Allison J. Emery
Stealing Beauty Columnist
Passionate about fashion and cosmetics from an early age, AJ credits her mother—and Barbie—for encouraging her development as a make-up artist.
Trained at the Blanche Macdonald Centre for Applied Design, where she received a diploma in 2003, AJ has subsequently honed her considerable skills working in the cosmetics industry for a variety of well-known companies.
AJ prides herself on remaining brand neutral when it comes to recommending products. “It’s really not about the product name; it’s about what a product can do for your particular set of issues. Sometimes something inexpensive will work; sometimes it won’t.” Contact Allison at email@example.com.
Favourite free things to do in Vancouver: Bike rides, star-gazing, Scrabble, DIY pedicures.
Won’t scrimp on: Skin care, shoes, haircuts.
Trained as a professional interior designer (applied arts grad from Ryerson University in Toronto), Brendan was chief editorial stylist at Western Living magazine for 13 years, leaving his distinctive mark on the publication by creating and setting up photo-worthy environments, overseeing everything from flower arranging and interior accessorizing to total home makeovers.
In his current position as art director for a major international art publisher, he develops concepts with artists and selects pieces from major collections around the world for the home décor industry. His work involves travelling extensively to trend spot at major international art and interior design shows. Contact Brendan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current reading: Living in Style without Losing Your Mind, by Marco Pasanella. “Great source for finding your inner designer using the things you already have—very frugal.”
Current thinking: Collecting can be frugal if you like objects that aren’t necessarily precious. “I love quirky vases—some of my favourites cost a toonie. They look great grouped together, with or without flowers.”
Carolann spent two decades in the magazine biz, much of that time at Western Living magazine where she started out as homes and design editor and wound up as editor-in-chief, a position she held for seven years. As a freelancer, she has written for The Globe and Mail, National Post, Dwell, Metropolitan Home, Azure et al. Carolann describes herself as incurably curious, definitely intense, mostly happy and a little on the quirky side. Contact Carolann at email@example.com.
Favourite free things to do in Vancouver: Going to movies outdoors, looking around in galleries and exploring the city’s neighbourhoods on foot.
Won’t scrimp on: Morning joe at Crema in West Van, where the idea for Frugalbits was hatched (thanks, Bill Keary and Tarry Giannakos and fam).
Photographer, Photo Editor
Casey moved from Hong Kong to Vancouver in 2006 to study photography at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Having recently graduated this spring, she started taking pictures at age seven as an assistant to her mum, a talented amateur photographer. When she was 15, her dad gave her his old Nikon film camera; Casey says shooting with it felt like coming home. “I knew then that I wanted learn everything I could about how to take really good pictures.”
While she prefers working with film because it allows for more personal expression, Casey says shooting for Frugalbits has opened her eyes to the possibilities—not to mention the economy—of working in the digital format. While she loves photography she also can’t get enough of food and constantly blogs of her food adventures at www.fingerlickineats.com. Contact Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Favourite little money saver: Shopping at Daiso for its cheap housewares, art and book supplies.
Five-Minute Yoga Columnist
Eve is passionate about yoga, writing and food, pretty much in that order.
She fell in love with Iyengar yoga in 1987, began to teach in 2000 and traveled to India to study with the Iyengar family in 2008. If you count her two years as a CPAir flight attendant, teaching yoga is her third career.
She wrote for the Vancouver Sun for 20 years, the last 10 of them in the food section, where she authored two cookbooks with the Sun’s test kitchen, Five-Star Food and Six O’Clock Solutions. After leaving the newspaper, she published Eating My Words, a book of food essays and recipes.
For the past eight years Eve has co-directed and taught at the Yoga on 7th studio (http://www.yogaon7th.com/) at 7th and Main. She is currently blending writing and yoga on her blog, Five-Minute Yoga (http://myfiveminuteyoga.com/). One of these days she plans to start a food blog, to write about her new yogurt maker and other pressing topics.
Favorite money-saving activity: Growing a summer’s supply of basil in pots on the back deck.
Favorite free thing to do in Vancouver: Walk to the beach and look at birds.
Green Within Reason Columnist
Like many accidental environmentalists, Felicity started out more cheap than green. This veteran writer and editor deplores waste; what she values is enduring style, quality and beauty.
Influenced by parents who experienced the Depression and wartime rationing, she repaired, reused, renovated and restored long before it was trendy. She is currently reviving a classic 1949 post-and-beam home and woodland garden in North Vancouver. Contact Felicity at email@example.com.
Favourite cheap, green find: A second-hand sculptural teak sofa at Value Village for $80. The matching chair was recently for sale at a vintage modern store for $800.
Words to shop by: Do I love it? Do I need it? Can I afford it?”
Brand X Columnist
While thriving in a nicely composted mix of life here in Vancouver, Glenys’s roots are in Saskatchewan, where farmers’ daughters have a reputation that demands attention. Culinary school in Europe nurtured her love of food, but her passion for cooking, eating and teaching grew out of her memories of great meals from farm kitchens.
What began as an opportunity to develop a program of classes at Calgary’s Culinary Arts led Glenys to a career in teaching and consulting. In Vancouver, she has shared her considerable expertise with the best restaurants and retailers, among them Granville Island’s Market Kitchen and Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks.
Every day Glenys tries to learn at least one new thing about cooking. She will never eat a fried egg in her life. Contact Glenys at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best mini-vacation: Shopping for food in a new haunt-it’s like taking a trip without leaving the farm.
Words to cook by: Grind your spices from whole and always eat with those you love.
After earning a degree in English and Theatre, Natasha spent a few years globetrotting before settling in Vancouver in 2007. During her travels she picked up a passion for public bathing and writes about her adventures on http://hotsprung.wordpress.com. She loves that spas in Canada are picking up on the hydrotherapy trend, which mean longer days at the spa for a fraction of the price. One day Natasha will do a soaking tour of the world and write about it; for now she just wishes that she had a bigger tub.
Natasha loves to spend rainy Vancouver days curled up with a book and a cup of coffee and the sunny ones outside at her community garden.
Won’t scrimp on: Shampoo and Conditioner
Words to shop by: “I am too poor to buy cheap S#!T.”
Since reading her first issue of Vogue at the impressionable age of 12, Melissa has devoured the latest issues of fashion magazines. When her favourite pastime became scouring the shelves in the magazine section at Indigo, she knew she wanted to become a fashion writer.
After graduating from Blanche Macdonald, she travelled for a year to gain a true appreciation for global fashion. Upon her return she attended Capilano University and obtained a business diploma, retail marketing certificate and magazine publishing certificate. As a student she lived the frugal life so joining Frugalbits as a fashion columnist was a match made in heaven.
Guilty Pleasures: French macaroons from Thomas Haas and people watching, usually at the same time.
Won’t scrimp on: Makeup, Sunday brunch and facials at Spa Utopia.