Style Profile – Teacher Edition: Danielle Saint-Onge

Name: Danielle Saint-Onge

Occupation: Teacher and Executive Functioning Coach

Age: 35

Lifestyle: Active

 

Teri Reversible Tank Top in Sapphire (also available in White and Crimson!) by Canadian label Arianne; Sylvia Compartment Purse w/Crossbody Strap in Taupe (also available in Black, Navy, Ash Plum and Forest Green) by Markham label Pixie Mood; The Jacket FW17 in Black Crepe by Toronto label It Fitz Me

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

 

We start early in our house. I generally try and hit the alarm for 5:45 am so that I can squeeze a morning work-out in, before coming home and assembling the troops for school. My husband is also a teacher, so everyone is out the door by 7:45 am.

 

 

I work full-time as a teacher librarian/ kindergarten music teacher (that’s my day job) and spend either my evenings at home with my five-year-old twins, or running my private coaching practice for kids and families with executive functioning difficulties. So a typical day has me out from about 6:00 am-7:00 pm.

 

It’s super busy, but always dynamic!

 

Dania Tunic in Fall Floral (also available in Midnight Blue, Cranberry and Charcoal!) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Kim Convertible Backpack in Ash Plum (also available in Forest Green, Navy, Taupe and Black) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label Torched Studio

 

What in your life is really important to you?

 

I’m all about connections. My goal is to continuously help support building connections with those around me. Whether I’m connecting with myself through self-care (ie. exercising, walking, reading), or connecting with my students at work, or building relationships with my friends and family.

 

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I believe that happiness is something you cultivate and actively construct for yourself and my pathways are all to build happiness in my own life and in the lives of those I live and work with.

 

Dania Tunic in Fall Floral (also available in Midnight Blue, Cranberry and Charcoal!) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Kim Convertible Backpack in Ash Plum (also available in Forest Green, Navy, Taupe and Black) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label Torched Studio

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

 

Having two young kids doesn’t leave me with a ton of time to get ready in the morning (or a huge budget!). But I love that I can walk into Fresh Collective and the sales associates are always there to help me find pieces that represent me. I have been shopping at Fresh Collective for close to ten years now and I love the beauty of unique pieces.

 

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I still remember the first time I bought a piece at FC. I was with my sister shopping for clothes for my first teaching job. I was slated to teach full-time at a kindergarten and wanted a dress that would inspire me and make me feel like Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus. Laura-Jean’s Fresh Baked Goods fashion line at the time had the most amazing dresses and I immediately fell in love.

 

Dania Tunic in Cranberry (also available in Fall Floral, Midnight Blue and Charcoal) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Sylvia Compartment Purse w/Crossbody Strap in Forest Green (also available in Black, Navy, Ash Plum and Taupe) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Laser cut necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio

 

Since then, I’ve made it a back to school tradition of buying some key pieces to kick off the new school season. I don’t actively keep up with fashion blogs, nor do I have time to leaf through fashion magazines, but I do value beautiful things and putting on a fashion piece from FC (whether from this season, or many seasons ago) makes me feel fantastic.

 

Joel Slouch Tee in Navy by Toronto label Mandala; High Rise Skinny Jeans with 30″ Inseam in Shark (also available in Raisin) by Yoga Jeans; Laser cut necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio

 

How has Fresh Collective shaped your life?

 

FC was my first introduction to local hand-made goods. It felt so powerful to be able to meet and connect with the artisans who had made something that I found beautiful and grew to cherish. Since discovering FC, I now make a point of going to the One of a Kind shows and seeking out the artists that I love at FC there as well, being able to connect to real people that have designed the clothes that I love to wear is an amazing experience.

 

Stelleri Top in Teal (also available in Black and Burgundy!) by Toronto designer Jennifer Fukushima; Greta Work Tote in Black by Markham label Pixie Mood; Laser cut necklace by Squamish BC label Birch Street Studio

 

I remember sitting in a restaurant with my daughter last year when I realized I was sitting across from clothing designer Jennifer Fukushima (one of my stand out favourites from FC!). I felt so star-struck, but managed at the end of lunch to amass the courage to go up to her and tell her how much I loved her clothes.

 

To be able to connect to artists through fashion is an amazing experience, and I’m so happy that FC helps me to do that!

 

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But FC has also helped me on my own personal health journeys too. It was after I read Laura-Jean’s fitness blog about doing Oonagh Duncan’s 28 Day transformation challenge that I decided to make the investment in myself as well.

 

Laura-Jean is a personal hero of mine, and I felt so strongly that if she had the courage to share her fitness journey, I would try it as well. And what a transformation it was! I spent a year working with Oonagh, redeveloping my relationship to food, exercise, but also to my own mind and body. I not only feel healthier and stronger, but I have so many more healthy tools that I can use to get through my day. And it all started with FC!

 

Dania Tunic in Fall Floral (also available in Midnight Blue, Cranberry and Charcoal!) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Kim Convertible Backpack in Ash Plum (also available in Forest Green, Navy, Taupe and Black) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Handcrafted necklace by Toronto label Torched Studio

 

What do you love most about your work as a teacher/librarian?

 

I am a huge reader, picture books, young adult books, graphic novels etc, and being able to inspire others to read is a very rewarding experience. I teach at a school of over 700 kids and the library represents one of our main community centres. I feel very privileged being able to work in a place that helps to build community and inspire creativity.

 

This past summer, we ran a reading competition for families at our school. The goal was to see how many books a family could collectively read. It was awesome! Our highest totals saw some families reading over 40 books!

 

I love being able to support accomplishments and being able to inspire learning and creativity, it’s an incredibly rewarding experience.

 

Teri Reversible Tank Top in Sapphire (also available in White and Crimson!) by Canadian label Arianne; Sylvia Compartment Purse w/Crossbody Strap in Taupe (also available in Black, Navy, Ash Plum and Forest Green) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

What is the most crucial thing in your go-to fall outfit?

 

Colour! I love wearing black, but I love combining colours and patterns. I always try to pair a solid with some type of colourful pattern, whether it’s through the addition of a favourite scarf, earrings, or a new set of glasses!

 

I’m also all over layering. This weather goes from cold to hot in the course of a day, so having some beautiful scarves, or boleros, or light sweaters allows me to stay in summer clothing through most of the fall. Also, investing in amazing tights/ leggings is an absolute necessity!

 

Teri Reversible Tank Top in Sapphire (also available in White and Crimson!) by Canadian label Arianne; Sylvia Compartment Purse w/Crossbody Strap in Taupe (also available in Black, Navy, Ash Plum and Forest Green) by Markham label Pixie Mood

 

You’re a music teacher and librarian, but you also work as an Executive Functioning Coach for kids and families. Tell us about your work and what led you down this path!

 

Having spent the past ten years working as a teacher (with many report cards written) it became increasingly apparent that many kids were struggling with the Learning Skills section on the report card.

 

This is the section that deals with organization, being responsible, impulse control, task initiation, etc. A lot of what we tend to refer to as “soft skills”. But what the research on the brain shows, is that actually these skills are all located in the same part of the brain, and they are foundational skills that set the stage for higher order thinking and learning.

 

Dania Tunic in Cranberry (also available in Fall Floral, Midnight Blue and Charcoal) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Sylvia Compartment Purse w/Crossbody Strap in Forest Green (also available in Black, Navy, Ash Plum and Taupe) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Laser cut necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio

 

My job as a coach is to help families and kids identify and hone in on developing the specific skills and building blocks that are weakest through a wide range of activities and exercises, so that kids can experience the type of academic and social success they deserve.

 

Dania Tunic in Cranberry (also available in Fall Floral, Midnight Blue and Charcoal) by Toronto label Desserts and Skirts; Sylvia Compartment Purse w/Crossbody Strap in Forest Green (also available in Black, Navy, Ash Plum and Taupe) by Markham label Pixie Mood; Laser cut necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio

 

I feel so passionate about helping to connect kids and families to concrete tools and activities that they can use to help build capacity. So my coaching practice allows me to work one on one to develop personalized plans and programs that enable kids to succeed.

 

So often we look at the tip of the iceberg (the academic achievement), failing to realize that what lies under the water (our Executive Functioning Skills) really are the foundation that our academic success is grounded upon.

 

I like to see myself as an underwater iceberg expert. Helping children and families to explore what lies below the surface so that it can help to ground future success.

 

Joel Slouch Tee in Navy by Toronto label Mandala; High Rise Skinny Jeans with 30″ Inseam in Shark (also available in Raisin) by Yoga Jeans; Laser cut necklace by Squamish, BC label Birch Street Studio

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

 

I am currently continuing to intake families into my private coaching practice and am happy to set up free 30 minute intake calls. Please feel free to e-mail me to set up a time to chat about ways that I can help to support great foundations for success both at home and at school. Or send me an e-mail and I will send you my online information pamphlet and a short survey to see whether executive functioning coaching is the right pathway for you and your child.

 

Stelleri Top in Teal (also available in Black and Burgundy!) by Toronto designer Jennifer Fukushima; Greta Work Tote in Black by Markham label Pixie Mood; Laser cut necklace by Squamish BC label Birch Street Studio

 

In terms of my role as a librarian, currently my school (Rawlinson Community School) is participating in the Indigo Adopt a School online fundraising campaign. We are a 700-student school with a library in desperate need of new resources. Please consider clicking on the link below to make a donation to the school, or sharing a story on the school’s Indigo Campaign page in order to support our love of reading program. The campaign runs now until October 8 and all donations are tax deductible. Please help us continue to inspire the minds of the future!

 

https://adoptaschool.indigo.ca/eng/schools/1772

 

Where can people find you on social media?

 

People can feel free to e-mail me at daniellesaintonge@gmail.com

 

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Fresh Collective has carved out its niche in Toronto’s fashion scene for the shopper who loves something a little different! We specialize in local designers, and our products are unique, or few of a kind. Our store is beautifully curated, offering our customers an amazing selection of fabulous clothing and accessories.

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