Rackstar Feature - Archives

Taelor Gray




1.In your previous job as a certified hot yoga instructor and yoga studio owner I'm curious what the biggest similarities are and what the biggest differences are that you've experienced working at The Rack (aside from the hopefully decreased sweat factor).
The sweat factor is definitely different at the rack! I am challenged now to find my own personal style again. I'm trading in my Lululemon Gear for AG and it's been a fun change for me! The biggest similarity is the amazing clientele – we are so lucky to live where we do. A loyal following of fun loving and friendly people, this was one of my favourite parts of owning the studio – that sense of community has carried over to my job at the rack and I love that!

2. In Coach's Corner I'm sharing my Gypsy journey of moving 5 times over the past two years and what I've learned about the importance of Home Sweet Home. Are you a gypsy at heart or do you believe the ultimate goal is to settle into one place and grow roots?

As much as I love to travel and experience a change of pace, I truly believe there is no place like home. Home isn't always a place for me - it's more of a feeling, a sense of grounding and comfort.

3. OK, this is the important stuff. Curious minds want to know your thoughts (in one word answers):

• Fashion is...
self expression
• Sexiest quality in a man?
Easy going and open minded
• Sexiest quality in a woman?
• Favourite food?
• Most beautiful place on earth?
Human Interaction makes me happy.
Judgement make me sad.
• Guilty pleasure?
Sour JuJubes

4. This season the trends are definitely leaning towards dark, rich, luscious...maybe a little vampy and seductive. How does this roll with your fashion sense? Will you be stepping into the dark side? And what would be your favourite items for the season?

This season has proved to be very dangerous for me, with a mainly dark wardrobe I have been challenged to not buy everything in store! My favourite pieces this season are the AG Leatherette - they fit so well and I love how versatile they are. I also love the Backdrop Boxy Neck Sweater – the perfect, easy choice with comfort too!

5. Magic Genie KI has granted you a weekend this fall to do whatever you would like. Pocket full of money but you only have two nights. Briefly tell us what you would do and who you would spend it with (if anyone)...unless it's x-rated. And then make sure you tell us in great detail.

I would love a weekend spent by the water, to myself, with a private yoga studio nearby! No phone or communication with the outside world. Just me, myself and I! I've experienced so much change over the last year- that solitude would be great for me.

Kerry Williams


1. As a mom to an almost two year old little boy I'm sure you had many people preparing you for what motherhood would look like. However, life is all about surprises...what has been the most beautiful surprise? and the most challenging?
The best surprise: The feeling of unconditional love. The most challenging would be: The never-ending worry...

2. If you won $8000 today what would you do with it? (I know, it's a random number but I thought it was "do-able" so if I threw it out, magic might happen)

Travel! My husband and I share a love of travel and exploration which we would love to share with our son.

3. OK, this is the important stuff. Curious minds want to know your thoughts (in one word answers):

• Fashion is...
• Sexiest quality in a man?
A good sense of humour
• Sexiest quality in a woman?
• Favourite food?
Anything Italian!
• Most beautiful place on earth?
Tuscany, Italy
Family makes me happy.
Ignorance make me sad.
• Guilty pleasure?

In Coach's Corner we're talking about how it feels to be a Light in this world that allows others to feel truly seen just as they are and to believe they can do amazing things from this place. When do you feel most truly You? Where would you be? Who are you with?

Relaxing on the Island...with my little family.

5. Thanks to our glorious weather we are full on Spring/Summer at The Rack...what are your top three items in the store right now? Why do you love them?

The AG jean shorts: for the perfect colour and fit
The Inwear Linen t's in all colours:  so versatile, classic, and   comfortable
The Sanctuary "fling" tank: so sweet and romantic



Staff Spring Picks for 2015




My top pick for spring 2015 is 70's style boho! I love the ease of styling this look plus I love super feminine paired with a distressed jean! I'm wearing the Vigorella tunic ($198) with a Mystree long cocoon cardi ($100), a Gretel necklace ($188) and earrings ($28) paired with a Karen Telio bracelet ($48) and my fav AG distressed Stilts.




This dress by Splendid ($190) is not only flattering with its empire waist and high low skirt, but it’s also comfortable and lightweight, which is how I like to feel in the Spring. You can wear it casual with a jean jacket and flats or dress it up with heels.




My top pick for the season is this Black & White bold printed maxi dress by Red Haute ($175). I love how easy it is to wear & how it flatters my curves! Maxis are great because they are so versatile. You can add layers, accessories and pops of colour so easily. Here, I layered a long, flowy vest from Nally & Millie (88) to match the effortless feel of the dress and I also added the "Obi belt' by Brave ($88) to highlight my waist! The classic colour combo and bold print of this dress is a great pairing that will never go out of style.




My top pick for this spring is a bold printed pant and a basic tee. I love these printed pants by Dex! Not only are they a great fit, they are also super comfortable and a great price point at $59.00. The basic linen t-shirt from In Wear is so easy to dress up or down and pairs with everything. The t-shirt is also $59.00.




My top pick for spring 2015 is my all time favourite soft pant from Splendid ($180)! These zebra printed beauties are so lightweight and great for pairing with an easy tank (Splendid $90). I particularly love how versatile they are ... Throw on a great pair of ankle boots and a light wash denim jacket (Mavi $148) and the look is perfect for day or pair with heels and a leather jacket for a night out!




kerry   Kerry Lawrence - Sales Agent for Dex, AG, Maison Scotch, Simon Loves Honey and Metalicus

1. I have been dying to have you as our Rackstar Kerry so I can ask you this one question...but before I do, side note to readers...if you follow Kerry on Instagram (@kerrbearxoxo) you may likely be left wondering what you have done with your life. I feel like I'm a pretty busy gal but as I rub the sleep out of my eyes at the crack of 11am on Sunday morning I see her Gastropost photo in the Province (a regular contributor) of some kind of brunch heaven she and her dashing husband created and then flip to FB to see she has spent Sat afternoon at a macaroon making course before heading off to an evening gala looking spectacular and is likely hang-gliding over me at this very moment as I can barely muster the energy to make my second cup of coffee...Plus, a partner at a very busy agency...I am left asking the question...When do you freaking sleep girl??!!
I somehow manage to get 8 hours of sleep every night (well, almost every night!) I really try and balance “me” time with social time. Even though it may not seem like it, I actually spend a lot of time at home, cuddling with my cats and watching Game of Thrones. At the end of the day, I like to be busy and productive. My plan is to squeeze as much crazy in before I have a family…that will just end up being a whole different type of crazy!

2. This month we are talking Spring Fashion Trends...what are your thoughts on trends? Do you follow them? What is your favourite spring trend for 2014? and which one should be left on the runway?

Always a favourite question! It’s my job to follow them, and then figure out which ones will translate to Western Canadian retail. Not all trends are going to work where we live. West coast and east coast alone wear completely different looks.

I also sell to stores in downtown Vancouver, all the way to Flin Flon, Manitoba… I clearly can’t sell them the same styles! Certain buyers still think Leggings are too fashion forward for their stores!

My favourite spring trend is the blousy dress pant that tapers at the bottom. Fantastic with a heel or cuffed up with little flats, and you feel like you are wearing pj’s! Any trend that is also comfortable should instantly become a wardrobe staple!

My favourite spring look is ripped jeans with a white tee. I don’t want this style to ever go away!

The biggest trend in denim right now, is the “girlfriend” fit. Better described as a slim boyfriend jean with a slight slouch. It looks good on everyone!! (Look for the AG Jeans Nikki at Urban Rack!)

3. A few quickie questions to help us get to know you...

• Fashion is...? Completely personal. In the words of Anna Wintour (Vouge) “Create your own style. Let it be unique for yourself, and yet identifiable for others.”

• Sexiest quality in a man? It’s a magical trio – Confidence (but not cocky) + piercing eyes + SCRUFF!! (Tattoos are a plus!)

• Sexiest quality in a woman? Being chill + easy going (leave the high school drama at home).

• Favourite food?
Have you met my husband? Anything he cooks! (@craftedcuisine) And yes, I am aware I am extremely lucky.)

• Most beautiful place on earth? Maui. I am thinking of moving there. Anyone want to join?

• ______ makes me happy. WINE :)

• ______makes me sad. The News.

• Guilty pleasure? Vampire Diaries.

4. I know music is a huge passion of yours (yes, she sings too!)...where did this passion come from and how does it live in your life?

My father was big into music growing up, and would always play me his favourite records (Genesis, Simply Red etc). I really fell in love with it in highschool (where was Glee Club then??) Since then I’ve become very addicted to live music. We easily go to 20 concerts a year. Big music festivals are my absolute favourite thing to do, especially anything at the Gorge in Washington!

5. In addition to fashion trends we are discussing Life Trends in Coach's Corner...specifically the ones that no longer serve us but keep showing up, like a song on repeat. Some examples...stuck in another job we hate because we're playing it safe, another relationship goes south because we keep picking the same kind of guy, a continual struggle with debt. I love the saying "if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got". Tell us about a time you shook things up and stopped doing what you've always done. Was there paradise on the other side? Or maybe a life trend you struggle with currently that you're looking to tackle?

Oh gosh, I couldn’t be less of a risk taker. I’ve been with my husband since I was 20, and have been with my company for over 10 years. On that note – it’s worked out well for me! My husband is an incredible man, and my passion at this job led me to become a partner last year. One thing I am struggling with right now is the option to pick up and move to Squamish. Kristine’s depiction of my life in the first question is actually quite accurate, so I know moving out of Vancouver would make a huge impact on that. But living in a teeny townhouse, or living in a huge house for the same price, seems like a pretty silly decision to be struggling with. Especially once we start a family. So I guess stay tuned!

Carly   Carly..."Denim Diva"

Well 2013 was a year of major changes for me so it is hard to pick just one, but most recently I have moved out on my own for the very first time:) Yup in 5 short months I will be turning 30 and have never lived "all by myself"... So what stage am I in? definitely STAGE 1: MELTDOWN. I know that I made a good decision and I am not scared to stay by myself. However, I become "Human Soup" when I think about being on my own, the work that comes with moving (changing addresses, packing, unpacking, cleaning...), making decisions for myself and by myself and most of all being responsible for "everything". Yes, I am being overly dramatic and over-thinking this, I am melting down:).

I can't wait to move onto Stage 2... start enjoying decorating my space, organizing, and best of all not having to run my decisions by someone else or even worse compromise(gasp). I think soon I will be onto dreaming and scheming!
Jaclyn   Jaclyn..."Mama Rack"

The past year or so has brought on many big changes for me; the biggest of which being the birth of my daughter. I had done my fair share of cocooning since her birth, completely consumed with the vastly different way of life that had been thrust upon me. I gave up everything that had once defined me as an individual and focused solely on caring for the beautiful little being that I couldn't believe I had created. Eventually the biggest catalyst out of my "meltdown" phase came when my maternity leave ended and I came back to work at the Rack! I realized just how much I missed working within the fashion industry and doing things solely for myself. I'm currently in the "re-formation" stage of my change cycle and I am embracing it to the fullest extent! I just recently chopped 5 inches of my hair off, I'm dreaming of ways to spruce up my living space, and I'm focusing on taking better care of myself and my family. I want my daughter to see a confident and accomplished woman when she looks at her mom and I feel as if I am finally on the right path to that vision.
Olivia   Olivia..."Designer Bag Lady"

This past year has brought many changes for me... The one major and most exciting, being that as of June 2014 I will be a little someone's aunt!

I am in phase two; re-formation and I love it! I'm seriously indulging in self-reflection, focusing on the image of myself that I want this little person to know and look up to.
Alana   Alana..."Coffee talk with her pals"

A major change that happened in my life recently was adopting a healthier lifestyle. This included changing my eating habits and developing a regular physical fitness routine. I realized how important physical health was to my overall satisfaction in life and with the help of my life coach, Kristine, developed tools to assist me with my goals. The initial phase of change for me was a powerful one... Meltdown... Literally putting my shoes on was a challenge! I had so much resistance to the idea of regular physical fitness that my beliefs about exercise and about my body had to be dissolved. The process was difficult and confusing but as I learned to let go and just be still with my thoughts I started to dream. I could envision myself fit and healthy! I started to try new activities, read and incorporated Martha Beck's book "The Four-Day Win" and got outside into Nature. An important part to my re-formation phase, Nature, as it turns out is one of my core values! Another one of my core values is Connection which means I absolutely must work out in a group!

So, here I am in phase three: Emerging from the Chrysalis... I found an activity I love with a group of women I find inspiring. I try to get outside at least once a day... Even if it's just to look up at the sky and breathe. I sometimes feel like a beautiful butterfly but more often the not feel like red faced, sweaty, hot mess! It's hard, hard work but I feel like I have the tools keep climbing... and falling...and climbing...and falling. I know I will persevere and eventually take flight!

Melissa ObayashiLadner Rackstar: Olivia Wray

1. September will always and forever mean "back to school" for me. I find myself super motivated to tackle a new project or activity. Last week I bought a shiny framed block of cork that I've hung in my office and am using to create a Vision Board with a collage of images that depict my dreams and desired future (I never had patience to cut and glue so figured jamming stuff with a tack was more up my alley). What are three things we might find on your Vision Board?
Only three? Hmm…A University diploma! Keys (to an apartment in the city) And a world map. (Travel is a must)

2. This has been one gorge summer but it's OVER...ciao, farewell, sayonara...and helloooo pretty fall. We are opening boxes every day of new loveliness for the season. What are a few of your favourite pieces?

Well! I love something about everything! But I do have a thing for Kenneth Cole; the zip dress is absolute perfection! I love the detail and simplicity of it! Kenneth Cole can do no wrong in my eyes. Next in the love line is my Mavi Gold jeans! I have the Alissa high rise in black (to die for) and the Alexa mid-rise in the forest green! The fit of them is incredible.

3. Since you have just joined us recently Olivia we haven't been able to grill you Rackstar style yet but we do have questions...many questions...can you give us the first word that comes to mind for the following?

• Fashion is...? EXPRESSION
• Sexiest quality in a man? Intelligence
• Sexiest quality in a woman? Confidence
• Favourite food? Anything Mexican and spicy!
• Most beautiful place on earth? HOME!
• ______ makes me happy. Family!
• ______ makes me sad. Ignorance.
• Guilty pleasure? Spoonfuls of Nutella

4. Our fearless leader Carly is flying (or sailing, or hang-gliding, or motorcycle riding...) thru her "30 before 30" list. What are a couple cool things you might like to do before 30?

Hmm. Explore my roots in Ireland! Graduate from university! Start a blog! Volunteer with hospice! Learn a second language. Watch the sunset somewhere in southeast Asia.

5. Olivia, you are a natural behind the camera (we've had about a zillion comments about your stunning Facebook pics). Can you share your secret?

Thank you! Self-Acceptance! I believe self-acceptance and confidence go hand in hand. With age I’ve learned to embrace my unique beauty, flaws and all! If I can express that through photography and help another girl accept her own self-image, I’m happy.

Melissa ObayashiKits Rackstar: Brittany Nielsen

1. OK, so what's this crazy talk I hear of daily jaunts up the Grouse Grind? true or false? What is it you love most about the intense climb? Describe to us how you feel after?
False... Every second day or more I try to fit the grind into my schedule. The thing I love the most about the grouse grind is the fact that I can do it. After knee surgery, thinking of intense exercises I could do that would not completely destroy my new knee proved difficult. The grind gives me the opportunity to have an intense exercise and is both mentally and physically stimulating. (And being outdoors, who does not LOVE that?!). I feel sore, tired, sweaty, and AMAZING. The endorphins and the view at the top are something I had never experienced till moving here. It’s easy to say Edmonton (where I’m from) does not have any mountain hikes available just a short distance away.

2. "huge sale" season is upon us and I have heard several audible gasps from customers as they find out the sale prices on some of their favourite lines. And then we have customers who blow past the 50%-70% off signs and ask in an excited whisper "what's new?!" Which do you love more... scoring a wicked deal or splurging on that perfect piece for the season?

I am definitiely the “splurge on the perfect piece” kind of person. I love the excitement of finding a new goodie. I love to immediately get my grubby hands on a new piece and see how I can incorporate it into my closet. Although it is quite the wicked sale, I love the immediate impulsive shop.

3. It's the dog days of summer, what's your favourite thing to do on your day off? (I confess, I kinda know Brittany and worded this question just for her, anticipating the answer...but, I may be wrong)

My favorite day thing to do on my days off is to wake up with a solo kitchen dance party, while making my breakfast. Followed by the grouse grind. Then to finish off the perfect day off, spend the rest of the day at the dog beach with my pooches enjoying the ocean, sun, and sand.

4. In Coach's Corner this month I speak pretty candidly about facing a scary challenge and what I learned. When the fit hits the shan, when the rubber meets the road, when pudding turns to poop...what do you do? How do you handle unexpected challenges in life?

Well, I can’t say my technique works for everyone. But when the rubber hits the road I deal by running. I run till I cannot breathe and I have little to no energy to deal with it. Then I hit up the dog beach for a little time to breathe and evaluate. Sitting at the dog beach in exhaustion, somehow brings me so much clarity and “sane” solutions or thoughts. It makes me realize how beautiful everything is and gives me ability to better evaluate the situation and importance of the problem.

5. Who is your silver screen crush? And what would you do on your first date together (you never know Brit...could happen)?

Well it’s probably not a surprise to say I don’t own a television and struggle to sit still for an entire movie. The only “show” I watch is hockey so I’ll give my “silver screen” crush to the wonderful Canadian gem, Sidney Crosby. And perfect date would definitely be a date on a boat, with puppies, food, and wine.... Could it get any better?

Melissa ObayashiRackstar: Casey Carswell
Ladner Sales Associate

1. To know you Casey is to know your love of animals, especially horses. Where did this passion come from?
Animals are just so honest and to me horses really stand out. I really respect the fact that they don't care about how powerful and successful you are they take you for how you make them feel. Which to me is a trait that I feel everyone should experience in their lives. To me my horses are kind of like a new pair of shoes… They can always brighten up a bad day!

2. While we know you can rock boots and jeans like no other Miss Carswell, what is your favourite look right now for a more schmancy night on the town?
This summer I can't get enough of our flare jeans! They are so versatile and comfortable! I love that I can wear them at The Rack and then take them out for drinks. They have got to be the most flattering style of jeans that I have come across. My personal favourites have been the AG Bells. I've been loving them with a pair of wedges, a flowy tank and my LowLuv jewellery... And on cooler days I've been wearing them with chunky boots and a fitted blouse… I'm a HUGE fan of simple yet sweet outfits.

3. Summer is heating up (maybe if I say it...it will)...where might we find you on a beautiful sunny day off work?
Well when I'm not glamming it up with my fellow Rackstars, 9 times out of 10 you can either find me schmucking around at the barn, or riding my ponies on the beach or dike!

4. You are a true Ladner-ite...what have you loved about growing up in this community?

Haha! I LOVE it "Ladner-ite", I really enjoy the fact that no matter where you go you're always welcome. Ladner has been such a supportive and friendly community I can't imagine growing up anywhere else. I also love that no matter where you go you always see a friendly familiar face.

5. Aside from being a Rackstar, what would your DREAM career be? Remember, in our dreams we can do anything... I sing back up for Lenny Kravitz.

What could be better then being a Rackstar?! Well my dream job might not be quite as exciting as singing back up for Lenny Kravitz but.. Seeing as I LOVE to be outdoors and around animals and children I would love to run a Therapeutic and Handicapped Horse Back riding facility what could be more fun then riding horses all day everyday… Well that and working at The Rack Everyday!

Melissa ObayashiRackstar: Caylea
Ladner Rackstar

1. At the beginning of a New Year so many people resolve to get fit. Clearly you resolved to do this long ago (Caylea is also a yoga instructor). Has fitness always been a way of life for you or did you have an Aha moment that got you started?)
Yes! Fitness has always been a way of life for me, However, I really did have an Aha, moment when I was introduced to Yoga. It really is such a healthy form of fitness, it combines body & mind, in order to achieve overall wellness, it just makes sense. Everybody should try yoga!

2. Rockin’ and Rollin’...what song never fails to get you rocking? Which one gets the tears rolling?
My husband Jesse is a professional musician, so our house is all music, all the time. I will admit I will always Bust a groove to Jamiroquai’s Canned Heat. As for the water works, Jesse’s Lyrics often tear me up because unbeknownst to others, his words are usually about big things that are going on in our lives.

3. It’s the most magical time of the year here at The Urban Rack. Nope, not Christmas...a new season of fashion! What are you most excited to have hanging in your closet this spring?
Among many, I am super excited for the new Bardot line! I am looking forward to drapy fabrics, with a bohemian feel. I also dig a Funky look, & the ability to play with styles, (multi-wearable) so I plan on stocking up on Metalicus & Lilla P. Oh, and anything One sleeved, or off the shoulder! Ooo, and I’m totally planning on Rocking the coloured denim this spring, I’ll be the chick in the bright yellow jeans!

4. We love that Caylea is a woman of many hats. Rackstar, yoga instructor, and sales and marketing guru at a golf course where she helps brides plan their magical day. OK, Caylea spill the beans...do you have a Bridezilla story for us?

No, I have many… ;) Just kidding…or am I?

5. I love to play genie with our Rackstars...You are granted 24 hours to be wherever you want, with whoever you want, doing whatever you want...tell us what your dream day looks like. (PG rated remember ☺)
I would spend the day somewhere fabulous & sunny, with my Husband and our two Chihuahuas. We would ride our beach cruisers to some quaint little market, pick up a bottle of wine & a picnic lunch. Then sail our boat (I get to wish for a sail boat, too right?) take in a swim, and watch the sun set over the sea.

Kelsie GrazierRackstar: Kelsie Grazier
Ladner Sales Associate

1. We asked our customers on Facebook this month to give us a Report Card for 2010. What area in your life would you grade yourself an A+ for in 2010 and is there an area that would get the dreaded D?
Wow, great question! I would have to say that I would give myself an A+ in creating long-term goals for myself. I feel confident in the direction that I would like my life to take. In 2010, I think my closet organization rated a D!!

2. Kelsie is an amazing, talented artist (check out image on the left). When did you know you had talent and what inspires you to create?
Thank you very much! I have been creative for as long as I can remember. In Grade 1, I won a prize for having the best safety poster in the school district. I suppose I knew then that I have a talent for being creative. I am continuously inspired by everything and anything throughout my day. It may be the way the skyline looks as I am driving into Vancouver or a unique street scene, which I feel compelled to take a picture of. For example, just the other day I was inspired by an ad at the sky train station that triggered an idea for a painting! As an artist, you never know when you will become inspired.

3. I'm not a fan of New Year's Resolutions (probably because I'm also not a fan of Failure!) but, I love the idea of Fashion Resolutions. What would one of yours be for 2011?
My Fashion Resolution is to eliminate outdated clothes and fill my closet with adorable new pieces, including expanding my shoe collection. A girl can never have too many shoes, right?

4. I am a magical genie and I grant you 24 hours to spend anywhere in the world with anyone you want. Who are you with and what are you doing?

Well Magic Genie, take my best girlfriend Erin and I to Santorini, Greece. We would lay back on the black sandy beach in Perissa where the weather is hot and the view is gorgeous. Santorini is a perfect place for photographs and inspiration!

5. We can't kick off a new season without asking the question on every Fashionista's mind…What are three things on your fashion wish list for Spring 2011?
This spring my wish list definitely includes a pair of high-waisted shorts, and a polka dot dress both inspired by the 50's. I also could not go without a pair of the Fidelity Dietrich mid-rise trouser.

Tanya ArmstrongRackstar: Tanya Armstrong
Owner of Buggy Babies Fitness & Yoga

1. As owner of Buggy Babies Fitness and Yoga in Delta and a mother of three we imagine finding time for yourself is difficult (impossible?!). What would you do if you had an entire day without kids or work?
f I had the whole day to myself I know I would probably get overwhelmed and want to do everything. But to break it down; I would wake up whenever I wanted to (no alarm, no kids jumping on me). Grab a coffee with my best girlfriends, take a yoga class, get a massage, and shop for a new outfit which I would wear to dinner with my husband that night to our favorite restaurant.

2. In Coach’s Corner this month we’re talking about the Art of Giving. For some, the mere thought of Christmas shopping sends them into a state of severe anxiety while others revel in the idea of choosing the perfect gift for their loved ones. Which are you?
I definately love gift giving! I love to shop for gifts, but usually find a million things for the same person like a girlfriend, my daughter and sister in law, but struggle to find something for others like my Dad!

As part of my business, we are focusing on giving back which is another way that I love to give gifts. As a group we are working on a handful of great things to help families in need in our community.

3. What holiday fashion look will you be rocking this year? Glitzy glam? Classic and chic? Or is it pretty much anything without peanut butter or play-doh stuck to it?
I hope to be rocking a classic look with a trendy twist this holiday season. I do have a sparkly tank top that I can't wait to wear. Also, to avoid leaving the house covered in peanut butter and play-doh I usually wait until the last minute to put my clothes on...which my husband likes and the kids find funny as I run around with wayward hot rollers in my hair and my makeup half applied.

4. I keep hearing about this Adventure Club that you organize. An opportunity for friends to get together and do stuff like kayaking, rock climbing and Circus Day (how fun!). Clearly it’s important for you to have Adventure in your life. What is one thing you have done that is totally outside your comfort zone.

I definately love a challenge especially when something scares me. I unexpectantly felt out of my comfort zone when we tried the trapeze at our last event at the circus school. I didn't think I would be as scared as I was...it was a lot harder physically than I thought, my legs and arms were shaking. The feeling I get after something like that can't be beat!

5. What are three items on your Holiday Wish List this year?
My holiday wish list includes; skinny cargo's, nude/beige heels and the Pinnacle Ski Jacket from Lululemon.

Alana Brookes September 2010
Alana Brookes
Ladner Sales Associate

1. You’ve worked in retail for many years. What is it about The Urban Rack that drew you to us?

As a customer I was always impressed with the customer service I experienced at the store. I strongly believe that excellent customer service is directly linked to a high level of job satisfaction. I wanted to work in an environment that supports and encourages community involvement, personal growth and a love of fashion.

2. September is probably considered THE month for fashion and we all start thinking of what we need to update our wardrobes for the new season (leather patch leggings by Inwear pour moi). What’s on your wish list?
I just finished writing my wish list! I am excited about fall as it is my favourite season for fashion. As a curvy girl I love the way I can manipulate my shape with all the layers, textures and accessories of fall styles. My wish list is long but my priorities are the Dex Blanket Cardi (a perfect piece for our West coast winters), the new AG Decade denim, and if I hit the gym enough a pair of AG Premieres. But, an absolute MUST for me, above all else is the new Metalicus wool turtleneck in Praline!

3. While you lived in Japan and China (where Alana worked for two years) were there any aspects of the Asian culture that you adopted into your own life.
It is a work in progress… but I would say that the collective social structure was what I noticed the most and one that I attempt to adopt into my way of thinking. It is a challenge because I come from such and individualistic culture.

4. I have met so many people over the years that inspire me through their heroic efforts. Whether it’s managing to live with what often seems like unfair obstacles or always putting others first, I feel they should have capes underneath their clothes. Who have been the hero’s in your life?

I have been blessed by many heroes, in all stages of my life, and I feel very fortunate. The hero who has had the biggest impact on me was a young woman I meet in China. She was born in a small rural village in southern China with a debilitating disease. It left her unable to walk and completely dependant on her family for care. The first time I meet her she was on her mother’s back. That was the only way she could get around was to be carried on her mother’s back! I spent 4 months with her and her family. I have never met someone so determined and so full of life!

5. One of the things I notice most about you Alana is the way you “eat up life” and embrace pleasure. What would 24 hours of pleasure look like for you? (remember this is a PG website ☺)
Well, I’ll have to omit several things as this is a PG website! There are so many different things that I take pleasure in doing that I find it difficult to narrow it down. I would have to say that for me I take the most pleasure in enjoying the outdoors. I love the feeling of the sun on my face, the wind in my hair and the sounds of nature around me. It’s about all the sense combined to create that feeling of connectedness. My 24 hours of pleasure would definitely involve being outdoors - preferably on a boat in the Gulf Islands with good friends and my husband. I try to find pleasure in every day and I always finish my day with a hot bath and a glass (or two) of red wine.
Jeannette Kraan July 2010
Customer Rackstar:
Jeannette Kraan
Favourite Store: The Urban Rack in Ladner

1. We know that in order to find Balance in life we must discover a way to nurture our mind, body, and soul (see Coach’s Corner this month). Whenever you come into the store you bring such a happy, positive energy. What do you do to nurture yourself and find Balance in life? (Plus Jeannette has four kids. Yes, four!)

To nurture myself I enjoy fitness and going out with my friends, I also love to entertain. And of course I enjoy going into The Urban rack to see the girls even if it's only for a visit.

2. Hailing from Holland, do you think you incorporate a European flair to your fashion? Tell us how the Dutch Fashionistas dress for a night on the town?
As I have been going back to Holland a lot I think I do incorporate a European flair. They are definitely ahead with their fashion and when I buy things I keep in mind what I have seen over there. When the ladies go out on the town they usually wear skinny jeans, with a button up blouse, boyfriend cardigan and some funky boots.

3. What was your favourite purchase for this season?
My favourite thing I have bought this year is a knitted grey Inwear cardigan with cables along the trim, it is versatile and I can wear it with everything, along with my Cookie Johnson jeans.

4. Everyone’s talking about tightening their belts due to the HST. Will you and your family be making any budget adjustments?

We will not have to adjust our budget now that the HST is here, we are always careful with our spending and will continue to be.

5. What are your summer plans? Do you like to escape or enjoy local pleasures?
Summer plans for us will include camping at Christina Lake and enjoying downtown Vancouver. We will be showing off our "back yard" since we will be getting lots of company from Europe.

Embrace your unique beauty