I don't usually set New Year's resolutions for myself, but this year I decided to try new things, to say yes to things I don't usually do, to get out of my comfort zone. Well, as you all know I don't usually like to be in front of the camera and this year I was asked to be a brand ambassador for Smithery. Smithery is an online clothing boutique for women, they have made online shopping SO EASY! It definitely made my life easier, if I'm not in running clothes, I am usually in a dress but not all dresses look good on my shape. With their help, getting dressed is so much easier these days.
I met Mavis and Rena at a pop up shop event that was happening at Jacklyn Denise Communications, I was already following the ladies on social media and really liked what they stood for and the really cute clothes they have. I went to the pop-up shop and we hit it off, a month or two later they asked me to be a brand ambassador and model for their spring collection. I am not comfortable in front of a camera but I could not say 'No' to the lovely duo. They ask real women to model and promote their seasonal collections, we're all different shapes and sizes and I am proud to be a part of the Smithery family that promotes an amazing message to all women!
With all this being said, OF COURSE I just HAD to do a Behind the Chair interview with the lovely duo! I did a braided crown on Rena, her outfit that day was perfect for a spring/summer braided crown. And I did some beach waves on Mavis, it just suits her so well!
A little bit about Mavis and Rena:
Rena and Mavis met while working together for a well known, awarded ad agency in Toronto. Rena led the national Winners and President's Choice accounts while Mavis headed up Integrated Production (and still does, Rena left to focus on Smithery full time). Rena has always had the stylish gene and interest in fashion and has her certificate in Interior Decorating as well as Styling education. Mavis struggled with styling clothes, didn't have time to shop and found the online shopping options for Canadians lacking. So the two started talking (at first about their Nova Scotia origins and shared love of country music) and then Smithery came to be!
Outside of being work wives, Rena is married and lives in Toronto where she dabbles in interior decorating projects, tries to keep up at Zumba, and loves exploring new cafes. Mavis left the big city a couple of years ago (although commutes in most days) for lake front views in Bowmanville and is expecting her first child in September with her significant other Matt.
1. How did Smithery start? And how did you come up with the name?
Smithery started on paper in 2014 and was shared with the world in 2015 when they launched the website, smitherystyle.com. And the name was the easiest and quickest decision we've made to date! Back in the era of corsets, a smith referred to an expert in their craft. Like a blacksmith or a gunsmith. You can think of us as a modern day stylesmith taking the old school concept of dressing for your body shape into the new school world of online shopping.
2. I find that staple pieces are so important to have in your closet, what are your top 3 key pieces we should have and why?
We do find the top 3 key pieces tend to change with the season, so as we officially pull out our summer wardrobes we would say the 3 pieces that will make your life easier are:
1. An easy breezy dress.
Something you can throw on for weekend errands, wear to work and even dress it up for all of those weddings. Although we have a few options on the site the one we are loving right now is the Resort Maxi which fits the bill AND flatters all body shapes.
2. A wear-with-everything tank.
It's important to find one that isn't too lose, doesn't ride up, covers the bra straps and can work both under things and on it's own. And that's why we are here to do the scouring for you! Let's just say we're wearing the The Dutte tank more than once a week right now.
3. The black pant of the season
We know, it's so cliche but you need a pair for each season. They are your tried, tested and true. What you reach for when you are having one of those "I don't know what to wear moments" or "I love this shirt but why did I buy it in this colour". The higher rise, wider leg, and defined waist band (with elastic back!) of the Zeppelin Pant create the perfect proportion on the body. And they are sooo comfy.
3. Who are some of your favorite fashion designers or influencers? Why?
We've said it before, but Olivia Palermo continues to influence not only our personal styles but the aesthetic of Smithery. Like Olivia, we believe that a curated, organized closet is the key to making dressing each morning easier and that you get more bang for your buck by focusing on great basics and having fun with trends each season through accessories and lower cost versions of the expensive trendy items that come out. The other meaningful style inspiration for us comes from our own clients and brand ambassadors. We love hearing how real women feel about the trends, what their personal style challenges are and the style hacks they use to get them by. That’s really what gets us excited and leads to new ideas and styling tips.
4. What is some fashion advice you can give us?
Having worked with so many women, we can say that EVERYONE has the thing they really wish was different about their body. So our advice is to let your thing go. There are all kinds of bodies and you get the one you get so it’s more fun to figure out your shape (you can determine if you’re an X, H, A, V or O using our Shape Finder ) and dress to flatter it than it is to get hung up on what you don’t like. We offer ‘the rules’ for every shape on the site and on the blog but truly, if you feel awesome in something and it breaks the so called rules, who cares!
One universal styling tip though for ya - never draw a horizontal line at the widest part of your body because it will make the eye read that part of the body as even wider. We keep that in mind with stripes, hemlines, colour blocking, necklines etc.
5. Are there any exciting projects or pop up shops that we can look forward to this summer with Smithery?
We do have a couple of events that we are really excited about.
July 16th: We’ll be at the grand opening of the Wychwood Barns pop up.
July 20th: We are hosting our first of hopefully many Smithery Sip & Share events. We’re SO lucky to have Olympic Gymnast, Alexandra Orlando, joining us in Toronto to talk about self love and body confidence. The event includes champagne too, of course, and an opportunity to have a Body Shape Consult and shop the racks. (Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you know when the invite goes out because we suspect this one will sell out).
July 23rd: We'll be teaming up with you Aylin and our friends at Liel & Lentz for full service pop-up shop. Get a new outfit, some bling and a cute braid to top it all off. Details to come soon on that one!
6. I find that a good hair style can bring the whole outfit together, what is your favorite way to wear your hair?
We couldn't agree more and the proof was in the pudding with working with you through this experience (did we mention how much we both loved our hair at this shoot!!).
Mavis: I have a new found love for the top knot. Why haven't I been doing this longer? It's takes less than 5 minutes, only two elastics and extends my not having to wash my hair by another day! Bring on summer.
Rena: The ponytail was my favourite forever. I even wanted just a pony on my wedding day although how that turned out is a story for another time. Lately I’m into wearing my hair long with a deep side part. Ummm, also because it makes my roots less obvious!
Make sure to mark your calendars, and sign up for their newsletter to stay in touch with the upcoming events! You can sign up here.
Also, if you're not already following Smithery, show them some love over on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and on their site---while you're there treat yourself! Use the code: SPRING 15 to get a discount;)
Again, I am so proud to be a part of the Smithery family, to promote a brand that knows we're all different shapes and sizes, we have a hard time finding what looks right on us. Trust me, as much as I love fashion, shopping is not my forte Mavis and Rena really came to the rescue and got me out of my running clothes and into some cute outfits.