Denise Wild is a virtuoso at getting things done. She’s a craft and sewing expert who you’ve seen on Cityline, The Shopping Network and The Today Show. She’s the author of “Mend & Make Fabulous“, a go-to sewing bible, and she’s the founding editor of BurdaStyle US magazine. What’s mind-boggling is that she accomplished all this while launching her own sewing school with locations in Toronto and New York. After selling The Sewing Studio in 2014, Denise has redefined her career as a DIY pro who teaches at George Brown College in Toronto and she shares her mojo on behalf of major brands like Walmart, HomeSense, DeSerres and Avery. She’s also the host of Holiday Makeover, the first original TV series by Makeful, a TV network for DIY spirits. She’s carved out a schedule that has plenty of time to play with her two-year-old daughter Tema and her husband Roland, while still satisfying her passions. And guess what? She doesn’t feel guilty about it. Hallelujah.
I didn’t have Tema as soon as I got married. My business was soaring so I just wasn’t focused on getting pregnant. Now I’m juggling a freelance career and a family, I feel like, “yes, I’m in the club.” I’m so much more aware of how incredible women are and I’m so happy to be part of the mom club.
I really feel like being a mom is what I was made to do, however, I’m still focused on my career. My challenge now is how to maintain that focus while making her a priority. I want her to feel so much love and acceptance in our relationship while being inspired by a successful working mom. My mom was a single mom; I think I got my drive from her example. She was very career focused but we still had plenty of family time and special moments.
I want to say I feel guilty about taking care of my own interests and professional life—there are definitely guilty moments—but as a whole, I don’t feel guilty. I have to look after my business and I have to provide because that’s just the way our life is. Luckily, my husband is hands on and like me, works from home, so he can carve out his schedule to be with her when I need to work or when she’s not at daycare.
Today my work looks so much different than it was before. I used to work on evenings, weekends and holidays because work meant everything to me. Now I’m careful to structure my time around my daughter and I’m happy to do so. But when I look back at my career, I’m also happy I learned so many valuable lessons from running my own business, and those lessons are influencing my career today as a working mom.
HOME TOUR A classicly-designed home receives an organized walk-in closet and sewing zone
The great room is where the family dog, Otis G, chills out and is where so many of her photo and video shoots take place.
Family photos make their home in the living room, including a shot in Vegas when the couple renewed their vows.
A gift from a cousin doubles up as a source of humour and inspiration in the bathroom.
Tema’s name was handmade with love by one of Denise’s former colleagues at The Sewing Studio
Tema’s room is an ode to Denise’s fine-tuned sense of textures and patterns thanks to textiles she chose from Camelot Fabrics. “When choosing fabrics for your decor, don’t be afraid to mix prints. And have fun! If there’s a fabric you love, but you’re not sure how to make it work, think creatively. Use it in a frame behind a photo instead of plain matting paper, cover toss cushions to instantly update a room, or découpage the fabric onto a wooden furniture piece such as a small chair or the front of your drawers.”
Denise renovated a bedroom with an en-suite bathroom into her walk-in closet and sewing zone. Talk about jealous.
The refurbished room boasts plenty of natural light and storage for her stylish life and career.
MY FAVOURITE THINGS
Denise’s in-shower must-haves: “My skin is acne-prone and combination. Peter Thomas Roth‘s line of AHA/BHA products (they’re hard to find in Canada, so I stock up whenever I travel) is the only thing that works to keep my skin clear and hydrated.”
My beauty essentials: “These are the cosmetics I rely on for TV appearances. I don’t wear a lot of colour; I just enhance and intensify my natural features. And the scents are a couple of my current favourites.” Clockwise from top left: DiorBlush Glowing Color Powder Blush in Vintage Pink, Sonia Kashuk Blush Brush, Love By Killian, Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix, Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Lollia in Wish, Wet n’ Wild Color Icon Pencil in Mink Brown, L’Oréal Paris Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner, MAC Lipliner in Boldly Bare, Smashbox Eyeshadow Brush, MAC Eyeshadow in Family Silver and a MAC Lip Gloss. We’re not sure what colour it is. The name is rubbed off because Denise uses it so often.
Denise is too busy to get a mani so she cheats with Impress Press-on Manicures available at Walmart. “I use them when I have TV appearances and this colour really stands out on camera.”
Denise bound a collection of Tema’s first memories in photo books.
She even devoted a whole book with snaps of Roland and Tema napping together.
My favourite online hits: I love P.S. I Made This by Erica Domesek. Elle magazine even called her Fashion’s Queen of DIY. I like that the website offers elevated DIY ideas and she focuses on style and fashion accessories. And on Instagram, I follow Arielle Noa Charnes. Her wardrobe is classic but still playful; it’s chic without being too stuffy.
My favourite project: A no-sew pleather clutch. I love things that are stylish and easy to do—this took under an hour! Pleather is durable and easy to clean (just wipe it with a damp or soapy cloth) plus it doesn’t fray, which makes it extra easy to work with. I bought all my supplies at Walmart except for the fabric.
My afternoon pick-me-up: I don’t drink coffee but I do love smoothies. At home I make a chai smoothie using my own recipe. I blend one frozen banana, two cups of almond milk, one tablespoon of almond butter, a blend of chai spices (mix cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cardamom). It’s healthy, easy and best of all, Tema likes it too. When we go to Vegas, we always stay at the Wynn where I order the Immunity Booster at The Terrace Point Café. It blends broccoli, cucumber, green apple, lemon, spinach, parsley, fennel and agave.
My daily habit: It’s the T-Zone VT-15. The technology is called whole body vibration, and it’s like a bosu ball, but amplified. Any exercise you do on it (like squats or bicep curls) is magnified because the vibration causes you to tighten your muscles to keep balanced. Or you can just stand on it and snack and watch TV, which is what I do. It’s said 10 minutes is equal to an hour at the gym because of how much it accentuates what you’re doing. Watch this clip of a certain someone [a.k.a. Denise’s husband] in action.