Thank God for crowdfunding

March 15, 2016

indie home page

Nasty Gal‘s Sophia Amoruso started her eBay shop with only $50 bucks. I know. Whaaat? I wish! We can’t all build a multimillion-dollar business from a few dollar bills, and that’s A OK. But props to Ms. Amoruso for making it happen and hustling her way to the top.

Every entrepreneur’s story is different, and my reality of starting up an online boutique is that I have more costs. “But Mal, didn’t you save up for the business?” you ask. I know, I should’ve, but I’ve only recently become debt free (the downside to being an optimistic person: overly optimistic about how quickly I can pay down debt). My initial inventory alone will run me more than a few thousand dollars. Thank you Futurpreneur and thank God for crowdfunding.

Today marks day two of EITHER/OR’s Indiegogo campaign. For the next 29 days, I’ll be spreading the word and trying to get as much support as possible to reach the campaign goal of $20,000 to buy spring 2016 pieces. Believe it or not, but some shop owners don’t account for buying for season two. They focus so much on getting funds together for season one that they forget that soon after they open, they have to buy a second collection before they’ve sold the first one. I’m learning from other’s mistakes, goodness knows I’ll make my own.

Thank you in advance for your support.

I know that not everyone can donate money, but sharing the Indiegogo link to as many people as you can is equally beneficial. Thank you to those of you who donate your time and/or money. It all matters.

And why does it matter to support my campaign? It matters because EITHER/OR is an online platform to promote Canadian-designed and -made, ethical and sustainable clothing and accessories. We have become far too removed from our clothing, from where it is made, by whom, in what conditions and at what cost to the environment. EITHER/OR will connect people to Canadian brands that value local production, transparency and social and environmental responsibility.




Living minimally: where to begin

March 7, 2016


Two weeks ago, I had the honour of being a human “book” and giving two fifteen-minute talks about living minimally. The attendees were civil servants, many of them managers, and they were here to “read” about my knowledge of living minimally in the hopes of applying my tips to their personal and professional lives.

In preparing for my talk, I came across some great minimalist tips that helped me show how minimalism can be applied to all facets of life, not just to our closets and pantry.

Minimalism is originally a popular form of art in the 1950s that favoured simple, large shapes

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The Devil is in the detail: picking the perfect storefront

February 28, 2016

shopify theme image

Before I reveal the shop’s landing page, including logo (yes, it’s done!) and before I share with you my criteria for picking the designers that we’ll feature in the shop, I thought I should take you through the process of picking a Shopify template since I just finished this task last week. I can’t wait to reveal the brand to you, but I figured I should post my tips in chronological order, non? Read More

Duffield Design spring 2016

February 26, 2016


This is a post about three makers creating a fashion look book. This past summer, I had the honour of putting together Duffield Design‘s spring 2016 look book. I did the same thing last year, what seems like eons ago, and I love how each shoot has its own personality and ambiance. Read More

Fake vs. real winter fashion

February 19, 2016

Ottawa had a record-breaking one-day snowfall this past Tuesday, a whopping 51.2 cm (to be exact) in less than 24 hours. Yeah sure, we’re used to it, but the downtown core was mayhem because workers were let out early, the city didn’t plan for enough snow plows to be out and city buses were delayed. We’re talking thousands of people out at bus stops, all at the same time. I was “lucky” enough to be home with a sore throat, but we’re still feeling the aftermath of the snow-mageddon.

This real winter weather reminds me of the silliness that is “winter” fashion. Granted, all of the fashion week cities are only mildly cold in the winter months, but this means that real winter fashion isn’t properly represented on the runway. I admire the beautiful street style shots of fashion week attendees wearing their best of winter 2016, but they make me chuckle because runway winter and real-life winter are very different – well at least in Ottawa they are.

Case in point:

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Tips for “mindful” shopping

February 15, 2016


My mom is an English teacher, and every so often, a certain new catch phrase or word du jour rubs her the wrong way. I don’t blame her. New “it” words are used so often, they lose their, dare I say, gravitas, and become filler for peoples’ weak vocabularies. When I was in high school in Saskatchewan, everyone said, “that’s so clutch.” In university, everyone started saying “literally”, like, literally all the time. Nowadays, (and I’m certainly guilty of this), everyone is mindful.

You have to eat mindfully, be mindful of your thoughts, live a mindful life, etc., etc. It comes as no surprise to me that she is tired of hearing about how mindful everyone is these days. Well Mom, I’m sorry, but it’s pretty useful for me right now. It is, for me, another way to say conscientious or thoughtful. But I promise, I’ll try to be mindful of how I speak and use all of these synonyms. See what I did there? Sneaky.

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Love + business

February 14, 2016


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

I’ve been in Washington, D.C. for a four-day conference and only now have some time to catch up on emails and write a post or two. I’m sorry for the radio silence. Are you keeping warm?

This post is business related, since I’m still working on setting up shop and want to bring you along for the ride, but it’s also inspired by today’s celebrations of love.

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Happy 5 blog years in Ottawa

January 26, 2016

I forgot that on January 18, 2011, I launched EF Magazine here in Ottawa, five year ago now. I know, how could I!? It was a Facebook post by a friend of mine that reminded me of the party.

I had been in town since 2008 and using an old blog template for EF. With my trustee new laptop, (geeze, five years already with this baby too and still ticking!) I refreshed the blog using iWeb and threw a party at Flock Boutique. More than 100 people showed up to show me their support and it was such a great feeling. Thyme & Again donated delicious hors d’oeuvres for my guests and my cousin surprised me from England. Friends showed up, strangers showed up, and some of those strangers have since become dear friends.

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Fashion startup: tackling the business plan

January 17, 2016

DeathtoStock_CreativeSpace3 11.45.06 AM

I haven’t given a proper update on the progress of the shop in a while and I figured it was time for one. I’m thrilled to say that I received startup funding from Futurpreneur in November (thank you Futurpreneur). I had to submit a business plan to apply, and my friend Maureen Dickson from Slow Fashion Forward told me that Futurpreneur had a user-friendly online business plan template that she recommended I use.

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