Not too long ago, I went to a Braids, Blooms & Beauty workshop hosted by dear friends, Lexi, Lauren and Brittany - and it was one of those magical Sunday afternoons that every girl needs. My inner 'girliness' came out through braiding, creating a flower crown, and learning the secrets of beauty. Needless to say - it bought new perspective to my everyday life. And it doesn't stop there, I've connected with creative souls who are crazy passionate about what they do - I lid up again!
Nisha Moodley said, "I believe when women support each other, we become free and full expression of ourselves." Hence, I had to interview these girls - and support their mission in life, talents, and dreams.
So, tell me about Braids, Blooms & Beauty Workshop. What’s your big why?
Lexi: As an event planner and stylist, I am constantly looking for creative new ways to host workshops, grab our client’s attention and host something really spectacular. I kept thinking… what kind of event do I need to host that is different from all the other workshops, and what do LADIES LOVE. Ladies love Braids, Blooms and Beauty, so why not host the girliest event possible? Done and Done.
I was sitting with my right hand photographer and friend, Jacqueline Hofing and told her my idea. She said, “ Yes Lex, Do it.” Jacqueline (aka my Jacq) is one of the sweetest, hilarious and honest companions I have in the industry. When she says to do something, I listen.
I reached out to Brittany Gray, the owner and founder of Fancy Face Inc. and she was over-the-moon about the idea, and 100% in. Brittany’s leadership in the industry is beyond admirable – having her onboard provided me with such confidence and ease.
I then reached out to Lauren Wilson, the owner and founder of Timberlost & Humblebound and the timing couldn’t be more perfect, she was definitely onboard. Lauren is darling, and her craft and creativity is magical – I knew that she would BRING IT at the workshop, and BOY, DID SHE EVER!
How did you all meet each other?
Lexi: I met Jacqueline Hofing (Injoy Imagery) at TWO BIRDS, a bridal shop on Queen Street West that was hosted by Scarlet O’Neill and Ashley Lindzon. We instantly clicked. I introduced her to her first Old Fashioned Cocktail and she hated it (haha). We’ve been working together ever since, it’s almost been a year. We also co-own The Lavish Living Room, Toronto’s prettiest pop-up photo booth.
I met Brittany Gray in high school, my father was actually her vice principal in grade school. From the moment I met Britt, I was in AWE; the woman does it all (actually). About 10 years later we re-connected in the wedding industry, and all I can say about her is WOW, what a true example of determination and success. Britt knows WHAT’S UP and is one of the top makeup artists in the industry. She has worked hard for her success and continues to be a true inspiration.
I met Lauren Wilson through The Drake Hotel. Her boyfriend worked in the marketing department, and when I first met her she was a RAY of sunshine. Lauren’s positivity and zest for life comes out in all of her work. Her contagious laughter has all of her clients falling in love with her, but her craft to create the most whimsical and gorgeous flower arrangements is a true testament of her talent. I am so grateful to have this #LadyBoss party of our BB&B Workshop!
How did you feel when Lexi reached out to you to be apart of the BB&B Workshop?
Brittany: I felt honoured to be a part of such a fun event! I always am game to do anything girlie that involves doing makeup! I also have an obsession for braids & floral crowns so it was right up my alley!!
Lauren: I felt totally on board and excited to join the team. I worked with Lexi before at one of The Lavish Living Room pop-ups so I knew that the BBB Workshop was going to be equally as creative, organized and fun. Anytime Lexi has a vision and invites you to be a part of it, you do it!
What was your mission for the BB&B Workshop? What drives you to help these ambitious + creative souls to connect, create & be girly at the same time?
Lexi: My mission for the BB&B Workshop was to bring a bunch of like-minded individuals together, to connect and create. I wanted to provide our guests with an afternoon of enjoyment, and comfort in the act of crafting. To leave the workshop inspired by creation. My motto for this workshop was “I like to surround myself with creative people. They love a life in such a contagious way that often can’t be put into words.”
Brittany: I really just wanted the women to take home some new tips and tricks to make them feel confident in their day to day lives. Makeup empowers women to go out into the world with their best face forward ready to chase after their dreams, desires and goals confidently. Sharing my insights with women truly makes me happy. Girls gotta help each other out!!
Lauren: I like to surround myself with successful, driven women so creating with them was right up my alley. Asking everyone what they did for a living was one of my favourite aspects of the day as every single one of them was a champion of their own dreams. The fact that we got to bond while using our hands and letting the right side of our brains run wild was a bonus.
You’re passionate at what you do & it shows. How did you end up being where you are today? Is it something that you’ve always liked doing or is it something that you’ve recently discovered?
Lexi: I have always loved to create but never quite knew my direction. After graduating from University with my undergrad in communications, and finishing dance – I ended up working in PR (which did not feed my soul). However, while working in PR I realized my love for planning needed to be unleashed. I finally ended up working for a charity called “RETHINK BREASTCANCER” coordinating with the LEAD PLANNER for Toronto’s Young Professionals event “Boobyball.” It was here that I realized, I truly do love event planning. Now, as I am fully engaged in the wedding industry, I finally feel like “I’m home.”
Brittany: Doing makeup for others has been happening since I was a teen. It has always played a part of who I was. For as long as I can remember, I have always been OBSESSED with makeup & searching makeup stores for the latest and greatest brands and cosmetic textures & shades.
Lauren: My mother was an avid, award winning gardener and also had a floristry business so I grew up with a deep appreciation for nature and creativity. For me, floristry is very much about nostalgia. Some of my earliest memories are of following my mom around the garden with a hose, learning the names of plants and the creatures that propagate them.
After graduating from the University of Toronto I started working for marketing and event planning companies. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I decided to marry my love for nature, passion for creativity and experience in the events world and start Timberlost & Humblebound as a full time endeavour.
What’s your big dream?
Lexi: I’m living my big dream. It’s a long process, and I’m okay with that and know that it will take time to build my company, Lexington and Co. I don’t want to rush the process, I want to enjoy it.
Brittany: I would love to have my own fancy shmancy boutique for women to come and get their makeup and hair done in. I would love to have a glamorous space for brides & bridal parties to rent out for the morning to prep for their weddings. A place that is like a girls heaven filled with makeup & hair stations, cosmetics, jewellery, champagne, cupcakes & glamorous décor everywhere.
Lauren: I would love to take my company international and work on projects abroad. I adore Toronto and it will always be my home but being able to travel and work with different landscapes, flowers and cultures would be a dream come true.
What’s your number one advice that you stick to, no matter what?
Lexi: “There is no time to be bored, in a world as beautiful as this.” Every day, I wake up and think… what’s next? There is so much beauty and excitement in the world, and if you throw yourself into everything that energizes your soul, I believe that you can be exactly where you are supposed to be.
Brittany: Follow your heart… It never steers you wrong.
Lauren: Maintain your integrity. Always. It's so important to stay grounded and true to your values and ethics.
How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
Lexi: I have always had a passion for photography, which is funny because a lot of my friends are photographers. It gives me a creative outlet that is not work related. I also love to visit coffee shops, I would love to own one – one day.
Brittany: Most of the time, I spend it with my fiancé Mark & my adorable Shih Tzu “Hugo Boss”. Those two have my heart... Other than that, I try my best to make time with my family and friends. I also love to watch Netflix series’ like Homeland, The Good Wife, etc. Oh, and I love to shop. Usually for makeup, décor & antique finds!
Lauren: Adventure is a huge aspect of my life, and subsequently Timberlost's culture so most of my free time is spent in the outdoors. I love canoeing, hiking, horseback riding…the list goes on. When I'm in the city however I spend most of my downtime with my two adorable cats.
All I want for Christmas is...
Lexi: Christmas music on repeat. From now until Christmas and maybe even on Boxing Day too.
Brittany: The beach. Heading to Anna Maria Island this year for Christmas & to ring in the New Year! Can’t wait!!
Lauren: A dog!