I’m an online shopper. For several years now, the bulk of my wardrobe additions have come by way of the Internet, though in the early goings shopping online from Canada was incredibly frustrating. Between ridiculous international shipping costs, hefty duties and U.S. sites that wouldn’t accept Canadian credit cards, there was a lot to battle in order to get access to the wider selections and more reasonable pricing found on e-commerce sites outside of Canada.
I used to daydream about starting my own e-boutique, one that would be based in Canada and thus avoid all the above problems. I never did act on that idea, but Joanna Track did. Over the last year and a half, the founder and CEO of eLUXE has been building the e-retail site of my dreams, right here in Toronto. Obviously, I had to meet her.
The Backseat Stylers: What’s your earliest fashion memory?
Joanna Track: When I was in 6th grade, OshKosh overalls were a really big thing. It was the trend, but I couldn’t afford it, [so] I went and found them at KMart. They weren’t OshKosh, but they looked exactly the same. I still remember [realizing], “OK, you don’t always have to spend a certain amount. You can do things on a budget.” I was so proud of myself that I had [gotten] the look that I wanted at a price that I could afford.
What inspired you to start eLUXE?
As a consumer myself, I’m an avid online shopper. When I had my son, I went to Florida for the winter and I ordered everything online. It just became my lifestyle; I never had to go to a store. Then I came back to Toronto, and I couldn’t do that. I had been shopping on Shopbop and Net-a-porter, and then I came home [to Toronto] to duties and shipping, and God forbid I had to return something. I thought, there’s a huge opportunity to bring Canadian women the same amazing online shopping experience that all our friends from the U.S. and Europe get to enjoy.
What’s the best part of your job?
Besides seeing all the clothes and being so close to it every day, the people. [The eLUXE team is] such a creative, fun group of people. I always say [that] we’re not saving lives and we’re not necessarily changing the world in a bigger, broader way, but because there are so many problems in the world, we’re giving women a slice of something fun, [an opportunity] to take a mental break.
How has your style evolved since starting eLUXE?
Especially during my Sweetspot [a now-defunct daily e-newsletter] days, I became pretty much a woman of uniform; I would wear skinny jeans, a Smythe blazer, a t-shirt and flats. Starting [eLUXE] and seeing all the stuff in front of me, getting close with Susie Sheffman and being around all these fashion people has inspired me to branch out and try new things.
Tell me about a fashion faux pas you’ve committed.
Well, I’m sure there are many. I don’t know if you would call it a faux pas, but I know that when I wear something that I’m innately not comfortable in, it doesn’t look right.
What’s the one item in your closet you can’t live without?
I have a collection of Smythe blazers. I say this, and then I always break it, [but] I’m trying to go on a moratorium of not having anymore right now. I mean, people will come in and see my closet and say, “Seriously, you need to take a break.” Currently for fall, there are some from last season and a few from this season – there’s probably 8. That’s a lot from one brand and one item of clothing. So that’s pretty much a staple for me. You’ll never see me without a Smythe jacket.
Where’s your favourite place to shop, other than eLUXE?
I love J.Crew, but I shop online. I’m not a mall person; I will go once a year if I’m in an emergency. And I love, love, love Joe Fresh. Pretty much my closet is eLUXE, Joe Fresh and J.Crew. And Lululemon.
If you were throwing a fashionable dance party, who would your three guests of honour be?
[eLUXE Fashion Director] Susie Sheffman, Diane von Furstenberg and Joe Mimran [of Joe Fresh].
Share one item on your bucket list.
I want to learn another language, and I want to learn a musical instrument.
What’s your favourite guilty pleasure?
I do love reading celebrity magazines, but I did make a New Year’s resolution 2 years ago that I wouldn’t purchase them. I’m allowed to read only at the hairdresser or the nail salon…I’m not allowed to purchase them!
Image courtesy of eLUXE