All You Need is Love… and a little sparkle…

Valentines Day is around the corner, and Fresh Collective has you covered with beautiful love-themed jewellery and accessories (maybe you want to accidentally leave this blog post open on your significant others’ computer? hint hint)! Whether you’re seeking a gift for a special someone in your life, or a little something sweet for yourself, we’ve got the goods – handcrafted by local designers and made with LOVE!

apa necklace

Sterling silver heart necklace – handmade by Andrea Apa (Apa Designs) – $42

blackjambracelet

Hand-beaded bracelet from BlackJam: Objects of Designed Happenstance – $50 (take an additional 20% off now!)

curious roses

Rose pendant and stud earrings from Curious Oddities – Necklace: $25, Earrings: $16  (available in multiple colours!)

elementals

Rose Quartz statement necklace from Elementals Jewellery – $169

sailor earrings

Sterling Silver rose earrings from new FC addition Sailor Girl Jewellery – Only $20!

Which of these stunning pieces do you hope finds it’s way to you this February 14th? See more great Valentine’s jewellery on the FC Facebook Page!

What to Wear Wednesday – Class & Comfort

What to Wear Wednesday - Class and Comfort

What to Wear Wednesday – Class and Comfort by freshcollective

Today’s WTWW outfit proves you can have it all. You can have a structured, professional, stylish look without feeling constrained, suffocated or uncomfortable. IT CAN BE DONE!

Today’s look:
Blazer by Brenda Beddome: I will admit, I might have a use for Blazers Anonymous. They are a must-have piece. Whether paired with slacks and a blouse for work or over jeans and a tank top with some sneakers they ALWAYS pull an oufit together. They create a waist, add structure and style and can go anywhere! (check it out in our online store)

Wrap Top by Bionic: I just bought this top yesterday in a floral pattern. It’s sleek and stylish but so comfortable in it’s soft jersey. We’ve got them in so many colours and the best part? They’ve just been marked down to $30! Snatch one up now! (online store)

Yoga Jeans: We love them – need we say more about them? I mean, jeans you can do yoga in? They have this wonderful memory stretch that just molds them to your figure perfectly without cutting you off and constricting you. Love at first pose?

Shoes by Hush Puppies: I just adore these little oxford-style shoes. They give a touch of vintage whimsy to any outfit and are at once comfortable and stylish, professional and fun! (online store)

Necklace by Blackjam: Objects of Designed Happenstance: The statement necklace is a staple piece. Get one. Get lots (like me)! This particular beauty is a one of a kind, hand beaded creation from designer Jennifer Morris.

 

FC Designer Spotlight: Blackjam: Objects of Designed Happenstance

Blackjam: Objects of Designed Happenstance is headed by designer Jennifer Morris. Jennifer’s unique jewelry is impeccably hand sewn by herself at her studio, utilizing embroidery and bead weaving. All of Jennifer’s designs are one of a kind using vintage beads, buttons, cabochons, reconditioned bits of costume jewelry and fabric scraps she gets from her fellow designers. Jennifer has been doing needlework since her childhood. What stated out as a way to entertain a child when going though major surgery and illness became a vocation. She has always been interested in and inspired by needlework of the past and what is going on with modern textile arts. Jennifer attended Sheridan College: School of Craft and Design were she majored in Textile and was also a Artist in Residence at The Textile Studio in Harbourfront’s Craft Studios. She has been to Paris and seen the embroidery of the Haute couture houses, and has studied the Lunéville
embroidery technique used in the House of Lesage. She has tried her hand at many medias and always goes back to her needles and thread.

Jennifer takes her inspiration from many places. She loves the history of design, art and popular culture. She loves colours and how they play off each other and is drawn to texture and how that can work in design, putting her love of textiles into her jewelry design.

FALL FEATURE ITEMS:
Scarf Brooches – Scraps of scarfs make up the petals of these multi coloured brooches. These brooches can dress up any outfit. Attach it to a hairband and you have a fascinator for that holiday party. The scraps come from the dresses in the past spring and summer dresses by Paper People Clothing.

Kumihimo Series – A upscale version of the friendship bracelets you wore as a kid. Necklace and bracelets are make of a braided cord using the Japanese technique of Kumihimo.* Beads are then hand-stitched onto the braid. They are finished with a clasp and a charm on the end to give them an adult feel. Wear bracelets stacked on your wrist just like you did when you were young! All pieces are one of a kind due to the nature of their design.

*Kumihimo: The most prominent historical use of the cords by samurai as both a functional and decorative way to lace their lamellar armour and their horses’ armor (barding). Kumihimo cords are now used as ties on haori jackets and obijimes, which are used for tying on an obi (kimono sash).

Q&A with Jennifer Morris of BlackJam:

How long have you been designing/where did you get your start?
I have been making thing since my childhood. I was sick as a kid abd in and out of hospitals so crafts became the way I entertained myself. I had a line of hand painted jewellery when I was sixteen and I sold it in a local store near our family cottage.
I studied textiles at Sheridan Collage School of Craft and Design and was an artist in resident at Harbourfront Craft Studios. I have also have shown my work in galleries over the years. Though I make jewelry I still consider my work textiles as I use a needle and thread to create the work. I love making things with my hands! Throughout my life, with all its ups a downs, my work has help me focus on something bigger than myself.
When I got sick with Breast Cancer I decided that life was too short to not do what I loved doing. And what I loved doing was making things. It even helped me survive the cancer in some ways. I always had something to do when going through my treatments. I would see others and they didn’t have anything else other than the sickness. I always had my work to think about and even when my hands shook because of the chemo I just knitted and crochet till I was better. To me making is the equivalent to breathing – I need to make things to keep me sane.

Where did you find your inspiration for this collection?
I get inspiration from everything – from the book I am reading, to movies or television to a pattern caused by rust on a car. You can find ideas everywhere – you just need to open your eyes a see what’s out there.
I love to put my sense of humour and or whimsy in my jewelry so you can always find something just a little off in all my work. But mostly it’s about colour, texture, pattern and how they work together.
The flower brooches were inspired from the scraps of fabric that Jennifer of Paper People Clothing gave me. These are made from what was left over from the Scarf Dress in their Spring/Summer collection. When i saw them they just said they needed to be big flowers!
The Kimohimo bracelets came from a conversation with Joe the manager of FC Roncey about making upscale friendship bracelets and this is what I came up with.

If you could dress any celebrity who would it be?
Helena Bonham Carter or Cate Blanchett

What is the most rewarding part about having your own line?
Getting to live the life I always wanted. It’s hard don’t get me wrong but getting up everyday loving what I do is all I ever wanted and seeing others wearing my jewellery. We create our work in such a vacuum in our studios, so seeing and knowing others like and enjoy what I do is a great feeling.

What has been the best part of your Fresh Collective journey thus far?
There is too much to even talk about! Some of the best things are Laura-Jean and what she has given me in friendship and mentoring has been invaluable. I have found my voice as a designer and I am able to do one of a kind work that I love and find the audience of people that enjoy and understand what goes into work like mine. The other great thing is the great friends I have met on this journey. Some were co-designers and some were customers but they have become friends too.

 

Fresh Collective with the girlfriends – FC Ambassador Guest Blog – Veronica Slater

Another fabulous FC Ambassador Guest Blog from the wonderful Veronica Slater! Check her out online here: http://veronicaslaterpresents.blogspot.ca/

Girlfriends.  What would I do without them?  About a week ago we planned a dream day together hoping none of the kids would get sick – they’re notorious for timing.  Anyhow, the Girlfriend’s Gods were with us and yesterday, we executed our plan… boy was it ever fun! First we exercised together (see proof!), then we had lunch, and just before heading to Fresh Collective on Roncesvalles for an afternoon of fun and shopping, we snapped a picture for you.  Meet my girlfriends: Christine and Lori.  I love them to death.
Here’s where the real fun began.  I took them shopping to Fresh Collective – my very first trip with friends as aFC ambassador.  Can you see me glowing?  ‘Cause I am!!!  Let’s have a look at the ‘before’ girlfriend picture.
On our shopping list (cause you always need a list!) we had identified a few basic fall ‘wants’ and a couple of ‘needs’. We also went over what works and doesn’t work so well with their body types and their best colours.  All important things to keep in mind while shopping.

Here’s Christine with a dress by Nude.  We loved the colour and fit on her.  The dress was easily accessorised with a gorgeous flower by Jennifer Morris from Blackjam and a black leather belt.  The Burgundy boots by Miz Mooz looked divine.
Here’s the same fabric in a different style, this dress is by Brenda Beddome.  Also flattering and comfortable.
Here’s Christine wearing our two favourite pieces and the ones she thought she would be wearing most: A dress by Bionic and a dress by Melow.  We all loved both of these looks on her!  They really are perfect pieces for a busy Mom of three, easily paired with leggings and flats, awesome with tights and Miz Mooz boots, chic with flashy accessories and heels. I guess this is what us Busy Bees with capital Bs look for: versatile stylish clothes that feel and look good – and can take consecutive washes too!  Gotta love real clothes for real women!  Christine also purchased beautiful casual grey boots by Miz Mooz to run around in style.

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Now here’s Lori with our favourite picks.  A Brenda Beddome top beautifully adorned by a silk flower by Jennifer Morris – Blackjam with the best footless leggings in the world by Spanx and those sexy burgundy ankle boots by Miz Mooz.  I love this look.  As you can see behind her, the dress comes in different colours.  I think she’ll be getting a lot of use out of this piece.

Here are the same leggings and shoes with a different top by Brenda Beddome – clearly made for Lori.  It’s easy to see how this outfit will be taking her from the office, to an afternoon meeting, to a hot date with the hubby, to having a drink with friends – like I’m not going to include myself in such plans!!!  Doesn’t she look great?
We left the store with big smiles on our faces thinking of what a great day we had had and how important it is to make time to reconnect, catch-up and look after ourselves.  Busy Bees are not very good at that but we’re working on it!  As for the shopping, no matter what one ends-up buying, it’s the overall experience that remains with us and ultimately what keeps us coming back.  Joe and Roslyn, as always, you were fantastic at offering the best Fresh Collective experience!  I knew you would be -only the best for my girls.

What’s on YOUR list of ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ this season? Remember that the following clothes are available at Fresh Collective AND at the their new ONLINE SHOP, go have a peek!
xo – Veronica