Children’s entertainer loves to express her creative flair
YOU know her as PROBABLY Lexi.
And that time you met? Well, she was probably wearing a handmade sky-high Celebration Hat fashioned out of Christmas ornaments and mini teapots while singing about finding your zing and believing in yourself.
Her given name is Alexis Rakovac and she’s been performing for your kids for a decade and a half — first as an early childhood educator and then as Learning with Lexi, the children’s entertainer who hosts shows, birthday parties and workshops, writes her own songs and sprinkles positivity wherever she goes.
In between was a back injury that forced Rakovac, 34, to leave her job in ECE and take stock of her life. She still had a message to share with kids: love and have confidence in yourself, which she feels is great armour against bullying. So after a lot of rehab and family encouragement, she took the plunge and started her own business.
“I am a woman of many things,” says Rakovac, who has been performing as Learning with Lexi for three years. “I am a woman of creativity, of expression, athleticism … I love so many things and I express them. Doing the show has kind of put that all in one category for me.”
But she’s also a woman of fashion, which she says is one of her favourite forms of expression. Her beloved Balinese pants, including the maroon pair with embroidered trim she sports here with a slouchy, dusty rose, off-the-shoulder top from American Eagle Outfitters, and bamboo-soled booties she found at the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, are a typical outfit, straddling her personal and professional lives.
She tends to pick colourful pieces, often with a bit of bohemian flair, that have some give so she can dance and jump around without feeling constricted.
“When I get up in the morning, I get excited,” says Rakovac, who accessorized the outfit shown here with a wood pendant she bought in Bali, a peace cuff she bought at Studio 205 on King Street East, and a vintage tapestry bag she found at The Edit.
“I get to choose what colours, I get to style my hair, what shoes — I mean, this is fun stuff. I go out and I love to have people notice these pieces and start conversations. And we have so much fun with it.”
Most eye-catching piece:
My (Celebration) hats from Learning with Lexi but also my tuques. I have tuques at home that I actually wear quite often: big pom pom on the head, big pom pom on the cheeks. Everywhere I go, people ask me where I got it. And honestly, it was the dollar store.
Quirkiest wardrobe item:
This pink piece … it was part of a costume box. I gave it to Josette, a designer in Hamilton … I wanted colour and I wanted tassels on it and I wanted it to be a very unique piece …
It kind of looks like a cupcake. It’s like a tiered (pastel) dress but it opens up at the front and it clips back and it has a ruffled collar that she added along the top and on the sleeves … I use this for my bigger shows.
I have to have a little balance of it all. Because for me, a full piece is the shoes, the shirt, the pants, the jewelry ...
The one type of thing I need to have in my wardrobe is a good pair of pants. Pants to me are really important. I like pants that give a little bit of a stretch, so not too tight, and that maybe are a little bit tight to the leg because I love to wear boots.
Everything in my closet. I have several of these (Balinese and Thai booties). I wear them all the time. They’re my bamboo shoes, my flat shoes, when I wear them during the day and I’m getting my work done, my feet aren’t achy, I feel a little bit more grounded, they’re fashionable.
Pencil skirts … I gave away so many of my pencil skirts recently because I find them constricting, my legs are rubbing up against each other, it’s just a very limited movement.
Loves to shop at:
The Chatuchak Market in Bangkok (Thailand). It’s worth the 21.5hour flight … in Hamilton I love Plato’s Closet … Studio 205, I love shopping at Pure on Locke Street for my beauty stuff.
Ridding her closet of:
I have three things that when I walk up to my closet, I have to get rid of: I will fit into one day, I will (wear) eventually, and maybe next year. I feel the clothes that you’re keeping in there are almost like a punishment. I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna get there. You don’t need those clothes in your closet. Be free. Buy clothes you can fit into now …
The hats. I do splurge on hats. And jackets. Winter jackets are my favourite, and jean jackets.
Beauty product she can’t live without:
I have this cinnamon soap and body butter … it keeps my skin so fresh and so healthy … and vitamin E oil.
Alexis (Lexi) Rakovac wears cropped maroon Balinese pants with embroidered accents and a velvety, dusty rose off the shoulder top from American Outfitters. Her tapestry booties are from a trip to Thailand, the peace cuff is from Studio 205, the vintage tapestry bag is from The Edit, and the wooden pendant necklace from Bali.
Her message to kids: love and have confidence in yourself.