Style Profile – Darou Wellness Edition: Barbara Poczyniak

Name: Barbara Poczyniak

Occupation: Registered Acupuncturist, Arvigo® Therapy Practitioner

Age: 46

Lifestyle: Healthy with a solid dose of realistic

 

Shift 17 Dress in Yellow by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Handmade necklace by Toronto designer Torched Studio

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I start every day with a cup of hot water and a 1 hour walk, preferably around one of the city parks in my neighborhood. I call it my walking meditation time, and the best routes include lots of trees.

 

 

After breakfast my day starts, practicing at one of the two clinics I work at. My work schedule often runs into the early evenings and Saturdays, so I try to fit in errands and some ‘fun time’ wherever I can.

 

I like to relax by cooking complicated and slightly messy meals, which usually only happens on weekends.

 

Posey Dress in Blue Doodle Art Print by Toronto label Mandala; Erica Ombre Crossbody Purse in Nude (also available in Ocean!) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label Torched Studio

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My friends, my family, my guy, my cat. Everything else can be replaced.

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Being an honest, genuine person that treats everyone equally and with compassion.

 

Fizz Dress in Blue by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

I know what makes me feel beautiful and its no longer as much about following every new fashion. I find the styles and shapes that get my attention and look good on me have always been around and are pretty timeless.

 

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Except hats – it’s no holds barred when it comes to hats.

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love the mix of Canadian designers and finding really unique pieces that will fit with things I already own.

 

Laura Skirt in Jellyfish Print (also available in other prints!) designed by Fresh Collective’s very own Palette by Laura-Jean; Alexie 3/4 Top in Periwinkle (also available in other colours!) by Montreal label MOOVment Design; Pailey Saddle Crossbody Bag in Black by Markham label Pixie Mood; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label burfurtART

 

For those unfamiliar with the practice, what is Arvigo Therapy and what are its benefits?

 

Arvigo® Therapy – also known as the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® – is still relatively new in Canada, there are a small number of practitioners located in Toronto and in other parts of the country.

 

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The techniques are an external, non-invasive massage for the abdomen and lower back areas. It is a gentle and effective therapy to support your reproductive and digestive health. It stimulates circulation of lymph, nerve and blood flow within the abdominal area. This massage is deeply relaxing and can help encourage a clearing of both physical and emotional congestion.

 

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It is based on the traditional Maya practice of uterine massage, but also includes specialized naprapathic techniques developed by Dr. Rosita Arvigo. It is based on her studies with the traditional healers of Belize, who thought the uterus to be a woman’s centre, and ultimately believed that “if a woman’s uterus is out of balance – so is she”.

 

For more information on Dr. Rosita Arvigo and the origins of this therapy, please visit www.arvigotherapy.com

 

Viv Tie Tee in Red (also available in other colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Dee Pencil Skirt in Black/White Scratch by Mandala

 

How long have you worked at Darou Wellness and what do you love most about being a part of this wonderful community of female health practitioners?

 

I’ve practiced in Toronto for several years, and this is my first year at Darou Wellness. I really appreciate the warm, supportive atmosphere along with the strong network of talented practitioners.

 

I love the fact that healthcare and wellness are approached from many different angles, including naturopathic medicine, mind/body techniques, nutritional counselling and manual therapies. The Arvigo® Therapy concept of optimizing the circulation and flow of blood and lymph in the abdomen works wonderfully alongside these other therapies.

 

Shift 17 Dress in Yellow by Toronto label Studio Fresh; Handmade necklace by Toronto designer Torched Studio

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I love to promote my work with Arvigo® Therapy! I feel this to be a real solution for women with health issues that originate at the body’s core, the abdomen or the reproductive system. This actually covers a lot of various issues – you may be surprised at how many aspects of your body’s health are in fact linked up to whats going on in the abdominal area.

 

Posey Dress in Blue Doodle Art Print by Toronto label Mandala; Erica Ombre Crossbody Purse in Nude (also available in Ocean!) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label Torched Studio

 

Recently I travelled to the US to learn the Advanced Level Pregnancy techniques of Arvigo® Therapy. These are modified to safely treat women at all stages of pregnancy – from pre-conception to post partum.

 

Post partum health is a huge area of interest for me, as how a woman recovers and rebuilds her body after pregnancy can really affect her health later in life. It is a very important part of traditional medicine wisdom, and is only now just becoming more acknowledged in westernized countries.

 

Fizz Dress in Blue by Toronto label Mandala; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto designer burtfurtART

 

What is your clinical focus as an acupuncturist and Arvigo Therapist?

 

My goal is to help women feel better, get healthy and create new possibilities! I work with many women who are trying to conceive, naturally or with IUI or IVF. Not all my clients are trying to get pregnant however.

 

I also see many women for reproductive issues such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids, abnormal uterine bleeding or prolapses as well as digestive issues such as IBS.

 

Viv Tie Tee in Red (also available in other colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Dee Pencil Skirt in Black/White Scratch by Mandala

 

Arvigo® Therapy is also recommended for pregnant clients, gently preparing them for labour and also as a traditional method of recovery post partum. Using Acupuncture (along with other Chinese Medicine modalities such as cupping) and Arvigo® Therapy together gives me the opportunity to offer so much to my clients.

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I’m happy to answer any questions about Arvigo® Therapy and/or Acupuncture – to explain more on how it works and to help someone decide if this is the right therapy approach for them.

 

Darou Wellness contact: (416) 214-9251

 

Viv Tie Tee in Red (also available in other colours!) by Toronto label Mandala; Dee Pencil Skirt in Black/White Scratch by Mandala

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Darou Wellness clinic website and appointment bookings: darouwellness.com

 

Clinic Facebook page: @DarouWellness

 

Blog: http://www.vitalbloomwellness.com/journal

 

Style Profile – Darou Wellness Edition: Dr. Hilary Chambers, ND

Name: Hilary Chambers
Occupation: Naturopathic Doctor
Lifestyle: Busy urbanite

 

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; Laura Skirt in Food Trucks Print (also available in a multitude of other prints!) by Palette by Laura-Jean; Cedric Necklace in Kalamalka by Toronto label Ugly Bunny; Abiko Clutch Handbag in Koala (also available in Black!) by Montreal label Matt & Nat

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I work at Darou Wellness seeing patients six days per week, so my days are usually centred around my practice. When I’m not at work, I always find time for a tea with friends, exploring the city, a quick workout, and lots and lots of meal prep!

 

Cat Print Dress; Bonaventure Sneakers in White (also available in Black) by Montreal label Matt & Nat

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My patients are extremely important to me. I want them to feel well cared for, and know that as their healthcare practitioner I’m as invested in their health as they are!

 

 

Outside from work, balance is a huge theme in my life – I always strive for balancing being healthy with having indulgences, working lots with having fun, being busy with finding time for relaxation. I think this is a lifelong challenge, but it’s so important for finding happiness.

 

Lipstick Print Dress; Alaya Crossbody Purse/Clutch in Apricot by Montreal label Matt & Nat

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Being genuine, always striving to be better than yesterday, and for being dedicated to making my family, friends, and patients happier and healthier.

 

Gloria Flip Skirt in Teal (also available in Black and Purple); Vivette Tee in Plum/Olive Watermark Print (also available in other colours!) by Toronto label Mandala

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

I love to express myself through fashion, and my wardrobe really reflects the different roles I have in my life. I often go from business professional, to hipster exploring the city, to workout gear, to chic date night outfit all in one day. I always want to look as good on the outside as I feel on the inside :).

 

Queen West Dress in Black by Toronto label FunkD; Handcrafted necklace from Toronto label Ugly Bunny; Erica Ombre Crossbody Purse in Nude (also available in Ocean) by Markham label Pixie Mood

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love supporting local businesses and local designers. Fresh does an amazing job of sourcing beautiful, unique pieces that can augment anyone’s wardrobe.

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I’m a Naturopathic Doctor working in the Queen West area of Toronto at the Darou Wellness clinic. One service that I’d like to promote which I now provide is IV (intravenous) nutrient therapy to patients.

 

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IV therapy allows us to provide a higher dose of vitamins and minerals directly into the body that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to achieve through nutrition and supplements. This is especially helpful for people with high-demand, busy lifestyles who want to perform at their best.

 

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IV therapy provides a great energy boost, supports mood, boosts the immune system (great if you’re getting sick!), helps healing and recovery from injury, surgery, and marathon/high-intensity athletic training, and so much more. Check out the Darou Wellness website more info. Appointments are available online.

 

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; Laura Skirt in Food Trucks Print (also available in a multitude of other prints!) by Palette by Laura-Jean; Cedric Necklace in Kalamalka by Toronto label Ugly Bunny; Abiko Clutch Handbag in Koala (also available in Black!) by Montreal label Matt & Nat

What is your clinical focus as a Naturopathic Doctor? What is the nature of your approach with your patients?

I have a clinical focus in treating digestion (such as IBS, bloating, SIBO, indigestion) and autoimmune disease (such as Crohn’s, colitis, RA, and Hashimoto’s) in my practice.

 

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My approach is strictly evidence-based, meaning I use lab testing to develop a targeted treatment plan, and I only prescribe treatments that have quality research studies to support their use.

 

Cat Print Dress; Bonaventure Sneakers in White (also available in Black) by Montreal label Matt & Nat

 

It’s also very important to me that my patients are in control of their own health, so I spend a lot of time teaching my patients about what their test results mean, why they’re not feeling well, and how our treatment plan will improve their health.

 

Lipstick Print Dress; Alaya Crossbody Purse/Clutch in Apricot by Montreal label Matt & Nat

 

What first attracted you to the study and pursuit of a career in Naturopathic Medicine?

Through my own health journey, I learned the profound impact of treating the underlying cause of health conditions with natural supplements, nutrition, and lifestyle recommendations.

 

As a Naturopathic Doctor, I love that I have the privilege of spending the necessary time with my patients to learn every aspect of their health so that I can treat the whole person and address the underlying cause of health conditions. In my experience, this is the best way to achieve true health and wellness.

 

Gloria Flip Skirt in Teal (also available in Black and Purple); Vivette Tee in Plum/Olive Watermark Print (also available in other colours!) by Toronto label Mandala

 

What do you love most about working at Darou Wellness? What do you feel sets this clinic apart from others?

Darou Wellness has an amazing team of healthcare practitioners who work together to provide the highest quality of care and support for our patients. We provide everything from IV therapy, to psychotherapy, to physiotherapy and everything in between so that our patients are well cared for in every aspect of their health.

 

Queen West Dress in Black by Toronto label FunkD; Handcrafted necklace from Toronto label Ugly Bunny; Erica Ombre Crossbody Purse in Nude (also available in Ocean) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I absolutely love public speaking (wild, right?), so I provide health seminars for Toronto businesses and groups. If you are part of a networking group, have a corporate wellness program, or lunch and learn series at work, I would be happy to connect with you about booking a health seminar.

 

You can find more info on my Corporate Wellness Toronto website: https://corporatewellnesstoronto.com/

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Twitter: @HilaryND

Style Profile – Fab & 40+ Edition: Sheri Alcordo

Name: Sheri Lyn Nielsen- Birkhof-Alcordo

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

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

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

 

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

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

My family, friends and faith.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

People knowing the real me.

 

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

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

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

 

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

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