FC Ambassador Guest Blog: Getting Dainty at Fresh Collective

Last week we were happy to play host to a fabulous night of shopping and beauty with one of our FC Ambassadors – the lovely, Nicole Wilson aka Dainty Girl. She wrote a great blog post after the event. Check it out below, along with some great photos of all the fun!
Liz Parker Unedited Proofs

Last Tuesday I co-hosted a night of fashion and beauty with my friends at Fresh Collective and a whole lotta stylish guests! It was so lovely to connect with my readers and blogger friends over drinks, nibbles, manicures, makeup and of course…SHOPPING! I’ve been a Fresh Collective Ambassador for about six months and it was amazing to finally host an event with them!

Dainty Girl @ Fresh Collective

Fresh Collective has three locations in Toronto, all supporting local designers – many of whom reside in Toronto and frequently visit the store to interact with shoppers and provide style advice. We hosted last week’s event at the Queen Street West location and invitedDaLish Cosmetics and Bio Seaweed Gel to join us. Guest enjoyed complimentary gel manicures, makeup consultations and discount shopping on apparel and accessories. There were giveaways too! One lucky guest won a Premium Wardrobe Makeover session with a Fresh Collective style expert ($200 value) and another lucky guest won their choice of Bionic dress by Toronto-based designer Mark Foreman.

I had a great time chatting and taking photos with guests all evening – it was lovely to meet some of my readers and introduce them to other fabulous bloggers too! It’s always exciting to meet the people behind the blogs and Twitter handles, so it made me smile to bring some of my favourite people together!

Dainty Girl @ Fresh Collective

Left: w/ Erica GrenciVanessa Cesario and Deanne Castro 
Right: w/ Crystal GibsonCarcia & Telly CampbellAnum Khan and Victoria Simpson

Most importantly, everyone loved the fresh local fashion at Fresh Collective; playing dress up in the change rooms with the fabulous staff and taking unique pieces home at great prices. I went home with a pretty floral blouse by Monikova and a Very Berry manicure from Bio Seaweed Gel (which is still going strong). It brings me so much joy to shine light on the incredible fashion talent in Canada and Fresh Collective founder Laura-Jean Bernhardson is a true champion for all things local with her equally passionate and wonderful staff!

FC Designer Spotlight: Kabuki

trunk sale

Beginning tomorrow, Shelley Yu, creator of Kabuki will be hosting a trunk show at our Roncesvalles store! Shelley will be offering discounts of up to 80% all weekend long – stop by and snag something gorgeous! You’ll also have the opportunity to meet Shelley tomorrow (Friday) from 12-6pm!

Here are some of the gorgeous pieces from her Fall/Winter collection:KAB1020-webKAB0960-web

Q&A with Shelley Yu:

How long have you been designing/where did you get your start?
I was working  as a designer for apparel companies in Japan for years before I moved to Toronto in the summer of 2009. I launched my own label in April of 2011 in Toronto.

Where did you find your inspiration for your fall/winter collection?
The movie “Roman Holiday” reminded me of the beautiful 50s’ silhouette. So I decided to focus on the style of the 50s, casual, sophiscated and romantic. Black is the main colour for this collection, but decorated with lace, frills, ruffles or cutting in a floating shape brought romance to otherwise simple lines.

What is the most rewarding part about having your own line?
The dream I’ve had since I was 12 of having my own fashion line is now a reality!

What has been the best part of your Fresh Collective journey thus far?
I do love working at the Roncesvalles store one day a week so that I have a chance to directly communicate with customers. Their advice is treasure to me and helps me develop my designs. Also, I get the chance to hear them saying they LOVE my designs. I harvest encouragement, support and the happiness of achievement from this 4 letter word.
KAB1642-web KAB1617-web
Also hosting a trunk show TOMORROW ONLY at our Queen St Store: Kat Shura of Curious Oddities. Meet Kat from 1pm-5pm and pick up some treasures!

Click the image below to see the Curious Oddities Designer Spotlight:

Fresh Collective on the Red Carpet: Safe Haven Premiere

posterLast night I had the pleasure of attending the advanced premiere screening of Safe Haven, a new film from Nicholas Sparks – author of The Notebook and Dear John.

dainty allisonI hit the red carpet with my friend (and FC Ambassador) Dainty Girl, wearing the super stylish Dania Beads Tunic from Desserts and Skirts (as voted by you!), which I paired with a pair of black liquid leggings and blank ankle boots for a bit of rock and roll edge.

The film’s stars Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough were in attendance and looked just as stylish and stunning in person as they did on the big screen.


Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough light up the red carpet.

Julianne looks stunning in a Zimmerman dress.

Julianne looks stunning in a Zimmerman dress.

Josh looked pretty alright too... I guess.

Josh looked pretty alright too… I guess.

Going from the trailer alone (having not read the book), I expected Safe Haven to be a sappy love-fest filled with longing gazes, sweeping music and over-the-top melodrama (and for that I was excited… chick flicks are my kryptonite!), but was surprised at the heavy subject matter and gasp-inducing plot twists. Of course there were times where I struggled not to roll my eyes at the this-would-never-happen-in-real-life moments and the sheer perfection of Josh Duhamel’s bone structure – but I was legitimately impressed with the movie overall, and I’ll admit, I shed a tear or two during some particularly moving scenes.

Safe Haven opens in theatres February 14th, 2013.

FC Event: Meet the hosts of Bare All!

Happy Monday, friends!

We’re excited to bring  you YET ANOTHER awesome FC Event tomorrow night at our Queen St store…

Meet the hosts of Bare All!

Bare All is not your typical women’s retreat. Think girls weekend meets life overhaul. This event gives you the chance to meet the hosts of Bare All in a panel style Q and A, and learn more about how they will transform your life this February in beautiful Muskoka. This event is sure to be a blast whether you are signed up for the Bare All retreat, or if you just want to learn more about what’s possible at Bare All.



One of the lovely founders, co-active coach Jordana Halpert, shares the story of how Bare All came to be, and what you can expect from this adventure:

A few years back I was on my way to Muskoka, about to embark on my first ‘off site’ development weekend as a new manager. I was nervous, I was excited, it felt like camp. Only, you know… more professional.

I came to love those retreat weekends because everyone there brought their knowledge but dropped their ego. We stayed up all night talking about how our lives were going to change when we got home, buzzing about the actions we would take in life and business. The training was intensive. The conversation was powerful. We felt like sisters by the end.  We still do.

When I stepped out of managing a team to become an entrepreneur, I was left craving that kind of learning environment, so it didn’t take much for sparks to fly over coffee with a friend. She said she would love to get her three fave people in a room together and see what happens. I said I can do better. And three days later, Bare All was born.

know the power that comes from filling a chalet with amazing and brilliant women (and some wine). I also know how inspired I have felt ever since AshleyShannon and I met for the first time. And I can honestly say that this weekend will change lives. Hell, just planning it has already changed mine.

It takes immersion in a new mentality for something to really alter in our brains. New communities do that. When you are surrounded by people who inspire you, who are looking for change in their lives as well, it pushes you harder. Just like in yoga class when you secretly compare yourself to the guy next to you and then try something new.

Many development programs will do that- have you immerse yourself to feel the change. Problem is that it’s not accessible. You go home to a different world with the same old people, and ancient brain patterns just go on autopilot all over again. The approach of Bare All is what makes us different. We don’t want a weekend that doesn’t feel like life itself. We want honesty, and community, and sparks of change. But we also want wine, and good food, and practical action plans.

This isn’t just a retreat. It isn’t a girl’s weekend either. It’s both. It’s creating a community to support you when you go back to the city. It’s connecting like-minded women who are powerful and inspiring. Oh, and adding yoga to the weekend doesn’t hurt either.

We will bring our problems to this little cabin in the woods, work on them, and head home with new plans of business for our lives. We will sort out blockages in our bodies, minds and energy. We will talk about our sex lives with an expert, giggle like school girls, and learn a LOT. And if you’re not there, you will be jealous. Promise.

To RSVP for tomorrow night’s event: click here


Meet Sailor Girl!

We’re excited to welcome another talented and amazing designer to the FC fold! We now carry Sailor Girl Jewelry at our Roncesvalles location.

sailor1 sailor2


Designer Catherine Winter on her process:

I make glass beads using a technique called lampworking or flameworking. I use a gas/oxygen torch to melt rods of glass. My raw glass is Moretti glass from Italy. The melted glass is wound around a thin steel rod (called a mandrel), then shaped and decorated with thin rods of glass (called stringers). Some of the beads have silver leaf added inside. There is no paint on any of my beads, they are all layers and layers of glass.
All of my beads are annealed (baked) in a kiln at approximately 950 degrees F. This removes stress from the glass and prevents the bead from cracking. Because my beads are annealed, they are durable. Try not to drop them on cement or marble. They will hold up well under normal, everyday wear.
As they are handmade, each bead is unique. While I do my very best to produce exactly what you see on the screen, there will be some slight variations in the beads.

Catherine Winter, creator of Sailor Girl

My goal is to live an inspired, adventurous, creative life.

I love sailing. I spend a couple of months every year on my small white sailboat in warm waters. I make glass beads. I design and sell jewelry with my glass beads. I ride my bike everywhere.
Once upon a time I rode my bike around Ireland. I’m learning Spanish (it’s been 20 years). I love to cook.
I believe every meal should be garnished. I’m a cat girl. I like pretty coloured fish and birds. I love flowers. Hanging out in coffee shops watching the world go by is one of my favourite pastimes. Blue and green should always be seen. I have a weak spot for bonnet dramas on the BBC. I love radio plays, audiobooks and podcasts. My toenails are painted bright metallic blue. I’m a sun bunny. I was born in New Zealand, moved to Australia, and immigrated to Canada when I was 11. I love vegemite on toast. If I had 2 heads, 4 hands and never slept I still wouldn’t get everything done on my list. I love small business. I can never have enough colour around me.

Join us at our Roncesvalles Store on Saturday, January 19th  to welcome Sailor Girl Jewellery. Meet designer Catherine and see a live glass firing and jewellery creation demo in store between 1-5pm!


FC Events: Finance and Business Panel

Join us for a Q+A Panel discussion on entrepreneurship, business and finance. Our host Shannon Simmons will lead the discussion with Laura-Jean Bernhardson (Fresh Collective), Yasmine Louis (designer and entrepreneur), Brenda Beddome (designer and entrepreneur), and Michelle Carey (designer and entrepreneur), through their ups and downs in business and how they prepared their finances for the next evolution of their businesses.

Shannon Simmons - Suit: Brenda Beddome, Necklace: Sugar Rush

Shannon Simmons – Suit: Brenda Beddome, Necklace: Sugar Rush

The evening will start with a networking mix and mingle while we sign in, then a panel discussion lead by Shannon Simmons. After the discussion we’ll have a Q and A from the audience, which we’ll close with another networking opportunity. After the event we’ll also offer an exclusive personal shopping opportunity with our staff and Laura-Jean and provide all guests the chance to take advantage of some amazing discounts!


To keep track of our upcoming events check out our new EVENTS CALENDAR!

Michelle Carey Trunk Show starts TOMORROW!

trunk sale


The “JANE” Dress – Only one was ever made with this white bodice. It is a size 4 and will be available THIS WEEKEND ONLY!

This weekend you have the chance to snag some limited, stunning pieces from the wonderful designer, Michelle Carey! Michelle is a master at crafting flattering, fun and flirty dresses with a touch of vintage pin-up flair!


The “PENELOPE” Dress – will be available in limited quantity this weekend only!

Starting this Friday (January 11th), our Roncesvalles location will be stocked up with not only discounted pieces from Fall/Winter 2012, but even more amazing savings on pieces from previous seasons!


The “DAISY” Dress from Fall/Winter 2012 – Now 20% off in store and online!

You’ll also have the opportunity to MEET THE DESIGNER on Saturday, January 12th between 11am and 7pm. Stop by and say hello to Michelle herself – let her help you find your perfect match!


The Good. The Bad. The Human.



We are pleased to be hosting a wonderful workshop at our Queen St location tomorrow night, lead by the inspirational Jordana Halpert of Simple Wisdom.

Ever feel like some days a little devil is in your head, taking everything the wrong way no matter how hard you try? And then there are those days when everything feels perfect and you are most yourself. This workshop explores why we experience such polar opposites and how to gain back control over your circumstances.

simple fearless

“Plain and simple, Jordana created the space for a shift in my thinking – and thus, in my life – to occur. Through her vision exercises, I was able to mentally create and then in reality replicate the person that I aspired to be. Through her coaching, my confidence levels were uncovered and elevated in ways that I never could have imagined. Jordana’s gentle, supportive and insightful style of coaching enabled a renewed sense of confidence that now bleeds into my professional and personal endeavors in many positive ways. Jordana is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to development, inspiration and action.”

– Amy C. Willis

More information on Simple Wisdom:

Simple Wisdom is an alternative style of vision coaching designed to inspire, direct, and put into action your life’s biggest goals.

We truly believe that anyone can be successful if they follow their true passion with a solid plan and supportive community. Our mission is to make Toronto the world’s most passionate and expressive city through developing a higher understanding of Leadership in the city’s Wellness Community.

Simple Wisdom works with professionals in the health & wellness service industry through Personal Coaching Programs, Group Coaching Programs, Workshops, Seminars, and Speaking Events. Topics span a range leadership subjects such as integrity & time management, communication, leading others, building a small business, branding, and many more.


Check our EVENTS CALENDAR for even more awesome things coming your way!

Designer Trunk Shows: January 2013

trunk sale

As part of a 2013 full of new and exciting events and initiatives at Fresh Collective, we’re pleased to announce that we will now be hosting a series of Trunk Shows – starting THIS WEEK!

What is a Trunk Show? A “trunk show” is a special sale in which vendors present merchandise directly to our wonderful customers at a retail location or another unique venue. In many cases it allows store personnel to preview and/or purchase merchandise before it is made available to the public. Sometimes, trunk shows sell remnant and leftover items from runways, samples, and so on. Trunk shows are so named because dresses used to be transported to these events in trunks.


Michelle Carey, the designer who brought you the Amy Dress, one of the top sellers of 2012 is kicking off 2013 with a Trunk Show Sale at the Roncesvalles store. Grab some of Michelle’s best loved pieces at prices that will make you swoon. 30-50% off all her 2012 line. In addition, anyone who purchases a sale product will receive a special gift card for 25% off Michelle’s new 2013 Spring Line coming in Mid February.
Find out more about Michelle Carey: www.michellecarey.ca

Join the designer Jennifer Fukushima from Paper People Clothing at Fresh Collective Queen Street! Jenn will be hosting an exclusive designer trunk show featuring her amazing designs, created from reclaimed knit fabrics.
More information on Paper People Clothing: www.paperpeopleclothing.com

Join designer Yasmine Louis at Fresh Collective Queen Street! Yasmine will be hosting an exclusive designer trunk show featuring her amazing silk screened creations – inspired by local Toronto icons and images. With clothing for men and women, Yasmine stands out as one of our few male clothing designers in the collective.
More information on Yasmine Louis: www.yasminelouis.com

Keep an eye on our EVENTS CALENDAR for all upcoming happenings.

FC Events: January 2013

jan03 event home slider

We’ve been having a great time hosting meetings and events at our locations over the last few months, and in 2013 we’re committed to bringing you even more great opportunities to network, shop, learn and grow with us!


Thursday, January 107:30pm
The Good. The Bad. The Human – A Personal Development Workshop Hosted By Simple Wisdom
(Find out more)

Tuesday, January 15 7:30pm
Finance and Business Panel – Hosted by Shannon Simmons
(Find out more)

Tuesday, January 22 7:30pm
Bare All – A Retreat Workshop Warmup
(Find out more)

Tuesday, January 29 7:00pm
Fashion and Beauty Night – Hosted by DaintyGirl.ca
(Find out more)