9 Aug 2017

Inspiring Words from Jameela of Alora Boutique

It’s not easy being an entrepreneur, but when you have passion and motivation to make a positive impact in the world, it keeps you going. Jameela, from Alora Boutique, tells her story of entrepreneurship, and what keeps her going day after day.

Why did you start your own jewelry line?

Alora initially started as a hobby. My mom and I were looking for a creative outlet outside of our main jobs. We decided to take some jewelry lessons and we wanted to create things that were beautiful and meaningful. Things really came full circle when I travelled to Ghana in 2013. I spent time in a brass village in Ghana, which is known for making beautiful jewelry out of recycled brass and sterling silver using a technique called lost wax casting. In addition to that, what really stood out to me was that every piece of jewelry they made had a meaning and story attached to it. We learned how to rescue what would be wasted material from a master crafts person in Ghana. With so much waste in the fashion industry and lack of personal significance, we decided to create jewelry that was sustainable and meaningful to the wearer.

Where does your inspiration come from?

We are inspired by our daughters, the world around us, the diversity and beauty of human interaction, and the intention we put into each piece. For example, the inspiration for our upcoming fall collection is the journey that we all go through in life. The setbacks and triumphs we face each day and how we overcome obstacles. I am really excited about this collection!

How long have you been in business, and how has your line evolved since the beginning?

We have been in business for over 3.5 years now. Our jewelry has completely evolved since the inception of Alora. When we started, I remember us only making pieces that we liked. There was a lack of consistency and we did a lot of one-of-a-kind pieces. Since then we’ve really began focusing on what kind of customer would wear our jewelry and where and when she will wear it. We have become very customer centric in our designs. We have also worked on developing our aesthetic and creating more consistent collections with an overall theme.

What obstacles have you had to overcome? What keeps you motivated?

We struggle balancing parenting young children and owning a business both. We try to prioritize what we should be focusing on and it’s always a struggle. We have a small team and often find ourselves running every aspect of the business from production, sourcing capital, marketing, networking, etc. This can be overwhelming and challenging.
We stay motivated because we love creating, and seeing people admire our jewelry. We also want to provide a great life for our daughters and show them that with hard work, anything is possible. Seeing the response from the women we help in the community and knowing that we are making a difference is the most rewarding part of doing this.

What made you decide to have a “mission” behind Alora?

We believe business should be a force for good in the community and we wanted to use jewelry as a way for women to look good and feel good about empowering other women. We’ve been helped by one of the charities we support and Emilyn, one of the owners, has always donated to the Mustard Seed. She has a saying that “you are never too poor to give”. This saying has become kind of our silent motto and has really impacted how we make decisions.

How have people responded to your philanthropic efforts?

The response has been fantastic. The community has been really supportive of our model of using fashion as a force for good. The recipients of our donations and workshops have been really grateful. Because of the response we look forward to expanding our giveback program in the future.

What advice would you give a new entrepreneur, or up and coming designer?

Don’t let the highs and lows get to you too much. Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster. There are so many things that are going to happen on your journey. Good or bad, have your goal in mind and work relentlessly towards achieving it.

What success are you most proud of?

We are really proud of the work we do in the community. We’ve taught 26 women the skill of jewelry, hosted events where influential women were able to connect with disadvantaged women and raised over $10,000 for non-profit organizations that support women.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years we will be in stores across Canada and the USA in addition to a few European stores. Not only that, but we will have a few different branded retail locations where customers can really connect with Alora. Finally, we will have an employment program with our non-profit partners to provide meaningful employment to women transitioning out of poverty and difficult situations.

2 Aug 2017

Dressing Your Body Type

We’ve all done it, picked up a magazine and idolized how great celebrities look. But do they really have better bodies than the average person? Or is it simply that they have a great team of stylists that know exactly what to dress them in. While we all may not be able to afford a personal stylist, learning what clothes work for your body type can definitely help you look as great as celebrities do. Below we have included some styling tips that will show off your best features and have you feeling your very best.

by Ceilidh McConnell

Apple Shape
Women with apple shaped bodies tend to carry their weight in their mid-section and have slim arms and legs. For these gorgeous ladies we recommend finding clothes that show off your great limbs and draw attention away from the torso area. The best way to do this is to find a few great A-line dresses that flow outward from the chest area, with shorter hemlines to show off your legs. Alternatively, a wide legged pant paired with a layered shirt is also a great outfit choice for this body shape as it creates the illusion of a more slender silhouette.

Pear Shape
This body shape is more commonly known as “hippy” and as the namesake suggests, is characterized by wider hips paired with a narrower upper body. You can easily balance this out by finding tops that broaden your upper body. We love a great cap sleeved blouse which is always classy while drawing attention away from your hips. This can also be accomplished with a dress or top that has embellishment around the neckline. Another great tip is to wear dark pants or skirts, because darker colours have a naturally slimming effect helping your top and bottom seem more in proportion with one and another.

A rectangular or athletic built body is characterized by having shoulders, waist and hips all of similar size. If you have this body type you also tend to have less curves but don’t worry, with the right pieces anybody can create the illusion of curves. A great way to achieve curves is through empire waistline dress, by cinching the waist, your chest and hips will automatically appear larger. And if dresses aren’t your thing a peplum top paired with a great pair of dark jeans can do wonders to create a curvier look.

This body type is essentially the opposite of the rectangular body, and is commonly known as curvy. As we all know by the world’s obsession with the Kardashians, it is clear that when it comes to curves, the bigger the better. Our biggest piece of advice for ladies with an hourglass figure is to embrace those curves. Our favourite way to do this is with a well fitted pencil skirt paired with a v-neck top. Also be sure to have a bra that supports your bigger chest to ensure you look your best.

For all you gals that come in a small package, our biggest tip is to find an amazing seamstress and make her your new best friend. If you have a petite figure it is easy for your clothes to overpower you, looking unfitted and baggy. It is always worth getting great pieces altered to show off your great shape. Also vertical striped dresses or pants can be great to elongate your body.

All Body Shapes
Lastly our biggest piece of advice for all body types is to wear clothes that fit you and not to be overly focused on wearing a specific size. The more comfortable you are, the easier it will be to rock any look you choose!

26 Jul 2017

Keeping It Cool & Professional

With the recent heat waves Calgary has been experiencing it is quite tempting to wear as little as possible and just be out sipping on margaritas. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have that luxury and no matter how gorgeous it is outside, we still have to deal with those pesky things called jobs. Meaning, it is essential to have pieces in your wardrobe that won’t have you sweating all day long, but are still work appropriate.

by Ceilidh McConnell

Here are top tips for ensuring your summer looks are appropriate for the office:

Hemlines & Necklines: The number one rule we have for work dresses is give and take when it comes to necklines and hemlines. We recommend choosing between showing off your legs or neck. If you opt for a shorter dress, make sure it isn’t also low cut and vise versa. This allows you to dress for the season and show some skin, but ensures that your look doesn’t have too much of a night on the town feel.

Material: Another great way to beat the heat is to pick pieces that are made of a lighter fabric and be sure to avoid heavy textiles like wool and polyester. Instead, choose more breathable pieces. Our favourite is the light-weight but always classy, silk. Find yourself a pair of silk pants in a neutral colour that you can pair up with some bright blouses that will keep you feeling comfortable when the office air conditioning is out once again.

Colour, colour & some more colour: A simple way of ensuring your outfits are appropriate for the summer is to switch out some of your black blouses for ones that are a brighter hue. Even when it comes to your neutrals replacing your black and grey with some light tan and white pieces can do wonders. Essentially our biggest tip when it comes to choosing colour over the summer is the brighter the better, and avoid black if you can as it attracts heat and can feel slightly suffocating on those scorching summer afternoons.

Light Layers: The best way to beat the heat is to dress in layers. This way you can always lose a layer in the privacy of your cubicle. We find the best way to do this is to have a selection of blazers that can be thrown on over a dress when you need to cover your arms and look slightly more professional for that afternoon board meeting.

Use Accessories to Dress it Up: Often summer pieces due to their colour or shorter length can appear too casual but that doesn’t mean you still can’t make them work for the office. By adding a nice accessory or two, you are able to take your outfit to the next level and ensure you look well put together. For instance, if you are wearing a brightly coloured dress, you can pull the outfit together with a neutral belt and a statement necklace. The addition of accessories shows that you have put thought into your look and didn’t just throw on the same dress you wore to a barbeque this past weekend.

18 Jul 2017

The Story Behind the Label, IMA Wear

Sara Eden, with her inspiring words & creative spirit.
@imalovesong / www.imawear.com

What made you make the leap to designing and developing your own brand/label? When did you launch it?

I can remember being in Vancouver looking at the ocean in my early twenties and desperately wanting to be an artist. I was depressed and overwhelmed because I didn’t know where to start. I felt so lost. Somehow my life took a turn and I ended up in Asia and all I could think about was all the pretty dresses I would see. With my extra cash I brought as many home with me as I could and started to sell them. I had a good eye for knowing what women wanted and what styles worked for many figures. This is where it started. Eventually I ended up in Bali, and fell in love with being able to execute an idea from start to finish with the help of my amazing creative team there. I stopped importing and focused on creating. I haven’t looked back since. IMA Wear officially launched in the spring of 2015 to retailers in Western Canada.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from the beauty of nature. This season’s collection is based on my water colour paintings of the sky, ocean and other elemental beauties of nature that captivate my attention.

What obstacles have you had to overcome? What keeps you motivated?

I often feel overwhelmed doing everything from A-Z in my business. From the designing, overseeing of production, directing photos shoots, doing trade shows and pop ups, to shipping and managing a website. It’s a lot of work on top of working another job. Entrepreneurial-ism is full of risk and personal sacrifice but it’s worth it to realize my dreams – that’s what keeps me going. I simply need to be creative; it is my driving force.

Are you a Calgary girl, or were you born and raised elsewhere?

Born and raised!

What is a typical day for you?

My typical day always starts with delicious homemade cappuccino. I take my time and drink it in in bed. About half way through the cup I start organizing my day in my special “everything book”. Anything going on in my life (and I mean everything) goes into that book. In the morning I usually focus on computer related stuff, website, emails etc. Then I may have some sort of creatively charged meeting, and then head to work at a restaurant. Last week for instance I had two photo shoots, pre-styled both the day before, two pop up shops and 4 shifts at a lively local restaurant in Calgary. It’s busy.

What advice would you give a new entrepreneur or up and coming designer?

Always look towards the light. As creatively charged people we often find ourselves feeling broody and dark because our art can leave us feeling tender and vulnerable. Stay focused, be flexible and don’t give up on your dreams.

What success are you most proud of?

I LOVE my new line. I love that it is based on my water colour painting of what I think is the most beautiful thing in the world – sky meets water. It is my greatest accomplishment to date.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hmmmm ten years. That’s a tough one. I see myself with a few different locations that I live in throughout the year. I like the idea of continuing to travel often gathering new inspirations from different cultures and climates. I’d like to see IMA as a global company, with an incredible team full of creativity charged, and passionate people. Circular inspiration is what I seek to create and maintain.

Purchase styles from this season’s IMA Wear line at SalvEdge Boutique, Victoria Park (1002 Macleod Tr SE). Stay tuned for a POP UP shop at our 17th Ave location this summer!

5 Jul 2017

Stampede Style: Cowgirl Go-To or Calgary Couture?

Stampede rolls around every year with the whiff of pancake breakfasts in the air and the twang of country music in our ears. Some of us celebrate with the Cow-Town nightlife, and some simply like the Carnival rides. We might celebrate the same event every year, but that doesn’t mean settling for the same plaid shirt and denim skirt. Liven up your denim and treat your ankles to some new boots! It’s time to put a two-step into your Stampede-style!

by Lucy Randal

More Boho & Less Barn-Girl

If you’re itching to wear denim but will happily pass up the plaid, then try an in-between look and pull out your favourite print instead. Try a floral blouse tucked into a denim skirt or under oversized overalls for Parade Day or to peruse Stampede Park. Don’t own cowboy boots? Pair with a cute pair of suede ankle boots! If you’re looking for a fancier fit but you don’t want to compromise those trusty cowboy boots, then go for a long floral dress that hits the top of the boots for a streamlined-Stampede look.










Accessories to Uplift a Typical Cowgirl Look-Conundrum

Don’t feel guilty for the pre-planned denim that sits at the back of your closet, waiting for its annual Stampede return! Mix your favourite denim piece with a fun accessory and standout boots! Try a boot that reaches well past the knee with your dress, or a boot with a contrasting pattern in the leather. Also, ditch a fanny-pack or your obvious leather purse for a fringe bag to complete the look!

Stampede Street Style

If you’re feeling a little more daring with your “Cowgirl” look then grab one Stampede staple and your favourite street-style pieces out of your closet. There are no rules to Stampede looks as there are no rules to your everyday outfits, so feel free to mix and match. Celine and Vetements released cowboy boots last fall so why not take a leap out of the high-fashion world to create a show stopping Stampede look that sets you apart. Are you daring enough?

28 Jun 2017

June SalvEdge Fashion Ambassador: Jennifer

Jennifer’s easygoing, sweet demeanour reflects her simplicity in fashion, making her approachable and simply elegant. Her picks were appropriate for the fast approaching Calgary Stampede, and as she put it “Casual Friday” looks for the young, professional gal.
Outift 1: Hudson jeans; Madewell blouse; Nine West pumps; Prada bag.
Outfit 2: Papillon denim dress; Ralph Lauren bag; cowgirl boots & hat.
Outfit 3: Wilfred pants; Sarah Stevenson blouse; Diesel shoes; Fossil bag.

How would you describe your personal style?

I would describe my style as “classic with a twist”. I like simple silhouettes, but with interesting detail, whether it’s a dash of colour or pattern.

What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion means being able to express myself in a creative way. We can use it to show our mood and feeling.

What do you like about SalvEdge Boutique/consignment shopping in general?

I like SalvEdge because there are so many styles, both work and casual, that are available. The brands are also so diverse and can fit into a student or professional’s budget.

Want to be our next SalvEdge Fashion Ambassador?!
Email us at salvedgefashion@gmail.com.

14 Jun 2017

Summer Shoe Trends

If you spend all year in Calgary you know that joyous moment we wait for all year; when it finally feels like summer. It is a time full of evenings spent waiting in ridiculously long line ups at Village Ice Cream or Made by Marcus, anxiously awaiting those 10 crazy days in July and spending your weekends floating down the Bow River. Even more exciting is the opportunity to update your wardrobe for those warmer days. And why not spend a fraction of the cost, by shopping with us! When looking for those staples to get you through the Summer, make sure you don’t overlook new shoes to go with all those sundresses and cutoffs.
Here are our picks for essential summer footwear!

by Ceilidh McConnell

Comfy Yet Stylish Sneakers

Over the past few years the clean, white sneaker has been everywhere and while we love that, we are happy to see the trend shifting more towards bright colours and prints! Like the sneakers pictured below, we love a pair that is able to add a bright pop of colour to a basic outfit. Or if your outfit already has a feature piece that is a bright colour, add a sneaker in the same colour which really pulls the whole outfit together.

Flatform – The Sandal That Does It All

Have you heard? Platforms are on their way out and their more down to earth cousin, the flatform, is here to stay. Flatforms are really the ideal summer shoe; they are so comfortable but are still able to give you some height making them the perfect shoe to wear as you stroll around town on your hunt for the best patio spot. Plus they are so versatile, the flatform can transition you from work to dinner, and are even beach appropriate.

Not Your Grandma’s Kitten Heel

Often when thinking of a kitten heel the word “dated” comes to mind. But not anymore. Gucci, Manolo Blahnik, Dior and many more have brought back the kitten heel and we are in love. It is a shoe that can add some glamour to nearly any outfit making it the perfect choice to dress up a simple wide-leg pant or neutral skirt. We suggest finding a pair that has a modern flare. This can be accomplished with a brightly coloured heel or one that is a unique texture, such as lace.


When thinking of Summer boots, we Calgarians tend to think of the cowboy boot, which is great for Stampede, but what about the rest of the Summer? A little wedge ankle boot is the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe for those rainy days we are bound to get. When looking for a boot for the warmer months we love lighter colours such as a pale pink or pastel blue. Plus you can repeat this piece in your outfits throughout the year when you are looking for a pop of colour. If you want your pair to have a extra Summer feel, find a pair with a peep toe to show off your cute summer pedicure!

Happy Summer Shopping! Be sure and sign up for our e-newsletter and get 15% off your first purchase!
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31 May 2017

Festival Fashion

Leave the flower crowns and sunburns behind, and step into summer with festival fringe, relaxed fits and airy blouses. Calgary may not be a lush refuge, but it’s easier to pretend we’re in a palm-tree ridden oasis when we dress for the occasion. Shop SalvEdge for summer essentials and venture to any markets and festivals you come across this summer; we can create our own Calgary Coachella mindset!

by Lucy Randal

Cute & Covered Up

For the girls weary of burning in the summer heat (and when you don’t want to wear a layer of SPF 50) try more coverage with lightweight materials. Go for prints and pleats, and add a comfy but cute sandal and larger-than-life accessories. SalvEdge’s pick includes a pleated skirt with a printed blue blouse to tuck in or leave out. Try a heavier-width belt for your waist, and complete the look with a tie-up sandal! This cute yet practical outfit will leave you carefree in the summer heat!

Fringe & Floral

Short-shorts are a must for the summer heat, and a denim pair with a distressed look will do the trick for the festival vibes! Pair with a floral or brightly patterned top for a simple yet eye-catching outfit. If you want to include fringe without overdoing it, try a fringe vest or bag! Layer on some bracelets or go for a large bangle! SalvEdge’s pick includes a black laced up choker to compliment the fringe bag. If you’re planning on taking this outfit on the town, then choose a cute wedge for a more pulled together look!

Tomboy Cool

For those who plan on working the festival grounds for hours, then a cool yet comfortable outfit is key. Try a high-waist pant with a crop top, or choose a boyfriend jean with a cool tank or t-shirt. If a comfy boot is your go to, then roll up those jeans so they hit just the tops of your brown desert ankle boots. A long day out means carrying those essentials around, so choose a similar brown toned cross-body to store your sunscreen, sunnies and water!