Halifax boutique recycles designer brands

Store owners Jen McGrath and Stacey Thompson make designer brands affordable and profitable for everyone.

By Amanda Jeffs

Business partners Jennifer McGrath (left) and Stacey Thompson (right) sort through discounted designer fashions (Amanda Jeffs photo)

Want designer jeans but can’t afford them? Got a pair you never wear? Store owners Jen McGrath and Stacey Thompson make designer brands affordable and profitable for everyone.

Their Halifax boutique, Crimson & Clover takes peoples’ old designer clothing and resells them at a lower price. The original owner of the merchandise gets 50 per cent of the profit.

McGrath and Thompson determine the price of the second-hand clothing by its label, condition, age and demand. They sell brands like Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and J-Brand.

“We’ve been told it feels like you’re shopping in your friend’s closet,” says Thompson. “I think it’s just cozy with the decor. Everything’s neatly laid out by size and style so you don’t have to dig for anything. People come in and they feel really relaxed and comfortable.”

Thompson stresses that Crimson & Clover is not a typical thrift store. Items must meet a certain set of criteria before hitting the sales floor. Clothing has to be trendy and seasonally appropriate. It must also be in a new or ‘like new’ condition.

The shop itself started as a small scale project. “We got our friends and family together and started picking through their closets,” says Thompson. “And then eventually word got out and lots of other people started bringing things in. Next we found the right space, and here we are.”

This spring, Thompson says, “we’re seeing a lot of fun, flirty summer dresses that are sort of roughed up with boots, denim jackets, or leather.”

If you’re looking for this season’s designer goods, Crimson & Clover is located at 1351 Birmingham St.