Style Profile: Emilia Farrace

Name:  Emilia Farrace
Occupation:  Entrepreneur! (Owner of Simply Elaborate Creative, A Girl Boss life + Mealspirations)
Age: 30

Lifestyle:  I have a laidback lifestyle with a penchant for beautiful things and for things that make me feel like life is beautiful.  It’s laidback in “look” but full in action.

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What’s a typical day like for you?  Meeting new people, current clients, my business partner, people, entrepreneurs, or designing websites, putting the finishing touches to websites, communicating with my team, members of my friends and family – writing!  I’m on the go almost always, on subways, streetcars, going from one end of the city to the other. But at the end of the day, cozy in the Annex with my cat, partner and knitting. Yes, I knit.

 

What in your life is really important to you?  My voice, my ability to take a stand and inspire others. I think often we need to help each other, find confidence in each other when sometimes it’s wavering in ourselves. Isn’t it nice if we could all find a little time to share inspiring things with one another?

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Blouse: Nelle by Monikova – $135.00; Skirt: Jupe Denim by Cameleon – $98.00; Famke by Bloomin’ Brilliant – $58.00; Truss by Bloomin’ Brilliant – $46.00

 What would you like to be remembered for? I’d like to be remembered for my compassion and determination to fulfill promises. I want to be inspiring and help others achieve their dreams – help to develop the strategy and ideas to get there.

 What role does fashion play in your life?  I wear clothes every day! So they’re pretty important :)  My mood for the day really depends on what I’m wearing to the office. I’m in a co-sharing work environment so I don’t really have the same constrictions that others in an office may have. But when I want a really, professional, productive day – you’ll be surprised on how getting ready in the morning really develops the mood for the rest of the day.

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Studio Fresh Top : Simple Palm – $79.00; Jeans: High Rise Ankle – Yoga Jeans, $120; Shoes: Praia by Oliberté! – $119.00

 What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?  I love how the clothes fit me. I love how they’re fun, yet professional and when I try something on – I am actually amazed when I’m staring at myself in the mirror. I also love everyone who works there. Doesn’t matter which location, people are always so eager to help in a non-pushy way which really makes the experience. I feel like I’m shopping in a friend’s closet.

 What do you have that you want to promote?

We have a new offering at Simply Elaborate:  Brand Development Strategy + Website Review. To celebrate the FRESH (get it?!) offering, I’m extending a free 60 minute consultation to five people who know that their presence online is just as important as the one they make in a physical meeting.

Email emilia@simplyelaborate.com with the subject line: FRESH REVIEW and let me know why you’re interested!

Mealspirations:  We’re an easy-cooking-at-home service that deliver nutritious recipes with all the ORGANIC and LOCAL ingredients you need to cook from scratch.  Get $20 off your first order with the code SPRING20.

 Is there anything else we should know about you? I am a person who loves meeting new people who are inspiring and determined to go after what they want in their lives. I connect with people and see their dream and help them go after it! Currently, I am creating an online network of mentors and mentees for women on the brink of their professional careers looking for more guidance, advice and inspiration as they take the next step. Connect if you think this might be an interesting community to get involved in.

Where can people find you on social media?

Twitter: @emiliafarrace  @elaboratethings @mealspirations

Facebook: Simply Elaborate Creative Agency or Mealspirations

Instagram: @emiliafarrace @elaboratethings @mealspirations

Yea, okay. There are a lot. I’m very social – online or off!

 

Style Profile – Kathleen “The Dancing Crossing Guard” Byers

I am very lucky in that I have lived next door to Kathleen Byers for close to a decade. Before she became famous as The Dancing Crossing Guard, Kathleen to me was an AMAZING woman who greets each day with energy and enthusiasm and just adds joy into any relationship and any conversation.  She has become a huge part of people’s day in our neighbourhood at her crossing, dancing and spreading joy three times a day every weekday while ensuring kids cross the street safely.  While we don’t know what the future holds for Kathleen’s position as a crossing guard, I know that whatever she does it will inspire people and add a major contribution to many people’s lives.  To see Kathleen’s extensive press coverage, click here.”  – Laura-Jean Bernhardson, Founder and CEO of Fresh Collective

Name:  Kathleen Byers
Occupation:  Semi-Retired, Crossing Guard, Former Fitness Instructor 25 years, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother
Age: 65
Lifestyle: Active

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Dress: Lila dress – Mandala, $158
Bracelet: Myka, $169
Shoes: Athena, Miz Mooz, $145

Style Coach notes:  Kathleen LOVES colour and pattern, so we chose bold pieces for her to model.  This dress is flattering to any figure with the nipped in waist and full skirt, and comfortable enough for any occasion.  And, oh, need I say it…. pockets?  We LOVE pockets in dresses!

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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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What’s a typical day like for you? Relaxing every morning with my sweetheart and a cup o’ Java!  After that it’s all about choosing the colours I’ll be wearing that day. I choose my outfits by the way I feel, rain or shine!  I love colour, it energizes me! As a Crossing Guard I stay quite active by moving around to a good beat!

Some have called me The Dancing Crossing Guard, I call it my Diabetes Prevention Program! It’s rhythmic aerobic exercise four hours everyday which I do while safely crossing children to school.  I have two breaks everyday which I use for eating and resting. This makes for a very full day, since I start about 8am and finish at 4pm.  I am blessed to live, work, and play in my own community.

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Dress: Lana Shatter Slash Shift Dress – Mandala Design, $138
Shoes: Pepper – Miz Mooz, $150

Style Coach Notes:  More bold prints and colours for Kathleen.  Aside from her vibrant personality, Kathleen looks fantastic in rich colours because of her skin tone and hair.  This dress skims Kathleen’s curves without hugging too tight, and the keyhole neckline adds a bit of fun without being too revealing.  This would be a great dress for a summer dinner on a patio with Kathleen’s hubby, Jim.

What in your life is really important to you?  Belonging is very important for me.  A friendly wave from a neighbour, a nod or smile, really it’s the simple things in life that matter the most.  I love to laugh everyday!

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Dress: Dandelion dress – Desserts and Skirts, $125
Bracelet: Ch-ch-chains – BurfurtART $65
Shoes: Kathleen’s own

 

What would you like to be remembered for? Fun!  I used to say, “Have fun everyday, why not have fun all the time!”

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Dress: Amy dress – Michelle Carey, $198
Earrings: Curious Oddities, $18
Shoes: Kathleen’s own

Style Coach Notes:  For Kathleen, her family is most important, and with all those people to love in her life, there’s no end to the birthday parties and anniversaries she is going to. This dress is a great versatile piece and is perfect for all kinds of fun summer occasions. The dots are perfect for Kathleen’s personality, and the shape is so flattering with the band at the waist, gathered bust and full skirt.  This dress creates an awesome hourglass silhouette for a wide variety of figures.  I have to add that at the beginning of the photo shoot, Kathleen was a bit reserved in her poses.  By the end, she was strutting her stuff, dancing, laughing and posing like a supermodel.

What role does fashion play in your life?  Fashion for me has always been about running gear or jeans and tops.  I never wear dresses or skirts or anything that girly or feminine.  That is, not until today when I saw the great designs and collections at Fresh Collective.

What do you love about Fresh Collective?  I loved the beautiful prints full of colour and great style.  I loved the pockets, yes pockets!

What do you have that you want to promote? I am available for a new career in modelling, “Great-Grandma Fashionista!”

Is there anything else we should know about you? I once got three strikes in a row – bowling!

 

 

Style Profile – Rebecca Eckler

Name: Rebecca Eckler
Occupation: Author/journalist/blogger
Age: I’m 20 + 10 + 5 + 2 + 3. You do the math!
Lifestyle: As laid back as I can be in constant mayhem!

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Dress: Patsy Cline – Annie 50 $184
Bracelet: Ch-Ch-Chains – BurfurtART $65
Shoes: Lonna T-Bar in rose – Hush Puppies $100

Style Coach Notes: Rebecca wanted a fun and bold look for her book launch. This dress with the fun and vibrant floral pattern was just the number to have her looking and feeling great. This dress suits her style and her petite frame, and she loved it so much, she bought it plus the shoes after our photo shoot!

What’s a typical day like for you?

Today, I got up at 7 a.m., woke up my daughter Rowan, age 10, to get her out of bed and get ready for school. Brought Holt, my son, 22 months, downstairs. Raced for personal training from 7:30 to 8 a.m. Went back home. Drove daughter to school. Head back to home office (trying to ignore the dozen 2 year-olds over because it’s my turn to host play group.) Spend about an hour procrastinating on Facebook. I pitched a couple of stories. They were accepted, which means I have to write them. Worked on story for Canadian Parents and also researching next book. Rush to pick up daughter at school and then usually she has a dance class or play practice (so I sit in my car and write!) Now, with The Mommy Mob about to launch, it’s a bit busier, doing press, and getting the word out there. Some days are busier than others. When I finally get home, it’s about reading to Holt before he goes to bed, and making sure my daughter gets her homework done (My life sounds so fun doesn’t it?). Then House of Cards! (And sometimes I get my Mommy On and party! SHH!)

What in your life is really important to you?

My children. My friends. Art. Music. Books. Reading. Fashion. My fiancé, Jordan. Jared Leto (who is not my fiancé.) Cheesecake. Beaches and sun!

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Dress: Annette Dress – Studio Fresh $179
Boots and jewellery – Rebecca’s own

Style Coach Notes: This dress suits Rebecca’s boho style and we styled it with the slouchy boots Rebecca wore on the day of the shoot and her own jewellery. This dress is a perfect casual-yet-arty dress for a busy, cool mom-on-the-go like Rebecca. It’s got just enough shaping in the bodice to give it a flattering silhouette.  Although it suits Rebecca’s slender frame perfectly, it is just as lovely on larger ladies.

What would you like to be remembered for?

Now, that’s a tough one! Probably being a good mother. But I can tell you all the things I DON’T want to be remembered for!

But I think helping other women, who have read my books or blogs, to know that they are not alone, especially when it comes to Post Partum Depression or the right to have the option of what FEMALES want to do with their bodies, when it comes to birth. I would also liked to be remembered for my cooking. Which will never happen. Oh well.

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Dress: Amy Dress in navy dots – Michelle Carey $198
Necklace: Ch-Ch-Chains belt (worn as a necklace) – BurfurtART $85
Bracelet: Ch-Ch-Chains – BurfurtART $65
Shoes: Lonna T-Bar in rose – Hush Puppies $100

Style Coach Notes: This fun and flirty dotted dress needed just a bit of edge to suit Rebecca’s style, so we went heavy metal with the chain necklace and bracelet. The shape accentuates an hourglass silhouette, and is a perfect dress for networking, a book launch or press interviews – or maybe, a well-deserved date night with her guy.

 

What role does fashion play in your life?

I love fashion. I love the Boho Chic look. My fiancé will tell you he likes me in a “slutty” look, so I always have to say, “You need to see it on me, not just on the hanger!” And then he always loves my fashion choices, which are NOT “slutty.” I like to be a little unique with fashion. I’m not into shopping at huge department stores.

I love boutiques, where you know you’re not going to be wearing the same thing as others! Fashion, like writing, is creative. So I always add something creative to my outfit, be it a funky bracelet, or necklace. I think Jennifer Aniston is my role model. She looks great in motorcycle boots and jeans, and she looks amazing on the red carpet. Also, I still have clothes that I’ve kept that are at least ten years old. I think that saying, “If you don’t wear it for a year, toss it!” is BS. Guess what? Fashion comes around again! (Even if it’s ten years later!) And now I’m noticing that my daughter has a better wardrobe than me! It was a sad parenting moment.

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

Well, I didn’t walk out of the store empty handed as you know! I think that says it all! That morning I stopped by [for the photo shoot] I was not planning to walk out with a new pair of pants, dress, and shoes! I just loved them so much that I couldn’t NOT buy them! I also love that the staff will help you put together an outfit if you’re not 100% sure about it. They’re not going to let you leave looking like crap! And I love that many of the pieces are really one-of-a-kind. It’s so awful of me, but I feel that Fresh Collective is somewhat of a secret find in Toronto. I kind of don’t want everyone to know about it! Kidding.

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Dress: Alissa dress in pink and grey dots – Bionic $119
Bracelet: Ch-Ch-Chains – BurfurtART $45
Shoes: Lonna T-Bar in black – Hush Puppies $100

 Style Coach Notes: This stunning dress is another winner for Rebecca. The print is fun and the cut is sophisticated with the body conscious shaping. The gathering at the hip creates subtle style and shaping to accentuate a waistline and flatter most figures. This is another fabulous, versatile style for Rebecca’s busy life and crazy schedule!

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

My ninth book, The Mommy Mob, is coming out at the end of the month! It’s a book for anyone who is a mother, plans to be one, or wonder what is it’s like to be a mother in the year 2014. Mothers have become so judgmental to each other, it is out of control. In The Mommy Mob, readers will get to see the hate mail and comments I receive, while I try to figure out when mothers became so vicious to one another. I’m really a very loyal, girl’s girl, so I can’t comprehend how vicious and outrageous and insane some mothers are when they disagree with some aspect of parenting. You can buy it here: order The Mommy Mob.

You WILL laugh so hard you might cry. The Mommy Mob shows what *some* mothers can be like. It’s like the scariest playground in the world, when it comes to mommy bloggers, which my book focuses on. You’ll read it and think, “Wow! And I thought I had a bad day. Look what Eckler has to go through!”

Is there anything else we should know about you? I want a puppy, just so I can name him/her “Raisin.” But I don’t think it’s going to happen. And I’m not very good at parking. At all.

 

 

Style Profile – Brandy King

For this Style Profile, we went to Brandy’s favourite restaurant near our Queen Street store, Sud Forno to show off some great pieces from our spring collections. Whenever Brandy makes a trip into Toronto from Cambridge, the two musts on her list are Fresh Collective and Sud Forno! It’s obvious this photographer has great taste and the gorgeous restaurant proved to be the perfect backdrop for Brandy’s naturally beautiful style.

Name: Brandy King
Occupation: Photographer, Business Owner
Age: 32

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Marjorie dress by Melow par Melissa Bolduc.  $184.
Floral Trave Sling Shoes by Hush Puppies, $80.
Dyed Howlite necklace by Curious Oddites.  $55.
 

 

I chose this outfit for Brandy with her lifestyle in mind.  Brandy’s always on the go, and this comfortable yet polished dress is just the thing to get her through a summer day.  She can get up and go (in comfortable flats!), do a bit of editing then head out to meet a client.Next would be some errands and a lunch date with her hubby, and then some more meetings. She could even go straight to a dinner out with the girls or with her in-laws, looking fantastic from morning to night.

This dress is flattering for any figure with the draping caused by the wrap.  It accentuates an hourglass shape and falls gently over tummy and hips.  Best of all, with the layers of fabric, it doesn’t reveal every little detail of what’s underneath.

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

My days are filled with as much inspiration as I can pack into them.

I start most days with exercise and a good breakfast and then I’m off to the races. If I’m not shooting photographs, I’m editing them, meeting with clients, working on my website or other promotional material to help share my art with the community.

It’s also important to me to spend quality time with my supportive (and dare I say handsome) husband, amazing friends and wonderful family.

What in your life is really important to you?

Doing what I love and making beautiful things. It seems simple but sometimes, making time for what you love can be the hardest thing you ever do. It’s worth it.

Also, it’s important to be myself and be happy, as often as I can be.

 

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Amy Dress by Michelle Carey.  $198.
Rose Lonna T-Bar Shoes by Hush Puppies. $100.
Soutache Necklace by Victoria Sorkin. $85.

This playful dress is a perfectly fun look for Brandy.  The fitted empire waist and full skirt compliment her curves and show off her tiny waist.  The dots suit her joyful and creative personality, and we chose rose coloured shoes and a matching necklace to add an extra touch of femininity.

This is a great dress for lot of occasions and can be styled in many ways to get various looks.  Brandy can try a light belted cardigan over top to make it slightly more serious, tights, boots and a blazer for cooler weather, and a red belt and red shoes for a nautical feel.  When a dress looks this great, you want to find a lot of excuses to wear it!

 

What would you like to be remembered for?

If I am to be remembered, I’d like it to be for inspiring people to do what they love and for loving without condition.

What role does fashion play in your life?

Fashion plays two MAJOR roles for me.

It’s the art I live my life in. It gives me confidence as a business owner and a woman, to go out in the world everyday and engage people about my
own art.
It’s the paint on my canvas (so to speak). My specialty is photographing people, so what they wear is a huge part of the final image. I try to help coach my clients on what will work well for the final image we are trying to create.

Fresh Collective stands behind the unique product they sell. I love that they support local designers and that you know the pieces you leave with will last for years. The service is also outstanding.

 

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Melina Jacket by Melow par Melissa Bolduc.  $160.00
High Rise Skinny Yoga Jeans.  $120.00
Rose Lonna T-Bar Shoes by Hush Puppies.  $100.00
Peach Malone Bag by Matt & Nat.  $130.00
Ring by Curious Oddities.  $25.00
Hand printed and dyed Scarf by Katie Walker.  $40.00
 

 

As a creative professional, it’s important for Brandy to show up to see clients looking polished and, well, fabulous.  As a photographer, her clients are trusting her visual judgement so presenting herself well put together is a great opportunity to show her taste and sense of colour, scale and shape.This unique jacket is perfect for Brandy with it’s simple styling, asymmetrical shape and easy style.  It’s trim and polished, and oh so stylish.  The asymmetry is flattering to almost any woman’s body as diagonal lines play up length and an hourglass shape.

The Yoga Jeans Brandy’s wearing look oh-so- casual and ever-so-stylish.  They also allow total freedom of movement and comfort which is essential for Brandy’s busy life.  The hand printed scarf adds an artistic flair and the pink shoes and purse add a playful and feminine touch.

 

What do you have that you want to promote?

I’m an experienced lifestyle photographer with a full time studio, who specializes in location work (it’s much more dynamic).

I’m excited to introduce our High-School Senior portrait package, which includes hair and make-up, multiple locations and unlimited wardrobe changes! High-School Senior portraits are about capturing each teen’s individuality, during this transitional period in life (and having FUN doing it!).

Visit our website at www.brandykingphotography.com to learn more about our package options and to get to know more about me and the individualized artwork I can create for you and your family!

Contact me directly at info@brandykingphotography.com for questions and availability.

Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BrandyKingPhotography

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I married my best friend, I love vintage cars and all things beautiful.

 

Style Profile – Sarah Couture McPhail

In our seventh Style Profile, we feature one of Laura-Jean’s best friends, Sarah Couture McPhail. Laura-Jean and Sarah have known each other for more than 15 years.  Sarah met Laura-Jean through one of the first employees of Fresh Collective, and then worked part-time at the Kensington store when it was still called Fresh Baked Goods.

“Sarah has always been among the most stylish women I know.  She effortlessly mixes and matches, and uses accessories in creative and fun ways to produce endless looks.  I feel like I’ve never seen her wear the same thing twice, but I know she pulls from her closet from past seasons and just makes things look new.

She’s an avid Fresh Collective shopper, and loves to find the unique Canadian designer pieces that make her wardrobe so special. Aside from being super stylish, Sarah is fun, amazing and incredibly kind hearted.  She is a mom of twin boys, an artist and active in her community and her school.

She’s the kind of friend who has great get-togethers, awesome parties for her kids and can feed you or find a glass of wine for you just because you popped in her back door unannounced. She shows up at your door with home remedies when she knows you’re sick and her house is the one all the kids just gravitate to in the summertime.  I feel blessed to have Sarah in my life and I wanted to let the world know how much I love her.

xoxox   – Love, Laura-Jean”

Name: Sarah Couture McPhail
Occupation: Mom/Artist/ Mastercrafter/Workshop Facilitator/Student
Age: I am trying to own 40
Lifestyle: Urban Political Artsy Mom – ya I listen to a lot of CBC Radio 1

Dress: Calamity Jane - Annie 50 $179.00Sweater: Yvonne Cardigan - Paper People Clothing. Regular price: $149.00 now 20% off $119.20Necklace: Curious Oddities $25.00

Dress: Calamity Jane – Annie 50 $179.00
Sweater: Yvonne Cardigan – Paper People Clothing. Regular price: $149.00 now 20% off $119.20
Necklace: Curious Oddities $25.00

What’s a typical day like for you? I am rushing. I rush kids and myself off to school; I run to the studio; I fetch errands; I work on Parent Council endeavours; and I cook up other community projects. I try to squeeze in friend time, quality kid time, and time with my partner as much as I can. This usually results in scrambling hard for a stretch, then crashing hard for a couple days.

What in your life is really important to you? So much is important to me, but my family and friends are paramount. My house is full. I like it that way. I am also very appreciative of the quiet time I get to spend at the studio I share. Without any doubt, I am fortunate.

Dress: Frill Dress - Desserts and Skirts. $165.00Shoes: Miz Mooz, past season from Sarah's own wardrobe.

Dress: Frill Dress – Desserts and Skirts. $165.00
Shoes: Miz Mooz, past season from Sarah’s own wardrobe.

What would you like to be remembered for? “I aspire to help build communities and create them where they don’t already exist.” That is a quote from my resume. More than that though, I would like to equally and wholeheartedly be remembered for being a good friend/ mom/ and partner. I would also like to leave behind some damn good art… since we are being optimistic here.

What role does fashion play in your life? Fashion has always been a special source of inspiration. In the past, I’ve really enjoyed conceptual dressing. Whether it be playing with a nautical look or rocking 70s librarian, I am drawn to the associations that clothes ignite. Dressing up is often like taking on a new character. Though I might not act like an 80s glam superstar, when I wear a metallic blouse with a belted harness (not as crazy as it sounds) I am trying to conjure a feeling. When it works, it puts a strut in my stride and nothing can go wrong. Today while I dress a little more conservatively (by my own standards), I am still drawn to vintage and vintage inspired pieces. I like structured and well made clothes that will last. I also like blending modern clothes with retro ones too.

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective? I have been a fan of Fresh Collective since the beginning. Finding clothes that fit me is not easy. Stores don’t stock for short and curvy people. I love knowing that the clothes I buy from Fresh are conflict free. I also love knowing that I am supporting local designers and fellow artisans. I hardly ever walk out of the stores without buying something, which leads me to avoid going in sometimes. But the clothes, and the skilled and helpful sales team at Fresh Collective never fail to draw me back in… often.

Top: Panel Tee - Desserts and Skirts $58.00.  Skirt: Dotted Pencil Skirt - Michelle Carey $96.00. Belt: Kimono Belt - Susana Erazo $185.00 Shoes: Lonna T-Bar shoes - Hush Puppies,  $100.00

Top: Panel Tee – Desserts and Skirts $58.00.
Skirt: Dotted Pencil Skirt – Michelle Carey $96.00.
Belt: Kimono Belt – Susana Erazo $185.00 Shoes: Lonna T-Bar shoes – Hush Puppies, $100.00

What do you have that you want to promote? Right now I am busy at school and doing personal projects, but you can always check out my tumblr, for upcoming workshops and events.

Is there anything else we should know about you? I am extremely uncomfortable “tooting my own horn”. In my line of work, it is unfortunately essential. This was a good exercise.  Thank you Fresh Collective for this and for being a positive place for women of all shapes, a reliable place for edgy/on trend fashion and an amazing gang of people. You all are extraordinary.

Style Profile – Michelle Carey

In the sixth edition of our Style Profile series, we feature one of our long term designers, Michelle Carey. Michelle has been selling her line at Fresh Collective for more than five years now, and it has developed into one of our most popular lines. Her Amy Dress is a perennial best-seller and her pieces are known for flattering fit, meticulous construction, and feminine silhouettes that suit a range of women and figures.

Michelle is a sweetheart and her nephew is the light of her life.  She visits him frequently and was thrilled to be able to wear the ring he gave her in her photos because he would be excited to see her wearing it.  Michelle sews every stitch of her beautiful garments herself, and is just one of the awesome designers who make up our community.  I’ve enjoyed every minute of working with this talented, dedicated, and lovely entrepreneur all these years!

-Laura-Jean

Name: Michelle Carey
Occupation: Fashion Designer/Business Owner
Age: 33 (as of Sunday March 2)
Lifestyle: Calm and quiet with little splashes of excitement so I don’t get too bored.

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Top: Adrienne Top – Paper People Clothing. Regular price $65.00, now $39.00
Skirt: Darcy Skirt – Michelle Carey. $96.00 (new for spring!)
Shoes: Michelle’s own.

What’s a typical day like for you?
Coffee, work, food, work. Some days I might actually go outside.

What in your life is really important to you?
My family and friends. Living a life I can be proud of.

What would you like to be remembered for?
Adding some beauty to the world.

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Top: Kate Chalet Sweater – Bernice and Barclay. Regular price $79.00, now $47.40!
Skirt: Marie Houndstooth Skirt – Michelle Carey. Regular price $180.00, now $108.00
Necklace: Magnifying glass necklace – Curious Oddities. Price $40.00

What role does fashion play in your life?
Besides creating it all day? Its ability to brighten my day. Putting on something cheerful and fun always makes me feel better when I’m having an off day.

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?
Supporting my friends (the other designers.)

What do you have that you want to promote?
I’m currently working on a web store that, with any luck, will be up and running in a few weeks.

Is there anything else we should know about you?
I consider myself the costume designer in the movie that is my life.

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Dress: Amy Dress – Michelle Carey $198.00 (new for spring!)
Ring: Michelle’s own (a gift from her nephew).
Shoes: Michelle’s own.

 

Fresh TV? We’ll See…

Recently, Laura-Jean and Jenna (our marketing gal) had an exciting meeting with a production company to talk about some fun future projects (TV? MAYBE!)
Here’s Jenna’s tale of what happened…
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Earlier this month, Laura-Jean and I went to visit some awesome people at RTR Media about the possibility of doing some television shows based around Fresh Collective! Can you imagine? We were so excited and yet, so afraid – what would they ask us? What would we have to do? What would we say? Most importantly what would we wear!?

With three stores, we figured out what we were going to wear without breaking too much of a sweat. LJ donned her new Annie50 Coney Island in Black with white dots ($225.00)  and her Renown Ankle Strap Hush Puppies in Black ($110.00). I wore a Michelle Carey Derby Dress in Blue Stripes and my Miz Mooz Tan boots (sorry ladies,this was one of my favourites from last spring – however Michelle Carey has a great black and white striped derby dress now in stores $198.00!)

After eating lunch and speculating over what was to come that afternoon at our local coffee shop Bivy , I took out my Ryan Gosling Notebook and we each jotted down three things we were committed to out of this meeting.

My commitments for the meeting were: Abundance, Excitement and Transformation, LJ was committed to Awesomeness, Freedom and Fun. With a list like this, we couldn’t go wrong!

We felt better already, so we jumped in the Fresh Mobile and headed across town to the RTR offices. We were ready for this! Whatever comes our way, we know that what we’re committed to is showing all women how they can have it all! We are committed to transforming lives through fashion – and having everyone feel as beautiful as they are inside and out. We knew that an inside look into how we do business could inspire many women to pursue their dreams – because we know anything is possible! All we needed was assistance from RTR media to take that possibility to the world!

As we climbed the stairs to the RTR offices, we were giggling with nerves – but they disappeared as we were greeted by Paul and Dena who instantly made us feel at home. We were escorted to a small meeting room with a table, four chairs and a camera. A CAMERA. WE WERE IN HEAVEN!

Dena and Paul asked us questions about ourselves, our lives and our business. It was like a get-to-know-you session, only it was video taped for posterity. Both Dena and Paul made us feel so comfortable – it was like an awesome brainstorming session and less of a meeting or interview.

Paul is a super tall, cute Australian who does a great job hiding his accent, and doing a South African accent. We loved Dena right away with a flower in her hair and butterflies on her sweater. She’s our kind of girl. They were just as admiring of us as well, telling us how much fun they had in our get-together! We had a great time getting to know Dena and Paul, and visiting the RTR Media offices. We’re so excited about the opportunities available with RTR Media – maybe it could be winning a Canadian screen award like the one LJ had fun posing with (see below)!

We’ll keep you posted as things develop! In the meantime, if we were to do a show, what do you think we should talk about? What would you like to know about Fresh Collective, our stores, our head office or our designers?

Let us know in the comments below and maybe we’ll VINE episodes of it :) How fun!

Here’s a vine of us prancing from lunch on Friday. #prancercise!


-Jenna

Have a #PicturePerfectSummer in Fresh Collective: Photos

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Hello there, June!

‘Tis the season for bike riding, sunshine-ing, picnic-ing and general good times.
Have a #PicturePerfectSummer in Fresh Collective!

FRESH GUEST: Fun with Fashion Takes Action

Last week our Marketing Manager, Jenna and our fearless leader Laura-Jean had a fun night out on the town celebrating local fashion. Below is a guest blog post from Jenna sharing all the night’s adventures and discoveries… Read on!
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Last Wednesday, Laura-Jean and I went to Fashion Takes Action’s Connect Beauty event and had a spectacular time! Our friend Kelly Drennan was hosting her annual fundraiser to support both Fashion Takes Action and the WHEN Network.

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 We were excited to walk to the venue, but the darn weather wouldn’t cooperate so Laura-Jean picked me up in the Fresh Mobile at 6:45pm. I knew it was going to be a great night as when I walked out the door of the office. LJ looked at me with her jaw dropped and said “Wow! I only put my hair in a pony tail”! HA! I had done a pin up style do to match my adorable Michelle Carey polka dot Amy Dress ($175)!

Hair in a pony tail or not, LJ also looked fabulous – she was wearing Brenda Beddome’s colourful side-draped dress ($182) .

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Of course the minute we were ready to hit the road, the car alarm started going off. There we were, outside of our offices, in a branded car, scrambling to figure out how to turn off the car alarm. We couldn’t stop laughing, and were actually hoping it would happen again when we got to the event so we could really make a grand entrance.
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Love Letter from Laura-Jean: Unleashing Your Inner Pin-Up Girl

love letter copy copyThis month, we’re having a lot of fun unleashing our inner pin-up girls!  We’ve been talking a lot behind the scenes about just how to go about choosing models for our marketing.  Professional models pose and emote beautifully, and we’ve used them in the past.  But in the end, I end up feeling, “Who are they to us and our customers?”

Our business is about so much more than pretty dresses.  It’s about women feeling confident, powerful, self-expressed and yes – pretty and sexy too!  It’s about a celebration of life and all that it offers us in relationships, love, creativity and beauty.

For this spring photo shoot, we chose models from our own community who we thought represented our mission of  being beautiful and amazing, inside and out. They are women who are living the Fresh Collective lifestyle; creating amazing lives for themselves and the people around them.

Dress: Brenda Beddome, Shoes: Hush Puppies (Coming Soon!)

Dress: Brenda Beddome, Shoes: Hush Puppies (Coming Soon!)

Of course – with the theme being “Pin-up Girl” – I was the first in line.  I am a mom, an entrepreneur, 43 years old (I still can’t quite believe I’m a grown up!) and loving life more with each passing year!  I love being a woman and I am continually working on being a great leader in my business, community and family.  I am committed to making the world a better place.

Kat Shura looking great in a Melow top and Brenda Beddome pants.

Kat Shura looking great in a Melow top and Brenda Beddome pants.

We also asked Kat Shura, the designer of Curious Oddities jewellery who has been working with us for several years.  She joined us when her business was in it’s early days and we have watched her (and the business) grow in leaps and bounds.  Kat is a person I feel blessed to know;  as an entrepreneur she is driven, committed and just making it happen. As a friend, she is caring, thoughtful and present. She’s a real inspiration in so many ways.

Kathryn Barlow looks ravishing in a Michelle Carey dress and shoes by Hush Puppies

Kathryn Barlow looks ravishing in a Michelle Carey dress and shoes by Hush Puppies

Kathryn Barlow is another awesome woman from our Fresh Collective community.  She’s been designing our website and most of our graphics for several years.  I think she may have been heaven sent, as she was shopping in the store one day years ago and overheard me saying my web designer had disappeared on me and I wasn’t sure what to do.  She popped out from behind a jewellery case saying “I do websites!” and we made a plan to meet.  She is the easiest person to work with, always getting things done more beautifully than I expected and on time.  She’s just a dream girl, and cute to boot!

The lovely Emilia in a Paper People Clothing dress with Hush Puppies shoes.

The lovely Emilia in a Paper People Clothing dress with Hush Puppies shoes.

Emilia Farrace is a new friend who is also an entrepreneur.  She’s the owner of Simply Elaborate Creative Agency and I’ve come to know her as a woman of integrity and commitment, with a bubbly energy and contagious smile.  She also is working on a personal project – The Empowerment Initiative – to make the world a better place by providing mentors from the business community to teens.

I am blessed.  I look around me and I’m inspired by the women I know and all that they are up to in life.  I have amazing friends, fantastic neighbours and awesome colleagues.  We have a large community of designers at Fresh Collective who have taken the brave steps of running their own businesses and a wide variety of customers who are doing incredible things with their lives.

So this month we’re celebrating womanhood and having a bit of flirty fun with inviting all the inspiring and amazing women in Toronto to unleash their inner pin-up girl!

As always, we LOVE your feedback on everything we do.  What kind of campaigns would you like to see from us in the future?  Do these photos inspire you to unleash your inner pin-up girl and have a little fun with fashion this spring?  Please email us at media@freshcollective.com. We’d love to hear from you!

xoxoxo

-LJ