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Helen from EcoLuxLuv is a Fabulous Female

Every month, we feature a Fabulous Female whose business savvy and confidence inspires us. We believe in supporting fellow female entrepreneurs and their incredible business ventures. If you know of a Fabulous Female whose story deserves to be told, please email us to nominate them.

This month, we interviewed the honest, open and inspiring Helen Siwak. Helen is a passionate eco-entrepreneur and the driving force behind lifestyle blog EcoLuxLuvsocial media services via THEClosetYVR, contributor to VancityBuzz, StyleDemocracy Retail-Insider.


Please introduce yourself

My name is Helen and this year I turn 50 years old. In 2016, I find myself an eco-entrepreneur, writing full-time, wrangling a younger husband and 2 rescue pets, advocating for the rights of humans and non-humans, striving to live an ethical vegan lifestyle and coming to terms with being an secular humanist.

Tell us more about your current businesses

Until late last year, my business was THEClosetYVR – defined as luxury designer resale company specializing in hard-to-find pieces that gave shoppers a taste of ‘the good life’ at an affordable price point. We sold online, at curated pop-up’s and at private shopping events, we even had a go at retail boutique in Gastown. When the boutique closed last October, my husband and I decided we wanted to stay in the pre-owned fashion business but acting more as a hub for other luxury re-sellers as it was the acquisition of pieces that was definitely where our passion was. So now, we are re-branding the THEClosetYVR to be specific to be curators of luxury clothing and services associated this and expanding the Eco.Lux.Luv blog into a lifestyle magazine for sharing the philosophy of living ecoluxury on a thrift budget.

We love the quote you have by Oscar de le Renta, “Luxury to me is not about buying expensive things; it’s about living in a way where you appreciate things.” What does that quote mean to you? How do you live a luxurious life?

We are bombarded by inspirational quotes every day but none of them spoke to me so, when my website template required one, I went on the search and found this one by legendary designer Oscar de la Renta. It said it all. I own very little and am very happy this way. I do not enjoy ‘consuming’ and have always felt there was better use of my hard earned cash than to ‘buy things’, especially crappy things.

In the world we live in, it is possible to purchase luxury designer clothing ‘second hand’ with the tags still hanging on them, to buy beautiful home furnishing from Facebook, to rent literally everything from our homes to appliances to dogs for the weekend! We can use vehicle-sharing initiatives to access cars, truck, vans, to use home swaps websites for vacations, and the list just goes on and on, and every day clever entrepreneurs come up with new businesses to make life even more eco-friendly.

Then, you can take the money you save from not buying all those things and support change that you would like to see in the world. To me, that is a luxury. To be able to feed and house my family and still send money to a struggling animal shelter, to an exhausted activist trying to stop the sex-trade of children in her village, to help a family fleeing war and to a group of volunteers fighting senseless eco-destruction.

Is there a difference between “style” and “fashion”? What do the two words mean to you? How would you describe your style?

Style is ‘personal’ and fits your inner beauty and fashion is a ‘business’. My style tends to be classic with clean lines and definitely does not follow trends or the dictates of an industry that is STILL trying to figure out what a real woman is!

Have you had any experiences that are unique to you as a woman that have helped you become a successful entrepreneur?

I describe myself as a serial entrepreneur. I see opportunity around every corner and I am not afraid to speak up with my ideas. In 1990, when fleeing an abusive relationship in Calgary, I ended up in Vancouver and needed to work quickly and registered with 11 temp agencies. I never turned down work when the phone rang. I was in my early 20’s and everyone around me was slaving away at minimum wage jobs, like bussing at nightclubs or clerking at the mall and they just didn’t seem happy. I went somewhere new literally every day and picked up a diverse set of skills from bankers, accountants, interior and graphic designers, property managers, lawyers, home renovators, etc. It wasn’t until the summer of 1994 that I had that ‘unique experience’ that made me think that a 9-5pm job wasn’t for me.

I had taken a (very unsatisfying) union job at UBC and in the evenings/weekend’s was publishing an underground magazine called ‘In Hell’s Belly’. My friends and I covered a wide range of topics and had been receiving national press for having developed one of the first online sales portals in Canada on the ‘world wide web’. We rented a kiosk at Lollapalooza in Cloverdale, to show people that they could buy things online (crazy right!). We had set up an old computer with a gas-powered generator and was showing the members of the Breeders, when a representative for the then mayor of Surrey approached and asked if I wanted to be on the evening news talking about what we were doing. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity and then the mayor came over he said something like ‘Why did you get all those tattoo’s on your arms?’ Dumbfounded, I sputtered into the microphone ‘So I will never have to work for a man like you again!’ Probably not so nicely - but you get the gist. That was the moment realized I was going to have to do it for myself and have been working on my own terms ever since.

What advice would you have for a woman wanting to start her own company?

I would say - Is this company idea something you want to live and breathe for a very long time? If ‘Yes’, then you have passion and go for it, and bring in as many people with skills as you can, to make it a reality. If ‘No’, then look around and see who else is doing it (or something very similar) and doing it well, and join them and help them grow. Nowhere does it say that everyone has to start their own company, compete and constantly be watching over their shoulder. There are some that thrive on that approach but if you want to be happy and successful, you can make your own terms, and it may involve taking your idea to someone else and building from there.

How do you strike a healthy work/life balance?

I don’t! I don’t even know what that means - is it really attainable for an entrepreneur? I don’t know but right now, I have added a new full-time writing contract with to my roster (in addition to VancityBuzz and Retail-Insider) and time is so tight that I am writing 7 days a week from 8am to 11pm and blocking off bits of time in my Google calendar to ‘play with dog and cat’ or ‘have date night’. It is kind of ridiculous but incredibly satisfying at the same time. Something will have to give eventually but not right now. 

Final words?

Just go for it and have a sense of humour – don’t sweat the small stuff.


If you would like to connect with Helen you can do so on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest!

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Carolily's Tea Time

Saturday, February 6th, we proudly hosted our first Carolily's Tea Time! It was an intimate affair for ladies to enjoy an afternoon of tea, sweets and shopping. We had such a fabulous time meeting everyone and we could not have asked for a better day. Thank you to everyone who came out; we hope you had as wonderful a time as we did!

We would like to give a special thank you to the following small business owners who helped make Saturday possible. It was a pleasure collaborating with you and we look forward to doing again so soon!

Candace, from Societea, was an absolute delight to work with and kindly provided the tea, cookies and china for the tea. Societea's boutique mobile high tea and brunch service is perfect for all your elegant special occasion...Or simply if you just need a mid-week pick me up. 

Cindy, from Sweet Petit, provides a treats concierge offering petite sweets favors & s'mores bar for weddings, personal & corporate events. Cindy brought her fabulous s'mores cart and offered guests an array of cake pop and s'more flavors.

A fellow mother daughter duo, Tracy and Jayda are the creative minds behind Scrubs and Bubbles. The pair create luxury all natural soap, bath and body products created to help your skin care needs. 

Janice from City Macaron creates naturally gluten free macarons for all your special occasion needs. Janice brought two delicious flavors for sample, early grey and peach.

Tyler and Spencer recently launched Juice Balm, an unapologetically delicious vegan, organic, fair-trade lip balm. Tyler and Spencer are such a pleasure to work with and make everyone around them smile.

Ashton and her team from Bespoke Decor Rentals create beautiful events with vintage decor rentals, florals, made-to-order stationery and full decor styling services. Ashton kindly provided the beautiful vintage furniture for our guests to enjoy.

Paul, owner of City Errands, specializes in helping free up your evenings and weekends by running your errands. Paul and his team delivered Bespoke's furniture on time and with a smile on their faces.

We had such a wonderful time that was came home and began planning our next event! We are excited to host and attend many other events throughout the year and we look forward to seeing you all again!

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The Making of a Carolily

I marvel at how jewelry transforms one’s mood, appearance and confidence. Once a woman chooses a piece of jewelry that can express who she is or what she is feeling, that piece no longer belongs to the designer, it belongs to her. As the lead designer for Carolily, it is rather difficult at times for me to let go of a piece of jewelry (especially the one-of-a-kinds we specialize in) but, it gives me great pleasure knowing the necklace, for example, will become part of a new life story.

The connection one has to a piece of jewelry starts with the designer who must be inspired to create it. When I seek inspiration, I really look at the beauty of this world and all the natural wonders. A colour or a texture will catch my eye and will take flight and swiftly turn into appreciation for its beauty. This often is the beginning of the design process.

Further inspiration occurs when traveling. I am always looking for fresh, unique and unexpected treasures to incorporate in a design. I will come across a semi-precious or precious bead, pearl, bauble or vintage bead and if it is love at first sight, I must have it. That bead is then added to all the other beautiful elements of the design that is being created.

There are times when I will be fascinated by how a chain captures the light and that can influence the creation. While browsing our collections, it is obvious that we love working with chains. We use sterling silver, silver plated, 14kt, 14kt filled and plated, pewter, vintage and any other chain that attracts the eye and fuels the imagination.

Our designs are also influenced by our connection to the earth. We use recycled supplies as often as we can, whether it is recycled glass or vintage finds, we give them a new life. We do not mass produce. The products are handcrafted in Canada and we purchase from Canadian and US suppliers.

Finally, once the inspiration has been found and the elements have been gathered, the piece of jewelry is then handcrafted and added to our collections.

Throughout the designing and creating process, I do grow rather fond of the pieces, but, it warms my heart knowing that someone, like you, is going to wear it and your world will be a little more beautiful.

And I must ask, what inspires you? I would love to hear what you have to say.

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Bethany from The Free Woman is a Fabulous Female

Bethany from The Free Woman is a Fabulous Female

Every month, we feature a Fabulous Female whose business savvy and confidence inspires us. We believe in supporting fellow female entrepreneurs and their incredible business ventures. If you know of a Fabulous Female whose story deserves to be told, please email us to nominate them.

This month, we interviewed the inspiring and oh so sweet Bethany Morris, of The Free Woman. We connected with Bethany through Instagram and it has been such a pleasure getting to know her!

  1. Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about The Free Woman.

Hello, I’m Bethany, born and currently living in Melbourne, Australia. I’m known to giggle and laugh (a lot), love a delicious brunch and coffee with friends, and seek to savour the beauty in the every day.

The Free Woman (TFW) is a global community that celebrates, inspires and equips feminine hearts to lead more purposeful and authentic lives. This is outworked predominantly through the content on our website, thriving social media community and products. It’s a space where women can be championed and welcomed as they are, while encouraging them to dig deeper and uncover the gold within so they can live fully alive, fully present and fully engaged with their purpose.

  1. Who and/or what inspired you to create The Free Woman?

The concept of TFW had been brewing since I was a young girl. I always loved magazines, and then blogs as I got older, but was continually frustrated that there were nothing encompassing all the qualities within a woman. I’m a firm believer that every person is designed a leader, yet for some, that is a quality they really doubt and would never even think about themselves. So TFW seeks to break down those notions by focusing on the everyday girl and the sphere of influence she has in her everyday living, from her career to friendship and relationships, creativity, wellness and even social justice.

  1. What experience did you have that helped prepare you for where you are now?

Studying Journalism at university definitely helped a lot in terms of skill and understanding the industry. I’d also been previously blogging for a couple of years, too!

  1. You often say that the Free Woman is “so lovely, so free”. What does being lovely and free mean to you?

Great question! Being so lovely and so free is simply living life with purpose and delight. It’s often a two-edged sword - loveliness speaks of femininity and the beauty in each day, while free is more often the messy, grit-filled journey or living on the other side full of hope and vision.


  1. Aside from running The Free Woman and Gem & Thread, what are some of your passions in life?

A recent season of health-related issues has definitely made me passionate about pursuing wellness in the mind, body and soul. I’m also passionate about kindness, women empowering women, supporting small businesses, pursuing experiences over things, and kicking fear by exercising courage.

  1. You have a beautiful community behind you. Was building a strong community a part of your business plan or did it just come naturally?

Thank you - appreciate the kind words! Yes to both. Building a strong community was always the plan, but at the same time, it’s been building in a natural and beautiful way. A lot of work has gone into it and I’m really excited about where it’s heading!

  1. What community initiatives will you support this year?

We love and will continue to support social enterprises, movements and non-profit organisations that are impacting women’s lives. Each month we put a spotlight on and bring awareness to a different brand or person doing this.

  1. How do you connect with your audience?

By being intentional and present in engagement. I try my best to direct message new followers, respond to comments and interact on the #solovelysofree Instagram feed. The point of difference though is that the interaction is tailored to the person - from something I saw on their profile to actually reading their captions and commenting specific to that instead of simply commenting with an emoji or generic phrase (quality over quantity!). It doesn’t need to take long, but it is about being present and intentional. When authenticity and generosity are consistent, success, reputation and longevity will come.

  1. What advice would you have for those unsure of how to connect with their own?

What I mentioned above. And also, just begin. Any kind of relationship begins with a hello, and is built and strengthened with consistent communication. Love your audience for them and they’ll love you right back.

  1. Any closing remarks? How can readers find out more about you?
Thank you for the opportunity to share on here! You can join The Free Woman community online at, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. I’m also over on Twitter and Instagram if you ever want to say hey!


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Codi Lynn from Creative Wife & Joyful Worker is a Fabulous Female!

Every month, we feature a Fabulous Female whose business savvy and confidence inspires us. We believe in supporting fellow female entrepreneurs and their incredible business ventures. If you know of a Fabulous Female whose story deserves to be told, please email us to nominate them.

This month, we interviewed the wonderful Codi Lynn, voice behind the lifestyle blog Creative Wife and Joyful Worker. We know Codi Lynn both personally and professionally and consider ourselves lucky to call her a friend!

Please describe yourself, your blog and how you came up with the name.

Hello, my name is Codi Lynn, I am a wife and momma to two little ones. When my youngest was six months old and I was on maternity leave with her I decided to create a space to share my passions for small business and photography. I didn’t fully see how they both went together at the time, but I decided to create a lifestyle blog focusing around these main things. One of the hardest parts of starting is deciding on a business name. I wanted it to be different, memorable and something that represented me and my family. I had the idea to come up with something that represented both myself and my husband by using our initials. Mine CW (Creative Wife) which encompases all things creative about the blog, and then my husbands JW (Joyful Worker) which I wanted to highlight the joy found in these small business workers that I am drawn too (Also you can almost always find my husband working).

What made you decide to start blogging?

There are a number of things that lead me to it, but the main breaking point was when we were away on a family vacation and we were driving in the car. I turned to my husband and said, I think I am going to start a blog. It wasn't until I said the words out loud that I turned my thoughts into goals. At this point I had no idea the amount of work and devotion it took, I just knew that it was something I was drawn to. I began to do a lot of research and have learned so much along the way.

In a world of female bloggers, how do you differentiate yourself?

I don’t think I really focus too much on differentiating myself actually, but more so just being true to myself.

What do you do to connect with your audience?

It is important to me to connect with those that are working at connecting with me, though not always possible, I work hard at responding to comments on social media. I often ask questions in my posts to try to start a conversation as well as welcome emails at any time.

Are your life experiences the source from which you decide what your blog posts will be?

Blog post inspiration really comes from anywhere. Lately I have been focusing on style posts, whether it is me, the kids or even my husband has been getting behind the camera a little lately. I have always loved highlighting small businesses that I discover on Instagram and from those connections usually sprouts new ideas and collaborations that turn into posts.

What does the future hold for you? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

If life treats us well I will be home with my husband and kids while still following my dreams on the blog and pursuing my other passions in advertising and graphic design. I am open to new adventures and experiences so long as we enjoy ourselves along the way

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a blog?

Reach out to others who are doing what you are doing something similar to what you want to start. I did the same when I started (though super nervous) it was one of the best things I could have done. There are so many bloggers out there and mostly all of us just love making new connections. Putting yourself out there, telling someone that what they are doing has inspired you is a huge compliment -- one worth sharing.

What advice would you give your daughter when she grows up on how to navigate through life as a female?

Oh goodness, this could be a mouthful. However, I was thinking about this last night, thinking about how when people say that she reminds them of me. I can only pray that she grows up to be understanding, confident and social. Three qualities that I feel are my strong suits and that I already see so much in her


What is the best advice you received about being your own boss? 

Some of the best advice that I got was to not try to make everything perfect before sharing otherwise you would never get your work out there.

How do you measure success?

There are so many ways, sometimes it is as simple as an email from a friend saying that I am doing a great job, or someone letting me know that they purchased something from a business I shared about and LOVED it!

Any closing remarks/comments/advice? How should our readers connect with you?

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share. If you would like to see more about what I am about please check out my blog

You can also find me on Instagram (@creativewifeandjoyfulworker) Twitter (/cwandjwblog) and Facebook (/creativewifeandjoyfulworker)

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Angie from Georgie Girl is a Fabulous Female!

Angie from Georgie Girl is a Fabulous Female!

Every month, we will be featuring a Fabulous Female whose business savvy and confidence inspires us. We believe in supporting fellow female entrepreneurs and their incredible business ventures. If you know of a Fabulous Female whose story deserves to be told, please email us to nominate them.

This month, we interviewed the lovely Angela Bricker, owner of Kelowna's Georgie Girl Vintage. We have been fortunate enough to work with Angela during our photo shoot this past September and it was an absolute pleasure. 


Tell us a little about yourself and Georgie Girl

Hi there! I am a Kelowna girl, having lived here for 40 of my years on this planet. I graduated from Kelowna Secondary. I moved to the Big City of Vancouver for 11 years before returning in 1991. Starting a family in Kelowna changed a few dynamics for me, now a mom anda homeowner, I needed to find a way to make a living in the Okanagan. I had always been a self-starter and the urge to create my own viable business was like breathing, it just had to be, there was no other way for me. I have always been fascinated by style and fashion, but at this time, with young children, I saw the opportunity in the marketplace in 1995 was children’s products, both new and used. Vancouver had it’s share of children’s shops that I had frequented, but Kelowna was wide open and ready to embrace this concept. I am also very choosy about presentation, cleanliness and customer service: many “used” stores in these times were very little different from thrift shops, and I thought that this was missing the mark. I predicted that shopping for “second hand” goods was bound to be a direct alternative to “brand new”, and in accordance I made our store sparkle and the customer service to high standards. I knew very little about retail operations or running a business, and I needed to learn it all as I went along. Much trial, plenty of error...and loads of learning! The shop I named Yellow Brick Road, and it was a huge success in spite of my lack of experience. The concept was greeted with enthusiasm, and I added many brand new products over the next 15 years, separated the new and used to 2 shops after moving to a larger premise close to Orchard Park. After 10 years in that location, I decided to make a move to Downtown Kelowna in our current location on Ellis Street. I was welcoming change, but the path proved a difficult one.

After so many years in baby and child retail, and declining sales due to several factors, I was forced into a position of rethinking my direction. This was very tough! Once established in one arena, it is a challenge reinvent your career! I struggled with ideas and concepts daily, while still in operations as a baby shop. The idea for Georgie Girl started very organically, as my customers indicated their enthusiasm for shopping in a vintage store and I realized the dream could be real.



How did you know that opening a vintage clothing boutique was the right career move for you?

It happened so naturally! Vintage clothing and fashion has always been a “passion” for me, one that I self-
judged was a bad habit or perhaps...frivolous. I had added a small vintage clothing section to the store - as an “eco-friendly” option for my customers - and that was what sparked the interest of my passers-by. I began to learn about vintage and actively seek vintage apparel...and the pathway became clear. It all happened very quickly once my mind was made up: we had a website, social media, and new signage in less than a month! Sales doubled as soon as the signs were up...and we were in the vintage clothing business. Wow!

In the 3.5 years since Georgie Girl launched, I have educated myself regarding the women’s fashion industry, and continue to do so each and every day. I am a research fanatic, and like to keep on top of what is happening in the fashion industry from all aspects: culturally, regionally, globally trending, innovations, sourcing. Georgie Girl Vintage has morphed into an entity I could never have predicted. I learned that style and fashion - although influenced by eras - is a fluid, uber-creative force that we as humans embrace for as many reasons as there are people.


What was the scariest part of opening Georgie Girl? How did you deal with that fear?

The scariest part of presenting any business to the public is that the idea will be a failure. I am very
 committed to building a business that inspires my customers, contributes to the community and employs people. To do that, the company must be successful and well received. Making this happen is a mixed bag of values, vision, conversations with clients, research and a huge dose of hope and hard work. How do I deal with it? A beverage consisting of fine okanagan grapes served in a goblet with a stem...and running. Endorphins rule.

As a female entrepreneur, how do you define “success”?

Great question! Being able to support your family and pay all the bills on time is a barometer, however boring, of success for all genders. Just the basics. Beyond that, it is being able to spark change or contribute beyond making a living - to participate in the enrichment of the community and the world. Being able to do this is a hallmark of success. “ To have the ability to meet the financial obligations of the business, while contributing to the wellness of those around you and involved with your business, and to do this in good health and happy heart.”

Have you experienced any prejudice against you for being a female business owner?
No, not at all!

What is the best business advice you have received? Why did it resonate with you?

The best business advice I have ever received is to keep going in the face of all evidence that you are failing: take each day as it comes, do what you have to and watch your numbers without allowing them to kill you, allow the numbers to guide you to take the next step. Look for the positive and keep going: you will see light at the end of the tunnel, then inch in that direction - you will get there! It saved my business to take this approach, and it guides me to some extent on a daily basis now that the light is much brighter. It resonated with me because it is practical and doable, not a fanciful “feel good” quote without a practical tool kit.

What advice do you have for a woman wanting to start her own business?

Do your homework with regards to numbers: cash flow, margins and use a spreadsheet. Over estimate your expenses to create a buffer zone. Learn social marketing or hire someone to help you. Keep your eyes wide open and listen to your customers or clients religiously. Honor your employees. Remember that a business is built one client at a time. Take at least one day off a week for you and get some air!

Explain your sense of style. Where did it come from?

Not sure! I loved fashion magazines even as a child and was always designing clothing in my head. My
 favourite childhood pastime, other than reading, was to make my own paper dolls and design clothing for them. I could do this for hours. When I left school, I got a job as a cocktail waitress which suited me at the time as I could dress up every day and being a cocktail waitress is kind of like running your own little mini show - especially so in the crazy 80’s! I spent much of my booty on clothing in Vancouver in the 80’s at vintage shops - I never shop with friends, always alone - I need my mind clear to concentrate on fabrics, textures, colours and what is hiding between the lines. I can shop for clothing anywhere, but my favorite has ever been thrift and vintage for it’s diversity. I continue to follow the fashion industry from all angles now: runway to thrift, street to high fashion and marketplace trends.





In your eyes, is there a difference between fashion and style? If so, what?

Yes, indeed. Fashion to me is the apparel itself - the actual garments - whereas style is how it is presented with attitude. To say something is “fashionable” is to say it is “on trend”, but to say something is “stylish” encompasses more than the clothing you choose: it is how you accessorize it and your attitude around it. Select fashions your love to create your style!

What would you tell someone who hasn’t found their sense of style?

I would encourage that person to look beyond current fashion trends, and explore style from the past 100 years in order to get a sense of modern fashion history. Looking at lifestyle is critical as there is no point choosing to dress in a way that is impractical. Body type is a deciding factor when creating a sense of style. To appear stylish a person must be at ease and confident that the garments are flattering to the body and movement is fluid. Lastly, be daring! Many people are timid to embrace a look because they think it is different and they will stand out. If you love it, go for it!

Any closing remarks? How would you like readers to connect with you?

Thanks for this opportunity to chat, Carolilly Finery! Wishing you all the best with your gorgeous vintage inspired jewellery line! Readers can find us in Kelowna at 1331 Ellis Street in the Cultural District and online at We are on Instagram as Georgie Girl Vintage and on Facebook

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Carolily Cares

Carolily Cares

Hello, Beautiful!

Part of our mission at Carolily Finery is to make women feel beautiful, empowered and confident. We believe in giving back to our community and supporting initiatives that look to improve the lives of women. That is why this holiday season, we are partnering with the Kelowna Women's Shelter and Cloverdale's INN for WOMEN to give back to those in need. Everyone deserves to have a merry Christmas and we want to do our part to ensure that they do.

For the month of November, we will be collecting clothing, gift cards, female hygeine products and other various items. For a full list of requested items, please read through the Kelowna Women's shelter Wish List.

We will be accepting donations through our Design Shoppe in Abbotsford and Kelowna, but are happy to coordinate a donation pick up in the community. Please email us at to schedule a pick up or drop off.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. We would like to thank you all in advance for your kindness and generosity. We look forward to giving back this Christmas season!

Warm regards,
Danielle & Donna of Carolily Finery

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Why an online lifestyle boutique attended Unbounce's CTA Conference

Last week, one of our co-founders, Donna, had the pleasure of attending Unbounce’s Call to Action Conference (CTA Conference) in Vancouver. As one of the top digital marketing conferences in the world and, arguably, the most enjoyable, the CTA Conference was filled with brilliant speakers, superb social events and takeaways companies can actually use.

As an online boutique, Carolily was among the few companies who were not a digital agency or marketing firm. While it was seem surprising at first that we have such an interest in conferences like these, we have three specific takeaways that make the CTA Conference one every company should consider (especially brands!).

Picture courtesy of Unbounce & Stephanie Koo Photography.

We believe that getting to know people is one of the best ways to help your business grow; after all, you never know who you are going to meet! There were people from all over the world attending the CTA Conference that we may not have ever met otherwise.

While we enjoyed meeting everyone, there were a few standouts that we felt we should mention.

First and foremost, the Unbounce staff was an absolute treat to spend two days with. From emcee and Director of Customer Success, Ryan, to Event Marketing Coordinator, Stefanie, and VP of Marketing, Georgiana, there was an abundance of smiling faces and high-fives everywhere you went. Thank you for hosting such an enjoyable and informative conference. We will be back again next year!

Secondly, we enjoyed being welcomed into the Jelly Marketing group, by team members Sarah, Aman and Tim. They were an absolute joy to spend time with! This innovative team even brought jars of raspberry jam to share with the new friends they made. How sweet (pun intended!).

Thirdly, we had the pleasure of meeting two members from the Goat Social Team- founder, Terrence and developer/designer Joseph. A full-service, digital agency based out of Vancouver, Goat Social is breaking the mold on how agencies interact with their clients. We took a particular liking to their company when we realized that they worked with two of our favorite brands- Petite Puff and Jillian Harris.

Finally, we met the lovely Constance, who is a registered counselor in Vancouver. Aside from her impressive professional life, it was Constance’s genuine interest in everyone she met that we found particularly endearing. So much so, that we will be featuring Constance in an upcoming blog post. Be sure to stay tuned!

We don’t know everything.
We know that we do not know everything. The CTA Conference gave us the opportunity to hear world renowned speakers discuss a variety of topics- from copy writing, to work culture, to writing campaign headlines, and everything in between. It was wonderful to hear so many opinions and to be given actionable items we could bring back to Carolily. If you are interested in any of the speakers, Unbounce has kindly provided notes and videos for those who were unable to attend.

These handy summaries can be found here

Picture courtesy of Unbounce & Stephanie Koo Photography.

We never want to stop learning about our customers.
We are dedicated to providing you, our lovely customers, with exactly what you need when you need it; that would be impossible to do if we didn’t take the time to get to know you. While at the conference, we took note anytime one of our necklaces was complimented, when we heard a fellow female complain about another brand or dream wistfully of a piece she wished she had. All of this information is incredibly important to us and difficult to obtain without meeting people in person. We love the digital world, but nothing compares to sitting down after a conference and having a one-on-one chat with someone. We want to learn everything about you, so we can make Carolily the brand you’ve always dreamed was out there and one you can rely on for years to come.

The two days spent at the CTA Conference were unforgettable; we met such wonderful people and left feeling inspired and empowered. We believe that everyone should push themselves to learn more, meet new people and step out of their comfort zone every once in awhile. While not the norm for a lifestyle brand to attend a digital marketing conference, the takeaways Carolily got from this conference will enable us to improve our brand!

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How to enjoy your first photo shoot

Hello, Beautiful!

On Sunday, September 6th, we had our first major photo shoot! While there was a significant amount of preparation during the months leading up to it, the shoot itself flew by. We lucked out with the weather and were able to enjoy a beautiful sunny day and everything ran according to plan.

While we could not possibly sit here and claim to be photo shoot experts (though that would be fun to say!), we can share our experience and the three things that helped make it a stress free day.

For behind the scenes photos of the day, take a peek at our Instagram.

Make sure you have a great team.
It is hard to accomplish anything if you do not have a support system in place. For us, we had to assemble a team of ladies who believed in Carolily, who were experts in their respective field, and who would be a good representation of our brand. We lucked out and found just that!

Thank you to everyone who was involved in our shoot; we literally could not have done it without you. Please know that you are all sincerely appreciated!

Our fabulous photographer, Alexis Kelly of Alexis Kelly Photography, did an outstanding job! As she politely asked our models to rearrange themselves, she did so with respect and consideration. While we were considering what set to use next, Alexis already had a plan in place for what shots she wanted to do. Aside from her obvious talent, Alexi’s sincerity and playful attitude made her an absolute dream to work with. We are so happy that Alexis has chosen to be a part of our team!

Maddison Nipkow, of Makeup by Maddison, was chosen to beautify our already lovely models. Maddison brought out our models natural beauty and made the whole experience enjoyable! We were thrilled with the results and look forward to working with Maddison again.

The gorgeous vintage wardrobe was kindly provided by Georgie Girl Vintage, of Kelowna BC. A fabulous downtown boutique, Georgie Girl offers new and pre-loved vintage wear for anyone interested in looking their best.

We are particularly grateful for our stunning models and their sincere interest in our company. Hillary, the blonde bombshell of the group, impressed us not only with her talent, but her professionalism and personability. Kasia, the tallest beauty of them all, had a way of commanding attention in her photos that turned heads. And Devon, the youngest beauty of the bunch, made looking that beautiful seem effortless. All three of the ladies were an absolute pleasure to work with, and we would recommend them to anyone!

We would also like to say a special thank you to The Fort Wine Co. for allowing us to use their lovely property, and to Steve’s Lighting for letting us borrow the fabulous pink and white chandelier.

Be organized.
Things are bound to happen throughout the day that will throw you for a loop, but if you go into it with a plan, these things are less likely to derail you. We are list lovers and that’s our favorite way of keeping on top of everything. But you will need to find what works best for you.

Lists, day planners, and apps can all make your life a lot easier, especially when preparing for something as significant as a photo shoot. We made lists of everything we had to prepare, put a schedule together of how the day was going to go, organized props and wrote out all of the jewelry and wardrobe changes. This kept things moving along nicely and ensured everyone was on the same page.

Have fun with it! This is your first photo shoot and if you’re anything like us, you won’t really know what to expect.

Sometimes you have to improvise. Pictured here, you will see us making use of a glass cup to ensure our necklaces are perfectly circular. It may have looked ridiculous at the time, but it got the job done!

Don’t stress about the little things. Sometimes people are late and sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate; make sure you have a backup plan. Prepare for the things you can control, and just accept the things you cannot. You just have to know that everything will work out for you in the end!

In Closing...
While it’s hard to believe our shoot has come and gone, we had an amazing day! Thank you, again, to everyone who helped make it happen.

We hope our helpful hints will aid in making your first photo shoot a success. We wish you nothing but the very best of luck.

What helpful hints do you have for making a shoot run smoothly? We would love to hear your thoughts!


Warmest regards,


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Sneak Peek Launch Giveaway

Hello, Beautiful!

Thank you so much for visiting and for your interest in our "Sneak Peek Launch"!

While we don't officially open until December 1, 2015, we wanted to thank those who have offered their love and support from the beginning. We also wanted to make sure you have plenty of time to plan your holiday outfits and Christmas gifts! For three days only, near the end of October, we will open for our Sneak Peek Launch to allow you to shop limited editions and one-of-a-kinds, receive special gifts and wear our jewelry before anyone else. 

A friendly reminder that only those who submit their email via the pop-up box on our Home or Boutique pages will be invited to shop in October. If we were you, we wouldn't want to have to wait until December 1 to shop!

But wait, it get's even better! As an even bigger thank you, we would like to gift one lucky lady with a Carolily necklace of her choice*.

Entering for your chance to win your first Carolily necklace is simple; we promise it won't take long!

To enter, please simply follow the below steps.

1. Enter your email on our Home page pop-up.
2. Follow us on Twitter.
3. Follow us on Facebook.
4. Follow us on Instagram.
* Please note that if you happen to not have one of the above social accounts, please just follow us on the accounts that you do have. *

Thank you again for all your love and support; Carolily Finery wouldn't be possible without you! 

Which necklace are you hoping to take home? Comment below, we would love to hear from you.

The Not-So-Exciting Information:

Even though we know you would rather be sipping mimosas poolside (or is it just us?), we now have to ask you to please read through the following rules and regulations.

By entering our Sneak Peek Launch Giveaway, you agree to the following:

Contest Rules

Win one (1) Carolily Finery Sneak Peek Launch Giveaway (the 'Contest')

  1. Contest Period
    The contest period begins at 5:00 p.m. on September 7, 2015 and closes at 5:00 p.m. on October 22, 2015 (Pacific Time) (the “Contest Period”).
  1. Eligibility
    The Contest is open to residents of Canada who are 19 years or older.
  1. How to Enter

3.1 To enter, during the Contest Period go to and enter your email in the pop-up box on the homepage. Then, follow Carolily Finery on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

3.2 No purchase or payment necessary. Limit of one entry per email address.

  1. Prize

*4.1 There will be one prize awarded. The prize for the Contest is one (1) Carolily necklace, of the winner’s choosing, at a maximum value of $150, including taxes and shipping.

4.2 The Prize must be accepted as awarded. No substitution of the Prize is permitted. Carolily Finery reserves the right to substitute the Prize with another prize of equal or greater value if the Prize cannot be awarded as described for any reason.

4.3 The Prize is not transferrable and not redeemable for cash or credit in whole or in part.

  1. Draw

5.1 On or about October 23, 2015, Carolily Finery will randomly select one entry for the Prize from eligible entries received. The odds of being selected depend on the number of entries received during the Contest Period.

5.2 In order to win, the selected entrant must first correctly answer a time-limited mathematical skill-testing question to be administered by mail, email or telephone. Carolily Finery may require selected entrants to sign within 10 business days of notification a liability/publicity release, including a liability release and consent to Carolily Finery posting the winner's name and photograph on Carolily Finery’s websites and other promotional materials. If a selected winner fails to correctly answer the skill testing question or return the contest documents within the time specified by Carolily Finery, s/he will forfeit the Prize and an alternate winner will be selected.

  1. General Rules

6.1 By participating in the Contest, each entrant and selected winner agrees to: (a) be bound by these Contest Rules and the decisions of Carolily Finery; and (b) release and hold harmless Carolily Finery, and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents from and against any and all liabilities, losses, claims, demands, costs and expenses (including lawyer’s fees and litigation expenses on a solicitor and own client basis) whatsoever to which any of them may become subject arising from any actions or omissions by the entrant, relating to the participation in the Contest, participation in any Contest related activity or the acceptance, use or misuse of the Prize, including but not limited to losses related to personal injuries, death, or damage to or loss or destruction of property.

6.2 By participating in the Contest, each entrant and selected winner agrees that Carolily Finery may post the winner’s name and picture on their website or in other promotional materials as decided by Carolily Finery.

6.3 The decisions of Carolily Finery in relation to this Contest will be final and binding on all entrants.

6.4 Carolily Finery reserves the right to cancel, terminate, or suspend this Contest, at its sole discretion, at any time without prior notice.

6.5 Each Prize claim is subject to verification by Carolily Finery and/or its designated representatives. Entries made with multiple addresses, under multiple identities, or through the use of any device or artifice to enter multiple times or entries that are in excess of the permitted number of entries per email address during the Contest Period are automatically void. All Contest entries obtained through unauthorized sources or which are incomplete, illegible, mutilated, altered, reproduced, forged, irregular or fraudulent in any way or otherwise not in compliance with these Official Contest Rules are automatically void. Carolily Finery is not responsible for illegal, lost or late entries. Carolily Finery is not responsible for any miscommunications, failed communications systems, software malfunctions, or for any human errors in connection with the Contest. Carolily Finery may suspend or terminate this Contest if Carolily Finery is of the view that the Contest has been comprised by a virus or other malware which compromises administration or fair play, or Carolily Finery may draw from entries which it is of the view have not been so compromised.

6.6 The personal information provided to enter the Contest will be used to administer the Contest, and, unless opted out at time of entry, to send you information regarding Carolily Finery information and updates.

6.7 The Contest is subject to all applicable laws of Canada, British Columbia, as well as these rules.

Thank you for taking the time to read through the rules and regulations. We know it wasn't as exciting as entering the contest, but it will be worth it if you win! Best of luck, lovely!


Warmest regards,


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