Inspired Style with Joan Classen and Katie Cooke

Mother-daughter co-owners of Refresh Clothing discuss their fashion and life favourites

  • Sep. 30, 2019 7:30 a.m.

– Story by Katherine Suna Photography by Izabel Kazenbroot-Guppy

Sophisticated yet fun is the vibe at Katie Cooke and Joan Classen’s store, Refresh Clothing, in Parksville.

Greeting me with beaming smiles, Joan wears a classy shirt dress, beautifully accessorized with jewellery, and Katie keeps it casual in her favourite distressed Silver jeans, black tee and heels. This mother-daughter duo quickly learned the ins-and outs of owning a retail business, and combined their strengths and knowledge to give their customers a memorable experience.

“We want them to feel good in their clothes when getting dressed in the morning, regardless of which trends come and go,” explains Joan.

The two agree that their styles are very different, and this can be seen in the brands they carry in their store. They take pride in knowing that Refresh Clothing is a three-generations-style store, meaning all ages can shop there and find something among the 25-plus brands.

“Clients always want what mom’s wearing that day. She’s always offering to take her outfits off for clients to try on,” laughs Katie. “I’m definitely more casual, so our customers will always be able to gravitate and relate to someone working in the store.”

Both Katie and Joan love family time when they’re not at work. Katie can typically be found outdoors with her husband and two little boys.

“We love going to Parksville Beach, and my son, Eli, loves visiting the marble statues in Coombs, so we go there a lot,” explains Katie.

Joan loves to stay active with yoga, swimming and hosting family dinners.

“I swim and do yoga every morning, and I’ve started reading books again after an eight-year break. My favourites are mystery books. I also love swimming and live near a community pool, so I go there a lot too,” says Joan.

My visit ends while perusing their classic staples like Lisette blazers, and laughing about how most experiences in life can be referenced by a TV episode of Friends.

Without a doubt, Joan and Katie love to have fun, and love sharing their passion for style with their customers.

JOAN:

Fashion & Beauty

Go-to Outfit: A dress and denim jacket.

All-time favourite piece: “A Joseph Ribkoff dress that had a print of what looked like Audrey Hepburn on the front.”

Currently Coveting: Distressed denim.

Favourite pair of shoes: A metallic-coloured Michael Kors sandal.

Favourite day bag: Michael Kors.

Favourite jewellery piece or designer: Hillberg & Berk.

Fashion Obsession: Bracelets. “I love to layer them.”

Accessory you spend the most money on: Sunglasses.

Top 3 items always found in your purse: Lipstick, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Necessary indulgence: Pedicures.

Moisturizer: Beautycounter Rejuvenating Day Cream.

Scent: Miracle by Lancome.

Must-have hair product: L’ANZA Hair Oil.

Beauty secret: A good eye cream.

Favourite lip product: M.A.C. Lipglass.

Hair Salon: Sherry Leifer Hair Design.

Favourite makeup-brand: M.A.C.

Life

Favourite local restaurant or Cafe: The Final Approach.

Favourite Cocktail/Wine: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.

Album on current rotation: “I love anything by Passenger.”

Favourite Flower: Lily.

Favourite city to visit: Vancouver.

Favourite Hotel: Sheraton Wall.

Favourite App: Instagram.

Favourite place in the whole world: The beach.

Favourite thing to do on your free time or day off: Read a book.

What’s your dream vacation: Italy.

Favourite workout routine: Swimming.

Favourite thing to do on a self-care day: A facial.

Coffee table Book: Bob Dylan The Drawn Blank Series.

Book currently reading: The Burial Hour by Jeffery Deaver.

Favourite book of all time: The Last Stand by Stephen King.

KATIE:

Fashion & Beauty

Go-to Outfit: Distressed jeans, a tucked in tee and a high heels.

All-time favourite piece: A Lisette blazer that can be dressed up or dressed down.

Currently Coveting: Mavi Boyfriend denim jacket.

Favourite pair of shoes: A nude-coloured Bueno shoe that goes with almost any outfit.

Favourite Daybag: Vince Camuto.

Fashion Obsession: Scarves. “They add depth to any outfit.”

Accessory you spend the most money on: Shoes.

Top 3 items always found in your purse: Lipstick, sunglasses, snacks for the kids.

Necessary indulgence: Quality skin care.

Moisturizer: Beautycounter Countermatch Lotion.

Scent: NEST Indigo.

Must-have hair product: L’ANZA Beach Spray.

Beauty secret: Vitamin C Face Oil.

Favourite lip product: M.A.C. lipstick.

Hair Salon: Sherry Leifer Hair Design.

Favourite makeup brand: Tarte.

LIFE

Favourite local restaurant or cafe: Brazen Poppy Bakery.

Favourite Cocktail/Wine: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.

Album on current rotation: Ed Sheeran No. 6 Collaborations.

Favourite Flower: Blue roses.

Favourite city to visit: Vancouver.

Favourite Hotel: Sheraton Wall.

Favourite App: Instagram.

Favourite place in the whole world: Englishman River Falls.

Favourite thing to do on your free time or day off: “Go to the beach with my kids.”

Favourite workout routine: Early morning Kickboxing at Cascadia Martial Arts.

Favourite thing to do on a self care day: “A slow morning with an extra cup of coffee.”

What do you read Online for style: Instagram.

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

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