It's been a few days... a few very exciting days! Your response to The Ex Oh has been amazing, I have a great line up of creatives for next week. That being said, I want to take a minute to introduce the three creatives I launched with; Selena Jasmine, Monica Smiley and Kam Mitri. They've impacted me in various ways over the last year, and something about each journey resonated with me. I'd like to share exactly how we met and the lasting impressions they made...
eighty seventh ST. ||
The place was Holt Renfrew on Bloor St., the setting was a magical Christmas display of pop-up shops on the 4th floor. Newly Toronto PR girl on the scene I was sent to take pictures of my client's holiday pop-up. I stepped off the escalator and pulled out my phone *blank stare* it was is at 3%, (this couldn't be happening). I looked around to notice a friendly face and some amazing art at a pop up around the corner - It was worth a try.
This friendly face happened to be that of Monica Smiley, Creative Director & Illustrator and the amazing art was her brand eighty seventh ST. I began browsing, almost forgetting the task at hand (asking to charge my phone), in the process I fell in love with her art. It was bold, fun, flirty and comedic, to top it off if I purchased something I got a custom illustration on the spot - how could I possibly resist?
In the midst of this excitement I was able to get my phone charged, luckily Monica had a charger and outlet nearby. We exchanged stories about our nieces and I mentioned sharing her illustration on my Instagram. Monica said she couldn't wait to see the post, a bit embarrassed by all the X's and O's in my Instagram name (I admit I was a lover of Gossip Girl) I told Monica I'd tag her. She smiled and added a little card to my purchase, a card that read "EX OH", I remember pulling it out of my bag back out at the office. That interaction and gesture sparked something...a beautiful something that's now The Ex Oh!
Selena Jasmine ||
Growing up with many cousins you run around at family parties playing hide and seek, making up nonsense dances to the Spice Girls, poking fun at each other for liking boys. Selena Jasmine is my second cousin, we didn't see each other often (mainly at big family functions when we were younger), even less as we grew older.
With the rise of social media, regardless of how often you see someone it's easy to keep up with what they're up to - this was the case with Selena and I. Being 6 years apart I never thought of her as anything but a baby, however, many years later I've watched her grow into a talented, confident, driven young lady who embodies what it means to be a #GIRLBOSS. Juggling three jobs while finishing a degree in Journalism at Ryerson University, this girl is a go-getter and someone to watch! With dreams of inspiring young women and one day becoming a TV Host & personality working in major cities, I have no doubt she will one day live out these dreams!
You never know where you'll run into talent, it's literally everywhere, this was the case with Kam Mitri.
I've come to notice that male grooming has reached an all time high, us girls might get our hair done every few months but man... (some) men have quite the upkeep! Fresh fades every other week and let's not forget the bearded beauties... that's another story entirely LOL.
As the story goes my fiancé was on his way for a bi-monthly fade with some guy who happened to live down the street from me. Apparently this barber was a fade guru who had just begun working out of his basement - taking on a much smaller clientele than he'd previously been working with. I decided to go along for the trip, how long could a fade possibly take...20 minutes tops?
An hour later, I couldn't believe it, cutting men's hair was a real art form and Kam's skill level was out of this world! I sat on the couch in an unfinished basement as Kam's dad installed carpet on the stairs. When listening to Kam's vision as he cut, I could hear the passion behind it, really driven by all that his parents had done to bring his family to this country for a better life. I didn't know much about 19|FIFTIES at this point, I heard more about it later down the road. I knew Kam had talent and a driving force behind everything he did was deeply rooted in his family, that's something I wanted to bring to The Ex Oh.