The Closet Collective 2015

It’s that time of year again to rev up your engine for a night of shopping insanity for a good cause! I’ve teamed up for round two of the Closet Collective; a fundraiser for the Ottawa School of Art. With their help, we’re transforming an entire floor of the school into a merchandised boutique of donated clothing.

Proceeds from the store are going directly to supporting The Ottawa School of Art and their programming that helps 3000 students annually, as well as their outreach program which offers art classes to at-risk children and youth throughout the city of Ottawa at no cost. The surplus clothing from the sale is being distributed to Dress for Success and St Joe’s Women’s Centre

What is so lovely is that this year we have 13 new Ottawa style mavens who have curated outfits from the donations and brought in their own pieces from their own closet to contribute to the sale. This year’s tastemakers include inspiring women in wide range of industries, including entrepreneurs, fashion,  art, photography, politics, advertising and marketing. You can see their photos up at the top of this post, EVERYTHING they are wearing is FOR SALE.  I’ve seen everything from Theory, Diane Von Furstenberg, Opening Ceremony, Pink Tartan, Club Monaco and Michael Kors.

The concept is simple, each ticket is $30 which gives you access to a bag to fill as well as a drink to sip while you attack the sale. If your bag is too full, you can purchase a second bag for $10 at the event. You can buy tickets right here: http://artottawa.ca/closetcollective/

Ready to get your shop on? Here are 6 tips for navigating the sale:

  1. Get a good night’s sleep the night before and get to the sale early- last year we had a line out the door!
  2. Wear leggings, a close fitting top and comfy shoes. We do have fitting rooms, but if you so want to try on something on over your clothes, do it.
  3. Check your coat! You don’t want to put it down, only to have something THINK it’s part of the sale 😉
  4. Tell your friends what you’re looking for and your sizes, they can pull things for you that you might miss.
  5. Stay on your toes and keep moving. Pick through the racks quickly and move on before you miss out on anything.
  6. Racks are organized by type of clothing and colour- not size.
  7. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t find what you want, you’ve donated $30 to an amazing cause- YOU’RE AN ANGEL!
  8. Reward yourself afterwards with a glass of wine, or two! First one is on the house, the rest are by donation /pay what you like

This entire event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our amazing sponsors this year; St Laurent Centre + H&M. Each gal with a bag will find a little H&M treat to gussy themselves up. And if you want to go on ANOTHER shopping spree, all you have to do is buy a ticket for your chance to win $100 from St Laurent Centre. They have even sweetened the deal,  and if you spread the word with a tweet/Insta pic all of the charities handles + our hashtag #ClosetCollective you could have the chance to win $50 from the mall- so you can go shopping…AGAIN! St Laurent went as far as donating clothing racks for the sale, aren’t they the best?

Sneak peek at the goodies from H&M!

Sneak peek at the goodies from H&M!

St Laurent Centre

We’ve also had talented creatives that have helped get the word out. The biggest of thank you’s to the incomparable Katie Hession of YOW City Style who photographed our ambassadors for her first ever column in Ottawa At Home.

A tip of the hat to Zara Ansar of XO Velo for helping me style, curate and shoot flat lays of some of our favourite pieces.

To Zac Pantalone for shooting our entire set of women, which took an entire day, thank you for lending us your time. To the BEVY of bloggers, you know who you are, that helped get the word out about this event, I adore you! Finally, to everyone at the Ottawa School of Art, especially Malika, Sheila and Nina, you are the brains of this operation!

I have the utmost gratitude to the gals that let us into their closets and all the other stylish women who have donated items to the sale. I can’t thank you enough- see you Friday!

2015 Closet Collective Ambassadors

The Closet Collective

Who They Are

Katherine O’Halleran, Executive Assistant to the National Director at Liberal Party of Canada

Julie Lan, Software Engineer at Ciena

Ashley McConnell, Community Manager at Maker’s Space North

Ashley O’Neil, Beauty Box Manager at Vegan Cuts

Asha Binti Kingombe, Lead Stylist Pink Tartan Rideau

Katelin Dubois, Graphic Designer at 50 Strategy + Creative

Malika Welsh, Development Director at Ottawa School of Art

Alex Fichera, Artist + the maker of our free print

Whitney Lewis-Smith, Artist & Photographer

Katie Hession, Creator of YOW City Style and Host of Kids Outside the Box

Maxine Patenaude, Account Executive at McMillan

Justyna Bedford, Photographer at Joel Bedford Photography