SEEKING TEACHERS FOR OUR STYLE PROFILE – TEACHER EDITION

~written by Laura-Jean Bernhardson, Founder and CEO of Fresh Collective

For the next few weeks, we’ll be celebrating teachers on our Style Profile!

I have a soft spot for teachers because my mom was one, and she was one of the best.

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Our Style Profiles are all about featuring women from the community in outfits from our stores. It’s a fun way to showcase the designs of the fabulous Canadian designers whose work we sell while celebrating real women of Toronto and their lives!

She was the kind of teacher (like so, so many) who went above and beyond to give her students whatever they needed.

I remember her driving to a student’s house one evening with my previous year’s grad dress.

The student was the first in her family to graduate and my mom was worried the girl would miss the graduation ceremony because they couldn’t afford a dress.

More examples from last year’s Teacher Edition of Style Profiles!

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Years after some of my mom’s students had graduated, she still kept in touch with them.  She was invited to speak at one former student’s wedding, over a decade after teaching her.

When I think of one of my teachers who made a difference for me, I think of Ms. Rempel, my grade 7 teacher who told us the story about how she applied for a Zellers credit card and they insisted on getting her husband’s occupation and credit rating.

She was incensed that her own name, own job and own bank account were simply not good enough to get approved. That was the day I became a feminist. Ms. Rempel made sure we got an education about life as well as the 3 R’s.

We take great pride in showcasing a variety of women in our photography. Our customers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and we want our audience to see themselves in the pictures we put out. We love to celebrate the whole woman- their goals and dreams and the lives lived in the outfits we sell.

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From Angela, our Store Manager at Roncesvalles:

I remember and adore my favorite teacher Ms. Kiel at Bishop Allen Academy. She was my world religion teacher.

She taught and encouraged me to question religion, even though we were in a catholic school.

My greatest essay was written in her class. It was full of religion questioning, thoughts and ideas that if I written for any other teacher would have gotten me expelled or even worse.

She gave me the strength and knowledge to question everything, to always be open to learn and always open to prove and be proven wrong. She was like a spirit guide.

She helped me make sense of religion, instead of just going along with what was being taught. She was and will always be near and dear to my heart.   

Some of the women who do our Style Profiles do it for fun! For others it’s a step outside their comfort zone and a chance to challenge themselves. Others have a cause or a business they want to promote. Whatever your reason, we’d love to hear from you about being in a Style Profile!

Whatever kind of teacher you are, we’d love to hear from you!

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Style Profile: The Floral Prints Round Up!

Though our end of season sale is on now, summer is far from over! And to celebrate those balmy evenings and temperatures that just keep on rising, we’re featuring a Floral Prints Round Up to bring you all of our favourite summer prints that POP from our 2017 collection!

 

Many of these pieces are now available at fabulously-reduced prices – some by as much as 40% off! Find your favourite tops, bottoms and dresses by Mandala, Cherry Bobin, FunkD, Studio Fresh, Desserts and Skirts, and more below!

 

LEFT: Posey Dress in Black Bloom Print by Toronto label Mandala RIGHT: Turquoise Garden Print Peony Dress (also available in White Garden Print) by Toronto label Mandala

 

Blue/White Print Sophie Dress by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

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

 

Coral Hawaii Print Melony Cowl Tee by Toronto label Mandala

 

Blue/Flower Print Sophie Dress by Toronto label Studio Fresh

 

Blue Hawaii Print Melony Cowl Tee by Toronto label Mandala

 

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

 

Vagues Dress by Montreal designer Cherry Bobin; Crossbody purse by Toronto-based designers Pixie Mood

 

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

 

Grey Magnolia Print Harriet Tee by Toronto label Mandala

 

Blue Pop Floral Cher Peasant Dress by Toronto label Mandala

 

Sophie Dress in Chalk/Yellow Print by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewelry label burfurtART

 

Poppies Print Midi Skirt by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts

 

Black Floral Print Blondie Shorts by Montreal label Annie 50

 

Raspberry Puff Floral Print Melony Cowl Tee by Toronto label Mandala

 

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

 

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

 

Pop Floral Print Shelly Slouch Dress in Black (also available in White) by Toronto label Mandala

 

Kensington Dress – Black Floral Print by Toronto label FunkD

 

White Garden Print Peony Dress by Toronto label Mandala

 

Pop Floral Shelly Slouch Dress by Toronto label Mandala

 

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

 

Floral Print Benedict Dress by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

Style Profile – Happy Healthy Women Edition: Mimie Louie

Name: Mimie Louie
Occupation: Nutrition and Fitness Coach
Age: 45 years YOUNG
Lifestyle: I’m good 80% of the time by eating well and moving well. No-holds-barred for the other 20%. I call that balance!

 

Tank top by Toronto designer Yasmine Louis; Raspberry Margaret Clutch & Crossbody Purse (also available in Tangerine) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

My days can vary depending on my work schedule. However, my non-negotiables for each day include waking up by 6:15AM, guzzling a glass of lemon water in the AM (giving myself that inner bath), then comes coffee and a balanced breakfast.

 

I always include some sort of intense movement during the day. That can include working out or simply going for a brisk walk.

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My health. My family. My work. In that order. If I don’t have my health, I’m no good to anyone or anything else.

 

Maxi Dress by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label burfurtART

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Living a good life isn’t just about living a long life. It’s about living a long QUALITY life, where you feel GOOD in your body. As a Nutrition and Fitness Coach, I would like to be remembered as someone who helped others achieve their health-related goals and give them the best chance to live a long, healthy, quality life. All done with a smile of course. 🙂

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

It expresses my mood and my personality. Typically, I would describe my fashion style as “smart, sporty, comfy”. But sometimes, I like to get dolled up and dig up those heels! It’s fun to be a girl. 🙂

 

Dress by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Laser cut necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love that Fresh Collective supports Canadian brands and carries an eclectic selection. You’re almost guaranteed to find that special something something that you’ll love.

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

Do you find yourself saying things like: “I want to feel better in my clothes”, “I’d like to get in better shape”, “I wish exercising wasn’t such a chore”, “I wish I had more energy”, “I love food too much and don’t want to deprive myself” or simply “I want to rock that bikini!”? Don’t wait until new year’s to make that resolution to “get in shape”.

 

Top by Toronto designer Yasmine Louis; Black tote by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

Working with a Nutrition and Fitness Coach and having a “wing woman” by your side as your guide and accountability partner often makes that difference between reaching your goal or not. There’s never going to be a better time than NOW to get healthier, feel better and look better.

 

 

I’m a Nutrition and Fitness Coach who helps busy professional women find the time and motivation to get in their best shape – and stick to it. My coaching is private and 1:1.

 

Regardless if you’re the corporate professional, the working-warrior-mom, the work-from-home entrepreneur – – or a combination of them all! Work with me to work on you! There’s still a lot of tank top and shorts weather ahead of us.

 

Trinidad Dress in Ivory and Grey (also available in Black and Grey) by Saint-Sévère, QC label Rien Ne Se Perd; Laser cut necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio

 

Take advantage of an August Promo. The first 10 people who contact me for fitness and nutrition coaching will get 1-month FREE if they sign up for 6-months OR 2-months FREE on a 12-month program!

 

Email me at mimie@keepingitrealfit.com and use subject line: “Fresh Collective special”. Website: www.keepingitrealfit.com

 

Tank top by Toronto designer Yasmine Louis

 

You’re a Trailblazer for Happy Healthy Women – what makes this community so unique?

 

Yes, I am a proud Trailblazer for the Happy Healthy Women Collective. I am the Nutrition and Fitness Coach for the Etobicoke Branch. This is a wonderful, supportive community of women from all walks of life, coming together to share, learn and collaborate with one another. Egos are chucked at the door.


How can those of us leading very busy (or very lazy) lifestyles find the motivation to make more room in our lives for fitness and better nutrition?

 

Ah, that’s my specialty! I would say that “too busy” and “can’t stay motivated” are in the top 5 reasons that people don’t keep up with their fitness or healthy eating.

 

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First I’ll say, it CAN be done. The key is working in the fitness and eating well into your existing lifestyle/schedule. I find many women try to do too much or do the wrong things within a short amount of time and get deflated when they don’t succeed.

 

Maxi Dress by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label burfurtART

 

For example, trying to lose x weight by x date, or trying to workout at 5AM when you’re not a morning person, or going completely gluten-free/meat-free/dairy-free/wheat-free/FUN-free all at once!

 

I have found that having realistic goals and accountability are key for success.

 

So I like to use the analogy of climbing Mount Everest. You don’t get to the summit by simply reading about mountain climbing or training for a few weeks, then trying to make that hike and succeed on your own. It takes guidance, preparation, practice and commitment.

 

Dress by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Laser cut necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio

 

Guides and Sherpas train you and take you up the mountain, strategically chosing the best route one step at a time to avoid pitfalls. There are also planned rest periods for your body to acclimatize, which is key to successfully reaching the summit.

 

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This is very much like getting into better shape or eating better. You may need some guidance and you don’t need to do everything all at once within a constricted time frame. The formula that works best is to take strategic tiny steps, practiced consistently over time.

 

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These tiny steps build on one another and add up to big progress, eventually becoming “what you do effortlessly” to help you reach your goal and sustain it. Consistently accomplishing these small wins is extremely motivating and keeps your momentum moving forward!

 

Top by Toronto designer Yasmine Louis; Black tote by Markham label Pixie Mood

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

 

I get to do the 3 things I love. Eat well. Move well. Help people. I get goose bumps and a lump in my throat when I see how a woman’s confidence has positively changed once she experiences how good she can feel in her own skin.

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

Yes, I’m a firm believer that it’s never too late to ______ (you fill in the blank). A few years ago (in my early 40s), I took a big leap of faith and left the corporate world to pursue my true love of teaching women how to take better care of their health through food and fitness.

 

Trinidad Dress in Ivory and Grey (also available in Black and Grey) by Saint-Sévère, QC label Rien Ne Se Perd; Laser cut necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio

 

It was one of the best (and scariest) decisions I ever made, but there are no regrets! As a continuous learner, I loved investing in myself through courses, training and coaching. So I encourage all women out there to keep the flame alive, invest in yourself and take your life by the horns! If you want change, action is required.

 

Even a small action is better than no action.

Where can people find more about you?

 

The best place to learn more about me is at www.keepingitrealfit.com

Style Profile – Happy Healthy Edition: Kandice-Lee Doucette

Name: Kandice-Lee Doucette

Occupation: Epicure Consultant and Project Manager

Age: Getting younger as I get older!

Lifestyle: Say YES first, then figure it out! Being open to new ideas and new friends!

 

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

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

My mornings always start with hour of power, followed by an Epicure power hour!

 

I believe in grounding myself and then sharing the wonders of clean eating!

 

 

The rest of the day is taken up with managing projects with walks along the waterfront to renew. Evenings are full of events; giving complimentary cooking classes and Happy Healthy Women!

 

I love to share my time with new people and show them how quick and healthy Epicure can be!

 

Downtime for me is spending it with my partner; he and I go out for walks, go to movies and take road trips!

 

Viviane Dress in Teal/Green Watermark Print (also available in Plum/Olive, and other prints + colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Raspberry Margaret Clutch and Crossbody purse (also available in Tangerine) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

Sharing and enjoying time with my friends and family!

 

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

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

I would love to be remembered for my desire to share and help others, just like my Grandmother!

 

Alexie Cap Sleeve Top in Black (also available in Teal) by Quebec label MOOVment design; Midi Skirt in Olive Bird Print (also available in other colours and prints!) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Tangerine Margaret Clutch and Crossbody Purse (also available in Raspberry) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

Fashion plays a big role in my life with confidence and comfort!

 

My fashion is a way to show the world I am here!

 

 

Mel Cowl Tee in Plum (also available in Marine, Black, Navy, Aqua and Port) by Toronto label Mandala; MES 2205 Layered Crop Pant by Montreal label Melow; Necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio; Purse by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

Fresh Collective is part of the #bethechange movement with a wonderful support system to encourage individuals to be themselves with Canadian designed clothes!

 

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They promote having fun and enjoying who you are!

 

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

 

What first fueled your desire to become an epicure consultant? What do you love most about the work you do?

 

Epicure provided me with an amazing opportunity to grow as a person and take control of my health! The community within Epicure is truly warm and supportive!

 

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They provide so much for me; it is truly priceless!

 

Friends, incentives, business support…I could go on and on!!

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

Become an Epicure Consultant with me and help spread how easy a clean lifestyle can be!

 

If you are looking for change in your life and love food, please come check me out!

 

I would love to share the wealth Epicure has to offer with you!

 

Viviane Dress in Teal/Green Watermark Print (also available in Plum/Olive, and other prints + colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Raspberry Margaret Clutch and Crossbody purse (also available in Tangerine) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

Come join Epicure’s team as #bethechange by changing one plate at time!

 

Try out our business for 90 days! If you love it as much as I do, great! If you don’t, you can eat the kit!

 

The month of July has #epicsummer promo; get a summer kit for $99 and you can earn the rest of the kit within 30 days!

 

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

 

Could you walk us through a typical cooking class? What types of meals do you teach clients to prepare?
A typical cooking class is less than 2 hours of just having fun in the kitchen!

 

The host and I are partners as we work out a meal plan and gather like-minded guests!

 

I would set it all up for the host and their guests, we cook a meal together and then everyone can taste all that we made together and shop the wonders that Epicure has to offer!!

 

Alexie Cap Sleeve Top in Black (also available in Teal) by Quebec label MOOVment design; Midi Skirt in Olive Bird Print (also available in other colours and prints!) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Tangerine Margaret Clutch and Crossbody Purse (also available in Raspberry) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio

 

We have many themes that the host can choose from their cooking class: Italian, Greek, Thai, Asian-inspired, Indian…and meals from our lifestyle program too! Everything is gluten-free and nut-free!

 

We can make a full meal: drink, side, main dish and a dessert!

 

As an example: Cucumber Citron Cocktail, Ultimate Asian Sauce for Coleslaw, Vegetable Pho Noodle Broth and Berry Dessert Bowl

 

Mel Cowl Tee in Plum (also available in Marine, Black, Navy, Aqua and Port) by Toronto label Mandala; MES 2205 Layered Crop Pant by Montreal label Melow; Necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio; Purse by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

Is there anything in particular you think people ought to be more conscious of in their meal-planning and preparation?

Meal planning and controlling our portion sizes can be quite life-changing!

 

Take a few hours once a week to make a weekly meal plan, post it on the fridge for all to see, prep your veggies, protein, snacks and even cook a few meals (cook once eat twice)!

 

It helps with your time for the rest of week, it helps with stopping you from eating takeout and/or processed food, it can provide quality time for you and your family and it helps with portion control too!

 

We can help you with our recipes, programs and tips! Follow me for ideas!

 

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

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

We are all multifaceted people. We should share our creative skills where and whenever we can!

 

Volunteer your time for a good cause that you can sink your teeth in!

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Facebook: kandiceleefiredup

Instagram: kandiceleefiredup

Pinterest: kandiceleedouce

Website: https://kandiceleedoucette.epicure.com/en

Style Profile – Darou Wellness Edition: Shreya Batra

Name: Shreya Batra

Occupation: Naturopathic Medical Student, Daughter, Older sister

Age: 23

Lifestyle: Stay classy, not for others, but for yourself. Also, never forget that big mug of green tea!! 😉

 

Jessica Tee in Black (made from organic cotton and bamboo and also available in Cardinal Red, White and Blue Dusk) designed by Fresh Collective’s very own Palette by Laura-Jean; Laura Skirt in Flower Cats Print by Palette by Laura-Jean

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I spend most days in classes, but always take some time out for a quick workout, yummy food, time with friends, and of course, some Netflix. Over the weekend, I work at Darou Wellness and spend time with my family.

 

Swing Dress in Black (also available in Floral Tie Dye) by Toronto label Masha Apparel

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My family and friends!! I am who I am because of them!

 

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Being hardworking and following my dreams – hopefully being able to encourage others to do the same!

 

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What role does fashion play in your life?

 

I love everything about fashion! Clothes, jewelry, shoes!

 

 

Ever since I was able to talk, I’ve made sure my shoes match my outfits and my purses match my earrings. Although I love wearing my pajamas, at the end of the day, dressing up brings me so much joy and puts a smile on my face!

 

Marla Keyhole Shirt in Jade Chambray (also available in Purple, Lilac and Red!) by Toronto label Mandala; High Rise Skinny w/Wide Waistband – Overdye Black – SWP1353 by Montreal label Yoga Jeans

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

Fresh Collective has such a welcoming environment. The staff know exactly how to help you and very kindly offer help and alternatives.

 

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Their clothes are trendy, fresh and unique in their own way. So many options that fit so so well!

 

 

Why should people consider the help of a naturopathic doctor? What are the benefits of this medical approach, in your opinion?

 

Naturopathic medicine has a very individualized medical approach. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) take into consideration a person’s medical history, family history, nutrition and lifestyle.

 

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By working together with other health care practitioners (MDs, physiotherapists, psychotherapists…etc), NDs strive to prevent and treat disease through a research-based, integrative approach, and empower + educate patients to take control of their health.

 

Jessica Tee in Black (made from organic cotton and bamboo and also available in Cardinal Red, White and Blue Dusk) designed by Fresh Collective’s very own Palette by Laura-Jean; Laura Skirt in Flower Cats Print by Palette by Laura-Jean

 

NDs are trained medically with a focus in natural and less invasive treatments – such as clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture, counselling and more. The benefits of working with a ND include finding the root cause of disease and regulating the process of disease rather than suppressing it.

 

Black Cat Heads Earrings by Squamish, BC label Birch Wood Studio; Laura Skirt in Flower Cats Print (close-up) by Palette by Laura-Jean

 

The basic foundation of Naturopathic medicine is disease prevention and health promotion which is something that should be emphasized more in the health care system.

 

Jessica Tee in Black (made from organic cotton and bamboo and also available in Cardinal Red, White and Blue Dusk) designed by Fresh Collective’s very own Palette by Laura-Jean; Laura Skirt in Flower Cats print by Palette by Laura-Jean

 

What do you love about working at Darou Wellness and what drew you to this clinic in particular?

 

Darou Wellness isn’t just a clinic; it’s a community, family and support group. All the practitioners are very knowledgeable, understanding, and work very hard to provide the best possible health care. They all work in an professional and integrative manner to provide quality care to the entire family.

 

Swing Dress in Black (also available in Floral Tie Dye) by Toronto label Masha Apparel

 

The clinic has a focus in women and family health, which is something I have always been interested in. As a student, learning from such experienced practitioners is such a humbling experience and I’m very grateful to be a part of the team!

 

 

What is a visit to a Naturopathic Doctor comprised of?

 

The first visit to a Naturopathic doctor is relatively lengthy (approximately 75 minutes), with follow up visits anywhere between 45 and 30 minutes. This allows for the doctor to understand YOU; understand your medical/family history, lifestyle and perform a physical exam.

 

 

The doctor will provide a treatment plan to follow after consulting your medical history, lab results, and current health status. Treatments vary between counselling, nutrition/lifestyle support, supplement and/or herbal prescriptions, IV therapy, acupuncture and so much more! Empowering you to gain control over your health is priority!

 

Marla Keyhole Shirt in Jade Chambray (also available in Purple, Lilac and Red!) by Toronto label Mandala; High Rise Skinny w/Wide Waistband – Overdye Black – SWP1353 by Montreal label Yoga Jeans

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

Along with my passion in women’s health, I love working with children, watching Disney movies, and on a Friday night you are likely to find me at a good restaurant!

 

 

What inspired you to pursue this career?
Naturopathic medicine has always been a part of my family, in multiple ways, in multiple generations. However, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to take a course (during my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto) on integrative medicine and its benefits, that I really considered pursuing this as my profession.
After volunteering, shadowing, and doing some research, I knew that I needed to apply to the program.  I truly believe that every person is unique and needs to be treated on an individual basis, whether that be for disease prevention or treatment.
Similarly, finding the root cause of disease should always been the goal, rather than suppressing symptoms or temporarily finding a solution. Working in the health care field has always been my passion, and I know, for sure, that I’ve found the right profession!

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 – The Beaches Village: Samantha Baglieri

Name: Samantha Baglieri

Occupation: Medical Office Administrator, Blue Jays Enthusiast

Age: 28 going on 25

Lifestyle: Morning person before and after coffee!!

 

Mid Rise Ankle Skinny Camille Pant in Destroyed Blue by Lola Jeans; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label Torched Studio

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

A typical day for me would be waking up at 6 AM just to make sure that I can walk to work, something about walking and listening to music in the morning puts a great start to my day!

 

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; Sushi Skirt by Palette by Laura-Jean; Handcrafted necklace by Torched Studio

 

At the end of the work day I like to come home and relax and cook some delicious food. On the weekends I typically sleep in and then enjoy being with my family.

 

Matilda Keyhole Shirt in Lime Deco Print (also available in other prints and colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Slanted Aline Skirt in Kiwi Print by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto’s burfurtART

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

Definitely my family and friends because I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Sounds cliche but it is the truth!

 

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I also am very thankful for my amazing boyfriend, who knew that opposites could really attract!

 

Handcrafted necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

Fashion played a rather big roll in my life, growing up my mom had both my sister and I in sewing classes and I learned about the different contrasts of colours and many choices of fabrics, towards the end of my days I made a bathing suit and a dress with chiffon for my cousins wedding.

 

Bicycle Print Dress by Toronto label Studio Fresh

 

When I moved here to Toronto back in 2012 I would have to say that I had a “your favourite basic tee” style sense.

 

After living in Queen West I learned how to rock bold patters and crazy colours which is the majority of my closet today.

 

Mid Rise Ankle Skinny Camille Pant in Destroyed Blue by Lola Jeans; Handcrafted necklace by Torched Studio

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

The fact that all the designers are Canadian-based women who have a kick-ass style sense!!!!

 

 

Also really love the local branded Toronto and Beaches collection that there is to offer, makes Fresh Collective stand out from the others.

 

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What are your criteria for the perfect summer outfit?

 

My perfect summer outfit would be a great cotton tank top with some cut off shorts and your favourite Converse.

 

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Nothing better than a casual take for a sunny summer day!!

 

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; Sushi Skirt by Palette by Laura-Jean; Handcrafted necklace by Torched Studio

 

During your photoshoot you mentioned that moving to the Beaches was a decision you’re very thankful to have made. What do you love most about this part of Toronto?

 

I have lived all over the city but the Beaches are my favourite place thus far. I love being close to the water; there are so many wonderful and friendly people that live here and so many cute dogs on the street.

 

Matilda Keyhole Shirt in Lime Deco Print (also available in other prints and colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Slanted Aline Skirt in Kiwi Print by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto’s burfurtART

 

The other reason why I love it here: lots of trendy shops and delicious locally made food! Love to shop local! Plus, I met my boyfriend here so I think that says a lot in itself. 🙂

 

Handcrafted necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

On my days off I love to watch the Blue Jays win! Whether it’s at the Skydome (yes the Skydome!! lol) or at home, nothing makes me happier than that.

 

Bicycle Print Dress by Toronto label Studio Fresh

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

You can find me on Facebook (Samantha Baglieri), Instagram @samanthabaglieri, Pinterest and LinkedIn

 

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; Sushi Skirt by Palette by Laura-Jean; Handcrafted necklace by Torched Studio

 

Style Profile: Jennifer Henderson

Name: Jennifer Henderson
Occupation: Birth and Postpartum Doula, Postpartum Placenta Specialist
Age: 43
Lifestyle: Always balancing work and home, and planning my next trip!

 

Lovely Dress in Black (also available in White) by Montreal designer Cameleon; Coleanthus Cardigan 3/4 Sleeve (also available in Black and Purple) by Toronto designer Jennifer Fukushima; Handcrafted necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

For those of us who don’t know, what is a doula and why are more women hiring them?

 

The standard answer is that a doula provides physical, emotional and informational support to birthing women and families. I don’t do a lot of births anymore (unless it’s a referral) so I spend most of my time on postpartum support after moms get home from the hospital with their babies.

 

This could be anything from providing support about postpartum recovery, breastfeeding or bottle feeding support, newborn care instruction, and light household chores like baby laundry and preparing a meal.

 

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I also provide placenta encapsulation services, which are becoming more popular. I think more women are hiring doulas because there is a trend to have children at older ages than previously, and modern women who aren’t in the industry just are not around birth, so there’s mystery and some fear surrounding it.

 

Also, many people do not have family nearby. In the past, we lived in more tight-knit communities and new mothers had more support. For various reasons, things have changed. Doulas fill the gap in maternal care.

 

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

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I wake up around 7am and quickly check emails – I want to make sure I know as soon as possible if one of my clients has had a baby! I usually commit to being with a client once they are home from the hospital so I need to see if my schedule requires re-arranging.

 

My daughter is usually up and has climbed into my bed for snuggles, so after that we go downstairs and make breakfast. I unpack the dishwasher, have breakfast, help my daughter brush her teeth and comb her hair, make the bed, hop in the shower, pack her lunch and take her to school.

 

Then, if I’m working with a client, I’ll spend the day with them – helping them with breastfeeding, holding the baby while they take a shower, etc.

 

Sleeveless Angle Hem Top in Navy Sahara Print (also available in other colours and patterns) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!™; Handcrafted necklace by  Torched Studio

 

If not, I work from home either publishing blog posts, updating the website, or perhaps networking with other professionals who can help me with my business. Somehow in between I’ll prep dinner and run errands. Then I pick up my daughter from school and take her to whatever after-school activity she’s in.

 

Then home, make dinner, eat, do homework, play games, put my daughter to bed, and have some time with my husband. Once a week I make time for getting together with my friends, so I am off the hook for the evening activities at home.

 

And it’s tough, but I do try to carve out a bit of “me” time each week (reading, exercising, getting a massage), but I’m not always successful at getting it in. It’s a question of balance!

 

Alexie 3/4 Sleeve Top in Royal Blue (also available in other colours!) by Quebec label MOOVment Design; Maddalena Skirt in Black with White Feathers by Montreal designer Cherry Bobin; Alissa Sweater in Ivory by Quebec label MOOVment Design; Handcrafted necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

First and foremost is my family. Always. I actually take on a limited client roster because I need to ensure availability for my family. This works out very well for my clients, since I can give them 100% attention when I’m with them and I’m not worried about overlapping clients.

 

I also think having a support network is key. I’m so lucky to have a wonderful husband, amazing business partner, and great friends who are encouraging of what I do. This, in turn, allows me to help my clients better. Travel is another big thing for me. I love to discover new places and have new experiences.

 

Nikki Dress in Black Crepe (on sale now, and also available in Black Wave Stripe) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!™; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

What would you like to be remembered for?
I’d like people to remember me as someone who made a difference in people’s lives. Sometimes in my work, the most important thing I do is listen and hold space for people.

 

It seems small, but even a small bit of help can have a ripple outward and affect others. Also, to be remembered as a loving wife and mom, sister, daughter and friend.

 

Lovely Dress in Black (also available in White) by Montreal designer Cameleon; Coleanthus Cardigan 3/4 Sleeve (also available in Black and Purple) by Toronto designer Jennifer Fukushima; Handcrafted necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

Interestingly, you have a background in finance! What inspired you to transition into this new and very different career path?

 

I’ve always had an interest in finance, and as a personal hobby I still find it fascinating. But it’s also a super competitive field that demands a lot.

 

After I had my daughter, I wasn’t comfortable working the kind of hours that were expected in my finance job (and I don’t think my boss was happy with it either). Someday I would love to marry the two so I can be a kind of “financial doula,” but I’m still trying to figure out how that would work.

 

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

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

Strangely, I’ve never thought too much about fashion. I’m all about practicality when I’m at work. I dress business-casual when meeting a client for a consultation, but once I’m working with them, I’m in yoga pants and a t shirt.

 

When I’m not working, I have a weakness for Disney t-shirts. I love dresses because they’re a simple option – just throw it on and go. I don’t like anything too fussy but I like interesting jewelry pieces like necklaces and bracelets.

 

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And I love flat shoes – I couldn’t wear heels anymore after having a baby!

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?
So many things! First of all the quality of the clothing is great, and it’s Canadian-made. So you know it’s not “fast fashion” (which environmentally is a bit of a problem).

 

And the staff is amazing at recommending outfits. And the clothing is so comfortable. I’m obsessed with the owl dress I wore for this shoot.

 

Lovely Dress in Black (also available in White) by Montreal designer Cameleon; Handcrafted necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

What do you have that you want to promote?
At Doula Care Journey, we work from a compassionate place as we help growing families. We offer yoga, Hypnobirthing classes, birth and postpartum doula classes, and placenta encapsulation services!

 

We also work with a team of experts that we refer to, like chiropractors, naturopaths, lactation consultants, and photographers specializing in newborn and maternity photography, so we act as a concierge service for our clients as well. We help answer your questions and make people more confident during this important milestone in their life journey.

 

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You mention that you offer placenta encapsulation services. What sets your service apart from others?

 

One of the biggest differences is that we offer in home placenta encapsulation services, meaning the service is done in the clients home. This is important for so many reasons.

 

Many encapsulators will process in their own homes, meaning the placenta will be exposed to different microbes.

 

Also, since the process is unseen, you can’t really be sure what’s truly happening – is the area sanitized? Are other placentas being processed at the same time? What if there is a mix up?

 

Sleeveless Angle Hem Top in Navy Sahara Print (also available in other colours and patterns) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!™; Handcrafted necklace by  Torched Studio

 

When the encapsulation is done in the client’s home, there is no doubt as to whose it is because clients transport the placenta themselves. Organ transport is a bit of a legal grey area in Ontario, so I don’t get involved with that either (imagine if I was pulled over by police or got into an accident and has a placenta discovered in my car!).

 

The other huge benefit is that being a postpartum doula, I can answer questions for clients while I’m there about the process and about postpartum care. I always offer my placenta clients a 15 minute q&a with me either before or after the placenta is done to help them with their newborn.

 

It’s a nice add-on that can only be done when I’m in the clients’ home. Placenta encapsulation is unregulated in Canada and so I hold myself up to a very high standard when I do the work and I am completely transparent about the process with clients.

 

Alexie 3/4 Sleeve Top in Royal Blue (also available in other colours!) by Quebec label MOOVment Design; Maddalena Skirt in Black with White Feathers by Montreal designer Cherry Bobin; Alissa Sweater in Ivory by Quebec label MOOVment Design; Handcrafted necklace by Dundas label Curious Oddities

 

Why should women consider placenta encapsulation?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that new moms benefit from this service. They have said that it increases breast milk production (and brings their milk in faster).

 

They have reported increased energy levels, better quality sleep, and a calm state. Placenta consumption has been used to ward off postpartum depression and anxiety and help speed postpartum healing.

 

I would like to work with you / collaborate with your business! Are you looking for more helping hands at the moment?
We are always looking for good doulas to work with, but to be honest, we have a great team in place right now. My hope is that we can bring on some more doulas in 2018! But if you have a complimentary business, let’s chat!

 

Nikki Dress in Black Crepe (on sale now, and also available in Black Wave Stripe) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!™; More than a Shrug in White Mesh (also available in other styles!) by Toronto label It Fitz Me!™; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I am a trained holistic practitioner (reiki, Thai Yoga Massage, and reflexology) and I am also a certified yoga teacher. I love teaching all kinds of yoga and have taught everything from mom & baby to seniors chair yoga.

 

I love Disney movies. I sometimes get financial planning questions from clients when I’m working as their doula. 🙂

 

Where can people find you on social media?
Website: doulacarejourney.com
Facebook: doulacarejourney
Twitter: @DCJToronto
Pinterest: doulacj

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 – The Beaches Village: Patricia ‘Patti’ Cote

Name: Patricia ‘Patti’ Cote

Occupation: Dog Trainer and Dog Walker at PetSmart at The Beach

Lifestyle: Active. Want to try and keep up?

 

Henley Dress in Raspberry Puff Floral Print (also available in other prints and colours!) by Toronto label Mandala

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I wake up with a black coffee and read a few pages in my book until I feel like facing the world. When my 2 rescue dogs (Desmond: boxer/bulldog mix and Ruben: Argentine Dogo) start to pace that is when I know it’s time to get up and take them out for a walk.

 

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I also try and go to the gym for a quick workout before I begin my work day. My daytime hours consist of walking dogs one on one for PetSmart. I average about 10 km per day of dog-walking. Tuesday and Thursday evenings I also offer small group dog training classes in the store.

 

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

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

Having a work life balance is very important to me, including my wonderful partner Colin, our dogs Desmond and Ruben, friends and family. I also value my time at the gym as well as a good book.

 

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What would you like to be remembered for?

 

I would like to be remembered for improving the relationship between a dog and his/her owner. I work with people and their dogs. If their dogs are well-behaved because they were in a class with me, I’d like to think that I was a part of that.

 

Posey Dress in Burgundy Doodle Art Print (also available in other colours and prints!) by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label Torched Studio

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

Fashion is very important to me. It is imperative that I am comfortable at work in order for me to effectively do my job.

 

When I am not at work, I like to have fun wearing a pretty dress that allows me to look my best if I’m going out to a local pub, riding my bike along Queen Street or taking my dogs out for an evening stroll. You only live once, why not make a statement!

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love knowing that I am supporting local designers. Also, I can always find something unique that fits me really well.

 

Cher Peasant Dress in Brown Medallion (also available in other prints and colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by burfurtART

 

You are a dog walker and trainer, which is definitely not your average profession! What is it like working with these amazing animals every day and what do you love most about your job?

 

Dogs are amazing animals, they have such a desire to learn and please their owner. Sometimes I am able to make a connection with the dog where we come to a mutual understanding that I want what’s best for them.

 

I love it when a pet parent comes to me seeking training advice and not only am I able to assist but I also see their relationship grow with their dog.

 

Bicycle Print Daiquiri Cami by St-Sévère label Rien Ne Se Perd; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label Torched Studio

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

Owning a well-mannered dog is extremely important. I am a huge advocate of group training classes for dogs and trying to get them as best behaved as can be.

 

I have been working with dogs for 16 years and I love what I do! Hopefully people with training questions will pop in to the store as I would love to be able to assist them.

 

Henley Dress in Raspberry Puff Floral Print (also available in other prints and colours!) by Toronto label Mandala

 

I think it is important to always consider rescuing a dog prior to purchasing one as there are many dogs looking for fur-ever homes. PetSmart partners with many rescue groups in the hope of educating the public about rescue as well as help find these animals permanent homes.

 

Posey Dress in Burgundy Doodle Art Print (also available in other colours and prints!) by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label Torched Studio

 

Whether you are choosing to rescue a dog or purchase a puppy, PetSmart is there for all your pets needs including training, grooming, food, toys and more!

 

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

 

Are there any common mistakes new dog owners make with their pets that you could give us some feedback on?

 

Not signing up for training class as soon as the puppy is 10 weeks old is a common mistake. The earlier formal training starts, the better the relationship between you and your dog.

 

Other common mistakes include using puppy pads (training the dog to pee in the house) and using a retractable leash (which trains the dog to pull and is banned in the City of Toronto).

 

Cher Peasant Dress in Brown Medallion (also available in other prints and colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by burfurtART

 

Most new owners are great and just want what’s best for their furry friend.

 

What is the best way to decide which breed of dog is right for you?

 

Do your research! I can’t stress this enough.

 

Make sure you get a dog whose size and energy match your lifestyle whether that is a pure breed or a mixed breed. Talk to different dog owners, meet their dogs, and discuss the pros and cons about the different breeds.

 

Bicycle Print Daiquiri Cami by St-Sévère label Rien Ne Se Perd; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto jewellery label Torched Studio

 

If looking at a rescue, read the dog’s profile, as they are usually accurate. We are seeing a lot of fantastic young rescue dogs coming from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Greece, Sochi and more.

 

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Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I am the proud owner of 3 snakes: Ball Python, Corn Snake and Colombian Boa. I have also travelled extensively on 5 continents soon to be 6 as I am heading to New Zealand this fall.

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Facebook