Style Profile: Shelly Burton

Name: Shelly Burton
Occupation: Reiki Practitioner & Family Wellness Specialist
Age: 29
Lifestyle: Free flowing


Cardigan: Spinosus Cardigan- Jennifer Fukushima, $269; Top: Charlie Slouch Tee – Mandala Design $64; Necklace: Marakia – BurfurtART, $76; Pants: Prada cropped pants – Brenda Beddome, $139; Shoes: Stella Wide Strap, $204; Bag: Velo – Matt and Natt, $96


What’s a typical day like for you?
I wake up, take a flower essence and spray myself with chakra sprays and grounding blends, go through a whole bunch of Reiki sessions, and do my best to respond to everyone! Throughout the day, I take time to walk, breathe, eat delicious organic food, and connect with my girlfriends. I regularly check in with Spirit about what I am guided to do and what is in the highest good for me, action wise.

 What in your life is really important to you?
Living my truth, and harmonizing hearts.


Dress: Cynthia – Jennifer Fukushima, $169; Shoes: Stella Skinny Strap – El Naturalista $189; Necklace: Love Montreal $30

 What would you like to be remembered for? Creating a new wave of change in the world, by harmonizing hearts and inspiring youth to express their creative, brilliant and whole selves, so that they are able to create a life that serves them and spread their light into world, inspiring harmony.

What role does fashion play in your life? Fashion plays a huge role in my life! I lived in England for 4 years, and really miss all the amazing clothes over there. Fashion is a way of expressing yourself! Your uniqueness!


Dress: Nicole Knit Dress – Kabuki, $189; Necklace: Curious Oddities, $40; Shoes: Croche – El Naturalista, $184; Wallet: Connoly – Matt and Nat, $ 76

 What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective? I love how the clothes are comfortable, unique and trendy. This is an essential and hard to find combination as a healer! Fresh Collective is a life saver in this regard! Plus I love to support local, boutique shops.

What do you have that you want to promote?

Yes! On June 6 & 7th, I’ll be hosting a special Healing with Horses & Reiki workshop with Wendy Golding, Founder of Horse Spirit Connections.

Why Horses? Working with horses is a fun, gentle, and incredibly powerful way to accelerate the healing journey. Horse work allows you to bring things to the surface that might otherwise be difficult to process. Combined with Reiki, it is then possible to let go of emotions that have been challenging or limiting you from expressing your highest potential and true inner light, with ease!

There’s only a few spots left! Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity, to transform your life from the inside out! A $175 deposit reserves your space. Register online today here!

 Is there anything else we should know about you?

I am basically a gypsy.
I love horses, dancing in drum circles, and African house music.
It is an absolute honour and privilege to witness my clients blossom. I am so grateful for my work, each and every day!


Where can people find you on social media?

Twitter: @saburton



Meet the Fresh Collective Designers – Shelley Yu of Kabuki Designs

Name:  Shelley Yu
Name of line: Kabuki Designs
Description of what you make: women’s ready-to-wear
Number of years in business: 3.5 years


Where and when you’ll find me most days: I’m usually in my home studio @Yonge/Eglinton all the time, or I may walk around in the streets for the whole day!


What a typical day at work looks like for me:  

I never get bored of these things even though I do them almost every day:

  • searching online the trendy colours, styles, and fabrics, etc
  • watching movies of 50’s or 60’s where I usually get inspiration for new designs
  • illustrating designs
  • making patterns
  • draping, sewing samples
  • correcting patterns and samples…
reggie dress teal

Reggie dress: the fabric is so stretchy there’s no need for a zipper – just slide it on with some heels and you’re ready to go! It features convenient invisible pockets and is light enough to comfortably wear under a jacket or blazer! (Available in navy, purple, teal, SML, $189)

My favourite part of the job:  When I hit upon a new idea, I start to make a sample, try it on myself in high heels and correct it bit by bit till I am satisfied.  I just love to see the idea come together!

The most challenging part of being a designer is…. To find fabrics matching the designs. Besides, it’s still hard for me to find out what styles may attract more customers since the western and eastern aesthetics are so different.

reggie top skirt purple2

Reggie top/skirt: The fishtail curve of the skirt creates a very elegant shape. The top is very versatile-it looks professional paired with slacks or a skirt, but looks great with a pair of jeans too! (Available in navy, purple, teal, SML, top:$139, skirt:$98)

Something I’m really great at is…. Thanks to my medical study background, the knowledge about anatomy helps me make better fitting patterns.

Having my own business is…  To bring my dream into reality!

audrey A2

Audrey A-line: This dress is a classic look of Audrey Hepburn who inspires me of most of my designs – a cute cowl neck or high round neckline with a A line knee length skirt. The houndstooth pattern is forever trendy and looks perfect on everybody! The dress gathers at the back to keep a great feminine shape. Keep it simple for a great daytime look or dress it up for night with bold accessories and heels.
SML, $189

My hopes and dreams for my fashion career: To dress up more and more people.

What I do when I’m not at work:  Walk around in streets and watch what people are wearing, spend time in a library, learn new recipes for cooking, make crafts, hang out with friends…

My earliest fashion memory: My mom sitting beside me and making me a new dress.

My inspiration as a designer comes from…Anything that attracts my eyes.

Growing up I thought I’d become….A doctor or a fashion designer. Then I studied medicine and became a designer finally.

What I like to do to relax: Look at clouds or the moon and imagine anything I can, or randomly draw something hits my mind. What I also love is to observe ants and am always admire how powerful and hardworking they are.

Why I love working with Fresh Collective: Both the staff and fellow designers always kindly encourage and support me and honestly give me suggestions to develop my line.

Favourite social media platform: I don’t have passion for computers, so facebook page ( is my favourite so far although I know there are tons of platforms.

Anything else we should know about you:  My part-time job? I am writing and translating articles about health for a Japanese monthly magazine.

Fresh Collective Style Profile – Ana Bailão

Name: Ana Bailão

Occupation: City Councillor, Ward 18

Age: A woman never tells 😉

Lifestyle: On-the-go.


Style Coach Notes: Ana liked this dress so much, after our photo shoot she bought one in the same style but a different colourway. This style just works on most women. The band creates a nice long line from under the bust to the hem and the cut of the skirt just flows away from the body skimming over tummies and hips. The demure tie and collar give it professional polish but the fabric shows off your shape. Very flattering! (Dress: Jayne Zig crimp shirt dress – Mandala Design $138, Shoes: Lonna Mary Jane – Hush Puppies $100, Bracelet: Ch-ch-chains – BurfurtART $45)

What’s a typical day like for you? It starts with a shot of espresso to kick off early morning meetings with stakeholders at City Hall. Followed by council and committee meetings, taking my day into the early evening. It doesn’t end there; even without any afternoon siestas! Usually, there are community meetings schedule weeks in advance for topics such as planning applications, parking upgrades and new community projects. Weekends are just as action packed, with numerous community festivals and events, allowing me the opportunity to better connect with the residents of the area; always making a day of work much more enjoyable. Continue reading

Fresh Collective Style Profile – Shelley Yu

Shelley Yu and I first met in 2011.  We had a meeting to discuss her selling her line, Kabuki, with us in our new Roncesvalles store.  She impressed me in many ways; her craftsmanship was impeccable, her drive and passion for what she does was clear and her willingness to learn and adapt showed me that she was going to be very successful as a designer.

Shelley has put her heart and soul into developing her line with us.  She spends time in the store to get to know what the customers are looking for.  She is open to feedback and ready to adapt, and she is always surprising me with how beautiful and marketable each new season is in her line Kabuki.

I am proud to have Shelley’s line in our stores, and impressed to see how much she has grown as a designer and as a businessperson in the 3 short years I’ve known her.  She is always an inspiration to me.
Laura-Jean – founder and CEO of Fresh Collective

Name: Shelley Yu
Occupation: Clothing Designer – Kabuki
Age: 44
Lifestyle: free, sometimes excited, sometimes quiet


Style Coach Notes: I love the subtle fishtail curve of this dress – it creates a very elegant shape. The top is very versatile – it looks professional paired with slacks or a skirt, but looks great with a pair of boyfriend jeans too! (Reggie Top/Reggie Skirt – Kabuki – available in purple/navy/teal – $139/$98; Necklace: Ch-ch-chains – BurfurART bracelet plus extender $45 + $12;  Bracelet- Ch-Ch-Chains BurfurART $45;  Shoes- Lonna T-bar – Hush Puppies $100  )

What’s a typical day like for you?  I had never worked out at all until I discovered yoga two months ago – I think I finally found the right exercise for me! Now I start my day with 30 minutes of yoga before I start tackling any work left from the day before. That, or I decide what to eat for the day (eating is our family’s common hobby)! On nice days I really enjoy spending time in my backyard. Continue reading

Fresh Collective Style Profile – Patti Loach

I first saw Shelley’s work at a fashion show that was curated last year by The Style Initiative. What struck me about Shelley’s dresses and skirts was her attention to detail: you can see her background in pattern-making in the way she cuts her dresses, and in the very feminine elements in her designs.

A few months after that fashion show, my son and his girlfriend announced that they were getting married.  I knew right away which shoes I wanted to wear – I had bought a beautiful pair of tango shoes in Buenos Aires the previous year – but I was going to need a dress to complement them. I didn’t want to go the “traditional mother-of-the-bride route”, I wanted something different: something colourful, a little flirty, and I wanted to be able to wear it after the wedding. Of course, I thought of Shelley. We exchanged a few ideas by email, then we met in her studio where she showed me some of her current designs and took measurements. We kicked around a few more ideas where Shelley was candid about colours and ‘looks’ (which I was so grateful for!), and the end product was not only perfect, it was extremely comfortable, and it’s timeless.

– Patti Loach

Name: Patti Loach

Occupation: Pianist

Age: 56

Lifestyle: Unique

Style Coach Notes: Patti is very friendly. When I first met her at my home studio, I immediately fell in love with her genuine smile and kindness. This dress is a great alternative for a home party. (Dress : Joanna Print - Kabuki $145 (now 40% off), Shoes: Lonna T-bar - Hush Puppies $100 (now 20% off)

Style Coach Notes: Patti is very friendly. When I first met her at my home studio, I immediately fell in love with her genuine smile and kindness. This dress is a great alternative for a home party. (Dress : Joanna Print – Kabuki $145 (now 40% off), Shoes: Lonna T-bar – Hush Puppies $100 (now 20% off)

What’s a typical day like for you? Because I’m a pianist and self-employed I don’t really have ‘typical’ days but every morning without fail, my husband John  – we’ve been married 34 years – greets me with a cappuccino and a huge smile. That’s a constant.

I bike the Martin Goodman trail every day until there’s too much snow or ice to ride safely. The rest of my day is filled with practicing, looking for new material to perform with the singers I work with, updating various websites I manage, shooting and editing photos, organizing music soirées we host in our kitchen, and hanging out with friends and family.

Continue reading

Fresh Collective Style Profile – Jennifer Lee Dawson

Jennifer “Big Deal” Dawson is on the Board of Fashion Group International Toronto with me and she is just the sweetest person you could hope to meet!  Jennifer’s role at FGI is member relations- meeting new members or potential members at our events and getting to know them while representing FGI.  If you’re interested in making some great connections with a supportive and friendly bunch of dedicated fashion professionals (and creative professionals from related industries) come check out one of our events that happen the last Tuesday of every month, and find the lovely Jennifer Dawson to ask her about what membership has to offer!

– Laura-Jean Bernhardson, CEO and founder of Fresh Collective

Name:  Jennifer Lee Dawson

Occupation:  Professor/ Big Deal Dawson Owner

Age: 30

Lifestyle: Marathon Runner, World Traveller, Brand Evangelist, Masters in Education, Digital Media Expert, Vintage Fashion Obsessed, & former Beauty Queen.

Style Coach Notes: A maxi dress is a must for hot summer days, and the dramatic print of this one suits Jennifer’s style to a tee!  This dress is flattering on many different figures because of the band under the bust, the low neck and then the cut of the skirt.  It flows over tummies and hips just right and creates a long lean line.

Style Coach Notes: A maxi dress is a must for hot summer days, and the dramatic print of this one suits Jennifer’s style to a tee! This dress is flattering on many different figures because of the band under the bust, the low neck and then the cut of the skirt. It flows over tummies and hips just right and creates a long lean line.  (Dress: Loni Wave Print Maxi Dress – Mandala Design $138, Shoes: Trave Sling – Hush Puppies $100)

What’s a typical day like for you?  It always differs, but I try to start my day with a morning run to get my energy flowing. From there my days are usually filled with client meetings, lunches, work, and various fashion events in the evenings.  I never have a boring day which is why I LOVE Toronto because there is never a dull moment in this electrifying city.

What in your life is really important to you?  Family.  I am the eldest of six children and have a very loving relationship with my 3 brothers and 2 sisters. They mean the world to me.

What would you like to be remembered for?  I would always like to be remembered as the girl who made all of her wildest dreams come true.  I live my life to the fullest and truly believe that anything is possible. Continue reading

Guest Blog: Movie Inspired Style from Kabuki

Shelley Yu, designer and creator of Kabuki Designs shares the story of overcoming the early struggles of building her own fashion line and the chance inspiration that turned it all around….


For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved fashion. Some of my earliest memories are of my mother making beautiful dresses for my sister and I. When I was 10 years old, I decided my dream was to become a fashion designer.

Many years later, Tokyo opened the floodgates for me and I took my first steps in approaching this dream. Some years after that, in April of 2011, Toronto became the birthplace of my line Kabuki Designs (which means Beautiful Clothes in Japanese).


I found my first two years in business to be quite a struggle as I worked to define the Kabuki style. I had brought over my design and pattern-making experience from the markets in Japan, and initially brought the same popular style elements to my own line, but found the Canadian marketplace didn’t seem to quite understand it. It seemed the aesthetics of eastern women and western women were not the same. This I could clearly see, but just couldn’t figure out how to bridge the gap.

“Find a routine daytime job and your life will be easier!”

“Never give up as this is the only career brings you no regret!”

There were always these two conflicting voices in my mind and it was enough to drive me mad. I can honestly say I became afraid of a new season coming because I just didn’t know what to make next.

In March of 2013, my family and I took a trip to Taiwan. On the airplane, I randomly switched the TV channels – I had no interest in any shows – I was annoyed that I hadn’t made progress or had any ideas about the new collections I was to be working on. I turned on the classic movie channel and Audrey Hepburn’s “How to Steal a Million” caught my eye.


When I first saw Audrey’s photo many years ago, I was attracted to her beauty, her elegance, and her intelligence.  That’s about the time I started to believe that God is indeed making perfect humans! She at once became my forever idol.  While watching the movie, I imagined being her personal stylist – what I would dress her in…?

Then there suddenly an unexpected idea hit mind — why not consider my customers as my idols and style them?


After the vacation, a simple but classic new Kabuki style was born along with 2013FW collections. I named all the pieces after characters played by Audrey Hepburn. And of course, the Audrey dress became the biggest hit among them!


My pattern making master Sensei Kondo, who used to work for Cristobal Balenciaga in Paris, taught me that the first thing to be considered when making a garment is to make sure the person in it feeling cozy. The fabrics and the silhouette must be not only flattering but also comfortable. I must say I’m grateful to have studied human anatomy at the medical university so many years ago – it most certainly helps me in pattern-making, crafting pretty silhouettes that move easily.


Thank you all for supporting and encouraging me and Kabuki through the years!

(This is the first blog I’ve written in English. I want to thank Laura-Jean who helped me with writing and editing!)

Shelley Yu



Style Profile – Katherine O’Neil

Katherine O’Neil and I met just over a year ago when I joined Arbonne as a consultant. Aside from my awesome career as Fresh Collective’s Regional Manager, I have my own Arbonne business and I love doing both!
From the moment I met her at our region meeting I knew I wanted to be just like her! Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious. Katherine has a way of bringing out the leader in you and making you feel so special. She is someone who I just love to spend time with as she is so inspirational.
We just had our Global Training Conference in Vegas this past week and it was my honour to help her find the perfect dress for her to lead her training in. Katherine lead a training in Vegas to over 12500 consultants so it was important that she looked the part.
– Jane Haselgrove, Regional Manager at Fresh Collective


Name:  Katherine O’Neil
Title:   Independent Consultant and National Vice President with Arbonne Intl.
Occupation:  Mom, Entrepreneur, Wealth Creation Coach, Wellness Educator
Age: 42
Lifestyle:  on the go with the appropriate dash of daily belly laughs and quarterly travel fixes – I love my passport 🙂

What’s a typical day like for you?  Mornings are the mad dash getting the kids to school, then I fit in a workout and really start my day.  The rest depends – it’s a mixed bag of coffee meetings with clients, coaching calls with my business team, volunteering at school, or reading a book on the couch in the afternoon sun with a Chai Tea.

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Dress: Kaleidoscope Dress- Mandala Design, $128
Bag: Melissa Bag by Taska, $129

Style coach notes: Katherine is vivacious and just glows with an inner beauty.  Her life is busy so comfy dresses like this one make getting dressed quick and switching gears easy.  This dress doesn’t sacrifice style though, with its bold print, fitted bodice and flirty keyhole opening at the neck.

What in your life is really important to you?  My family is everything to me.  They are the driving force behind all that I do.  My friends keep me grounded – I love how it doesn’t matter if it was two days or two years since I’ve spoken with some, there’s a connectedness that’s always there.

What would you like to be remembered for?  Having played full out and for leaving people better than how I found them.  Everyone has an invisible sign that says make me feel important.

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​Dress: Destination Dress – Diane Kroe, $225
Necklace: The Simples by BurfurtART, $38

Style Coach notes: Katherine travels a lot and this convertible dress is perfect.  It can be worn several different ways from this sassy halter style to a look that’s all business.

What role does fashion play in your life?  It’s fun!  I love colour no matter the season so I use it to express my mood.   My Parisian grandmother used to always say that a woman’s best piece was  the confidence that came from within.  It’s all about how you wear the clothes and not how they wear you.  That said, there’s nothing like a flattering cut and amazing fabric that hugs you in just the right spots.   I am also a sucker for an amazing pair of boots.  Now if I can only master the different ways to tie a scarf!


Did you know Fresh Collective has Styling Services?  Many women don’t know what looks good on them or how to project the image they want.  Our Style Coaches know the language of fashion. We’ll help you make great choices and build a wardrobe you’ll LOVE.

Book a complimentary Perfect Fit Wardrobe Makeover today in any of our stores. You’ll leave feeling confident, gorgeous and inspired about fashion and life.


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Dress: ​Drape 14 Dress​- Studio Fresh, ​$179​
Necklace: Ch-ch-ch-chains – BurfurtART, $​65​

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Style Coach notes: Katherine’s confidence shines through in this artistic-looking dress with a loose fit, slouchy pockets and abstract print.  The shorter length shows off her fab legs, and works perfectly with the slouchy fit.  The proportions of this dress are just right for her figure and her lifestyle.

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?  What’s not to love?  Everything there is unique and made to not only look but feel fabulous on you.  The colours, prints, versatility….I could go on.  As someone who loves to travel, these clothes are your suitcase’s best friend.  And I love how you can shop guilt free – home-grown, responsibly made clothing with attitude and flair.  And the people working there are fantastic – they get you to try things that you would never think of and voila, a new favourite 🙂


Dress: Hourglass dress – Obakki, $280
Necklace:The Simples by BurfurtART, $38
Shoes are her own

Style Coach notes:  Here’s a bold number that suits Katherine to a tee.  The curves of the colour blocking accentuate her figure, and wearing something this graphic gets a woman noticed as a confidence leader.

What do you have that you want to promote?   I left a successful career in the corporate world 5 years ago – something I never imagined myself doing but I was so tired of juggling between family, career and more – and am now an Independent Consultant and National Vice President with Arbonne International.  I have an incredible Health & Wellness business that has allowed me to fit my work around my family and my personal priorities and not the other way around.  I love getting to create a life by design that is full of positivity and the best is showing others how to do the same, educating people on not just their physical but financial health as well.  It’s all about creating more choices and freedom to truly leave a legacy for your loved ones, for causes that matter to you and to live in the moment with abundance. Between the friendships, fun and the growth, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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Top: Eliza Top – Kabuki, $128
Skirt: Eliza Skirt- Kabuki, $108

Style Coach notes:  This top and skirt offer a lot of versatility for Katherine to mix and match with other pieces from her wardrobe.  Great for travel, this outfit has stretch for comfort and packs well without wrinkling.




Swing into Spring with Fresh Collective


Yet another stunning photo shoot with some of our amazing friends from the internet! We got some lovely beauty shots featuring the new Great Gatsby-inspired collection from Curious Oddities (all jewellery in the photos below is from the line) and put together some playful spring looks in bright colours! Check it out…dainty1 dainty2

The lovely Nicole of looks stunning in a coral Lauren Dress from Fresh Baked Goods. This dress is the final design in the now discontinued Fresh Baked Goods line. Available exclusively at Fresh Collective Kensington while supplies last! We paired it with a pair of Hush Puppies Slumber Pump wedges in a turquoise to really boost the bright spring look!

emma1 emma2

One of our favourite style/mommy bloggers, Emma of makes this simple outfit super stylish in a gorgeous dark denim pair of Yoga Jeans, a white Melow halter top camisole and a fun pair of Miz Mooz Cherry sandals!



You probably remember our new friends Nat & Marie (we dressed them for Foursquare Day!) We love the bright and bold look of Marie’s fun spring outfit! This great printed purple tank from Things Aren’t So Terrible totally pops against these white Brenda Beddome cropped jeans. Add another bright pop of colour with the orange Hush Puppies Slumber Pump wedges and you’re set for the season!

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First off, we LOVE Nat’s hair. Clearly this gorgeous gal isn’t one to shy away from colour, so we set her up in a totally bold outfit that we absolutely love! This playful polka-dot bouse from Kabuki looks amazing with the aquamarine cropped Yoga Jeans and Renown T-strap sandals from Hush Puppies. BAM!


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: