“YOU MADE ME LOVE MY BODY AGAIN!” – Oh, the feels!

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How would you like to feel at the end of a Wardrobe Makeover?  

Would you love to love your body again?  

Surprise yourself with how confident you feel?

Looking to project a more professional image?  Or maybe a sexier one?

Learn tips and tricks to have more fun with fashion!  Our Style Coaches live and breathe fashion every day!  They know the language of fashion and can help you express your personality with fashion!

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Wardrobe Makeover SALE – now 85% off a Style Consultation

WMO - money back guarantee

We have helped thousands of women find new ways to express their style, feel comfortable and fabulous, build versatile wardrobes that last, and celebrate the body they’re in today! Our Wardrobe Makeovers are a great exercise in exploring fashion outside and inside of your style comfort zone and for discovering looks that truly express your personality.

Our promise is that you leave the Wardrobe Makeover feeling beautiful, inspired and confident, or your money back!

Regular Price: $200 + HST —  NOW ON SALE for just $29 + HST

 

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Our Style Coaches will help you see how to maximize your current wardrobe and breathe life into old outfits with new accessories and clothing, with suggestions on what key pieces to buy that will make getting ready each day a breeze.

We know the language of fashion and help you express whatever you’re up to in life with how you present yourself. Growing your career? Want clients to believe in you? Invest in your personal brand and project the image of a leader. Looking to create romance in your life? The right fits and colours show off that sparkle in your eye.

During the makeover, you will learn easy tips on mixing and matching, accessorizing and what silhouettes, necklines, and colours are best for you. Our style staff will work with the pieces you bring in, to build on your wardrobe, while advising you on what styles, cuts or colours work best for you and why, so you can shop smart, get dressed easily and feel your best every day!

We take pictures of each complete outfit so you have a guide to refer to that makes getting dressed easy, and we follow up with suggestions that will take your wardrobe further. We leave you with new knowledge about what you can wear to look fantastic and feel most like the “you” that you want to be.

Regular Price: $200 + HST —  NOW ON SALE for just $29 + HST

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Package offers:

• pre-interview by email to get to know you, your size, style and your needs
• photos of your new looks emailed after the consultation
• detailed profile created for you to help you remember what works best on you from FC, who your favourite designers are and a wish list for your future purchases
• 2 hour one-on-one consultation at your convenience (in or out of business hours)
• light refreshments while we work together

What to bring to your wardrobe makeover:
Bring some of your favourite basics that you want to build more outfits around. We’ll help you get creative and build a versatile wardrobe that suits your lifestyle and your shape.
One outfit that you never wear that you wish you did.
One outfit that you know you should not wear yet you wear it often.

Who this service is best for:
• Returning to work post maternity leave
• Change in career
• Looking to refine or redefine your style
• Looking for a total wardrobe refresh
• Other life changes like weight or age
• Updating your seasonal wardrobe and maximizing it
• Graduation from College or University

Regular Price: $200 + HST —  NOW ON SALE for just $29 + HST

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After you complete your purchase, you will be emailed a questionnaire so we can start to assess your goals and fashion preference and challenges.  As well, we’ll contact you to book an appointment at your convenience.

And, two things to remember – if you don’t leave your session feeling beautiful, inspired and confident, we’ll refund your money!

Also, if you choose to purchase items from the store during the session, your $29 session fee will be credited towards that purchase.  

We’re THAT confident that you’re going to LOVE your consultation!

 

*offer valid until October 31, 2015.  Must book and hold session in the month of October to qualify for the discount.

Meet the Fresh Collective Team – Laura-Jean Bernhardson

Name: Laura-Jean Bernhardson
Position at Fresh Collective: Founder/CEO/Marketing/Store Manager at Kensington

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Where and when you’ll find me at FC: Right now I’m usually working out of the Kensington shop most weekdays, but basically, I go wherever the business needs me.  It seems like 3 to 6 month cycles where there’s an opening, opportunity or mini-disaster that needs my attention and I take on that job.  I do the job, look for new ways it can be done effectively and efficiently and learn more about my business. Then I give that job away and move to the next position where I’m needed.

What a typical day looks like for me: After I get my dogs walked and my son off to school, I stop in at Head Office in the morning to sign cheques and talk to the Office Manager about anything financial that needs my attention.  Then I may post a blog and head off to the store.  In the store I juggle customer service, receiving product, merchandising and social media.  Every day is pretty packed!  I have another business – I’m co-owner at Rowanwood Daycare – so sometimes I have questions from the staff or things to talk about or plan with my business partner there.

My favourite parts of the job:  I LOVE people and the opportunities the business gives me to connect with the designers who are inspiring, creative and entrepreneurial and the customers who are AWESOME!  When I help people choose outfits in the store, I’m allowed into their lives and I feel truly honoured.  They’re up to something – dating after divorce, celebrating a new job or looking to land that next big client for example – and I get to be part of their adventure by outfitting them in stylish, well-crafted and timeless outfits.  I discover their style and personality and get to help them choose the look where they feel most self- expressed. It truly is a privilege.

My hopes and dreams for my fashion career:  I want to have 100 stores worldwide so I have 97 to go!  I really have my work cut out for me.  The dream for Fresh Collective is a fashion industry revolution with 3 main goals.

  • For customers: offering customers a experience they didn’t even know they were looking for; providing them a new level of confidence, freedom and self-expression through fashion
  • For designers: a sustainable way for independent designers to sell their product and thrive as entrepreneurs
  • For our staff: a company culture of leaders and teammates; contributing to the business and playing the game of “fashion industry revolution” with passion, excitement and heart

What I do when I’m not at work:  I do work a lot- even when I’m at home, but what “work” means to me is different than what it means to a lot of people.  I’m passionate about everything I do and have rolled my hobbies into my work.  Right now I am sewing a mural for Rowanwood Daycare on my dining room table, so that’s an example of a work project that’s happening at home.

Work aside, I love to hang out with my family.  Lately we’ve been playing hide and seek at home in the evenings, which is surprisingly fun and ridiculous.  We also like to play Monopoly or watch movies and order pizza.  My husband Steve, my son Dexter and our two dogs Stuie and Louie are my favourite guys in the whole wide world.

My earliest fashion memory:  The first thing I sewed was when I was about 8.  I cut off a nightgown and figured out how to make the bottom into a ruffle to make a baby doll nightie like Chrissie on Three’s Company.  I was so excited about figuring it out!  I continued to make clothing and jewellery as a kid and teenager, even selling what I made to friends and in a hair salon in Saskatoon (where I grew up) when I was in high school.  I must have fashion and entrepreneurialism in my blood.

What I like to do to relax:  The couch + 2 dogs + a movie = bliss.

Why I love working at Fresh Collective:  I just absolutely love being an entrepreneur. It’s demanding and ever-changing, but I wouldn’t trade that for the world.  20 years in and I’m still learning, occasionally terrified and forever excited and inspired to create this unique company.

A highlight from my career so far at FC:  I had the privilege of doing a Premium Wardrobe Makeover for a customer named Ginny.  We had a wonderful time picking out outfits for a new phase in her life and career but the truly amazing moment came a few days later when she came by and dropped off a thank-you letter.  Fresh Collective is my life’s work and when it helps people live better lives, I’m thrilled!

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Favourite social media platform:  I LOVE Facebook!  I was resistant at first but now am addicted and love to keep in touch with people through it.

 

 

 

Style Profile – Tammy Gunn

I met Tammy for the first time at a course I was taking, and immediately fell in love with her energy and zest for life.  She is amazing, inspiring and fun to be around.  I figured she’d be a perfect model for Fresh Collective, as her whole way of being embodies what Fresh Collective is all about, and as you can see from the pictures, she did an amazing job!  – Laura-Jean Bernhardson, Founder and CEO of Fresh Collective

Name: Tammy Gunn
Occupation: Owner/Instructor Fitness Company – Live Out Loud Movement
Age: 37
Lifestyle:  Healthy/Adventure

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Dress: Julie dress – Bionic, $99 (leopard)
Shoes: Ellie shoes – Miz Mooz, $ 155

Style Coach notes: Tammy LOVED this sassy little leopard number that fits and flatters in all the right places.  A perfect dress for date night, this also works for those occasions that she needs a business casual look.  With a tank or camisole under to tone down the low neck, and a cardigan or fitted blazer over, this look is perfect for teaching or an office environment.

What’s a typical day like for you? I fitness dance for about 5 hours a day!

What in your life is really important to you? Family/Fitness/Friends

 What would you like to be remembered for? Making a difference for others

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Want to have fun rediscovering fashion and learning what looks best on you? Book our complimentary Perfect Fit Wardrobe Makeover today!  Our Fresh Collective Style Coaches will style you up from head to toe in outfits that suit your figure, your colouring and your lifestyle!  Let Fresh Collective make shopping a breeze for you!

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What role does fashion play in your life? Gotta be funky and fun ‘cuz that is who I am!

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?  Since being in the fitness industry for quite some time and aging along the way, I lost touch with what my “out of fitness clothes look” looked like.  I have been uncomfortable in putting on anything other than fitness gear.  What I love about shopping at Fresh Collective is the experience of the people working there along with the clothes.  Feeling comfortable enough to share with them how I have been feeling and to let them in on my personality had them support me in picking things out I never would have tried on but once I was wearing them….I never wanted to take them off! The clothes are comfortable, fashionable and the staff just make easy to have fun and find your groove and style. They listen.  Makes me want to dress up more often knowing there is awesome clothes out there for me!

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Dress: Venice dress – Studio Fresh, $169
Shoes: Ellie shoes – Miz Mooz, $155

Style coach notes: Many women don’t wear dresses and get stuck in a jeans and tee shirt rut because their lifestyle is casual, but a dress like this is even more comfortable and actually takes less effort to get ready for the day!  With a dress there is only one decision to make!

What do you have that you want to promote?   I am all about empowering women to have fun and have a great workout. Everyone should be able to feel great and have fun doing it.  That’s what my Zumba and Laughter Yoga classes are all about: empowering women to love every minute of their lives!   I want to promote my company and my classes: WWW.LIVEOUTLOUDMOVEMENT.COM.

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Dress: Drape 14 dress – Studio Fresh $179
Shoes: Ellie shoes – Miz Mooz, $ 155

Style Coach notes:  Aside from her fitness career, Tammy is a part-time Course Supervisor in a personal and professional training and development company.  She needs business casual clothes that still suit her personality for that role, and we had a lot of fun finding dresses that were comfortable, stylish, polished and professional, but still very “Tammy”!

 Is there anything else we should know about you?  I am super happy to be a part of this!  I also work in schools as well as empowering young women to love fitness!

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Top: Long sleeve batwing Tee – Yasmine Louis, $ 55
Jeans: High Rise Ankle Jeans, Yoga Jeans by Second Denim, $ 115
Necklace: Myka Jewellery, $199
Bracelet: Myka Jewellery, $ 189

Style coach notes: Tammy’s lifestyle is very casual, yet these orange jeans and fashionable tee-shirt, as well as the great shoes and jewellery elevate a casual and comfortable outfit to one that stands out and is stylish too.

 

 

What happens in a Perfect Fit Wardrobe Makeover?

You may have heard a lot about our Perfect Fit Wardrobe Makeover lately, and many people aren’t totally clear on exactly what it is or what it can offer them.

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Our Perfect Fit Makeover is a FREE styling service to help YOU feel amazing, confident and self-expressed through fashion.

 

We were hearing many of our customers saying things like:

  • “I just don’t know what looks good on me anymore”
  • “Since my size changed I don’t feel confident”
  • “I have a new job and I want to be taken seriously but I still want to feel like myself”
  • “I’ve gotten really lazy about looking good”
  • “I used to have fun with fashion but I don’t want to look like I’m dressing too young.  I need a new look that works for my life now!”

And we knew that we could help, so we built our Wardrobe Makeover Services.

Our Fresh Collective Style Coaches are specially selected for having a real passion for having women look and feel their best.  We add in ongoing training and self-learning so that we can really deliver on women loving themselves, feeling great about how they look and loving fashion as a means of self expression.

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Here are real women in outfits from Fresh Collective. Our typical customers include teachers, business women, moms and grandmas, hairstylists, actors, entrepreneurs, social activists, politicians, health care professionals and women from a range of other walks of life. Our ladies are usually in their late 20’s to late 50’s but we have customers who are teens and others who are seniors! The common thread is always that they are up to living life fully and want to express their inner joy and vibrancy through fashion. And we’re here to provide the wardrobe to do just that!

So what exactly happens during a Perfect Fit Wardrobe Makeover?

  • We start with an online survey to understand your fashion goals and lifestyle.  For example, we’re not going to sell you pencil skirts and high heels if you need to move, climb and bend for your job.
  • We may follow up with a phone consultation to find out more.
  • We book an appointment with you for one on one service and we preselect pieces to suggest, so it’s easy for you when you walk in.
  • You can also bring items from home that you want to get more use out of and we plan outfits around those pieces and suggest new accessories to provide new looks.
  • And we educate you on what styles you should look for and choose going forward and why.
  • We provide photos and follow up if you like, so you remember what you learned and can get ongoing coaching about fashion.

Our commitment is that you feel great and experience a new level of confidence and inspiration after a Perfect Fit Makeover AND that you build a wardrobe full of pieces you love!

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Real women looking really great in outfits from Fresh Collective! We specialize in the outfits that you’ll love, that will last for years and that have you ready and out the door to live life in no time flat. Our ladies do not have time to primp and plan elaborate outfits. They have lives to live! Our outfits take you from point A to point Z in comfort and style throughout your busy day.

You can count on our Fresh Collective Style Coaches to really get what you’re out to accomplish with fashion, focus on how you feel in the outfits they suggest and never push you to buy something you don’t love.  We work to find the things you DO love, so the sales come easily.

And every Perfect Fit Makeover is free and no obligation.  If you don’t find items to love that day, you get the same gracious and extraordinary service as if you bought out half the store.  We are focused on YOU feeling wonderful as our priority, and not our sales goals.

And shhhhh….. don’t tell our competitors, but that’s our secret to success as a business.

Ready to book your Perfect Fit Makeover?  Click here!
We can’t wait to help you look and feel your best!

 

Style Profile – Mandy Armstrong

Mandy Armstrong is the designer behind our best selling line, Mandala Design.  Women love her clothes because they fit and look fantastic and because they are just the right mix of retro fun and wearable chic.  Mandy has been selling her line with us since the early days of both Mandala Design and Fresh Collective, and her line’s success has been a huge part of our success.  She is an excellent designer, a smart businesswoman and a genuine pleasure to do business with.  I have learned a lot from watching how she runs her business, and I look forward to building many more stores for her to sell her line in!  – Laura-Jean Bernhardson, Founder and CEO of Fresh Collective

Name: Mandy Armstrong
Occupation: Clothing Designer
Age: Let’s just say that I remember the 80’s too well to consider it vintage.

Lifestyle: A work in progress.  While I’d be quite content to hole up and work most of the time, I also want to get out into the world and see what’s going on.  Visit new places, try new food, experience new adventures.  I know I’m a bit too introverted for my own good, but I’m working on it!

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This really is Mandy’s motorcycle and how she gets around town. She often brings Fresh Collective new deliveries of dresses on her bike!
Dress: Lila dress – Mandala Design, $ 158
Shoes: Ellie shoes – Miz Mooz, $ 155

Style Coach notes:  With Mandy’s dark hair and light complexion, strong colours look best on her.  This dress is a great alternative to Mandy’s typical studio look of jeans and a tee-shirt, and would be perfect for an interview with a magazine, to meet a client or for date night with her hubby.

What’s a typical day like for you?  Wake up, get dressed, get on the computer to ‘work’.  Spend way too much time looking at funny animal videos.  Walk around the corner to my studio.  I love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else! Go home for lunch, walk our dog, Tristan.  Back to the studio.  Sing along (badly) to songs from my youth.  Go home, walk dog, make dinner, ‘work’ – in this case it usually means research and development which is code for reading a book or magazine, watching TV or a movie or visiting the local pub for a pint.  Who knows where that next spark of inspiration will come from, right?!

 What in your life is really important to you?  Family and creating pretty things.

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Here Joe, McKiernan, Style Coach and Store Leader at Roncesvalles, styles Mandy’s outfit.

Did you know all our Style Coaches (that’s our staff!) provide personalized styling services?  They are experts in helping women look amazing and feel confident through building a wardrobe they LOVE.  
Book your complimentary Perfect Fit Makeover today!  

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What would you like to be remembered for?  There’s no way to answer this question without sounding cheesy so here goes… I’d like to be remembered as someone who made clothing that made women feel good about themselves.  I’d also like to learn to be the best knife thrower ever.  I should probably get started on that.

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Dress: Iris dress – Mandala Design, $ 158
Shoes: Pepper shoes – Miz Mooz, $ 150
Bracelets: Myka, $169 each

Style Coach notes:  We chose the shoes because the black borders echo the borders on the dress, and the bracelets dress this look up enough to go to a summer wedding.  This dress has just enough shape to skim a woman’s curves and not so much that it clings or restricts.

 

What role does fashion play in your life?  Huge. Not because I always dress well (I’m huddled away at the studio most days in jeans and tees – don’t ever let anyone tell you that the clothing industry is glamorous – it ain’t), but because it’s what I love.  Ever since I can remember I’ve loved clothes.  I love the fabric, the buttons, the details, the construction.  I especially love vintage clothes, the stories they tell and the ones I make up for them.

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?  I’ve been a part of the Collective for so long and it’s such a big part of my business.  Shopping there is always a joy!  I’m so amazed at the creativity that can be found right here in our very own city.  It’s been a fabulous experience getting to know the staff and other designers and sharing in everyone’s successes.  I’m at the shops almost every week and it’s a real struggle not to succumb to the urge to buy something EVERY TIME!

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Top: Ronda linen slouch top – Mandala Design, $ 64
Pants: Val snake capri pants – Mandala Design, $ 124
Shoes: Athena Shoes – Miz Mooz, $ 145
Necklace: Ch-ch-chains bracelet with extender- BurfurART, $65 plus $18 (for extender)

 Style Coach notes: This slouchy linen tee is a great with these awesome snake print pants.  The top is neutral, sophisticated and tones down the va-va-voom factor of the pants.  As well, the loose fit on top works as a contrast to the slim fit on the bottom.  We completed the look with a bold chain necklace because, well, it just worked.

What do you have that you want to promote?  One of the things that has been in the forefront of my mind these past several years is the state of the clothing industry – both overseas and right here in Canada.  While I’m proud to promote the fact that all of Mandala’s clothing is made right here in Toronto, as a consumer I feel it’s my obligation to support the brands and companies that are making a real effort to curb the bad practices used by some larger corporations.  Shopping local and knowing where an item comes from are just a couple of ways that I’m striving to change my purchasing habits.  I think that we are becoming much more aware of the conditions that workers endure and I’m hoping that with increased pressure, we can look forward to a day when all employees both here and abroad can enjoy a living wage in safe conditions.

Is there anything else we should know about you?  We recently adopted one of the cutest rescue dogs in the world (that would be Tristan), I have a 17 (almost 18, yikes!) year old son, I ride a kick-ass cherry-red Suzuki VS800 Intruder motorcycle and my favourite colour is green.

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Ready for a new you through fashions like these?  Tempted but not sure if it’s really “you”? Book your complimentary Perfect Fit Wardrobe makeover with a Fresh Collective Style Coach today.  We sell confidence and self-expression and are committed to having YOU look and feel your best. 

 

 

 

 

Style Profile – Pip Bradford

Those of you who have been to Roncy when Pip is in the store may have received some cookies, some fashion advice or just had a good laugh.  She is our honorary Fresh Collective employee and a pleasure to know.

I first met Pip during a Wardrobe Makeover last summer. From the moment she walked into the store exclaiming that “Pip is here!” I knew that this girl was something special.  Pip is super outgoing and not afraid to speak her mind.  She loves our store and our designers and we love Pip.  She is not afraid to try something new and loves to go outside of her comfort zone with fashion.  Her clothes always match her personality and her amazing tattoos and she just radiates happiness.

Anyone that gets to meet her instantly falls in love with her and the party really doesn’t start until Pip has arrived!  She is a woman of many talents and an absolute pleasure to be around.  I look forward to the days that I know she is coming for a visit, and when it’s a surprise it’s even better!

– Joe McKiernan; Store Leader Fresh Collective Roncesvalles

Name: Sarah “Pip” Bradford
Occupation: Production Manager/Stage Manager/Theatre Technician
Age: 31
Lifestyle: Saying one “works hard and plays hard” makes one sound like a frat boy, but there you go.

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Dress: Gwen Poppy Print Dress – Mandala Design $148
Shoes: Lonna T-Bar Black – Hush Puppies $100

Style Coach Notes: Pip has a big, bold and vibrant personality so a print like this is perfect for her. This dress is also practical for her life on the go. Pockets allow her a place to tuck things, and the the easy but flattering fit allows a lot of movement for a busy gal like Pip. This dress can easily be worn in various ways- more professionally with a fitted black linen or cotton blazer or with a belted cardigan and tights in cooler weather for example.

What’s a typical day like for you?

As a freelance theatre artist, there really isn’t such a thing as a typical day. I could be organizing a bi-lingual Spanish/English festival with artists from across the Americas; rehearsing a children’s show; or installing technical elements for a different play, usually all at once. Given that I usually start work between 8 and 10am and end my night with a drink with friends as late as 11pm, I can often spend up to sixteen hours a day on the go.

What in your life is really important to you?

It can be really hard to prioritize when you have so many things happening! I’m very lucky that so many of the most important people in my life work with me often, so I don’t have to choose between my friends and my career, which I think are my big two.

My current extracurricular passions include comic books (I give the part of my paycheque that doesn’t go to Fresh Collective to The Beguiling on Markham Street), youth mentorship in the arts, and learning to do things I don’t know how to do. I just taught myself how to cook (like a grownup!), and now I’m teaching myself how to silkscreen. I love challenging myself!

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Dress: Dandelion Dress – Desserts and Skirts $125
Necklace: Ch-ch-chains – BurfurtArt $57
Shoes: Lonna T-bar Tan – Hush Puppies $100

Style Coach Notes: This dress is a soft and comfy jersey- again great for a girl on the go! It looks so great Pip could attend an important meeting but she could also ride her bike there in this dress. This dress flatters most figures because of the cut. The band shows off a waistline while the skirt just flows easily over tummy and hips. And the drape of the fabric is just gorgeous.

What would you like to be remembered for?

My brains, my guts, and my ability to hold my liquor.

What role does fashion play in your life?

I have a big personality, and I look to fashion to help me express that.

With so much of my time spent on-the-go, it’s important to me that I’m always ready for anything. I mean, I could leave my house thinking I’m just going to supervise a work call for a few hours, but by the end of the day I’ve managed to also fit in a lunch meeting, a hundred errands, and a first date with an exciting new person…and in the right dress, I can do all of it!

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

Hanging out with Joe.

Ah, I joke! I mean, I do love Joe, but there’s so much more than that to love about shopping at Fresh Collective. The whole staff is great, and they always remember my style and have ready recommendations based on their excellent knowledge of the designers they stock. And the designers! I am locked in a years-long love affair with Mandala Designs (I cannot wait to get my hands on her summer line!), and I think I own four different versions of the Skirts and Desserts Frill Dress. There’s always something new and exciting to check out every time I go in!

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Dress: Annete Dress – Studio Fresh $179
Shoes: Lonna T-Bar Black – Hush Puppies $100

Style Coach Notes: Another fantastic dress for Pip. This one is a little off-beat with the patchy fabric and awesome print. The fit is flattering and easy- a little fitted in the top and more loose and skimming in the skirt. The top is a stretch fabric which allows Pip a lot of movement and comfort for her busy life!

What do you have that you want to promote?

Okay, guys, I tried to choose just one thing, but I have to go with two, in chronological order:

I’m a huge fan of comic books and graphic novels, and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival starts TOMORROW! Comic artists from all over the world will be coming here for a whole week of fun, concluding in a two-day vendor fair and exhibition at the Toronto Reference Library on May 10th and 11th. This is my first year working with TCAF, and I’m the head volunteer for their kids’ programming at the library. There’s also TCAF Kids’ Day 2014 at St. Paul’s, a whole day of kids’ programming including author presentations from a huge roster of amazing authors and artists! Visit www.torontocomics.com for more info about the whole exciting event!

ALSO, I’m presenting my first interactive installation art piece as a performer/creator in Toronto at the Toronto Fringe Festival this summer! Flip The Table will be debuting in the Fringe Club behind Honest Ed’s from July 2-13, and it’s just what it sounds like: You choose your table setting (anything from picnic to full high tea), pick a scenario you want to act out (ever want to tell your boss what you REALLY think about her?), and then you come in and flip that table! It’s about exploiting taboos, exploring freedom, and making the biggest mess you possibly can in a 10’x10’ tent.We’re still in development, but you can check out more about it at www.flipthefringe.wordpress.com or via our Twitter @flipthefringe closer to the festival (bookmark it now, you’re not gonna want to miss this!). For info about all the fun stuff going down at Fringe this year, check out www.fringetoronto.com.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

What, I haven’t told you enough already?

 (Special thanks to our neighbours, Sweetpeas, on Roncesvalles Avenue for letting us shoot in their gorgeous flower and gift shop.

Laura-Jean’s Holiday Love Letter

love letter copy copyEvery year around the holiday season, we hear a lot of women guiltily saying, “I should be buying for other people, but …” as they browse and buy for themselves.

I always joke around and say things like, “You can’t give to others unless you first give to yourself!“. This year, I started looking at this phenomenon a little more seriously.  What is it about women that we feel so guilty about doing nice things for ourselves?  So many of us, whether we’re moms, sisters, daughters, wives, friends or partners give and give all year round.

I’m thinking of my friend Sarah who contributes to her community in so many ways. She plans and runs events at our sons’ school, is on the Parent Council, does fundraising and organizes fun events for us all when we get together.  She’s also the one you can always count on for a thoughtful gesture, a hug or a glass of wine just when you need it.  She’s everyone’s emergency babysitter.  And she does it all with a smile.  She just gives and gives all year long to everyone who knows her.  Her friends, family and community are all so lucky to have her.

Then, there is my friend Jaclyn who can always be counted on for all kinds of amazing things.  When a bunch of her friends who didn’t know each other were pregnant or had babies around the same time, she started a monthly “Mommy Meet” group – even though she has no kids!  While we got to know each other and talked about the perils of maternity pants and diapers, Jaclyn loved every minute of it because she’s just so into her friends and bringing people together.  Seven years later, we’re still all good friends, celebrating birthdays and milestones and even though Jaclyn has moved out of the country, she makes the effort to visit often and stay in touch.  She also makes jam, hosts bike repair workshops and makes quilts for anyone she knows who has a baby.

I have many women like this in my life.  I’m sure you do too, and I’m sure you’re one of them – giving for the pure joy of giving all year round.

So, now, and I’m going to get tough here:  Don’t you go walking around feeling GUILTY about giving to yourself!  You go out and buy yourself whatever lovely treats you want this year!  You ask the people in your life for what you really want!

Think about all those great women in your life who keep your family running smoothly, who help take care of your kids, who contribute to your communities and who just make your life better and more fun by being in it.  Maybe they could use something nice this year too?

Now, of course, to make it easy, we have a great selection of presents at Fresh Collective. We have earrings, necklaces, nail polish sets and tights, all under $25.00, and we have our favourite gift, The Best Gift Ever.

The Best Gift Ever is a Fresh Collective Premium Wardrobe Makeover Service with a gift certificate amount between $250 and $1000. This means you or your favourite person gets a two hour consultation with our style staff, and the biggest and best gift of all, everything they want! Based on their body type, style, life, and work, we work with the recipient to have them look as stunning as they are. Our Best Gift Ever is perfect for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list. It’s The Best Gift Ever to request for yourself too – It means you don’t get a frumpy sweater from some chain store that everyone else has; you get YOUR LOOK. Picked just for you with the help of our Style Staff.

How awesome would it be this holiday season to have everything you want? How rewarding would it be for you to give someone on your list this holiday season, everything they could ever want, and might not know to ask for?

You can pick this gift up at any one of our three stores now. We love The Best Gift Ever and we hope you will too! Check out our Wardrobe Makeover Page for all the details on our Premium Wardrobe Makeover, which comes with The Best Gift Ever gift certificate.

 

Love Letter from Laura-Jean

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Editor’s Note: Read through to the end to find Laura-Jean’s giveaway for a complimentary Wardrobe Makeover!

Helping a customer during a Wardrobe Makeover last week, I saw a transformation happen before my eyes.

She came in looking like a 23 year old hipster.  Lovely, fun and awesome, but not necessarily someone you would trust with a $100,000 marketing budget or assume she could ensure a staff of 7 would get a project done on time.

A couple hours of her trying different looks in the change room and I saw her differently.  This cool and colourful young woman started to look to me like an Art Director with a capital A, a Marketing Manager or a Filmmaker who could make the film, on time, on budget AND accept an award for top grossing independent documentary.

It was a TOTAL transformation in who she seemed to be, and all this was in line with the career she wanted to create over the next few years.

I’ve built Fresh Collective over these years to provide women in Toronto a place to find the outfits that allow them to project the best version of themselves.  Like it or not, fashion is a language.  It’s like hanging a sign around your neck telling the world who you are.  When we think of it that way, what does your sign say? Is there something you’d rather it to be saying?

When we do a Wardrobe Makeover, we start with a Style Profile.  You fill out a quick survey that tells us about what your style preference is, what you want it to be, and what your lifestyle is like.  We specialize in awesome looks for real life. We know how to create looks that work for you and work with you.

We set an appointment to work with one of our Style Coaches who pre selects looks based on your style profile. All the browsing is done for you to make it easy and simple for you to find whatever you’re looking for. When you show up for you appointment, the fun begins.

Many women book a Wardrobe Makeover when their life is changing, but it can be done anytime, and the holiday season is a perfect time for women to use the service to find the perfect holiday wear.  One of the biggest advantages is learning what works and doesn’t, and having an experienced professional help you build a wardrobe that all works together.  Too many women experience that old cliche: “A closet full of nothing to wear.”

We help you make smart choices, choosing versatile pieces that work together, fit and are comfortable so you have fun creating new outfits and getting a lot of wear out of each piece.  We also help you stay focused on dressing for that life you are creating!

You’re newly dating and you want romance?  Dresses, fun and colour are what we’ll steer you towards!  The Wardrobe Makeover is time set aside for you to experiment with this new language of fashion and watch yourself transform in the mirror.  Women often surprise themselves, saying things like “I didn’t think I could wear this colour!” or “I usually wouldn’t try something this bold but I LOVE IT!”

Want to jump start your career?  A polished yet creative look positions you as a leader, a problem solver and someone who can be trusted to get things done.  We’ll choose the pieces to help send that message out into the world, everywhere you go.

Think it’s too expensive to build a fantastic wardrobe?  Take a look at your closet and add up how much you’ve spent on clothes you didn’t like, never fit right or didn’t go with anything.  We’re committed to wardrobe building- choosing quality pieces you love that you’ll wear for years to come.

Worried it’s too much work to look good?  I am the laziest dresser out there.  I have NO time to spend on primping and fussing.  I throw on a dress, a cardigan, a bracelet and boots and fly out the door.  With a son, 3 dogs, 2 businesses and taking classes in the evenings, I’m just like so many of our customers.  Each season our store staff take on making my life easy by putting together the perfect looks for me to get ready in a second.

If you’re in the market for the perfect holiday dress, or maybe the perfect wardrobe to kick off your career in 2014, I’ve included our style profile form for you to complete. We’ll pick three lucky ladies who have completed this form, to participate in a complimentary wardrobe makeover at any of our stores. We’ll notify the winners by November 30th.

If this sounds like something you want for yourself, please fill out the style profile and let’s get to work!

 

Creating and Styling Versatile Looks For Your Lifestyle

Guest post by Jennifer Fukushima of Paper People Clothing

Do you ever feel like your wardrobe has a split personality? 

 

For many of you, this might sound familiar:

You have your generic office wardrobe.  It allows you to fit in and look professional.  It serves a purpose.  Then you have your real life clothes.  The ones that feel good when you put them on and help you to express who you truly are.  They make you stand out rather than fit in.

Here at Paper People Clothing, we know you demand a lot from your wardrobe, so we create versatile pieces to suit your lifestyle that can transition from the office to real life.  Here are some things we like to keep in mind when creating our unique, one of a kind and few of a kind garments:

  • Layering – If you can layer it, the possibilities are limitless
  • Uniqueness and wearability – This is a delicate balance.  Creating “unique” garments is always fun for us designers, but if it’s not down to earth enough, the versatility is limited.  Loud prints, short skirts and excessive fabric are not work appropriate for most people.
  • Comfort & function – This is a big one, and can easily get lost in the creative process.  So it looks good, but how does it feel and function?  Is the garment too constrictive to move in or is there excess fabric that gets in the way?  Can the wearer perform everyday tasks?
Left: Meaghan is all ready for a lunch meeting.  She pairs her Elaine Vest with a silk blouse and grey slacks.  Right: Jenn is cute and casual, pairing her Elaine Vest with a whimsical lacy long sleeve top and floral print cords.

The Elaine Vest
Left: Meaghan is all ready for a lunch meeting. She pairs her Elaine Vest with a silk blouse and grey slacks.
Right: Jenn is cute and casual, pairing her Elaine Vest with a whimsical lacy long sleeve top and floral print cords.

 

Paper People’s Elaine Vest is the perfect fusion of quirky yet office appropriate. The suiting, collar and welt pocket detailing are classic and timeless, but the asymmetric cut, curved hemline and sweater fabrication update the look and add some personality.

Jacqueline

The Jacqueline Dress
Left: Meaghan uses a cute, cropped blazer and lace up shoes to transition her look to the office.
Right: Jenn layers up with textured scarves, tights and boots, creating a bohemian look.

Paper People’s Jacqueline Dress is another fun yet versatile piece.  This dress provides enough coverage to be work appropriate and the generous drape of the skirt and stretchy fabric allow for plenty of comfort and movement.

Maude

The Maude Blazer
Left: Meaghan is ready to seal the deal. She pairs her Maude Blazer with a traditional button down shirt and grey slacks for a polished, professional look.
Right: Jenn just wants to have fun. She layers her Maude Blazer over a paisley mini dress, cable knit leggings and knee high riding boots.

Paper People’s Maude Blazer is a favourite for many and there’s no question why.  This piece fuses a crisp, classic suit detailing with comfy sweater fabric to create a polished yet versatile look.

I hope we’ve demonstrated how transitioning from office to real life isn’t that hard at all.  It’s all about choosing unique yet versatile pieces.  Come visit us at Fresh Collective today for a wardrobe makeover.  We promise that with the addition of a few of these key pieces you’ll look forward to getting dressed for work in the morning.

The Elaine Vest is available at Fresh Collective Roncesvalles and Fresh Collective Queen.

The Jacqueline Dress is available at Fresh Collective Queen and Fresh Collective Kensington.

The Maude Blazer is available at all 3 Fresh Collective locations.

See all of the Paper People Clothing 2013 Fall Winter Collection here!