#LiftUp with Carly Ostroff

Our newest launch, Cloud, is all about promoting the do-good/feel-good attitude and we’re continuing the #LiftUp conversation by featuring those who embody an extension of this ethos. This week, we chatted with Toronto-based fashion and TV maven, Carly Ostroff, about the little things that lift her mood. Like Cloud, the smallest gestures can make the biggest impact.

#LiftUp with Carly

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself – where did you grow up?
I grew up in Toronto, and I love the city. Now, I work in the fashion and beauty space as a freelancer. I write for publications like Flare, CBC, The Globe and Mail, S Magazine and the Toronto Star. I also work with brands to develop content for social, and I’ve made TV appearances on shows like The Social, CTV Vancouver and the Global Morning Show.

You seem to be everywhere in the fashion industry – whether it’s writing for Canada’s leading publications or making an appearance on CTV’s The Social, you’re killing it! How did you get to where you are today?
I started from the bottom and I worked my way up. It hasn’t been easy, but a lot of the blood, sweat and tears have paid off. I started by doing multiple internships, worked in PR, switched to editorial and then went freelance. Anyone who has embraced the freelance life knows the ups and downs are daily, but to me, that’s the beauty of the ride. And it’s been a hell of a ride. I’m proud of what I’ve done so far, and I still feel like there’s so much more to do.

What inspires you take on new projects?
I love a good challenge. The biggest mistake I can make as a freelancer is to be comfortable. I try doing the things that scare me, and push me to grow. I recently signed on to do a five-week training program with Nike, and got to put together a team to do it with me. I’m really nervous about the challenge, but I’m excited too. It’s a risk, and I know I’ll get better by taking it. Working with great brands and people also makes all the difference in the world. If Chanel comes calling, I’m in.

What are you favourite Toronto spots that lift up your spirits?

Eat: My all-time fave meal is brunch. Old School, Mitzi’s Café and Soho House top my list. For dinner, I love trying new places, but I’ll always go back to Union, Terroni or Patois.

Drink: If I’m drinking anything, it’s usually coffee or coconut water. I like Boxcar Social for the former, and Greenhouse Juice for the latter. For a good cocktail, Grey Gardens is an ideal little date spot in Kensington.

Secret location: My apartment is my little sanctuary. It’s where I live, work and binge on Netflix. I designed it in a minimalist style, so it feels very ‘me.’

Tell us about a time that a friend (or a stranger!) lifted your mood in an instant?
One of my best friends works in the industry, and we’re pretty much on text all day every day. She’s been an amazing sounding board to talk through ideas, struggles or collaborations. I’ve accomplished more because of her, and hopefully it goes both ways. It’s amazing what we can do when girls support each other. My boyfriend has also been a huge support system for me. He practices my TV segments with me, and will *usually* agree to face mask sessions. I probably would not have taken the risk to go freelance without my family’s encouragement. They’ve been there through it all, and my mom jokes that she’s my intern for good reason. Bottom line: surround yourself with good people, and you’ll go even further.

What is one thing you think people should do more often?
Be nice to each other. It sounds so obvious, but it’s not. The industry in Toronto is so small, and everything comes back full-circle. You never know what your interns are going to do next, but if you’re lucky, it’s going to be great things. If you’re nice, they might even include you too. Some of the most amazing opportunities have come my way from former bosses, colleagues and yes, even interns. Also, take chances and go after what you really want. I’m always more interested in what nobody else has done yet as opposed to whatever everyone else is doing right now.

We all have that one hairstyle that makes us feel like a million dollars. What’s yours?
My dream is this wavy kind of straight cool girl hairstyle. Then again, my hair is pretty thick so sometimes it works out, more often than not, it doesn’t.

Your favourite way to use Cloud air light volumizing mousse:
I like to put the mousse in my hair right before I blow-dry it, and then I say, “goodbye frizz!”

Check out Carly’s Instagram @carlyostroff for the latest trends in fashion and beauty!

Join the conversation! Hashtag #LiftUp and tell us about the little things that lift you up. Or, pay it forward by making someone else’s day with a compliment or an act of kindness.

Image credits: Carly Ostroff, Mauricio Calero