STYLE PROFILE: Beryl Tsang

Name: Beryl Tsang

Occupation: Scheduling Sherpa at the University Health Network, Master Knitting Instructor, Grant Writer and Children’s Book Author

Age: 52

Lifestyle: Urban Community Builder

 

Josee Dress – Black Aviary by Halifax label Poison Pear; Hoop earrings by Toronto’s Torched Studio label

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I’m a bit of a night owl, so my day usually begins with my alarm going off and going through the five stages of mourning as I attempt to extricate myself from my pillow: Denial (“No, it can’t be 6:30am.”); Bargaining (“Hmm, maybe I sleep in and take a taxi/uber to work. No, prolly not.”); Anger (“Dang, I have to get out of bed.”); Depression (“Mornings are so sad!”), and Acceptance (“I am now vertical–yay me!”).

 

My weekdays are busy; I work with physicians, residents and scientists to manage their time. I always try to fit in a workout mid-day. Usually it’s yoga or Pilates, but lately I’ve been experimenting with lifting and interval training.

 

The Horizon Dress – Black – Mirage by Montreal’s Noujica; Necklace by Toronto label Torched Studio

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

Family and community really matter to me. I believe that the world is actually a hard place and that it can be tough if we are alone. It’s important for us to reach out to one another and form bonds to see us through tough times, but also to lift us up and find meaning and purpose.

 

I am really lucky to have the best family and the best community!

 

Joy Dress – Grey/Blue by Toronto’s Studio Fresh; Hoop earrings by Toronto’s Torched Studio label

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Being a good mom, a good friend and a good person.

 

Shift 18 Dress – Green by Toronto’s Studio Fresh; Acetate Large 45mm Hoop Earrings – Tortoiseshell by Toronto’s Torched Studio label

 

What role does fashion play in your life? What sort of outfits do you opt for?

 

I love fashion, but not fast fashion.

 

I love Fresh Collective because they feature local designers who create clothes and accessories with meaning. I adore the clean lines and whimsical patterns of their in-house line, Palette. I’m huge into dresses and I think I probably own at least one dress from every designer!

 

O-Tie Dress – Black by Toronto’s Studio Fresh; Scalene Triangle Acetate Earrings – Ivory Mix by Toronto’s Torched Studio label

 

You’ve been with us since Laura-Jean’s Knitting Queen days! What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I have to say, the BEST thing about shopping at Fresh Collective is the  Style Coaches. Every shopping trip at FC is like visiting a best friend.

 

I love bringing out-of-town friends to FC; they always manage to find a statement piece there, whether it be a necklace, T-shirt or funky skirt!

 

Josee Dress – Black Aviary by Halifax label Poison Pear; Hoop earrings by Toronto’s Torched Studio label

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I want to promote myself and my professional services!

 

If you’re looking for a Master Knitting Instructor to teach you to knit or consult on your projects, my big claim to fame is that I was the knitting consultant to Season 1 of the Handmaid’s Tale! I’m also a kick-ass grant writer.

 

Lastly, I really want to promote The Adventures of Ludwig and Imogen, a children’s book about what imaginary hippogriffs and their humans get up to on a daily basis! I wrote the story, and the fabulous Meredith Wolting illustrated it.

 

Check out more about Ludwig and Imogen on the Ludwig and Imogen Facebook page!

 

The Horizon Dress – Black – Mirage by Montreal’s Noujica; Necklace by Toronto label Torched Studio

 

Your career has taken you down some interesting bends, including the creation of an original knitted breast prosthetic for breast cancer survivors. Most recently, you published The Adventures of Ludwig and Imogen. What first attracted you to children’s literature?

 

I was a huge reader as a child and  loved reading unique and fanciful books to my children as they were growing up. We were big Maurice Sendak fans.

 

The hippogriff statue that guards the Lillian B. Smith Library in Toronto, which has a large and fabulous collection of manuscripts of children’s books, inspired the character of Ludwig. Parent friends of young children inspired the character of Imogen.

 

Joy Dress – Grey/Blue by Toronto’s Studio Fresh; Hoop earrings by Toronto’s Torched Studio label

 

What age group does your new book target and where can we get our hands on a copy?

 

The book is for parents of children any age between toddlerhood and young adulthood. It is unique in that the story is told through both Ludwig and Imogen’s eyes, with Ludwig’s perspective on one page and Imogen’s perspective on the next.

 

You can order it from me at beryltsang1@gmail.com, or on Amazon USA (DIRECT LINK) if you’re living in the States.

 

Shift 18 Dress – Green by Toronto’s Studio Fresh; Acetate Large 45mm Hoop Earrings – Tortoiseshell by Toronto’s Torched Studio label

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I’m a little odd. Lovable, but still odd.

 

O-Tie Dress – Black by Toronto’s Studio Fresh; Scalene Triangle Acetate Earrings – Ivory Mix by Toronto’s Torched Studio label

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Follow me on Instagram! @beryltsang

 

 

Laura Skirt – Fit Guide!

Laura-Jean is 5’5″ and 158 lbs.

She’s got a 42″ bust, 35″ waist and 41″ hips and she wears a 34 DDD bra.

Here she’s wearing the Laura Skirt in Medium and then Large to show the two different fits. 

(The Darcy Collar Top she has on is Large and you can shop that style here.)

 

Shop the Laura Skirt here

Here Jane and L.J. show off all the prints. Jane is in the X-Small, and she’s about 4’11” and her bust measures 34″. Her waist is 28″ and hips are 35″

You can see it’s sitting a bit lower on her hip as her measurements are just a bit smaller than the XSmall on the size chart below. 

 

 

Shop the Laura Skirt here

Choose from 7 awesome prints! 

Shop the Laura Skirt here

Questions about fit or anything else? 

You can always call any of our stores:

274 Augusta Ave. * 416 966 0123

401 Roncesvalles Ave. * 647 352 7123

2116 A Queen Street East * 416 594 1313

Or email us at info@freshcollective.com

Or, message us through Facebook

We LOVE to hear from you! 

 

Before Fresh Collective, there was Fresh Baked Goods

It all started with Fresh Baked Goods, my knitwear label. 

It was 1994. I had graduated from Fine Arts at Concordia University in 1992, moved to Toronto, and wondered how on earth I would start a career. 

I knew I wanted to do something creative, knew I wouldn’t fit into the corporate world and wondered if I could make things and sell them. 

I had been sewing my own clothes and making jewellery since high school but growing up in Saskatoon, I couldn’t imagine how to turn that into a career. Once I arrived in Toronto, I dabbled around taking some classes and workshops while working in restaurants as a waitress. 

I took jewellery making, silk-screening and film courses, but it was a machine knitting course I took in the basement of Romni Wools on Queen West that got me hooked. 

I borrowed $600 off my roommate to buy my own second hand knitting machine and set up in my living room, knitting sweaters. 

The first few years were spent doing local craft shows and selling on consignment in local shops like Peach Berserk, Noize and 290 Ion, while wondering what it would take to have my own shop.

In 1998, when I was 28, my boyfriend left me for a 26 year old model (!). I moped for 2 days and then decided I needed a distraction, so I went out looking for a shop to rent. 

My search started on a Monday – going around my favourite neighbourhoods and looking for signs. By the way, that was how things were done in those days! The internet was barely a thing then.  

I found a former tailor shop on Augusta Ave. in Kensington Market, and when I found out the rent was $650 including hydro, I sealed the deal as quick as I could. 

By Thursday that week, I had signed a lease and was setting up shop. 

The first few months were scary as I opened up a sweater shop in May, and it was a long hot summer. 

But tourists were finding me and bringing home one-of-a-kind creations. And by fall, I had hit my stride as Toronto’s Laura-Jean the Knitting Queen and my clientele was finding me. 

The shop was a colourful and busy little zone of chaos. I had a small studio in the back with knitting machines and often Knitting Princesses (that’s what I called my assistants) in working with me. 

The machines were noisy and production would stop when shoppers came in. Often, we would have stashed a fresh delivery of yarn in the changeroom, and when people wanted to use it, we’d have to unpack it and make room for them. 

Brenda was my beautiful Sheltie from 1989-2004. She always came to work with me and despite having a perfectly good bed, she loved to sleep in the sale baskets.

Knitting Princess Jaclyn and I in the studio. Jaclyn is still one of my best friends in the whole world. She loved to organize the studio and keep everything tidy, so her work was cut out for her. (I’m super messy and create clutter everywhere I go!)

She went on to start her own Professional Organizing business, now relocated to Bloomington, Indiana. 

Here’s me at my knitting machine. I wonder how many millions of times I zipped the carriage back and forth to make thousands of sweaters over the years!?

I rode my bike everywhere in those days. You can see it locked up outside the store in the exterior shot above, as well as in the Toronto Star article. 

And Brenda was my constant companion. 

********************

This was where my career in fashion started. I remember not being able to believe that I was actually doing it. I had my own business. My own shop. I was a fashion designer! 

What an amazing 25 years it’s been! So many of today’s Fresh Collective shoppers found me at my cute little Kensington shop so many years ago. 

I am so grateful that so many of my customers have grown up with me and supported the business along the way. 

xoxo

Laura-Jean

 

Julie Sweater FLASH SALE!


SURPRISE FLASH SALE!

The brand new Julie Sweater by Palette, our in-house line, is NOW $20 OFF during our limited-time flash sale!

 

The Julie Sweater is a wonderful piece to build any ensemble with! Its fabric is silky smooth and cozy at once! It has a generous stretch and fits comfortably, with a flared waist that gives it a lovely draped effect.

This beautiful winter sweater is available in 8 different solid colours and proudly made right here in Toronto!

SAVE ONLINE & IN-STORES!

To shop & save online, simply enter our special promocode at the checkout on our webstore:

JULIE20

OFFER ENDS FEBRUARY 20th!

SNOW DAY SALE! TODAY ONLY!

TODAY ONLY, LADIES!

Enjoy some great savings during our Snow Day Flash Sale, happening online and in-stores!

 

To shop & save online, use our special promocodes at the checkout:

SNOWDAY20

(for $150 purchases)

 

 

To shop & save online, use our special promocodes at the checkout:

SNOWDAY50
(for $300 purchases)

 

Stay warm out there!

Our FIG Clothing GIVEAWAY starts TODAY!

Our FIG Clothing Giveaway Draw has begun!

 

Until October 5th, enter one ballot per each piece of FIG apparel you try on at Fresh Collective, and you could win $100 worth of FIG Clothing!

 

This giveaway is IN-STORES ONLY, so drop on by any of our 3 Toronto locations to try on some FIG pieces and enter for your chance to win!

 

FIG Clothing is a Quebec-based line of versatile, ultra-comfy, hassle-free designs that are perfect for travelers and ethical consumers!

*

* Enter to win until October 5th
* Enter one ballot per every FIG piece of apparel tried on
* Entries to win may be done in-person only
* Giveaway winner will be awarded $100 worth of FIG Clothing
* Winner will be drawn at random from ballot box

 

Fundraiser for A Roof Over Their Heads

Shop in person or online and 15% of your sale will go to raise funds for an apartment for a lovely Syrian family of 3. 

************

In person, let Fresh Collective’s awesome staff know your purchase is part of the

“A Roof Over Their Heads” Fundraiser. 

Online, use promocode FUNDROOF to make sure your purchase is designated as part of the fundraiser.

**************

Learn more about this family here. You can also make a direct donation at this link.

 

The LOLA JEANS September Giveaway is happening now!

The LOLA JEANS September Giveaway is

happening now!

 

*

From September 4th – 17th ENTER OUR LOLA

JEANS GIVEAWAY in-store or online for your

chance to WIN A FREE PAIR OF DENIMS from

Lola Jeans!

*

Come to any of our 3 Toronto locations to check

out our stock & enter to win in-person!

 

BEST OF ALL!?

 

Enter an EXTRA BALLOT for every pair of Lola

Jeans you try on in-store!

 

Subscribe to our mailing list to be entered for the Lola Jeans Giveaway online!

 

* Indicates required

 




 

 

 

*Entries close September 17, 2018 at 11:59PM

 

*Random ballot drawing determines the winner

 

*Free pair to be selected by the winner from our stock

 

Surprise FLASH SALE on NEW ARRIVALS! $10 Fresh Bucks, just for YOU!

We’re excited as always about our incoming fall

fashions, so we’d like to give you a chance to

get in on them early with some FABULOUS

SAVINGS!

Grab your fall faves with an EXTRA $10 Fresh

Bucks BONUS!

Spend in-store or online!

 

To redeem in-store, print or show on your mobile device.

To redeem online, use the promocode FALL10

 

* Minimum $100 purchase required
* Only valid on NEW ARRIVALS
* Valid until August 31st