Winter Fashion Street Style Looks- Vintage Fur

I just can’t even… Every time I look at these bright photos, I forget that it’s winter and that we have 50+ cm of snow piled up on the streets.

Amy Symes and I planned this impromptu winter fashion street style session last weekend, at a few different spots in Ottawa. Something I have been meaning to tick off the old “to-do” list. I was so happy to work with her. I have known Amy for just over a year and love her bright, beautiful and crisp photography style. She was a trooper to do this in the cold and managed to stay friends with me, despite her frozen fingers. I, on the other hand was warm! That’s right, my friends… no suffering here! That was the goal of this winter fashion shoot. Some practical styling tips for a true Canadian fashionista, unlike what exists online.

In this photo, I am wearing my favourite pompom tuque from Shepherds, my vintage fur coat and Tory Burch fur boots from The Clothes Secret, black leather gloves from Simons, my bright blue Marc Jacobs back pack from Fashion United, and black leggings from Amazon!

Stay tuned for two more looks from the Winter Fashion Street Style Looks series!

Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Winter Fashion Ottawa fashion blog Ottawa Street Style Amy Symes Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Winter Fashion Ottawa fashion blog Ottawa Street Style Amy Symes Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Winter Fashion Ottawa fashion blog Ottawa Street Style Amy SymesChantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Winter Fashion Ottawa fashion blog Ottawa Street Style Amy SymesChantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Winter Fashion Ottawa fashion blog Ottawa Street Style Amy Symes Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Winter Fashion Ottawa fashion blog Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Winter Fashion Ottawa fashion blog Ottawa Street Style Amy SymesChantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Winter Fashion Ottawa fashion blog Ottawa Street Style Amy Symes  Chantal Sarkisian Mode Xlusive Winter Fashion Ottawa fashion blog Ottawa Street Style Amy Symes

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My #PinkShirtPromise: Every bully is bullied

Think about it… Every bully is being bullied.
I know this, because I was a victim of both and I hate myself for it.

I hate that I was being laughed at for being chubby, my entire life.
I hate that I did not stand up for myself.
I hate that I took out my anger on others.
I hate that I was a bully.
Maybe these folks have forgiven me, for being a coward and preying on the weak. If not, please take this as my apology.

I think I’m lucky, and got off pretty clean. Unfortunately, lots of victims of bullying don’t. I can’t even imagine what bullying looks like in 2016. Between social media and mobile technology, there are a plethora of weapons available to bullies. According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 40% of Canadian workers experience bullying on a weekly basis and 47% of Canadian parents report having a child victim of bullying. But if we all speak up, we can put an end to this non-sense.

I give you the #PinkShirtPromise campaign, a cause that is very close to my heart. Thanks to Post-it® and Bayshore Shopping Centre, Ottawa will embark on an initiative to end bullying in Canada from February 17-24, 2016.

During that week, Bayshore shoppers are invited to post their personal pledge of kindness to the Pink Shirt Promise installation in centre court, and inspire others to end bullying using the social media hashtag #PinkShirtPromise.

PinkShirtPromise Bayshore Ottawa

For every pledge posted, Bayshore will donate $0.25 to DIFD (Do it for Daren), a youth-driven initiative focused on raising awareness and inspiring conversations about youth mental health. By February 24 – Pink Shirt Day – the objective is to have the installation adorned entirely in pink Post-It pledges.

Also, when you post your promise on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram you get entered for as chance to with an ET Canada Experience, which includes flights for two to Toronto and two nights hotel accommodation, and a $1,500 dollar shopping spree at Bayshore Shopping Centre!

Please join me and spread the love! 

Created by Shaw Communications, #PinkShirtPromise is an initiative for social change in support of the bullying prevention movement in Canada aligned with Pink Shirt Day.

PinkShirtPromise Post-it Pink Bayshore Ottawa End Bullying Ottawa Fashion Blog Mode XLusive

And in case you need a pink shirt, feel free to browse some of these awesome finds!

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Bloggers & Businesses: Ways we can work together

Some of you know that I am a Marketing and Communications professional and am immersed in the Ottawa Networking scene. I love supporting small businesses and only want to see them thrive. What kills me though, is when small business owners are not fully taking advantage of modern opportunities to do business. Specifically, I have noted that Ottawa businesses are skeptical of working with bloggers and have no clue what we do, or what to do with us.  After a few times of having to explain myself and the value of my services, I felt compelled to write a post and help these fellow business owners learn about different roles bloggers can play. I want to show that bloggers are flexible, affordable and are a crucial aspect of getting businesses more exposure online.

Oh, you’re a blogger? What exactly is a blogger?

I am an entrepreneur, just like you! As a digital strategist, I have the knowledge and experience that helps me promote myself (or your stuff!) online. I know how to take advantage of the web and leverage the power of social media to get (your stuff!) noticed (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter). Think of a blogger as an independent and modern day journalist.

I love to write and share my compelling stories online. In fact, I get paid to write these stories! I am creative, strategic and know how to integrate your products in my everyday life. I am not a model or magazine, I am a stylist which mean I have a voice and will want to choose what I promote. I have loads of people who follow me because they like my style and can relate to my lifestyle. When I talk about new products, ones that I love and endorse, odds are they will like them too! I can offer you a truly targeted audience, which is why it’s crucial that your product is a good fit.

Bloggers offer a new way of advertising; but good bloggers have the skill to do it softly and remain authentic. Bloggers can also be called influencers or brand ambassadors.

I can’t afford it.

Never assume that everything is too expensive. Again, like you, bloggers are running a business and offer a variety of services that can accommodate your budget. Just remember to offer a fair exchange; whether it’s in the form of product or payment.

Also remember that each blogger will have different prices based on their audience size, desire, experience and availability. You will pay more if a blogger has a large following, is not crazy about your product, has been in the game for a while and is extremely busy with bigger fish to fry.

How do I work with you? What services do you offer?

Again, prices may vary from blogger to blogger, but generally, here is what you can expect:

  • Event promotion (FREE)- You can invite bloggers to your event and comp their ticket in exchange for a blog post before or after the event.
  • PR event ($/$$)- You can host an intimate event, exclusively for bloggers, and  have the opportunity to talk about your new business venture or product that you are promoting. Typically, this involves a meal and gift to encourage the bloggers to write about your initiatives.
  • Product reviews (FREE/$)- You can give a blogger free products to review. Only do this if you want authentic and honest feedback for your products.
  • Banner ads ($/$$)- You can pay a blogger to advertise your product or business on their blog.
  • Newsletter or Social Media Mentions ($/$$)- You can pay the blogger to post your product on their newsletter or social media channels like Instagram Facebook Twitter Fitbay Pinterest YouTube, and  LinkedIn.
  • Sponsored blog posts ($$)- Writing takes time, so it will cost more money for a blogger to write about your product. If you want nice photos of your product integrated in the bloggers lifestyle, this may also come at a cost.
  • Brand ambassador ($$$)- Building a longstanding relationship with a blogger and having them represent your brand or use your product exclusively (includes being a spokesperson or doing TV appearances or hosting an event around the blogger).
  • Coaching ($$$$)- Business coaching is your one-on-one opportunity to work with a blogger and learn about digital strategy, marketing and how to blog for your own business.

If you have any more questions, I am happy to answer. Leave them in the comments bellow.

XOX Chantsy

PS- Stay tuned for my “9 Ways to illustrate your brand story: Instagram Workshop” for small business. I’ll be launching this in mid April and I can’t wait!

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Knock ’em Dead Makeup Looks for OWFF’s #HauteHalloweenOTT Red Carpet Welcome

Only if you live under a rock, would you not know that the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival is happening from Friday, October 30, to Sunday, November 1, 2015. But timing this year is impeccable. Not only is the OWFF celebrating their 30th anniversary, but it falls on Halloween weekend. #Spooky

As most of my followers know, I was a makeup artist in my past life. I still dabble here and there, but in order to keep the passion alive, I try to limit my work. My only exception, of course, is Halloween! I love Halloween makeup and face painting. It’s the one time of year that I get to test my limits, use crazy colours and open up my creative channels that are blocked by the every day mundane.

The #HauteHalloweenOTT Red Carpet Welcome at the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival on Saturday, October 31 is the perfect opportunity to dress up with a little Halloween flare. Ghoulish and glamorous guests with ‘Arrive After 5 Haute Halloween Welcome’ tickets  are encouraged to dress in their most opulent, outrageous costumes and walk the red carpet. But please, dict the masks and weapons. Four celebrity guests will be judging between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and will choose one lucky winner. The prize? A $7500 trip for two to the Barbados Food, Wine and Rum Show!

Ok, so you’re going to the OWFF, but the age old question remains? What shall I wear to the affair?But what shall I wear?Worry not! I have a few looks to help you take your makeup look from Glam Night to Vamp Fright! If you’re not into the ghoulish scene, maybe you would rather a softer look of Woodland Creatures. The important thing is to have fun and be original!

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