Many Torontonians have their most intense work schedules during the awesomeness (but nevertheless craziness) that is the Toronto International Film Festival. But most can’t boast being as busy as renaissance woman, Leesa Butler. The big boss at consulting company Divine Lab and author of the beloved fashion blog the f-list, Butler joins forces with rock-it promotions‘ Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski every TIFF for the famous celebrity gifting suite, Tastemakers Lounge. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Tastemakers, which was the first celebrity gifting lounge to grace the Toronto-based film festival – an impressive accomplishment to say the least. We caught up with Butler to find out more about her life, work, and this year’s Tastemakers Lounge.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I’m one half of Tastemakers Lounge, a celebrity gifting lounge that is about to celebrate its tenth year at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. My business partner in Tastemakers is the lovely and talented Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski, president and founder of rock-it promotions, inc.. Most of the year we do our own marketing thing – I run my own consulting company called Divine Lab and Deb runs rock-it – but every TIFF we throw a big gift lounge for celebrities with awesome brands. Follow our escapades at #Tastemakers10.
What are the biggest challenges and best rewards about what you do?
Finding that illusive “enough time” to do everything I want to do is a challenge, especially since I always need “enough sleep.” But working on the lounge along with my ongoing writing and client work is very rewarding. I get to connect with all kinds of interesting people.
What are three things you can’t live without?
A refrigerator stocked with fresh food since I love to cook; a nice cocktail at the end of the day; my husband! He keeps me inspired.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…of everything! I am an American who chose to move here because Toronto has so much to offer as a cosmopolitan city – great neighbourhoods, green space, top restaurants, nightlife, the waterfront, and so many interesting people as a result of its multiculturalism. You can have an amazing quality of life and yet I’m close to New York and the Baltimore/DC area, where my family still lives. I’m a total Toronto cheerleader.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
My favourites tend to be those neighborhood-y joints that are always welcoming no matter what (7 Numbers, I’m talking to you!). But I’m pumped to try out the new Portland Variety and Daisho.
What products are always in your beauty/grooming bag?
Lip gloss, mascara, and a nail file.
What style trends are you obsessed with right now?
I’ve been rocking short hair for a long time now, but decided to grow it out. It’s finally bob length so having hair to style again is fun.
What’s your favourite spa or service?
Oh there are so many. I love a good facial. With a massage. Followed by a pedicure. Too greedy?!
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with your busy life?
Lots of people know me as @TheFList, which is the name of my fashion blog. I launched it in 2006 to comment on Canadian fashion and the designers I was discovering here. Now I try to infuse more of my business and marketing perspective on the fashion industry as a whole. I am finally revamping the design at f-list.ca. (Check back closer to World MasterCard Fashion Week!) In the meantime, find me on Twitter and Instagram. Cheers!