Style Profile: Karen Porter

Name: Karen Porter

Occupation: Holistic Health & Wellness Expert

Age: 53 and feeling awesome!

Lifestyle: Healthy, busy, active

 

Pina Cami – Navy by Montreal’s Cherry Bobin; Flowy Summer Pants – Green/Blue by Marvella; Necklace by Toronto’s Torched Studio

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

What is typical?!! My days are always different. I take patients at a clinic in Toronto one day a week. On other days, I might be seeing private clients, networking, meeting with referral partners, creating, doing a speaking engagement, or running a retreat!

 

Joanne Dress – Blue Tulips from our in-house label, Palette by Laura-Jean

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

Family first, always. Self-care that includes healthy eating. Movement and mindfulness are important, as well as connection with others (friends, extended family, cohorts). Helping and serving others is another big one.

 

Pina Cami – Navy by Montreal’s Cherry Bobin; Jenna Skirt – Camo Print from Lola Jeans; Necklace by Toronto’s Torched Studio

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

For being a giving, loving, compassionate person.

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

My mom was always dressed to the nines, so I grew up loving fashion and accessories. It’s one of the ways that I express myself.

 

Andrea Wrap Dress – Mod Flowers from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Necklace by Toronto’s Torched Studio

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love the fact that it’s Canadian and filled with Canadian designs. There’s a huge variety of funky business-casual and casual clothes. Laura-Jean’s spark and background story drew me in!

 

Pina Cami – Navy by Montreal’s Cherry Bobin; Flowy Summer Pants – Green/Blue by Marvella; Necklace by Toronto’s Torched Studio

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I love to show busy women how to feel their best, physically and mentally, so they can go beyond just struggling to get through the day, and actually feel on fire and able to accomplish whatever they’d like to do! I love to show women, hands on, how to prepare delicious and healthy food that they can incorporate into their lives.

 

 

I also discuss important lifestyle habits like movement, sleep, and stress management. And finally, I discuss mindset, as that is the important piece to make it all happen!

 

I love hosting retreats and offer a 3-day retreat in Haliburton, as well as a 1-day retreat locally (for just a “taste” of the experience). I’m also creating a 6-month Energize Your Life Mastermind Program for those who are really seeking new habits to feel amazing.

 

Joanne Dress – Blue Tulips from our in-house label, Palette by Laura-Jean

 

How did you first get into the business of healthy eating?

 

I suffered from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and debilitating bouts of depression for almost 30 years. I was finally able to start feeling better physically and emotionally when I incorporated better food, healed my gut and my brain, and added some other “tools” that I share with my clients, which I call my “toolbox” of health.

 

What sort of services do you offer?

 

In addition to the 1 and 3-day retreats, and 6-month Energize Your Life Mastermind Program, I also work one-on-one with clients.

 

Pina Cami – Navy by Montreal’s Cherry Bobin; Jenna Skirt – Camo Print from Lola Jeans; Necklace by Toronto’s Torched Studio

 

I’d really love to adopt healthier food choices, but feel overwhelmed by the task of inventing a meal plan. Would I be able to contact you for a one-on-one consultation?

 

Definitely! Meal plans work for some people. Others benefit from just knowing the principles and deciding as they go along.

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

I enjoy self-improvement, learning, and reading. I enjoy playing the piano and I volunteer at a retirement home where I play weekly. I love that it brings so much joy to others.

 

 

Andrea Wrap Dress – Mod Flowers from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean; Necklace by Toronto’s Torched Studio

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

Visit my website, find me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram, or subscribe to my YouTube channel!

 

Style Profile: Yulia Urukova Martins

Name: Yulia Urukova Martins
Occupation: High Performance Strategist and Process Improvement Coach
Age: 35
Lifestyle: #Bossmom entrepreneur

 

Joanne Dress – Blue Birds from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I love to wake up early, before my family, and have some quiet time for my morning ritual that includes a simple routine to fill up and fuel my body, mind and spirit. Usually, if I’m lucky, that’s just 30 minutes before my baby wakes up. Then, I spend the rest of the morning with my 1-year old daughter; we eat breakfast, go for a stroll, read books, and play together. Creating some structure and routines in our day helps me to stay focused and it’s also important for her development.

 

 

My husband comes for a break in the afternoon and we have brunch together. After that, I work on my projects and take client calls.  I’ve learned to focus on the highest impact activities in my available time so that at the end of my day I feel accomplished.  After dinner, when the baby is down for the night, there is some time for us, just me and my husband. We talk about our experiences throughout the day, discuss upcoming plans or household projects, or just snuggle watching YouTube videos.

 

Betty Cowl Top – Bamboo – Taupe from our in-house label, Palette by Laura-Jean; Rachel Classic Rise Ankle Length Skinny Jeans – Ocean Roll by Yoga Jeans; Alicia Tote Bag w/Removable Cross Body Bag Inside – Muted Rose by Pixie Mood

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

Continuous personal growth and gaining wisdom through experiences, interaction with people, reading from various thought leaders, implementing ideas and reflecting. Being my best self for the people in my life and living my values on a daily basis. Since I became a mom, creating a thriving and loving environment for my daughter is also a significant part of my life.

 

Pina Cami – Flowers on Denim Print from Montreal-based Cherry Bobin; A-line Skirt – Pockets by Toronto’s Desserts and Skirts

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Someone who always strove to live to my fullest capacity, which is, first and foremost, in learning and implementing ideas. I believe that we always need to be in a constant state of growth. I am someone who is always pushing the envelope for everyone around me to be, to think and to live up to the best possible version of themselves.

 

Osa Dress – Romance from Montreal’s FIG label; Necklace by Toronto’s Torched Studio

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

I grew up in Belarus where fashion is on the list of the top 5 priorities in everyone’s life. In addition, my parents ran a boutique clothing company that specialized in manufacturing women’s professional wear and school uniforms for children.  As a result, I spent a great deal of my childhood and youth living on the operations side of it, and it was very important.

 

In Canada, however, I took a more relaxed approach to fashion and don’t follow trends. Instead, I go for functional and a bit more sophisticated styles that allow me to feel elegant and comfortable at the same time.  Also, I don’t like shopping for clothes – it’s a chore for me, which is why I always prefer to be in the company of a trusted friend or a professional, such as an image consultant who guides me in this area.

 

Osa Dress – Leafy Black by Montreal label FIG; Frances Ziparound Wallet – Muted Rose from Markham’s Pixie Mood

 

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

 

I love that there is a variety of local designers and a beautiful collection to choose from. I truly appreciate the assistance from the Fresh Collective team to help customers put together a fabulous outfit, including accessories.  Most importantly, I can find dresses that make a statement and help me look and feel fantastic.

 

Joanne Dress – Blue Birds from our in-house line, Palette by Laura-Jean

 

What do you have that you want to promote?  

 

We are fast approaching the half-year review mark and many people find themselves behind on the personal and business goals they set for the year. Two main reasons for this are: 1) lack of a good plan of action and accountability to follow through on it, 2) women especially face “shiny object syndrome” and put too many goals/ projects on their plate, so it becomes difficult to stay focused. 

 

Betty Cowl Top – Bamboo – Taupe from our in-house label, Palette by Laura-Jean; Rachel Classic Rise Ankle Length Skinny Jeans – Ocean Roll by Yoga Jeans; Alicia Tote Bag w/Removable Cross Body Bag Inside – Muted Rose by Pixie Mood

 

In July, I facilitate a series of 1-on-1 Strategic Planning Intensive workshops designed to create a solid plan to maximize personal performance, identify benchmarks and business challenges, develop a growth plan by learning profit levers and what really moves the needle forward! 

 

Along with a customized road map, you will have a way to measure, fine-tune and update your plan as needed, to ensure absolute success in making 2019 your best year yet!  Most importantly, I help you to stay the course by setting a structure of accountability after the workshop.

 

Who is it for, you ask?

 

If you are a busy business professional trying to stay focused while being pushed and pulled by the demands of your life and business, I will help you take back control and achieve the results you desire and deserve.

 

Pina Cami – Flowers on Denim Print from Montreal-based Cherry Bobin; A-line Skirt – Pockets by Toronto’s Desserts and Skirts

 

I just don’t feel like I have the kind of personality or mindset required to become more organized and efficient. How would your services work for someone like me?

 

Based on research done by the High Performance Institute led by Brendon Burchard, an evaluation of traits and behaviours of thousands of high performers found that the secret is in daily habits. If there are habits and structures that can support you being organized, you can certainly develop them.  As a high performance strategist, I help you to identify strategies and ideas that fit your personality and current situation, and also provide accountability to ensure you implement them.

 

Osa Dress – Romance from Montreal’s FIG label; Necklace by Toronto’s Torched Studio

 

What are some of the biggest ways we sabotage our success?

 

First and foremost, simply by not defining what success looks like to us! 

 

This is the challenge with many women, they don’t spend any time thinking about what they want and often end up being influenced by the people around them.  Even if you are a super-achiever who loves to pursue many goals, but is not completely satisfied on the inside and is not fulfilled, it is because you go after goals often defined by other people; you have not spent the time necessary to reflect, define, or go after and ask for what you want. 

 

It’s also important to ask: what kind of work are you doing? “Busy work” or “productive work”?  I see many women being busy throughout the day. However, much of this busyness isn’t getting them any closer to their goals.  This is why it is vital to work with someone who can hold that mirror up and get you on the right track. I’ve done it for many clients and I can do it for you.

 

Osa Dress – Leafy Black by Montreal label FIG; Frances Ziparound Wallet – Muted Rose from Markham’s Pixie Mood

 

Is there anything else we should know about you?

 

People used to laugh about the fact that I plan and strategize everything, and I was told that there are some things you just can’t have a plan for, like finding your soulmate.

 

Well, as it turns out, I went from being a single person who’s never been in a relationship to finding my amazing life-partner in less than 90 days after I set a goal and wrote a strategic plan in my journal.  I don’t just talk, I strive to practice and “walk the talk” in every area of my life. 

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

You can find me on Facebook or Instagram.

Join my free High Performance Accountability Facebook group Better Than Before!
Or schedule a Clarity Call over “virtual coffee.” 

 

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