de·noue·ment

Howdy,

We just wanted to thank you so much for the overwhelming support over the last year! However, just as we both made the transition from “country” to “city” once upon a time, there are some changes on the horizon for us. We’ve made the very difficult decision to discontinue blogging here on Country meet City. There were so many factors in reaching this decision – but, it really boiled down to each of us having specific visions that we think would be better served on our own personal ventures. We wanted to be honest with ourselves and to you, our lovely readers.

We have absolutely loved sharing our personal styles and lifestyle tips in this space and we sincerely thank each and every single one of you who have read our posts, commented and genuinely engaged and supported us throughout this amazing journey. Your support and love has meant the world to us. 👩❤️👩

Thank you for your understanding 😘

XO,

– Country meet City (a.k.a Kayla and Lacey)

#GIRLBOSS Wild Things Jewelry and Decor

Kay first met Shannon at Studio B, where she goes to get her hair beautiful and we both would later run into Shannon in the maker’s circuit. Shannon is the artistically talented lady behind Wild things Jewelry and Decor. Her heart is pure and her wares are unique with a real and beautiful connection to nature.

*********************

1. Tell us a little bit about your business?

Wild Things Jewelry and Decor is a nature inspired line that combines a mix of natural, re-purposed and vintage materials to create one-of-a-kind pieces. We are a creative duo, who uses our skills and passions to collaborate. I started the line using mossy and flowery treasures that I would collect on my every day journeys and my partner Dennis is a seasoned carpenter who has a creative edge for rustic organizational decor. I take pride in my original signature product, the glass wildflower locket. Each timeless geometric locket is uniquely designed and displays locally sourced wildflowers encased in its glass panels. We also create a range of other products including terrarium vial pendants and earrings that contain an assortment of sacred herbs and resins, cacti planted in vintage bone-china tea-cups, custom terrarium planters, geometric shaped wooden crystal shelves, and other rustic wooden decor. We also offer custom wood furniture and shelving by order.

unnamed

2. How did your interest in creating your products start?

Maybe it was from growing up on a farm, or spending 5 years in majestic Nunavut, but I have always been at the happiest state when surrounded by nature. I marvel at every leaf, blade of grass, flower petal and bit of mossy ground around me. I found myself collecting all kinds of things that stood out to me. Eventually I ended up with old textbooks filled with pressed flowers and a nightstand filled with jars containing all kinds of interesting treasures. Instead of becoming a witchy hoarder, I decided that perhaps I should brew up some ideas of how to put the materials to some use. I started out making terrariums and advertising them on Instagram and Facebook. The response was great and people started making custom orders. I’ve always loved handmade jewelry and dried flowers, so eventually I branched out in to making the wild flower lockets. That’s when things started to really take off and I realized that I had a little business on my hands. I came up with Wild Things Jewelry and Decor as a business name, made an Instagram account, designed myself some business cards, and away it went!

 

3. What is it like running your own business? What’s your day to day like?

Someday I would love to own a little shop, but for now it is an after-hours enterprise. I try to keep up a presence on social media and stay in tune with upcoming local markets and other events to keep the business going. We’ve had our lockets in a few shops in Ottawa, and are on the lookout for new spots. We are always gathering interesting materials to use in our pieces and really just have a lot of fun brainstorming new ideas and creating!

 

4. Who has provided the most inspiration for you along the way, as you’ve built your business?

My friend Kim is also an entrepreneur with her business Downtown Underground. She really motivated me to get things rolling at the beginning and be me a lot of advice. My boyfriend Dennis has been supportive and excitedly creates alongside me now. It’s become a pretty fantastic partnership. We inspire each other and we feed off of each other’s creativity. But most of all, I am truly inspired by the response I get from people who see our work! It makes me really happy when people at markets tell me that they follow us on Instagram, that they’d come to the market because we had advertised it, or they’ve seen or heard of other people wearing our pieces. Hearing how much people love what we are doing is what really inspires me to keep going with it!

 

5. What do you think were the most important mistakes you’ve learned from?

It took trial and error to get a knack for making our existing products, and we invested a lot of time and money in to materials etc. At times when I didn’t see an immediate response or payoff, I’d get frustrated and want to give up. Soon after those moments though, I would get an opportunity to participate in a market, someone would make an order, or something else would come up to make me want to keep at it, keep going… Patience and confidence are definitely two traits that I’ve had to keep working at.

6. What advice can you share with other #GIRLBOSSES in training?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and network! People who see that you’re passionate will embrace and support you. Keep doing what you love!

*********************

Find Wild Things Jewelry and Decor on:

Instagram – @wildthingsjewelryanddecor
Etsy- Coming Soon!

XO,

-Country meet City

#OOTD – Ice Ice Skateway

*********************

We’ve found the best way to beat the winter blues is to try to get out and make the most out of it.

Ottawa was built for winters. One of our favourite things to do in the winter months is to hit up the Rideau Canal. It transforms into a 7.8km long Skateway during the winter months – it’s the World’s Largest Skating Rink. And, not to mention it is blessed with multiple BeaverTail  vendors along the way.

img_4245

Although we didn’t have time to skate, we decided to make the most of the chilly weather and take a walk on the Skateway (yes, we are THOSE people…).

*********************

20170205-1098933347.jpg

20170205-72218123.jpg

201702051214398938.jpg

201702051840213030.jpg

Kay is Wearing: Coat – H&M / Vest + Belt – Winners / Dress – Forever 21 / Boots – George / Sunnies – ALDO

*********************

img_4276

img_4275

img_4273

img_4274

Lacey is Wearing: Coat – Vintage/ Vest – Winners / Jumpsuit + Ring – Forever 21 / Boots – Ariat / Sunnies – LensCrafters

*********************

What do you do to beat the winter blues?

20170205-1230983878.jpg

XO,

-Country meet City

#GIRLBOSS Anita Peeples

Anita first shot us for a collaboration with another local artist and instantly made us feel comfortable and in awe of her unique approach to photography.

Anita’s thoughtful and creative take on photography really brings her photos and subjects to life that tells a story and really captures candid moments.

*********************

anitapeeples

1.Tell us a little bit about your business?

Hello!  I’m Anita, and I’m a photographer.  I mostly photograph weddings, with some portraiture, family and commercial work as well.  I take a candid, journalistic approach to my photography, focusing on capturing authentic moments that tell stories.  I specialize in intimate weddings, such as backyard weddings, elopements, rural and outdoor venues.  I also love to photograph urban weddings in Ottawa’s downtown core and of course in my own Hintonburg neighbourhood as well.

anitapeeples5

2. How did your interest in photography start?

My high school had a film photography class – I always loved the idea of photography, and once I got myself into the darkroom things just clicked, I loved it.  I was probably in one of the last age groups where, during high school, not many people had cell phones (and if you did have a cell phone it certainly didn’t take photos) so this was my first real opportunity to make photos happen on a regular basis.

anitapeeples9

The first thing that peaked my photographic interest were animals – our dogs and cats, the horse I had at the time.  I’ve always found animals very easy to photograph because they really don’t care that you’re taking their photo, they just do their own thing and you try to capture the right angles and moments.  This is probably part of what drove my work towards a more candid style.

When I was in my early twenties I had the opportunity to start second shooting weddings with a friend, and the rest was history!

3. Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?

I honestly try not to focus on other photographer’s work all that much.  I think it’s really easy to become caught up in how your own work isn’t like someone else’s, and I think that’s a dangerous and frustrating path to head down.  I love looking at other photographer’s work on Instagram every now and then, but I really just try to do my own thing.  If someone’s hiring me, it’s because they like my style, so I think it’s important to be true to that.

anitapeeples4

4.What is it like running your own business? What’s your day-to-day like?

I try my best to keep semi-normal Monday-Friday hours for computer work, especially for things like emails – I think it’s important to have cut off times when you work from home, or else you can easily fall into the pit of never-ending work.  There’s always something to do – client work, social media, marketing, blogging, financial stuff – the work never ends, so for my own sanity I try to stay off my computer in the evenings and on weekends.

Of course, weddings and most photo-shoots end up being on weekends, and meetings with clients are often in the evenings…so I do still end up working a lot more than 40 hours most weeks!

The winter months are less busy for me, which is a nice break, but the summer is just crazy.  Sometimes it’s not fantastic having literally no free weekends over the summer…but when your job is watching people throwing the biggest party of their lives to celebrate their love, you really can’t complain!

anitapeeples3

5. Who has provided the most inspiration for you along the way, as you’ve built your business?

Probably my fiancé Josh.  When I left my graphic design job to try photography full-time, it was scary.  It was very much a risk, I had no idea if I’d be able to get enough work, if I had it in me to run my own business…but he supported me the whole way through, he encouraged me to keep going for it and has always had my back when I become frustrated with some aspect the job.  It can be tough living with a full-time creative person when you’re not one yourself, and he’s a real champ about it!

anitapeeples6

6. What do you think were the most important mistakes you’ve learned from?

Learn when to turn down clients.  It can be hard (especially when you’re starting out) to turn down money, but if someone wants work done that isn’t your style you need to be honest with yourself, and with them about that.  Trying to force a style of work that isn’t what you usually do will never turn out well.  Focus on taking on like-minded clients, who love YOUR work, and YOUR style, it will save you a lot of headaches down the road.

anitapeeples7

7. What motivates you to continue taking pictures economically, politically, intellectually or emotionally?

I don’t think I could stop taking pictures if I tried.  Visuals drive me, creating things drives me…when I’m making things I’m happy.  It’s a huge rush when I really nail a photo I was trying to get.  It’s amazing that I’m able to do this, to take photos and make a living doing it, and I’m incredible grateful for that every day!

anitapeeples8

8. What advice can you share with other #GIRLBOSSES in training?

Be nice to everyone, you never know how you will find yourself connected to them in the future.  Trust your instincts; you know what you’re doing.  Taking time off, being a workaholic isn’t something to be proud of.  Ask questions, you can’t be expected to know everything.  Let others help you, and help others as well.  Take compliments gracefully, you deserve them!

*********************

anitapeeples2

Find Anita on:

Website: www.anitapeeples.com

Instagram: @anitapeeples

Facebook: Anita Peeples Photography

XO,

-Country meet City

BE MINE, GALENTINE

It’s possible that chocolates, flowers, and fancy dinners with your significant other are totally your thing – but if you’ve ever found yourself dreaming about a holiday that solely celebrates you and your girlfriends, Galentine’s Day is something you should you should be celebrating.

What is Galentine’s Day, you ask? Well – duh it’s the best day of the year.

gals1

gals2

Still a little confused? Galentine’s Day is a holiday Amy Poehler’s Parks and Recreation character, Leslie Knope, created that occurs every year on Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day.

Basically, it’s like Valentine’s Day, only instead of celebrating the love you have for your significant other, you spend it with your girlfriends, who after all deserve a holiday all to themselves too.

This Friday we are celebrating a little early with our girlfriends. We are off to have dinner and watch Fifty Shades Darker – ya we aren’t afraid to admit it.


Galentine Ideas:

Shopping Trip!

Photoshoot!

Movie date!

Galentine’s Gift Exchange!

Get Your Nails Did!


Here is a photo-shoot with our besties, celebrating our friendship and some local #girlbosses.gals6gals5gals3gals2gals8gals7

Jewellery – My Vintage Retreat

Photographer – Willow Lamoureux Photography

Tea Set – Deux à Deux

Floral Crowns – Blumenstudio

MUA – The Art of Beauty by Tammy

gals9

#GIRLBOSS Either/Or

When we think sustainable fashion we immediately think of #GIRLBOSS, Malorie Bertrand, owner of Either/Or.

We were introduced to Malorie through a local online blogger forum and we instantly saw how passionate and hard-working she was about sustainable fashion and preserving the environment.

*********************

fullsizeoutput_2dc2

1. Tell us a little bit about your business?

Either/Or is an online shop, based in Ottawa, Ontario, that sells Canadian, ethical and sustainable fashion and accessories. I launched the shop this past September because I saw, through eight years of blogging about sustainable fashion and styling clients that most Canadians don’t know about Canadian, ethical and sustainable designers or where to buy from them. Not only this, but a lot of people want to buy fewer but higher quality items. They’re tired of buying clothes all the time that wear out quickly, and they don’t want to contribute to an industry that exploits people and planet.

dsc_0371

2. How did your interest in sustainable fashion start?

I’ve always been an environmentalist, someone who enjoys being in nature. And I grew up browsing Value Village and Salvation Army racks with my mom on weekends. This grew my interest in fashion and styling. But I didn’t combine the two, environmentalism and fashion, until university. I put together an eco-fashion magazine called EF for a class project with a few peers and we enjoyed it so much that we turned it into an online magazine. This was back in 2007, before blogs took off and before eco-fashion was the buzzword that it is today.

fw2016-shoot-2-for-resizing-to-web-85-of-100

3. How do you curate the pieces for your store? And is there a process for designers?

I spent a few months compiling designers that I had come across over the years as a blogger, and discovered new labels through online research, reading fashion blogs and industry websites. When it came down to choosing which designers to feature, I considered my list of criteria, such as made in Canada, ethical manufacturing, use of recycled, natural, sustainable or quality textiles, timeless design and quality construction. I met with the designers I had in mind and they’re all so lovely and easy to work with.

I chose pieces that were wardrobe staples and made sure they were cohesive enough in colour and minimalist style to be worn together. Most importantly, I chose pieces that would easily be incorporated into someone’s existing wardrobe, hence why I chose a lot of grey and black for my first collection.

dsc_1014

4. What is it like running your own business? What’s your day-to-day like?

It’s like being in school and always having an assignment to finish, except that this assignment is never complete. You’re often thinking about it, making to-do lists, checking sales figures and website traffic, strategizing new ways to market the shop and to reach customers.

I often think about how to inform my clients about sustainable fashion, to figure out what they need to know to make more responsible shopping choices. A large part of the shop’s brand is information. Knowledge is power and I enjoy writing blog posts about how to wear more with less and how to buy quality items, all helpful tips that I hope will convince people to make the switch to sustainable fashion.

A regular day, Monday to Friday, is taken up by my full-time job as a media relations and social media officer for a funding organization. I try to go to the gym at lunch three times a week. Exercise helps keep my head space clear, it keeps me calm and feeling positive. Without it, I’d be a big ball of nerves and worries!

dsc_0003

I try to keep my weekends free from work, aside from photography for the site or for the blog, so two to three evenings a week I work for maybe two hours on the shop. I’m certainly not your regular entrepreneurial hustler. I have a family and a circle of friends that are the most important things to me so I built the business model to be slow and deliberate so that I had the time I needed to be with my loves ones, to take care of myself, to experience life fully. I wouldn’t last very long mentally or physically if I locked myself up in my home office every night.

In the evenings that I work on the business, I usually have a blog post I’m working on, as well as a newsletter to prep for the month. I schedule as many tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts as I can. I get Google alerts on sustainable fashion to stay up-to-date on the industry, to discover new designers and to share this information with my followers.

I try to spend some time thinking long-term, thinking about new ways I can interact with my customers, about new ways of connecting with them to build loyalty and a genuine relationship with them. This takes a lot of time but I’m enjoying the process. Twice a year I’ll spend time shopping for the next season and about a month before the new season of items goes live on the site, I shoot the pieces on friends and family in my home “studio”, aka my dining room.

The shop is very small, very personal, definitely a one-person business, but I’m happy working on it and I hope one day to make it my full-time job so that I can work from home.

dsc_0709

5. Who has provided the most inspiration for you along the way, as you’ve built your business?

Elizabeth Suzann is a Nashville-based designer who I came across maybe two years ago now. She is a self-taught seamstress who slowly built up her successful fashion label (now with a staff of 19 or so people) by selling her clothing in shows, item by item.

Her line is made to order, so customers expect to wait at least a week for an item. She’s managed to successfully market the slow fashion aspect of her brand as its strength. Her designs are deliberate, her customers support her because they know they’re getting a quality item, and in the last year she’s done a wonderful job of connecting personally with her clients.

She’s built an online community of people simply by blogging about the ins and outs of the business, sharing her thoughts, her doubts and asking for feedback. Seeing her success in building a slow fashion business was reassuring. It showed me that there were people out there who wanted to buy clothing that was made thoughtfully, ethically and that would last beyond trends.

fw2016-shoot-2-for-resizing-to-web-93-of-100

6. What do you think were the most important mistakes you’ve learned from?

I learned quickly after the shop launched that I should have bought fewer pieces for this first collection and saved more of my funds for the second collection. I underestimated how hard it would be to reach a large enough audience to make regular sales.

So I had to scale back on the size of my spring/summer collection, which I don’t mind at all. There isn’t a lot of information out there for boutiques on how much to buy. A lot of it depends on your budget, on your marketing budget and on the size of your market but in the end, it’s still a bit of a shot in the dark.

I had guidance from one boutique, which helped me narrow down my collection size, but it was still just a tad too large. Now I know how much to buy from now on, and how to scale up slowly.

dsc_0677

7. What are your thoughts on eco-fashion becoming more popular?

It’s encouraging for ethical and sustainable designers to see a growing demand for their labels, but both designers and consumers have to keep in mind that truly sustainable fashion can’t grow exponentially like fast-fashion.

Consumers can’t expect a new collection every week, like we’re seeing in mainstream fashion these days. They can’t expect the cost of items to decrease all that much either, despite an increase in demand, and they can’t expect to consume as quickly.

As more consumers make the choice to buy from ethical and sustainable fashion labels, they have to accept a new business model too, one that is slower, more mindful and more sustainable. And designers have to stick to their guns and resist the temptation to grow exponentially.

If they want to keep their values of ethical manufacturing, quality construction and sustainability, they have to accept that they’ll never be able to grow as quickly as fast-fashion brands. The only reason fast-fashion labels are so incredibly successful is because they keep their manufacturing costs ridiculously low, and they do this by exploiting human labour and natural resources.

fullsizeoutput_2dc3

8. What advice can you share with other #GIRLBOSSES in training?

If you have a business idea, start talking about it to your close friends and family, people you can trust not to share your idea. By talking about your idea, you talk it to life. And by sharing it, you hold yourself accountable to executing it.

Second, think long and hard about the “why” of your business. Why are you doing it? Why is it important to you, to your future consumers? Without the “why”, you’ll quickly lose steam if things get tough. Whenever I feel discouraged, I remember why I started the shop in the first place: to contribute to building a fashion industry that serves people and planet, for the betterment of us all. It’s a lofty goal, but it keeps me focused when I find myself distracted by negative thoughts. Businesses that are fuelled by a genuine desire to help people have a higher chance of success than those that exist just because someone wants to make money.

fullsizeoutput_2dc5

*********************

Find Either/Or on:

Instagram – @either_or_store
Twitter – @shop_either_or
Facebook – shopeitheror
Pinterest – shopeitheror
Website – www.shopeitheror.com

*********************

Either/Or is also having a Winter Clearance Sale (on until Friday Feb. 3, 2017). Use the code: ‘CLEAR45‘ when checking out to get some major savings on some seriously awesome clothing!

XO,

-Country meet City

January Shopping: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

goodbadugly1

January is a tough month. Winter is in full force. Many people have set New Year’s Resolutions that won’t be kept. Holiday bills are coming in and stores are trying to clear their entire inventory to make room for the new product. January = yuck.

We don’t know about you but we find January shopping really difficult.

With our pockets laced with freshly pressed gift cards to all of our favourite stores we want to freshen up our wardrobes, but every store it seems has a different idea with their annual sales eliminating old stock, everything has been picked over.

*********************

The Good

There is some good news.

giphy-2

January tends to have some really awesome deals. Most stores are trying to clear old inventory for the new stuff. So, if you’re lucky enough to find that golden item or that everyday essential that fits or catches your eye, take it and run! These deals ain’t gonna last forever!

The Bad

There is a downside to shopping in January. Old inventory.

giphy-1

This can mean something that may not be on trend and even worse they don’t have your size. We both have hit up the shopping scene since Christmas to use gift cards and have struggled to find either what we had our hearts set on or we find that item, but it only comes in sizes that would not fit. Talk about a bummer!

The Ugly

Bills. Bills. Bills.

giphy

Post-Holiday gift shopping can leave your money situation with little to nothing or some minor debt. So shopping in January is almost non-existent or leaves you with buyer’s remorse. Which can cause more stress and leave you feeling like you’ve started the New Year off on the wrong foot.

*********************

Keep in mind, January is just 31 days long and only one month out of the year and there are better days ahead and better stock and likely even better sales.

giphy-4

giphy-6

giphy-5

XO,

-Country meet City