We are really excited to be the first to introduce you to Smile 2 Smile, a Canadian social enterprise dedicated to gifting quality stuffed toys to less fortunate children around the world, sharing the joy and playfulness that is central to childhood. Upon purchasing one of Smile 2 Smileâ€™s limited edition toys, a child in need will be given a unique, colourful S2S friend. S2S is looking to connect that special child in your life (or your inner child!) with a less fortunate kid in a fun yet meaningful way.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER: MÃ©lissa Calixte was born and raised in Montreal, QC. The second of five siblings, her recognition of joy through play began young, particularly that generated by collective, thoughtful interaction. Of Haitian descent, her awareness of global disparity was also nurtured from a young age, becoming a recurrent theme in what she wished to pursue professionally. After studying Fashion Design at CEGEP Marie-Victorin in Montreal, she moved to Toronto to further her studies at Ryerson Universityâ€™s prestigious School of Fashion. Her work experience in menswear led to an increased passion for beautifully tailored pieces of simple design and luxurious materials. After various stints at prominent menswear boutiques, she was inspired to combine her humanitarian inclinations with her well-honed design skills. It was from this confluence of interests that Smile 2 Smile was born. MÃ©lissa continues to live in Toronto, working out of her household studio.
HER STORY: It all started with overflowing boxes of fabric (the physical remnants of many, many years of Fashion Design studies) and an overwhelming need to assist the global community. The first sample of what would become the Smile 2 Smile signature toy was created on a rainy day and quickly expanded into a family of cheerful toys, which were then sent to displaced Syrian children. When more and more people started asking about purchasing the toys, we seized the opportunity to turn a small project into something bigger. Inspired by other groundbreaking, socially responsible businesses, we decided to combine local play and global consciousness into one fun, endearing toy. For the inaugural Fall/Winter Collection, S2S offers one style of stuffed toy in 5 different combinations of textiles and colours.