Fashion lovers in Calgary will be thrilled to know that Saks Fifth Avenue has officially opened its doors at Chinook Centre. It is the third location to open in Canada and I couldn’t be happier to welcome this luxury retailer to the spot that once housed Target and Zellers. Talk about a transformation!

Last night I attended a pre-opening tour with Saks Calgary Vice President & Store Manager Lydia Seifert and was blown away by how glamourous the store is. There is truly nothing quite like it here in Calgary and it is so exciting to have such an established brand open its doors right here at Chinook Centre. I attended the opening gala along with some of my lovely friends, fellow media and bloggers and I think everyone was really impressed with the presentation. The people-watching was fabulous; it felt like every fashionista in Calgary was in attendance and everyone REALLY showed up with their own personal style. There was live music, performance artists (more about that later), an artist drawing ten-minute fashion portraits and of course all of the shopping that your heart can handle.

The 115,000-square-foot location houses women’s and men’s categories, including exclusive brands. One thing I really love about the space is all of the locally sourced artwork that they curated for opening night. Every single detail is flawless; they truly thought of everything. The beauty and fragrance department alone is sprawling with so many exquisite scents, candles and potions - I could spend all day perusing the amazing brands available.

Beyond the endless shopping experiences throughout the two-floor store, there are many personalized services at Saks that really set them apart from their potential competitors. One being the private shopping suites, which are absolutely stunning and I not-so-secretly wish were my own personal living rooms. Serving up champagne while you shop and try things on, their amazing staff will help you find everything your heart desires.They also have styling services that involve custom creations and in-house alterations, as well as made-to-measure and tailoring experts on hand. If you are a beauty nut like I am, you will love the beauty experiences that they offer. Makeovers, skincare analysis, on-the-go facials and personalized fragrance consultations are all part of the experience. On top of that you can indulge in a facial or massage in one of their private beauty treatment rooms - seriously the dream! There is also plans for an in-store salon opening soon.

If you’re looking for a bite to eat while you are out shopping, look no further than Buffo at Saks which will be opening soon. Open seven days away, this rustic Italian restaurant is great spot to enjoy dinner or a glass of prosecco.

One of the really special elements of the night’s festivities was an live art performance by Brooklyn’s The Bumbys where they provided guests with a typed note (on actual typewriters!) giving a Fair and Honest Appraisal of Your Appearance. I was thrilled to participate in this and I loved the note they wrote for me. I’m going to frame it!

All in all, I can’t wait to head back to Saks soon and do some shopping!


BURVIK side table $39.99/each Red White Black

Coming this February - IKEA is introducing a range of products that make the everyday more playful. The launch comes in a modern style that’s about colour-blocking, simplicity in shapes and experimenting with materials. I am SO excited about these new products - I can’t wait to see them in person. I will definitely be picking up a few additions for our home. Highlights include two side tables and pendant lamps in attractive, modern designs. Parents can delight in a new baby textile collection and children’s mattresses, all developed with child safety as top priority. For the bathroom there’s a range of water and energy-saving showers. Other highlights include a range of clocks with new functions and products for tea and coffee times — making the everyday a little bit more fun and tasty!

HÄLLAN series. Cabinet $50/each W45°—D47, H50cm. Cabinet $60/each W45°—D47, H75cm.

Leg $9/each W45°—D2, H28cm.

GRANBODA nest of tables, set of 3 $59.99

HÄLLAN cabinet $60 W45°—D47, H75cm.

KLÄMMIG series. Towel with hood $7.99 Turquoise/red

Duvet cover and pillowcase for cot $11.99 Red $11.99 Turquoise

KLÄMMIG towel with hood $11.99 Grey/yellow

JOHANNE cushion cover $14.99

KLÄMMIG duvet cover and pillowcase for cot $11.99 Turquoise

BROGRUND shower set with thermostatic mixer $39.99

BILLSJÖN hand towel $2.99/each BILLSJÖN bath towel $7.99

LASJÖN shower curtain $9.99

PANORERA wall clock $24.99 Ø24cm. clock $17.99 Ø15cm. STOLPA wall clock $29.99 Ø32cm.

clock $17.99/each Ø14cm. SNIFFA clock $12.99 Ø9cm.

VALLAMOSSE riser rail handshower $29.99

TORRILD rug, low pile $49.99

BROGRUND 1-spray showerhead + arm chrome-plated $39.99

KRUX series. Wall lamp $39.99 Work lamp $39.99

ÖVERST 3-piece metal coffee

filter coffee set $12.99

Stainless steel.

Designer: Nike Karlsson.

TRÅDLÖS honey drip

and tea measure $3.99

Metallized stainless steel.

Designer: N Karlsson/M Axelsson.


I feel really lucky to know some truly incredible shop owners in this city. I don’t know if it is just because of the line of work I am in or if I’m just drawn to people who simultaneously create welcoming and beautiful curated spaces, but I still feel lucky to know them. Funnily enough, most of them have chosen Inglewood as the home for their shops so I tend to frequent that neighbourhood quite often, visiting their lovely boutiques. I really love shopping but I also really love window shopping. I get so inspired seeing how my friends have built their shops up and created inspiring spaces that invoke all sorts of idea percolation.

DADELOFT: I first met Greg and Darcy years ago when I worked at Art Central and they ran a gallery in the space. It has been so amazing to watch them grow their business and transform it into something truly unique, inspiring and exciting. I wrote about DadeLoft in Avenue Magazine and if you click the link to see the images I took, you’ll see just how cool this interactive show room slash liveable shop really is. You need to see if for yourself though - the art you will see is worth the trip alone. But you’ll also want to buy all of the amazing design objects and home accessories. Sorry - not sorry.

1212 13th Street SE #104

The UNCMNS: I also met Lisa and Ian Davies, sister-brother-team-extraordinaire, when I was basically a teenager. I think they were the first graphic designers I knew! I have seen them go through various formations of retail shops, studios and amazing freelance work. When they opened The UNCMNS in Inglewood several years ago, I knew they were really on to something. Since then, the store has been cutting edge of cool accessories for yourself and your home. It is my go-to shop for amazing gifts for just about anyone! They are always hosting really interesting art shows in the back of the store so make sure you check out every square inch.

1325 9th Ave SE

Fresh Laundry: Fresh Laundry is Lisa and Ian’s other shop just down and across the road from The UNCMNS. While Fresh Laundry is mainly a skincare shop, the whole space is utterly inspiring - from the living moss wall to the touches of gold dotted throughout the pure white store. They also carry a small selection of beautiful home items that will get you inspired to live a more refined lifestyle, only surrounding yourself with things you truly love - like gorgeous ceramics and design magazines.

1216B 9th Ave SE

Guildhall Home: There literally is no shortage of lovely design shops in Inglewood and Guildhall Home is one of the newest. Guildhall carries everything from furniture to linens and pillows to housewares - and everything in between. The way owner Carey Jones has designed the store speaks to the level of expertise he has in the design field and every inch of the Inglewood shop has decor inspiration for you to incorporate into your own home. Another thing I love about Guildhall is that while they carry investment pieces there are also a number of lines and collections that are very affordable - meaning you can begin your design journey on a budget if you want to.

1222 9th Ave SE

Stash Needle Art Lounge: Stash just opened up their brand new location on the corner of 9th Ave SE and 12th Street and it is utterly stunning. This is one crafty business that keeps growing and growing. Stash is a one stop shop for yarn, accessories and classes for knitters and crafters here in Calgary. The store is beautifully designed by owner and expert knitter Veronica Murphy who has grown the business since opening the shop years ago. The shop is filled with so much inspiration - it is literally like a candy store for anyone who loves textiles and DIY projects.

1237 9th Ave SE

PLANT: Lastly, PLANT is my number one stop in the city for amazing plants, succulents and home accessories (ie. plant pots, vases, cute prints and more). PLANT owner Kyle Chow first became well-known for his amazing terrariums and knowledge about succulents, airplants and cacti but now he has definitely become the city’s go-to guy for everything plant related. I’m constantly popping into PLANT for home decor inspiration and dream up my next plant purchase.

1327 9th Ave SE


One of my favourite things about being Canadian, is celebrating all of the amazing entrepreneurs and companies that were founded in our country. As Canada marks 150 years this weekend, Saje Natural Wellness is celebrating their 25th anniversary! To celebrate the milestone, founders Kate and Jean-Pierre LeBlanc created a special 25th anniversary limited edition Pocket Farmacy. Featuring five of their most-loved roll-on oil blends, the pocket or purse-sized kits includes everything you need for wellness on the go.

Each roll-on is 6ml (these actually last quite awhile for me even with daily use) and include five different blends: Peppermint Halo Headache Remedy, Immune Germ & Virus Fighting Remedy, Eater’s Digest Digestion Easing Remedy, Stress Release Tension Reducing Remedy and Pain Release Analgesic Remedy. I’ve been a long time user of all of these except for the Immune roll-on so I am excited to try that one out - especially as a mom to a young child who is constantly picking up germs at the playground and elsewhere.

I had the privilege of interviewing co-founder Kate LeBlanc about this momentous occasion for her company and family - and also how Saje has made such an impact over the past 25 years. Happy Birthday Saje!

Starting the company 25 years ago, did you ever expect that you’d be opening up your 50th Canadian location in 2017? 

When my husband, Jean-Pierre and I founded Saje 25 years ago, our dream was global wellness. At that time, we weren’t sure how that vision was going to be achieved, but we just knew that we wanted to bring nature’s medicine to the world, starting in Canada.

Four years ago, our goal was 50 top tier and thoughtful Canadian locations by 2020. It’s incredible to think that goal has been achieved three years early! It’s surreal to be welcoming our 50th location with a second store in West Edmonton Mall; it’s a massive milestone for us that holds great significance.

What has been your number one favourite product to use since opening up shop?

It’s always so hard for me to pick just one – but luckily I get to share my faves regularly with our monthly feature ‘Kate’s Faves’!

Something I always have on hand is Immune (known as Fortify in the USA). With my busy travel schedule, it keeps my immune system strong and helps me fight the germs I come into contact with so frequently on flights and in hotel rooms. I travel with our roll-on remedy, which I apply to my neck and directly underneath my nose during travel, and at night – on the bottoms of my feet.

Immune also comes in different application methods to make it extra-easy to stay in good health. Whether you choose to roll on the remedy, apply a spritz of mist or enjoy a hot bath, the healing powers of tea tree, eucalyptus and peppermint will increase your wellness while you’re on the go.

What have you noticed over the past 25 years about how Canadians approach health and wellness? 

We now have Saje locations coast to coast and something I’ve noticed has always remained consistent is the value of wellness that many Canadians have in common. There’s a desire to lead happy and healthy lifestyles – and an openmindedness and sense of shared community there. I think Canadians are at the forefront of pro-active health and are now seeking other healing modalities and methods that support a more natural approach. Our incredibly supportive Canadian communities have allowed us to bring natural wellness to more provinces across the country and I’ll always be grateful for that.

It’s a disconcerting thought to reflect on all of the synthetic products we put on ourselves daily and the poor air quality and pollution we breathe in. When using synthetic products, your body is constantly ridding itself of those toxins and over time these chemicals build up and deplete our immune system, allowing illness and stress to take hold. 

Our VP Brand and my daughter Kiara often describes our stores as a place to go to when 3pm hits and you just don’t feel well. We’re that place you can go to when you don’t necessarily want to see your doctor, but you have a health concern – and it might be a result of this depleted immune system. You can come in, get help and feel better - and at the same time because you’re using plant-based solutions you’ll experience health benefits, rather than side effects.

The Pocket Farmacy Remedy Kit is your special 150 x 25 year anniversary product - why do you think this set is such an essential for Canadians to keep with them?

It felt like a natural fit to bring a limited edition of our Pocket Farmacy      to celebrate 25 years of Saje history because it was how Saje all started!

Jean-Pierre origionally blended these formulations for his own use. A car accident had left him with soft tissue damage and on pharmaceutical medication. Soon he was adding even more medication to address the side effects from those that were meant to be helping him  – and he thought, there’s got to be a better way. It was then that he blended the five original remedies found in the Pocket Farmacy. At the same time, I had a passion for incredible retail environments and experiences – so together, we combined our passions to create Saje.

All that said, it was a natural selection for our celebratory, limited edition product. Growing Saje has been an exhilarating and rewarding journey and we feel the Pocket Farmacy speaks so perfectly to that experience. And even more rewarding to celebrate alongside Canada’s 150th anniversary!

How has being Canadian helped you professionally?

I’m super proud to be from this incredible country. Growing up in small town Ontario, yet also having experiences in Canada’s biggest cities – and living where I am now, amongst West Coast beauty – have played a huge role in who I am as an individual and my values of community, connection, wellness and nature. This, combined with my desire to experience other cultures and ways of life, has been an incredible lens to gain inspiration from.

I’m also always inspired – wherever I go in Canada – by the people. Some of the most genuine, kind hearted people I’ve ever met have been in towns, Coast to Coast, when I’m in our retail stores connecting with folks. It’s my favorite part of my job.

How have your Canadian roots influenced your work?

I grew up working in my mom’s fabric store. She was so much more to our little town than just that; she was a pillar of our community. I remember her hosting teas with the ladies of the town, and she had a real passion for customer service. People gravitated towards her for a place to go for more than fabric – for connection and a sense of community.

I knew then and there that I was passionate about retail, and that one day I wanted to pursue my own entrepreneurial journey within it. It was this early experience that inspired one of Saje’s founding pillars – outrageous customer service. To this day, it remains a founding pillar and the foundation of everything we do at Saje.

Beyond this, I have always been incredibly inspired by nature, by the effects it can have on the body, mind and spirit. Whistler is one of my favorite places to go to get grounded, feel super connected to myself and general disconnect, unplug – and at the same time, reconnect.

That’s something I also really love about essential oils – they have the ability to instantly lift us out of a place of anxiety and help us land in a place of possibility. Picture yourself taking a deep breath in the middle of a serene, remote place in the woods and think about how body would feel in that moment. That’s the effect essential oils have.

Essential oils act as rapid transit to nature. Whatever state my body and mind are in, whatever I’m feeling in that moment, I know I can rely on the ability of essential oils to adapt to what my body needs. When you’re connected to nature, your body releases endorphins which elevate happiness.

Thank you to Saje and Kate for the Pocket Farmacy Kit!