own work as a musician?

 

Unfortunately I was pretty ill for a couple of years and was left with some lasting effects. I found teaching had become too stressful and the workload overwhelming given that experience. So, I left. But, the entire time I was sick, I kept on singing. At times that was difficult and downright painful, but it kept me going.

 

Black Floral Print Kensington Dress by FunkD

 

Once I left teaching, I started attending the Girls Night Out Jazz Jam run by Lisa Particelli. It’s now every Wednesday at 120 Diner. It’s an open, welcoming place that caters to singers (and gentlemen are welcome too!).

 

I have sung my whole life, but it was time to start doing it solo. That led to becoming part of the wonderful jazz community here in Toronto.

 

I treat it almost like going back to school. I listen and learn and try to work with others to learn more as well. I was 47 when I finally wrote my first song!

 

Anie Flard Skirt by Quebec label MOOVment Design; Vivette Tee in Pink Deco Print (also available in other prints and designs!) by Toronto label Mandala; Denim Sara Flip Skirt in Blue (also available in other colours!) by Toronto label Mandala

 

How would you describe your relationship with music? What attracts you to jazz in particular?

 

Music is part of who I am. It was innate from a very young age. I grew up with piano lessons and sang all the time. However, I always felt drawn to a teaching career, which I finally started after a brief flirtation with Radio Broadcasting and Banking.

 

I somehow didn’t perceive myself as someone who could make a living as a musician, so I didn’t follow that path. But the music was always there.

 

Whale Leggings by Halifax label Poison Pear

 

C’est Comme Ca Pullover by Toronto designer Yasmine Louis; Whale Leggings by Halifax label Poison Pear

 

Jazz is community and democracy in action. I love that it’s a shared experience for the performers as we take turns through a piece of music. I love the improvisational, creative aspects of it.

 

C’est Comme Ca Pullover by Toronto designer Yasmine Louis

 

Here in Toronto, the jazz musicians are so supportive of each other regardless of your stage of development with it. As long as you’re sincere and aware of the need to always learn more, it works. And, of course, it swings man!

 

Lakeview Wrap Dress – Dark Denim by Toronto label FunkD; Raspberry Margaret Clutch & Crossbody Purse (also available in Tangerine) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

As a songwriter, in what do you find your inspiration?

 

I guess I’m typical in that I write what I know. (Is that why I have written so many heartbreaking love songs??) I’m a lyricist first, but almost as soon as I start to write a line I also start to hear a melody. I like to try different genres although jazz is my preference. Lately I’ve leaned into some country/folk which is great for storytelling.

 

Black Floral Print Kensington Dress by FunkD

 

I’ve also tried the beginnings of co-writing and have started moving into more issue based topics as well as love songs. I try to attend a monthly songwriters meeting so I can be inspired by other writers. I also get really inspired going to see friends perform.

 

I would love other people to cover my songs! Sometimes hearing them become real is even more exciting than singing them myself!

 

Posey Dress in Purple Bloom Print (also available in other colours and prints!) by Toronto label Mandala

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

Many people have liked my latest demo, which is not jazz at all.

 

I recently recorded a demo of a jazz ballad I wrote called Forever Blue. It’s available on Bandcamp and I created a video on YouTube.

 

I have a seasonal tune on iTunes.

 

My website is https://sheilasoaresmusic.com/

 

Vivette Tee in Pink Deco Print (also available in other prints and designs!) by Toronto label Mandala; Denim Sara Flip Skirt in Blue (also available in other colours!) by Toronto label Mandala

 

Where can we find samples of your work?

 

More songs on SoundCloud

 

Or YouTube

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Vocal Horizons Chamber Choir website (Sheila Soares as soprano)

 

Also check out the Jazz Performance and Education Centre (JPEC) website!

 

Follow me on Twitter

 

Style Profile – Fab & 40+ Edition: Wendy Hammond

Name: Wendy Hammond
Occupation: Real estate broker & sales representative, Page & Percival Realty Services Inc.
Age: 46
Lifestyle: Entrepreneur and mother of two, with a dash of adventure on the side

 

Black/White Floral Kensington Dress by Toronto label FunkD; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART; Black Pailey Saddle Crossbody Bag by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What is a typical day like for you?
The only constant is that there is no typical day in real estate! My mornings usually start off similarly, but after that anything goes.

 

Usually, I wake up with the rest of my family, enjoy a cup of coffee and help to get them out the door. I work from both my home and my office in Bloor West, so I don’t have the time constraints that the rest of my family does.

 

Dress by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Raspberry Margaret Clutch and Crossbody Purse (also available in Tangerine) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

After I walk my youngest daughter to school, I either do yoga, work out or take our dog to High Park for a walk. After that my day is filled with agent open houses, showings, prepping listings, market research, marketing, client communication and the million other moving parts that real estate entails!

 

Fizz Dress in Blue (also available in Purple) by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART

 

In the evenings, I am either working, spending time with my family or enjoying a night out with friends, soaking in this fantastic city. Weekends are spent working as well as spending time with my partner, David, my 2 daughters and our friends.

 

We love taking advantage of what the city has to offer and also taking off to cottage country when our schedules allow.

 

Daiquiri Cami in Black (also available in White, Bordeaux and Bicycle Print) by Saint-Sévère label Rien Ne Se Perd; Sam Pant in Forest Green Tropical Print by Toronto label Mandala; Raspberry Margaret Clutch and Crossbody Purse (also available in Tangerine) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer Torched Studio

 

What in your life is really important to you?
Balance! Real estate can be all encompassing, so after 17 years in the business I try very hard to balance all the different aspects of my life.

 

I love my job, my clients and my family and friends – it is very important to me that I am at my best, not frazzled or overwhelmed, so that I can be present to listen to their needs and respond accordingly. I also love spending time dabbling in home decor, being active outdoors and travelling.

 

Cat Twirlin’ Dress (also available: Whale Pod Twirlin’ Dress) by Halifax label Poison Pear (new at Fresh Collective!); Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

What would you like to be remembered for?
For making a valuable contribution in every aspect of my life – as a mother, partner, friend, athlete & real estate agent. Oh…and for seeing the world!

 

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What role does fashion play in your life?
I love it!! I have always loved fashion…shopping is one of my favourite pastimes :). I have a particular fetish for handbags, maxi dresses, sunglasses and shoes, but let’s face it, I can rationalize anything!

 

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I walked away from this photo shoot with the 70’s-style Rose dress that I am wearing – so cute! I also love home fashion – I really think that what you wear and how you decorate your home is a great way to reflect your personality.

 

Dress by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Raspberry Margaret Clutch and Crossbody Purse (also available in Tangerine) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?
What’s not to love?? I live in Roncesvalles so having a great clothing store within walking distance of my house is ideal (and a little dangerous), but I also love supporting the local businesses and Canadian fashion designers. The range of clothes and accessories that they carry is amazing – there is definitely something that will appeal to everyone.

 

As a realtor, what do you love most about the work you do?
I know it sounds cliched, but I really do love dealing with people. It is very satisfying successfully navigating clients through the purchase or sale of their most valuable asset.

 

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It can be an extremely stressful and emotional experience, so as an agent you are often wearing several hats – trusted advisor, mediator, confidante and therapist – I love that part of it and also that no deal is ever the same, the market is constantly changing so you always have to be at the top of your game. I also get quite a rush from the negotiation and putting a successful deal together!

 

Fizz Dress in Blue (also available in Purple) by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART

 

What do you have that you want to promote?
I am an experienced real estate agent who lives and works in the community and specializes in the west end of Toronto. I work at Page & Percival, a small boutique brokerage which focuses on providing an exemplary client experience. I am extremely client focused and dedicated to ensuring that every client’s real estate experience is a positive one.

 

Black/White Floral Kensington Dress by Toronto label FunkD; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART; Black Pailey Saddle Crossbody Bag by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

On top of that, for a long time I have wanted to combine my love of the west end, home decor and real estate into a community based blog, which focuses specifically on the west end Toronto lifestyle. I am excited to announce that ‘Westside Storeys’ will be launching this fall, so stay tuned!

 

Daiquiri Cami in Black (also available in White, Bordeaux and Bicycle Print) by Saint-Sévère label Rien Ne Se Perd; Sam Pant in Forest Green Tropical Print by Toronto label Mandala; Raspberry Margaret Clutch and Crossbody Purse (also available in Tangerine) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer Torched Studio

 

Do you have any advice for prospective first-time home owners or existing home owners in Toronto who are looking to buy/sell their home yet don’t feel ready to take the plunge?
Honestly the best time to buy or sell your home is when you are ready – try not to be too swayed by the media or your friends and family. They mean well, but ultimately the decision is yours and if you feel ready, take the plunge!

 

Cat Twirlin’ Dress (also available: Whale Pod Twirlin’ Dress) by Halifax label Poison Pear (new at Fresh Collective!); Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?
I am very approachable and happy to help, so if you ever have any questions you need answered you can feel free to contact me, no strings attached.

 

Where can people find you on social media?
E-mail: wendy@pageandpercival.com
Facebook: Wendy Hammond
Instagram: @westsidetoronto_realtor
Linkedin: Wendy Hammond
Tumblr: Westside Storeys
Website: www.pageandpercival.com

Style Profile – Fab & 40+ Edition: Sheri Pavlović

Name: Sheri Pavlović

Occupation: Refashionista & Sustainable Stylista

Age: 43

 

Lifestyle: A kick-ass DIY eco-fashion upcycling warrior who firmly believes that fabulous, affordable, unique style can be achieved by anyone without supporting the growing phenomenon of cheap, unethically produced “fast fashion”.

 

Cat Leggings in Black / Grey (also available in Grey / Blue) by Halifax label Poision Pear (new at Fresh Collective!)

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

Organizational skills are this DIY diva’s best friend.

 

Original sleeveless top by Toronto designer Yasmine Louis (available in stores only); Basic Wax Pants in Black (also available in Military Green) by I love Tyler Madison

 

In order to provide groovy new tutorials and content 5 days/week on my Confessions of a Refashionista blog as well as create videos for my channel, source daily DIYs for my Refashion Nation blog, design the next book(s) in my ongoing series, keep up with my social media, online groups, workshops and e-mails I work 10-15 hours per day, 7 days per week.

 

Rosie Dress in Owls Print (also available in Bunnies and Foxes) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Handcrafted necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

Juggling what to create, where to shoot, how to edit and write and when to publish each fab new post is definitely a challenge that requires more than a bit of behind the scenes coordination.

 

Daiquiri Cami in Black (also available in White, Bordeaux and Bicycle Print) by Saint-Sévère label Rien Ne Se Perd

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My ambition to inform and influence others to step away from unethically (& immorally) produced products is the driving force that motivates me to continue providing fabulous free eco-fashion/accessory/decor tutorials, ethical outfit inspiration and helpful tips on my Confessions of a Refashionista & Refashion Nation blogs as well as contributing and sharing my creative skills throughout the online maker world.

 

Peony Dress in Turquoise Garden Print (also available in White) by Toronto label Mandala

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Inspiring others to embrace and create their own unique sustainable style. Refashioning has absolutely changed the way I see the world in general.

 

Cat Leggings in Black / Grey (also available in Grey / Blue) by Halifax label Poision Pear (new at Fresh Collective!)

 

It was the catalyst that caused me to transform my habits, research and care about how my potential purchases are made, live sustainably and encourage others to do the same.

 

Original sleeveless top by Toronto designer Yasmine Louis (available in stores only); Basic Wax Pants in Black (also available in Military Green) by I love Tyler Madison

 

You’ve just returned to Canada after more than 20 years of living abroad, including Japan, England, Greece and Germany! How did this adventure begin?

 

With a very lucky modelling contract.

 

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I then spent the next 2 decades living and working in 4 different countries in the DIY, Fashion, Publishing & Entertainment industries thanks to my huge aspirations, massive imagination, strong work ethic and wanderlust.

 

Rosie Dress in Owls Print (also available in Bunnies and Foxes) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Handcrafted necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

(Re)fashion IS my life.

 

We were super excited to have Sheri show off some of her re-fashioned pieces!

 

 

What do you love about Fresh Collective?

 

Fresh Collective is a fabulous platform for independent Canadian designers to showcase their ethically-produced garments as well as providing a stylish, affordable alternative for those wanting to step away from fast fashion.

 

Daiquiri Cami in Black (also available in White, Bordeaux and Bicycle Print) by Saint-Sévère label Rien Ne Se Perd

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

To date I have authored 11 self-produced DIY lifestyle books and am the quirky DIY diva behind the popular blog and channel Confessions of a Refashionista, the fabulously crafty corner of the internet packed with over 1000 ethical fashion articles and step-by-step upcycling tutorials for everything from groovy clothing & accessories for the whole family to funky home decor (in both photographic and video formats) + a healthy dose of thrifty style inspiration!

 

 

Head on over and discover how to get started creating your own unique sustainable style!

 

Peony Dress in Turquoise Garden Print (also available in White) by Toronto label Mandala

 

Where do you find the inspiration for your unique designs and outfits?

 

For over 20 years I not only travelled but actually lived and worked throughout the world, discovered and adapted to a variety of cultures and learned new languages and skills which has given me a wealth of creative and inspirational life experiences to draw upon.

 

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Sometimes I’m on the hunt for the perfect ingredients to recreate a style I’ve spied and love and other times I just look at a pre-loved find and instantly have an idea (or 3) for what I want to refashion it into.

 

Rosie Dress in Owls Print (also available in Bunnies and Foxes) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Handcrafted necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

What’s something you look forward to in the future?

 

I’m currently on the hunt for a producer for my Confessions of a Refashionista makeover show as well as a publisher for my DIY sustainable lifestyle book to help me take my ethically sustainable affordable upcycled style message to the masses!

 

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Where can people find you on social media?

 

Facebook: @ConfessionsofaRefashionista
Instagram: @refashionistasheri
Twitter: @SheriPavlovic
Tumblr: awesomesauceasshattery.tumblr
Pinterest: refashionsheri

Style Profile – Fab & 40+ Edition: Michelle Peña

Name: Michelle Peña

Occupation: Self-Love and Relationship Coach

Age: 46

Lifestyle: A woman with a purpose and having fun along the way!

 

Shibori Circles Paralomis Tunic in Teal (also available in other colours) by Toronto designer Jennifer Fukushima; Summer legging in Black by Montreal designer Cameleon; Raspberry Margaret Clutch & Crossbody Purse by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I mostly work from home so my day starts off with getting grounded through gratitude, setting my intentions and meditating. It sets the tone for the rest of my day, as I’m busy coaching clients or organizing my group programs, retreats and managing other various business duties.

 

I feel lucky that I can take my work outside when the weather is cooperating and also get my walks in to break up the day.

 

Whale Pod Twirlin’ Dress (also available: Cat Twirlin’ Dress) by Halifax label Poison Pear (new at Fresh Collective!); Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART; Watermelon Cosmetic Case (also available in other prints) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My spiritually, love, my family and friends.

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

A woman who wasn’t afraid to go after her life’s calling and live her life fully. That I helped and healed others, made a positive impact and enjoyed life.

 

Ambro Coat in Black Linen by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Sleeveless Angle Hem Top in Ivory Crepe (also available in Black and Royal Blue) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!™; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART; Kim Convertible Backpack in Nude Pink (also available in Blue and Black)

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

Fashion has played a big role in my life. My career started off in the fashion and beauty industry before my path lead me to psychology and social work.

 

For me, fashion is where I can be creative, express how I’m feeling, play and have fun.

 

More than a Wrap Dress in Sahara Print Coral (also available in Sahara Print Navy) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!™; Erica Ombre Crossbody Purse (also available in Ocean) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love the fact that Fresh Collective caters to every body type. They understand that women come in all shapes and sizes, and that should be celebrated which is reflected in their clothing.

 

Plus, the staff is amazing!

 

During your photoshoot, you mentioned that your choice to become a Self-Love and Relationship Coach actually evolved from an “ah-ha” moment during a tough time in your personal life. How did this experience inspire you to reach out and help other women?

 

My journey of personal transformation began 6 years ago. I was about to turn forty, the end of a promising relationship left me heartbroken, I wasn’t happy with where I was in my career, and I was struggling financially. I was feeling lost, empty inside, and unsure of myself, and I had no idea of my next steps.

 

What I had envisioned for my life up until that point was definitely not where I had landed. This scared me. I felt alone most of the time. I felt like everything was falling down around me, and it jolted me to my core.

 

Viv Tie Tee in Plum (also available in other colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Sara Flip Skirt in Multicoloured Paint Print by Toronto label Mandala

 

This emotional time in my life pushed me to challenge and redefine the type of relationship I had with myself, which ultimately impacted my relationship with life.

 

From the help of a spiritual coach, reading & studying mindfulness, meditation and spirituality, I realized I was operating from a place of inner emptiness and a lack of self-love, so I didn’t fully see my own beauty. As I went deeper within, unraveling layers of myself that I had never tapped into before – some I didn’t even know existed within me – my fear started to evolve into self-love.

 

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Once I stopped giving away my power to everyone but myself, my relationship with myself changed, and so did my life.

 

I now teach women to do the same. To courageously show up for themselves lovingly and with compassion.

 

Sleeveless Angle Hem Top in Ivory Crepe (also available in Black and Royal Blue) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!™; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

I wanted to share and teach women what I had learned because I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt this way and I never want a woman to have to do this alone. And to be honest, we can’t do it alone, we need support and guidance to help us along the way.

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I’m super excited to be hosting a weekend retreat, Awaken the Beauty Within, July 14th -16th, 2017. It’s designed for women to connect to our own feminine power and beauty. A woman’s beauty is predetermined for us, making it hard at times to feel beautiful in your own skin.

 

After this weekend you will have claimed your beauty and voice in redefining what it means to be a woman. There will be breakthrough workshops, daily meditations, journaling, delicious meals and time in nature.

 

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A retreat to feel beautiful in our own skin, to make peace with our inner goddess, to step out of DOing and step into BEing, to explore and deeply connect to our divine beauty and deepen our relationship with ourselves.

 

Learn more at: http://livtru.ca/retreat/

 

Shibori Circles Paralomis Tunic in Teal (also available in other colours) by Toronto designer Jennifer Fukushima; Summer legging in Black by Montreal designer Cameleon; Raspberry Margaret Clutch & Crossbody Purse by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

I’d also like to promote my company LivTru Coaching, where I’m dedicated to assisting women navigate personal challenges and unlearn their stories that hold them back so they can fully embrace themselves and their life.

 

For over 10 years I have worked with clients to help them better cope with stress, heal emotional pain, gain clarity, let go of fear, develop a healthy self-image and find greater peace.

 

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I offer a private coaching program, Relationship Redefined, where I assist women to build and sustain a deep, meaningful relationship with themselves so they can go on to attract deep, meaningful and fulfilling relationships with others.

 

Whale Pod Twirlin’ Dress (also available: Cat Twirlin’ Dress) by Halifax label Poison Pear (new at Fresh Collective!); Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART; Watermelon Cosmetic Case (also available in other prints) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

Do you think women neglect and refuse to love themselves?

 

I don’t think women refuse to love themselves, we are just not taught how to love ourselves. We are taught how to love others, how to be lovable, how to get love but not how to truly love ourselves,especially how to love ourselves unconditionally.

 

On some level, our society believes that it’s egotistical, not important, or narcissistic and that is why we neglect to learn how. But none of those labels are about self-love.

 

I have seen over the years in my practice that once a woman knows what self-love really is and practices it in her own life, it becomes a natural state of being once again and changes everything for her.

 

More than a Wrap Dress in Sahara Print Coral (also available in Sahara Print Navy) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!™; Erica Ombre Crossbody Purse (also available in Ocean) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

As a Personal Growth Coach, you’re here to help guide women on the course to a happier, healthier, awakened self. Have any of the women you’ve worked with ever taught you anything new about yourself or inspire you in some way?

 

Oh yes, for sure! Working with my private clients, it is a collaborative relationship. Put  aside the dynamics of coach and client; we always draw people into our life that we are meant to learn from and also for them to learn from us.

 

So, each client I have worked with is such an inspiration to me, their commitment to doing the work, their drive for wanting more for themselves and their willingness to make the necessary changes to make that happen. The women I work with show me that we are much more than we think we are.

 

When we think we can’t, we do. When we don’t believe, we find a way. When we are in pain, we can make it through. They teach me to remember that in myself as well.

 

Viv Tie Tee in Plum (also available in other colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Sara Flip Skirt in Multicoloured Paint Print by Toronto label Mandala

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I truly love what I do!

 

One of my favorite quotes that keeps me going on the tough days as an entrepreneur:

 

“I never lose, either I win or learn.” – Nelson Mandela

 

It was so much fun collaborating with Fresh Collective! Thank you!

 

Where can people find you on social media?
Twitter: @LivTruWoman
Facebook: @livtru.ca
Instagram: @livtruwithmichellepena (a newbie)

 

Style Profile – Fab & 40+ Edition: Robin Siegerman

Name: Robin Siegerman

Occupation: Voice Actor

Age: Between birth and death

Lifestyle: Running in a million directions at the same time, mentally if not physically!

 

Tunique Icitte by Montreal label Creations Encore; Black Ponte Leggings w/Wide Waistband by Toronto label It Fitz Me!

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

Wake up between 6-7 am. Walk my two dogs (poodle cross and a Bichon), feed them and myself and read the paper while having breakfast.

 

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Stretch, lift some weights, do some stationary cycling, shower, dress then get to my desk where I answer e-mails, pay bills and scan the auditions I will be doing that day. Then go down to my recording studio and record auditions and work on any corporate promotional videos that I’m producing.

 

Lemons Pattern Julia Tunic (also available in other designs!) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts3/4 Leggins in White (also available in Boreaux and Black and White Polka Dots by Saint-Sévère label Rien Ne Se Perd

 

I also try to set aside time for online webinars for learning new techniques, marketing and business practices, along with networking to find new opportunities for corporate voice work. But I’m also involved in singing and have been in a couple of different vocal ensembles, so there’s learning music and rehearsals thrown in there, too!

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My husband and son and my dogs. Not necessarily in that order!

 

Crop Wax Pants in Bijoux Blue (also available in Black) by I love Tyler Madison; Jessica Tee in White (made from organic cotton and bamboo and also available in Cardinal Red, Black and Blue Dusk) designed by Fresh Collective’s very own Palette by Laura-Jean; Lucy Bomber Jacket in Jungle Print by Montreal label Lola Jeans

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

I’m an avid animal lover and committed dog rescuer (I would rescue cats as well, but my husband is allergic to them!). I’ve had 10 dogs in my life and six of them were rescues.

 

I always look for older dogs who are less adoptable and I give them a very pampered retirement. They give me far more gratitude and love than I could ever hope for!

 

Mel Cowl Tee in Red (also available in Black, Navy and Aqua) by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label burfurtART

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

Fashion is incredibly important to me. I couldn’t care less about brands, I care about style. It’s one of the ways I creatively express myself.

 

Life is short, I’m not curing cancer or practicing rocket science, so I want to have fun with what I wear! I love clothes that make me smile when I look in the mirror!

 

Blue Paisley Dee Pencil Skirt by Toronto label Mandala

 

During your photoshoot at our Beaches location, you mentioned that “more is more” is your fashion philosophy. What you look for in your outfits?

 

Sometimes I can be a little “out there” with what I wear, and it’s all about humour. I love clothes with a bit of humour.

 

I love to mix and match in unexpected ways and often pile on the jewelry. I will dress conservatively if the situation demands it, but I am not comfortable that way and it bores me.

 

Tunique Icitte by Montreal label Creations Encore; Black Ponte Leggings w/Wide Waistband by Toronto label It Fitz Me!

 

I love bling, and often accessorize with a huge rhinestone studded belt that I bought 20 years ago and still adore, sparkly shoes, big earrings, bangles and necklaces with lots going on!

 

It’s fun and makes me feel good. I must be doing something right, because I often get effusive compliments about what I wear, but what makes me sad is, in the next breath, women will often say, “Oh, I could never wear that.”

 

My philosophy is pile on the jewelry and scarves, buy the shoes and the fabulous jacket and have fun dressing up, because we only go around once!

 

Lemons Pattern Julia Tunic (also available in other designs!) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts3/4 Leggins in White (also available in Boreaux and Black and White Polka Dots by Saint-Sévère label Rien Ne Se Perd

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

At my age, I’m very conscious of not wanting to look like *mutton dressed as lamb*! In other words, I want my clothes to be fun and youthful, but I don’t want to look like I’m trying to be 20 again, which to me looks tasteless and embarrassing.

 

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I want to be stylish and comfortable, and Fresh Collective has a wide variety of styles that are fashion forward without either being pretentious or inappropriate. It’s got a great blend of fashion and comfort.

 

Crop Wax Pants in Bijoux Blue (also available in Black) by I love Tyler Madison; Jessica Tee in White (made from organic cotton and bamboo and also available in Cardinal Red, Black and Blue Dusk) designed by Fresh Collective’s very own Palette by Laura-Jean; Lucy Bomber Jacket in Jungle Print by Montreal label Lola Jeans

 

You’re in the middle of a transitioning period between your career in interior design and your work as a voice over actor. What’s the story here?

 

When I was in my 20s, I studied acting, dance, voice and speech in NYC for 3 years. When I came back to Canada, I worked for a few years doing live theatre, but it was a very uncertain existence, having to move to other parts of the country to go wherever the work was.

 

I’m more of a home body, and with dogs (I had 3 at the time!) it was challenging always be on the move. I knew I needed a new career. But because I’m a creative person, I needed to find something creative.

 

Mel Cowl Tee in Red (also available in Black, Navy and Aqua) by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label burfurtART

 

I ended up going back to school to study interior design, as a technical discipline, rather than a purely decorative one, and I did that for 24 years in my own business mostly, and even wrote a book about kitchen design and renovation: Renovation Bootcamp®: Kitchen – Design and Remodel Your Kitchen Without Losing Your Wallet, Your Mind or Your Spouse, which became an Amazon best-seller.

 

Throughout my design career, I made many, many appearances on TV décor shows, radio, spoke at consumer and trade shows and private events. I had my own internet radio show for a year, named after my book, and wrote and voiced renovation and green living radio spots for terrestrial radio in Canada and the US.

 

Blue Paisley Dee Pencil Skirt by Toronto label Mandala

 

After 23 years in the business, I realized that as much as I love coming up with design solutions for space problems in homes, what made me happiest was “performing”, whether on TV, radio, doing live speaking gigs or even presenting my designs to my clients. It all came back full circle to my acting training.

 

Then a year ago, I was invited to voice Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter for a CBC radio documentary, and I was hooked! I’ve always had a keen ear for dialects, and can do many…. I even beat out a native Scottish woman to win the role!

 

Tunique Icitte by Montreal label Creations Encore; Black Ponte Leggings w/Wide Waistband by Toronto label It Fitz Me!

 

So I knew that voice over work was going to be the next career move! So, concurrent with my design business, I’ve been learning as much as I can, taking workshops, coaching, and webinars, working on demo reels and developed a voice over website and am now doing it! I’ve done a few documentaries (one where I got to play Hillary Clinton for a production company in France!), promotional videos and other voice projects.

 

I’m now on my last two design projects, and when they are done, I’m diving in to voice work 1000%!

 

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What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I have always believed that no experience, no matter how bad or good, is ever wasted. It always comes in handy. So what I’m really excited about in my new role as a voice actor, is that I’m able to bring my wealth of business, marketing, acting and design experience together to create 60 second promotional videos for small businesses which they can use on social media and on their websites for a really low cost!

 

60% of people who search websites prefer to watch a video rather than read text. 50% of people will remember more of the content of a video than text. Video prevents people from leaving your website as quickly, so video is now essential for businesses to have on their websites!

 

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Having a recording studio in my home, with information and photos that companies provide, I’m able to write the script, find music that perfectly suits the mood we’re trying to create, and develop a stand-alone video to promote their business!

 

It’s work I enjoy and it’s incredibly satisfying to have clients delighted with the final result! And I know that it increases engagement on their sites and Google LOVES video!

 

Crop Wax Pants in Bijoux Blue (also available in Black) by I love Tyler Madison; Jessica Tee in White (made from organic cotton and bamboo and also available in Cardinal Red, Black and Blue Dusk) designed by Fresh Collective’s very own Palette by Laura-Jean; Lucy Bomber Jacket in Jungle Print by Montreal label Lola Jeans

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I mentioned that I sing in vocal ensembles, but what I didn’t say is that it is mostly rock and pop music! I’ve also sung at open mike nights at rock and jazz joints.

 

What I’d really love, is to sing with a bar band for fun! I’m a great blues belter and give 110% when I’m on stage. Performing is the greatest high for me!

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Facebook: @Robin Siegerman VO

Website: www.RobinSiegerman.com

 

Style Profile – Fab & 40+ Edition: Katharine Harrison

Name: Katharine Harrison

Occupation: Program Manager IT/Finance Brokerage

Age: 52

 

Lakeview Wrap Dress – Dark Denim by Toronto label FunkD; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label burfurtART

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I work in the Finance Brokerage industry – in IT. So my workday can be full on and hectic. When I get home I like to get casual and go walking.

 

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Walks around lakes and trees calm me.

 

Lemons Pattern Julia Tunic (also available in other designs!) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

Being an outstanding contributing community member. Being grateful and paying my good fortune forward.

 

Purple Shibori Anemone Tunic (also available in other styles!) by Toronto designer Jennifer Fukushima; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label burfurtART

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Having a kind heart, making people laugh and smile, inspiring people to be kinder.

 

Yellow Shift 17 Dress by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label burfurtART

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

It helps me to express my artsy/creative side by using vibrant colours and fun outfits.

 

Purple Fizz Dress (also available in Blue) by Toronto label Mandala

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

The selection of pretty dresses!!

 

More than a Wrap Dress in Sahara Print Coral (also available in Sahara Print Navy and Black Crepe) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!

 

What is the first thing you look for in a piece of clothing?

 

Is it unique and is it soft?!

 

Lakeview Wrap Dress – Dark Denim by Toronto label FunkD; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label burfurtART

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I am a mum with a child with disability – Arthrogryposis. We work every day to improve our integration into the world of non-disability but often end up straddling the two worlds.

 

Purple Shibori Anemone Tunic (also available in other styles!) by Toronto designer Jennifer Fukushima; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label burfurtART

 

I ask everyone to be kinder and more patient with not just him but with me too. We have dreams to achieve and a lot of wisdom that comes from facing all our challenges.

 

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During your photoshoot you described your work environment as one that demands a thick skin. From this position, are there any particular things you do to maintain a tough girl attitude and a positive state of mind?

 

It helps me to use my down time to de-compress – walking and volunteering and doing mindful meditation.

 

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All these things clear my head so I can stay grateful. My motto is borrowed from a friend – be HERE now.

 

Yellow Shift 17 Dress by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label burfurtART

 

What’s something you look forward to in the near future?

 

Heading to the Amalfi Coast with my new LEMON dress from Fresh Collective!

 

Lemons Pattern Julia Tunic (also available in other designs!) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I’m adopted and found my parents 20 years ago – I’m back in their family considered the big sister, niece and cousin.

 

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It has completed me. I love knowing that I’m not odd – that I’m like all of them.

 

Purple Fizz Dress (also available in Blue) by Toronto label Mandala

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

I’m old – I use FB and LinkedIn. Tweeting and Instagram and Snapchat intimidate me.

 

More than a Wrap Dress in Sahara Print Coral (also available in Sahara Print Navy and Black Crepe) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!

Style Profile – Fab & 40+ Edition: Deborah Knight

Name: Deborah Knight

Occupation: Entertainment Publicist, Part-Time Professor of Arts Marketing and Rodan + Fields Executive Consultant

Age: 52

Lifestyle: I am out several nights a week attending everything from red carpet opening events to theatre shows, concerts and product launches. I am also a Soccer Mom 3-4 days a week for my 10-year-old son.

 

Tropic Cami in Blue (also available in Black) by Montreal designer Cameleon; Ambro Coat in Black Linen by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Crop Wax Pants in Black by (also available in Bijoux Blue) I Love Tyler Madison; Handcrafted necklace by Torched Studio

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

Meetings with producers, directors, performers in the morning, then a few phone calls with my Rodan + Fields team members about upcoming events we are planning, writing and distributing news releases, preparing a class for my arts managers at Centennial College, off to a soccer practice or game in the evening or to Variety Village with my son on off nights.

 

Chloe Top in Pink by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Sam Pant – Scratch in Black/White by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewelry label burfurtART

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My family, a balanced work life and good health. That’s why Rodan + Fields is such an amazing part-time business for me.

 

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What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Being a great friend, wife and mother. Oh yes, being fun to be around too!

 

Gabriella Denim Jacket in Destroyed Blue by Montreal label Lola Jeans; Rainforest Print Pocket Dress (also available in Flamingo Print) by Toronto Label Candi Factory

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

It is a reflection of who we I am at any given stage in my life. I like more casual clothing as I get older and I want to look current and on trend because I am in the image business in PR and with Rodan + Fields skincare.

 

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What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

It has a variety of new styles that cannot be found anywhere else in Toronto. The designs suit women of all shapes and sizes and there is lots to choose from for older women who want comfortable and stylish clothing.

 

Black Bloom Print Posey Dress by Toronto label Mandala

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I am working on a show from London’s West End called “Showstopper! The Improvised Musical” opening on June 7 and playing to June 25 at The Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge Street. It is hilarious! www.mirvish.com

 

Black Tropical Floral Kensington Aline Dress by Toronto label FunkD; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewelry label burfurtART

 

You’ve been the owner of your PR agency for quite some time now! Could you tell us a little bit about how you got started running your own business?

 

I was laid off from a full-time position at SkyDome and I was encouraged by the late Michael Burgess, a good friend and wonderful singer/actor to start my own business with him as my first client.

 

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He told everyone to hire me and that was back in 1999 and I’ve never stopped working in the entertainment business ever since.

 

You’ve got quite an impressive resume! What have been some of the highlights of your PR career?

 

I once media trained Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” and rode around in a limo all day asking media to interview him when he was an unknown. We had more than a few laughs when people didn’t really believe me that he was going to be a huge Hollywood movie star one day.

 

Tropic Cami in Blue (also available in Black) by Montreal designer Cameleon; Crop Wax Pants in Black by (also available in Bijoux Blue) I Love Tyler Madison; Handcrafted necklace by Torched Studio

 

I also love working with comedians and worked with the late Bea Arthur and the late Phyllis Diller and travelled to their homes to stay with them on several occasions and usually visited them both in the same week although they weren’t friends they both knew that they shared me as their friend!

 

Chloe Top in Pink by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Sam Pant – Scratch in Black/White by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewelry label burfurtART

 

In general, what is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

 

Helping people do what they love. I am also a member of the Kiwanis Club of Toronto and my flexible work schedule allows me to serve the needs of disadvantaged children in our communities here at home and around the world.

 

Rainforest Print Pocket Dress (also available in Flamingo Print) by Toronto Label Candi Factory

 

I recently started a Water Drop Project to bring water tanks to hold clean water to elementary basic schools in the Montego Bay rural area of Jamaica. So far, I have raised $6,000 U.S. from my fellow members for 19 water tanks, 11 which have already been given and the others will be installed by December.

 

 Black Bloom Print Posey Dress by Toronto label Mandala

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

You can find love at 50 or older. Women listed up! Never give up on that dream if you are now single or still single.

 

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I found the love of my life, Edward, at 50 years of age and am grateful every day that I never gave up the hope that I’d find him.

 

Black Tropical Floral Kensington Aline Dress by Toronto label FunkD; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewelry label burfurtART

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Facebook:www.facebook.com/deborahknight

 

Twitter: @dkprToronto

 

Style Profile – Fab & 40 + Edition: Alexis Nicols

Name: Alexis Nicols
Occupation: Mom, Professional Writer, Blogger, Actor
Age: 41
Lifestyle: A total Glam-Bot with sweatpant sensibilities

Kensington Aline Dress in Navy Tropical Floral by Toronto label FunkD; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I rise with the sun in quiet contemplation and perform a sun salutation. Then I make a nutritious breakfast for my husband and two boys that usually includes granola, quinoa and fibre clusters.

 

Posey Print Harriet Tee by Toronto label Mandala; MES 2205 Layered Crop Pant by Montreal label Melow; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART

 

After thanking me for feeding both their bodies and their minds, the kids get dressed without being told to do so (no tantrums here!) and then we all sing Raffi in the car on the way to school.

 

I spend the rest of the day feeling calm and centred while I clean, cook and read books about how to be a better mom and wife.

 

Black/White Floral Kensington Dress by Toronto label FunkD; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART

 

I’m totally kidding, none of that happens (except the singing. Because Raffi.). In reality, there is no “typical”. It’s a fast-paced melange of caffeine, “the best I can” parenting, and hustling to find my next gig.

 

Classic Top in Teal by Montreal’s Cherry Bobin; White Garden Print Callie Flared Skirt by Toronto label Mandala (also available in Turquoise); Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART

 

My sink is always half full, my boys are louder than a T-Rex riding a jumbo jet and just as tidy. My days are crazy and unpredictable and I love it.

What in your life is really important to you?My boys. Being the best parent and partner that I can be. I’d also list integrity. There’s not enough of it these days.

 

Owls Print Rosie Dress by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Handcrafted necklace by Curious Oddities

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Being a good mom. Not even amazing, just good. And really kind. There also seems to be a shortage of kindness.

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

I wear what I feel. I’m pretty transparent that way. Fashion is my armour, it’s how I express myself. Fashion is also therapy. If I’m feeling low, an awesome dress or killer heels can lift me up (literally!).

 

Kensington Aline Dress in Navy Tropical Floral by Toronto label FunkD; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love the unexpected. I’m inspired by the colours, textures and silhouettes. I love how the staff get excited about the clothing and the designers. They push me out of my comfort zone – and into some really gorgeous pieces.

 

Posey Print Harriet Tee by Toronto label Mandala; MES 2205 Layered Crop Pant by Montreal label Melow; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART

 

You’ve had to face some pretty tough changes in your life recently. Could you tell us a bit about that?

This past year was really challenging. I lost my job of 16 years, then lost my home in a fire a month later. I used to be one of those people who were grounded by their routine and thrived on predictability. StepUp Banner

 

Then, in one fell swoop, I lost everything (well, not the most important things. Thankfully, my family and I were on vacation at the time and no one was hurt.) I realized that I had an opportunity to start over and pursue avenues that I hadn’t had time for because I was so busy playing it safe.

 

Black/White Floral Kensington Dress by Toronto label FunkD; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART

 

I became a contributor to a parenting blog. I took up acting again. I returned to jewelry-making. I signed up for yoga classes and started pursuing a freelance writing career. I’ve met some incredible people and developed valuable contacts, networks and mentors.

 

Playing it “safe” failed, so why not take a chance?

 

Classic Top in Teal by Montreal’s Cherry Bobin; White Garden Print Callie Flared Skirt by Toronto label Mandala (also available in Turquoise); Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART

What do you have that you want to promote?

For sage parenting wisdom (and some humorous tidbits from yours truly) check out urbansuburbanmommy.com If you’re wondering how this awesome freelance writer can step into your head and help your business, visit alexisnicolswrites.com.

 

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What are some things you look forward to in the next few months / years?

Getting back into my newly-built home is at the top of my list. I’m looking forward to barbecues and getting back into my own bed. In the long view, I’m co-raising two awesome little humans who hopefully won’t be too busy getting into trouble to give their mama some hugs.

 

Professionally, I can’t predict the future, but I have every faith that my next adventure will be rewarding and fulfilling.

 

Owls Print Rosie Dress by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Handcrafted necklace by Curious Oddities

When you’re feeling particularly daunted by challenges, where do you find your energy and motivation?

At the risk of sounding #blessed, my kids keep me motivated. It’s not about my own personal success or failure anymore – the stakes are high, but as long as their needs are met, I consider myself a success. banner1-border

 

In terms of my own energy, I practice WAY more self-care than I used to. I do a lot of yoga (which I’m actually terrible at, but I stick to it because I can’t quit another gym), I lost 30 pounds this past year, and I constantly search for ways to feed my creativity.

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Instagram: nicolsalexis

 

Facebook: alexis.nicols

 

Twitter: @Urminov