Where have we been?!

Boy oh boy…
It’s been a long journey to fall this season! We have had so many exciting and interesting changes happening in our business over the last few months, we didn’t have the opportunity to update our blog as much as we should have.

We’ve been busy behind the scenes creating a new set of articles from some of our fantastic designers and product partners, which we will be releasing weekly.

We apologize for the delay in getting these out to you – but at long last, here is our first blog post from one of our newest partners, enCircled. We LOVE her fantastic Chrysalis Cardi that can be worn 8 ways. A fantastic, versatile piece that can take you from day to night, from runway to play ground – It’s so fabulous! But enough about what we think! Here’s enCircled designer Kristi’s first blog post sharing how the idea for the Chrysalis Cardi came to be.

Enjoy!

Like every Entrepreneurial dream, our Chrysalis Cardi started with an idea!
Written by Kristi, Chief Fashionpreneur, enCircled

I was packing for a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. It was the night before and as I zipped up my suitcase, the zipper broke. Luckily, being an avid traveler, I had several pieces of luggage, however the next largest suitcase was half the size of the one that I packed!
Frustrated, I started pulling stuff out of the suitcase… what don’t I need? What could I do without? Was there anything that I could wear multiple times, multiple ways?
I realized I packed a ton of stuff that would likely only be worn once (a frequent traveler faux pas!) so I attempted to edit.

There were two items I’d packed that were on my radar for unpacking. First, my grey circle scarf and secondly, my grey wrap cardigan. It was snowing in Toronto and the plane might be cold, but surely I could do with one of the two?
I’d bought the circle scarf with the intention of wearing it multiple ways. It came with a card showing 25 ways to wear but I’d never attempted any of them. I was hopeful that I could make the scarf into a cardigan and therefore could ditch my wrap cardigan from my suitcase.

As I sat there at 10pm the night before a 5am flight, I tried to figure out how to create the looks with the infinity scarf. It was tricky!

To make the various looks, I had to use safety pins, or tie the scarf, which resulted in an incredibly messy look. It looked like I was trying to make a scarf into something it wasn’t supposed to be. The fabric was see-through so that eliminated the possibility of it doubling as a dress, and the edges weren’t hemmed, which made the scarf look shabby. The infinity scarf was not as multifunctional as I hoped!

I longed for a piece of clothing that could be worn a few different ways really well. I didn’t need to turn a scarf into a bag. I just wanted something versatile that could take the place of a few things in my suitcase, perhaps a dress, a cardigan, and a scarf. So I designed it.
This is how the Chrysalis Cardi came to be.

Immediately when I returned from Costa Rica, I began designing the piece.
I’m a self-taught designer, so the product development took time. I started with the 8 key looks I wanted to create and backed into a design that could deliver all of them in an effortless and iconic way.

IMG_1259_colours

I sketched a rough pattern and created samples at home, playing around with what ‘attachments’ to use to hold the various looks together without requiring buttons, tying or pinning. I finally landed on heavy-duty metal snaps, hidden cleverly along the hemline!
The fabric selection was key– I knew I wanted something sustainable, eco-friendly, luxurious that was opaque, easy to travel with, colorfast and non-piling. This led me to Modal, which is derived from beechwood tree fiber.

I wanted it made in Canada and found a production contractor just north of Toronto who believed in my design concept and worked with me to refine the design. We produced our first run last year, and our second this year with many more runs to come!
Today, the Chrysalis Cardi can be worn over 8 different ways from an infinity scarf, to a one-shoulder dress, tunic, cape, halter top, and of course, a cardigan.
Each Chrysalis Cardi comes with a detailed instructional look book, as well as access to our {Members Only} videos on Encircled.ca

Every day, new looks are discovered – my customer’s have so much fun playing around the garment and trying new ways to wear.

The Chrysalis Cardi looks like what it’s supposed to be. When you’re wearing it as a dress, it’s classic evening wear. When it’s a cardi, it’s a cozy cocoon wrap.

The Chrysalis Cardi as an original cardigan (top left) the X-back halter (bottom left), the grecian tunic (top right) and a one shoulder dress (bottom right).

The Chrysalis Cardi as an original cardigan (top left) the X-back halter (bottom left), the grecian tunic (top right) and a one shoulder dress (bottom right).

 

My Chrysalis Cardi has taken the place of a handful of things in my suitcase and closet. I am able to travel lighter, and live with less.

I’m now working on our second design – a versatile t-shirt that can be worn over 6 different ways. It will take you from the office to a night out, to Sunday brunch. Like the Chrysalis Cardi, in this next piece we will be pushing the boundaries of design in a mindful and purposeful way.
Stop by Fresh Collective and pick up your Chrysalis Cardi today!
I truly hope it becomes the most versatile piece of clothing that you will ever own.

Kristi is the Chief Fashionpreneur of enCircled. enCircled creates ethical, sustainable and versatile women’s apparel, manufactured in Canada from eco-conscious fabrics. enCircled’s first design, the Chrysalis Cardi is available at all Fresh Collective locations in Raspberry, Black and Cobalt. For more information, check out http://www.encircled.ca or follow enCircled on Facebook

 

 

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