– Words and photography by Lia Crowe
Kind, supportive and light-hearted are a few ways you could describe Kari McLay, as they are apparent on first meeting her. But, deeper than that, Kari is a socially conscious entrepreneur, who strives to make good use of her time on this earth by making a positive difference in people’s lives, both personally and with her business.
Kari’s background includes a master’s degree in psychiatric social work and parenting education, and she is now a businesswoman with a passion for managing a creative, inclusive and philanthropic business.
“I love a creative project that gives others the opportunity to participate for a greater cause. I love supporting and nurturing others and making a difference along the way. I appreciate art, music, literature, dance, theatre and good food. Above all, I appreciate life and the opportunity to spread goodwill wherever I can,” says Kari.
Asked what the best life lesson she’s recently learned is, Kari says, “I have learned to not take my health for granted. Now in my 60s, I am more aware than ever that life is not a dress rehearsal and we are not here forever. I learned something very important in my first year at McGill University: visiting professor and former BC NDP premier Dave Barrett shared with my class that we are dead much longer than we are alive. We need to make the most of every day, and at the end we should have few or no regrets. Live life now and squeeze in as much as possible.”
Kari describes her personal style as a combination of classic with a little bit of whimsy. “I love British fashion. Classic with a cheeky, romantic twist. I believe laughter is healing and infectious. I love to laugh and have fun, but never at the expense of someone else.”
Fashion & Beauty
All-time favourite piece: Eliza Faulkner gold floral brocade dress (photo on cover of Tweed).
Currently coveting: Black linen Eliza Faulkner jumpsuit.
Favourite shoes: Eileen Fisher suede slingbacks.
Favourite handbag: Brave cross-body bag.
Favourite jewelry piece: Indigenous silver cuff by Norman Seaweed.
Necessary indulgences for beauty: Beautycounter citrus grapefruit body lotion.
Style Inspiration & Life
Style icon: Eileen Fisher.
Favourite artist: Irma Soltonovich.
Piece of art: Gabriel’s Dream by Phyllis Serota.
Favourite fashion designer: Eliza Faulkner.
Favourite musician: Beth Hart.
Era of time that inspires your style: 1950s–60s.
Favourite album: Sweet Baby James by James Taylor.
Favourite flower: Peony.
Favourite city: Montreal.
One thing that lifts my spirits: French pastry with cappuccino.
Coffee table book: The Life Eclectic: Highly Unique Interior Designs from Around the World by Alexander Breeze.
Last great read: Wicked Ninnish by Michael Scott Curnes.
Currently reading: The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson.
Favourite book of all time: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.