Meet Tonic Living's Creative Team!

Meet Tonic Living's Creative Team!

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Ever wonder who's behind Tonic Living's pretty pillows, brilliant Instagram posts and stylish store displays? (I wonder who wrote this post? 🤔) With so much happening behind-the-scenes at Tonic Living, we wanted to introduce ourselves! Here's a little more about the Tonic Living creative team...

Mandy Milks, Creative Director

Leading the team is Mandy, who's creative vision guides the marketing, photography and product design (and so much more!) at Tonic Living. Mandy comes from the world of publishing, where she was the Design Director at House & Home magazine and a DIY/Craft Editor for Today's Parent, where she also doubled as a YouTube personality (check her out!). In her teens, she was an awning seamstress (so sewing is in her blood) and a "clumsy waitress at a fancy golf course" (in her words!). She worked the night shift doing financial typesetting to put herself through design school at OCAD, earning her BDES in Graphic Design. When Mandy's not dreaming up the newest pillow at Tonic Living, she loves sewing, quilting, home DIY reno projects, cooking, photography and gardening. "Anything I can make with my hands makes me happy!" she says.

Here's some more about Mandy...

What's your sign?
Leo but cusping on Virgo. So I am overly impatient and overly sensitive.

Current colour crush?
Sea Mist! But my forever go-to colour is a dark-khaki olive green. I painted my kitchen cabinets that colour, it's the perfect neutral IMO.

How would you describe your decorating style?
I'm still all about The Mix. I love traditional when it is tempered with modern. I always add something vintage to give it character.

Favourite place in the world?
A Georgian Bay cottage or camping with my family. Happiest when by a lake.

Currently on your playlist?
Raffi, Frozen soundtrack and year-round Christmas carols (I have two small kids)

What's inspiring you now?
Anything Scandinavian, I feel tied to the clean but cozy aesthetics and the principals of design for family living. A perfect marriage of form and function.

Drapes or Romans?
Both, I love them together. Complete outfit.

What decade do you wish you lived in?
I would have thrived in the 1800s with my quilting and bread making.

East coast or west coast?
East coast. I don't "chill" very well.

What's your perfect pillow?
Because of the nature of my job, I see new pillow ideas everyday. So I opt for neutral pillows with loads of texture that I won't tire of easily. I love the Quilted Tobermory and Textura.

Follow Mandy on Instagram

 

Lauren Briggs-Lawrance, Designer, Store Experience & Visual Content (also the current public relations/influencer marketing contact, covering for Adena's mat leave)

A genius when it comes to styling, Lauren brings her experience as a Design Editor at House & Home magazine to Tonic Living. She's also a woman of many talents! Lauren majored in Marketing at McGill University, receiving her Bachelor of Commerce, and then attended Ryerson University for her Masters of Fashion. Lauren is also an avid scuba diver (she got her PADI certification in Turks & Caicos over five years ago, and married her husband there in early 2019!). She loves playing golf with her family and practicing yoga and pilates. In her down time, you can find Lauren hanging out with her dog Teddy, a 12-year-old Cockapoo, or working on design and decorating projects (including this bedroom makeover) on her first house, which she purchased in 2017.

Here's some more about Lauren...

What's your sign?
Pisces

Current colour crush?
Olive green (need to find a use for the Tuscany Linen, Moss!)

How would you describe your decorating style?
I feel like it’s constantly evolving—especially while being immersed in beautiful textiles and home trends on a daily basis. I would say that it's based in classic and neutral elements that have a contemporary lean, sprinkled with hits of black, layered textures and organic elements.

Favourite place in the world?
My cottage in Haliburton, Ontario

Favourite food?
Either pizza or anything with noodles

Guilty pleasure?
Online 'window' shopping and the Real Housewives franchise

What decade do you wish you lived in?
Pretty happy in this decade!

Dream destination?
Bali

What's inspiring you now?
I'm always drawn to architectural influences and am inspired by boutique modern artisanal designers, like deVol Kitchens and Plain English millwork. I basically love everything that is going on at the Field & Supply Fair.

What's your perfect pillow?
One that is high quality, cozy, organic and earthy in pattern and/or colour and has longevity in the style department. My two favourties are Patchwork and Kenmare.

Follow Lauren on Instagram

 

Adena Leigh Ditkofsky, Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager (currently on mat leave)

The resident wordsmith at Tonic Living, Adena’s background is in writing and communications. She was formerly the Digital Editor at House & Home magazine (that makes three H&H-ers!), and a staff writer for HGTV.ca and FoodNetwork.ca. She also has experience in public relations and event planning, having worked as an event coordinator for LouLou magazine. Adena studied MIT (Media, Information and Technoculture) at the University of Western Ontario and minored in Writing. She’s since taken courses at George Brown for Interior Decorating, and has been passionate about design since her parents let her paint her bedroom furniture in her tweens. She chose lime, purple and cantaloupe—luckily her taste has improved since then! In her spare time, Adena loves decorating her century-old home in Toronto, baking cakes (check out her hashtag #adenaleighbakes), antiquing, and reading food memoirs.

Here's some more about Adena...

What's your sign?
Cancer

Current colour crush?
Sea Mist! It feeds my water sign spirit.

Stripes or polka dots?
I never met a stripe I didn’t like!

How would you describe your decorating style?
Classic with a quirk, comfortable and livable

Favourite place in the world?
I love to travel and have been everywhere from Thailand to Brazil, but there’s no place like home.

Currently on your playlist?
Jack Johnson, Leon Bridges and Simon & Garfunkel

Best thing you ever ate?
The brown butter gelato soft serve from my neighbourhood ice cream shop, Bar Ape

What's inspiring you now?
The colourful '50s costumes in Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

East coast or west coast?
I’ve got that New York hustle but my heart is in California.

What's your perfect pillow?
Valentina in the Jade colourway, always and forever. I have a thing for velvet pillows!

Follow Adena on Instagram

 

Nancy Wong, Digital Retail Specialist

Nancy is a jack-of-all-trades at Tonic Living, having joined the Creative Team after starting in our customer service department (if you called us, you probably talked to Nancy!) and she also manages our inventory and purchasing. Nancy is all about sustainability and works to improve our environmental footprint. She rides her bike to work and makes sure our fabric scraps find a good home instead of reaching landfill. Nancy has studied architectural design, fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and has also been a sewing instructor. After years of living in the big apple, she planted her roots in Toronto.

Here's some more about Nancy:

What is something surprising about you?
I'm a Gemini - there are actually two of us

How would you describe your decorating style?
Minimalist, though it's softening since I've started working here

Describe your perfect pillow.
Just one? remember there are two of us...

Stripes or polka dots?
Stripes

Current colour crush?
Paprika

Favourite place in the world?
Out of the city with my family

Currently on your playlist?
Vampire Weekend

Guilty pleasure?
Chips (lots of them)

Dream destination?
Iceland

What's inspiring you now (in terms of design)?
Reuse, rework, reduce!

Drapes or Romans?
Depends on the window! Small window... romans, big window... drapes

Childhood nickname?
Halfpint (we are so calling her this from now on!)

 

Dani Dexter, Designer & Visual Merchandiser

Dani has a wealth of experience in visual merchandising, having worked for brands like IKEA and Structube before landing at Tonic Living. After studying media as well as Interior Design at Sheridan College, she worked at IKEA for five years, where she created and built all those beautiful room settings you see in the showroom. During this time she had the opportunity to join the Canadian head office team to help design the first IKEA store on the East Coast, where she ended up living and working for over a year. Her hobbies include DJing (preferably disco, but she also does a killer '90s night), petting any cat she sees on the street, and drinking red wine.

Here's some more about Dani...

What's your sign?
Twins basil!! (Gemini)

Current colour crush?
Terracotta

How would you describe your decorating style?
Desert Disco

Favourite place in the world?
The dance floor

Currently on your playlist?
Young Gun Silver Fox

Guilty pleasure?
True crime podcasts

What's inspiring you now?
Ettore Sottsass mirrors

What is something surprising about you?
I have a motorcycle and sometimes even ride it!

What decade do you wish you lived in?
No time better than the present

What's your perfect pillow?
Bright, bold, and super graphic

Follow Dani on Instagram

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