The Evolution of Saskatchewan Ambition – with Chris Pritchard

Photo by: Laurie Johnson

Chris Pritchard

Co-Founder & Executive Director – Saskatchewan Fashion Week (SFW) / Co-Owner – Daniel Christopher Aveda Lifestyle Salon

It’s a typical -30 evening outside in Regina as I trudge in heels out to The Saskatchewan Hotel Lounge. My face near froze off, hair blown around like a wind tunnel and heels stuck like ice pick’s – the kind of temperature that hazes me to question my residence in SK, what better time to sit down with one of the most inspiring, and biggest supporters of staying in Saskatchewan.

You are a huge supporter of staying in Saskatchewan, What has provoked you to not only “Stay in Saskatchewan” but encourage others to do so as well?

“It’s always been important for me to create things, or change, develop and grow them I was determined to base my career around these principles. Here in Saskatchewan, it’s a blank canvas, so it’s a great place to do that. You can dream up something and if you’re passionate enough about it, stay fearless and make it happen. Our community is very supportive, passionate and collaborative. Right here, right now- I think it’s a very cool place to live, with endless opportunity surrounding us.”

How would you describe the aesthetic of Daniel Christopher?

“We spend a lot of time training on the technical craft of cutting colouring and styling, we have a yearlong education calendar where stylists are taking classes every month, or more. But we are just as passionate about the business side, and it’s important to be transparent.”

Owners and management at DC salon will sit down with the entire staff and tell them their personal intentions in life, family, and business, to show an honest picture of who they really are.

They have a thorough level system including tracking and evaluations that map out expectations, goals, and benefits, with coaching along the way to help them constantly be growing personally and professionally.

Click HERE to visit Daniel Christopher’s Website.

Styling someone’s hair is a very intimate experience – people put a lot of trust into the person with the scissors – you have an effect on how someone’s image is portrayed in their public and private life (That’s a lot of pressure!) – What is the most important thing to understand about your client in order to give them a great cut?

“What it comes down to is the experience. Clients are going to remember how they felt during their time at the salon. You can receive the greatest technical haircut in the world, but if the stylist wasn’t nice to you, you won’t come back.”

“We remind our staff that our clients likely have been giving all of their energy to others day and night for weeks on end, and may have been literally counting down the days for this hair appointment, and this is the time for us to give back to them. Along with caring for and updating their hairstyle while recommending the correct home care products, it might be just silence they need, or someone to talk to. You can find all of this out with a great consultation. The consultation is the most important part of the job hands down”

From the interviews I have done, one common trend that comes up has been being laughed at or found absurd to want to follow goals through the Fashion, Beauty and Photography Industry in Saskatchewan (opposed to leaving for Toronto, Vancouver etc.). Have you received similar responses and how do you combat negative reactions on pursuing business in Saskatchewan?

“I genuinely just don’t believe that- and I feel like it’s quite the opposite. When it comes to art industries the quickest way to lose your cool factor is becoming a huge corporate centre.”

“I believe that truly unique trends for fashion and art come from hidden places that aren’t yet cluttered with window displays on every corner. Places like Saskatchewan are forced to create their own style, which is then what is sought after in the end by the larger centres.”

What’s your response when someone questions being in SK?

“I’ve said in the past even NYC was full of train tracks and tumble weeds until people rushed in and built it to however they wanted it to be. How cool is it for us to be able to do that right now.”

How did you first become involved with styling for events and commercial clients?

“After a few years being a stylist at a salon I needed to get that bigger, crazier, inner creativity out somehow. About 8 years ago, I called up a photographer and makeup artist, that makeup artist had just moved back home to Regina from London and her name is Sara Lindsay. She wanted to get her name out in the province as well.”

“We just all had that same feeling and drive in our gut, we met up, put our thoughts together, photographed them and then after the fact on a whim entered them into the Mirror Awards. We ended up winning and have continued to either win or make it to the finals each year since to this day.”

“It didn’t come from, “hey we should start being competitive now”, we just needed to get this burning creativity out of our souls and it just had a really good response.”

That served as a catalyst for Chris, from being featured on social media, and in the news, people started getting in contact for more commercial work and events.

What would be your advice for someone interested in pursuing hairstyling in the Saskatchewan Industry specifically? (Something you wished someone told you when you were starting out!)

“We are putting together a digital booklet on our website, revealing our business model, including our level systems, training, budgeting and finance, not just for students to reference when applying, but also for the general public, – I think there is a lot of mystery on how salons are run.”

“I am happy to start seeing students graduate with a better education on the business side, because as much as it is about the creative, you’re going to have a career after so you have to be informed. It’s not so much what someone told me when I started, it’s more so how we are preparing them now. I’d like to see graduates challenging salons to show them their business plan and what is in store for their career if they choose to work there. I would also like to see hair salons collaborating, helping each other and influencing each other to grow in these areas.”

What does SFW look like 10 years from now for you?

“With Saskatchewan Fashion Week, the business side is insanely important to us, we are dedicated to growth, and sustainability of the community, the contributors, and the company. Having said that we are just as relentlessly passionate about breaking boundaries, taking risks creatively, breaking the safe mould, and encouraging others to do that same – building a place where we can do that on a larger stage than what we could typically do by ourselves.”

“There are so many areas involved in SFW, over 30 committees running at a time to put it together. Each area has an influence on the direction of the company. All in all, it is about connecting networks and growing the arts industries in Saskatchewan. Whether it becomes a major stop on the global fashion week circuit, or stays a hidden underground gem, we aren’t going to force it into a certain direction. It is a living organism, powered by an entire province of contributors, which is growing every year.”

Watch the 2015 SFW Campaign Video Below.

Watch a recap of SFW 2014.

Buy your tickets for SFW HERE Hurry!

“I’m afraid I can’t explain myself, sir. Because I am not myself, you see?”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

– Alice

How do you stay fashion forward in The depths of Winter?

Is it spring yet? Take the poll below and comment to let me know where you get your winter shopping done!

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

-Alice

A Kodak Moment with Scott Goodwill

Photographing the Photographer
Photographing the Photographer

Scott Goodwill 27,

Professional Photographer based out of Regina, SK.

I pull into Earls (East Regina) to sit down with commercial photography tycoon Scott Goodwill. Scott mainly focuses on business, fashion and commercial photography while currently venturing into more video work. He first attended Siast to be an electronic tech, took time to travel, coming back to work for Capital GMC , and later went on to apprentice under Kiriako Iatridis.

Photography was not your first career choice, Why photography?

“I always found myself going back to it. Any job I had leading up to it, I was always looking at photos. It was a hobby turned passion, passion into career.”

How would you describe your style of photography?

“Systematic. You have to have a base on the client’s needs and focus. It’s about catering to the person you are working with. Know your styles, and the unique lighting set up that should accompany it. Know the rules, and when to break them.”

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You have traveled all over from Madrid to Vancouver, how would you rate photographing the Saskatchewan landscape in comparison?

“The thing is, there is a lot to take in from this small area. From sand dunes, Bad Lands and the deep dark forests. It’s all hidden in Saskatchewan. The skies are a major plus – you can always count on them to be awesome here.”

Scott has done some brilliant sky work from sunset to stars – his photos capture the essence and beauty of that which is “Land of the Living Skies”, check a couple out here, and here.

Many artists get a form of “writers block” or “creative block”, do you get it and what do you do to combat that?

“You have to push through. I can’t have an off day when I have clients – I need to be on – that’s what my clients deserve.”

Scott goes onto to tell me that he goes through darker and lighter times like the most of us. His work is what frees him, challenges him, and grows him through the good and bad patches in his personal and business life.

“Photography is a lifestyle choice.”

In the Light and Dark
In the Light and Dark

What type of cameras do you shoot with?

“I could shoot with any camera, it’s not about that – it’s about the vision. Everything in elite industries – to a certain degree don’t matter, it’s more about what you do with it.”

What is your favourite photography accessory, other than your camera?

“Easily my reflector. It’s the number one thing that someone should start with. You instantly see how it looks on someone, it evens out the lighting and can be used in both photo and video work.”

What would be your advice for someone interested in the photography industry in Saskatchewan specifically?

“From what I have seen, – Step one – acquaint yourself with people. Be open – be the first one to make the move. If you really want to do it, you’re going to go for it.”

From a foreseen technology career to photo guru Scott started developing his skills at an early stage under Kiriako Iatridis. He points out that through observation and trial ‘n error his skill and knowledge base grew dramatically.

Is there someone in the Saskatchewan Fashion, Photography or Beauty Industry who inspires your creativity?

“Laurie Brown. It’s refreshing, she doesn’t let the “what will sell?” mentality affect her vison. She’s focused on what will look good – quality – even if it is different.”

I met Scott working on a shoot in 2012. His capability to connect, and guide his subjects into brilliant photo’s is remarkable. He holds his clients comfort, and needs at the highest standard – and will not settle for anything less than excellence. His humble demeanour is refreshing, and his hunger for the success of the Saskatchewan industry – inspiring.

“I want to be known as someone – as part of the community.”

Check out the gallery below for some of Scott’s work:

“have i gone mad?
im afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usualy are.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

-Alice

Expanding the Idea of what a Confident Professional Looks Like

Stunning, and Talented Janis Procyk
Stunning, and Talented Janis Procyk

Janis Procyk head designer of Prahsik

25yr. old, Saskatchewan born and raised.

Graduate of Blanche McDonald Fashion Program – Nov. 2013

I pull into Brewed Awakening coffee shop (Locally owned and operated of course), to sit down with renowned 2014 Designer Award Winner Janis Procyk.

Was there anyone in your family who inspired you to design?

“Well, not really both my grandma’s sewed. It was never something I was like, yeah you know I want to do that. When you grow up in a small town people laugh at it and sometimes don’t take it seriously. Growing up I never really thought of it as something for a career. Discouraging is not the right word, I just didn’t think of it as a possibility.”

Janis explained to me further that it was more so growing up, and life experience that exposed her to the possibility of turning her loved hobby into a career and business.

“I had a cousin close to my age pass away suddenly, and it’s one of those things that kicks you in the ass to try something crazy – if you fail at least you tried.”

What demographic do your designs cater to?

“It’s starting to change, big things are coming for Sask. Fashion Week. I can’t give my secrets away! I will say now that my demographic would be aged 23-35, professionals. I like going after people who want to look sharp but don’t want to just wear a suit every day.”

Janis herself being a young professional garnished in an impressive Degree in Business, can relate to the need for functional business wear. Something that gives you an edge and the ability to go from day to night. She comments that it is often disappointing to fill your closet with expensive business wear when you wouldn’t want to wear it anywhere other than the office. She is expanding the idea of what a confident professional looks like.

“I find that a lot of professional clothing that you can buy is very black and white, it’s either way too stiff or too casual and I’m aiming for something in the middle.”

What was the effect of winning the SFW 2014 designer award on you, and what has life been like since?

“Well, I definitely got a lot of exposure from it which is always a really positive thing when you’re starting out. I think the biggest thing that would have changed is up until that moment I felt like a complete fake, I didn’t really know what I was doing. It’s one of those things, when you receive something of honour like that, you feel like now you know what you are doing.”

It was the confidence boost, and recognition that moved Janis into believing she was on the right path.

“As a designer you’re always doubting what you’re putting forward, unsure of how people will take it. It’s not that you expect everyone to like it, but more so for people to appreciate it.”

Janis Procyk

Many people in the arts decide to leave our province for the bigger cities well known for their large Fashion and Design Industries, Why Stay in Saskatchewan?

“There’s a lot of reasons for this one. When you go into a city like that (Toronto, Calgary) everyone is busting their ass to make it, there’s so many good schools there, and people are more exposed to the established Fashion industry. I didn’t want to start there and get discouraged.”

Janis wanted to ease into the industry with the support of her family, based here in Saskatchewan.

“All the designers here are so encouraging, everyone’s sort of here to help each other out.”

Saskatchewan industry professionals, (as much as it is still competitive), people are more incline to help. Partly, believed to be the “Saskatchewan Demeanor”, coupled with everyone’s end goal to build Saskatchewan’s reputation as a reputable fashion industry full of talented designers, stylists, etc.

Janis goes onto say, “I like being the underdog, when you tell people you want to move back to Saskatchewan, people laugh in your face. It’s nice to show them – they think we are the little province who can’t do anything- and here we are busting out some pretty big people, the quality of work is amazing.”

How do you balance creativity with commerce?

I think of things I would actually buy, as well as incorporating trends. If you think about the colour of the year, (Marsala for 2015), you can start with that base. Some things I think will sell better than others but you do your best. It’s a tough balance.”

Let’s highlight here that it is a tough thing to balance quality control with your budget. Most people are under the impression that it’s still cheaper to make your own clothes then buy them (WRONG-O). Fabric alone for average wool would run you about $20.00/meter. To give you an idea, it takes about 3 meters for a jumpsuit which would equate to $60.00 – don’t forget about buttons, lining, embellishments, trim work, zippers, and labour…Most designers work multiple jobs to be able to sustain their passion of creating clothes.

“You do what you have to do, to do what you love.” Janis remarks.

What’s your advice for people curious about getting involved in the Saskatchewan fashion industry?

“It’s tough. I think you have to have a strong sense of determination. It’s not for people that are wishy-washy. In Vancouver my program started with 22 and finished with 10. It’s an industry that’s tough to get started in, and can be cut throat.”

A common problem with most young people today is… we have NO idea what we want to do. How can we? What exposure do we really gain from sitting in a classroom for the first 12 years of our education? Key is, try and get involved. SFW accepts (and is currently accepting) volunteers. Janis apprenticed under the fashion mogul Dean Renwick, and recommends approaching different designers.

Brewed Awakening
Brewed Awakening

 What do you think we should expect as far as trends going down the 2015 SFW runway?

“I think trends going forward – lines of fashion are being blurred now. It’s not so much men’s fashion vs. women’s fashion anymore. It’s turning into a generic thing. Women are starting to wear bolder and stronger looks, harder lines. I don’t think it’s as feminine as it once was.” 

We are going to start to see a variation in texture’s – Janis points out the (Dean Renrwick made- leather skirt) worn by gorgeous Founder of SFW Chelsea Petterson .

As seen here:

“People are turning leather into ball gowns…the lines are being blended and its exciting.”

Who is your favourite Saskatchewan based designer?

“Can I pick two?”

“I am very in awe of A LOT of designers here. I think that the work people do here is incredible. If I had to choose… Dean Renwick… because I’m biased and he is one of the most wonderful people I have met in my life. He is so willing to help people out, he can fit anything to ANY body type at the same time making them feel like the prettiest woman in the world or man…”

“…Also, Laurie brown – her creativity is what is really inspirational. She comes up with these far-fetched ideas that are so wearable.”

Especially what she did last year… OK, if you did not see Laurie Brown’s line walk SFW 2014… youtube it NOW. No words can describe the innovation of her line and the way that she PRESENTED it. In fact, it was so moving it called for a standing ovation, people were brought to tears— now if that isn’t passion displayed in art form I don’t know what is. Check out a tidbit of her show

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Janis Procyk

“Five years is not very long, I want to be into more retail stores including national ones. I don’t expect to be HUGE in five years but a few followers from all over would be nice. I would like to be moving toward designing as a full time job.”

I met Janis last March when I had approached her to make me a custom outfit for SFW 2014. She is one of the most detail oriented and kind people I have met. Her attention to detail and craftsmanship add to the great quality of her garments. Janis will be walking a line down the SFW 2015 runway Saturday May, 9th.

You can follow Prahsik through social media by searching “Prahsik” or click these links: Facebook Instagram Twitter

For more information on Dean Renwick click HERE
For more information on Laurie Brown click HERE
For more on Brewed Awakening Regina click HERE

HURRY AND BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE – THEY ARE SELLING OUT FAST.

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“Yes, that’s it! Said the Hatter with a sigh, it’s always tea time.” Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland

.-Alice

Prairie and Fashion in the same sentence? You heard me right.

Let’s be honest here, Saskatchewan is no Milan. A stroll down Broad and Albert is nothing like a stroll down the 9th arrondissement in Paris. Beyond the staggering difference that you would not want to take a stroll down Broad in the revolting -50 wind chill that graces us 9 months out of the year, what do these locations actually have in common you may ask? Fashion. You may have guessed that Saskatchewan is NOT the first place in Canada one may choose to do his or her shopping, in fact most people in our province hop across a boarder or two to Toronto or Calgary. With Fashion Week around the corner celebrating its 4th year in operation in Saskatchewan its time the people of our province are introduced to the unique shopping we have right here at home. Don’t stop reading here! I know EXACTLY what you’re thinking, snob-ville filled, hoity-toity, and country club, better have money… STOP. The fashion industry is intimidating for most, even for those who do keep tabs with the latest trends and designers. Fear not my fellow Saskatchewanian, we are well known in this province for our wholesome and welcoming demeanors and in fact it carries through over into the Saskatchewan Fashion Industry. We are full of talented, and ambitious hair stylists, makeup artists and designers who want nothing more than to share with you, and the world their creations. The fashion week launch party, mixers and the main event itself are open to anyone, you do not have to be someone known to the industry, and in fact newbies are encouraged to go! It’s really a great opportunity to see what we offer as far as designers and retailers, for any size, taste, or style of fashion and design.  OK, so I probably haven’t convinced you yet that Saskatchewan is the next Fashion capital of Canada… but I have a plan, Over the next few months leading up to Fashion Week [ May 7th -9th 2015 ], I will bring the designers, artists and stylists to YOU. Subscribe, Link, and Share with any sentient being you know, as I tour around the province interviewing and introducing the local designers, photographers, makeup + hair artists that are available to you, your friends and your family. Let’s save you some gas money or a plane ticket, and see why supporting our local businesses benefit you in more ways than one… If you have suggestions of places you’d like to know more about, questions, comments, concerns… Please do not hesitate to email via the side tab.

“Yes, that’s it! Said the Hatter with a sigh, it’s always tea time.” Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland

.-Alice

On Pins and Needles
Is it tea time yet?
Is it tea time yet?