Style Profile: Michelle Daides

Name: Michelle Daides

Occupation: Video & Marketing Expert at MDMedia Inc.

Age: Just passed millennial, young at heart but old enough to know better!

Lifestyle: Living my life with authenticity and integrity (and laughter)

 

Marissa Blazer – Grey from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Bryce Dress – Black Rib by Cherry Bobin; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

There’s never a typical day, and that’s why I love being an entrepreneur. My days include writing and creating innovative scripts and stories for brands and other businesses, filming, post-production, teaching on-camera training, brainstorming, marketing, social media, and collaborating with others.

 

I didn’t mention the boring stuff on purpose.

 

Kara Sweater – Teal from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My family is super important to me, as well as my friends – I pretty much consider them to be family, anyway.

 

From a business perspective, I love the art of creation – anything creative, really.

 

Avery Dress – Light Grey from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Greta Work Tote w/Shoulder Strap from Pixie Mood; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

This is such a good question. I want to be remembered as a woman who trail-blazed, inspired and empowered others. But, most importantly, I want to be remembered as a loving wife and mother.

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

I honestly wish it played a larger role. It is my goal this year to really up my style game!

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love the service and the support. I also appreciate the style advice in terms of what looks good, and what can be paired together.

 

Jane Tunic – Blue/Black/Grey Floral from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I love telling creative and compelling stories that convert for companies through video. We only have about 3 seconds to capture a consumer’s attention and video is the way to go.

 

If your web site doesn’t have a brand video or you are looking to connect with clients on social media, my team at MD Media Inc. can help you create cost-effective and engaging videos to create awareness and sales.

 

Marissa Blazer – Grey from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Bryce Dress – Black Rib by Cherry Bobin; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

If you’re afraid of the lens and have been holding back with video – DON’T. I offer coaching and on-camera training to help you get over your fear of the lens. Video is the best way to reach your audience far and wide. Reach out at michelle@mdmediainc.com or www.mdmediainc.com.

 

Kara Sweater – Teal from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

In the world of online marketing, what is it about videos that makes such a difference?

 

People want to know your story, they want to see a day in life, they want to know the “why.” It boils down to attention span and curiosity.

 

We would rather watch a video than sift through a ton of copy to get the information we’re looking for. Video allows people to get to know you and your brand more than any other medium.

 

Avery Dress – Light Grey from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Greta Work Tote w/Shoulder Strap from Pixie Mood; Necklace from byCHANCE

How do I know if you services are right for me and my business?

 

This is also a great question. At MD Media Inc., we offer wide range of different videos and packages for your business. We service entrepreneurs to big brands. Every business should have a video (actually several) as part of their content marketing plan. If you want to build awareness and sales, you need to be continually creating video.

 

Jane Tunic – Blue/Black/Grey Floral from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans

 

What’s one of the most overlooked mistakes people are making in their businesses today, in your opinion?

 

People are not harnessing the power of video to leverage sales. Video should be everywhere: on your website, on your social feeds, in newsletters, in your email signatures, on your Google My Business Account. In fact, every business should have a YouTube channel. After all, it is a search engine that helps with your online visibility.

 

Marissa Blazer – Grey from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Bryce Dress – Black Rib by Cherry Bobin; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I love theatre and film. I am also an award-winning filmmaker – my documentary Behind the Red Carpet had a great run on the CBC and the Hollywood Suites Channel. I am itching for next my creative project… 2020 will be that year!

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

On Instagram: @MDMediaInc

Youtube: @MDMediaInc

Vimeo: @MDMediaInc

LinkedIn: Michelle Daides

 

Style Profile: Mich Maguire

Name: Michelene Maguire

Occupation: CEO of Maguire Marketing Group and co-founder of Women Growing Empires, with some passion projects on the side!

Age: Ageless… but 46, if you really want to know

Lifestyle: City vibes with travel itchiness, and a heavy focus on progress

 

Pam Top – Royal Blue from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Rebeccah High Rise Pull On Straight Jeans – Medium Blue from Lola Jeans

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

Being a role model to my son keeps me very motivated. I’m also really clear on my “why” in business, and get super excited helping small businesses grow. Growth in every part of my life is important. I’m happiest when I can see progress.

 

Ewa Dress – Wine from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

At this stage in my life, I am interested in showing up as the best version of myself. I don’t care much about fast fashion and short-lived fashion trends, but I care passionately about women feeling good about themselves.

 

 

My marketing background makes me very aware of image. When a woman feels good about herself, she shows off her inner self too. Fashion that supports expressing femininity, intelligence, and power is the new black dress!

 

Two-Tone Abstract Contrast Block Pattern Tunic – Grey/Black by Orange Fashion Village

Pam Top – Royal Blue from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Marissa Blazer – Black from Palette by Laura-Jean; Rebeccah High Rise Pull On Straight Jeans – Medium Blue from Lola Jeans; Audrina Bag – Red from Pixie Mood; Long necklace with a 2″ circle and bar – gold from byCHANCE

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

Building a wardrobe is part of the values of Fresh Collective. You never feel like you are being “sold” anything. In a time where everything is online and fast, it’s such a good feeling to be in an atmosphere where people care about design and fit.

 

When I find a dress that fits perfectly, the staff will help me consider other pieces to extend my wardrobe. I love that they carry classic designers like Brenda Beddome, but also basics that you need, such as Lola Jeans.

 

Cross Neck Top – Khaki from isca (OUT OF STOCK!); Kate High Rise Straight Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans; Greta Work Tote w/Shoulder Strap – Red from Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

Recently, the owner of Fresh Collective, Laura-Jean Bernhardson, and I have partnered in founding Women Growing Empires. This has been an amazing passion project for us and within months we have had over a thousand women business owners join us in our endeavour to work together to grow our empires.

 

If you own a business, are a partner in a business, or are an affiliate of a business, and you are looking to grow your revenue, then I think you should join us! Check it out at womengrowingempires.com.

 

Ewa Dress – Wine from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Marissa Blazer – Black from Palette by Laura-Jean

 

What type of support do you and your team offer?

At Maguire Marketing, we focus on growth. Because I have the experience of leading marketing teams and growing companies to over the 20 million mark, I have real clarity of what type of marketing spend is needed at each stage of growth.

 

Pam Top – Royal Blue from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Marissa Blazer – Black from Palette by Laura-Jean; Rebeccah High Rise Pull On Straight Jeans – Medium Blue from Lola Jeans; Audrina Bag – Red from Pixie Mood; Long necklace with a 2″ circle and bar – gold from byCHANCE

 

We have built a programmatic approach to giving businesses the kind of marketing support they require to hit their revenue goals. Our ideal customer is a business that is selling Professional Services or Business to Business Services or Products and needs support growing their revenue. We excel at lead generation. In fact, in some circles, I am known as a lead queen!

 

Two-Tone Abstract Contrast Block Pattern Tunic – Grey/Black by Orange Fashion Village

How do I know if your services are right for my business?

 

If your business is successful but you want growth then we are the people to talk to. Lead generation matters only if you can close the deal. If you aren’t sure what you are selling or what value you provide your potential clients, then we aren’t the right fit yet. We aren’t who you talk to when you are at the start-up stage, we are who you talk to when you want more revenue.

 

Cross Neck Top – Khaki from isca (OUT OF STOCK!); Kate High Rise Straight Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans; Greta Work Tote w/Shoulder Strap – Red from Markham label Pixie Mood

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I’m actually quite quiet and shy. Often people misunderstand my reserved nature for lack of interest. I care deeply about what I do but admittedly I sometimes get stuck in my head.

 

I’m always thinking. I wish I could control it better but when I look distracted and might not seem in a chatty mood – I’m actually thinking and mulling over how to solve something. It is annoying unless you are the person with the problem I’m trying to solve! I’m happiest at a white board with another entrepreneur and coming up with a new strategy!

 

Pam Top – Royal Blue from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Rebeccah High Rise Pull On Straight Jeans – Medium Blue from Lola Jeans

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

You can find me either through @MaguireMktg or @WomenGrowingEmpires.

 

Style Profile: Michelle Dittmer

Name: Michelle Dittmer

Occupation: Co-Founder of CanGap – The Canadian Gap Year Association

Age: 36

Lifestyle: Lucky-if-I-get-out-of-the-house-without-my-kid’s-snot-on-me mama and professional

 

Sweater by Toronto artist Yasmine Louis; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans; Necklace from byCHANCE      

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

My day is bookended by playing and loving on my two wee girls, Kiera (3.5) and Naomi (1.5).

 

In between, I spend my time working with families and educators to bring about more awareness for purposeful gap years – lots of phone calls, webinars, presentations. And don’t forget e-mails! A great mix of computer and human-to-human work!

 

Jane Tunic – Blue/Black/Grey Floral from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans; Earrings from Fresh Finds

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

Besides the obvious “family” answer: never forgetting to be amazed by the world and people around me.

 

Alicja Dress – Navy from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Helping others discover their own passions and fostering their confidence to carve their own paths.

 

Matchstick Pattern A-Line Tunic Top – Wine from Orange Fashion Village; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans; Audrina Bag – Cognac from Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

Fashion = function. It’s gotta keep up with me as I tumble on the floor, present in board rooms, and snuggle in on the couch with a tea.

 

Holly Tunic – Green from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans; Necklace from Torched Studio

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love to support Canadian designers. It reminds me to slow down, appreciate the gifts I have, and give back by being a conscious consumer of those who are sharing their gifts up through design work.

 

Matchstick Pattern A-Line Tunic Top – Wine from Orange Fashion Village; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans; Audrina Bag – Cognac from Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

Listen up moms of teens! SLOW DOWN. There is no rush. Your kid is amazing. They have so many gifts and talents bundled up inside of them, and when we rush around, shuttling them between activities and from high school into post-secondary, so many of those gifts go unwrapped or undiscovered.

 

I am such a strong advocate for taking a gap year between high school and post-secondary that I built my non-profit around it. If you want to learn more about how we can help prepare your kid for a happier, healthier and more successful adult life, book a call with me. P.S. They will go back to university.

 

Sweater by Toronto artist Yasmine Louis; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans; Necklace from byCHANCE      

 

What kind of services and support does CanGap offer young people?

 

CanGap helps young people and their families make the most out of a gap year. We provide direction and connect them with the resources to make sure they are setting and meeting goals and moving themselves forward.

 

In the decision-making stage, we provide an online Gap Year Planning Toolkit. Once on a gap year, they can join a gap year community, get access to resources for every stage and earn a gap year certificate such that they can document it on their resume and for university applications.

 

We even do family coaching to support the whole gang through transition from parenting a teen to a young adult. Book a call to see what the right tool for your family is!

 

Jane Tunic – Blue/Black/Grey Floral from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans; Earrings from Fresh Finds

 

As current head of CanGap, what message do you have for young people getting ready to start their post-secondary journey?

 

Listen to yourself. You are wise and no one knows you better than YOU.

 

There are a million reasons to take a gap year: to earn money, to get clarity on what you actually want to study, to explore the world, and to get to understand how it really works, or to spend time taking care of your mental or physical well-being.

 

You need to be a bit bold to take a gap year because “everyone else” is going to university (HINT: They’re not! Stats show 24% of Canadians take 1 year off). We can take the overwhelm out of your year and give you the tools to make it an EPIC year that your friends will be jealous of!

 

Alicja Dress – Navy from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What are the benefits of taking a year off in early adulthood?

 

SO MANY! The beauty (and sometimes overwhelming) part of a gap year is that you set your own goals and your own path.

 

As a whole, gappers come back saying that they are more confident, more independent, have more clarity on what they want to do with their life, and are rested and ready for the next step in the journey.

 

But you can also earn money, see the world, pick up new hobbies or reconnect with old passions and get to be a human rather than just a student, for a while.

 

Matchstick Pattern A-Line Tunic Top – Wine from Orange Fashion Village; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans; Audrina Bag – Cognac from Markham label Pixie Mood

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

We are always running events, digital and in-person. Check out where we are going to be and come and join us for a session to learn more!

 

For all the time you spend looking through university brochures and websites, you should spend at least some time exploring the Gap Year Pathway.

 

Holly Tunic – Green from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans from Lola Jeans; Necklace from Torched Studio

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Twitter: @ucangap

Facebook: @ucangap

Instagram: @cangapassociation

 

Style Profile: Alison Crosthwait

Name: Alison Crosthwait
Occupation: Psychotherapist, Healer & Owner of The Cove Healing Centre
Age: Time is an illusion
Lifestyle: I dare you to keep track of me

 

Layered V Tunic – Blue/Dot by Studio Fresh; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

As a Gemini with some other strong energy placements, I’m always moving. Every day, I spend time in ritual and meditation, preparing myself and my space for healing work. From there, I do session work, create new ways of communicating the work of The Cove, as well as tending to our current clients.

 

Two-Tone Abstract Contrast Block Pattern Tunic – Grey/Black by Orange Fashion Village

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

Family is important.  And sharing the light that I have been given with others. It’s been a long journey, and if I can come out of darkness and hopelessness, anyone can. I want to stand for that.

 

Lisa Dress – Teal/Black Floral from Palette by Laura-Jean; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

I would like to be remembered for speaking with absolute authenticity on behalf of what is good and possible for each of us.

 

Triangle Contrast Block Pattern – Blue from Orange Fashion Village; Greta Work Tote w/Shoulder Strap – Red from Pixie Mood

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

Fashion is huge. My closets are overflowing, so I think about my choices carefully. What I wear is a reflection of how I feel about myself, which is a reflection of what I believe is possible for my clients. So I care and put a lot of thought into wardrobe.

 

I also want to be comfortable and beautiful in what I wear – it’s an area of huge creativity for me. Daphne Guiness is an idol of mine. 🙂

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

Fresh collective is fun! They have feminine wardrobe choices that are strong and bold at the same time. And the clothes are comfortable. Thank goodness!

 

Alicja Dress – Charcoal Black from Palette by Laura-Jean

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

My services!

 

I invite anyone to join me for a Life Activation session. This is a one time, life changing energy treatment. IT connects your spiritual DNA to the light – the result might be clarity, purpose, joy, energy – it is different for everyone – and priceless. I offer these out of Toronto and Vaughan. If it calls you, don’t think. Just do it!

 


I also invite you to come to The Cove Healing Centre for Mental and Emotional Wellness! We offer packages and individual services, all aimed at getting at the route cause of anxiety, stress, overwhelm, sleeplessness, and other stress-related conditions.

 

We combine physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing in a service of massive transformation. Turn your anxiety into possibility. To learn more, visit thecovehealingcentre.com or e-mail recpetion@thecovehealingcentre.com.

 

Layered V Tunic – Blue/Dot by Studio Fresh; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

After years of working on Bay and Wall Street, you left that life behind and opened up your own therapy clinic. What started you on your journey as a therapist?

 

My journey started with a huge amount of stress and suffering. So I found a therapist. Looking back, nothing was right in my life, and my environment mirrored all of my problems as “normal.” Through painstaking work, my therapist helped me connect with myself and my worth, and I just had to learn how she did it!

 

Two-Tone Abstract Contrast Block Pattern Tunic – Grey/Black by Orange Fashion Village

 

What approach do you take in treating your clients? What sort of services does your clinic offer?

 

I have reverence for each person who walks through my door – for their story, their struggle, their experiences. We work to meet each person right where they are and help them see what is possible for them. Then we create a road map to get there.

 

We offer psychotherapy, naturopathic treatments, acupuncture, hypnosis, EFT (tapping), massage, facial stretch, and various spiritual modalities, including Life Activation. We also offer treatment packages, such as our 8-week anxiety healing service, which combines different modalities in aim of rooting out your anxiety and hearing what it has to say.

 

Lisa Dress – Teal/Black Floral from Palette by Laura-Jean; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

I’m curious about one or more of your services. How do I know if your clinic is the right fit for me?

If you are dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, or grief, we can help.  You are a good fit if you want to get to the bottom of things and use the challenge as an opportunity to grow.

 

Besides obtaining a degree in psychotherapy, you have countless influences, from yogic practice to plant medicine to core shamanism. Tell us more!

 

This is truly my super power. I follow my intuition and leap into the unknown in my personal healing, and it pays off in rivers of light and love. I am on a beautiful path of expansion and heart – I can’t even believe who I have become!

 

Triangle Contrast Block Pattern – Blue from Orange Fashion Village

 

As a result, I believe deeply in the potential of each of us to have the life we want. It might not look the way we ordered on the menu, but it’s all available. 🙂 I’ve done some things that were really scary in service of healing. And I believe that each of us is a personal alchemy of modalities and experiences that we put together for ourselves, in order to receive the healing that we need. So if it calls to you, do it!

 

The mind wants everything to be easy and conventional and inexpensive, and, and, and… I don’t listen to my mind when deciding where to go next for healing.

 

I also want to say that so much more is possible than you know. That’s a guarantee. If we spent as much time and money on inner beauty as we do on outer beauty, the world would be completely different in a tenth of a second.

 

Alicja Dress – Charcoal Black from Palette by Laura-Jean

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I want to give you a Life Activation.

 

I am a super duper crazy cat lady.

 

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Facebook:

 

@thecovehealingcentre

 

@alisoncrosthwaitwriting

 

 

Instagram:

@thecovehealingcentre

 

@alisoncrosthwait

 

Style Profile: Shreya Batra

Name: Shreya Batra

Occupation: Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic owner of Darou Wellness

Age: Age is just a number 😉

Lifestyle: Always on the go with a coffee in one hand, a tea in the other, and a good outfit at all times

 

Turtle Neck Sweater – Charcoal; Rachel Cardigan – Grey from Palette by Laura-Jean; Black Knitted Hat with Pompom from Fresh Finds; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I like a relaxed morning to help prepare for my work-filled afternoons and evenings. Mornings with a big cup of coffee and a nutritious brunch get me ready for the day to come.

 

I am the clinic owner of an integrative health clinic on Queen West, so I go into work and am very grateful to work alongside multiple different practitioners and wonderful patients. Half of my day goes into business management/administrative work and the other half of my day goes into patient research, appointments, and writing informative articles for my social media/newsletter.

 

Long Sleeve V-Neck Soft Knit Ribbed Tunic – Khaki by Orange Fashion Village

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My family and loved ones are very important to me. They are my support system and get me through the best of days and the difficult ones too. They supported me through my education, and now my career as a clinic owner and Naturopathic Doctor.

 

Cashmere Feel Front Pocket A-Line Tunic – Teal from Orange Fashion Village; Printed Leggings – Plaid; Audrina Bag – Cognac from Pixie Mood; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

I would like to be remembered for being a vital component to people’s healthy living. I strive to support my patients to lead a healthy lifestyle and prevent disease or the progression of disease by targeting the root cause. It is important to me that patients see me as their support system in transitioning towards healthier lifestyle choices,  and that I can have a positive, marked influence on improving their quality of life.

 

Floral Pattern A-Line Tunic – Black (SOLD OUT!); Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

I absolutely LOVE clothes, jewelry, shoes, scarves, etc.! I don’t dress up for others. I dress up for myself! When I feel good, I do good, and I believe that fashion plays a big role in that. That being said, everyone has their own style and their own comfort level, and I truly appreciate the diversity that fashion provides.

 

Ever since I was a little girl, fashion was a big deal to me. I made sure my clothes, jewelry and shoes all matched and made a statement. It’s just who I am. 😉

 

Tay Sweater – Blush by FIG Clothing; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

As mentioned above, everyone has their own style and their own comfort level, and fashion allows for that diversity. It just so happens that Fresh Collective provides that diversity! Their collection has something for everyone. Their stores have an amazing collection of jewelry and accessories, and, of course, a variety of clothes that suits many people’s needs.

 

The Fresh collection changes for each season, and unique options are always provided that you can’t find anywhere else. I always find what I need when I’m there. The best part is, it’s all Canadian!

Turtle Neck Sweater – Charcoal; Rachel Cardigan – Grey from Palette by Laura-Jean; Black Knitted Hat with Pompom from Fresh Finds; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I’m a Naturopathic Doctor and the co-clinic owner of an integrative health clinic, Darou Wellness, located in Queen West. I have a special interest in working with women’s health, fertility, PCOS, and a great interest in cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, diabetes, metabolic disease. That being said, I do have the training to work with a vast variety of different health conditions.

 

My approach is to determine the root cause of the illness and prevent progression of disease. It is my mission to provide education and support to those in need and prevent disease, manage symptoms, and prevent/reduce side effects of medications.

 

Cardiovascular disease, for example, is one of the most diagnosed diseases on this planet (whether it be a case of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.), and yet, it is the most preventable, especially through diet, lifestyle, and supplementation, when necessary. My goal is to provide accountability and support (mentally and physically) to help you achieve your health goals.

 

Long Sleeve V-Neck Soft Knit Ribbed Tunic – Khaki by Orange Fashion Village

 

What would you like our readers to know about the practice of naturopathic medicine and its advantages?

 

Working alongside conventional medicine and other health care practitioners, naturopathic medicine has a powerful stance. The approach is to use our body’s defense systems and enhance the systems through diet, nutrition, lifestyle, and supplementation (when necessary).

 

Cashmere Feel Front Pocket A-Line Tunic – Teal from Orange Fashion Village; Printed Leggings – Plaid; Audrina Bag – Cognac from Pixie Mood; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

Working with our body from inside-out, rather than outside-in, and addressing the mental-emotional, digestive, hormonal, neurological and immune barriers are the important factors when achieving optimal health. Finding the root cause is the biggest advantage of having a Naturopathic practitioner in your health care team because once it’s been pinpointed, changes can be made for long-term health.

 

Tay Sweater – Blush by FIG Clothing; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans

 

What services does Darou Wellness offer patients?

 

Darou Wellness is a fantastic integrative health clinic located by Trinity Bellwoods on Queen West. We have a fantastic group of practitioners and we provide a variety of services. We offer: Naturopathic Medicine services, acupuncture and cosmetic facial acupuncture, physiotherapy, mental health counselling and therapy, osteopathy, IV therapy, Live Blood Analysis, and Bioenergetics Intolerance Elimination (BIE). We are your one-stop shop for your health! Most of our services are covered through extended health benefits.

 

Floral Pattern A-Line Tunic – Black (SOLD OUT!); Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans

 

Congratulations on recently becoming the co-clinic owner of Darou Wellness! What is your vision for the clinic?

 

The vision for the clinic always has been, and always will be, the health of the community. All of the practitioners strive to provide the best possible health care in a safe and effective manner and they are the best group of people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. I hope to grow the clinic to be your family’s place for health care and support, for anything you may need.

 

Cashmere Feel Front Pocket A-Line Tunic – Teal from Orange Fashion Village; Printed Leggings – Plaid; Audrina Bag – Cognac from Pixie Mood; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

We have a growing number of workshops, talks, events happening at the clinic at all times. We recently started a workshop with our Mental Health Therapist, who does Sound Bath Therapy. We also have mindful fertility workshops, yoga/meditation workshops, and informative talks with our practitioners happening all the time.

 

Turtle Neck Sweater – Charcoal; Black Knitted Hat with Pompom from Fresh Finds; Alexa High Rise Skinny Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Connect with me on Instagram or Facebook. You can also find my website at drshreyabatra.com.

 

Find me on darouwellness.com, alongside the other talented health care practitioners at Darou Wellness. Find us on Instagram and Facebook, @darouwellness!

 

Style Profile: Julie LeJeune

Name: Julie LeJeune

Occupation: Founder, Wish & Give

Age: 44

Lifestyle: Actively casual… I’m not much for dressing up, but give me running clothes or a tennis skirt and I’m comfy!

 

A-line Asymmetrical Open Front Long Cardigan – Black by North York’s Orange Fashion Village; Eleonor Tunic – Grey/Black Butterfly Print from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Rebeccah High Rise Pull On Straight Jeans – Dark Blue by Lola Jeans

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

Up at 6:30 AM to work in a quiet house, then getting our two kids ready and to school. 3-4 days a week, I run with a group of neighbourhood ladies after dropping the kids at school.

 

I then work from home until 3:20 PM, when I pick up the kids from school and shuttle them to their various activities and make dinner, all while continuing to work on my phone or laptop in the kitchen.

 

Two-Tone Abstract Circle Contrast Pattern Tunic – Olive from North York’s Orange Fashion Village; Rebeccah High Rise Pull On Straight Jeans – Dark Blue by Lola Jeans

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My family, my husband and two kids, ages 8 and 9. Friends near and far. I love staying connected with people I have met through out my life. I also love running long distances and have completed 6 marathons!

 

Moon Dress – Black/White by Toronto’s Studio Fresh; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

How much I gave back to the community.

 

Long Sleeve V-Neck Soft Ribbed Tunic – Grey by North York’s Orange Fashion Village; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

Not enough! That’s why I love Fresh Collective. It’s small and curated with amazing choices to look good for any event. Without the overwhelming feeling of a mall.

 

1/2 Moon Dress – Grey/Black from Studio Fresh; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

The clothes are made in Canada. And it’s not fast fashion. The small boutique makes shopping comfortable and not overwhelming.

 

A-line Asymmetrical Open Front Long Cardigan – Black by North York’s Orange Fashion Village; Eleonor Tunic – Grey/Black Butterfly Print from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Rebeccah High Rise Pull On Straight Jeans – Dark Blue by Lola Jeans

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

Wish & Give is an online invitation or ticketing platform – think Evite or Eventbrite, but with a social conscience.

 

On the invitation side, guests are asked to contribute to a group gift and a donation to charity in lieu of individual gifts. On the ticketing side, every ticket includes a donation to charity. But it’s so much more! We are empowering kids to give back and growing the next generation of givers. #growinggivers

 

A Wish & Give event is also environmentally friendly – no shopping, no wrapping, no unwanted gifts. All this adds up to everyone feeling good throughout the whole process: the host, the guest, the charity.

 

Two-Tone Abstract Circle Contrast Pattern Tunic – Olive from North York’s Orange Fashion Village; Rebeccah High Rise Pull On Straight Jeans – Dark Blue by Lola Jeans

 

You have an extensive background in charity work. What inspired you to start Wish & Give, and how does it operate?

 

When I created Wish & Give, I had been working in the non-profit sector for nearly 20 years, as well as volunteering at a local food bank. I wanted to find a way to solve two problems: small charities not getting enough funding and people feeling they don’t have time to give back. My website allows people to use the events they’re already planning to give back to their favourite grassroots organization. It’s a win-win!

 

Moon Dress – Black/White by Toronto’s Studio Fresh; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What is it that makes Wish & Give such a unique and exciting concept?

 

We are growing the next generation of givers! We are empowering kids and youth who are passionate about a cause to do something and give back to a local charity.

 

We are also not just for kids parties. It’s the perfect website to send 30th, 40th, 50th, 70th, 80th invitations, or invitations for retirement parties, or any type of group-gifting, such as teachers’ or coaches’ gifts.

 

And we can host ticket sales. If you are hosting an event that requires tickets, we can help. Every ticket includes a donation to a charity of your choice, so your event becomes meaningful by supporting a local cause.

 

Long Sleeve V-Neck Soft Ribbed Tunic – Grey by North York’s Orange Fashion Village; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

I have a private cause I’d like to raise money for. Can Wish & Give still help?

 

Yes, I can add any cause to my site, just email me at info@wishandgive.ca and I’ll add it.

 

1/2 Moon Dress – Grey/Black from Studio Fresh; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Facebook: @wishandgive

Instagram: @wishandgive

Twitter: @wishgive

Website: www.wishandgive.ca

E-mail: info@wishandgive.ca

 

Style Profile: Lisa Dickie

Name: Lisa Dickie
Occupation: Entrepreneur and Owner of Dickie’s Cooking School
Age: 53
Lifestyle: BUSY! We have two teens and both my husband and I are self-employed

 

Moon Top – Black/White by Toronto’s Studio Fresh; Kate High Rise Straight Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans; Earrings from Fresh Finds

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

Every day starts with coffee. Then my husband and I oversee breakfast and lunches. Mornings are devoted to exercise; I either go to the gym or go for a walk, and am trying to meditate every day.

 

Then, my focus shifts towards business admin. My cooking school is just about to celebrate 2 years in operation, so I am still really working on building up my clientele and refining what I offer to suit the needs of my community.

 

On teaching days, I prep and organize the school. I’m adding more video content and try to shoot instructional videos once a week. I’m also working on batch-producing blogs and social media posts. In between that and teaching, I cram in the usual household stuff: laundry, meal prep, groceries.

 

Jeanette Faux Suede Biker Jacket – Tan by Lola Jeans; Kate High Rise Straight Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans; Earrings from Fresh Finds

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

Family, and a creative, dynamic work environment. I come from a large family (5 sisters and 3 brothers) and we are still really close. My husband and I have both developed businesses and careers that have allowed us to maximize our time with our kids and each other.

 

 

Career-wise, it took me years to clue in that I need variety and to be physically engaged some of the time. Running my own cooking school checks all the boxes: it’s creative and I have lots of solitary time planning, and lots of time interacting when I teach.

 

Zuc Tunic – Galaxy by FIG Clothing; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

I’d like to be remembered for my sense of humour and fun, my generosity, and my honesty.

 

Sweater by Yasmine Louis; Kate High Rise Straight Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

I love clothes and fabric, and I’m also incredibly practical. So, I look for pieces I can wear in lots of situations, that are comfortable, don’t require ironing, and can take me through a few seasons. Also, pockets are a must.

 

Faux Wrap Dress – Navy from Brenda Beddome; Earrings from Fresh Finds

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love that the shop features a range of styles, and cuts and still maintains a common through-line of function, comfort and versatility.

 

Moon Top – Black/White by Toronto’s Studio Fresh; Kate High Rise Straight Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans; Earrings from Fresh Finds

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

Between workshops, classes, private lessons, parties and team-building events, Dickie’s Cooking School has something for everyone!

 

We have a new block of classes for kids ages 4+, including classes for teens and adults with Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

Little Chefs Workshop
This is open to kids ages 4+. We’ll make homemade soup, muffins and biscuits.

 

 

PA Day Camps / Winter Break Camps

 

These are full-day camps for kids ages 5+. We cook morning snacks and afternoon snacks, shop for our lunch ingredients, and make our lunches.

 

 

2nd Anniversary Public Party

 

We’re celebrating the 2nd year anniversary of our cooking school. Join us for cookie decorating, appetizers, cocktails and hot chocolate!

 

Jeanette Faux Suede Biker Jacket – Tan by Lola Jeans; Kate High Rise Straight Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans; Earrings from Fresh Finds

 

Tell us about your classes! What do you offer kids, and what can adults sign up for?

 

Cooking is not a spectator sport. I pride myself in offering classes that are hands-on and engaging. I think it’s essential that people feel comfortable and confident to cook to their own tastes.

 

While I firmly believe in understanding the fundamentals of cooking and food safety and hygiene, I think it’s equally important to taste and adapt as you go. We offer after school classes that run from 6-9 weeks, and weekend workshops for kids.

 

Zuc Tunic – Galaxy by FIG Clothing; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

We also host birthday parties and offer private lessons. Our classes cover everything from vegan cooking, to bread-making, meal planning, cake-making, and candy and chocolate. For adults, we focus on workshops, date nights, and have just launched a new workshop series to bulk prep family meals.

 

All meals are frozen and can be cooked on the stove top, in a slow cooker or an Instant Pot. We also do a lot of private lessons for adults. This is a great way to tailor a lesson specifically to your tastes and schedule.

 

Sweater by Yasmine Louis; Kate High Rise Straight Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans

 

You even have a cooking class for students with Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder. What inspired this idea?

 

I was approached by a member of the Down Syndrome Society of Toronto about running a pilot class. That grew into a summer camp, a monthly class, and now a weekly class. I have a background in Special Education, and this just felt like a perfect opportunity to combine my teaching background with my school. It has turned out to be extremely positive and rewarding.

 

Faux Wrap Dress – Navy from Brenda Beddome; Earrings from Fresh Finds

 

How do you handle food allergies?

 

We are not a nut-free facility. We keep all our spices and dry goods in jars on shelves. There are workarounds for most recipes in terms of accommodating the most common allergies and sensitivities of dairy, gluten, eggs and nuts.

 

Jeanette Faux Suede Biker Jacket – Tan by Lola Jeans; Kate High Rise Straight Jeans – Black from Lola Jeans; Earrings from Fresh Finds

 

With the holidays just around the corner, you must have some special classes or workshops coming up. Fill us in!

 

We are celebrating our second birthday! December 15 Two Year Anniversary Party
Cookie decorating, appetizers and snacks, hot chocolate and cocktails to celebrate our second birthday!

 

We are offering Winter Camp Days over the holidays.

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Facebook: @Dickiescookingschool
Instagram: @dickiescookingschool
Twitter: @dickiescooking

Style Profile: Jocelyn Rose Settle

Name: Jocelyn Rose Settle
Occupation: Beautycounter Wellness Advocate (background in opera performance, massage therapy, and yoga instruction)
Age: 45 years young
Lifestyle: Mama of 2 littles and a black Lab pup, mantra singing + clean living/mindset enthusiast

 

Holly Tunic – Navy from Palette by Laura-Jean; Rachel High Rise Pull On Ankle Jeans – Medium Blue by Lola Jeans; Necklace by Torched Studio

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I wake before the kids to write my goals in my daily gratitude journal and spend some time on my yoga mat (though my black Lab pup, Lava, thinks the yoga mat belongs to her). Once the kids are awake, it’s a practice in patience as we rush to get out of the house for school. They’re loving JK and grade 3!

 

The rest of the day is spent working on my Beautycounter biz: mentoring my team of over 100 passionate women, doing product drop-offs, follow ups, and so on… 3PM comes quickly, and then Lava and I will walk to the school, play for a bit at the playground, and head home for some chill time before dinner. Sweet dreams for the kids means another hour of Beautycounter work for me, and then some time with my partner, Charles.

 

Alicja Dress – Silver Grey from Palette by Laura-Jean; Audrina Bag – Red by Pixie Mood; Necklace from byCHANCE

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My family (husband and kids, plus dog) and finding time each day to practice “pausing.” Three breaths, time on my yoga mat, chanting mantras with my harmonium – these things ground me and remind me who I am.

 

I also feel deeply that connecting with myself and others is what fills my heart and reminds me of the beauty all around us.

 

1/2 Moon Dress – Grey/Black from Studio Fresh; Necklace by Torched Studio

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

My passion and ability to “see” people, as a way to lift them up to their greatest truth. My love and care as a mom.

 

Lug Fleece Sweater – Natural from FIG Clothing; Rachel High Rise Pull On Ankle Jeans – Medium Blue by Lola Jeans

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

I’ve always loved fashion and expressing myself through clothes. Growing up, my twin sister and I were enamoured with our older cousin from Los Angeles, California. She was the most stylish person we knew, and lucky us: we got her hand-me-downs! From a young age I remember wanting to dress in my own unique way as part of my self-expression.

 

Kendra Parka – Black from Noize; Lug Fleece Sweater – Natural from FIG Clothing; Rachel High Rise Pull On Ankle Jeans – Medium Blue by Lola Jeans

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I have loved the super comfy, fashionable looks. So unique!

 

Alicja Dress – Silver Grey from Palette by Laura-Jean; Audrina Bag – Red by Pixie Mood; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I never imagined I would be so passionate about lipstick and shampoo, but Beautycounter has given me a platform to be an educator, a wellness advocate and activist, a fearless leader and mentor to hundreds of women, and a financial supporter of my family.

 

Holly Tunic – Navy from Palette by Laura-Jean; Rachel High Rise Pull On Ankle Jeans – Medium Blue by Lola Jeans; Necklace by Torched Studio

 

Beautycounter is a B-Corp with a mission to “counter” the unregulated personal care industry in North America. We help our loved ones understand why finding safer ingredients in their skincare and makeup is so important, we lobby for more health protective laws in Washington DC and Parliament, and we have safer, high-performing products as our agents for change. No, for real, the performance of our products is AMAZING!!!

 

As luxe and chic as any other brand out there, our mission is for clients to enjoy products that are safe and perform well, without one compromising the other. We have products for babies, kids, teens, men and women that includes face regimens for all skin-types, bath and body products, sunscreen, and a full line of color cosmetics.

 

Sustainability in packaging and production is also hugely important to us, and we are always improving our practices to lead the way in “clean” on all fronts. Beautycounter was the #1 trending brand on Google in 2018, and is consistently having products named as Allure’s best-sellers.

 

If you’d like to have a one-on-one consultation in-person or virtually, always feel free to reach out to me! I can help determine which products are best for you and your skin type, and get you started on your clean swap journey. E-mail at jocelynroseyoga@yahoo.com or connect with me through the Beautycounter website.

 

 

What is Beautycounter’s mission, and how has it set itself apart?

 

Beautycounter’s mission is to get safer products into peoples’ hands and the marketplace as a whole. And our focus is not just on Beautycounter products. We want all companies to be held to a higher standard and have the laws updated to make sure carcinogens and hormone disruptors are not allowed in our skincare products and cosmetics.

 

It’s shocking to me that there is still essentially no regulation in this multi-billion dollar industry in North America. There have been no major federal legal action in the personal care industry in the US since 1938! This matters for what is happening here in Canada as well, since many of the products made in the US are also shelved on our side of the border.

 

1/2 Moon Dress – Grey/Black from Studio Fresh; Necklace by Torched Studio

 

The European Union currently bans approximately 1400 chemicals of concern, while the US bans only 30. Canada has a “hot list” of 600 ingredients that they ban or partially restrict. Unfortunately, this hot list is not codified into law, which is why Beautycounter is working to change all of the above with our lobbying and advocacy efforts.

 

As a B-Corp, we are also committed to transparency and working as a for-profit company while taking into account People and Planet every step of the way. Here is a recent article from the Toronto Star about our recent trip to Ottawa to lobby for better beauty laws.

 

Lug Fleece Sweater – Natural from FIG Clothing

 

During your photoshoot, you mentioned that Beautycounter has also positioned itself as an activist brand in the beauty industry. Tell us more!

 

Activism is in our DNA. The name “Beautycounter” is actually a double entendre, with “counter” being the key word. We COUNTER the unregulated skincare and cosmetics industry in North America. The 40,000 independent consultants, our clients, and every tube of lipstick are what fuels the movement for change.

 

Every conversation about why safer ingredients are important is a step in the right direction, and every purchase is a way we are using commerce to fuel change. We lobby in Washington DC, the Canadian Parliament, and our local MP offices. We’ve also created a collaboration of like-minded brands called the “Counter Coalition” to move the industry forward:

 

“This collective of more than 20 clean, high-performance beauty brands made its debut in Washington, D.C., in 2017, led by Beautycounter founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew. We’re thrilled to stand alongside some of the top leaders in our industry to push for safer cosmetic ingredient laws. While many may balk at the idea of working with “competitors,” we know that collaboration is key to moving the beauty industry forward. “ (read more)

 

Lug Fleece Sweater – Natural from FIG Clothing

 

What do you feel women ought to know about the beauty products they are currently using?

 

This is not a women’s health issue. This is a human health issue. This is a kids’ safety issue. We all use soap, shampoo, body lotions, and deodorant. Women do likely use more of these products, with typically longer skincare regimens and colour cosmetics. However, this is an issue that matters for every single one of us, and it’s about time to start paying attention to what we are putting on our largest organ every single day.

 

The average woman uses 12 products in the morning before she even leaves the house. Much of what we put onto our skin gets absorbed into our bodies, and the sheer number of toxins we are exposed to daily is unacceptable.

 

We can make simple choices to decrease this number, and what we choose to put on our faces and bodies is one way we can decrease our toxic burden. I am here to help you figure out how to make these clean swaps! Message me any time via my e-mail, jocelynroseyoga@yahoo.com or find me through my website.

 

Alicja Dress – Silver Grey from Palette by Laura-Jean; Audrina Bag – Red by Pixie Mood; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What are some of the most dangerous ingredients to look out for in beauty products? What are the risks?

 

Simple changes can make a big impact. If you can avoid the word “fragrance” or “parfum”, you will be making a huge change for the better. “Fragrance” is a trade secret and proprietary blend, so companies do not have to disclose the ingredients within that word.

 

There can literally be hundreds of chemicals of concern masked behind that it. And you find fragrances everywhere: baby bath products, toys, tissues, trash bags, household cleaners, personal care products – to name a few. Beautycounter is lobbying in both Washington DC and Parliament to close this loophole and demand transparency for our safety. We all deserve better.

 

Lug Fleece Sweater – Natural from FIG Clothing; Rachel High Rise Pull On Ankle Jeans – Medium Blue by Lola Jeans

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

My background is in opera performance. I’ve always loved being on a stage and music has been an integral part of my existence from a young age. I now sing a style of music called Kirtan. Kirtan is a form of mantra chanting that helps to bring clarity, intention and focus to our minds, while quieting the chatter of the ego. It’s yoga through sound. Here is a recent recording for you to check out. In Sanskrit, “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu,” which translates to, “May all beings everywhere be happy and free.” Turn it up!

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Instagram: JocelynRose.Bwell.Bcounter
Facebook: BE-WELL + BEAUTYcounter by Jocelyn

 

Style Profile: Viv Singer

Name: Viv Singer

Occupation: Writer and Positivity Enthusiast

Age: Old enough to care less what other people think!

Lifestyle: Free agent living in the Beaches. I’m self-employed, with a self-sufficient 18-year-old daughter and a husband who works outside the home, so my days are my own. I’m pretty disciplined when it comes to my work. I’m also quite good at self-care and have no problem taking time to walk the dog, do some yoga, grab coffee with a friend. I’m grateful to be living quite a nicely balanced life.

 

Chic-Choc Dress – Black Square from Montreal’s Cherry Bobin label

 

What in your life is really important to you?

Personal growth. I used to be an extreme pessimist. I can’t tell you when the shift happened but one day I woke up and noticed this longing to see the positive in everything. I’m a strong believer in the power of positivity, even on the crappiest days, because there’s no escaping those. Life’s complicated, right?

 

Edna Sweater – Mulberry by Halifax label, Twigg & Feather; Greta Work Tote w/Shoulder Strap – Black by Markham’s Pixie Mood; Classic Rise Skinny Jeans – Athena from Quebec label Yoga Jeans

 

Now though, when sh*t does happen, I take comfort in tomorrow because my journey to date has taught me that every new day brings us an opportunity to turn things around. Clean slate. Fresh outlook. We’re always evolving. And to think that when I was 20 I thought I had it all figured out!

 

Blackcomb Dress – Light Grey by Montreal’s Cherry Bobin label; Burgundy Wool Blend Hat with Fleece from Fresh Finds; Scarf and earrings from Fresh Finds

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

Authenticity. I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeves. For years, I thought that was a bad thing. Not anymore. If people remember me for putting myself out there unapologetically (even if they don’t like it) that’ll mean I’ve lived a full and authentic life.

 

Alicja Dress – Navy from Palette by Laura-Jean; Necklace from byCHANCE

 

What does living authentically mean to you?

To me, living authentically means living from the heart, even when other people or your own inner critic would have you do otherwise. It’s about being who your instinct tells you to be versus letting the shoulds convince you to be who you think you ought to be instead.

 

Cross Neck Top – Black by isca

 

How do you try to inspire authenticity in others?

My hope is that by putting my real self out there in person, and through my writing, I can create a space for others to do the same. 

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

A bigger role than you might think, given I work from home and could technically spend the day in my PJs! In the spirit of keeping things positive, I like to be able to look at myself with kindness when I walk by a mirror, so I put thought into what I wear, even if I’m not leaving the house. Compliments are good for the morale, even if you have to give them to yourself!

 

Chic-Choc Dress – Black Square from Montreal’s Cherry Bobin label

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

I love the fact that FC caters to real women. You can dress up nicely, eat a big dinner, and still look good on a full belly because the outfits aren’t just made for posing! They’re pretty but practical. Flattering and functional, as they say. I also really value the fact that most of the clothing is locally made.

 

I’m not a big mall shopper. I prefer supporting local businesses. FC is a local business that also supports other locals by carrying their clothing lines. Win-win.

 

Edna Sweater – Mulberry by Halifax label, Twigg & Feather; Greta Work Tote w/Shoulder Strap – Black by Markham’s Pixie Mood; Classic Rise Skinny Jeans – Athena from Quebec label Yoga Jeans

 

You’ve been a freelance copywriter for 20 years. When did you start blogging and why?

For 20 years, I’ve communicated my clients’ messages, but never my own. Blogging seemed like a great way to start getting my  own thoughts and stories out into the universe. 

 

Blackcomb Dress – Light Grey by Montreal’s Cherry Bobin label; Burgundy Wool Blend Hat with Fleece from Fresh Finds; Scarf and earrings from Fresh Finds

 

When I began, my goal was to blog about parenting: the good, the bad and the extremely ugly. My hope was to entertain. Within a short time, though, I realized I was going to run out of content, as my daughter was already 16. I needed a topic that would have longevity.

 

Being the self-help addict I am, digging deep comes pretty naturally, so it’s evolved into more of a self-help blog. Spreading positivity — that’s my happy place.

 

Alicja Dress – Navy from Palette by Laura-Jean; Necklace from byCHANCE

What’s something your journey has taught you that you’d like to share with our readers?

The most valuable lesson life has taught me is that nothing is permanent. Where there is darkness today, there will be light tomorrow, if not the day after. So don’t lose hope. As for the flip side, where there is abundance today, there may be a great big gaping hole tomorrow, so don’t take it for granted!

 

Cross Neck Top – Black by isca

 

Where can people find you on social media? Where can we find your blog?

You’ll find my personal growth writing on my blog at vivfortoday.com. I’d also love any kindred spirits to join me on InstagramFacebook, and/or Twitter. And let’s not forget the day job. I still offer my copywriting services to businesses. Anyone in need of a helping hand can check out my portfolio at vivsinger.com.

 

Style Profile: Ann Poochareon

Name: Ann Poochareon
Occupation: Entrepreneur
Age: 41 years young!
Lifestyle: Workaholic, tea drinker, mom of one, and I call the shots 😉

 

Chic-Choc Dress – Navy Square by Cherry Bobin

 

What’s a typical day like for you?



I have my morning routine and try get myself into a calm place before I head into the office, where everyday is different. My week is usually peppered with meetings and Zoom calls, my to-do list is never truly cleared, and random client requests come up all the time! But my favourite part of the day is working my super awesome team, both in person and remotely. The joy of being the boss is hiring people you like! 

 

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

Having control over my own schedule and time, the ability to travel, meeting new people, learning new skills, being genuine and kind.

 

As I grow older, I find that family is really where the heart is, and so my mom, dad, sisters, in-laws, husband and son are the people I do everything for. Oh, and good food is very important to me as well! I am a food snob, and proud of it. 

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

That I have had a hand in inspiring kids to be creative, to do big things, and to reach for their stars.

 

Jan Tunic – Cream/Navy by FIG Clothing; Rachel Classic Rise Ankle Length Skinny Jeans – Kennebunkport from Yoga Jeans

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

I am a closet fan of high-end fashion, but I can’t be bothered to wear anything dressy or fancy, personally. One, because I suck at laundry and taking things to the dry cleaner. Two, because I don’t actually need to dress up very often – I run my own company, designed my own life, and hardly feel the need to impress anybody.

 

I dress to be comfortable and confident.

 

And, lastly, I don’t like to spend a lot of time deciding on what to wear. So while I follow some high-end fashion Instagram accounts for fun, my own fashion sense is more about minimalism, practicality (can it go in the dryer?), and putting priority on comfortable, all-day wear.

 

Abstract Tunic – Red/Black by Orange Fashion Village; Rachel Classic Rise Ankle Length Skinny Jeans – Kennebunkport from Yoga Jeans; Long Necklace with a 2″ Circle and Bar – Gold from byCHANCE

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love the brands you carry – they’re high in quality, timeless, comfortable, and made to last. Supporting independent designers and local brands is important to me as a small business owner in Canada, so I really appreciate that Fresh Collective is all about this as well. 

 

Top by Yasmine Louis (sold in stores, only!); Rachel Classic Rise Ankle Length Skinny Jeans – Kennebunkport from Yoga Jeans

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

My company, Little Robot Friends! We teach kids (ages 7+) about coding, electronics, and how technology works – all in a fun, creative and engaging environment – so that they can grow up to be the next super inventor!

 

My mission is to inspire the next generation to think creatively with technology. Young kids are growing up in a world that is run by tech, and it is crucial that we arm them with the skills to not only be consumers of tech, but creators as well. We want to help raise kids who are compassionate, inventive, resilient, and critical thinkers because they’re our future and they’re going to have a lot of big problems to solve.

 

We know that kids learn best when they’re engaged and having fun, so Little Robot Friends make robots, DIY kits, apps, and teaching materials that let them do just that. We make learning how to code easy to teach and fun to learn. 

 

We run classes and day camps in our studio space, as well as in schools and daycare centres in the GTA and beyond. We sell our own teaching products online, and we’ll soon have an online course to reach kids who can’t come to our classes in person! Our PA Day camps usually sell out, and you can book a space for your child here.

 

Besides teaching technical skills, we are big on teaching kids to be resilient and approach what we do with a growth mindset, which has been studied and cited as the one most important trait for success. We love this approach so much that we made a parenting tip sheet all about it, and people can get it for free by clicking this link.

 

Chic-Choc Dress – Navy Square by Cherry Bobin

 

What inspired you to launch Little Robot Friends?

Six years ago, we put a cute electronic project up on Kickstarter, called Little Robot Friends. It became an overnight success beyond our expectations, and after surveying the backers, we found that a lot of them were parents and educators who would like to teach their kids about technology and how electronic things work. 

 

A lot has happened in the past six years, and emphasis on education in STEM fields is growing. STEM toys and kits are so mainstream that you can even find them on the shelves of Toys”R”Us and Target in the United States. But what really hasn’t caught up with the scene is the education system. Teachers are not trained to teach programming, even though they are being asked to. If someone does know coding, it can be a boring and confusing subject to start teaching little kids adequately.

 

Prior to the Kickstarter project, my husband and I had our own design practice, making interactive installations for museums and science centres. Our core focus was on how to engage the audience enough to get them interested in learning a complex subject. Combining our love for all things tech with our exhibit design experience, we put our energy into creating Little Robot Friends, making coding easy to teach and fun to learn. 

 

 

In recent years, we’ve started to hear a lot more about new initiatives to teach kids how to code. Why is there now so much emphasis on teaching kids this particular skill?

 

I’m so glad you asked!

 

Our world is increasingly run by tech. Digital technology is now an active part of our everyday lives, and at its core, it’s all run with code. You’d be hard-pressed to find any field that doesn’t use a computer in some way, from farming and agriculture, to fashion and food. 

 

One easy answer to this question is that with the coming of automation, jobs in the future are going involve more and more coding skills. Robots and AI will still need human coders in the foreseeable future, so we need to prepare our kids for that.

 

Jan Tunic – Cream/Navy by FIG Clothing; Rachel Classic Rise Ankle Length Skinny Jeans – Kennebunkport from Yoga Jeans

 

The bigger answer is that when you know how to code, you develop a fundamental understanding of how technology works. It gives you the confidence to not only use technology, but to be creative with it. Digital literacy also gives kids much-needed critical thinking skills. In the age of the Internet, we have to be more vigilant than ever about what kind of skills the next generation will bring over. 

 

To me, it’s not so much that kids who learn code will all get jobs as computer programmers some day. It’s more about the fact that if kids grow up understanding how their world is run, they will have foundational skills to become the next visionaries. Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg – they all learned to code before they were teenagers.

 

We are facing some really big issues on a global scale, and I think the next generation of policy makers, activists, educators, and business people should all have a fundamental understanding of the technology that runs our lives.

 

Abstract Tunic – Red/Black by Orange Fashion Village; Rachel Classic Rise Ankle Length Skinny Jeans – Kennebunkport from Yoga Jeans; Long Necklace with a 2″ Circle and Bar – Gold from byCHANCE

 

Can coding benefit kids that perform poorly in subjects like mathematics and science?

 

The key to ‘performing’ well in subjects, I wholeheartedly believe, is about engaging students properly. Which is why, when we start teaching coding, we introduce a fun activity – whether it’s making a robot sing a song, or making your own animation. Kids use code to create amazing stuff. And the byproduct of getting a robot to sing their favourite song, or creating their story on the computer, is that it’s teaching them how to code.

 

Once kids have that spark of understanding, that “a-ha” moment, it empowers them to want to learn more. We can absolutely teach math and sciences this way as well. I am a proponent of hands-on and project-based teaching. 

 

I went to elementary school in Thailand, and pretty much failed math in the 7th grade. I moved to the States for high school, and the math they were teaching for grade 10 was the same math I had failed a couple years before. At this high school, however, the teacher taught it in a way that I could understand, and I was instantly hooked!

 

I went on to compete in math competitions, and then majored in Computer Science for my undergrad degree. So to me, kids performing poorly in various subjects is actually not their fault. This is also why I am so passionate about teaching in a way that Is fun and engaging. 

 

Top by Yasmine Louis (sold in stores, only!); Rachel Classic Rise Ankle Length Skinny Jeans – Kennebunkport from Yoga Jeans

 

How do you envision the future of coding for kids?

Coding should be taught as a literacy skill, just like reading and math. Automation, drones, smart cars and various types of robots are already playing bigger roles in the way we run our lives, and that’s not going to stop. Humans need to stay above the machines and be in control.

 

Did you know that kids entering Grade 1 today will be a graduating high school class of 2031? It blows my mind that we are not investing in educating the humans that will run the future!

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I can be reached very easily (below) and I am fond of connecting with people. 

 

Where can people find you on social media?

Instagram: @lilrobotfriends

 

Twitter: @lilrobotfreends

Facebook: @littlerobotfriends

 

My personal Instagram account: @annpoochareon