Celebrities Expecting in 2017

Celebrities Expecting in 2017

2017, the year of the Rooster brings loyalty, commitment, hard work, family values, and top-notch appearances as just some of the characteristics that will be rewarded this year. Another reward that follows with 2017 is the birth of new babies and we have the scoop on the latest celebrities expecting in 2017!

 

Lauren Conrad – The star of the reality series The Hills and fashion designer, posted back in January with a sonogram on her Instagram “Happy New Year! I have a feeling 2017 is going to be the best year yet . . .”. Lauren and husband William Tell have been married since 2014 and this will be the first child for the couple.

 

Amal Clooney – The 39 year old human rights lawyer and activist looked stunning while showing off her bump with husband George Clooney in Paris at the Cesar Awards. After weeks of speculation Julie Chen, host of The Talk, made the announcement on her February 9th show that the couple is having twins: “Beyoncé is not the only superstar expecting twins. Congratulations are in order for George and Amal Clooney!”

 

Amanda Seyfried – The actress is expecting her first child with fiancé Thomas Sadoski. People reported that Seyfried confirmed the news at a Givenchy press launch on November 29, where she showed off her baby bump in a sheer minidress. The couple got engaged back in September and we are thrilled for their expectant news!

 

Whitney-Eve Port – The reality co-star of the The Hills announced in February on her Instagram “Oh hey! Just standing by the window in my underwear, with a BABY in my belly! DM me if you know what I’m supposed to do with this thing for how ever many years I’m supposed to be in charge.” Husband Tim Rosenman  and Whitney have been married since November. Are we seeing future besties between Whitney’s and Lauren’s babies…?

 

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – The 29 year old model posed in a bikini and held her baby bump in the announcement on her Instagram with the caption, “Very happy to share that Jason and I are expecting!! Lots of love Rosie x ????? Photo by @jasonstatham.” This will be the first child for Rosie and Jason, who have been together since 2010.

 

Laura Prepon – The Orange Is the New Black and former That ’70s Show star, is expecting her first child with fiancé Ben Foster. The announcement came in January, a few months after the announcement of their engagement back in October.

 

Ciara – The singer announced on Instagram back in October with a beautiful picture of her and husband Russel Wilson that they are expecting their first child together. Ciara also has a 2 year old son with her former husband Future.

 

Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z are having their second and third bundles of joy this year! The announcement was made in February on Beyonce’s Instagram with a beautiful maternity shot of her. We are sure that Blue Ivy is thrilled to be a big sister and we cannot wait for their arrival.

 

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on how to get the look of our featured celebrities expecting in 2017!

Glow On Your Babymoon

Glow On Your Babymoon photo: @indrabogie
photo: @indrabogie

February – the depth of winter. The cold weather pushes many of us into vacation mode and this is why February is often called cruise season. It’s also the perfect time for a Babymoon!

Interestingly enough, the term Babymoon was originally coined by Sheila Kitzinger in her 1996 book The Year after Childbirth. She referred to it as family time with mom, dad and new baby. Now the concept has evolved and Babymoon is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “a relaxing or romantic holiday taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born.’’

There is a lot of advice on the web on how to plan your babymoon. The expertise that we can offer is how to dress while on vacation:

Signature Floral Wrap Dress - Carry
Sophia Floral Wrap Dress – Carry

 

 

 

The perfect date starts with a feminine dress. A floral wrap dress with vintage blooms is as radiant for a romantic dinner as it is for a walk on the beach.

 

 

 

 

Striped Maxi Tank Dress - Ripe Maternity
Striped Maxi Tank Dress – Ripe Maternity

 

 

 

 

The striped maxi – easy to wear with strappy heels or sandals, this resort favourite will take you from the poolside to dinner under the stars.

 

 

 

 

 

Chambray Cuffed Shirtdress - Jules & Jim
Chambray Cuffed Shirtdress – Jules & Jim

 

 

 

 

The denim tunic, paired with leggings and runners. An effortless look for strolling, whether you’re discovering the city or admiring the local scenery.

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you go to a exotic resort or choose to explore your hometown, cherishing these moments of heightened intimacy is an important part of your pregnancy. Take this as an opportunity to prepare for the next adventure that you are taking together. Go on your Babymoon and fall in love all over again!

Cold weather is coming – what are your options for staying cosy?

Being pregnant can have its challenges, but how to keep warm in chilly (or downright frigid) weather does not have to be one of them. Maternity designers have created coats that you can wear throughout pregnancy and after. Or if you already have a favourite winter coat, some innovative Canadian companies have have come up with products that will extend your coat to keep you cosy throughout your pregnancy

Winter coats: the investment piece

black-mcoat
The MCoat

The MCoat 

The Mcoat was one of the first winter coats developed for pregnant women. This coat, insulated with pure Canadian down, is popular because of its adaptability. A zip out triangular panel  faces down when you are pregnant and is flipped over for baby carrying, and then can be removed completely. The MCoat can be worn for years to come.

modern-eternity-3-in-1-parka
Modern Eternity 3-in-1 Parka

Modern Eternity

This 3-in-1 maternity coat by Modern Eternity is a casual, cotton twill parka that is down filled and water resistant. Popular for its extended length and weekend styling, this coat is great for being outdoors and active. The removable panel means that it is easily worn for maternity, baby carrying and after.


Coat panels: the practical solution

Make My Belly Fit

Make My Belly Fit

The BellyFit coat extender uses the zippers on your existing coat and their patented panel to create space where you need it most. It has a sleek look that features snaps along the panel so that you can tailor your coat both during pregnancy and for baby carrying. Their zipper is the most commonly used one by outwear manufacturers (like Canada Goose) so that it will fit into as many coats as possible. If your coat features a different zip, worry not! There are 16 zipper adapters available that will match the BellyFit to your coat. The panel is made with two layers of windproof/water repellent outerwear material with a layer of cosy microfleece in between.

small_grey_pregnancy_grande-btb
Bridge the Bump

Bridge the Bump

This coat extender system also comes in two lengths which allows you to choose the fit and style you want for your coat. Snaps and an adjustable belt create an empire waist or show-off-your-bump look. The Bridge the Bump system is made with a water repellent/windproof outerwear material and quilted microfibre insulation. And of course, the insert can be worn for baby carrying as well. Panel colours are specifically chosen to match Canada Goose coats.

 

With this range of practical options, you and your baby bump will be warm and cozy this winter. Come by the store or give us a call and we will help you figure out the coat solution that’s best for you.

Bump Goes to a Garden Party

Bump age: 34 weeks 3 days

It is our annual tradition to invite friends and neighbours to celebrate summer’s arrival and this was the fifth anniversary of our little garden party. Having a garden party is our motivation to spend springtime making sure the backyard is party ready. But this year, while the backyard was ready to shine, the weather was not; so we set up indoors instead.

IMG_2534When I first saw the Carry Watercolour Grecian Dress, it  immediately channeled my inner Renoir and I knew it was the perfect garden party dress. I felt that the soft, dreamy watercolour print would look nice with the greenery and blooming flowers outdoors, which proved true once the rain stopped and we could move the party outside. I must admit that at this point in my pregnancy, comfort trumps style. Luckily with this watercolour dress, I did not have to compromise on either. With a simple thin belt that ties behind the back, the slip-on design does not get easier to put on. The fabric is light and breezy, which, given Toronto’s humidity, is always a bonus. The just-above-the-knee hemline is the perfect length for any mama-to-be. As pretty and comfortable as I felt in this dress, I was not at all surprised when Bump and I received lots of compliments from our guests.

Despite the weather not co-operating, the party was a blast, fun was had by all, and Mr. Fantastic and I were not stressed in our hosting duties (hint – hiring a couple of helping hands = less stress!) Good fun, good food, good people in a good neighbourhood … that’s why we plan to continue our family tradition next year.

xoxo,

IMG_2536
Enjoying the afternoon with my good friend Sarah

Bay_and_Bloor

Bump Goes on Vacation – London

Bump age: 23 weeks 4-6 days

If Tenerife was the do-nothing-but-relax vacation, then London was the explore-everywhere-down-to-the-last-minute holiday. I always find myself running out of time in London town so I listed a few spots as my must-sees and dos this time around: Harrods, high tea, Laduree and London Eye.

seraphine knot dressd wendyLuckily my good friend from Vancouver, The Lady and the Rose, was able to take the day off work and explore the city with us. We’ve decided to go to Harrods, since they have both afternoon tea and Laduree. Being in London, and naturally inspired by Duchess Kate’s pregnancy style, I wore the Jolene knot dress by UK designer Seraphine. This dress comes in two colours, fuchsia and peacock, and I proudly own both. Since the fuchsia was well-loved from my first pregnancy and the peacock from the new spring/summer collection, I decided to debut the peacock on this trip. Silky soft and flowing, the Jolene dress is stylishly knotted at the front, creating gentle gathers which drape effortlessly over the bump. This is not only suitable for maternity, but also for postpartum wear. (Just between you and me, it was perfect for the nursing times too!)  The Seraphine brand has also won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2015. Now that’s what I call royalty certified!

After Harrods, the Lady and I settled at the Georgian Cafe for our Easter high tea. For more about our afternoon high tea experience, please read the Lady and the Rose’s post, as she truly writes beautifully and authentically for the both of us.

Carry B&W palm print side tie WendyFor the ultimate London Eye experience, I wore a Carry side tie dress. The black and white pattern went well with my new sleek Londoner hair-do. Comfy, lightweight and half-sleeved, this dress has a tie that cinches the waist on the side and falls just above knee. This cut is also one of Carry’s signature dresses, so you may find it in other colours. Since it was quite chilly, I wore my Burberry signature trench coat outside as a wind breaker.

The public transport system issues expecting ladies a pin that reads “Baby on Board” with the Tube logo on it. Pregnant women may wear this during their transit journey, and other passengers must offer their seats to the ones wearing this badge. I thought this was a fabulous idea and would love to see  Toronto do something similar.

London Eye is definitely a must-do at attraction in London. You can see the city with a 360 degree view during the 30 minute rotation time. Surprisingly, Squishy enjoyed the entire ride and wasn’t afraid of the heights. We met some friends for dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill afterwards to top off the night.

This London trip was too short as always, but we shall be back!

Xoxo,

Bay_and_Bloor

Bump Goes On Vacation – Excursion Day in Tenerife

Bump age: 23 weeks

We decided to do “el must de” Tenerife – Loro Parque. Before we got there, I imagined it would resemble Ripley’s Aquarium back home, with a main focus on ocean creatures, but I discovered “loro” is the Spanish word for parrots. We were in for a whole new adventure!

Queen Mum floral tank dressI handpicked the floral print tank dress by Queen Mum because I thought the multi-colour print would go well with the greenery as well as the colourful animals we were about to see. The sleeveless design was also suitable for a hot day out. Of course, never knowing what the weather may turn into, I took a cardigan in solid beige in case it got chilly, which would  pair but not compete with the beautiful consistent print of the dress. Queen Mum is one of my favourite maternity brands, whether it’s their dresses, shorts, or pants. I find myself drawn to their fabric, cut and design, so my maternity wardrobe is filling up mostly with their label. This floral dress is made out of high quality fabric that has quite a bit of stretch, but isn’t too clingy or conforming on the body. The ruching on the side allows additional room for a growing bump, but also creates the signature B silhouette for all expecting mamas.  It feels as comfy and playful as it looks.

An hour and a half bus ride later, we set foot on the biggest park in Tenerife. The first thing I saw were black swans! I have only heard of these majestic creatures in fairy tales so it was as if I was seeing a unicorn in real life for the first time.  

There were so many beautiful and exotic animals in Loro Parque, but my favorite were the pink flamingos. We also got to view the orca show, the sealion show and the loro show. It was exciting to watch Squishy’s expression on seeing these animals for the very first time in her life. While we were passing through the orchid garden, I thought to myself that the backdrop matched my Queen Mum dress – the perfect photo-op location. You know it’s the money shot when shortly after I posted, it was regrammed by Queen Mum’s official account! That just made my already perfect day even better.

Xoxo,

Bay_and_Bloor

Bump Goes On Vacation – Tenerife, Spain – Day 1

Bump age: 22 weeks 6 days

Mr. Fantastic suggested we go to somewhere warm for this year’s spring break; but with the recent Zika virus pandemic, it took us a while to come up with a safe yet tropical destination. After much research, we landed on Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. With the island having year-round temperatures in the mid-20Cs and being subtropical, thus no Zika mosquitoes, it almost seemed too good to be true. The only downside is there were no direct flights from Toronto to Tenerife. So we decided to fly in and out thru London, UK and tag on a few days at the end to make it an extended vacation.

After 12 hours flight time (with nasty head winds) and overnighting in London, we finally arrived at Coste Adeje,Tenerife! The little one was a trooper. Being an experienced traveler and having Mr. Fantastic to help out during the flight made mommy’s trip much easier.

wendy blue print dress vacationDay 1 – I decided to wear a Carry knot dress as the blue really accentuated our tropical vacation, as well it seemed to match the beautiful ocean view from our balcony. Anyways, I felt very inspired by this dress. The material is soft, yet it does not hug the body and it drapes down nicely and flows with the breezy wind. The dark floral pattern on the waist simulates the effect of ruching for the belly, so my new-found waistline is cinched  and still looks svelte. The V-neck shows off just the right amount of cleavage without being too suggestive in a naughty way – gotta show ‘em girls off before they get too engorged by Mother Nature.

Also in this  picture, I’m wearing a hand-crafted straw hat from Lilliput Hats, a local millinery and one of my favourites in Toronto. This was literally a last-minute purchase, especially with this trip in mind. If you know me, you know I can’t go on any trip without a fantastic hat (or two)!

We tried local Spanish tapas for lunch, where we accidentally ordered full portions instead and ended up with bellies full of four delicious dishes. For dinner, we went to an authentic Italian pizzeria and shared one gigantic pizza and caprese salad between the three of us. Since the pizza was so authentic, I couldn’t resist ordering the tiramisu for dessert. Overindulging in dinner totally busted the sugar meter, even for a pregnant lady. I had to roll myself, Sesame and my food baby back to the hotel; luckily the blue Carry dress I chose was still very flattering!

xoxo,

Bay_and_Bloor

The Importance of Versatility

A conversation with designer Pat Gillespie


b&w series 2CM:
What’s new with your design work?

Pat: The latest is our black and white series. I designed these dresses because we’ve found that the most difficult thing for a woman, especially a woman with a career, is finding clothing that reflects her normal style – the kind of thing she would have worn to work when she wasn’t pregnant. As a result, I’ve been designing a series of work dresses over the past few years. I chose a black and white theme for this collection because black and white never goes out of style. It’s easy, clean styling.

CM: It seems like something uncomplicated that you can just throw on but still look polished for work or to go to an event.


b&w seriesPat:
That’s the thing. When I design, I remember something my mother taught me early in my career. She’d say a good design should be able to do more than one thing. That’s something I’ve really held onto as a designer. I don’t believe in filing your closet full of impulse buys. You want to build a wardrobe that has substance, that has quality, that you can go to time and time again and it always makes you feel good.

Going back to my mother, I learned that you don’t buy a dress or an outfit for just one purpose. When you buy something for work, it should be versatile. This is why many women own a little black dress (aka LBD); it’s easy to dress up or dress down. The black and white prints of this current series are a more eye-catching version of the LBD. For example, the shift, paired with a jacket, is a great dress for work. Then, wear it with pretty sandals and jewelry and it becomes the perfect dress for a baby shower. Often in the store, a customer is looking for clothes for work and she’ll say “You know, I also have an event coming up and I think this dress could work for both.” So, clothing being versatile is key to a good wardrobe and it’s even more important in a maternity wardrobe.

CM: Why is versatility so important in a maternity wardrobe?

Pat: In your regular wardrobe, where you have dozens of pieces to choose from, you might wear something once or twice a month. A maternity wardrobe has fewer items so it’s important to be able to mix them around to create different looks. With this versatility, you will wear your maternity clothes – like the shift dress or wrap dress – twice a week, if not more. Clothing that can be worn more than one way adds value to your wardrobe. Style with versatility and value – that’s what this collection from Carry Maternity delivers.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year dress

Bump age: 17 weeks 3 days

Happy Chinese New Year y’all! It’s officially Year of the Monkey. To start off the Lunar New Year right and ward off any evil spirits, most Chinese people opt to wear red during Chinese New Year’s Eve, and I was no exception.

Let’s talk fashion first. What I’m wearing – this ruched T-shirt dress from Isabella Oliver in wine colour (purchased here), form fitting and accentuates the body, shows off the bump. The side ruching allows extra space as the bump grows bigger throughout the term, and also hides any love handles from the baby weight gain. My favourite type of maternity dress – that’s what I call a win-win situation. The material is breathable and comfy, suitable for all-day wear, and can be dressed up or dressed down. It’s a must-have piece for versatile day to evening transition.

The tights I’m wearing are the Noppies 40 denier tights in black (purchased here). With tights, there’s always the million dollar question: do they really stay up? Noppies, in my opinion as a veteran preggo lady, makes the BEST tights and leggings that the maternity clothing industry has to offer, hands down! They not only stay up all day long, but they also don’t catch easily, which means longevity for your tights. They also make equally excellent tights in 15 denier (for summer) and 60 denier (for the cold Canadian winters) if you are looking for a pair to suit different climates. How Noppies maternity tights differ than regular tights is that they allow extra material where the bump lives, so Sesame doesn’t feel “squished” throughout the day (see packaging picture below). One key to selecting tights that don’t fall is to purchase the right size. Noppies comes in 2 sizes S/M and L/XL. As a petite woman I take the S/M, which fit like a glove. Now I think I must get the same ones in nude!

The pearl necklace is a wedding gift from my maid of honour; it was my “something old” since it’s vintage. It also comes with an equally gorgeous matching bracelet, which I shall debut here some other occasion. The clasp is a wing-shaped closure, encrusted with baguette diamonds. It’s exquisitely unique and I love that it has a story behind it before I took ownership.

The leather bracelet I’m wearing is from Mulburry with a gold twist lock hardware and my shoes are red Kitty flats by Charlotte Olympia, both in colours perfectly suited for this festive occasion. All to accompany the red envelopes and I’m ready for a prosperous Year of the Monkey!

Xoxo,

Bay_and_Bloor

The Holiday Wish List Contest

Holiday wish listBuying gifts for others can be difficult; finding just the right gift takes serious time and thought. Hence, the wish list.

When you’re pregnant, your holiday wish list is often filled with things for your little bundle of joy. While that’s a great idea, your family and friends will want to spoil you too. So we asked a few of our customers to share their wish lists and we hope you find inspiration to put together a wish list, just for you.

 

Jasmine + Lee | Candace Berry Photography (www.candaceberry.com)

Jasmine, due in May 2016, works in a government and corporate affairs role for a multinational company and spends about a third of her time on business travel. Now that she’s in her second trimester and has a renewed sense of energy, she’s looking for maternity clothes that are comfortable but polished and professional.

 

Isabelle MaynardIsabelle found her pregnancy to be an incredible experience and loved watching her body change month by month. Anticipating her baby’s arrival in mid-December, she can’t wait to experience all the “first” moments and to see Baby smile as he/she recognizes Mom. Her wish list is a combination of comfort and style.

 

Allison ArkellAllie, a fitness instructor, loves to stay active, which she currently does by taking long walks with her boy, four-month-old Emmett, in his carrier. As a first-time mom who teaches yoga and spin classes part-time, she likes her clothes to be versatile, durable and flattering.

 

Now, what’s on your holiday wish list? For a chance to win a $100 gift card, share your list in the comments section below or on our Facebook page. Winner will be drawn on December 14th and will be contacted via email or Facebook.

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

An expectant mother often forgets to stop and pamper herself. So, if there’s a special mom-to-be on your shopping list this holiday season, save the baby gifts for next year, and treat her to something that’s all about her. Whether she’s in her first trimester or the final countdown, she’s sure to appreciate a bit of indulgence. In that spirit, we’ve pulled together a gift guide to help you find just the right thing to spoil the mom-to-be this holiday season.

$50 and under: the Stocking Stuffer gift

Skip Hop Grab & Go stroller organizer $25, Bella Band $35, Mama Mio Pregnancy Essentials kit $49, Shupeas baby shoes $35, Blueberry Hill baby hats $18-$35

 

$100 and under: the BFF gift

Mamalicious Blazer $89, Mamalicious Sparkly Dress $69, Elari diaper wallet $65, Blanqi support tank $85, Mamalicious denim $79, Isabella Oliver scoop neck top $75, Bola necklace $85

 

$150 and under: the Under-the-Tree gift

Carry Sweater dress $149, Queen Mum sweater $169, Boob panty/nursing bra set, Skip Hop Chelsea diaper bag $125, Cache Coeur Lisa Nursing Nightgown $110

 

The Splurge gift

Mayana Genevière bra $90, Carry Ruched dress $149, MamaMio package: Boob Tube, Lucky Legs,Tummy Rub Butter $137, Paige denim, gift card, Mcoat $379

5 Tips for Rocking Your Maternity Photo Session

 

Photo credit: Toronto Maternity Photography by ÜmlaPhoto
Photo credit: Toronto Maternity Photography by ÜmlaPhoto

Guest post by Toronto Family photographer Adriana Villela of ÜmlaPhoto

Having photos taken can often seem so intimidating, especially when it comes to maternity photos. Pregnancy is a beautiful gift, but many women are self-conscious about how they look, and are therefore very hesitant to have their photos taken during this special time in their lives.

Many moms-to-be are eager to book their maternity photos, but are still very nervous about the session itself. If you’re considering booking a maternity session, I’ve put together a few tips to help make your maternity session a wonderful experience, with images that you will treasure for years to come!

1. Decide on the Type of Session that You WantMaternity photos can be done in so many different ways.
Here are just a few different styles to choose from:

  • Traditional Posed Studio Photos – think studio lights and backdrops
  • Boudouir Bhotography – i.e. sexy photos
  • Themed Photography – e.g. storybook theme, ‘60s theme, medieval – anything goes
  • Lifestyle Photography – i.e. casual, candid, day-in-the-life. This is the type of photography that I do

2. Find the Right Photographer
Photography is an investment. Which means that just choosing the first photographer that pops up on a Google search or offers the lowest prices would be doing you and your memories a grave injustice. Get the names of a few photographers from friends, family, and local businesses that deal in maternity or baby products/services. And then check out their web sites. Call them. Make sure that you gel with the photographer that you choose, that you like their work, and that they do the type of photography that you’re looking for (see #1).

3. Just Roll With It
Relax! Seriously. This is a chance for you to have fun! Don’t worry about having to look at the camera and smile. It’s unnatural and doesn’t do you justice. The best photos you can get are when you are genuinely laughing or smiling. That goes for your partner too (if they choose to be in the photos). Remember that you, your partner, AND your child will cherish these images down the road, and your child will LOVE seeing how happy and relaxed you were in these photos!

4. Trust Your Photographer
Again, I repeat that photography is an investment, And if you’ve invested in a good, experienced photographer with whom you click, then TRUST IN THEM. They are professionals and have done this before. That doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to say, “Hey, I really wanted a photo of me with this blanket that my grandmother knitted for the baby.” A good photographer will accommodate that request. They will also help you relax and give you direction during your session, so that everything feels as natural as possible.

5. Dress for Success
If you’re doing boudoir or themed photos, the photographer will usually have a stylist and/or makeup artist on hand. If you’re going for studio or lifestyle photos, however, you’ll want to keep the following points in mind. Even if you’re going for a casual feel/look for your photos, you’re likely not going to show up to the session in yoga pants and flip-flops. I always tell my clients to dress up like they would dress for a casual Friday at the office – casual, but dressy. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Wear fun shoes
  • Wear fun and bright accessories
  • Choose clothes that define and flatter your belly

Just remember that the ideal time for booking your maternity session is when you are between 31 and 35 along, and to remember to schedule your sesison well in advance. So if you are 20 weeks pregnant, and want photos done at 32 weeks, book now, because chances are, if you wait too long to book, the photographer you want to use may be booked solid.

So go forth, and rock your maternity session. You deserve it!

Toronto maternity photaographer Adriana Villela of ÜmlaPhoto
Photo credit: PinkleToes Photography

Adriana Villela of ÜmlaPhoto specializes in custom boutique Toronto family photography, including maternity and newborns. Sessions are shot on-location and in natural light, to capture fun, genuine, and candid family moments, and turn them into lasting memories for years to come. Adriana a mother of a very feisty and creative 5-year-old, and a wife to a man who manages to be a bigger computer geek than she is. When she isn’t capturing the beauty of life through her lens, you can find her zipping along Toronto’s streets on her pink kick scooter, on family bike adventures, or hitting her favourite climbing gym with her family.

Clothes Worth Getting Pregnant For



Pat’s concept of Carry Maternity is to create a place where women can feel welcomed and at home. It’s her hope, she says, that the store will continue to be a social hub for women and mothers, whether they’re looking for jeans that work for their changing figures, or just a place to quickly pop in and breastfeed.

Guest Speakers for this event included, a pre and postnatal wellness introduction from Samantha at Core Expectations, Nadine from Mayana Genevière introduced her high luxe intimate maternity undergarments.
In addition to the craving stations Chocolate Brunette Pastry Company provided a fantastic array of cupcakes and truffles. The beautiful evening was captured in natural lighting by Adriana Villela of ÜmlaPhoto.

 

OWNER OF CARRY MATERNITY SUPPORTS WOMEN BEYOND TORONTO’S CITY LIMITS

Work for Widows is a charity organization that is a product of a truly tragic disaster. In 2004, a Tsunami devastated numerous coastal communities of Sri Lanka. Many women were left to face an uncertain future as the tsunami left them widowed, homeless and without income as they struggled to care for their children. The heartbreaking story of one particular woman sparked Work for Widows founder, Pamela Porodo into action. While assisting to feed, clothe and offer medical assistance to the victims of the disaster, a Buddhist monk who managed a Moratuwa camp was concerned about one of the displaced survivors and introduced her to Pam. Pam met the young 23 year old woman who was 6 months pregnant and alone. She had lost her home, mother, father, husband and three year old child to the deadly wave. Without hope and what she deemed a bleak future ahead of her, she was stealing medication from other victims in the camp to end her life and that of her unborn child.

Many hours were spent with this young woman in order to convince her to hand over the medication in exchange for a promise that there was a way to support herself  and child.  With no plan set in place yet, Pam bought a bag of beads, some fishing line and showed the young woman how to make a simple necklace,  promising to return to the camp the next day to buy her jewellery. Upon return it was clear that word had spread as Pam was greeted by a small crowd of local women. It was upon this humble platform that the organization was established. Today, Work for Widows has supported over 180 widowed and abandoned women along with 362 children under the age of 18. The overarching aim is to empower impoverished and abandoned women in Sri Lanka by providing with them a means to earn a living while staying at home to care for and educate their children.

Owner of Carry Maternity, Pat Gillespie explains that their reason for stocking the jewellery stems from their personal mandate – Our family extends beyond our own walls. “We wanted to support an organization that is doing something positive for women. Work for Widows is a wonderful initiative and we are so proud to be an advocate”. Pat, who also knows somebody who has lost their life in a tsunami, says that it is very easy to feel for the women. “the destruction caused to people’s lives from disasters such as this is horrendous“. This organization is unique in that rather than just providing immediate relief and refuge, it lays the platform for women to be able to make a living and provides ongoing support in their endeavours.

By volunteering as an ambassador for the program, Pat Gillespie  shares the same proactive spirit with other entrepreneurial ambassadors like Amber MacJodi Faith, and One Tooth Activewear.

Each piece is very personalized and comes with a thank you message from its maker. Very reasonably priced, it is a great way to make a small contribution to the livelihood program supporting hundreds of women and children. To find out more about the efforts of Work for Widows, or browse their jewellery visit them online. Alternatively, you can find a range of handmade jewellery for sale at Carry Maternity in Toronto’s Yorkville.

Carry Maternity is Made in Canada

Stitched into each piece of Carry Maternity’s house line is small reminder of its origin, something that owner and designer Pat Gillespie views with quiet satisfaction. They may not stand out, but tiny ‘Made in Canada’ tags set the shop’s signature items in stark contrast to the myriad brands whose offshore practices are so controversial.

As fast fashion lines have become ever more ubiquitous on the streets, the quality of both their products and their ethics have come into question, so for Pat, keeping her line’s production local was an easy decision on several fronts.

“To start, we can be really responsive to what we see customers asking for, and the turnaround time is very quick,” she says. “I can produce something within two to three weeks.”

That means that when inspiration strikes, Pat is in a position to see her vision through from start to finish, on a shortened timeline. Once her designs are drawn up, she can have a hand in their execution at the Toronto factory where her garments are created.

“I can supervise the pattern making process, the fittings – everything is done with me involved,” Pat says. “I have a long history with the manufacturing house that I deal with. I’m confident of their quality, standards, and their work conditions.”

And her ‘Made in Canada’ policy ensures that the items her customers ultimately take home are exceptional, since each design is only produced as part of a small run.

“Because we produce locally, we can do small quantities,” Pat explains. “So when I choose a print, it’s not a mass production piece. It’s unique, but you’re not paying a premium for it.”

Her desire to keep her production in Canada has a moral undercurrent as well as those practical ones. Carry Maternity’s concern with community extends to Pat’s business practices, and she has no interest in outsourcing production to places where the industry has had a detrimental effect on other societies.

“I think people really do care about where their clothing comes from,” she adds. “We’re aboutcommunity, and about family health, so it really follows through that we also want to be sure that our clothing is made in an ethical way.”

Getting to Know Yorkville’s Carry Maternity

It takes a village to raise a child, and in an age when so many connections are forged digitally, Carry Maternity’s Pat Gillespie wants to bring back the personal touch that old adage suggests.

Located amid the bustle of one of Toronto’s most renowned neighbourhoods, Carry’s Yorkville location is a haven for expecting women and new mothers looking to connect with a maternal community – and, of course, top-of-the-line fashions to flatter their changing figures.

And Carry’s customers aren’t the only ones undergoing transformations – the store itself is in the final stage of transitioning from its former identity as Rhonda Maternity to a completely updated store and a host of new products. What hasn’t changed is the attention to detail and individual care that has attracted a loyal clientele for decades.

Here, Pat offers some insight on what customers, new and old, can expect following the redesign, her personal connection to the store, and how dressing during pregnancy can be more uplifting than stressful.

How important is your connection with your customers – both in the store, and when you design?

Pat Gillespie: Community is really important, because when you go into a maternity store, you’re often feeling vulnerable. In our society, we are so weird about women’s bodies – we’re spoon-fed this craziness about having to be a certain size, a certain shape, so when a woman starts to have any changes, even though they’re leading to a positive result, she’ll be freaked out a lot of the time.

In a store like ours, we really have to be trusted, and we have to be credible. Everybody on staff is extremely skilled at looking at somebody’s body type and understanding how to enhance it. So our customers come to know us really well, and we come to know them very well, and it’s a very natural process.

For 19 years, I designed and manufactured clothing and sold to retailers, and even though I’d worked on the maternity floor previously, I was away from the customer. I started to design more in a vacuum, and then you get very trend-focused and less about your customer. So, I think I was a good designer, but coming back to retail and actually being able to interact with the customers I’m selling to or designing for, has made a huge difference in improving me as a designer.

What can customers expect when they walk in the door at Carry Maternity?

We carry literally everything to do with the pregnancy lifestyle, from an undergarment to a pair of jeans. We have a fairly big focus on work, because it’s not an easy thing to locate. We’re pretty full service.

We’re going to embrace more community events, and we’re going to be more concerned about not just dressing someone beautifully and on budget, but also their wellbeing. We try and provide products that people can use with confidence, and not worry about chemicals that they’ve heard could cause problems for themselves or possibly for their baby.

Our store is a space where women know they can pop in and breastfeed if they need to – people tend to return and visit us. I think our instincts are very community-oriented. We want to be supportive of women – we’re women who are looking to help other women.