Kelly Clark - International Women's Day

  • Kelly Clark joins Preloved for their International Women’s Day event
  • Why Preloved captures everything Kelly Clark believes in
  • Disordered eating is no different to a broken arm

On International Women’s Day Preloved invited a group of women, including Kelly Clark of The 10 Principles to their studio to share what IWD means to them.

Kelly Clark - International Women's Day - Preloved

Preloved is a Canadian lifestyle brand that started 22 years ago with its heart in Toronto, ON. Preloved styles incorporate vintage & dead-stock fabrics to form stunning, new and modern pieces for the conscious, fashion forward consumer. Previously Preloved had retail stores in Toronto, Vancouver & Montreal. Now Preloved focuses solely on wholesale and sells to 400 boutiques worldwide including collaborations with Holt Renfrew, Anthropology, Pink Tartan & Roots.

Kelly Clark shares the upside of her eating disorder


Tell us a bit about yourself! What do you do for a living? What are some of your hobbies?

Kelly Clark:
I help people who yo yo diet find freedom from their preoccupation with food, weight and hunger. My blog and book share the 3 steps that helped me reach and maintain a happy weight naturally for the last 20+ years—without disordered eating. I write about the things I wish I knew when I had a complicated relationship with food. Sadly I’m not alone. 67% of women between the ages of 14 and 64 withdraw from life-engaging activities, like giving an opinion, attending school or going to the doctors because they feel badly about the way they look. We need to change that!

Kelly Clark - International Women's Day - Preloved

My hobbies all fall under the umbrella of what Preloved is all about. Salvaging things—looking for potential in people, animals and anything that helps the environment. Giving them a 2nd chance is the most exciting thing to me! I hate waste. I think this comes from years of thinking I ruined my life with my eating disorder.

For instance, I LOVE second-hand clothes, walking with my foster dog Rocky or doing a little dumpster diving (!) It’s crazy what people throw away especially these days. We’ve found everything from espresso machines to a 10K gold unicorn necklace to beautiful art… Also doing anything creative makes me feel free. I took a stained glass course recently but again, it’s the pieces of glass that are cut away from the perfect shape that are more interesting to me. They also make great earrings!

This black top (follows) is also made by Preloved!

Kelly Clark - International Women's Day - Rocky Dog

How Kelly Clark celebrates IWD every day


What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Kelly Clark:
IWD is a chance to press pause and acknowledge how far we’ve come, spotlight the work yet to be done and celebrate women who’ve broken barriers. Then we’re aware of realities different from our own. For instance, 2/3s of the world’s illiterate adults are women. Understanding the big picture of what women face helps us find practical solutions. IWD reminds us to stand up for women—whether it’s catching a comment made at a BBQ or voting with your wallet by supporting female entrepreneurs locally and abroad.

There’s so many incredible businesses, organizations and causes that do meaningful projects.

One easy way to get involved: How many gifts do you buy a year? Giving presents that make a difference is a fun way to support women and create awareness.

IWD spotlights the role we can play EVERY day to make equality a reality.

Kelly Clark - International Women's Day - Preloved Clothing

Women who inspire Kelly Clark


Which women are you inspired by, and why?

Kelly Clark:
I love women who have a can-do attitude.
Women who create and add to the world when there’s no road map. There’s no progress without believing in possibility.

In grade 5 I saw Anne of Green Gables on tv and fell in love with her and Canadian author Lucy M. Montgomery. She was ahead of her time to create a female character who contributed to the world outside her home when it wasn’t popular in 1908 (Anne became a teacher). I also love that Anne is driven by curiosity, not afraid to be different, and loves to care for others. Cultures where women are more repressed are obsessed with Anne. She’s a feminist icon!

Here’s my video from Grade 5. I must have lent it out because my name’s on it!

Kelly Clark - International Women's Day - Anne of Green Gables

My mentor is Laura Belgray @talkingshrimpnyc. She’s a copywriter in NYC and I’ve had the chance to be in her writing workshop aka Shrimp Club for the last 2 years. Laura has a knack for bringing women together to learn from each other. She’s one of those teachers you do your best work for because you love her so much. Laura’s teaching women all over the world how to communicate effectively and I know she’s helping me reach more of the people who I need to speak to the most. I love women who use the hours in their day to share their hard-won talents—to teach people how to fish rather than give them fish.

Kelly Clark - International Women's Day - Laura Belgray

Gilda Radner was one of the first big names out there to talk about disordered eating. Her book It’s Always Something helps to remove shame and stigma. Then people can STOP isolating themselves with misinformation, like I did for years. I also admire her for her humor—such an important skill for making big ideas accessible. I love Gilda Radner!

If Gilda and Hubba Bubba doesn’t make sense to you, click here.

Kelly Clark - International Women's Day - Hubba Bubba

And this list wouldn’t be complete without Toronto’s own trailblazer Julia Grieve. Julia aka “Jules” founded Preloved 25 years ago!

I love that she’s ambitious and keeps evolving her brand. Jules really does do it all (with stilettos on—unless she’s running oh, just a MARATHON!) And she’s fun-loving while doing it. There’s no bigger issue nor one that’s moving at a more exponential pace than global warming. Preloved has been helping the world one sweater at a time before eco-friendly clothes were in fashion. Upcycled clothing creates an accessible way to talk about an urgent problem.

Kelly Clark - International Women's Day - Julia Grieve

Kelly Clark loves being a chameleon


What do you love about being a woman?

Kelly Clark:
Women often connect by sharing stories, looking for something they love about each other and saying it out loud. Look no further than a woman’s public washroom to hear laughter between strangers.

We also have all sorts of creative choices. After struggling with an eating disorder from 14 to 24 years old, and basing every fashion decision strictly on what will camouflage my extra weight (black leggings and long tops to cover my butt), I LOVE fashion and that women can play with it and be such chameleons. Self-expression is liberating and clothes give you the chance to be a walking work of art.

Also due to inequality, women work harder just to get a position a man can walk into. Women are so often on the wrong side of closed doors (look at the imbalance even in a privileged event like this year’s Oscars…) The upside of this truth is women have become more enterprising and empathetic.

Discovering who you are without disordered eating is Kelly Clark’s goal


How are you planning to (or currently) making an impact in your community, to help empower other women?

Kelly Clark:
While I was teaching I developed a program called Who Is NOBODY? that helps young people discover their interests and use them to help others. To date NOBODY has turned into SOMEBODY in 89 school boards across 5 countries. And most hours I’m awake I work on my blog to connect with people who are struggling with disordered eating.

Who Is NOBODY? - Kit ContentsThe diet industry conditions us to believe reaching a healthy weight is only for those who have willpower, discipline and are willing to make sacrifices. These messages complicate eating and create shame. People think “I have an eating disorder because I have no self-control” — but the truth is, most people with eating disorders are givers, go-getters and don’t give up.

So my goal is to help people stop trying to look healthy and actually BE healthy! A healthy body is the result of healthy habits. Getting good information can change everything and quickly. I tell my story to help remove the shame, share what healthy eating and exercise looks like, give people hope they can fully recover and even be grateful for the experience, like I am. Then women can redirect their admirable traits toward something they care about.

I want people to discover who they are without disordered eating.

Asking for help when you’re preoccupied by food, weight and calorie counting shouldn’t be seen as any different to speaking to a doctor when you’ve broken your arm.

My eating disorder didn’t ruin my life, it taught me valuable lessons. We all have obstacles. And if you’re willing to focus on what you learn so many incredible things will come into your life—not in spite of your difficult experiences, but because of them.

Thank you so much Preloved for the chance to be part of your IWD celebration. I love everything Preloved stands for! xoKelly

You can read more about Preloved and the other women highlighted on International Women’s Day here!

And I’d love to know your answers to the same questions:

Tell me about yourself! What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies?
Which women are you inspired by?
What does IWD mean to you?
Why do you love being a woman?
How are you impacting your community & empowering other women?

Would LOVE you to share your answer(s) in the comments below! I read every comment.

Kelly Clark



  Work with me - 1:1 Coaching Buy Now - It took me 10 years to lose 10 pounds What the F do I eat?


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