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Media Sneak Peak // Etsy Made in Canada

September 23, 2016

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Anyone who knows me knows I’m a fan of supporting small businesses whenever possible. Sure, I have my favourite local shops in various cities, and know where to find stuff online, but if you’re not as in tune with finding local goodies Etsy makes it super easy once a year. Meet: Made in Canada, a national grassroots initiative to support the artisans and makers in 36 cities across Canada. This year it’s happening nationwide on Saturday September 24th and last week I was able to catch a sneak peak of some of the Toronto goods.

(Full disclosure here. I wanted to be in the present moment so I didn’t bring my camera. Excuse these iPhone pictures. Totally wishing I brought my camera now….)

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The event took place at The Great Hall on Queen West. Guests sipped wine and munched away on appetizers while the setting sun cast a beautiful light through the windows. I had the chance to chat with almost all the vendors from crochet jewellers, to hand letterers, designers, bakers and more. Obviously this was only a tease as there will be 130+ Toronto artisans and makers at real thang on Saturday!

 

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I absolutely loved Shop Bread & Circus (my friend Marlissa is wearing her rings above). Elisabetta’s jewelry is made with the badassery of being a metalsmith with the grace of creating delicate feminine pieces. And she absolutely nailed it with her brand, which of course made me happy! Even her table set up and outfit were sexy and feminine just like her pieces! I can’t wait to check out more of her stuff on Saturday.

 

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While I may not have a baby myself it seems as though the air is fertile (and I’m not getting any younger) and I’ve got lots of friends popping out tiny humans. This means I get to buy lots of cute gifts without the responsibility of taking care of said tiny human! I love these lasercut nursery mobiles, wall decor, and ornaments from Miloshka. I mean seriously, how minimalist but adorable are these?

 

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So I totally loved the handmade lettering pieces and props by Love Lettering. Doris does hand lettering for weddings and events as well as making these totally adorable Photo Booth props she calls PoseCards. Her booth was set up right by the window and I just had to grab the streetcar PoseCard to snap a picture as the real streetcar came by! Clearly no fun to be at this event… 😉

 

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I had such a great time and wouldn’t want to be at an event like that with anyone more than Marlissa of Mai Lin Jewelry (and one of my besties). We both have such an appreciation and love for passion makers and artisans. A huge shoutout to the 416 Hustler and Toronto Etsy Street Teams for putting together such an amazing event.

Don’t forget this Saturday:

Etsy Made in Canada Toronto

MaRS Discovery Building

101 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7

Saturday September 24th, 2016

10:00am to 6:00pm

And if you’re somewhere else in Canada, the event is happening in 36 cities. Learn more here. And don’t forget to support your local Etsy makers, especially with the holidays approaching!

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Above image courtesy of Anna Crooke Photography

 

 

Features

10 Favourite Small Businesses for Canada Day!

July 1, 2016

I am obviously passionate about supporting local, Canadian businesses, but my real love affair is with the wonderful people behind them. On this wonderful celebration of our 149 year old nation, I wanted to feature 10 of my favourite (yes, there’s a ‘u’ in favourite you silly Americans) Canadian Small Businesses, in no particular order, of course.

 

1. Little Blue Canoe // Kelly

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@littlebluecanoe

Anyone who’s followed me for awhile knows my love affair with Kelly and her adorable shop, Little Blue Canoe. Passionate about small businesses and sending snail mail, she decided to start her own online boutique curating the best Canadian small, local goodies. She covers everything from cards, prints, baby stuff, skincare and more! I should also note that Kelly is the most thoughtful, generous human you’ll ever meet. And, Canada Day just happens to be her first birthday! Follow her on Facebook or Instagram and you just might see a surprise next week!

 

2. Picot Collective // Britt

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@picotcollective

I was fortunate enough to meet the radiant Britt at one of my BC workshops. She radiates goodness and light, and I was so excited to hear about the adorable shop she was opening in Victoria. Turns out, her curation of modern handcrafted gifts and goods is also available online! Be sure to check out her website, and give her a follow on instagram. Or, if you’re lucky enough to take a trip to the island, be sure to pop in to her shop in the heart of Fernwood.

 

3. Poppy Barley // Kendall & Justine

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@poppybarley

After struggling to find the perfect pair of boots that fit her runner calves, Kendall and her sister founded Poppy Barley: ethically made and custom fit leather footwear (and other leather goods now)! They have fabulous tutorials to help you get your measurements, but also pop up in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto to host fit sessions. The products speak for themselves (seriously, I could live in my shoes!), but the entire Poppy Barley team is community driven, hard working and great connectors. Oh, and if you happen to be in Edmonton, you’ll definitely want to check out their boutique on Whyte Ave. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates about product, community and where they are popping up next!

4. Smithery Style // Rena & Mavis

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@smitherystyle

Rena and Mavis started Smithery to help women find clothes for their bodies, instead of thinking they need to change their bodies to fit their clothes. Smithery uses different letters (A, X, H etc) to help you find your shape, and guide you into flattering (and affordable!) options. I also love that they use real women as their models, and I am so excited to be one of their Summer Stylesmiths. And if you haven’t, make sure you enter my instagram giveaway to win $50 to their online shop! (Contest closes 11:59EST July 1st)

 

5. Peace Collective // Yanal

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@peacecollective

Peace Collective has a special place in my heart, not only because of their philanthropic mission, but because I actually had some of their stuff before Bautista made it famous.  The only other time I loved something before it was cool was Adele. I am a follower. For every Peace Collective item sold, $4.00 is donated to Breakfast for Learning, giving a child two healthy meals and a healthy snack. I love how their products unite our nation, but also help our community. Win win! Plus, you can’t find a better online shop to promote Canada Day than Peace Collective! Oh, and they have a stunning instagram feed.

 

6. Sugar Cube // Alyssa

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@sugarcubeyyc

I don’t know if it’s the candy high, or if Alyssa is just an energetic, positive firecracker. She attended (and has sponsored) a couple of my workshops in Calgary and she is a radiant woman! Her purple candy truck gives people the same sweet smiles, but a lot less melted ice cream messes! You can have colour coordinated candy at your wedding, subscription boxes to your office, and lots more. Plus, Sugar Cube also stocks Canada from places like England, so you can order delicious goodies from her online shop. Be sure to follow the Sugar Cube on instagram to have you craving candy like I always am!

 

7. Present Day Gifts // Sophia

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@presentdaygifts

Sophia and I both completed our undergrad in Film at Ryerson, and while she still works in the industry (sets & props), we both felt passionate about starting our own businesses. She obviously has an eye for packaging, details and making things pretty, and so Present Day Gifts was born! Plus, she’s one of the most kind people I’ve met. She creates custom gift boxes filled with handcrafted, artisan goods suitable for every occasion. I love that by supporting her business, I’m also supporting tons of other small vendors, like one of my all time best friends, Marlissa, of Mai Lin Jewelry (see her bracelet in the top right picture).

 

8. Okanagan Lifestyle Apparel // Jaclyn & Markku

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@okanaganlifestyle

I don’t know which I love more, the beauties behind Okanagan Lifestyle Apparel, or their awesome products! If you were to look up the word community in the dictionary there should be a picture Jaclyn and Markku. They have built a loyal following of wonderful humans passionate about connections, getting outside and experiencing the beauty the Okanagan has to offer. What started as an apparel company has grown into a culture and lifestyle, and I couldn’t be more proud to have watched it blossom. And, it’s also their second biz-versary, so Happy Birthday to OLA!

 

9. THEIT Bags // Nicole

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@theitbags

I can’t be the only person who’s stuffed my camera into my purse because my camera bag just isn’t quite cute enough, can I? THEIT is play on words for the popular fashion term “the it” bag, and all of Nicole’s bags are stylish and functional. I also love that Nicole is passionate about fostering a community and collaborating with like-minded individuals. You’ll definitely want to check out the website (and if you subscribe to the newsletter you get 15% off your first purchase…just sayin’).

 

10. Pura Botanicals // Lane

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@purabotanicals

Last but definitely not least is Pura Botanicals. When I first met Lane, I thought she was the most kind, warm, gentle woman I’d met and I thought I must have just met her on a good day. I was wrong, Lane is genuinely living and breathing the brand she has created. When she became a mother she started to be more aware of all the chemicals and toxins in our products and became passionate about changing the lives of women and their attitudes on self-care and conventional beauty products. My favourite Pura products are my Clarifying Mist, Neroli Eye Ritual, Sweet Face and the Gratitude perfume she custom handcrafted for my Edmonton workshop attendees just weeks before her shop launched (who is seriously that generous?!). Another wonderful thing about Pura is their Bespoke Perfumery, where Lane herself “will conduct an in-depth scent analysis to ensure the most authentic inspiration is used to concoct a formula that will enthral your deepest, most intimate aromatic desires.”

 

Happy Canada Day, folks!

 

 

*All images in this blog post were lovingly used from each of their instagram accounts!

 

Features

I’m a Summer Stylesmith!

June 29, 2016

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I am so excited to one of Smithery Style’s Summer Stylesmiths (say that ten times fast)! I absolutely love that founders, Rena and Mavis, are passionate about helping women finding clothes for their body types, instead of changing their bodies for the clothes.

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And, they use real women (especially entrepreneurs) as their models! How cool is that? This is a company I can certainly get behind. I also love the way they have categorized body types. Instead of being apples and pears, Smithery has letters: X, H, A, V, O.

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They initially approached me to be part of their spring campaign, but unfortunately based on my instagram feed they though I was an ‘H’ shape, which was the last model they needed. My casual I-don’t-like-my-hips thoughts had escalated and grown so much that I had subconsciously only showed images of myself online where I disguised my curves. I had to convince them that I really am an ‘A’ by sending some “unflattering” pictures of me. What is it about us women not being able to embrace our bodies?

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I’m so glad I had the experience to model some of their summer clothing to help remind me that all body shapes are beautiful. Plus, my hips are what makes me a woman, and makes me, me. No more hiding them!

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Also, I was so excited to share this experience with one of my best friends, Marlissa, of Mai Lin Jewelry. She makes the most beautiful bracelets which I’m sure you’ve seen on my page. She and I both had a fun time playing dress up and feeling awkward in front of the camera (thankfully, Brody the photographer still made us look good)!

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Here are some helpful links for you:

Annnddddddddd I’m really excited to be hosting a little instagram giveaway. So head over to @botcomm and follow the rules to win a $50 gift card to Smithery Style!

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Features, Social Media

Holiday Gift Ideas // Share Happiness

November 26, 2015

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For those of you who follow me on instagram you may have seen that I posted the image above as part of my Share Happiness Challenge (join in join join!) and I wanted to share the shops where these are from. Many of them are handmade and most of them are Canadian! One of my favourite holiday traditions is finding small thoughtful gifts for my loved ones and supporting local businesses while I’m at it. Find a local market in your city or head over to Etsy to support small businesses. Happy Holidays!

  1. The Reminder Bracelet from Mai Lin Jewelry
  2. Boreal Forest Musk Castille Soap from PLANTiful
  3. Rose Quartz Necklace from Joie de Cristaux
  4. You Got This notepad from Justine Ma
  5. Run Sweat Recover spray from Happy Spritz
  6. Vine hair comb from Cinder & Sage
  7. Custom mala from Sage & Soul
  8. Crochet cactus from Crafted Truck
  9. Coffee sleeve by Refluff from Little Blue Canoe
  10. Cloud paperclip bookmark by Momomints from Little Blue Canoe
  11. Mens bracelet from Sage & Soul
  12. Handmade leather keychain from Gift Shop Brooklyn
  13. Notebook by Dayna Lee from Little Blue Canoe
  14. Yin Yang Facial Oil from CAMP Skincare
  15. Handmade mug from Greg Voisin Pottery
  16. Complexion Correction tea from Physique Fundamentals
  17. Watercolour cards from Mai Lin Jewelry
  18. Gratitude custom perfume from Pura Botanicals
  19. Plant based lip balm from Eco Lips
  20. Tobacco + Patchouli candle from Paddywax Apothecary
  21. Eco Friendly baggage tag by ReFluff from Little Blue Canoe
Features

Published // Design Mom: Living With Kids

April 17, 2015

Design Mom Gabrielle Blair Nicole Hudson Bot Communications Photography Toronto

I’m really excited to be writing this post, because I’ve been a big fan of Gabrielle’s for several years now. For those of you who don’t know her (I’ll forgive you later) she is the creator of Design Mom, which “features everything you find at the intersection of Motherhood and Design.” Gabrielle is a designer and mother of six, and approaches motherhood from a creative, design perspective.

I was introduced to her by my lovely sister-in-law, Erin, who happens to be friends with the Blair family. I had the chance to meet Gabrielle (or Gabby as I call her, because I pretend we’re BFF’s now) at Alt Summit  last year, and friends, let me tell you, she is more lovely in person than you could ever imagine.

After being named a Website of the Year by Time Magazine, as well as taking other prestigious titles, Gabby has been working tirelessly launching her first book, Design Mom: Living With Kids. You can imagine my excitement when I was given the opportunity to photograph a beautiful, beautiful home (thank you Shannon Molenaar) in Toronto for the book.

If you’re looking for inspiration, and how create a beautiful home with your children, you definitely want to check out this book. And seeing my photos is just an extra bonus! 😉

I pre-ordered my book off Amazon and was so excited to get it a few days ago. Scroll down to see some pictures of her beautiful book, and some teasers of a few of my pictures that made the cut! (I’ll have to do a separate home tour post, because this house is gorgeous. And click HERE to order directly off Amazon!

Design Mom Gabrielle Blair Nicole Hudson Bot Communications Photography Toronto

Design Mom Gabrielle Blair Nicole Hudson Bot Communications Photography Toronto

Design Mom Gabrielle Blair Nicole Hudson Bot Communications Photography Toronto

Design Mom Gabrielle Blair Nicole Hudson Bot Communications Photography Toronto