Be beautiful from the inside out

A1006 I know sweater

While this blog is about fashion and style, but it’s also important to update what’s on the inside, too. Beauty may be skin deep, but ugly behaviour cuts right to the soul. You can change this today.

While what you wear is a large part of a first impression, so are the words that come out eyes 1of your mouth. There’s a 1990 song by the Northern Pikes called She Ain’t Pretty, and the lyrics go: “she ain’t pretty, she just looks that way.”

I believe true beauty comes from the inside out. When the two don’t match, it’s like picking a nice looking apple only to find out it’s rotten inside.

Some people think being mean, bossy or critical gives them a certain level of power. But, truth is, it is very hurtful and leads to massive insecurities, body image issues, lack of self-esteem, anxiety and depression.

But, it’s a choice, people.

Every day, we wake up and we choose our attitudes for the day. Will I be kind? Compassionate? Grumpy? Mean? These are the real choices we make every day, whether we are aware we’re making them or not.

Valentine heartChoose kindness and compassion over meanness and cruelty.

How hard is it really to say something nice? Give someone a compliment. Admire their accomplishments. Celebrate small things. When you choose your attitude today, be generous with your kindness.

Let’s make the world – or at least our little part of it – a nicer place, and it, too, will be beautiful from the inside out.


Introducing Duval artisan handbags

Duval handbags

Duval handbags may be relatively new on the scene, but it’s a dream come true for designer Esther Hempel.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet Esther and hear how she designs and manufactures her collection of handbags by hand.Duval tools of the trade

Yes, that’s right – everything is hand-crafted by Esther: hand-punched and hand-sewn.

These are gorgeous bags, made of the finest Canadian-sourced suedes and leathers. Esther’s care and attention to detail means that each bag takes about 14 hours for her to make. How did she begin her business?


“I learned to never settle,” says Esther. “Always go for your dreams.”

Duval handbags was launched in June 2016 and now includes a collection of eight handbags in styles including tote, cross-body, shoulder bag, wristlet and clutch.

“My collection is inspired with timeless styles, but with an edge,” said Esther. “They are versatile and go anywhere, from day to night.”

Esther also believes in giving back. “If we all do a little bit, we can make the world a better place,” she says. Esther donates 10% of her profits to the charity, A Better World Canada, which is currently supplying textbooks to Kenya.

Please visit her website, www.duvalcanada.com for more information and to purchase her well-crafted bags.

Another Edmonton fashion success story!