Real Housewives of Toronto – Roxy Earle @STK Yorkville – Fri., June 23rd @ Los Colibris – BRUNCH – Sun., June 25th, 2017
By Kimberly Samnang & Video by Nicholas Chan
We were invited to an exclusive one on one, meet and greet with the beautiful Roxy Earle from the Real Housewives of Toronto at the gorgeous STK restaurant in Yorkville. We talked about everything from life, love, family and fashion.
Then on Sunday, Roxy hosted a Brunch at Los Colibris restaurant on King St. West for an intimate meet and greet for her fans. Approximately 100 women showed up (and a few men too).
Tell us about life before and after Housewives:
I was just leading a fabulous life and then it started being filmed. When they asked me to be on the Housewives I was blown away. I’m a huge fan of the show so I thought, “Oh, I’d love to be on the show.” The only thing that changed… was everything!! I didn’t know how people would respond. I’m very authentic and real and have always had a lot of confidence in who I am. I’m not showy but I’m flashy. I love glittery things and love looking glamorous. I’m so comfortable in my own skin and people responded to that.
Everyone I initially told about Housewives said, “Be prepared for people to be really mean to you!” What I wasn’t prepared for was that people would be overwhelming nice and loving towards me. But I was myself and in real life people have always responded well to me and I guess that extended to the camera. People feel like they know me. I have so many notes from people saying “I feel like you’re my best friend or I’d love to have you at my party.” I thought I would be the underdog on Housewives and that people would be mean to me about the way I look so that thought held me back from doing the show. But now I get people that tell me that they went to their prom and put on a dress or they got married and put on a wedding dress; women that would never have worn a dress before seeing me on the show.
You’ve been an activist against body shaming. Tell us about the hashtag #MySizeRox :
It’s been incredibly empowering for me, because my whole life I have always loved fashion and fashion has not always loved me. And I’ve struggled to find clothes that fit my body, fit my curves and that allow me to express my point of view when it comes to fashion because there simply wasn’t the clothes available to me. To this very day, I still have that problem: I can’t find clothes to wear that are available in my size. And so it got me thinking about the fact that every time I go into a store, I often hear, “Oh maybe we have something that could fit you or I could look in the back and maybe find something that could work.” And I was like, why is everyone trying to find something that works for me? I want to walk into a store and be asked, “What fabulous thing would you like to wear?” It’s not about “fitting” for me. It’s about me being able to walk in and have the same experience as any other girl in other sizes would have.
I’ve always looked at myself in the mirror and I’ve had moments of insecurity of course, but I think I’m beautiful and I think my size does rock. Everyone kept calling me plus size and I thought, I don’t call anyone a negative size. So it’s not about being one size or the other, it’s about being comfortable in your own skin where you’re at. And that’s where the hashtag came from.
Tell us about your career before Housewives:
One thing they did not highlight on Housewives is that I had an incredible career before being on Housewives. I started in the advertising business right out of University. I wanted to work for a global advertising agency. All the internships were full so I got a job as an Executive Assistant at Ogilvy and Mather. I worked my way up and after five years I became the client to that CEO. It was an unbelievable journey. I was offered a big job in London working for Ogilvy and Mather on the American Express business and then I worked in house at American Express as well, all on the advertising and marketing team. I had an incredible experience. Ogilvy was hard and exciting and glamorous.
Working in London in the ad business, it was everything you’d think it would be: a lot of long hours, travelling all over Europe, making campaigns that are used all over the world. It was incredibly creative. It married my two favourite things: I’m very creative and I’m very focused on business. It was the best training I’ve ever had. There’s nothing like grueling ad work to train someone. Both working in the agency and then being spoiled as the client, both were amazing. And then I ended up as the Director for European advertising at Ogilvy for the American Express business so I oversaw the European markets as the Account Director in London for the global team. And then I came and was the Manager of the Canadian team.
All this was under 30 years old. Then my family came along: my now husband and his two sons. We were at a place in our lives where I was pretty burnt out. And I decided I wanted to spend some time focusing on building my relationship with my step sons. So I left the corporate world and I was able to pick them up at 3:30 and go to soccer practices that happened at 2:00 in the afternoon when they’re in school. And I was able to build an incredible relationship with them. I became the mom to Lola, my spoiled and incredible pup that I love.
And I was able to just relax and regroup. Then after a few years of being a housewife, I was ready to enter back into the working world but on my own terms. I always wanted to be the CEO of my own company and I incorporated Luxurious Roxy Inc. and I got to work and I started building an app and I wanted to get into fashion and just as all that was happening, the Housewives came along. So a lot of things got put on hold while I filmed the Housewives but now all those things are happening in a much bigger and better way.
Tell us about Luxurious Roxy:
Luxurious Roxy oversees the fashion brand that I will be creating. I travel and write about my travel and I’ve been travelling and taking photos of my travel for years. It’s a lifestyle brand that is really about a state of mind. I always say I’ve been luxurious since I came out of the womb. My mother would bring me home clothes from one of her friend’s as she was a back up singer for Eric Clapton and she had all these stage clothes and I was supposed to put them in my dress up box and dress up with them on the weekends but I would wear them out to play and to school. And I’d wear these beautiful velvet dresses my mom would get me in France to kindergarten and grade one. And I always stood out when it came to fashion. I had this pixie cut before pixie cuts were really a thing. So I always had this personal sense of style since I was young. And I’ve always walked into a room and been like “I’m here. Rox is here!” I’ve always been a leader and I’ve always had grand plans since I was young and my business embodies that confidence and point of view on life. Luxury is not about things, it’s a way about living your life: achieving for the finer things.
You’re very young for having accomplished so much, tell us what message you have for young women who want to achieve what you’ve done:
You just need to believe in yourself and you need to walk into a room and understand how to own it. I’ve always had this ability to walk into a room and get noticed. And it took me a long time in my professional career to learn when to speak too loudly or too much and how to get heard effectively rather than just speaking. I always had something to say. And it took me a long time to hone that what I said should be powerful and that sometimes less is more and when to turn it up and turn it down.
But for young women it takes confidence. Why do they walk into a room with their head down believing that somebody else knows better than them? I believe you need to stay humble and work hard and learn from people with experience but at the same time don’t be afraid of challenging what’s normal or challenging an idea or authority and if you have an idea, putting it out there and sharing it with the world.
The problem is that people don’t speak up. In a setting, the status quo is what people achieve for and I’ve never had a desire to achieve the status quo; I always wanted greater things and I’ve always seen bigger opportunities and so in the workplace I shared all of that. I shared my ideas. I shared my dreams. The very first day I was an Executive Assistant at Ogilvy, my second question to my boss was, “When am I getting transferred to London and how is that possible?” Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
A heartfelt thank you to Roxy Earle, President of Luxurious Roxy and Henry Eshelman, Managing Director at PMG-Platform Media Group for this exclusive invitation.
And a special thank you to Michelle Voegelin, Business Development Manager at STK Toronto for opening up your restaurant to us.
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