While I’ll admit that blogging is certainly not the most conventional career it has been without question a rewarding one. With 2015 being one of the best years yet for Short Presents, I decided to do a round up of some of my favorite and most exciting things that 2015 brought with it thanks to each and every one of you!
CTV GUEST STYLIST
This year I had the absolute pleasure of working with CTV for the Section 6 portion of Live at 5. From conversations about the current trends to how we’re exploring those of the past I had a great time pulling looks, styling models, and visiting your living rooms via the TV screen.
Sometimes I agree to things because they sound like SO much fun, and also just because it’s a really great opportunity, and then I get myself in the situation and I think “Oh sh*t I actually have to do this”… but as Tina Fey Says “say yes, and you”ll figure it out after”.
Before working with CTV Morning Live, I’d not done live television so I have to admit I was a little nervous just before going on, but I got some great advice from a friend in the biz and felt much much much better about stepping in front of the cameras red light.
Live TV goes super quick, but being a perfectionist I have to say I kind of liked that I didn’t have the opportunity for a do-over! The freedom in live TV comes with a bit of a price as it really forces you to be on the top of your game, and also gives you a nice adrenaline rush as a result. I can’t wait to do it again!
Valentines Day can be a stressful time, but I caught up with the lovely folks at Radio 96.5 to chat about all things Valentines Day. From what to cook, what to do, and what to wear we had you covered. This interview was my first time doing radio in the studio, and since my voice is definitely distinct (i.e. high pitched) I’m not sure anyone saw me heading towards radio, but I absolutely loved the opportunity.
Funny story though about this experience: I had idea we were recording until about 5 or so minutes in, so my first response was actually totally off the cuff but it all worked out!
CBC RADIO MARITIME NOON
In addition to doing live television for the first time, I also had the chance to do live radio for the first time in an interview with CBC. I was contacted and like I always do for new opportunities I agree and figure out the rest later! This interview was really fun, and I had a blast doing it. Callers phoned in about the trends they loved or hated about the 70s, and it was really great to hear everyone’s stories (good and bad)!
Listen to it here if I remember correctly I’m about 20 minutes in, or so.
This past year I attended both the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter World Master Card Fashion Weeks. Being able to attend fashion weeks in Toronto is both a pleasure, and a learning experience. I love having the opportunity to see the collections, and the trends for the upcoming season before they hit the shelves (and blogs), and each time I attend fashion week I meet more and more amazing people – whether they be bloggers, photographers, partners, or designers. It’s kind of like a little reunion each time I go back. What I love about attending the shows, and events is taking all that experience back here to Halifax to help our industry grow. Toronto has been doing Fashion Week at a much grander scale for much longer, so it only makes sense we could learn a thing or two.
Mo and I always joke that we should be consultants for designers, and help them streamline their collections, models, etc. Not sure how they’ve feel taking criticism from us, but I would totally be open to the idea. Once you’ve seen as many shows as we have you kind of figure out a formula, so you know what to look for.
This year I also added Mic Mac Mall to my list of partners, and throughout the year we’ve worked on a few campaigns, but this “Price Check Contest” was our first campaign together. We all know that after Christmas can be a slow period for shopping I mean who has any money left over for themselves right? So what better time to promote all the great sales!
Handpicking individual sale items from copious amounts of stores all over Mic Mac Mall was tricky to say the least, but it was also a lot of fun. I had the opportunity of styling not one, but 8 outfits (four males, and four female) with sale items from all over the mall while customers had the chance to guess the oufit costs to win a gift card to spend at the mall.
I mean anytime I’m pulling or styling looks is a good day in my books, and I adore the team at Micmac Mall they are actually the sweetest ever, and really on top of their game.
One of the great things about blogging, and this year in particular is that I had the opportunity to travel. Through various work with a number of partners I was very happy to travel to Mexico, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and even locally to Cape Breton and Moncton.
I’ve been saying this for a while, but I went from never having been to Toronto to having gone there about 6 or 7 times in the past year, and I’m really hoping to be able to do the same this year. From seeing Lena Dunham at The Social, and meeting Marilyn Denis to driving to Boston to see Madeleine Peyroux live and climbing Mont Royal in Montreal it’s been an exploratory year to say the least.
PARTNERSHIP WITH FORD CANADA
Speaking of travel I was really excited to announce my partnership with Ford Canada this year. From road trips to Cape Breton, Boston, and Moncton it was a match made in heaven – and such a pleasure to drive! I had the chance to drive the economical gas and hybrid versions of the 2015 Ford Fusion as well as a sporty and speedy bright-yellow 2015 Ford Mustang.
HOSTED ARITZIA GRAND OPENING IN HALIFAX
Along with this beauty I zipped back from Toronto to help host the opening of Aritzia in Halifax! It was such a fun night full of fancy cocktails, sick beats, and impromptu dancing; needless to say we had the store was bumpin’ and I couldn’t have been happier to be along for the ride. Read about the event here, and see the photo shoot to promote the event here.
PUBLISHED IN FLARE MAGAZINE
This past February I submitted a “localist” contribution that was featured in the magazine, and I couldn’t be more excited to feature Oh Dina! and being able to represent my city. Especially so considering they have since gone online. I just love seeing my name in print 🙂 it never gets old, and I never stop being grateful for the opportunity.
After attending fashion week I was featured on FlareMagazine.com, as part of their “Coolest Fashion Bloggers” round up. You can read the full post here.
One of the things I love to do in life is get people together, and I think the closer our community is the stronger we can become. A few years ago I organized the East Coast Fashion Bloggers Unleashed event that brought bloggers from all over Atlantic Canada together for an unofficial conference of sorts. While most of those girls are no longer blogging I’ve been meaning to organize something locally for quite some time, but struggled to find interest.
I was super happy to collaborate with a couple of local lovelies to successfully organize a blogger closet sale. We’d talked about doing an event like this for ages, but with our busy schedules we just never could coordinate dates and times; however, I’m glad we finally did. This event was a huge success despite the short notice, the crappy weather, and the lack of parking downtown. I would totally do it again, as I realllllllllllllllly loved meeting all my followers in person while also seeings some of my pieces go to a happy home.
The event also gave all of us influencers a chance to get to know each other a little better and it was really nice to spend some time to get to know all the main players in the fashion community here.
REPRESENTATIVE FOR HALIFAX – SHOP THE HOOD
This year was the first year that Halifax was included in the Shop The Hood initiative to get people shopping local. All across the country influencers were selected to represent their city, and I was chosen for Halifax. I was so happy when I got the call for this role, and being local-minded anyway I took the role very seriously.
While I work with many brands all across the country I do think it’s important we stand by our own, and support the individuals right here in our backyards. I loved being a part of this campaign, and really felt honored that I got to help bring awareness to some of our great vendors here in Halifax.
I’m not really one to ogle over celebs (with a few exceptions), but I was extremely excited to be hired to attend the Jamie Oliver event for Sobeys in Merigomish, and to share it with all of you. It was both a fun little road trip that I took by myself, and Jamie was actually just as sweet as you see him on TV!
Most importantly their mission just reminded me there is good in the world. As a previous secondary education teacher who had to develop complete nutritional units from scratch because there was nothing created for teachers I whole heartedly believe we need to get better food into the stomachs of children and young adults, and we also need to educate everyone better on making good choices. Kudos to Jamie Oliver and Sobey’s for really trying to make a difference, and of course for allowing me to be on board.
This year I received the silver award for “Best Blogger” by The Coast. This award means so much to me because it’s an award determined by the people (rather than those in the fashion/blogging industry), and so it’s absolutely amazing to me that people take the time out of their busy schedule to vote for me. I was extremely excited, and honored to receive this award. Thank you so much to everyone who voted!
MICMAC MALL HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN
While I probably shouldn’t admit out loud that it was actually one of my goals to be featured on a billboard I am happy to admit however that I achieved it. Not only did I get to style this shoot (hand picked every item down to the jewelry and socks), and get featured in it, it was also displayed ALL over the city. From bus shelters to billboards, from commercials to newspaper adds it was amazing to see something I envisioned come to life and then be broadcasted all over my city. This was truly one for the books. I’ll never forget this opportunity, and I can’t wait to work on something of this magnitude again in the future.
Just recently I was given my very own franchise with The Huffington Post! My franchise is titled “Style Rescue” and focuses on responding to style questions and/or dilemmas from readers. While the word franchise might sound like I’m opening my own restaurant, what it really means is that I’m writing my very own reoccurring articles on a bi-weeekly basis for The Huffington Post which for this blogger is another check on the bucket list! Read more here.
WINNERS FALL 2015 LOOKBOOK
Chosen as one of four across the country I was featured in the Winners look-book for their fall 2015 campaign! Flown to Toronto, and quickly spun into a fitting. My trend was “modern mod” and as a lover of classic looks I couldn’t have been more excited that I was chosen for the job, and that I got to work with such an immensely talented group of people. Read more here.
WOW what a year!
The reason I wanted to write this post was to capture all we (Short Presents and its readers followers, etc.) accomplished together in 2015 as both a sincere thanks and humble reflection.
While I do feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to do what I love I also having been working very hard. I am not, and have never been a person of privilege; I had a very modest upbringing, and I was taught that kindness and hard work trumped all else. I put myself through two university degrees, and at times worked upwards of 8 different jobs to keep myself and my sister a-float. This year was arguably the first year where I set my mind on some clearly defined goals, and ideas of what I wanted to achieve. It was also the first time that I gave myself the permission to go for what I wanted despite the uncertainty and sacrifices.
Anytime you achieve success in life it’s usually a combination of four things: setting goals combined with motivation, perspiration, and perseverance. There is a lot of rejection in this business and that can be tough (trust me), and if you never set out goals how do you know you’ve achieved success? It’s important to allow yourself to feel happiness in your success because you’ll never feel good enough, and while you must always challenge yourself to get better: happiness is key to enjoying the journey along the way. We are taught that pride is a virtue to be avoided, but sometimes pride and arrogance get confused. A healthy dose of pride means happiness, and why work this hard if there’s no happiness? Or you’re not proud of the work that you’ve done?
Maybe some people do fall into things butt first (as Michael Kors will attest to), and I do believe when things go smoothly it’s probably because that’s how they were supposed to work out anyway. I will tell you though, unless you put your whole heart and head into something, you’re never going to see the results you want. Stay focused, keep your chin up, and never stop the hustle, and I promise you’ll get there!
Happy New Year Blog Reader!
Let’s do this again (and even better) in 2016 shall we??
Fabulous year for you, Kayla. All the best for 2016! xoxo