The Curated Stampede Closet

I don’t know about you guys, but this year seems to be the best Stampede I have experienced in a long time! The weather seems to be cooperating and although it’s rained in true Stampede fashion, it was the cool off we needed to get through the last half of the festivities.

Being a self –proclaimed country obsessed gal, I probably look forward to this time of year more than most. However, for me the best part isn’t the two stepping or outrageous midway food, it’s the fabulous street style that hits our streets for 10 days of the year. I love seeing the creative ways that Calgarians incorporate white lace, red gingham, and anything denim into their regular everyday style.

DSC03974This year I have been working hard to cut down on the size of my wardrobe and invest in items that can be staples all year long. I have even added a few vintage pieces to make room for some diversity and character in my personal style. It’s no capsule wardrobe, but it’s better than it was – TRUST ME!

Luckily for me, many of pieces that make up my Stampede wardrobe are also a part of my everyday street style, just paired in a bit of a different way. This year I am loving baggy silhouettes, paired with hemlines of all lengths, minimalistic colours and anything that will go with a pair of tassel earrings!

Here are a few items that I have carefully curated in my wardrobe that will hopefully help to inspire you when choosing your looks for the last half of the Stampede shenanigans!

Bolo Ties

That’s right ladies, they aren’t just for men! I was lucky enough to inherit some original ties from my Grandpa that I just absolutely adore. Not only do they have a vintage charm that just ties an outfit together so well, but sans the clip, they can also act as a fun choker. I have also been switching up with a long suede choker or bandana, paired with a bold statement necklace.

Daisy Dukes

This may seem like an obvious one, but for curvy ladies with a bum, like myself, sometimes finding the perfect pair of high-waisted shorts can be a serious CHALLENGE! I have found that the key to this is looking through heaps of refurbished Levis denim and trying on anything that catches your eye, without looking at the number. I scored a pair when I was in Vancouver from a pop-up shop called ARK Reworks, where they actually take the denim and rework it to fit an actual booty. Can’t beat a classic!

Jean Dresses

I was so happy to see these resurface a few years ago, and of course in true Kristy style, I stocked up on them! In the process of reorganizing of my wardrobe, I have found a few very cute denim options that paired with boots and the right accessories can be a great way to pull off western chic. They are also incredibly comfy and make those 40-degree days on the grounds a little more bearable.

Shoulders bare all!

Seriously, I love it! I am an old lady when it comes to dressing these days, and to be perfectly honest, it was about time that the super low tank top trend took a back seat. Off the shoulder tops are so versatile and can be worn in a variety of different ways, including during stampede. Add a country twist to this shirt by adding a choker, layered necklaces or a pair of tassel earrings, and tuck it into a pair of daisy dukes or a cute jean skirt. I am also a huge fan of these shirts made with extra large bell sleeves, as it makes for an effortless eclectic and dramatic look.

Embroidered Cow-gal Boots

This is one I am still in search of! In my opinion, there is no use wearing a great pair of traditional cowboy boots for only 10 days of the year, especially if you don’t plan to step on a ranch anytime in the near future. Investing in a pair of specialty boots is way more worth your money and will make you standout amongst the crowds down at the grounds. If anyone finds a pair, new or vintage, feel free to let me know!DSC03990DSC04036DSC04037DSC04020DSC04053DSC04049DSC04061Pieces featured in this article:

  • Dress: Artizia circa 2014
  • Bandana: Free People
  • Gold Statement Necklace: Aldo Accessories
  • Bolo Tie: from my Grandpa’s wardrobe
  • Chain Bolo Tie: Free People

Photographed by Jessica at Antheia Floral!

XOXO Kristy

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Redefining Time in One’s Life and Work

Time is a funny thing! It’s bittersweet, to be honest. You have so much of it, yet so little. I for one, am one of those people who perpetually want to do it all in one very moment! My FOMO is literally running out of time and not accomplishing everything I want to see, do and experience. However, as with all things in life, things take time and I consistently have to keep reminding myself that everything happens in the right moment, for the right reasons when the TIME is right.

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One thing, I am unfortunately very guilty of, is complaining that there are not enough hours in the day to complete all the things! Part of that is probably due to the fact that I can get distracted by something as simple as my pen falling onto the floor, the other is that I am constantly taking on more work than one probably ever should. I am always spending time organizing, trying to get my life and business sorted and planned, and yet it still seems like complete chaos! No matter how much I plan, write lists and buy fancy planners, time still seems to run out and I end up writing articles, such as this one at 2 am.

I had a great conversation with a good friend, who also runs her own small-business, and as we got talking about time, being busy and getting burnt out, she introduced me to this quote, which is actually what inspired me to write this article:

Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it, but be intentional about it” – David Duchemin

I know this is not revolutionary, and most of you are probably thinking “well duh Kristy!” However, this perspective has changed my entire way of thinking and it really got me reflecting on the choices I am making and how I am balancing my work versus my life.

Let me give you some perspective on how a typical day in the life of Kristy Archibald generally goes. 9 am, go to one of my part time jobs (yes, I have two!), throughout the day I will reply to the odd email, post on social for a client and even get some work done on an article if I get a break, 6 pm get off work, 7 pm workout, then I procrastinate and try and work for the next few hours, 12 am WRITE, bedtime is 3 am and then I do it all again the next day! As you can see, efficient is not the word someone would use to describe this schedule and it frequently leaves me tired and unable to do my best work the following day – which is something that I take extremely personally!

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As a result, of the quote above I am slowly, but surely making some major changes. Why? Because frankly as an extrovert I enjoy having a social life and sleeping, while also making an income and doing what I am passionate about all at the same time. It’s possible, it just needs to be done right and how that may be is different for everyone!

This article is not simply to tell y’all how to succeed at time management; because clearly, I have not got it figured out yet and quite frankly I could use some of your advice! These are a couple of ways that I am shifting my focus, in my life, my business and with my relationships. Because I believe you can have your cake and eat it too, because I love cake, you just have to be strategic about it.

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Choosing the right client over making monies AKA saying NO

This one is the main priority! I am a yes girl. My mantra is, say yes and figure it out later. I would say this has been a strategy that has gotten me where I am today in my career, but I hadn’t ever given it any thought that I can be picky with who I work with. Now there is a line with this because at some point one needs to bring in money. However, I have begun to see my client relationships the same as I do a boyfriend. If there is something off, they are simply not a good fit, or we don’t click, then the relationship will never work. Saying no is hard, but I am finding it is crucial for my success and my sanity. I love everyone and I wish I could work with every brand and business, whilst volunteering for everything I am passionate about, but of course that is not possible! Focusing on doing a few things well, rather than spreading myself too thin is what I am aiming for.

Decluttering

I mean everything, but primarily my office! When I am working 24/7, organization goes out the window and I merely end up living out of my home, rather than in it. However, when things get bad and I can’t see my floor amongst all of the clothes, then I know that something needs to be done. When my things are a mess, my head is a mess and that just means that creativity is not going to happen. Minimalizing my life will hopefully allow for more efficient organization, which will result in a more productive Kristy. This is a big project, but slowly but surely I am making my way through it!

Lay it all out in front of me!

This means combining all the sticky notes, calendars, and to-do lists into one sheet that lays out each week for me. Then I can visually see what is coming up, what I need to begin working on and what needs to be prioritized, as well as when I can take a bit of time off. I am a visual person, so I highlight and create a list everything, but the key is having it all in one spot.

Not forcing my work hours

If I am not feeling inspired, or an article is just not coming together at 1 pm, I will either move on to a different task, such as eliminating my inbox or take a break altogether. This is hard, especially when I have multiple looming deadlines, but it’s much more effective to move on to something else rather than wasting 4 hours writing 4 sentences and beating myself up about how I am a terrible writer!

Taking a day off a week!

So far I have only gotten as far as to sleep in till noon on a day that I don’t have to be anywhere. Then I usually get up and dive into my inbox, because by that point it’s usually exploding with keeners who are wildly productive before noon – I wish! Currently, I’m planning in advanced, certain days that I can take off and head to the mountains for a day trip, or just see friends. Then at least I can begin to work my schedule around these days, instead of spending the entire time feeling guilty about all the work sitting waiting for me on my computer.

Put my phone away

As I have mentioned, I am very easily distracted. So when I am working, unless I am posting on Instagram for a client or I have a phone conference, I try my very hardest to “loose” my phone somewhere around my house. I am also finding that unplugging on a day off is key to my rejuvenation. When I have my phone I am always checking my messages, social media, and email. When I see an email come in, it’s my first reaction to is to read and then respond, but then there goes my so-called “day off!”

Working out of coffee shops

Getting dressed and out of the house can do wonders for my creativity. If I am not feeling inspired, heading to a café can be the best thing I can do. The white noise of people is calming for me and allows me to reset and dive right back in to my work. You also never know who you will meet when working in a café, it can be great for networking!

Being more mindful of my time

This can include waking up 10 mins earlier, enjoying the moment while I sip my coffee or being present while I am with my friends + family, rather than having my mind wandering to my work. Specifically mornings and I generally do not get along well and I usually end up getting out of bed at the last possible second, which adds a layer of stress that I don’t need, and sets a terrible tone for the day. Being more mindful of my time, rather than running from place to place will hopefully allow me to spend each moment succeeding at my current task.

If you have any more tips for me in my time management journey then feel free to send me a message! I would love to hear other’s perspectives on this subject!

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Outfit details

This look is fantastic, especially if you’re looking for an outfit that serves multiple purposes throughout the day. I can go from a brunch date, to a client meeting, to a board meeting, to an event while still looking polished and put together. Versatility is crucial when freelancing and buying key pieces that can be worn multiple ways is what gets me through my long crazy days – and its hella comfy!

All photos were taken by the lovely Sarah Beau of Sarah Beau Photography!

XX Kristy

What’s all the Fluff About!

Stay warm, look chic and make these handmade scarfs a part of your everyday look.

With Calgary’s temperamental and unpredictable weather, dressing for winter can be a serious challenge! One moment the wind is numbing my face and I am seriously worried my nose is just going to fall off, and the next it’s above 0 and I’m thoroughly regretting wearing that heavy knit turtleneck under my parka, to the point where I now carry a mini wardrobe in the back of my car – I just can’t win in this season.

To be perfectly honest I really don’t enjoy getting ready when it’s -30 outside, primarily because I end up putting on so many layers that style goes straight out the window! However, layers are key and they can always be removed when it warms up, which is sort of how the mini closet in my car all began.

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Riana Lisbeth Photography

 

With not being much of a hat person, due to my thin hair that is prone to kinks, static and stringiness, I tend to rely on oversized knit infinity scarfs to polish off a look and protect me from those horrendous wind chills. Knit scarves are one of my favorite things, because they are a timeless piece that will really never go out of style and they’re so versatile, while maintaining a level of coziness that makes going out in the cold not SO bad. And, if you’re always cold like me, you’ll relish in the fact that if you pair your scarf with the right look, they can look great indoors as well – yay for it being socially acceptable to basically wear a blanket to work!

Fluff HandCrafted – Modern Crochet + Knitwear 

This is one of my favorite knit brands for three reasons.

  1. They’re a local company based here in Calgary – yay for supporting local!
  2. Founder, maker and local YYC entrepreneur, Pam Morales, crochets all of the products by hand, so the quality of the scarves and cowl’s is unreal!
  3. The scarves come in beautiful neutrals and heather woven yarn, which makes them simple to pair with any look.
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Riana Lisbeth Photography

“I use super bulky wool blend yarns for their unique softness and drapeability that makes it easy to style without irritating your skin,” says Pam. “As a result, my scarves are designed to be high end, as I use detailed stitches that create textures which have a subtle visual effect. I love minimal lines and colors that match most of your wardrobe and can be your go-to daily staple for the season, which is what inspired me to stick to neutral colors. They can blend in or stand out against a blank colour palette, whatever your personal style may be they’re very easily adaptable.”

I teamed up with Fluff to come up with 3 different looks that are styled with Fluff scarves that are practical, warm and stylish – the best combo!

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Outfit details:

This look is probably not wise to wear on a -30 below day, but it is great for those random occurrences when Calgary has a warm spell or then those bittersweet Chinook’s hit. This knit turtleneck paired with Fluff’s “Grey Cowl Scarf” and Mackage leather jacket is a good example of strategic layering and the perfect outfit for spending the afternoon at a gallery, taking a stroll by the river or going for Sunday brunch!

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Outfit Details:

This look is a great example of a how these knit scarves can be utilized as not only outdoor wear, but as an indoor accessory as well. The darkness of the scarf compliments the lines on the shirt and the blue jeans help to off set the color scheme, making this the perfect outfit for a client meeting or casual Friday at the office.

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Outfit details:

This casual look doesn’t differ much from the last outfit, but it’s definitely 5x warmer and comfier! Adding a knit instead of the shirt can be the perfect solution when it gets a little bit colder and the best part is that this sweater looks good with any color of scarves that you may have. We switched up the charcoal scarf with the marble infinity scarf to demonstrate the extreme versatility that these scarves have. You could probably pair any of her colors with this jacket and they would all look great – so ultimately it just comes down to personal preference.

If you would like to invest in one of these wonderful scarves for yourself, you can find them at Crafted Goods in the Calgary Farmers Market, or be sure to check out the Fluff Handcrafted Etsy Store. You will also find a few other crocheted gems on there, such as handmade toques and fluffy afghan throws!

xx Kristy

**All photos in this post were taken by the wonderful + talented Riana Lisbeth Khem of Riana Lisbeth Photography!

 

 

 

 

The Aesthetic of Personal Style

As Stella McCartney once said, “I think personal style starts from within, because it’s a philosophy and an attitude. If you’re honest and true to yourself, you will have the best sense of personal style.

I spend quite a bit of time thinking about personal style. This might be quite lucid, due to the fact that I have built a career around lifestyle and fashion. However, for me ‘personal style’ goes beyond simply what you wear, it’s a candid reflection of who you are and what you aspire to be.

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It drives me crazy when I hear people mention that they “have no style” or that “fashion is wasted on them.” I mean, in no way does one need to hold as much interest in the subject as I do, but ultimately everyone has a style, it just comes down to if that style is an appropriate reflection of who you are.

Great style, whether it’s ‘on trend’ or not – doesn’t matter, ultimately is about feeling beautiful and comfortable in your own skin. What you wear should give you the ability to approach each day with poise and confidence. Once you have found this, you have unlocked the gold mine to your very own, unique personal style.

Fashion is a trend. Style lives within a person,” – Oscar de la Renta

How does one find their personal style?

Unfortunately, there is no step-by-step instruction manual to finding your personal style, as it’s, well, personal! With that being said, there are a few tools that you can use to guide you in the right direction.

First of all, as with most things when it comes to soul searching, personal style is always evolving. One day you might love your pair of vintage Levis or Louboutins and the next, you might be chucking them in the giveaway pile. That’s OK! Just because your style changes doesn’t mean you no longer know what your personal style is. It actually means the opposite, that you know yourself well enough to move on from a style or piece of clothing when it no longer suits you – or as Emily Gilmore would say, “if it doesn’t bring you joy!”

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What inspires you?
Everyone has interests, hobbies and people they look up to in some way, shape, or form. These are the things that make up a huge part of who you are, so turning to them for style inspiration is warranted. Whether you play soccer, enjoy watercolor painting or diving into a novel makes you giddy, these are all things that will and could be reflective in your everyday style. The soccer player, may have a bit more of an athletic edge to his/her look, the painter may love wearing beautiful colors and the novelist may enjoy a more minimalistic look to compliment their love for mystery and adventure. You get the idea!

Let your lifestyle tell a story
What you do on a regular day-to-day basis is also a large factor that contributes to your style. If you work in a corporate office setting, chances are business attire mixed with practicality will be a huge part of your wardrobe. However, if you are a freelancer, like myself, and work from home or out of coffee shops, you get a bit (and by a bit a mean a lot) more room to play around with different styles and comfort levels. Your career is a part of who you are, as well as, what you choose to do in your spare time. Allowing yourself the freedom take these situations and wear outfits that are appropriate with your own flare, are what will define a very large part of your personal style.

What are you most comfortable in?                                                                                                                     For me this is sweatpants, leggings, plaid and sneakers – yes that is the definition of lazy. However, I also know women who don’t enjoy going into public without dressing up in a pair of heels and a fitted blazer. For them, the thought of putting on sneakers and leggings is a painful, and vise verse. Now, I realize leggings are not always warranted in every situation. However, scoring a baggy pair of dress pants that flatter your figure, feel like sweats and make it look like you dressed for the occasion, is a perfect instance of combining your style needs with your style wants – especially if they are a staple that you can wear to work every day! Win win!blog-43-fb

Budget
My least favorite word when it comes to a shopping trip. As much as I wish I could shop at Ted Baker and Kate Spade on a regular basis, it’s just not feasible for my bank account – a girl can dream! However, there is nothing wrong with looking at these labels and drawing inspiration from them. Don’t let your budget be the defining factor of what you wear. Instead, shop smart, set boundaries and look for unique pieces that you can work into your wardrobe and style.

Extenuate your assets
What is your favorite asset about yourself? This could anything from the color of your eyes to your always-toned shoulders to your booty. Regardless, buying clothes that compliment your assets is a sure way to find a style that makes you feel confident and good in your own skin.

The key to finding your style is asking yourself the right questions! Is what I am wearing who I want to convey myself as? Do I feel confident? Am I comfortable? Do I feel beautiful? Do I still have money in the bank since I purchased this piece?

If your answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions then maybe spend some time reevaluating. Ultimately, your style should tell a story of who you are and accurately represent your personal brand, while allowing you to feel like the best version of yourself each and every day.

Create your own style. Let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others,” – Anna Wintour

What is my personal style?
Well, that is a darn good question! Ultimately being a blogger and freelance writer hugely influences what I wear on a daily basis. Take this outfit, for instance, it’s by far one of the most comfortable outfits in my wardrobe right now, yet it’s something I could get away with wearing to a business meeting.

It took me an eternity to find a pair of boyfriend jeans that actually fit my derrière, and now it’s rare to see me not wearing them. However, they very easily look sloppy and potentially homeless, so I always have to be careful of what I wear on top. This sweater is perfect because it’s cropped, therefore it still gives me a waistline, while balancing the perfect level of baggy – and it’s basically the comfiest sweater I own. I accessorized with a choker and my bow chain. The choker I felt added a bit more complexity and chicness to the outfit, and the bow, well I named my blog ‘floralandbows,’ so there’s your answer to that one. Lastly, my glorious white sneakers I felt just tied the whole outfit together – and they are also SO comfy (are you beginning to see a trend!).

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No matter what I have been doing in my life or how much my style has changed, there are a few, for a lack of a better word, trends that have always remained a constant. I would say these are what make up my true personal style, no matter what sort of fashion phase I am going through.

  • Floral patterns – you can dress it up or down and I always fall in love with the beautiful prints!
  • Button up shirts – these I find you can wear with any sort of bottoms and are so much fun to accessorize. I even find myself mixing masculine shirts with feminine statement necklaces a lot of the time.
  • Plaid – oh how I love plaid! It’s perfect for just about any occasion and is great for layering.
  • Collars – call me crazy, but my dickey is one of my favorite things I own. It can take a crew neck from casual to chic in an instant.
  • Loafers – through the years these have gone from moccasins, to flats to boat shoes to sneakers. Regardless I try and make sure they are the perfect combination of comfortable and chic.

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For inspiration, I would say I pull a lot of styles from the 50’s and 60’s, as those are my favorite fashion eras, along with minimalistic Scandinavian styles and classic Parisian looks. Basically, my personal style is a mix of my life, career, interests and things I have been inspired by throughout my travels – and it’s forever changing and evolving!blog-64-fb

Outfit details:

Choker – Salt Water Tea

Bow Chain – Bronze & Butterflies

Sweater – Community from Aritzia

Jeans – AGOLDE from Aritzia

Sneakers – Adidas Stan Smith Sneaker 

All photos were taken by the lovely Sarah Beau of Sarah Beau Photography!

XX Kristy

My Career Highlighted in 7 Defining Moments

Life is about moments: Don’t wait for them, create them.

When I look back at my entire career and see the path I have taken, I can distinguish specific moments that have lead me to this very moment in time – writing this blog post. These were pivotal events that threw me in a direction that was amazing, scary and wonderful all at the same time. For a girl who thrives off having a well-organized plan for almost everything, including a shopping trip to the mall, you can imagine that this was initially a slight shock to my system. However, my career path has been a fascinating ride and I am continually learning and eager to see what is around the next corner.

Here are 7 defining moments that stand out in my career thus far as learning experiences, growing experiences or a moment when I realized I was exactly where I was meant to be!

Let’s start at the beginning…

The moment my love affair with communications began

A close friend had mentioned to me in passing what she was doing in her PR class, it sounded interesting, so I enrolled myself in an “Intro to Communications” class to see what it was all about – I had zero expectations. When I walked into that auditorium there was no going back, I remember listening to my professor discuss the basics of Communications Theory and from that moment on I was officially a communications student.

From there I went on to immerse myself in the communications program and University as much as I possibly could, as I wanted to make sure I got the most out of my 4 years – and that I can truly say I did! I became good friends with many of my professors, I traveled to Spain on a 3 week ‘Food Culture’ group study and I became the President of the ‘Students in Communications’ (SIC) Club for one out of my three years of involvement. I threw myself in and I came out the other end with a BA and a strong motivation to conquer whatever came my way!

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One of the things that was immensely important to me was graduating with actual work experience within the communications industry on my resume. As a result of my efforts, I ended up with an amazing Summer Student Position at CNOOC Ltd., then known simply as Nexen. I was placed in their Corporate Responsibility Program and got sent to STARS Air Ambulance, on behalf of Nexen, to assist them for the summer.

At STARS I got the unique opportunity to work with the four pillars of their Foundation’s team – Events, Stewardship, Communications, and Fundraising. I had a hands-on summer of completing multiple projects for each individual team, while learning how a non-for-profit worked and was organized, both from an internal and external perspective.

At the end of the summer, STARS offered me a part-time job, as a Development Coordinator, while I finished my degree – I wholehearted accepted the opportunity. This role was streamlined specifically to internal tasks that primarily included creating research profiles for the fundraising team to use when they were going in for an ask and other administrative duties. By the end of my time there I was organizing weekly meetings with multiple teams within the foundation and even chairing a few meetings that involved the research profiles that I had created.

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We rise by lifting others” – Robert Ingersoll

One of the best pieces of advice I could have ever been told was to “get involved” – sounds simple, but it was revolutionary to my success. Throughout my entire career I have thrown myself into different volunteer initiatives and strategically looked at opportunities for me to put my skill set to good use, while also learning and growing within communications. As a result, I have worked with some incredible teams and witnessed firsthand how powerful volunteerism can be. Each community that I have become a part of has influenced me in one way or another and has empowered me to connect my passion to a purpose, making a difference in something much larger than myself.

Two experiences that stand out are my involvement on the Special Events Committee at Making Changes Association and The Black and White Ball Committee with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. Both offered me opportunities to hone in on my digital media skills, as I created detailed social media plans for both events, along with editorial calendars, campaign suggestions and written content to be posted that was consistent with the branding guidelines of both the event and organization. Eventually, I got to the point where I was posting the content directly into Hootsuite myself on the various social media platforms on behalf of each of the organizations and executing the entire social media strategy myself. This opened many doors for me within the world of social media and soon led to my next key opportunity!

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#GetSocial with Social Sesame

Through my work with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, I met my soon-to-be boss at the social media agency, Social Sesame, and within a month I was a full-time employee. This is where my career took another steep turn! All of a sudden I was managing multiple clients’ social media accounts on a daily basis and learning the inner workings of the immense world of digital media and social media marketing – and getting paid for it! I adored creating a strong relationship with clients, as we worked together to create a digital marketing plan and strategy, and execute it in a way that would enhance their brand and connect them with their target audience.

It was in this same instance that I began to see my writing career flourish, as this was quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the job. For many clients, whose social media I managed on a daily basis, I would also manage their blogs and be creating original content for them on a weekly basis. Throughout my life, I had always been a creative person, but I just had no idea how to build or sustain a career out of that – this was my official aha moment! Creativity had officially been infused into my career and I could not have been happier knowing I was doing something that fed my soul and made me want to jump out of bed in the morning.

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Becoming a lady boss!

“If you can’t stop thinking about it don’t stop working for it.”

Due to the unfortunate circumstances of Calgary’s economy, I became a contractor at Social Sesame and at the same time gained a few clients of my own. It was then I decided to take the time to work on my own personal brand and figure out what my next move was. Starting a blog was always something that was in the back of my mind, but never something that I had pursued, mainly due to time constraints and the overwhelming thought of creating my own website. However, since I was no longer working full time I decided it was the perfect opportunity to take the leap and just do it!

Creating my website was a process – a long one! I ended up teaching myself the ins and outs of WordPress, along with basic coding techniques and other website technicalities, but eventually FloralandBows was born. FloralandBows quickly became my creative outlet and currently contains my fashion and lifestyle blog, my growing writing portfolio and my freelancing services that I offer to my clients. Since launching almost a year ago I have had the sincere opportunity to work with an incredible array of people within the community, write for various magazines, blogs and editorial platforms and once again steer my career in a direction that I could have never imagined.

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Staying inspired

“Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you can see can inspire you.” – Grace Coddington

I very quickly learned that if I was going to pursue a creative career, I needed to find ways to always be inspired. Luckily, I didn’t have to look far, as I found the things I was most passionate about were what inspired me and kept my creativity flowing.

  • Traveling: discovering and learning about new cultures, while getting to know the people that make up a place and going on memorable adventures is something that feeds my soul. It allows me to grow and learn things about myself I could have never imagined while keeping me active and always inspired.
  • Fashion: I could talk about fashion for hours – literally! This has been something that I have been incredibly passionate about from a very young age; so being able to incorporate it into my career has been monumental for me. Anna Wintour, Iris Apfel and Bill Cunningham are just three role models that I always find myself greatly inspire by, not only by what they do professionally but by how they go about it and what they represent – individualism.
  • Supporting the local community: I have always been a huge supporter of local businesses and entrepreneurs within Calgary. I find now more than ever when I get the opportunity to talk to someone who is incredibly passionate about whatever it is that they are doing, I am immediately intrigued. These people always give me new ideas to think about and motivate me to be better in the pursuit of doing the things that mean the most to me.
  • Living a healthy lifestyle – staying active is how I recharge, clear my mind and allow myself to reset after burning the midnight oil or working on a large deadline with a client.

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My Communications family

For me the two most important things that allow you to fully grow within your career is constantly working on your professional development and having a strong network behind you along the way. I found both of these when I joined the Calgary Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC/Calgary). I initially joined as a student member, but very quickly found myself becoming increasingly involved within the organization. I began as the Newsletter Coordinator, gathering content and sending out the newsletter on behalf of the organization once a week. Within a year I moved onto the Board of Directors as the “Director of Student Development,” due to my immense involvement within the student community when I was in University.

Now, I currently sit on the board as the “Director of Marketing.” I lead a team of social media rockstars who work to maintain and manage the IABC/Calgary social media channels, that includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and our brand-new Instagram account! 2017 also marks the 50th anniversary for the IABC/Calgary. As a result, I am working with the 50th Planning Committee to create a promotional video with a Video Agency that will work to promote the gala and the legacy of the IABC/Calgary throughout the year and for years to come.

I also work to collaborate with other board members and ensure that all marketing efforts are being completed within each portfolio. It’s through this collaboration that I have found a professional network that I can rely on, along with a group of true friends within the industry that are always willing to help and support each other whenever possible.

The here and now!

“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together”

Whew! What a journey! My career has been nothing close to boring and frankly I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Currently, I am working as a full time freelance writer and am a writing contributor to the Daily Hive YYC, The Yellow Pages Business Pages, Moments Magazine, Dote Magazine Press Board PR, Standout Publications and YYC Girl Gang – just to name a few. The diversity is incredible, as I am always writing on a different industry or topic, which keeps things interesting and allows me to constantly be learning new things. At the same time, I continue to work on the board of the IABC/Calgary, while perusing other volunteer related ventures.

Where do I see myself heading? Good question! It’s my dream to someday be an editor and to work with a team of inspiring, like-minded individuals to create great and wonderful things, while still pursuing my writing and creative career. All I know is that I am eager to see what my next career defining moment will be and where it will take me!

XOXO Kristy

 

Last Days of Summer Bucket List

I am still coming to grips with the sheer reality that the end of summer is merely two weeks away – where did the time go! It feels like yesterday I was packing my backpack and escaping to Europe for a month and a half. With that being said, summer of 2016 has been sheer bliss mixed with a magnitude of memories and it’s going take a heck of a lot more adventuring to top it.

With pumpkin spice lattes and warm comfy sweaters just around the corner, I want to do my best to relish the last two weeks that we have of this beautiful season. Here is my bucket list of things I hope to do and experience within the next two weeks, to put the cherry on an already fabulous summer and transition into my favorite season of the year!

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Get active and spend time outdoors

Although Calgary has not had a record hot summer, the past couple of weeks haven’t been too bad! I love being able to sit on my patio as I write this article or do things that I would normally do inside, outside – banking on the premonition that it stays above 15 degrees and doesn’t begin raining daily, or worse snow.

This is also around the time when everyone seems to want to knock off those extra summer pounds they gained indulging in Stampede deep fried goodies or a few too many patio beers. In my case, it’s a situation of months of consuming Italian pasta, French crepes, Belgium waffles and British Cream Tea, none of which I regret in the slightest. However, instead of hitting the gym I want to spend the time being more active outside exploring Calgary, while I still can. Lucky for all of us Calgary has a plethora of free and/or relatively cheap activities happening all around the city within the next two weeks that are easy on the budget and a fun, healthy way to spend an afternoon.

  • Flow by the Bow: for $10 flow through a Yoga class and celebrate afterward with food trucks and a live DJ held at the RiverWalk Plaza in East Village, hosted by Lululemon.
  • Outsiders Run Club: meet up with Joanna Magik, of The Sweat Style, in the East Village for a FREE 5-8km run every Tuesday night beginning at 6:30pm.
  • Barre in the Village: join Barre Body Studio in the East Village Experience Centre on Thursday, August 25th for a lunchtime 60-minute full body workout, beginning at 12pm.
  • Explore Canada Olympic Park’s fun summer activities: for a bit of a higher price try out the Skyline Luge, Summer Bobsled or 500 meter Zipline, or test your luck at Mini Golf.
  • Patrick’s Island Games Station: on Sunday, August 28th grab a group of friends and head down to St. Patrick’s Island for outdoor activities such as Bocce, ladder golf and more between 11am-5pm!
  • Pokemon Go sesh: Yes I said it! I am not normally one to conform to popular fads, but I have to admit I am glad I inquired about this one, because it’s actually a lot of fun! Find a spot in Calgary where there is lots of Poke action happening and spend an hour or two catching rare Pokémon, fighting a few battles and hatching an egg or two, all while reaping the benefits of spending time in the great outdoors – win win!
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Pic via: @Trolley5

Explore Calgary’s newfound culinary scene

The landscape of Calgary’s foodie industry has changed drastically over the past summer months, especially due to the upgraded laws around microbreweries. As a result, there has been a significant growth in new restaurants, patios, concept bars, bakeries, coffee shops and game cafes all over the city. This makes my inner adventurous self so happy, because there is nothing I love more than trying out new local hot spots and finding new places to fall in love with in Calgary. If you haven’t already, make it your mission to try out a new spot every so often and contribute to Calgary’s growing local culture!

  • Restaurants: Ten Foot Henry, Posto Pizzeria and Bar, Una Takeaway, The Guild, Full Circle Pizza, Royale and Flipp’n Burgers & Breakfast
  • Pubs: Trolley 5 Resurant & Brewery and Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey
  • Coffee Shops/ Bakeries: Little Henry, Wow Bakery, Alforno Bakery & Café, Philosafy Coffee, Vintage Caffeine, Framboise Bakery and Made by Marcus Microcreamery
  • Game Cafés: Hexagon Café
  • Cocktail Bars: SS106 Aperitif Bar and Frenchie Wine Bar
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Pic via: @capturecalgary

Annual pre-fall shopping spree

If you know me even the slightest you won’t be surprised to hear that this is probably one of my favorite parts of this time of year! It’s when summer styles go on sale and fall fashion begins to sneak it’s way in, replacing the crop tops and daisy dukes with turtlenecks, blanket scarfs and baggy knits. The next two weeks are the perfect opportunity to wear your summer looks one last time and do a little pre-fall shopping to get your wardrobe ready for the upcoming season. Some of my favorite local shops I will be checking out for fall are Adorn Boutique, Kit & Ace and The Livery – nothing says fall like a comfy Camp crewneck fleece!

Also, check out the Buttercream Clothing Popup Shop at Greater Goods on Saturday, August 27th and the Little Modern Market on September 1st at Starbelly restaurant.

Lastly, even if you aren’t going back-to-school, like myself, it doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the frenzy of beautiful notebooks, agendas and supplies to prepare yourself for fall. Indigo’s new back-to-school line is out and my Visa is already not pleased about it!

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Pic via: Dote Magazine – book cover by Art and Alexander.

Dive into a good book

Summer is all about adventure and there is nothing like immersing yourself into a story and traveling to a world different than your own, without having to actually pay for a plane ticket. Take some time over the next two weeks to relax and read a good book even if it’s a short story and breathe in the last few moments of summer.

Joining a book club is always a good way to force yourself to sit down and actually finish reading a book you have started. I am incredibly guilty for beginning multiple novels at once and getting too busy to pick them back up again. If you don’t have a group of friends who share the same love for books as you do, Dote Magazine has officially launched their new interactive Dote Book Club – check out their first book, Mansfield Park by Jane Austin, for the month of August and stay tuned to their social media for book club updates!

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Escape to the mountains

There is nothing like ending the summer by taking a day trip or even spending a weekend basking in our beautiful mountainous backyard. Alberta has some beautiful hikes to offer that are great for experienced hikers or those people like myself who are just looking for a casual stroll with stunning views in the wilderness. Check out Alberta’s 25 best hikes here, according to Explore Magazine!

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Campfire + s’mores

Nothing says summer more than a causal evening with friends cozied around a campfire, sharing stories and toasting the perfect golden marshmallow. Unfortunately, due to the lack of nice evenings that Calgary has had this summer this has not been a common weekend activity, which is incredibly disappointing to me. If Mother Nature permits it, plan a night with friends, have a potluck and a couple drinks around the campfire and end the summer of 2016 with a bang!

Events happening around the city:

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The tan will fade, but memories last forever! ❤

xoxo Kristy

Inge de Jonge: Fashion Reinvented

Arriving in Nimes was an adventure to say the least. To give a little perspective, Nimes is a small city located in the south of France, in the region of Provence, known for its rich Roman heritage, laid back ambiance and quaint stone streets filled with authentic French delicacies – a French lovers dream come true. However, due to our lack of knowledge of the French language, communicating with really anyone became more of a challenge than I had ever experienced. So when we met Inge, a fashion designer that was fluent in, Dutch, French AND English I not only fell in love with her beautiful designs, but I was also so relived to finally be able to communicate successfully with someone!

We met Inge at a night market that is held every Thursday in the streets of Nimes, beside the Maison Carrée. The market consisted of local artisans from around the South of France selling jewelry, clothing and other handmade gems unique to the area – so naturally I had my eyes peeled for local fashion.

Inge de Jonge

“Inge de Jong” is a French clothing brand created by Inge herself, that focuses primarily on women’s apparel, and also on kids + mens fashion, along with jewelry and home décor. She began her journey in the fashion world by studying textiles + sewing at the School of Fine Arts in Rotterdam. She then worked as a model for many years, winning numerous awards for her creative fashion designs, which later inspired her to create a collection under her own name. She now operates a successful boutique, atelier and workshop in the south of France.

“A story of the love of yesterday’s garment re-imagined for today.”

Inge has a passion for reusing + recycling as she aims to give a “second life to beautiful materials that would otherwise be wasted, discarded or forgotten” – She calls her garments “Messages d’Armour.” Her collections are all produced locally and handmade from unique European fabrics with lace and pearls from old milliners that are all primarily recycled or reclaimed. The narrative around her brand is a direct reflection of her frustration with consumerism and belief that “today’s market favors mass production that is executed in a crude manner and limits the traditional quality and conventions of pret-a-porter.” As a result, she manufactures her designs in a much simpler way, collaborating with local seamstresses, which allows her to pay extreme attention to all the details of her designs, while working closely with her clients to produce personalized pieces that celebrate the quality and history of the material.

What first drew me to Inge’s stand were all of the brightly colored, vintage patterns and the eclectic feel of the clothing, + jewelry hanging on display. Inge creates her collections to reflect her personal style, consisting of bohemian and romantic silhouettes that are made of “fluid fabrics that evoke elegance and well-being.” Her ready-to-wear line is meant to bring confidence and beauty to her client’s wardrobes, as she curates fabrics that are transferable to both summer and winter.

The most unique aspect of her line is not only that it is fashionable and chic everyday wear, but that each piece is “painted with memories of old” that tells a narrative. As I picked up some of the pieces that caught my eye, Inge had a story to tell about each one of them, usually mentioning where she got the fabric and the era it came from. I adored how each piece was a part of history that was now reworked into something beautiful and different from other ready-to-wear designers.

Choosing what to purchase was so hard, as there were so many options and pieces I loved to choose from. I ended up purchasing a beautiful pink lace bracelet and a pendulum white cotton tee with 3/4 sleeves and lace fringe, from her 2015 spring/summer collection.

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Check out Inge’s full Spring/Summer liner here and stay up-to-date on her current collections and fashion shows by signing up for her newsletter!

xoxo Kristy