Monday, June 6, 2011

Fresh Collective Roncesvalles

 I went for a trip to Fresh Collective Roncesvalles to drop off some summer dresses.  Roncesvalles is the newest location in the Fresh Collective chain and the shop is looking really gorgeous.  It's open and airy with big glass windows and lots of treasures to chose from!  They have old favourites like Fresh Baked Goods, Mandala Designs, Spruce Clothing as well as handbags by Guy Latulippe, bags and home decor by Blushing Maple and jewellery Kurve.  To be honest there are too many to name on here!

  While stopping off at the shop I was lucky to have a few minutes to talk to owner Laura-Jean.  Laura-Jean has been a great mentor to emerging designers for many years and her advice has helped me along the way many times.  A year ago I was stressed out to the max being stretched thin with all the responsibilites of my growing business.  Laura-Jean talked me into hiring a full time assistant and it couldn't have been better advice.  Ashleigh has been with me now for 1 year and it's been great having her around to bounce ideas off and help out with all the production tasks that are never ending!  Now that she's gained some experience and learned about the world of remade vintage she's ready to move on so I take this opportunity to ask L-J for advice on hiring!

I've been with Fresh Collective since 2008 and things have really changed.  Laura-Jean is actively expanding the business looking for new locations to give local designers more opportunity to showcase their wares.  She's revamping her line, Fresh Baked Goods and she's started "Fresh Collective University" a resource available to all designers who join FC.  Drawing from her experience as a fashion entrepreur, LJ is writing an 11 chapter book to educate, guide and inspire starting entrepreneurs.  Unlike the dry business jargon they feed you in school, Fresh Collective University is written in an easy to digest, down to earth tone with plenty of anecdotes and personal accounts.  The meetings to discuss the reading take place monthly at Pauper's Pub on Bloor and it's a great time to get together with other like minded creative folks to discuss business, art and life! 

All in all Fresh Collective has been a great experience that has helped my business grow.  There are always plenty of opportunities to tap more experienced designers for advice and information as well as chances to help budding new designers figure out the ins and outs of the industry.

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