This is Story 2 of the Real Style Project. To learn more about the Real Style Project, and what it's all about, click here.
Let me introduce you to Lindsay Peters,
Founder of Elle Peters Design
For at least a year, Lindsay and I were, what I'll call, local pen pals. This feels odd to say, even though it's completely normal in this day and age, but we initially "met" on Instagram and starting chatting here and there. It was mostly things like "I love your work!" or "Oh my gosh, that's stunning!"...but it all stemmed from me a being not only a fan of Lindsay's work, but also a fan of Lindsay.
I know that people typically just post the good things in life, or sometimes you just aren't "picking up" what others are "putting down" (if you know what I mean?). But Lindsay isn't either of these things. When I see her photos, read what she has to say, and watch her stories, I can tell that she is kind-hearted and sweet, has a gentle spirit and a genuine joy and passion for her work, her loved ones, and her life.
Now, I don't know about you, but those are definitely qualities that draw me in, and make me want to know someone. Lindsay is a "good vibes only" kinda girl (but in a real, sincere way), and it translates through everything she puts out there.
If you do get the chance to see Lindsay's work, Insta profile, or anything else that she does, one of the first things you'll notice is that she loves bright and fresh, clean lines, feminine touches, with a smattering of black and white contrast.
You'll also notice that for her own wardrobe, she loves hats, cozy sweaters, fun layers...and when I think about it, all the same elements that I just mentioned above, also seem to fit with what she wears. So really, Lindsay's style isn't just in how she presents herself, it's also what she puts into her work.
This shows that style is more than just what we wear- it is revealed in everything that we do.
Another thing you'll notice is that Lindsay has a deep and pure love for her husband, Chad.
Lindsay selected Alforno Bakery for the photo shoot because of the amazing atmosphere and Lindsay felt like it resonates well with her style (their amazing coffee and delicious treats are an added bonus too). When I arrived, Lindsay and Chad were already there, and with coffees half gone, I could tell they'd come early to work...together! (Cute, right?!) Chad patiently sat and worked while we did the shoot, and he waited for everything to finish up so that he could walk out with Lindsay. Plus, Lindsay had just revealed to Jenny and I that she was pregnant with their first child and asked if Jenny would take a photo for their announcement!! Now, if this isn't a great story wrapped into another story, then I don't know what is! :)
I asked Lindsay a few questions, and I want to share them with you so that you can get an even better sense of who Lindsay is and why I asked her to be a part of the Real Style Project.
What is your style in 3 words?
Casual + Comfortable, (but) Put-Together
You can't live without...
My watch! I admit that I originally bought a watch for style purposes, but now I legitimately use it for telling time! I really do feel like something's missing if I leave the house without it.
What drives or motivates you?
Professionally speaking, and at the risk of sounding cheesy, I really am motivated by happy clients. I love feeling like their lives are even a little bit better, or more joyful, because of a service I can provide to them. I'm also continually motivated by inspiring spaces. Whether that be within my own home when the sunlight hits "just so", or traveling halfway around the world to take in different design ideas.
What do you love about yourself?
I love that I've gotten to a point in my life where I can appreciate something beautiful, but move on and leave it be if it's not the right fit for me. Context is everything in my work! But it's also true for my own personal style. I've learned that just because I love, say, a blouse, that I don't need to own it if it's not flattering on me or if I know I won't actually wear it. I'm confident about what fabrics, styles, and silhouettes work for me and make me feel good.
What is something about yourself that would surprise people?
People may be surprised to that I own a shockingly small amount of clothing! I usually have only 5 or 6 outfits per season that I love, and I simply mix-and-match and/or rotate them. I chalk it up to being a designer who is confronted with subjective decision-making all day - I want to limit my personal fashion choices to save my creative energy, ha!
What is style to you?
Style is finding your own unique way of feeling like "yourself"!
Lindsay selected a few items from Apostle, and I asked her why she liked each one. Below you'll see what Lindsay loves, and why!
"I have been wearing the necklace and rings pretty much every day. I was drawn to each item in large part for that reason: all are simple but elegant pieces that are versatile to work into virtually any outfit I own, whether casual or a bit more dressed up! I love how they are classic and although fairly subtle, they all add a "pretty touch" to whatever I'm wearing."
Apostle In House Collection, Everyday Disc Necklace
Gorjana G Ring Set & Mini Stacking Ring Set
Cluse Minuit Gold Mesh Watch
From Lindsay's Style Story, I have learned that it's not only ok, but it's a beautiful thing, to be fully content and in love with who you are and where you're at in life. It's not about having it all, but it's about finding that true inner joy and confidence in yourself, that will bring you the greatest happiness.
All photos were captured by the ever-talented Jenny from GingerSnap Photography.
This is Style Story 1 of the Real Style Project. To learn more about the Real Style Project, click here.
Let me introduce you to Marlo, and once you're done reading this, you'll understand why I asked her to be the first woman featured in the Real Style Project.
Marlo embodies the popular quote from William Shakespeare "though she be but little, she is fierce!" And I mean this in every possible positive way!
While I'd known of Marlo for awhile (thanks to the world of Instagram), we actually met at a local gym. We were put together in the same group, and I was amazed at her energy level - She was upbeat, encouraging everyone to keep going or to push hard or helping count down to the next rest, and she pushed herself to work as hard as possible and even asked to do more exercises at the end (and she must have seen my expression because she said with genuine concern and kindness "Oh sorry, do you need to go?"). But you could tell that everyone there loved being around Marlo, and when she wasn't at class, she was missed and there were comments about what great energy she brings.
While at that point the Real Style Project was just an idea in my head, it was at that first workout with Marlo that I knew I wanted her to be a part of it.
The day of the shoot, Jenny and I arrived at 9:30 in the morning and Marlo answered the door with a huge smile, and said that she had just gotten home from a meeting downtown. I had to sort this out- it was 9:30am and she had just got back home from a meeting and looked amazing, energetic AND happy! If the roles were reversed, I'm not sure I would have been feeling the same way.
During the shoot, I learned that both Marlo and her husband are born and raised Calgarians, she has 3 beautiful children, we talked about how she ventured into the fitness world and opened Barre Body Studio (which has 4 locations), and get this- before opening BBS, she was a Probation Officer in Community Connections for 10 years. Marlo was passionate about working on the justice system in Calgary, and served on several committees that worked to improve the services, including how to help people from going back to a life of crime after incarceration.
See what I mean- this woman is FIERCE!! To say she's a hard worker is an understatement, she's kind and genuinely caring, started her own company which now has 4 locations, she's a loving mother and wife, and she can whoop some serious butt if necessary (which wouldn't be, unless in self defence...but even then, I think she'd fight off any perp with kindness and love), and she's got a cool and easy style that suits her and her lifestyle.
I asked Marlo a couple questions, and I want to share those with you.
What is style to you?
Personality. Style tells a story of who you are, how you show up, what is important in your world, and how you carry yourself.
Your style in 3 words.
Simple, fresh, functional.
What do you love about yourself?
My smile. I see pictures of myself where I am not smiling and I almost don't recognize myself. A smile is the simple most effective way to communicate, express and connect with another human being.
Personal mantra :
Anything is possible.
Marlo selected a few jewelry items from Apostle, and I asked her why she liked them.
Apostle In House Collection, Reign Necklace : "I love the contrast of delicate design and the sharp black colour of the beads and stone."
Leah Alexandra, Baguette Moonstone Studs : "I wear stud earrings on a daily basis mostly because of my personal and professional worlds (mom and fitness instructor) but also because a great studded earring can be simple, elegant and a statement. These earrings are all three."
Apostle In House Collection, Chloe Lariat Disc Necklace : This necklace was brand new, so Marlo hadn't seen it yet. But she loved the marble effect of the pendant and how versatile the necklace was.
Apostle In House Collection, Lincoln Ear Threaders : Again, a brand new design, but I asked Marlo to try them. Knowing that she is a stud-wearer, I wanted to see how she felt about the threader style. Marlo loved how lightweight they were and were super easy to wear.
From Marlo's Style Story, I learned that you can have it all and look good doing it. I know that may seem cliché, and also impossible, but the important thing to note is that Marlo is wildly passionate about everything she does, and so none of it is "work". I'm sure it isn't easy, but it is an easy decision to do it all because it's who she is. And like she says, she does it with a smile, because that kind of joy can't be faked, it's a joy that is deep within, knowing that she's doing exactly what she's meant to be doing.
All photography was done by the amazing & talented Jenny, from GingerSnap Photography.
Style is personal, not universal. Your style comprises of every element that makes you you. The things that make you laugh, make you cry, the way in which you move and talk, your passions and desires, the things that push you and inspire you, the way you brush your hair and put on your makeup... all of these things are pieces to the ________ (insert your name here) Puzzle. This is your Style Story.
Every day we are bombarded by images of what we should wear, and it often isn't reflective of who we are, what we love, and what makes us feel amazing. I find that we feel our best, our absolute BEST, when we are true to ourselves and are wearing things that reflect OUR style.
This is where the Real Style Project begins.
The Real Style Project's mission is to feature everyday, inspiring women and to learn a bit about who they are and to tell their Style Story. By learning about each woman, my hope is that each of us will be encouraged to harness our own style, to be confident in it, and to realize that it's accessible and beautiful.
Being that this project is about real, authentic women and their individual style, the photo shoots were not staged or styled in any way. Typically, Apostle's Look Book shoots are a collaborative effort of makeup artists, hair stylists, staged locations, wardrobe, etc. But it is important to me that the Real Style Project is unique and specific to each woman - they selected their favorite outfit from their own closet, did their own hair and makeup, and selected a location that reflects who they are. Whether it's their home, office, favorite coffee shop, or park...I asked them to pick a place that they love and are comfortable in.
The Real Style Project isn't about a perfectly styled set, it's about you, it's about me, and it's about each woman that we feature. Real, everyday women. It's your style, inside.
Whether you read one Style Story, or all of them, my hope is that you will feel inspired. That inspiration may be to try a new (or old) style you love, or perhaps to do something you've been dreaming of.
The women featured in the Real Style Project range in ages, backgrounds, careers, personalities, and passions. But what they do have in common is an inspiring and encouraging Style Story, and I think we can all find something to take from each one. The biggest thing in all of this is to know that you too have an amazing and inspiring story, and you should walk in confidence knowing this to be true.
While the focus may be on the women in front of the lens, there's also an incredible & inspiring woman behind the lens- capturing the real beauty in her own unique way, and sharing a part of their Style Story with us.
To read about the amazing photographers that have played an integral role in the Real Style Project, click here to see who they are and why I asked them to be a part of it.
Click the images below to read the Style Stories
I've had the opportunity to meet so many local Calgary small business owners and I am always so inspired and in awe of each of them. Apart from the fact that Calgary is seemingly booming with new businesses, I really feel that Calgary small business owners have a mindset of making their dreams come true. Whether they're serial entrepreneurs, mompreneurs, individuals who found their niche years ago, or people just searching for their place, Calgary boasts a strong community for small business owners to do their thing, and to do it well.
Our Calgary culture isn't just one of "yee-haw'ing" Cowboys, nor is it simply that we work towards making our dreams come true, but it is so much about support, kinsmanship, and truly working together.
Through the photoshoots I've organized for Apostle, as well as during Pop Up Boutiques, and attending local events, I've had the pleasure of meeting SO many local business owners, and it really is safe to say that I've loved getting to know them all! While it's easy to love a brand and the product or service they offer, you don't truly know that brand until you meet the people behind it. Once you know who is at the core of a company, you understand their values and vision, and the passion that is driving force behind it all.
While there are about 100 local small businesses that I'd LOVE to write about (and many I have in my blogs about past photo shoots), I want to take the time to mention three specific Calgary small businesses (and I'll do it in order of when I met them).
Heart & Swirl
I first came across Heart & Swirl on Instagram a couple years ago and wanted to be a part of one of their painting workshops & wine tastings, but the stars didn't line up...until this spring.
With a passion & appreciation for wine and wine culture, Heart and Swirl owner, Kelley Abbey, came up with a fantastic idea for an event - combining wine & food pairings with a painting workshop with a local artist. Kelley guides you through three different wine pairings and teaches you about the wine and why it is complimentary to the food item you have with it. In between each tasting, a talented artist then guides you through the steps to create your own beautiful masterpiece (and something that you'd actually love and hang in your home). Kelley (and the artists) put in all the work to organizing a night for you, and all you have to do is arrive. How often does that happen?!
In my world, I am the organizer. So to arrive at the venue and have everything set up and ready & waiting was such a great treat. I took the Abstract Stripes workshop with Jill Paddock, and she rocked!! Her instruction was clear and simple to follow, and she was on hand to help with colour suggestions or technique assistance, or even just an encouraging word when all you see is a mess on a canvas (or maybe that was just me). I was even able to come home and work on my piece some more because Jill was so generous with her instruction and letting us know her tricks. Now don't get me wrong, my painting isn't quite Jill-quality, but it's me-quality, and I love it!
Heart & Swirl has ongoing events scheduled, and if you want to take part in one (or three) of Kelley's amazing workshops, all you need to do is become a member (it's free!!). Heart & Swirl members get updates on scheduled events, recipes from Kelley (which are so delicious!), discounts from local merchants, and the ability to register for a workshop. (Heart & Swirl hosts member-only events, and while it sounds super exclusive, literally anyone can become a member, so don't be dissuaded by that.) While this sounds like a sales pitch, it really isn't (especially since you don't have to pay to be a member!). Kelley doesn't even know I'm writing this. I just had such an amazing time at the Heart & Swirl event that I want everyone else to experience it too!
(I'll let you in on a little secret... Kelley and I are currently working on plans for an Apostle/Heart & Swirl event exclusive to Apostle customers. Sign up for the Apostle newsletter if you want the details!)
Little w Studio
Another Instagram relationship success story here.
I can't recall exactly how I came across Little w Studio on Instagram, but that just goes to show that an amazing talent & business finds its way through. Because of her amazing talent, and she seemed like such a solid, down to earth person, I reached out to Christin to see if she would be interested in being a part of an entrepreneur support group. ...ok that sounds bad. Not the type of support group where we are dealing with deep issues (although we could all claim to be addicted to working at any and every given moment), but the type where we support one another's businesses and are a base-camp for encouragement, ideas and growth. Anyways, I digress. I went from becoming a Little w Studio observer, to a full-out fan, to a support, and then to a full-out customer.
Christin's work is impeccable! She will work one-on-one with you to create something that is 100% unique to you, or you can work within her templates and either order as-is, or customize it with your family name. I not only had a custom sign done as a gift for a cousin's wedding, but now Christin and I are working on a design for Apostle to use at Pop Ups! If you've seen me in the last few weeks, chances are that I've been showing you the Little w Studio Instagram account. But when you come across something good, you want to tell people about it. I'm SO excited to see the Apostle sign, and will definitely be showing that off!
I don't even want to say how I met Bethaney from Brier Breton (yes...it was also Instagram). But what makes this relationship slightly unique is that it was meant to be, or in the stars, or a divine meeting...or whatever you want to call it.
I'd mentioned to a couple people that I wanted to have more photos of just the jewelry - shots that really show the details, but in a pretty way and not just with a white background (these types of photos are often called "flat lay" photos). I have amazing photographs of the jewelry on beautiful models, and I have done some flat lay photos myself with pretty flowers, but it takes me FOREVER to get a great shot, and right now I would rather spend my working hours on other things. Also, I was once told "Stick to what you're good at. Everything else can be hired out."
This is a real scenario of "ask and you shall receive"- I asked, then a couple days later I saw that "Brier Breton" had liked one of my posts on Instagram. For some reason I was curious and looked at the account, and then her website, and I loved her work! I learned that Bethaney does Product Styling, Photography and Content Creation, and I thought "this is exactly what I wanted!" and sent her an email right away.
Bethaney and I just wrapped up a collaborative shoot on the weekend, and it was such a pleasure to work with her. Although I feel like she did all of the work because I couldn't be there, and she likes to work on her own so that she can be inspired and work at her own pace without distraction (and let's be honest, I can be pretty distracting with my constant banter and my need to crack jokes all the time). Plus, four days later she had all the of edited photos ready! She is a kind-hearted, hard working, talented woman that knows her way around product styling and photography. We talked before about how we wanted the pictures to look, and the end result was perfect- light, airy, and pretty.
If you are a small (or large) business owner and you need quality product photography, check our Brier Breton!!
Calgary is bursting with amazing small (and big) businesses, and it's so nice to meet the people behind the brand. When you get to know the owner and you know their story, what drives them forward, and what gets them through, you get a sense of what they, and therefor their company is all about. You see the vision, you hear the heartbeat, and you can't help but fall in line and support them.
There's a secret to finding the perfect wedding jewelry, whether it's for the bride or the bridal party, there's something you should know.
The Best Wedding Jewelry
Oftentimes brides feel like they have to sparkle-up or don pearls for their special day, spending a lot of money on jewelry that they'll never wear again. I admit, I'm one of them. Of course I am a sucker for sparkle, the wedding jewelry that I bought has been tucked away in their special boxes in a drawer. I've maybe worn them one other time, leaving me to wonder what the point was in getting jewelry for my wedding that I've never worn again. Sure it was pretty, and wedding'y, but if I haven't worn it again, was it really "me" and a reflection of my style? Or, was it just "wedding style"?
The style of a wedding is a reflection of the couple's style (and typically more of the bride since she's the one leading the planning committee). But more so, your Bride Style is all you and nobody else. From the dress, to the shoes, to the jewelry and accessories- it's all you, baby! Don't feel restricted by the unspoken (or spoken) wedding style rules. You don't need to cover yourself in sparkly jewelry, or pearls, or heavy jewelry just because it's the standard Wedding Jewelry Style. Let me say this, you do need to be comfortable, and you do need to feel absolutely amazing. And this can only be achieved when you, are you.
Your wedding jewelry doesn't have to be something that you'll never wear again. In fact, you should wear it again. Not only because that would make the investment in your wedding style absolutely worth it, but because every time you slip on that necklace or earrings or bracelet, you can remember the day you married your True Love. Let your own personal style shine, every day, including your wedding day!
Now, this doesn't mean that your wedding jewelry shouldn't be special or unique. It absolutely should be! It just means selecting wedding jewelry that is versatile and classic, and not a one hit wonder.
If you always, and I mean ALWAYS (and only), wear stud earrings, your wedding earrings shouldn't be large chandelier style earrings. Likewise, if your style tends to be delicate, feminine and understated, go that route for your Big Day too. On the flip side, say you love bold, colourful and fun jewelry, bring that in to your wedding style. If you are always trying out the new trends and love to try new things, perhaps seeking out a trendy earring style would be the best option for you! Remember: do you! There's nothing wrong with your everyday style and you can, and should, bring that into your wedding day style.
Just One Simple "Rule"
No matter what your personal style is though, there is one rule of thumb that will help you look polished and chic : Pick one piece of jewelry to be your standout item, and the other items you select should be much simpler and understated. For example, if you want to have fun with your earrings, a dainty necklace and simple bracelet would look amazing.
This is a great suggestion that works no matter what day it is! Mind you, there are always exceptions to every rule, so if that's the look you're going for, do it!
How to make your everyday style special
Saying it doesn't have to be tough to do. Here's some great ideas for you to try based on some common everyday go-to's. All images are linked to the product so that you can see additional details. Also, if I haven't touched on your personal style, definitely send me an email and I would be more than happy to help!
Be a Stud
Studs don't have to be boring. You can wear a classy, pretty and unique stud earring and have that "special" element to your day and wedding jewelry. Some great options are to add a slight sparkle, a different shape, perhaps a stone, or even go for a different metal (ie. Rose Gold!!). Another great option is a really simple ear climber or ear jacket style. Nothing too heavy or bold, because that's out of your element. Here's some fantastic options for you to consider.
Bold and Beautiful
If you love fun, cool, and trendy jewelry, you can definitely add some pizazz with some fun earrings. Some great ear climbers or ear jackets in a fresh & versatile colour could be great, or opt for a drop earring with cool stones that will bring attention to your beautiful features.
Somewhere In Between
Now if you aren't really a strict stud wearer, nor do you want to go all out, then perhaps a classy, yet interesting dangle earring is for you! Nothing big or bold, but still pretty and feminine.
Think garden party'esque, lace, and beautiful vintage details. I have a couple Designers that fits this perfectly! With the use of vintage, repurposed chains and custom, hand-cut stones, the aesthetic is unique, pretty and oh-so-perfect for you!
Adorn Thy Neck
Necklaces can be a tougher decision, but if you stay true to you, there's no wrong way! Or, go sans necklace for a timeless and classic look. If you're just not sure, my suggestion is to keep it light and simple. Too much "stuff" can be distracting from not only your lovely dress, but from you and your beautiful smile. All of this can be achieved with stunning necklaces that you can incorporate into your everyday too! Some great options are below (and you can click on any image for more details), and if you still don't see something that you love, send me an email and we'll find that perfect fit!
But wait! Don't forget your wrists!!
At the risk of be repetitive, stick with your style and go with something that works with the rest of your wedding jewelry and style. It doesn't have to match, but be complimentary to the other pieces. Bracelets with subtle hints of colour are a fun way to make your look truly you-nique, or going with one (or two) delicate pieces can really pull together your wedding look!
The Bride Tribe
Now what about bridesmaids style? Whether you want them all to match from head to toe, or like them to be somewhat different, you want your bridal party to shine. I love when bridesmaids style is different, yet correlates with each other and maybe even ties in a bit with the bride. But how do you do that?
Obviously the bridesmaids won't be in wedding dresses, so that option is out. But selecting jewelry that is by the same Designer as your wedding style is a fantastic way to tie it all together! By doing this, it ensures that the metals are the same colours (there's a lot of different gold tones out there), you know that all of your stones will be cut in the same way, settings are the same...it will look like you are all together. United.
Whether you have one bridesmaid, or seven, it can be easy to find the perfect jewelry for everyone when you utilize Apostle's Personal Shopping (which is free!). We work with you to find jewelry that suits the wedding style, colours, and budget. For the sake of all bridesmaids out there, please don't hit up the cheap accessory stores with fake metals that turn skin green or infect ear piercings. Give yourself, and the bridal party, quality-made jewelry that will last forever, and that you can all actually (like really) wear again!
When you find a woman that is strong, inspiring, and authentic, you can't help but want to know more about her.
You want to know how she got to where she is, what her goals are, who she is aside from her list of accomplishments, and you want to learn her secrets.
When you find out that she's a self-made woman,
you admire her even more.
The Woman Behind The Agency :
I first met Nadine Parsons two years ago when I was in the start-up stages of building Apostle Boutique. Nadine owns and operates an accessory-based sales agency, the Nadine Parsons Agency, that houses six brands and sells to over 150 retailers nationwide (!!). With a client list like HBC, Indigo and Nordstrom, plus 147+ independent boutiques, the Nadine Parsons Agency is not only well-known in the industry, but it is a well-oiled machine (with Nadine at the helm of it all).
Not only is Nadine extremely diligent with her business, she is also kind, supportive, and has a humble confidence about her. You can imagine how busy she is with her business, but she ALWAYS takes the time to answer my questions, and offer advice...and I am a small fish in the Nadine Pasons Agency pond (or maybe "ocean" is a better term). The more I learn about Nadine, the more I admire her and want to learn from her. She isn't afraid of the hustle, you can tell the she not only pours her soul into her work, but she fully & completely loves what she does. And who doesn't want that for their own life?! You can't help but be drawn in and want to know more about Nadine Parsons.AB: How did you decide to start your own agency? It sounds so glamorous and the kind of career that takes a ton of hustle to build.NP: I was working freelance with a Canadian handbag designer and came across a jewellery line that was looking for a sale’s rep. We met & hit it off instantly (And guess what? I still work with that line…Biko!). I immediately fell in love with contemporary jewellery and decided to reach out to other designers to see if there was a need for my services and within four months I had five more designers come on board. That was how it began back in early 2013. It was a leap of faith that paid off. I still represent my four original designers and we have continued to grow our businesses in mutual admiration for each other’s workflow and philosophy.Glamourous. There are a few moments here and there, but in all honestly? This business of fashion is no different than any other. I hustle every day on the phone, email, etc. My life is spent constructing perfect emails and sale’s forecasting. I wouldn’t have it any other way though! When I sit in my office and look at the jewellery, I feel motivated to push these artists and drive their wholesale business to the best of my ability. It is a constant cat & mouse to build sales and maintain relationships especially as the business changes daily and the competition is more fierce than it has ever been in this category.(The glamour though you ask…well wearing the jewellery of course! Merchandising the showroom & travelling to show the jewels to some pretty awesome corporate offices south of the border!)
AB: What do you look for when sourcing new Designers/brands to represent?
NP: When I am looking for new brands the first consideration is how saleable is the line. (Not exactly the most exciting first step but the most valuable to running a sale’s agency!) The second is to consider the look. Do I already have the aesthetic covered from my existing line-up? I have to be VERY careful not to double up on look or I risk cannibalizing sales for the current brands. I then have to look at price point and margin. Does it fit in to my matrix? And lastly I look at how long the line has been around and where they are sold. I need to be certain that as I sell a line they can deliver to my retailers on time and not risk my ‘hard earned’ relationships.
AB: How would you describe your personal style?
NP: If I had to describe my personal style I’d have to say ‘Classic with a heavy dose of accessories’. But seriously though, it is always changing & evolving. I have a weakness for full skirts & cropped skinny jeans. I love unique flats and rarely wear heels (Hi! I bike to work almost every day!)
AB: What's the best, and the toughest, part of your career?
NP: The best part of my career is by far the talent that I represent & the ability to have created a job for myself! I love the independence I have in decision making and the ability to work from just about anywhere. The toughest part of my career is staying motivated when getting hit with ‘no’s’ as it would be for anyone in a sales role. (That’s where coffee & sheer determination come in handy…and did I mention…I’m as stubborn & persistent as an ox)
AB: As a little girl, what did you dream of doing?
NP: I wanted to be Barbie when I grew up. She could be anything & everything (In hindsight…maybe not so realistic... BUT I always had a belief in myself that I was capable of making any of my crazy dreams come true!) So thanks Barbie? :) On a serious note, I actually was a performer growing up in music. I went to university for Opera and graduated with a music degree before starting in fashion. I think this set me on the path of sales because I love being in front of people.
AB: You are so immersed in fashion, has it always been a passion?
NP: YES! My mom was a dressmaker and always made me the most beautiful clothing (often times matching). I was obsessed with dresses, Barbies & playing ‘shop’. I think it was natural for me to end up on this track.
AB: You are also involved with The Shopping Channel- what is it that you do with them?
NP: I am a freelance ‘Fashion Expert’ with The Shopping Channel. This means that I 'guest host' shows for fashion brands about every 4-6 weeks. I.e. I go on-air and sell product. I absolutely LOVE it! It’s my chance to sell on a national platform and it has been instrumental in growing my confidence in my wholesale business. My dad still watches every show and that makes me happy in my heart.
AB: On top of running your own agency that represents 6 accessory brands, plus being a contributor on TSC, what do you do in your "free" time?
NP: My free time is spent with my husband, our cat Coco and of course friends. We also travel every chance we get! As I am a true East Coaster…I spend way too much time at the pub. A cold draft and I am there! (I also run almost every morning to clear my head before the hustle starts).
AB: What are some of your goals & aspirations for your career?
NP: I would love to continue to work with accessories and also introduce a ‘learning’ element. I launched monthly workshops in March and it was so well received! It motivates me to share my experiences with others. I would love to intro a teaching component to my role and continue to grow the wholesale ‘reach’.
AB: What advice do you wish you would have been given 10 years ago?
NP: I wish 10 years ago I learned to chill out more! (And stop sweating all of the small stuff. This advice still applies today!) I actually have a flip side to this question. Many people said fashion / retail / wholesale wouldn’t make me happy or make me any money. I love that I still had the gumption to do it and wouldn’t have it any other way! (And am running a successful business to boot). Trust your instinct! It’s 99% of the time the right thing for you!
AB: If we were to visit Toronto, what is on the Nadine's Must See & Do list?
NP: Well, Toronto has some of the best restaurants around! So, I’d have to say you have to hit up a few of my fave spots: Oretta for the best Italian with a fab Art Deco vibe & the Drake Hotel for a great cocktail. I also love VSP on Dundas West for the best premium designer consignment. Finally, I’d say my fave weekend thing to do is stroll along Queen Street West and grab coffee. A little leg rest in Trinity Bellwoods park in the summer is actually the best!
You can learn more about Nadine and the Nadine Parsons Agency by following her on Instagram (@nadineparsonsagency) or by checking out her website www.nadineparsons.com