10 Q’s with Innovator Style Bae’s: Smithery If you described all of the things on your wishlist for a dream shopping experience – personalized, fun, low pressure and fantastic curated pieces to choose from – you’d be describing Smithery.   Founders Rena and Mavis have been through the advertising world trenches together and have forged a partnership and online retail business that is taking off.  They’ve got big plans for 2018.

Scroll down to learn how the letters X, H, A, V and O will rock your world, as will their magic butt pants.

And, don’t miss their exclusive offer, below.





1.How did Smithery begin?

The idea of Smithery really came from our own life experiences and conversations around fashion. Rena loves, loves, loves shopping and Mavis always found it was a chore and was frustrated with the lack of solutions and struggled with styling.

Two of the best insights that propelled us are that only 1 in 10 women know their body shape (the key to fit and style) and that models are typically 6’ tall with 34” B, 25” W, 35” H while the average Canadian woman is 5’4, 155lbs with a 33” waist and 41.3” hips. That’s how we knew there was a need out there for ‘stylesmithing’ and Smithery was born!


  1. What’s the shopping experience like with Smithery? – how is it different?


We have two ways you can shop with us; online or in our Studio (located at Queen and Spadina in Toronto).

We have a Shape Finder that helps you identify which of the main 5 body shapes that you fit into. They are named after the letters X, H, A, V, O and once you determine your shape, we provide a style profile outlining the styling goals for that shape and most flattering cuts.

We model all the clothes on real women representing those body shapes and we provide the measurements for every model so you have a true comparison as to what it might look like on you.


  1. What’s your philosophy?

To democratize personal styling so no woman ever feels like she has nothing $#@%! to wear again! We want to be the antidote to that shopping migraine.





  1. Does Smithery have a particular aesthetic or style that I can always find with your clothes?

We both agree that Olivia Palermo has greatly influenced not only our personal styles but the aesthetic of Smithery.

When we’re buying each season we’re looking for elevated basics, the pieces that will become your ‘go to’s’ in your closet. So they have to be good quality, easy to wash (we avoid the dry cleaner whenever possible!) and at a price point that you can afford (90% of our pieces are under $150).

  1. What are the most common fashion questions you get?

1) I think I’m in between shapes?

It’s not uncommon for someone to be in between two body shapes and we can take rules on how to dress for your shape from both of the letters in order to give you an arsenal of styling tips that work for you!

2) How do I cuff my jeans?

It’s bootie weather and ladies everywhere are rolling up their hems. Luckily we worked with our friend Susan from @islapearl to show everyone just how to do it. Click here for the article.

3) What colour tights should I wear?

In our humble opinion, always black opaque. Always.

  1. A lot of women are frustrated with their wardrobe, or their bodies – what are some typical frustrations you hear?


Oh man, we have heard it all! And it is sooo hard to listen to women beat themselves up, even though we ourselves have that internal voice in our head. In essence that’s why we started Smithery, we want to help women become less frustrated with their arms they don’t love, their belly they’ve been trying to hide and instead focus on the parts that they do love and have those shine.

  1. Fortyology is all about leaning in to your forties, how do you see fashion and clothes help us get there?smithery girls laughing pants fashion

 Mavis: I turned 40 this year and have seen my style evolve over every decade. As I’ve aged I find I’m not as nostalgic for my old clothes and body, so don’t tend to hang on to the jeans that don’t fit or those short shorts. I’ve come to terms with who I am (although like everyone if I lost those 10 extra pounds I’d be happy!) and am generally comfortable dressing for that age and body shape, especially now that I know what to wear and how to wear pieces that flatter that 40 year old body!

Welp, since leaving office life I’ve said sayonara to my heels. That actually really changes how you style a look. As I’ve grown, I also increasingly invest in beautifully crafted pieces. The fast fashion offering is less expensive but it’s also usually less flattering, lower quality fabric, and guaranteed to be on someone else I pass on that street.


8. Is there a deeper conversation – what do you think it is you are connecting with when you host your events?


When we started Smithery, we didn’t realize that in-person events would become such a large and satisfying part of our business.

The best part of our job is when someone walks out of those sessions feeling confident and armed with a set of tools to help her feel her best each and every day. So many times, we have heard ladies say they didn’t think they could ever look this good and that twinkle in their eye is worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears that we put into this business



9.What emerging pieces /trends/styles are you wearing and are you excited about?

A Coatigan: A long sweater with a substantial weight that takes you in an out of the car and work and errands.

Smithery, Sweater coat

Waxed Pants: We’ve hunted down what we’ve dubbed the magic butt pants.

Smithery waxed pant

A Wild Card That Makes You Happy 

This our first design project a custom blazer collaboration with Toronto’s Dotty Dress Studio!

blazer smithery yellow door fashion

Smithery, Blazer

10. What new things are you working on for 2018?

We are launching a style concierge service called “Style Mail”. We’ll ask you a few questions to get to know your fashion mojo, body shape and lifestyle and from there a Stylesmith curates a box with 3-4 pieces picked specifically for you. Keep what you want and return the rest! Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Instagram to be kept up to date on the launch date for that.

Click here for an exclusive offer and discount code from Smithery for Fortyology subscribers!

Cover photo courtesy: @flashbackphotoco


Red, White & Green

This past July 1st, Canadian skies were lit up with fireworks and red maple leafs waving  as the country marked 150 years of Confederation (that means, independence from the British Empire, for non-Canadian readers 🍁).  Seeing so much Canadian pride has been a beautiful thing. We’re coming into our own, and, the rest of the world is catching on to how great this peaceful, art-making, love-is-love nation really is.  And, since we love to #shoplocal, it’s the perfect time to show some true patriot love to Canadian eco-friendly brands.  Fortyology asked Kym Klopp, owner of the fabulous Ecoexistence – a store that specializes in top of the line green products for your house and your body –  to share her Top Ten Canadian brands. Scroll down and tell us what you love. Where do you #shoplocal for Canadian made? ~F


10 Ways To Shop Canadian 

BBy Rachael Dolan


Buck Naked – Soap🍁

It all started with 1 bar of  soap, handmade with owner’s Rina and John’s ethics and belief system intact, to soothe their infant son’s delicate skin.  Four years later Buck Naked Soap Company boasts 40 products and counting!  Each soap bar smells amazing, is packaging free, made of only the finest natural ingredients, and is vegan to boot!  Buck Naked continues to be committed to using only ingredients that “if you can’t (or shouldn’t) eat it,” they won’t use it. One-percent of their annual earnings is donated to the World Wildlife Foundation, and, they source as much as possible of their ingredients locally to cut down on their environmental impact.

Citchen Candle Co. – Mason Jar Candle 🍁


candle mason jar figs

Citchen Candle Company

Felicia Laplume, (owner and creator) likes it “when things do what they are supposed to, are affordable and eco-friendly.”  Handmade in small batches in Toronto to ensure consistency and quality, her soy based beauties are comprised of only high quality, natural scents and come in reusable containers. The words eco-friendly and luxurious don’t often find themselves in the same sentence. Citchen Candles however, has mastered this delicate balance! The result is a candle for every mood, that smells amazing from start to finish.  So, what will it be? Lavender fields? Ginger Fig? Pumpkin pie? Grapefruit basil? Yeah, good luck choosing.




Nicole Kagan – Earrings🍁

No two pair are exactly alike and that’s the way we like it!  From her studio in Artscape Wychwood Barns, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Nicole manages to perfectly combine elegance, simplicity, and fun into each of her creations (as well as raising her beautiful family!)  We especially love that you can easily wear your chosen piece anytime, anywhere.  Most of our customers choose a pair as a gift and then reward themselves with a unique pair of their own.  Nicole’s earrings are only the beginning, like a gateway drug, to her necklaces, artwork, and stationery.


Really Great Goods – Room Spray🍁


The first ingredients listed on every product made by Vicki and Stephanie of RGG are “good vibes.”  And, about that they are serious.  These beautifully divine women partnered up each with their own unique skill sets, to create products that “help people be the best they can be, and to glow with health and happiness.”  Who wouldn’t want to spray that kind of intention into their immediate atmosphere?  Each blend, made in small batches in Toronto, comes in a beautiful amber glass bottle and has a specific energy and affirmation to go along with it. (For example: grounding, calming, rejuvenation etc.) If this all sounds like a lot and you just want your home to smell amazing without making you wheeze, then their room sprays will work wonderfully for you.  If you take a bath with one of their epsom salt blends however, be prepared to truly understand why the first ingredient is always “good vibes.”

Oko – Organic Cotton feminine products🍁

Sister’s Marie-Noel and Melanie Beetz joined forces to create a company that embodies the cute-clever-caring principle of their own invention. With the help of an all female staff,  using only high quality, conscientiously sourced materials (mostly organic cotton,) they cleverly created reusable menstrual pads, and panty liners (including thong size) for every shape of woman out there.  And they are so cute!  Not to mention easy to clean, long lasting  and made in Laval, Quebec, Canada!  Imagine not having to purchase disposable products ever again and imagine the carbon footprint you WON’T leave!?!  They also make cute baby things and even reusable cosmetic pads and breast pads!  Once you go reusable, family owned, and made in Canada, you never to back!


Purely Great – Natural Deodorant🍁


When Deb Cohen developed her line of cream deodorants she wasn’t messing around.  As a healer and “mompreneur,” Debbie has mastered her formula for a product that just simply works incredibly!  There are 6 scents to choose from as well as scent free, and one container last approximately 3 months.  Purely great began In Toronto back in 2011 with a family trip to a bazaar, a love of natural products and healing and one great idea.  Now in 2017,  this deodorant has a diehard fanclub of thousands of people around the globe that won’t use anything else!  Just remember to stir.



Earthlab  Cosmetics – Lipstix🍁

vegan lip stix cosmetics

Vegan Lip Stix


Not quite a lipliner or a lipstick, this vegan hybrid gives you precision without a sticky or dry texture.  Available in 5 colours that flatter every skin tone and are made of only raw natural pigments. You can read and pronounce every ingredient on the ingredient list, and the list isn’t even very long!  The mother/daughter team behind Earthlab have a strong philosophy surrounding their product line.  All of their products are made in B.C with careful attention to creating clean makeup that works well, and makes you feel good about putting it on your skin everyday. 



Mabrook & Co. – Dry Shampoo🍁


The hunt to find an effective dry shampoo that is also free from harsh chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients is over!  Mabrook & Co. has found just the right mixture of finely milled powders (talc free) and essential oils to refresh, add volume, and just generally give you great hair between shampoo days. Owner Aliya Dhalla chose the word Mabrook, which means blessed in Arabic as the name for her company because she believes that “your body is blessed and deserves to be treated with respect and adoration.”  Her products mirror this belief by being produced with social responsibility, are cruelty free, and lack unnecessary fillers and synthetics.  She also donates a portion of each sale to Women for Women International. (www.womenforwomen.org)   Mabrook & Co. is based out of Parkdale in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Alora – Jewelry🍁



The beautiful pieces created by Calgary, Alberta based Emilyn and Jameela Ghann (mother and daughter) have so many amazing attributes it’s hard to know where to begin. To start, they use recycled brass, and glass ( the glass is fairly manufactured in Ghana) to create meaningful pieces, with self love and uniqueness in mind.  “We don’t believe in perfection. Instead, we believe in personal significance.” Think of their jewelry as sources of positivity, self love, and kindness. Each piece comes with a beautiful little card that has a positive message about the piece to “inspire the wearer.”  Next, they partner with local and international charities donating 5% of each purchase to organizations committed to empowering disadvantaged women and children.  Did I mention the jewelry is stunning and timeless ? Maybe I should have started off with that. 


Abeego – Food Wraps🍁


A show of hands, who uses plastic wrap or aluminum foil more than they even realize? If you think about it, the amount of waste made up of these 2 things  alone is staggering.  When Tony Desrosiers invented Abeego wraps in 2008, this fact was surely weighing on her mind.  So she did something about it.  Abeego food wraps come in many sizes for your wrapping, and covering needs.  Made in Canada by people, their production is zero waste (they use scraps and ends as twist ties and fire starters.)  The wraps last a long time too!  You just need to follow the simple no hot water rule, using cool water to rinse and mild dish soap when needed.  Expect your abeego wraps to last over a year with proper care.



Rachael Dolan is a Toronto based actor, comedian and writer.  She has a passion for clean living, people watching, and talking in the third person.