Style Bar owner wins top prize at Metis Young Entrepreneurs Symposium

Regan Greenwood opened the Style Bar in Osborne Village in September 2013.

Regan Greenwood opened the Style Bar in Osborne Village in September.

By Brenlee Coates

Regan Greenwood is one of those Winnipeggers we almost lost to glitzier fashion cities like Los Angeles and Toronto several times.
She studied at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in L.A. before coming home to work at Nygard International.
From there, she moved on to a position at JMJ Fashions Ltd. on Bannatyne until it closed its doors permanently in the Exchange District.
Picadilly Fashions in Toronto then plucked the merchandising expert from Winnipeg, offering her a one-year contract in the fashion capital of Canada.
Luckily, it was toward the end of this contract that Regan started to dream up the business plan for her own store, which she ended up locating right in the heart of our own fashion district, Osborne Village.
For three months after she finished her contract at Picadilly, she stayed in Toronto debating whether or not she wanted to stay and find a permanent position there.
“It was the first time I hadn’t worked since school, so it was a refreshing time,” says Regan.
Though it sounds relaxing, it was over these months that Regan drafted a business plan for her eventual River Avenue store, Style Bar.

Style Bar merchandise at 470 River Ave.

Style Bar merchandise at 470 River Ave.

While she could’ve opened a store in fashion-crazy Toronto, she couldn’t imagine doing it without the help of her nearby family and friends.
“I would’ve done it in Toronto, but I wouldn’t have had the support around me… Me and my mom painted the entire place by ourselves.”
“I’d rather be a big fish as opposed to a small fish in a massive pond,” says Regan.
Regan hoped to bring something “unique to the Village” and perhaps the most standout example of this is the stylish store is relatively equal parts men’s and women’s clothing.

The men's lounge at Style Bar.

The men’s lounge at Style Bar.

The style of the clothing is also slightly more grown up, with lots of chic blouses and casual but elegant dresses.
“My sweet spot is late 20s/early 30s people that are in their career, who’re looking for blouses to wear to work but still want to look funky, and who want to look classy,” says Regan.
Though she is describing her key demographic, she may as well be talking about herself.
“I’m not into the crop tops at this point in my life,” jokes Regan.
Style Bar’s merchandise has a slightly more elevated class to it, but there is still tons of colour – especially evident in the new springwear. Even the men have a section of green basics and interesting print shirts like bicycle print and nautical-themed print button-ups.
Style Bar officially opened in September 2013 and had a busy Christmas season, though like most retail businesses in the city, it suffered through Winnipeg’s worst winter in over a century.
“I couldn’t ask for a better Christmas,” says Regan. “September started off very strong and October and November grew.”
January was hard on all businesses in the area, but by March and April, things were already looking up.
“People are ready to get out – things are warming up,” says Regan. “We’re just gaining awareness now.”
Regan’s business is certainly picking up steam, and gained even more notoriety in late March when Regan won a cash prize for young entrepreneurs from the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF).
She won the grand prize at a Dragons’ Den-style event, the Metis Youth Entrepreneurs Symposium (YES), walking out with $10,000 to put toward her business.
About $2,500 of the prize goes toward marketing support for the winner’s business.
Regan plans to use the prize money to get her store’s website developed with online shopping.
“The (MMF) have helped me a lot to get my business up and running,” says Regan.
Her prize money will also help her offset some of the costs of hiring two new summer employees.
So far, it is just Regan who works at the store six days a week, and an employee who comes in for her on Sundays.
Besides trying to bring “really good quality for the price” to people in their careers, another major focus of Regan’s business is philanthropy.
Regan held an event for a week starting in late January, where people could bring in gently used denim to be donated to Resource Assistance for Youth, Inc. and receive 40 per cent off designer jeans from Style Bar.
The denim drive ended up accumulating 117 pairs of jeans to clothe youth at RaY.
Regan credits her dad and brother’s entrepreneurial experience for triggering her ambition.
Her father is president of Rondex, a family company started by his father in 1972.
Regan’s brother, Bret, also owns Rondex and is a silent partner for Style Bar.
They help guide her through some of the challenges of owning a business.

Regan with her wall of family photos - and James Dean.

Regan with her wall of family photos – and James Dean.

Ultimately, it was hard work and preparation that helped Regan get to this point and win the Manitoba Metis Federation cash prize – she decided what she wanted to do and where she wanted to do it in April last year; had the location and financing in place in May; and six months later, the place was renovated, painted, merchandised – and open for business.
Style Bar is located at 470 River Ave. in the former Kustom Kulture location. It is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Visit stylebarboutique.com for more information.

 

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A factory for local artists

A fundraiser for the Compendium Artist Market was held at the Media Hub in March. Photo by Dwayne Larson

A fundraiser for the Compendium Artist Market was held at the Media Hub in March. Photo by Dwayne Larson

By Brenlee Coates

The recipe for a multifaceted factory for artists is being cooked up by local graphic designer Ryan Poworoznik. His ambitious plan for the Compendium Artist Market includes a photography studio, art gallery, craft market and organic juice bar, all sharing space on a ground-level property at 564½ Main St.
“We’re planning on having a new art show once a week, which is apparently an insane idea from what I’m hearing,” says Poworoznik.
His lofty goals don’t end there – his idea was for the craft market to be up-and-running at all hours that the artist market is open, which are many. The Compendium is slated to be open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to midnight Thursday to Sunday. Because he has already hit a few snags along the way, he’s beginning to shift his thinking for the initial opening.
“I think I was hoping to be open a year ago probably,” Poworoznik laughs. “For the opening, we’re hoping to have the art gallery and the craft market going.”
The craft market will run Friday through Sunday to test its feasibility.
If it stays on schedule, the Compendium is currently set to open its doors in June or July.
The property has to be completely redone, but Poworoznik is hoping to stay true to a 19th century, working class-inspired design. “I’m trying to keep it as close to looking like a recreation as possible,” he says.
Reclaimed flooring has already been installed – a more expensive option – but Poworoznik wants to keep the building as eco-friendly as possible. “I think it’s the right thing to do,” he says.
In late March, Poworoznik held a fundraiser for the Compendium at the Media Hub on Princess Street where art was donated for an auction.
Support has been pouring in for the Compendium since his idea took shape, and it extended to the auction. “Over 50 artists had donated stuff,” says Poworoznik. “Even on the day of the event, I was still getting emails. I didn’t have any space on the walls anymore.”

Art for auction at the Compendium fundraiser. Photo by Dwayne Larson

Art for auction at the Compendium fundraiser. Photo by Dwayne Larson

The Compendium was able to raise approximately $5,000 from the success of the evening.
The turnout showed there is an appetite for his artist market and this type of community gathering, as well. “There’s a lot of interest. The supporters have been awesome,” he says.
“I just want people to come out there and enjoy the community – (and) use it to support social awareness,” says Poworoznik. “It’s one of the most important parts of the business for me.”
Besides the arts and crafts component, Poworoznik plans on hosting all types of events in his space.
Workshops and classes, film screenings, speakers and fashion shows will find their home at the Compendium.
Even among the art showcased at his gallery, he hopes to include a ton of diversity. “I’d like to work it out to have different styles so you’re going to like something if you come.”

A sample of a range of works donated to the Compendium by local artists and artisans. Photo by Dwayne Larson

A sample of a range of works donated to the Compendium by local artists and artisans. Photo by Dwayne Larson

He hopes to encourage more graphic designers like his self to showcase typography work and even hopes to affiliate with tattoo artists and hairstylists.
Live hairstyling and fashion shows are just some of the unorthodox plans he has for the market. “I already have a wedding booked in August,” he says.
The final push to get his doors open may depend on crowdfunding success. The Compendium is aiming for a $5,000 goal with a Kickstarter campaign. It has an all-or-nothing clause so if the goal isn’t reached, any pledges are refunded.
The idea for the Compendium came from Poworoznik’s own frustrations when trying to get into an existing studio in the city.
He ended up taking an in-house graphic design position after completing his studies – but it wasn’t for him. “Because I didn’t really find the opportunity that I wanted, I decided I’d make my own opportunity.”
Honing in on others’ experiences like his own, he created a space that is simple for artists to get involved with.
“Everything is pretty much rentable there,” says Poworoznik. The photography studio will be rentable by the hour; its twenty craft vendor tables will be rentable by the day; and the walls are rentable by the square foot. “You can rent kind of as much or as little as you want,” he says.
The organic juice bar will be added likely after the initial opening of the space, once it has generated a few extra dollars to purchase equipment and fresh produce. Poworoznik plans to use as much local fruit as possible, and where that isn’t possible, he’ll get it “from Canada at the very least.”
He hopes having the nearby Sport for Life Centre may garner customers for the healthy juice bar.
But all this will come in due time. “The expenses are just endless with this project,” he says.
Looking back, he wouldn’t do anything differently.
“I wanted to be in the Exchange District. In the next couple years, stuff in the area is going to start to grow.
“I definitely like that younger people are opening businesses. I think it’s what our city needs.
But it’s so difficult that I’m surprised it even happens.”

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It’s a hard “rock” life in Rust

Beware of naked strangers and wild animals in this challenging game of survival.

Beware of naked strangers and wild animals in this challenging game of survival. 

By Stephan Bazzocchi

Anticipation: it can make you do some strange things while you wait for a new game to come out, such as South Park’s Stick of Truth. Sadly, at the time of this article’s writing, Stick of Truth has not been released. Since I haven’t played it, I can’t write about it as of yet.
To pass the time, and to make good use of my valuable time, I have been stuck playing some older games: Rust and Minecraft.
Apart from DayZ, there did not seem to be much in the way of progress in the genre of survival games, but I then discovered another PC game called Rust. Similar in premise to DayZ, you are in a post-apocalyptic world, only this time it is sans zombies. Instead, you are surrounded by radioactive bears and wolves, which are equally deadly and terrifying.
For equipment, you get considerably less than you do in DayZ. To be more specific, you start with a rock. That’s it. A rock. No clothes, no flashlight, no food. Just a rock. Not even pants. This makes it somewhat stressful when running into other players. Thankfully, most of them aren’t wearing any pants, either. Eventually the game allows you to craft pants, which helps against the onslaught of naked men running around.
Still, on heavily populated servers, it’s like being in the men’s locker room at the local Y. So parents beware: this isn’t really a kid-friendly game. At times, I have asked myself if even I am really old enough to be playing this.
Your rock does have its uses. You can club the boars and deer that also populate this world, collecting animal skins that you can fashion into some clothes to hide your shame. The animals also give you sustenance with which to survive.
However, the nuclear event that brought this world into existence must have been a doozy if wild boars can be harvested for chicken breasts. Or maybe they ate all the chickens. This would explain why you don’t see any, but yet all you can harvest is chicken breasts.
All attempts of understanding some of the logic in this game has left me with a desire for a bit of inebriation, but what does one expect from the creators of the infamous Gary’s Mod?
Other uses for your rock include using it as a rudimentary axe, allowing you to harvest wood from trees. Wood that you can turn into planks. Planks that you can turn into walls!
Hidden under all this silliness is a crafting system. One that admittedly needs some improvements and a little more variety. In fact, a lot of the game seems to be borrowed from Minecraft.
The graphics are all its own and can be at times rather nice. Seeing your campfire’s glow through the roughly-thrown-together wood plank walls adds a lot to the ambience of the game, making you feel that it truly is about surviving the night in this radioactive, desolate world.
Sitting on my tower overlooking the valley around me inspires a more hopeful approach to the game.
Most days, I look out for other survivors, who would hopefully want to help me build a town or share some cooked chicken breasts while swapping a tale or two about battling the red glowing bears. Otherwise, I might be tempted to discover another use for my rock.

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The Circle replaces the apple shape in fashion lexicon

Fruit associations are no longer in favour when naming women's body shapes.

Fruit associations are no longer in favour when naming women’s bodies.

In Vogue - Ally Champagne

In Vogue – Ally Champagne

Not so very long ago, the descriptions used to identify all the various shapes which women encompass left the fruit bowl and migrated to the mathematical shapes department.
It seems women felt better about being compared to flow chart items than a pear or an apple.
The Circle was formerly known as the apple. This particular shape carries its roundness around the midsection, and the waist to hip ratio may make the limbs appear smaller than they really are.
This can include tiny wrists and ankles, and more often than not, their best features are their legs and arms. Being endowed with this shape seems to leave one feeling a little conscientious about the tummy area and the waistline may sit quite high – as a matter of fact, the narrowest area may be just below the breast. This trait may also be seen as lacking waist definition.
It’s good to remember that although women may sport a particular shape, we must take into consideration they also come in various proportions. They can be tall or petite, big-boned or small-boned, be bootylicious or boobescent.
Alas, the booty can be a rarity for this shape. With this shape, it’s important to take away the focus from the midsection. To create visual symmetry, try to avoid details around the bust, tummy and hips.
The lines in your clothing should be straight and not form-fitting. Fabrics should be soft to prevent bulking around these problem areas. Detailing should be above the bust line or below the hip line.
The mid zone should be kept simple. Shoulders sculpt a line and it’s important to check this area out from the front and from the sides to correct any posture issues.
These shapes can wear a large variety of jewelry items to enhance the ankles and wrists, which is clever as it showcases their best parts. Bangles, anklets, large watches and beautiful turquoise pieces having width, bulk and substance, can also be layered on without looking garish.
The legs of Circle shapes have often been referred to as gams. Yes, long and sexy like Queen Latifah’s. And those legs are perfect to create a diversion from the mid portion.
Pencil skirts and pants are recommended in stretchy fabrics. This ensures comfort in your waistband, a very small detail but an important factor.
There is nothing worse than sitting down for long periods of time and feeling you are being severely cinched.
Other clothing items which flatter this shape include tunics with flowing sleeves, longer shirts, sweaters or unfitted jackets.
Fashion plates can find a wide array of clothing especially fabricated to play down the Circle. These are specifically designed to take eyes to your best features.
Now, for some strategies to create visual balance in your business garb. A sleek look allows the beholder to do a head-to-toe scan without interruption. There is deliberate flow from the head to your toes, minus a horizontal glance in your widest area.
To create the illusion of length and sleekness, wear an outfit in the same colour scheme also referred to as the monochromatic colour scheme. Using variations of textures helps to pique the visual and makes heads turn, especially if the variations include various depths of hues of one colour. Monochromatic can be anything but boring.
Having a sense of what colours give you a wow factor is also essential. Light colours make you appear bigger and darker colours are more slimming.
Hence, you often see women whom want to appear smaller, wearing black. Fabrics with sheen also add weight, so matte colours are preferred.
Work outfits have so much more variety today. They may consist of darker tops or jackets and lighter coloured pants, skirts or dresses.
For example, you can choose a black jacket and pair it up with a nice soft black trouser or skirt. Adding a loose fitting top in a bright yellow color, as well as a wide cuff-like bracelet, completes the flow. Add a nice pair of heels and you are in the right zone.
Wearing vertical lines or stripes keeps the eyes going in the same direction. Horizontal stripes, if far apart and larger, will do the opposite, so it’s best to avoid them if you want a slimming look.
If in doubt, drop in at a high-end boutique or store with your girlfriends and ask the staff what would look best on you.
Nothing beats professional help when you are not sure how to spend your hard-earned cash on a wardrobe. Far better that your look speaks softly and confidently than screams that you are misguided or lack self-awareness to an employer.

 

 

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Power down from work and balance your home life

1181363_88398639By Siobhan Carnegie

It’s never been so important to be tapped in at work – but your home life can suffer if you’re constantly receiving alerts on your phone, bringing your focus back to the workplace.
It’s important to be available for meetings, make time in your day for important phone calls and respond to emails, but you shouldn’t be expected to be attached to your phone at the hip outside of work time.
A study recently flagged by author Dr. Tasha Eurich found that half of employees feel that their workload is currently unsustainable. Thirty-three per cent also think about work the moment they wake up, and for 75 per cent, the thoughts creep in as they lay down at night to go to sleep – or worse, the thoughts keep them up at night.
If you’re starting to feel like your job is taking over your life, with consequences on your relationships, it’s time to try a proactive approach in getting the most out of your downtime.
Workers who have conflict at home are less healthy and happy – and can tend to take on destructive habits to escape rather than cope with the stress.
The following are a few ways Dr. Eurich suggests to stop your job from invading your home life:
1. Work smarter
Working more does not necessarily mean you’re being more productive. Think about some of the time you waste starting your day – firing up your computer, answering a load of emails, and leisurely strolling to the kitchen to pour a coffee.
You run into a coworker and gab for a few minutes, and when you get down to work, you get interrupted by another coworker with her own agenda.
Consider how many hours of your workday are actually productive, and see where you can eliminate time so you don’t have to stay overtime.
You aren’t more important or valuable if you stay at work for ten hours, it’s about efficiency.
To get more accomplished in less time, try Dr. Eurich’s One Less Thing Principle.
For every task, ask yourself:
• Can this activity be focused so less time is spent completing it?
• Can this activity be delegated to another person or group?
• Can this activity be stopped?
2. Take power breaks
Surprisingly, short breaks can help you refocus and maintain sharpness on your task. If you feel your eyes start to glaze over, try walking around the office or grabbing tea or a snack.
Taking quick “power” breaks actually speeds up your progress, and improves performance. Briefly taking a break from concentrating on the task will feel better, and the results are better too.
Powering down from work emails and calls can help you in the long run too. Plan evenings and weekends as a well-deserved power-down – maybe you can’t do this every evening, certainly not around important deadlines or work events, but aim for at least three evenings per week. And if you absolutely have to work on one day on the weekend around important deadlines, make sure you take the alternate day off. If you work on Saturday, make sure Sunday is spent relaxing and recharging, and spending some quality time with friends or family.
3. Work it out
Sometimes it’ll feel like the last thing you want to do is lace up and go for a jog after a long day of work, but the exercise really will give you a renewed dose of energy. And a fresh perspective. High-intensity workouts especially are proven to help reduce anxiety.
Exercise can also help you repair this work-family conflict, because your mood and energy is boosted by the exercise.
In a study of 476 workers, workers who exercised regularly were found to have less conflict between work and home.
It can be a strong way to mentally detach from work and recharge you to be present at home.

 

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