#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.

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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.

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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!

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Find Wild Things Jewelry and Decor on:

Instagram – @wildthingsjewelryanddecor
Etsy- Coming Soon!

XO,

-Country meet City

#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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Find Either/Or on:

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

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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

#GIRLBOSS – Copious Fashions

We have been fortunate enough to know #GIRLBOSS Carissa – the bad ass babe behind Copious Fashions for many seasons now.

With Copious each season brings fresh designs – designs that are so sophisticated, rustic, strong and original the pieces make our heart scream.  Carissa’s creations are moody and strong and yet versatile enough for both work and play and yet still allow women to showcase their individual style while wearing her pieces.

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Tell us a little bit about your business?

Copious is a women’s wear fashion line that I created in 2012. I am currently located in Toronto. My inspiration has always been rooted in my country upbringing, inspired by the colours of the seasons, how the wind moves the fabric of a dress; I am always drawn back home to shoot my new collections, where I am most inspired.

With fashion each season, I am inspired by a new inspiration with each season, but what never changes is that I want my company to be Local – Handmade – Canadian. I am very passionate about creating clothing that will last my customers for years and when they have a big event and go to their closet, Copious will always be there too look great and make them feel great wearing it! Copious garments are well made articles that my customers can be confident investing in.

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How did your interest in Fashion Design start?

I was always sewing with my mom and grandma growing up and as I got older I started sketching out designs and clothing I couldn’t find in the mall. To be honest, I never once thought of it as a career until my mom brought me to Toronto to see the Academy of Design. I credit her totally with knowing that I would never be happy unless I had the freedom to be creative!

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

It’s definitely a lot of hard work and can be extremely intense, but knowing that you are working for yourself makes it all better. I never enjoyed working for other people, I always felt constrained and like I was putting a lot of work in for someone else’s success and knew then I should just work that hard for me!

Day-to-day can be sometimes a lot of running around and meeting clients or at home sewing like crazy, but each day is different and always interesting!

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

This question always makes me stumble, because on a daily basis it can be a single person or multiple ones! Definitely instagrammers, bloggers, different women that run their own companies are a huge inspiration – their honesty on how hard it is. The ladies I get to work with on each collection, my photographer, Kaja Tirrul, is a huge inspiration, our brains always have similar ideas for shoots and it’s like working with myself on shoots – it’s just so easy and that makes it stress free which I LOVE! Rachel Ribkoff, one of my closet friends is a huge inspiration she is always sending me inspiration pics and she is a social media guru and has helped Copious so much!

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

SO MANY! Ha-ha – I don’t think of them mistakes, I know that sounds cliché, but honestly everything I have done has brought me to where I am right now, so I wouldn’t have it any other way. I still make mistakes with my company all the time, so I think the biggest thing you can learn is don’t let it get you down. Keep on going and keep on moving forward if you believe in yourself you will figure out the right way to move forward. The hardest part is letting yourself get to that point where you don’t care what anyone else thinks anymore and letting a great idea shine through, not everyone can do that, being scared holds a lot of people back. I was never really scared of failing and I never had a back-up plan (definitely don’t recommend that for everyone) but it always worked for me and drove me forward.

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What is your favourite part about being a Fashion Designer?

I think the best part is seeing something online for a ridiculous price or something at H&M, made so cheaply, and knowing I can do it so much better. Then I go home and do it! I just love being able to see what I want and physically being able to create it. It’s a great freedom I have to be able to create what I see in my head.

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How would you describe your personal style?

Casual Femininity with Vintage Masculinity.

I am constantly trying to add a masculine edge to my outfits, whether it’s wearing my Frye Boots with a dress or super high heels with an old band-tee. I’m constantly balancing the two.

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What advice can you share with other #GIRLBOSS’ in training?

Definitely have a plan and don’t be too quick to put it out there till you are sure you have a clear vision of who your customer is and what you want your company to be. Then be prepared for the hardest work you will ever do, but the success will be all yours so it’s worth it!!!

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Find Copious on:

Instagram – @copiousfashions

Twitter – @copiousfashions

Facebook – Copious

Pinterest – Copious

Website – www.copiousfashions.com

XO,

-Country meet City

 

*Photo Credit: Kaja Tirrul*

Weekend Round-Up

Well it’s been awhile since we last updated you beautiful people with a Weekend Round-Up. We apologize for our tardiness. It’s been a crazy month between work and personal commitments for us both.

Check out our daily outfits from Instagram for the last three weeks:

August 24 – 26, 2015

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Wednesday August 26, 2015 – Kay Wears: Top – H&M / Skirt – ZARA / Necklace – Dynamite / Sandals – Call It Spring / Makeup by Elissa at Rideau Sephora

Friday August 28, 2015 – Kay Wears: Blazer – Forever 21 / Blouse – WINNERS / Pants – Old Navy / Flats – Ardene / Necklace – Handmade / Sunglasses – Polette Eyewear

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Monday August 24, 2015 – Lacey Wears: Dress – Roadtrip / Necklace – Forever 21 / Shoes – ZARA

Wednesday August 26, 2015 – Lacey Wears: Vest – Forever 21 / Dress – Vintage / Belt – Tommy Hilfiger / Watch – Fossil / Shoes – Marc Fisher / Socks – ALDO Accessories / Makeup by Johnni at Rideau Sephora

Friday August 28, 2015 – Lacey Wears: Blouse – Vintage / Skirt – ZARA / Belt – Forever 21 / Shoes – GAP / Watch – Fossil


August 31, 2015 – September 4, 2015

Monday August 31, 2015:

Polette CollageTo find out what sunglasses we are wearing from Polette Eyewear, check out our Polette post.

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Wednesday September 2, 2015 – Kay Wears: Dress – Forever 21 / Necklace – Borrowed from her Mom / Shoes – Marc Fisher / Socks – Forever 21 / Rings – ALDO Accessories

Thursday September 3, 2015 – Kay Wears: Dress – Forever 21 / Cardigan – WINNERS / Pumps – ALDO / Necklace – H&M

Friday September 4, 2015 – Kay Wears: Jean Jacket – American Eagle / Shirt – H&M / Trousers – Zara / Flats – Ardene / Necklace – Forever 21 / Sunglasses – MILKShop Ottawa

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Wednesday September 2, 2015 – Lacey Wears: Top & Skirt – ZARA / Jewellery – Magpie Jewellery / Heels – Naturalizer

Thursday September 3, 2015 – Lacey Wears: Dress – Roadtrip / Belt – Forever 21 / Watch – Fossil / Wedges – Jeffrey Campbell

Friday September 4, 2015 – Lacey Wears: Top & Pants – MILKShop Ottawa / Hat – Nordstrom Ottawa / Loafers – Old Navy / Necklace & Clutch – Forever 21


September 7 – 11, 2015

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Wednesday September 9, 2015 – Kay Wears: Lace Top – Urban Outfitters / Skirt – ZARA / Necklace – H&M / Sandals – Call It Spring

Thursday September 10, 2015 – Kay Wears: Dress – Urban Outfitters / Skirt – Forever 21 / Necklace – Bazaar / Heels – WINNERS

Friday September 11, 2015 – Kay Wears: Blouse – Forever 21 / Trousers – ZARA / Flats – Ardene / Jewellery – ALDO Accessories

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Wednesday September 9, 2015 – Lacey Wears: Dress – WINNERS / Jacket – Forever 21 / Heels – Nine West

Thursday September 10, 2015 – Lacey Wears: Dresses – WINNERS + Forever 21 / Brooch – Vintage / Belt – Forever 21 /Heels – ALDO

Friday September 11, 2015 – Lacey Wears: Romper & Hat – Urban Outfitters / Jacket – Forever 21 / Belt – Forever 21 / Heels – Nine West


These last days of summer we partnered with Polette Eyewear to  do an End of Summer Giveaway to one of our lucky subscribers.  Ana Vallejos won the Giveaway and won her choice of frames. Ana chose the “Nepalia” frames. Congrats Ana!!

Kay has been busy the last three weekend between going to friend’s cottages and visiting her brother in T.O. Check out some pictures from her T.O. Trip.

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11984353_10100104138859738_327678713_oKidstreet’s set at Wavelength

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In hair news, Kay went blonde! A big thanks to Gillian at Studio B Hair for making her feel pretty and doing such an amazing job 🙂

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Lacey has been busy with back to school!  Also enjoying harvesting her garden.

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Lacey has also been sewing a lot.  Especially enjoying creating little skirts!

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If you follow our Instagram you know that we like our Duck selfies… well the ducks are grown up and enjoying their new pond!

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Lastly Lacey is planning her next adventure to home to Saskatchewan for Thanksgiving with her family to visit her family!

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T’ill next week!!

XO,

-Country meet City