Photography by Ashley Champagne; Styling by Erin Monaghan; Makeup by Nicola Gavins; Hair by Lauren Hughes of Mousy Browns; Shot on location at the studio of Erin Ross
Calling Miranda Wulf the leader of the pack may be convenient but, surnames aside, the 30-year-old British Columbia-native-turned-Edmonton-entrepreneur has all the qualities of a trailblazer.
Since the fall of 2011, she’s cheered on the city as co-chair of artsScene Edmonton, a nonprofit network connecting young business professionals with the arts community. She was the style and etiquette columnist for Unlimited magazine for a year. And, in 2008, she established a successful image consulting company – formerly known as LoullouDi Image & Style. She trained at the Image Resource Center of New York and the London Image Institute. But, this year, image consultancy will become a self-titled side-gig, as she and business partner, Lacie Cosgrove, pursue a new venture in holistic health. Taking more of an inside-out approach to beauty, in 2013 the two will launch Naked Nectar, a line of handmade-in-Edmonton raw chocolates, wild crafted teas and superfood treats.
As an expert on both the art of dressing people and their plates, Wulf wants to share the ingredients for living a well-rounded life.
How did Naked Nectar come to fruition?
I got pumped about raw chocolate several years ago and started making it. I love cooking and I love creating recipes, and it’s become a passion of mine more and more over the years. It was easy to get excited about it as a business venture because people were ordering chocolates from us already. And I thought, this is something that is taking off without even putting any effort into it, other than the actual making of the product.
Why have you decided to move away from styling and image consultancy and into holistic health?
I have too many loves, too many interests, and I’m doing it all. I’m going under a personal brand for styling and image consultancy, starting right away. I want to keep that going without actively trying to market it. It’s got to a place where I’m comfortable, but I have these other passions that I want to pursue.
So, what’s the chocolate like?
It is guilt-free chocolate … it’s the most delicious thing, it’s ridiculous. Because it’s processed under raw guidelines, it’s as pure as you can get. It’s high in nutrition, it melts in your mouth, but it’s in a very different realm of superfoods. It’s not super granola-y, hippy, new age-y – that market exists already, those people already know about it. With Naked Nectar, we’re kind of like these two sassy girls who want to get this information and this food into people’s hands who don’t know about it yet. We’re not marketing a happiness-peace-love-joy thing. Shut up and eat it, and it’ll help you to be more healthy.
What kind of training have you gone through prior to launching Naked Nectar?
My business partner, Lacie, is a Red Seal certified chef and we both have our Raw Nutrition Certification, but I am completing my Holisitic Nutritionist designation, while she is nearly finished her ayurvedic herbal prep and healing certification. We both come from backgrounds where natural health and nutrition were paramount in our homes and we’ve carried that through to our current lifestyles, melding our unique knowledge for superfood creations.
Where will Naked Nectar products be available?
Through private orders and various yoga studios and wellness centres, as well as through several holistic health practitioners.
What’s your involvement with artsScene Edmonton?
Everybody volunteers their time and it’s a lot of work, but it’s exciting, and it’s also a necessary component to connecting the city with the arts professionals. Investing in the arts will contribute to the next generation. It’s showing other cities and the outside world how vibrant Edmonton is and what’s going on here. While I am back and forth to the coast often, I get that: “Oh – you live in Edmonton?” thing. And I have to tell them that they have no idea how amazing Edmonton is, or about all the things that are going on here. It’s an incredible city, and there are beautiful people, and there’s so much culture.
What is your career highlight so far?
I think it has been a real privilege to be considered an expert on the subject of styling and image, and with the style and etiquette column at Unlimited Magazine – that was really fun for me. But it’s really been the day-to-day interaction with people, and watching them go after their goals and dreams, and being able to play a part in that. Because even though it seems very superficial, contributing to the outward transformation is the quickest way to experience positive change for oneself.
What’s the one piece of styling advice you most often give to women?
I’d say the principals of mixing and matching neutrals. It is A-OK to mix and match neutrals – and metallics are neutrals.
What’s the one piece of styling advice you most often give to men?
I tell men not to be afraid of colour. I’m always encouraging them to spend some dollars on good shoes. Just investing in them, cobbling them as they go, and having them last. I’ve done a lot of shoe lectures: take care of your shoes! Ladies notice shoes; employers notice shoes.
Where do you typically take your clients shopping?
All over the place. It’s based on their plans, their goals, their lifestyles and their budgets. I’ve had clients who are either professionally oriented and they’re gunning for a promotion, or going for a job interview, and their overall wardrobe doesn’t work anymore. Or for some women, they’ve had kids and everything’s changed. I have people in the dating scene – people who are divorcees, and they’re like, “I’ve been dressing the same way for 15 years and now I’m dating again, and I don’t know what to do!” The city is my shopping mall.
Where do you shop for yourself?
I definitely mix thrifty finds with new items, so I try to make sure that I get to the thrift stores on Vancouver Island a couple times a year. That is where the hidden gems are. In Edmonton, I go to Goodwill, and I’m a big fan of Who Cares? Wear, gravitypope, Anthropologie, even before it was in Canada. I really like Floc Boutique on 124th Street, and the Avenue Clothing Co. You could be anywhere from 20 years old to 60 and shop there. I also love Dots and the Old Strathcona Antique Mall.
How would you describe your style?
Body conscious … I like clothes to fit and flatter. If I were to describe myself in a few words, which I give my clients all the time, it would probably be: Feminine, natural, and eclectic – with an edge.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself teaching people about the importance of loving themselves.
That’s a great quote.
I didn’t even make it up; I’m being authentic! I want to be teaching people the art of loving themselves today, in the moment – that being a combination of taking care of their insides, feeding themselves delicious food that nourishes them, and cultivating an overall desire to also take care of the outer package. And to show the world that they are confident and know who they are, because it isn’t about looking perfect all the time. It’s not about perfection or fitting into a mould; it’s about putting the person out there that you feel comfortable being. That stems from self-love.
Entertaining from my kitchen at home
Local restaurant Sugarbowl
Drink Alcoholic is Spicebox Whisky, neat, and non-alcoholic is organic green tea
Film It’s All Gone Pete Tong
Song The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence”
Fashion era The ’60s
Local boutique Who Cares? Wear
Janna Clearwater (Cinder + Smoke)
Designer Nanette Lepore
Fashion and Nylon
Item in your closet Has to be my Mackage grey leather jacket
Beauty product Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol