Video: Making You and Your Style a Priority

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Making yourself a priority is so important. In this video, I talk about how style is a form of self-care and why it’s important to give your attention to.

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Dream Big!

My current read, aka “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You,” has a harsh title, yet is surprisingly full of inspirational tidbits. The book is a biography of Kelly Cutrone, American fashion publicist, television personality and author, detailing her rise to the top and struggles along the way (reality TV fans, you may recognize the name from MTV’s The Hills or The City!).

At the age of 21, Cutrone moved to New York City with few possessions and little direction. While she pursued a traditional job initially, it did not suit her personality. It took losing her job, her apartment, and her identity to finally set her on the right track. By facing these hurdles, and accepting the unique opportunities she was given, Cutrone found her strength and worked hard to prove herself in the fashion industry.

“Sometimes, if not most of the time, you find out who you are by figuring out who and what you are not.”

These “rising from the ashes” stories permeate our culture, and while the common response may be that these kinds of things don’t happen to people me, or I can’t live the life I’ve always dreamed, you would be wrong. We’re born dreamers. Everything of value in our world started as a dream. They are necessary for us to see the world how it should be rather than how it is. If you can dream it, you can live it. It’s about making things happen for yourself and pursuing your passions full throttle.

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Personally, I’ve always had an interest in fashion. While it is not what I studied in school, I’ve always wanted to help others look and feel their best. This is why I studied to be a Style CoachTM and why I do what I do. My blog has turned into an amazing career where I get to help others dream big, and use style as a tool to help them achieve their goals.

Our community is full of everyday heroes, actively shaping their futures and rolling with life’s punches. They view setbacks, e.g. losing a job, as opportunities to pursue their passions. Readers, I am here to tell you that you can do the same. Whether you want to study abroad, learn a new language, visit all 7 wonders of the world, or start your own business, you can do it! You just need to start by taking small steps towards your goals. Take Jessica Burman, owner of local skincare line Cocoon Apothecary for example. After losing her job, she pursued her passion for natural beauty and launched an amazing skincare line which continues to grow each and every year. Bravo!

If you’re looking for inspiration, look to those around you. With a support network in place and a little bravery, you can do anything you set your mind to.

“Dreams won’t always take you on a straight path to destiny, but they’re usually related to what your soul wants for you.”

Here are a few pieces of advice I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Believe in Yourself
  2. Find and Listen to your Inner Voice
  3. Focus on Building a Tribe
  4. Work Hard
  5. Give Back

Be excited about your life, enjoy the journey, and most of all, dream big!

Wear Out There is Officially a Business!

Hi friends,

I just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you so much for your support of this blog. My experiences writing it the past few years have inspired me to become a certified Style CoachTM and launch Wear Out There as a business. I now work one-on-one with individuals to develop a style they love, and host group workshops. I also am available for virtual consultations via skype and will help you determine your body shape and style personality.

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To stay up-to-date with Wear Out There, and connect with me, please visit www.wearoutthere.ca. I’ll be sharing daily on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. for style tips on how to dress for your body shape, follow my Pinterest page as well.

Take care lovelies.

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Stylish Social Enterprises – Doing Good Through Fashion

Our purchases do make a difference. With the holiday season fast approaching, now may be the perfect time to support fabulous causes without compromising on style. My column in this month’s Community Cord discusses how.

See below.

Shop Local

I’m often asked whether our individual purchases really make a difference, and my answer is always yes. Consumers have more influence over the products that are produced, and future products that are being developed, than we may realize. With every business striving to make a profit, they look to consumer behaviour to drive their innovation, product development, and marketing decisions to increase the likelihood that us consumers will choose their products over a competitor’s.

A 2013 Business Development Bank of Canada study called “Five Game-Changing Consumer Trends” identified a “Made in Canada” advantage for businesses, as social and environmental concerns have become increasingly influential in consumer purchasing decisions.

The commercial landscape has changed for retailers and they must adapt to meet new consumer standards. Canadians do their research before making a purchase and a majority are now trying to buy local, with many willing to pay a premium for goods that boast a Made in Canada label.

As a result of these shifting attitudes, new businesses are popping up that place doing good at the centre of their business model. These are called social enterprises. From Tom’s Shoes, which give shoes to children in need, to tentree, which plants 10 trees for every purchase, shopping for a cause has gone mainstream.

It’s true that it can be challenging to see how our individual purchases make a difference, but Carmen Clubiné, a local jewelry designer, makes it clear that they can. She created her jewelry line, Alfaro Clubiné, in partnership with Joel, a 23-year-old hearing impaired man living in Paraguay who had few options for employment in his community.

“When our friend in Paraguay met Joel, he had a temper because he really couldn’t communicate with anyone,” explained Carmen. “He was frustrated, and it got to the point where his own community didn’t want him around.”

When Joel was young, he attended school for a while, but it wasn’t set up to meet his needs. As a result, he had a lot of time on his hands, and his older brothers taught him how to work with filigree silver. When they moved away to make a living elsewhere, things changed for the entire family.

“Joel wasn’t in a good place when our friend met him, but when he started working, he became a different person,” said Carmen. “For me, that was the wow moment. Alfaro Clubiné is making a big difference in the life of a man, his family, and his community.”

This is one example of a local social enterprise that, with your support, can continue to positively influence another person’s life. Many more exist in Waterloo Region, and with style and impact combined in a business, it is now easier than ever to engage in socially-conscious purchasing.

Our consumption decisions add up, and big businesses pay attention. Our purchases make a difference, and isn’t that a beautiful thing?

A Blooming Affair Fashion Show in Review

Happy Thanksgiving Canadian readers and what a gorgeous weekend it’s been in Waterloo Region. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of YOU for following the blog and sharing your shopping stories with me. It’s truly been an amazing year, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of our wonderful shop owners, reporting back to you on our local shop spots. This week I had the pleasure of kicking off Oktoberfest season in style at the 2015 A Blooming Affair Fashion Show, held at Bingemans Ballroom.

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There was certainly plenty of eye candy at this year’s event, organized and run by a talented committee of 13 community members. The show drew a mixed crowd of young women, sophisticated women and the occasional male companion, all looking for the latest in fall and winter fashions. The styles were hot, with some new fashion features in the show like Gadsby’s Clothing Co. Inc in Cambridge, Plato’s Closet in Kitchener, and Grace the Boutique from Stratford. While La Crème in St Jacobs always puts together a gorgeous collection, this year I thoroughly enjoyed the styles from fb and me, with their youthful and colourful, yet sophisticated designs. It’s definitely worth a visit (especially now) if you’re looking for some new fall items.

Along with the eye candy on stage, attendees were invited to shop till they dropped at Most Magazine’s Boulevard of Boutiques. With some vendors also being featured in the fashion show, it was a great way to bring a piece or two home with you, after checking them out on stage. There weren’t too many familiar faces this year in the Boulevard, an area which I feel could be improved to better showcase our fabulous fashion community. Style may be the focus of the event, but it also does good, benefiting a local charity with a portion of the raffle proceeds. This year, that partner was Lutherwood, a wonderful organization which provides mental health, employment, housing and family support services to thousands of individuals in our community.

Overall, it was a fantastic night, thoroughly enjoyed by attendees and an excellent start to an eventful Oktoberfest season. If you’re already looking ahead to next year, be sure to mark October 5, 2016 (at least, that’s when I think it is) in your calendar for the next A Blooming Affair Fashion Show. Hope to see you there lovelies.