Love Letter from Laura-Jean: Getting to know YOU

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At Fresh Collective we are all about YOU!

To us, YOU are the most fascinating creature alive, and we are ready to listen to whatever you have to tell us. You, our customer base, are AMAZING!

We really get that you are the coolest women in Toronto, and we just want to know more! We know you’re individualists. You may or may not be concerned with trends, but you love to look current, polished and cool. You have busy lives (not unlike us who work here and design the products!) and so you need versatile and comfortable clothes and accessories and you also want to look awesome and feel like your outer self reflects your inner self.

We are embarking on a project of growth for Fresh Collective, growing to several locations in Toronto (and then going beyond!) and we’re asking for your support. Our vision is that Fresh Collective revolutionizes the fashion industry in North America and that Toronto is the center of that.

What’s going on now in the fashion industry at large is that a lot of women are left not feeling good about their options or how the fashion industry makes us feel about ourselves. There’s a lot of concern about “fast fashion” – the cheap trendy pieces that go out of style fast – and what it does for the environment. There’s also concern about working conditions in factories. Alongside this, there are well known stats of how often small businesses fail. I believe a lot of people WANT to shop local, and then just find they don’t get what they want so it’s easy to go for a cheaper or more convenient option. This disenchantment is a factor in a lot of these business failures. Customers don’t get what they want and business owners are afraid to really ask, for fear they will hear something they don’t want to hear. The way things are going, local businesses close every day.

If we let things play out as they usually do, many of the smaller independent designers we work with will decide to go out of business. I’ve seen many, many do just that over the ten years we’ve been running Fresh Collective; eventually Fresh Collective would go out of business. I would retire, or get too old to keep going and it would all wind down. That’s just the usual way.

In the face of all this, I see something different for our future. I see Fresh Collective growing to many, many locations, each selling a wonderful mix of independent designers work; each a hub of creativity and beauty in the neighbourhoods. Each store is staffed by committed, passionate and fun store staff who know the customers by name, help them get exactly what they want and help them feel transformed, beautiful and self expressed every day.

We see a future where Fashion Grads can build a career in starting their own line, being creative and fulfilled and getting the the support they need to connect with customers in our shops. We see a future where communities are vibrant and full of character, where Fresh Collective locations can thrive all over Toronto with more and more local designers growing and succeeding with us. We see Fresh Collective providing a model for other small businesses to grow and thrive and maintain their character, and Toronto being a better place for lots of reasons because of what we create together. I see Fresh Collective outliving me, as we are working to build a solid business structure that can live on into the future for ALL the people- staff, designers and customers, who have made it what it is.

We are asking for your involvement to make this happen. We just want to know all about you so we can meet your needs better and you can shop with us more often!

What do you want from us? What do you love about us? What frustrates you about us? What can we do to make you happy? Tell us about your jobs, your kids, your lives and give us the clues to make sure Fresh Collective is exactly what you want!

Know that in taking the time to do this, you’re really part of a fashion revolution, a small business revolution and you’re very much part of shaping the future.

I’m really serious when we say we’re here to listen, and each survey will get a personal answer from me. Thank you very much in advance for your time. We couldn’t do it without you!

xo – Laura-Jean