My name is Aléna, or perhaps you know me as Ally if you found me through social media either is fine.

If we were getting to know each other in person, I'd probably suggest meeting up at one of my favourite local coffee shops; you know, the ones with the handmade wood furniture and the white walls and big windows. You would quickly find out that I have a childlike enthusiasm for tea lattes; that I am in my early twenties, and am already married to my first and only love, Kevin, whom I met at university; I would talk about the little townhouse-style condo we just moved into, and how we try to live a minimalist lifestyle. If you ask what I do, I'll tell you that I work at a library, and adore delivering story times and children's programs. And if you take an interest in slow fashion – I apologize in advance, but I'll probably want to chat about it at length!

I would mention that I grew up here in the prairies, though I never much cared for the prairies. An aesthetically-driven spirit can feel parched in a relatively small oil and gas city, a landmark people only know of in conjunction with the word "Stampede." I’ve come to appreciate this place more as I’ve grown, as the city’s arts and culture scene has flickered to life. You see, people here have their own ideas about fashion -- often none -- and it was never really on my radar growing up.  In summer there was Western wear and in winter there were heavy down coats. I preferred to express myself creatively through art and writing instead, and as I got a bit older, photography. I think friends and family are likely surprised to see me exploring style and the fashion industry now, having such vivid memories of my cringe-worthy teenage wardrobe (everything-must-be-purple phase, I’m looking at you).  

If you asked me about my blog, I would tell you that I began it out of a desire to make ethical fashion and intentional living accessible; something more than just a place for pretty pictures. I do think pretty pictures are lovely, great even. I am delighted by interior design and style and all of those charming things that seem so ubiquitous with blogs. But what I’m truly captivated with is the big picture – the messiness, the complexities, the light and dark of life itself. I have no desire for content that avoids discomfort. There are people consuming tonnes of clothes every year while an environment tastes destruction, women face obscene workplace conditions with little pay, children are enslaved. And yes, there is cheerful sunlight, beautiful words, good outfits to be put together, my own imperfect life. And there is significance in all of it. 

If we find ourselves feeling open and comfortable with one another, we might quietly discuss our insecurities. I could mention that I know I am not a fantastic model, and aware that I hardly possess the features to be one. My asymmetrical face and sturdy frame have long been sources of insecurity for me, so featuring this prominently in photographs has been an exercise in building confidence. But in my desire to chat about ethical fashion and publish it through a such visual medium, I have conceded that wearing the clothes I want to feature on camera is the most effective way to go about it. I might ask your opinion on that. Perhaps we would agree that ultimately, the world needs more real faces and bodies. 

This intro has morphed into something longer than I imagined, but I hope you feel you know me a little better. I'm looking forward to getting to know you a bit too as we chat about the light and the dark of style, and of life.  


Aléna Tran