Text by Justine Woolcott.
Photos by 44 Media and Sharp Fluff Photography (www.sharpfluff.com).
The Foundry Lofts are becoming more than just a residence in Toronto, as the building is the current home to stylist Rachel Matthews Burton’s fashion Funshops.
Burton (of Rack to Rack company) says the Funshops, are designed to help women improve their self-esteem and dress to their body.
“I really believe that we have a collective terrible self-esteem as women,” says Burton.
“I want to put a stop to it by showing women how to look taller, younger, thinner, more empowered, more confident, just by knowing what to look for right off the rack.”
Despite a brief power outage before the Funshop, Burton ensured the women had a positive experience from the moment they walked up to the Foundry Lofts building.
Her husband, Jason, was dressed up in a tuxedo outside the building, opened the door for attendees and pointed them in the direction of the Funshop.
Once inside, Burton was quick to fill an empty hand with a pink cocktail and a mini vegan cupcake.
Many attendees said they had a difficult time answering a few of the questions, which Burton used as an opportunity to present the correct answer and, thus, the clothing that works for their body type.
As part of Burton’s holistic approach to helping women feel good about themselves, she invited Sheryl Gill, a heart attack survivor, to speak. Gill spoke about health and wellness, and told the attendees about the benefits of breathing in more oxygen each day.
However, it was not all fun and games at the Funshop. Burton showed a softer side of herself when she told the attendees why these events are so important to her.
“The Funshop has to root back to self-confidence and self-worth, which I’m very well-qualified to talk about because I’ve been at a point in my life where I haven’t had any.”She said repeatedly self-esteem has nothing to do with a woman’s level of physical attractiveness, that even the prettiest ladies can feel worthless.
The next Funshop is scheduled to take place on Aug.25 and Burton says that if the events prove to be very successful, she would love to do them as frequently as once a week.
One of her future goals for Rack to Rack is to speak to teens and tweens, who she says are particularly vulnerable to self-esteem issues.