Sandy Joe Karpetz is the founder of the local lifestyle blog The Pretty Secrets. I first met Sandy years ago through mutual friends and I'm also a long time reader of her blog. We interacted mostly through social media over a mutual love for thrift shopping but finally got to sit down together while we were both in Palm Springs this past April. Unsurprisingly, Sandy is just as wonderful in person as she is online.
Sandy graduated from Ryerson University with a degree in Fashion Communications. She has interned at British Vogue and Lula. The Pretty Secrets has appeared in the Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, FASHION Magazine, Buzzfeed.com, and the Globe and Mail. Sandy's career is an inspiration to those interested in both fashion and blogging.
Last week Sandy and I climbed to the top of a downtown parkade to take these photos. When you're as stunning as Sandy Joe, my job becomes infinitely easier.
What inspired you to start your blog The Pretty Secrets?
When I was taking a semester abroad in England in 2009 I started The Pretty Secrets as a secret blog to show my sister what I was up to while away. It was mostly photographs of my neighbourhood, the weird places I lived in, and silly illustrations. It slowly evolved from there but it took years before I publicly admitted to even having one. In the summer of 2010 I actually started posting traditional "style" posts and it went from there.
Where do you find style inspiration in Edmonton?
The most inspiring fashion I find in Edmonton is usually worn by eccentric senior citizens. The elderly have got it all figured out.
Where are your favourite places to shop (new and old) in Edmonton?
Any thrift store is my absolute favourite place. I like the idea of a shopping endeavour having an element of luck and mystery to it; you never know what you'll find. New Classics is also a favourite with their emphasis on eco-concious dressing.
You’ve lived in Toronto and also overseas in London, what made you decide to come back to live in Edmonton?
After I finished my degree, I foolishly moved back to Edmonton from Toronto for love and that blew up in my face so I ran away to England during a recession which was an equally foolish move. Post graduate panic did me no favours when trying to make logical life decisions. When I returned from England, the plan was to regroup and move elsewhere. That was five years ago.
What are your top five things to do/eat in Edmonton?
1. Eggs Benedict and a bourbon Caesar at MEAT
2. 9 holes at Rundle Park
3. A Caesar and Japanese tapas at IKKI or Dorinku
4. Music Docs at Metro Cinema on the first Thursday of the month!
5. Moonshine Doughtnuts and people watching at the 104th street market
How do you find new places to shoot style photos for your blog?
Whenever I go out for a walk or a drive I'll take alternative routes in hopes of stumbling upon a hidden gem. Sometimes out of necessity I will keep it simple by using the closest backdrop available be it my back alley or a nearby parkade.